One of my favorite movie quotes is from Message in a Bottle. The depth to which the words resonate has stuck with me for many years. Though I am going to speak only about a phrase in the first line, I am going to share the whole letter, as the whole is needed to understand the piece.
I’m sorry l haven’t talked to you in so long. I feel I’ve been lost… no bearings, no compass. I kept crashing into things, a little crazy, I guess. I’ve never been lost before. You were my true north.
I could always steer for home when you were my home. Forgive me for being so angry when you left. I still think some mistake’s been made… and I’m waiting for God to take it back.
But I’m doing better now. The work helps me. Most of all, you help me.
You came into my dream last night with that smile that always held me like a lover… rocked me like a child. All l remember from the dream is a feeling of peace. l woke up with that feeling and tried to keep it alive as long as l could.
I’m writing to tell you that I’m on a journey toward that peace. And to tell you I’m sorry about so many things. I’m sorry l didn’t take better care of you so that you never spent one minute being cold or scared or sick.
I’m sorry I didn’t try harder to find the words to tell you what I was feeling.
I’m sorry I never fixed the screen door. I fixed it now.
I’m sorry I ever fought with you. I’m sorry I didn’t apologize more. I was too proud.
I’m sorry I didn’t bring you more compliments on everything you wore and every way you fixed your hair.
I’m sorry I didn’t hold on to you with so much strength that even God couldn’t pull you away.
Thinking about True North made me realize that when you know someone is your True North, there isn’t much of a decision about whether you wait for them. You just do it. You don’t have to contemplate what if you waste your time, or think about the million things that can go wrong. You just walk toward what you believe may be possible and see how things go – just as when you point your compass toward North you start walking.
As an overthinker, I can pretty much make anything into a rabbit hole. Give me a thought and I can mull it over for hours and days, sometimes weeks. A simple phrase can send me into a month long dive into word meanings and origins, studying scripture that contains those words, etc. So you can imagine how I felt when someone recently said to me the same words I once said to God. I have been having a field day with the statement, thinking about how true it is, whether I should take it at face value or dive deeper into the meaning, or just walk with it and let it lead me to my destination. Because at the end of the day, I already know I am going to wait here for a little while because I don’t yet have the healing I need to move forward in any tangible ways. It is why I think so much.
Waiting is this wonderful and awful period simultaneously. It’s a period where you want to throw in the towel and settle but at the same time want to give it all you have so you can see the end result. Will you wait for the best job or take the one that is first offered? Will you wait for the best partner or go for anyone who asks? Will you wait on the perfect house or take the first one you see that somewhat meets your needs because househunting is draining? When we are waiting, there is so much time to change our minds and paths. We can leave the process at any point and take a risk that what we settle for is better than what was coming – like a Price Is Right question, we can take what is behind a door or we can wait for what’s in the box.
But what if the season of waiting is a time to reeenergize and gain strength? What if the season of waiting is where your character improves and you find out things about yourself you didn’t know? For example, I am not sure I have waited on anything other than food in my entire life. I have always gotten what I wanted when I wanted it or went out and took it. I have never waited for anything or anyone. I haven’t had to. And so this season of waiting – two years of saying, “God, what is the point of this time? How do I make the most of it?” – has been extremely difficult at times. But I also wouldn’t trade it because I am proud of myself for perseverance and resilience. I am amazed with how I have gone in with therapy and dealt with long-standing, deep-seated issues. I haven’t shied away from giving my all, even when it hurts. So it makes sense in this situation that I would once again have to give my all in hopes that healing arrives and the results are beneficial for all involved.
True North is that place where you can exhale. That place where you feel at home. True North is that place where you feel at your best. Where you know you have made it to the place you are supposed to be. Whether you believe soul mates exist as one person you are created to be with or as multiple possibilities from which you choose the one you are willing to stop at, True North is the one who are so willing to do life with that no one else matters. It is found within a person, a place, and within oneself. It is that place that helps you keep your focus because you want to get back there each time you find yourself further away (and not in a codependent way but in a healthy way).
As I embark this year of getting rooted and determining where and how that will happen, look at how I want that to look, and consider which options I will pursue for career and business, I am thankful to have this chance to wait on something I truly desire and want in my life. I won’t chase anything – not a job, not a person, not a lifestyle. But I will work hard for what I want, stay focused on the task at hand, and ensure I do not wander from the path because my compass is set and I know where I want to be in the end.
What are you pursuing in your life? Do you need to consider your True North to help you focus on what is important? Let’s make this a year where we truly crush our goals, find our place of pure joy, and pursue the things we love in life. Let’s go after the life we envisioned for ourselves and do all in our power to make it happen, both on our own and with others.
“You’re my true north. No compass would point me in any other direction but to you.” ― Kristen Hope Mazzola, Crashing Back Down
Until next time,