Sometimes life can be a lot like pushing a giant rock up a steep and slick mountain. It can appear that we stand face-to-face with the daunting rock in front of our faces and wonder, “Why the hell should I continue to push this damn rock?!” To be honest, I don’t have an answer to that question that would suit everyone. The motivation for anyone to continue facing his or her respective challenge is often both personal and private. What I can say is that if someone doesn’t have an instant reason to continue to “push their rock,” I believe the time has come for that person to stop and rest. I don’t believe it’s healthy to push when we’ve lost sight for our reason to push.
Please, don’t misunderstand me, I am not advocating that anyone should quit in the face of a challenge. Quitting means, to me, giving up forever, before the mission is accomplished. What I am saying is that there comes a time along a difficult path where we may need to stop and rest for a period of time. This rest allows us to re-charge and re-energize and look around the path we are on to see if we’ve missed something along the way. If, during our time of rest, another path presents itself, then we owe it to our respective destinies to check out the path and see where it may lead. In my experience, there aren’t many paths that enter a life by accident.
I never thought that I’d provide education within the addiction community. But, when I was pushing my novel, Butterfly Warrior, I burned out from all the readings and talks. It seemed like I was working all the time. No one told me that selling a book is way harder than writing a book. When I took a little break from selling Butterfly Warrior, I met someone who needed help with his addiction to heroin. Though I had some personal experience with addiction (as these days it seems we all do), I knew that I didn’t have the tools to provide him with anything more than he already knew. I decided that as part of my break from the publishing world, I would pursue graduate studies in counseling and in addiction psychology. I now see that this path is deeply intertwined with my mission on this planet. Had I kept selling Butterfly Warrior during my burnout, I not only would have failed to sell the book, but I also would never have become a licensed counselor.