Please be brave. We all need you to be brave.

It’s time to be brave. It’s time to let this be okay. It’s time to know who we are called to serve, and pour our energy and hearts into being the best ministers, writers, artists, entrepreneurs, mentors, bosses, leaders, activists, mothers, wives, healers, innovators, or whatever we are called to be. It is a narrow path. I’m not for everyone. Neither are you.

“If you are willing to be a quiet ripple and pour the pure, distilled essence of everything you know to be true into just a few highly-aligned souls, you would create miracles.”—Hillary McFarland

 
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At any given moment there are about seven billion people in the world. This means there are at least seven billion different opinions, belief systems, perspectives, and world-views.

I can’t serve them all, even though I wish I could. I can’t please them all. (Nor do I want to.) I can’t even please most. This means that approximately 6,999,990,000+ humans won’t be happy with, approve of, be served by, or agree with me.

Or you.

It’s time to be brave. It’s time to let this be okay.

It’s time to know who we are called to serve, and pour our energy and hearts into being the best ministers, writers, artists, entrepreneurs, mentors, bosses, leaders, activists, mothers, wives, healers, innovators, or whatever we are called to be.

It is a narrow path. I’m not for everyone. Neither are you.

I’ve been thinking about exclusivity and niching when it comes to being a writer, an artist, a mentor, a business woman. We are each called for something deep, specific, and meaningful.

If we had the courage to take off the lens of modern culture, reject societal expectations, and show up saying, being, and doing the things we were put here on earth to do, THIS is when we would see the change we crave.

Right now there is still so much imputed societal shame. Comparison. Not-enoughness. Not marching for the “right” cause. Not being loud enough. Not showing up enough. We’re not doing it right, whatever it is.

“Don’t worry about what your sister is doing.” Have you ever said that to your kid? I heard it as a child. A lot. “You do what I told you to do and don’t worry about them.”

As long as we keep being shaped by others, we will never fully own what is ours or become the fullest expression of who we are meant to be.

We have work to do, you and I.

We have people to serve.

My calling doesn’t take away from yours, and yours doesn’t take away from mine, unless we let ourselves be tossed about by every wind + whim of culture and look to the latest socially-correct issue du jour to define and inform us.

What if we said “no, thank you” to the hollering masses and led the revolution we were born for? What if we stopped reacting to things and just walked in a humble, generous love? What if we weren’t compelled to be the loudest, biggest, or most profitable, but dedicated ourselves to learning how to love our lives, our God, and our people well? What if we drew our deepest values not from things that could be stolen from us, shattered, or shaken, but from those that last? How powerful would that be?

If you are willing to be a quiet ripple and pour the pure, distilled essence of everything you know to be true into just a few highly-aligned souls, you would create miracles. You would create that legacy you long for. You would live your deepest, truest dream life—and it would be meaningful, more than dollars and influencer status and fame.

Stop trying to serve everyone and really listen to the truth about yourself, your vocation, and your God-given gifts. And then pour yourself into the dear and beautiful souls meant to be liberated and healed upon your path.

Do this, and you will be the change you’re looking for. It’s not glamorous work, and you might not get rich this way. If you get really honest, and I mean painfully so, you would know in the stillness of your soul that you are spreading yourself too thin when you try to reach everyone.

I get it. Believe me. As compassionate beings we want to include everyone because we know the pain of being left out, of being the last name called, of feeling different and “other.”

 
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Honey, your otherness is your greatest gift. And other people’s otherness is their greatest gift. It holds sacred possibilities and deep power. We cannot sacrifice theirs or ours on the altar of sameness, of comfort, or blending in. We are all other, and we are all human beings who want to be loved.

It’s time to stop being offended by everything. That’s a distraction that makes people weak. It’s time to be and do the work we’re here to do for the people we’re here to serve. And to do so with love. I’m not talking about a red-heart-on-Facebook kind of love or the words “love is love” printed on a tee-shirt. I’m not talking about junk-food love. I mean the kind of love that gives you something to hold onto. Sink your teeth into and be sustained by. Something truthful and steady, not dependent on moods or politics or the latest social fever.

An unwavering love.

What is a number one goal of many philosophies and spiritual paths? It is for us humans to be one with the Divine, to realize “Christ-consciousness,” to become as God, to realize “You are god.” It may be subtle at first, but follow the roots down. It is the promise of yoga, of New Age, Law of Attraction, and more. It is the promise of the serpent in the garden: “You will be like God.”

All the while, the one true God lowered himself to become a man. Because of love. Think of it: God, the uncreated maker of moonstone and the moon, the creator of the whole earth and all the flowers and each one of us, entered into creation as a human to restore what was lost in the beginning, when man first violated God’s word.

Our connection to the holy God was severed because of sin. It entered our bloodline and passed down to each person like a hereditary disease. For this reason Jesus the Messiah was born to die and to rise from the dead, so that by trusting in His payment for our sin, we could have the forgiveness of sin and receive eternal life.

The Lord could have called fire down from heaven to destroy His enemies, but He loved them, us, literally to death. He loved us, and gave Himself for us. He gave up His rights to self.

This is the kind of humility and love we are called to. The kind of love we were born to receive, first, and to give. This must be our foundation.

Because once someone gives their life, they give you everything.

 
Honey, your otherness is your greatest gift. And other people’s otherness is their greatest gift. It holds sacred possibilities and deep power. We cannot sacrifice theirs or ours on the altar of sameness, of comfort, or blending in. We are all other, and we are all human beings who want to be loved. It’s time to stop being offended by everything. That’s a distraction that makes people weak. It’s time to be and do the work we’re here to do for the people we’re here to serve. And to do so with love.
 

So with love, be one of the seven billion with an opinion. Say something that matters. Please. Not to cause a ruckus for the sake of one, but because you are a human being and you have eyes and a voice. You matter and your story matters. All you’ve learned up to this point in your life will be meaningful to someone.

Yeah, some will disagree. Some will probably hate you for it. You’ll mess up sometimes, and you’ll apologize, and you’ll learn. Some won’t forgive you. Some will walk away. Bless them. Others will hold a grudge and make it their personal job to make your life miserable. Bless them, too. They only have the power you give them. Be humble and hear what needs to be heard, but don’t obsess, and don’t retaliate. Trust God. Learn how to be tenderhearted and kind.

Every unkind remark, every harsh response, every mean action towards you is a secret cry for love. So don’t get road rage; stay in your lane. Do what you came to do. Be brave. Own your calling. Be willing to niche down. A river that is confined by steep banks rushes with depth and strength. When it goes everywhere, it becomes a swamp where mosquitos live. Know who you are and why God put you on earth. Be exclusive for good, in honest service to others. Write to the exact person your book is meant for. Don’t write to everyone else. Design your creative program for the exact soul who needs it. The others won’t benefit, anyway. Be clear who your work is meant for. Use words they will understand. Write descriptions that become a mirror for your perfect client to look into and find herself.

Be loving and generous, but recognize that God has created other people to reach the ones you’re afraid to leave out. Don’t water down your message hoping more folks will relate. They won’t, and neither will your true audience.

Be a river.

 
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Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
— Mary Oliver, The Summer Day
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