Uncle Frank was a funny kind of guy who always felt the calling for a bigger and better life. He passed away this week and it's got me thinking of the nature of wanting more and striving. Uncle Frank took some risky roads to "break the bank", which is how described his goal to my dad one day while they were at the casino together. We knew what he meant, but never really understood why he even thought that was possible. Yet time after time his soul, and also maybe his ego, would rise again and ask him to try. In a way, I understand, "unlikely" doesn't really mean impossible. It certainly makes me think of my own business pursuits. Will I ever coach my way to be interviewed by Oprah? It's not really aim of mine, but it happened I certainly would embrace it. The practical side, the side of me my parents fostered, says it's unlikely.
But I know what feeling of rising to meet a circumstance, of wanting to beat the odds, of going after "more". I know the urge to rise again, and again, the call of expanding further than ever simply because we feel the call to.
I have long been frustrated by my mother. She doesn't know this call, or at least she won't admit to it. And for years I would try to find that within her, a book left here or there, a gentle nudge. She has always been content with where she is, maybe a little stressed by the day to day of it, but content and not "in searching". Where as me, and Uncle Frank, always seemed to be searching. But today I see that with the exception of going to college, my mom succeeded in making all that she really ever wished for to come true. She is content, and has been content, because her searches for more have already come to fruition, not because she never had any. She's living in the "gravy" mode, where everything else she does with her life now is gravy to be savored.
It was not that she never wanted more. She had. But once she began stepping into that something more and it became part of her past and her story, she grew to meet the dream. She became more than she had been before, for her it was becoming a mother.
In his last few days, my cousin reported, that Uncle Frank, after years of searching for this big life and dreams, had found what he wanted. For him it was to know he had succeeded and done well for his kids. In his last days, he saw for the first time that his kids were happy, they were cared for,they loved him for who he was. And in that understanding, that state of being "in love", he even managed to let go of the long standing issues he had with this daughter-in-law. He become something more than he ever expected to be. Perhaps it was that he never felt like he was enough. But I think, it was not that he knew there was "more" out there, but that he knew HE could be something more, and simply didn't understand how to get there. My mom's path was more clear, there were established roads by which she could, and did, travel. Uncle Frank had to trail-blaze it.
He had spent many years in addiction while in pursuit of that calling to be more. He did find, if even for a few days before he went back home. In his life, there are more than a few choices that he learned were never worth repeating in his journey of becoming more. But what I see now is that it never is about our fear of failing or our fear of rejection, those are excuses our ego and pride make up to save face and stay comfortable. Our journey isn't even about our "mistakes" or our failings as people. The journey is about becoming. It's always about expanding into our dreams of being more. It takes expanding love, our sense of self love and worth and knowing how valuable our love, our passion, is. It takes a practice of filling up on source, on love, on faith, and growing into our fullest Divine selves! Even, and especially, if we have to trail-blaze it for ourselves, our family, and our friends.