A Word on Going Your Own Way

Are you following the crowd? Or are you going your own way, despite all the headaches and hassles you get everywhere you turn?

I’ve been on this path my whole life.  To borrow a phrase from Bruce Springsteen, “When they said, ‘Sit down,’ I stood up!”

This independent streak goes back as early as I can remember.  Maybe I never grew out of my “terrible twos” and just kept saying “no” to everyone who tried to assert their authority over me.  Parents.  Teachers.  Principals.  They all tried.  But I was too hard-headed to listen.

Something inside me took it all in with a grain of salt.  I listened.  I respected their input.  But at the end of the day, I fought to hold a space in which to make my own choices — even when those didn’t work out so well.

That same tendency is still at work in me today.  I see things differently than everyone else, and listen to a different drummer.  In fact, that drummer is very personal to me, one who whispers to me from the silence and guides me along this path.   And sometimes I even resist it when it doesn’t match up with what I am or want for myself.

It isn’t a path for the faint of heart.  For it can be lonely and fraught with troubles and hardship.

In case you noticed, our world works by the carrot and stick approach.  It dangles the promise of money, power, relationship, belonging, success or whatever else it is we desire, if we will but go along with what it wants and expects from us.  Follow the crowd, it demands, or risk the consequences.

Well, I didn’t listen.  I could have done a lot better (in those material terms) if I had.

What I did do, though, was what my soul wanted from this life — to set my own destination and blaze my own trail to get there.

How do I know?  God keeps telling me so, and nudging me to continue on despite the toll it takes on the life I could otherwise live.

If you’re trying to go your way, you probably feel at times like you’re a salmon fighting to swim upstream to spawn and give birth to the experiences you want to get.  The toll it takes fighting others’ expectations and judgments — as well as a system designed to force you to go along to get along — can be enormous.  And that’s without even factoring in your own, for self-judgment and expectation are worst of all.

It can be a heavy weight to carry.  I’m here to help if you need it.

I don’t want you to follow me or in my footsteps.  I want you to find and go the way that’s meant for you.  Whatever it is.

All of my work, all of my writing and websites, and all of my speaking, are intended to help you with that process — and to get more out of the experiences it brings along the way.

So if the going gets rough and your future looks bleak, don’t despair.  Just remember.

You don’t have to go it alone.

God bless you indeed.

John Dennison
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