I have observed people who are able to live their lives in a manner that is directly connected to their insides, and in a sense, then a path unfolds that directly appears strong and coherent in all its outside manifestations.
Then there are others, like me, who work outside-in: It takes us a while to connect to this inside and by the time we do, an outside has manifested because of mostly external agencies, and then one has to begin the work of going back in. This journey, in a sense, feels like a layered process, each layer being a stepping stone, where one works hard, professionally and personally, and builds courage to move on to the next stone. For the person making this journey, each layer appears as I have written, but for an external observer, each layer appears dichotomous and disconnected, and as a symptom of confusion or even a kind of weakness.
I write this in a state of prayer because I feel like it has now been close to a decade of walking this outside-in path, and each layer has tested me and once beyond the test, brought wrapped in humility tremendous grounding wisdom and knowledge. I feel like I am now ever closer to this inner core, and facing a test that is proportionate to this step to take me ever closer. As with all tests I have faced, and as a test should be, I often find myself swinging between states of fear and freedom, not knowing how it will play out. As much as this is a prayer of a man dealing with such afflictions, I also know that this prayer now also has the wisdom from the journey of these successive layers, which tells me this is it – fear and freedom, and tests, all are true. This is it.