If only I could see the whole picture; a panoramic view of answers and solutions laid out before me. How to make your business grow into your ideal vision? Okay, here’s step one, then step two, now step three… walk right this way. How to manifest your highest self? Well, first you do this, then that, then… don’t you see it? The path ends right over there and voila!
I could get into that.
But for this sister (and for most of us, I suspect), life does not unfold like a mural with yellow bricks I can see stretching into the distance, guiding me along an illuminated ochre path. I was sure, at one point in my life, that that plan must be reserved for wholesome White girls from the heartland with wide-eyed innocence and overactive imaginations. My White friends, however, have disabused me of that notion.
Me, I squint and strain and stress, trying to see the WAY. I am sure the path is there somewhere, but often the climate of my life, and perhaps my own astigmatic vision, obscures all but the very next brick. Sometimes my world is so stormy and foggy, or dark, or so bright that I feel blinded. And frequently, the next brick is not a step away, but a leap forward, and I must launch myself into the uncertain air to reach it.
I am fifty four years old, and frankly, this walking by faith and not by sight stuff is getting a little old.
Come on God, give a sister a break.
Don’t worry about the whole journey; I’ve got that. Just take the next step.
But it’s way over there!
Can’t you make it easier to reach? A little less scary?
Nope. I’ve told you what to do. Just take the next step.
But then what?
Just do what you know to do. You’ll know what’s next when the time is right.
Do what you know to do.
What a transformative lesson this has been for me. And not one I always embrace. Here’s the key:
You know what to do next. Do it.
You know what to do. And this does not mean necessarily doing what you’ve done in the past. Your intuition, that still small voice, something you have recently learned, or your common sense has spoken to you. It is often not a huge or complex task, but sometimes it does require courage. And you don’t have to see the whole picture. In fact, you rarely see the whole picture. Just do what you know to do.
I have often resisted this. What I know to do sometimes seems scary or overwhelming or, frankly, trite or insignificant. Make the phone call, or send the email, or write the letter, or read the information, or prepare the lesson. Just do it. This is so simple, but sometimes so difficult to execute. I hesitate or procrastinate or avoid, afraid, or not seeing the reason for doing it, or… And I am left standing on the same brick, immobile, until I simply do what I know to do. Then, without fail, the next step appears, the next thing I need to know comes to me, the connection bears fruit.
Sometimes we make the journey so complex. And often, like me, we want to see the whole picture, to know the complete plan, to control the entire process. When all we need to do is take the next step. All that is required of us this moment is to do what we know to do. And trust that the next step will be revealed to us.
In order to get unstuck, to move forward, take a lesson from a grown up Black woman. Do what you know to do.