I’ve been witness to the reality that there are angels all around us. In fact, I’ve seen them working. Let me describe them to you.
Last Friday, I had one of those moments. You know that epiphany, the finding of my element, or the excited continuation of the RISE. I described this moment to a couple of friends as feeling anxious and excited all at once. The reality – I was truly alive! Alive with passion and purpose. I was in a space that keeps you awake at night with a mind that is electrified with positive thought and possibility. It was the revealing of an aspect of my true purpose in life. With all that said, my focus is on what happened after that moment that made me realize the presence of angels.
Two days after the aforementioned moment, I began to struggle. It wasn’t about any specific problem or event. It was about the overwhelming nature of life. It was the crushing weight of resistance against the purpose I felt. I couldn’t get it out of my mind how impacted I began to feel. The struggle with my own forgetfulness, personal battles, and the grind at work began to darken my soul. I forgot about the moment and became severely distracted.
Our flight path to RISE isn’t an easy one, it is messy. It is a fight for our very spirit, but one that is worth fighting. I believe the concept of struggle often gets lost in the positive mindset. The struggle is tough and at times can beat the tar out of you, but ultimately, it’s a good thing if you don’t get lost in it. The struggle strengthens you while creating a fragility in your heart that allows it to break for others. Without struggle you can’t relate to the trials that others face. You can’t build yourself mentally or physically. You can’t empathize or sincerely sympathize. Without struggle, we cannot support and share our stories of how to overcome the challenges of life. This struggle can crush us or it can build us.
Enter the angels. As I was being crushed and suffocated by resistance, I maintained my pride and strong front until my forgetfulness caused me to break. With her gentle and understanding nature, the first angel was upon me. My wife, Michele was there to comfort and believe in me. She put her hand on my arm and with understanding eyes infused strength into my weary soul. Touch is such an amazing power. It heals the soul with such calming force. It restores the damage with tenderness. It soothes the savage beast while repelling the thoughts that attempt to tether us to the negative. This was the beginning of the rejuvenation path.
The next day my good friend Sharon entered the picture. Sharon has a way about her that is so unique. She is kindness and courage. Always putting others before herself. I consistently believe the most accurate description of her is – a bearer of light. A phrase that I do not utter flippantly. As we met over lunch, I shared the struggles of my previous few days. With great patience and persistence Sharon began to offer perspectives that would broaden my thought process to see things differently. Her bold rescue efforts didn’t get be back to where I wanted to be, but they set the stage for what was to come. Enter the perspective prophet – Lori.
Lori’s amazing ability to energize and uplift me is unreal. We function on the same wavelength in so many capacities and Lori has a 5th gear that is truly a gift. To describe her in a phrase, Lori is a fireball of positivity and purpose who sees the big picture. Another bearer of light. As I was rehashing the same story of my struggle, Lori sat back and smiled. Then she said, “it’s resistance”. “It’s not going to attack you the way you think. You were in your passion and purpose and now it’s going to fight back against you.” Wow! I snapped out of the trance. I felt empowered. Yes, the fight wasn’t against all these things that were piled upon me. The fight was against the force that was oppressing me by using those things. It was against negativity and distraction. My mind was beginning to reset and knowing that this was the result of resistance, I was almost ready to go.
Things looked up as I finally had a full night of sleep – 8 hours and I didn’t need an alarm to wake up. A bliss that I was denied to me for some time and it reached a blistering peak in the midst of my trial. Then final restoration and strength returned as the power of the team descended upon me.
I started today off with a meeting. Oh joy, oh joy an hour and a half meeting to start the day. By my sarcastic sentence you can tell I have a fondness of meetings. Today was different. Today was meant to be. As I had the privilege to meet with our full team of academic leaders to discuss our foundations and future, the room was alive with thought, creativity, challenges to ideas, and team work. This team accepts each other for who we are and appreciates the gifts we all bring to the table. The air in this packed conference room was filled with light. Light from the hearts of the positive souls around me. Without knowing it they all were ministering to me. They lifted me up by their actions and love for one another. It was then that I realized that I was SURROUNDED BY ANGELS! If we are to RISE, we need each other. We have to be willing to be ministered to as we seek to uplift others. The path isn’t easy, but those souls who are RISING around us, prove to be amazing flight companions.