When my daughter was in elementary school, I took her to Washington D.C. to see some of the historical sights. We marched ourselves into the Library of Congress where she promptly asked to see a Dr. Seuss book!
We saw Ford Theater and the house where President Lincoln was taken after he was shot. We climbed the massive steps to the Lincoln Memorial and peeked through the gates at the White House.
And we rode D.C.’s subway system, the Metro.
At the end of our stay, we got on the Metro with our luggage and headed for the airport. We approached the stop where we needed to change trains and headed for the train doors.
My daughter stepped out of the doors first and as I was about to pass through them, the handle of my rolling bag slipped out of my hand.
As I turned to retrieve it, the doors began to close with my daughter, who was 8 at the time, standing on the underground platform with a look of horror on her face.
I jammed my arm into the doors while reaching for my bag with the other. The doors opened and closed several times, slamming on my arm but I refused to remove it. I knew if I let those doors closed completely, the train would instantly move on and my daughter would be left all alone.
By this time my daughter was sobbing and I was trying desperately to stay calm.
Finally, a woman on the train saw what was happening (I never had a chance to thank her but say prayers for her to this day!) She told the conductor who opened the doors and let me out. The train left instantly and we were left standing in its wake.
After catching my breath, hugging my daughter, and gathering our bags I realized the irony of the event. We had gotten off at the wrong stop.
And now we had to get back on the next train, an idea that went entirely aganst my daughter’s best instincts. She clung to me but made it through and I was proud of her ability to face her fears.
Have you ever felt like you’ve gotten off at the wrong stop?
Or that you’re on the wrong flight or that you’ve woken up in someone else’s life?
Until you embrace who you truly are, and the gifts and talents you were meant to share with the world, you may always feel a little like you’ve gotten off at the wrong stop.
Most people accept the circumstances they have been handed, assuming their past must equal their future and they are destined to do and be whatever someone else has decided is best for them.
Those same people keep a part of them hidden – the gift they were meant to share, the part of themselves that makes them come alive.
They keep the gift hidden because someone called them a loser or ridiculed it early in life as something uncool, geeky, or silly.
Someone else said it would be too hard to pursue or a waste of time, money, or education.
Or they just don’t think they can make a living by pursuing it.
So they keep plodding along hoping they’ll somehow fall in love with their current work and try to forget they were meant for something more fulfilling.
But that hidden gift is where the magic is.
It’s your calling. It’s the part of you that makes you feel thoroughly awake. It brings you joy and spreads joy to others.
What a tragedy it would be to deny yourself or the world the best part of you. If you do nothing else in the next week, be completely honest with yourself about what you have hidden away and resolve to do one thing to open it up…before its too late.
You were uniquely created to share your gift. It is your passport to freedom – you deserve to explore it. And besides, the world is waiting for you.