I’m reading classics to discuss with my 12-year-old son as part of our lifelong home-based education (homeschool), and the first book we’ve selected for this school year is The Count of Monte Cristo. As my son’s mentor, I have to model the example of lifelong learning and self-educating. In this case that means not only reading along with him but also writing daily about what we are reading.
For today the nugget that stands out to me from the book is this description, referring to the difference, in one character’s mind, between Napoleon and Robespierre: “The only difference consists in the opposite character of the equality supported by these two men; the one advocates the equality that elevates, the other professes the equality that depresses; the one brings a king within reach of the guillotine, the other elevates the people to a level with the throne.”
Quite a powerful contemplation, especially in thinking about our current political climate in the U.S. Many of us say we want equality, but yet we want our own priorities elevated and dissenting voices depressed. Be honest now. I wonder if we will ever approximate an equality that truly elevates every one of us human beings to our very best selves. What a world that would be. I’m not sure if it’s possible, but I desperately want to believe that it is. I’d love to hear your thoughts, and I’m sure I’ll revisit this topic again in future posts.
Today is a day of extra celebration for me. Two years ago on this day I left my career to fully pursue my calling. It was more than a leap of faith… I playfully nicknamed it my skydive of faith, and that year became my “Year of Living Fearlessly.” I also decided to home school my older two kids (then 7 and 5) that year and became pregnant with our fourth child.
I am normally a very responsible, level-headed kind of girl who enjoys stability and security, but I also have my moments of insane courage, and I haven’t regretted a single one. I would never advise anyone to make the same decisions I made. I would only advise you to follow your gut, your heart, your truth… whatever you want to call it… that thing that you know deep down that you need to do to stay alive in every sense of the word, that is birthed in love. Once you figure out what it is, just go for it! For me, it was staying home with my kids and home schooling them, but that was only the beginning.
Every path has its twists and turns and nasty bumps, but the struggles that you choose are much easier to go through than the struggles that just happen to you when you’re stagnant or going in a direction you got pushed or trapped into. I used to think I was a control freak, but it turns out I just wanted to be assured that someone far more capable than me was in control and that there was a plan that I would be happy with. Once I was convinced of that, I shifted my perspective from one of “taking control” of my life to one of surrendering to my best possible life, which equals far less anxiety and stress, and A LOT more gratitude.