This is a three chapter preview
Of the newly released book
‘Strange Angels’ by
People and events are rarely
Who and what we think they are.
They are more meaningful,
More worth our attention.
Part of some finely choreographed eternal dance
That we would be wise to bow down before
In gratitude and humility.
The beginning of the high school wrestling season is a great time of the year.
It is a time of alchemy when wrestlers anxiously await the magic of having their hard work transform into gold.
Even though my two sons have graduated, I still follow the Long Island High School wrestling scene very closely.
It is great to see the young wrestlers whom I witnessed work so hard for many years develop and become successful.
It is the night before the start of the 2015-2016 High School season. I send a text to a father of an up and coming young wrestler, a wrestler who is about to get rewarded for his years of hard work and effort. His junior season starts tomorrow.
“Your son ready for the season?” I text.
I immediately get a text back,
“He’s decided not to wrestle this year.”
Obviously, this is a joke meant to stir up the “imagine” gene in me.
“No, really – who is his first match against?” I ask.
“No, really, he says it’s not worth it anymore.
He says that he has worked as hard as he could work and hasn’t been able to get to the next level. That all the work he is putting in is not bearing fruit, so he is going to quit,” he responds.
“What is your address?” I ask. “I’m coming over.”
A return text appears with his address and the question,“Are you sure?”
It is then I realize it’s after 10 pm, and he lives forty-five minutes away.
“I’m sure – see you in 45 minutes,” I text back.
“Thank you,” he replies.
Trust in the Process
The highest reward for a person’s toil
Is not what they get for it,
But what they become by it.
Forty-five minutes later, I arrive at his house.
He is waiting for me at the door.
As I enter, he thanks me once again and then disappears to leave me alone with his son, who’s slumped over at the kitchen table.
“Talk to me,” I start out.
After some time, the young wrestler confides in me that he feels like he has worked all of his life and that he hasn’t seen any reward for his efforts. He has mistakenly determined that wrestling is just not worth it anymore.
“Let me tell you a little story,” I start out.
I won’t make-believe that I was this great wrestler.
But I do know a little something about dedicating your life to something and feeling unrewarded.
When I was your age, I gave six years of my life to this sport, and I never got to stand on the top step of the podium in the tournament I set to do so in.
I walked away, feeling like I didn’t achieve what I set out to do.
I loved the sport of wrestling.
But, I also hated the sport for not reciprocating my love.
I left the sport feeling my six years weren’t worth it; that they were a total waste of time and effort.
It took me many years to realize that even though I never accomplished my goals in wrestling, wrestling achieved its goals in me.
They call wrestling the greatest sport on earth for a reason.
It just took me twenty-six years to understand why.
You see, you are on a journey.
Right now, you think the journey is about winning wrestling matches.
One day, many years from now, you will realize it’s about so much more.
Silently, this sport is building within you everything you will need to be successful in your life; but only if you allow it to.
Now, you only feel the pain of plateaus, of loss, and unfulfilled dreams.
But there are lessons within the chaos.
The lessons are the hidden jewels.
And they are very important.
More important than winning.
One day you will understand that.
If I can convince you of only one thing, let it be this,
you need to trust in the process.
You have to trust the work you are immersing yourself in, is either going to produce your desired result or equip you with the tools needed to conquer a more critical future endeavor. One you neither understand or are fully aware of at this moment.
I believe the lucky ones in this sport, which I consider myself to be one, get something far more important than being able to stand on top of a podium for a few seconds.
They get a way to live life.
And that lasts so much longer than the length of an awards ceremony.
It lasts your whole life.
I know you are having a hard time reconciling the work you have put in and the lack of rewards you have seen for your effort.
You are exerting more work than you are getting rewards back in return. You are in the midst of a plateau.
So many people give up on their dreams during plateaus.
Plateaus are a filtering system to greatness.
They are a time to quit or recommit.
Wrestling is about learning how to fight, then using that fight to be able to beat whatever life throws at you.
Whether you wrestle this year or not, is up to you.
But understand this, there will be a time in your life when you will be in the fight of your life, facing an opponent much bigger than you, and you will be called upon to win something much more important than a wrestling match.
Not only for yourself, but for your family.
One day your family may be faced with a death, a divorce, a diagnosis, or a random act of violence.
The one thing I know for sure is your family will be much better prepared to win that fight, with you having wrestled.
Forget about plateaus and getting to the next level.
Just trust in the process
And I can assure you,
You will be rewarded in the end.
That is why you should wrestle.”
I am open to the guidance of synchronicity,
And do not let expectations hinder my path.
I made it back home after midnight, and I spent the next few hours marveling at how the Divine orchestrated an event in my life that got me to say to someone else what I needed to hear myself.
“You have to trust the work you are immersing yourself in, is either going to produce your desired result or equip you with the tools needed to conquer a more critical future endeavor. One you neither understand nor are fully aware of at this moment.
Trust in the process.”
I am starting to take notice the more aligned I am with my soul, the more Divine synchronicity I have in my life.
I believe the measurement of success in my life comes down to this, whether the sound of my soul is getting louder or dimming.
I’m starting to learn to embrace people, actions, and events that make the sound of my soul louder.
I am starting to trust its path fully.
Nancy Long said,
“Whether we name divine presence, synchronicity, serendipity, or graced moment matters little. What matters is the reality that our hearts have been understood. Nothing is as real as a healthy dose of magic, which restores our spirits.”
Strange Angels is the 4th book in the “Every Breath is Gold Series” Collection.
It is a standalone book, although, I believe you will enjoy it more having read: