Gentleman in Moscow

Bringing the Pieces Together

Recently I read an amazingly interesting and well-written book called A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. It is such a wonderful novel that as soon as my husband is finished reading it, I can’t wait to read it again. If you are looking for a book well worth your time, check it out.

A myriad of passages and quotes from this book come to mind, but this one seemed most appropriate to the work I usually share in the It’s My Life blog.

“He had said that our lives are steered by uncertainties, many of which are disruptive or even daunting; but that if we persevere and remain generous of heart, we may be granted a moment of supreme lucidity – a moment in which all that has happened to us suddenly comes into focus as a necessary course of events, even as we find ourselves on the threshold of a bold new life that we had been meant to lead all along.”

Gentleman in MoscowLet’s break it apart.

“Our lives are steered by uncertainties” Although the human mind longs for consistency and normalcy, more often than not, our lives are chaotic, every changing, and full of surprises – seemingly good and bad. No matter how long we live and how many challenges we have overcome, disruption is the rule more than the exception. Amazing how we expect otherwise. Our minds, and maybe our hearts, expect and pray for constant and easy, expected and comforting. Yet every week, we are thrown a challenge, a shift, the unexpected. When we can “persevere and remain generous of heart,” we can begin to overcome these challenges, and, importantly, “be granted a moment of supreme lucidity.”

Much of my life I acted and reacted, but did not live in purpose. Thankfully I have been granted my moment of supreme lucidity. I had a glimmer of how a series of seemingly random, incongruent, often challenging incidents and choices were not a sporadic mess of a life, but the pieces of the puzzle which, when put together, create a solid picture of my life and my purpose.  Everything I have done, everywhere I worked, everyone I met, every challenge I faced, has brought me to this life right now. I can see how each was a training ground to give me the skills, understanding, and insight necessary for my purpose. Those events in my life when I thought I had failed or thought I had taken a wrong turn, now make sense in the knowing of the “bold new life that [I] had been meant to lead all along.”

Take a little time to see if you can put your pieces together. Start by uncovering each piece. Write down your professional career. What skills did you learn personally and professionally at each stage? What are your most profound memories? These may be successes or failures regarding your position, or your personal relationships with those at the company. Do the same for the different phases of your life – high school, college, first romance, marriage, divorce, children, sickness, loss. Objectively explore these pieces of your life. Then make a collage of these pieces. What are the through-lines? What are the obstacles you have met again and again? What is the meaning or takeaway of each piece, and when the pieces are brought together? Knowing and understanding the life you are meant to lead, allows you to make more appropriate choices, to not miss opportunities to share your gift, and to live with meaning.

Sometimes we must wait for a moment of lucidity and sometimes we can create one through the exercise above, either way, once you have a glimmer of the bold new life, the life you are meant to live, make choices to embrace and maximize what you are here to do.

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