Summer vacation is ending. I sat on our worn in leather sofa snuggling with my husband, two kids, and our Costa Rican rescue cat Boo watching The Little Prince on Netflix. A year ago at this time we were flying to Costa Rica reduced to six duffle bags and open hearts grateful for the network marketing business I built to allow us this experience. Here we are in a new state, away from family, no local friends, and starting a new business from scratch. For the past month almost on a daily basis I ask myself why I make things so hard. If I stayed in New Jersey I would be by family. My network marketing business has more then doubled year after year. I could have everything 25 year old Karen wanted. Why start over? Why not live near family? Why start another business when one is growing, providing, making life easy? As I watched this beautiful film The Little Prince, my answers seemed to unfold in my heart as the story unfolded before our eyes.
"It is much more difficult to judge oneself than to judge others. If you succeed in judging yourself rightly, then you are indeed a man of true wisdom."
Self awareness has always been my strong suit and my Achilles heel. When you are fully aware of where your strengths lie you know where to focus and where to ask for help. However one of my weaknesses is asking for help since it can open you up to disappointment.
"I remembered the fox. One runs the risk of crying a bit if one allows oneself to be tamed."
The movie talks about tame as establishing connection. When you tame someone you have a responsibility to them for life. Relationships are complicated. Expectations are involved. As you grow you change and not everyone grows or changes at the same time. I suppose this is where the crying comes in but meeting new people and keeping loved ones in your life is worth it even when it hurts to say goodbye.
"People where you live," the little prince said, "grow five thousand roses in one garden... yet they don't find what they're looking for...
And yet what they're looking for could be found in a single rose, or a little water..."
We sold our house and walked away from the life we knew because we were becoming the people who grew five thousand roses in one garden and never finding what we wanted. When we left we watered ourselves as a family. We nurtured our own souls and learned about what each other needed for survival.
"Where are the people?" resumed the little prince at last. "It's a little lonely in the desert..." "It is lonely when you're among people, too," said the snake."
It doesn't matter how many people surround you in person or on social media, you still feel lonely. Connection is the ultimate gift that people want but are afraid to risk going after in fear of judgment or rejection. We all need to feel connected. We all want to know we matter.
"But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world."
When we establish connections and take the time to get to know people, we matter to the people we invest in. They are worth taking the time to find. In the movie the prince is upset when he finds out his rose was just a common rose and not the only of its species until the fox says:
"It is the time you have devoted for your rose that makes your rose so important."
This applies not only to relationships but to yourself. So often we think we are ordinary and nothing special. You see your friends and family as special and having something to offer. Investing in yourself to appreciate your special gifts, owning your accomplishments, and knowing your unique contribution in the world will be a gift that never stops giving.
"And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
If only we trusted ourselves beyond the fear and doubt that mean to protect us yet instead create second-guessing. It is on those moments of doubt that I wonder why I make things so hard as my mind likes to say. My heart relates to this quote.
"What makes the desert beautiful,' said the little prince, 'is that somewhere it hides a well..."
See what I realized is that I achieved what I set out to succeed in my network marketing business. I no longer see sales as slimy but as a wonderful tool to help people find what they need to better themselves or make their lives easier when used with integrity. I can cover our needs without being confined to a desk or someone else's rules. I conquered something that was once scary and now I feel empowered. So why start again on a road of difficulty, uncertainty, and unknown? I start again because in the end the journey is the best part. Finding the well is surreal, but once you find it your happiness comes from looking back on the struggles to find it.
"I wonder," he said, "whether the stars are set alight in heaven so that one day each one of us may find his own again..."
So often we feel lost and alone. It is through stories of our struggles that we find hope, connection, and the energy to keep going moving through the dry desert looking for the well. May we all remember our hearts not only rightfully lead us, but they also connect us. We are never alone. And only amazing things happen when we ask ourselves what is next.