“I want to end sexual abuse in America.”
Two years ago, Oprah interviewed Stacey Anne Lannert (www.healingsisters.org), whose story is both incredibly tragic and deeply inspiring. Oprah asked what she was going to do now, having been released from prison after serving almost 20 years for killing her abusive father. Stacey, with profound certainty, said, “I want to end sexual abuse in America.”
This shocked me. Seriously, it did. It shocked me because it never occurred to me that ending sexual abuse was an option. I want it to end. I’ve even done a little bit in my life toward the cause. She wants to end sexual abuse in America. That was a bold move, and it caused a wave of discomfort to surge inside of me.
Then last year, I read a remarkable book called The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist. Woven artfully (truly artfully) into her powerful message are the personal experiences that led her to commit her life to ending world hunger.
Again, the discomfort took my breath away. The thing is… I like to win. Completion. Triumph. Winning, in the before Charlie Sheen hijacked winning way, is comfortable. It’s doable. I realized that my misplaced longing for completion and triumph, my constant pursuit of a “done” check mark in the proverbial to-do list of life, leaves me playing a small (read “winnable”) game.
These women chose to play BIG games, scary big in my eyes. Each one discovered her heart’s work, her life’s purpose, by honoring the whispers she heard urging her to use her gifts, experiences, and energy to end the most desperate conditions in which people live here on Planet Earth. They discovered their thing and they went for it, in a bold way. They craft their personal and professional lives around accomplishing the mission.