That Great Thing You Can’t See

don't seeWhen I was a kid growing up in Rhode Island, I attended a re-enactment of an historic event—the burning of the British ship the HMS Gaspee by ticked off colonists in 1772. I remember my Dad pointing at the flaming replica ship and saying, “See it? It’s right there!” At least I assume it was flaming: I couldn’t see it, because I was looking too hard, too far out in to Narragansett Bay. And I missed the whole darn thing.

Flash forward to this past weekend, when my husband and I went camping with our kids and four other families. We hiked in with all our stuff strapped to our backs, the kids ran free between campsites, we cooked fabulous food over an open flame.

While we were in the woods, one of the women we were camping with commented on how much she liked one of the plants that was growing wild. Another woman told her it was mountain laurel. “I have one of these growing in my front yard! I can’t believe I didn’t recognize it.”

Boom. That’s just it.  Sometimes the things that are so close to us become invisible.

We all have some trait or skill—a way with words, an ability to step into any situation and know exactly what’s going on and what needs to be done, a knack for listening—that we don’t even see, much less acknowledge. Because they’re just too close. We’ve been doing them for too long. And they come so easily to us, they couldn’t possibly be valuable.

Except, of course, they are.

Those very things that come so naturally to you that they feel effortless are your magic. They are your best stuff!

You have them, I promise. Like that mountain laurel, they are flowering right under your nose. What’s more, your ability to find ease and success in this life depends on you seeing them, owning them, and putting them to use.

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