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Finding Clarity as I Grow

Updated: 1 day ago

“My need for clarity is greater than my fear of whatever is on the other side of this conversation."

House of cards
Clarity is seeing and accepting that a house of cards is not really a house at all

My dance with clarity

I’ve been on a journey these past few years. Well, I’ve always been on a journey, and I’ve simply taken a more mindful approach to navigate my path with purposeful intent rather than continuing to blindly stumble through each year with the same frustrations and surprises. I’ve started taking stock of the things that are in my control and minimizing the impact of things that are outside of my control. Sounds easy.. Right? Well, it is simple, but not easy.


The first thing I had to do was recognize who I am, what is my purpose, and what serves me in its current form going forward. When I, “the Steve behind the stuff,” woke up in my mid-40’s, I realized that there were entire lives built around the masks that I wore, the roles I played and… for lack of a better word… the lies I told others and especially to myself. I had to recognize, to name, and to face the things that had ended long ago, but were still languishing on my daily/weekly/annual calendar. It’s taking a little while for me to sort out what is happening both in and around my life so that I can process how to move forward with peace and personal acceptance in all areas, but you know what? I’ve never been this age before. So I give myself grace because I’m worth it. And every lesson in life is worth figuring out.


I needed clarity. Clarity of person. Clarity of purpose. Most of all, I needed clarity of mind. I am plagued with thoughts of what I should do, what I didn’t do, what I was asked to do, what I volunteered to do, and those actions fed into the “Human-doer” persona that I adopted somewhere in my childhood. I needed to align my “person and purpose” with what I expect from myself as well as what others see and expect from me. For me, lack of clarity manifested as feelings of continual guilt, continually not measuring up, and continually wondering where I stood in certain relationships. It was an over-commitment to entities that are not committed to me.


10 things to remind myself as I move forward:

  1. Clarity isn’t conflict. Clarity is just that. Defining the “what is” in any scenario.

  2. Clarity doesn’t bring about conflict any more than turning on a lightswitch brings about that pile of “not really clean, but not really dirty” laundry piled on a chair in my bedroom. The conflict was already there. It is just lurking in the background and growing in the darkness. Shining a light on it makes it so that I have to choose to either deal with it or dim the light again until I'm ready. Fortunately, I can’t unsee what I glimpsed in that moment before I killed the switch. The moment of clarity happens in a moment. That is why it’s called a “moment of clarity.” Doing something about it comes later. You’re not dragging it into the light. Light flows, and the things that it reveals aren’t moving. They are just there… waiting and wanting to be seen. Longing to be addressed.

  3. Seeking clarity is honoring yourself and everyone involved by respectfully asking “what does this mean to you and where does it fit in your priorities?” It is the ultimate form of love, respect, leadership, friendship, and personal integrity.

  4. Clarity is simply naming intent. What is the scope of my job, what is the status of our relationship, what do you mean by this word?

  5. Clarity is respecting boundaries with yourself and those around you.

  6. Clarity is an opportunity to shake hands with others to decide if there is mutual benefit and agreed prioritization among other things in your lives.

  7. Clarity removes guilt and a nebulous sense of obligation.

  8. Clarity eliminates shame.

  9. Clarity is just that. It clarifies “the what is” without focusing on what it is not, what I thought it was, and what I had hoped it could have been.

  10. Clarity is absolute freedom from doubt and miscommunication. It lights the way for the path forward.

Things I learned:

  • I “can” do a lot of things in this world.

  • I am curious, creative, and intelligent. The world is my playground and laboratory.

  • I am magnificently evolving as a person.

  • I have a healthy mind, body, and spirit.

  • I have a circle that loves, values, and respects me.

  • I live in a heaven of my own design.

  • I enjoy a wide variety of interests.

  • I enjoy people who have interests DRASTICALLY different from mine. I love the person.

  • I am a great at networking. I make meaningful contact with a lot of people in this world.

  • I am only responsible for satisfying my own need for clarity. I seek clarity around the things that I am not sure about. My intent, actions, and boundaries speak for themselves, until they don’t and then I hope the other person asks me for clarity so I have a chance to provide that for them. Someone else’s attempt to overstep my boundaries based on their own lack of clarity is not my obligation to resolve. However, if I want the relationship to be healthy, then I will work to bring clarity as their questions and behaviors arise.

  • I truly ,truly, TRULY love when I get to be part of that “spark of discovery” with people in everything from beaches to sea turtles to math facts to spirituality to self-discovery.

  • I am a great decision maker. I have yet to get myself or anyone that I know and love killed. I’m 46-0 for "years that I lived through with no operator's instructions." Go me!

  • Each breath that I get to take on this planet is a gift from God, and each breath I expend with a person, activity, and thought needs to be treated with that same level of reverence, respect, love, and mindfulness. There’s no other option. I have zero "extra time" to squander.

  • I have more than enough time and energy to live each day with focus and happiness.

  • Living a life of inner-peace is easier than I thought it would be once I freed my mind from unnecessary mental and emotional clutter.

  • I am wonderfully designed for clarity in all areas of my existence.

What is on the other side of a clarity conversation?

My need for clarity is greater than my fear of whatever is on the other side of this conversation… because there may be… awesomeness, nothing, or "some magical in-between" that is better than I ever imagined.


When the dust settles, the only things on “the other side” of a clarity conversation are:

  • Transparency

  • Honesty

  • Freedom

  • Peace

  • Acceptance of the “what is”

  • Honor

  • Respect

  • Love

  • Lessons for the future

  • Space in my life for more things that make my soul truly happy

  • Authenticity


Fear and regret are not in this list. I thought they would be, but they were just stories I had told myself. Stories masquerading as “terror barriers” to keep me locked in the darkness of uncertainty to feed my insecurities. (Regret, fear, shame, guilt, frustration, basically all feelings we will physically feel, while communicating about and with clarity, are short term releases of old hurts. With them gone it allows the other things to fully bloom and clarifying conversations get easier and easier.


God Bless, and move forward in peace and love.


Steve


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Steve Wooten
Steve Wooten
Aug 10, 2023

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