My life has worked best when I’ve created a vision for my life. So far I’ve had two very distinct visions that have focused my energy and philosophy.
The First Two Visions:
When I was eighteen years old, I had a very profound religious conversion. I could see myself fully converted to the mission of my religion. As my religious vision played out, my life was full of meaning and purpose.
When I was thirty seven years old I had another vision for my life. As the first one was a religious vision, the second one was a new secular vision for my professional life. As with the first I was fully converted to it, and at its peak, I was filled again with meaning and purpose.
I didn’t abandon my first vision. It was co-mingled with the secular one. I have ended up having a religio/secular outlook. It’s a suit that is comfortable and fits me well.
Over the years, I have concluded that my “secular” vision is the more fundamental of the two visions.
Why is that? For me, it was a matter of growing in maturity. I now explain my religious life in secular terms. Life fits together more reasonably now.
Mechanics of a Vision:
A vision propels you into a new reality. For me, a vision was there to give me a new view of myself, one that was fuller and bigger than what at the time was my present life.
Once you have a vision, it starts to unfold. Until you see it, it’s not there, but once you see it, you start to be propelled forward in a new direction.
For me, I had this sensation of observing myself in a kind of out of body experience. It was like being on the Disneyland ride, ‘Soarin’ Around The World. The ride is where “hang gliding meets IMAX.” With a “soft wind blowing in you face”, you sense you are flying above the world. That comes close to describing how I felt with my personal visions, especially the second one. It was like flying above my new life, observing it taking place.
This sense of awe has never left me.
Life Without A Vision:
Have I been in situations where I wasn’t guided by an overall vision? Yes. A cold, hard view of life creeps in.
Life is cruel. Like you, I’ve had to face the tough facts of life – how people struggle with unemployment, war, disease, depression, death, poverty, and crime. For me, when I’m left without a vision for my life, I am forced to think about these grim realities, even experience them directly.
Before my first vision of religious conversion, I experienced the death of my cousin Karen. She was eight and I was ten. At her funeral, I sat on the front row of my church. It was directly in front of her open casket. I could see the outline of her face. It was the first time in my life when I was overwhelmed with intense grief. Death is so horribly final, I thought. It is so random and brutally senseless. How could this possibly happen to a tender, little eight year old girl? Why?
One of my church leaders told me God needed Karen in heaven. I responded, “my aunt and uncle needed her more here, me too.”
I’m quite sure everything leading up to my first vision had to have been taken into consideration to create a vision that helped answer life’s challenges, as well as highlighting my life’s trajectory. I am convinced that the reason for me having a vision of my life was to lift me out of the brutish nature of life. Vision not only gave me hope, but aroused my energy to move in a deeply purposeful manner.
Visions Are Rare:
My experience with vision making is that it does not come along very often. Visions altered the course of my life. They gave me a long view of myself.
I’ve only had two visions of any consequence. One, as I mentioned in the beginning, dealt with my spiritual life, the other with my secular life. They have blended over time into a gestalt that has put me at peace with my life.
If you haven’t tried to create a vision for your life, I would recommend giving it a try.