My favorite word lately is confluence. It’s not a word I typically use but I find myself describing my life with it more and more of late. In aquatic terms it means “a flowing together of two or more streams” and in more general terms it is defined by the coming together of people or things. For me, it’s the realization that there are multiple streams, or areas of my life, that are converging at this particular time, and I don’t know how it’s going to turn out.
Perhaps you have observed the joining of two streams or rivers and have noticed that when they combine there is turbulence; a jumble of waves where molecules twist and turn around each other. The tangle of waters eventually smooths out into a combined river that flows onward now bigger and stronger than either could be alone. It’s almost mesmerizing to stand and watch the confluence of streams as the water sorts itself out and decide how to flow together.
Due to several near drowning experiences in my life it’s easy for me to panic and feel threatened by churning waters. Therefore, I find it interesting that confluence is the image I have of my life right now. What I notice is that I’m not panicking. I admit that I sometimes wake in the night trying to sort out the decisions that need to be made but ultimately I recognize there is a larger plan at work.
I have learned to trust that a Divine guidance exists and intuitively know that an overall plan for my life is unfolding. We are each called to fulfill a purpose. In its purest form I believe that calling has to do with relationships. Whether it’s the relationships we have with others through our work, or our families, or communities determines if that calling presents itself as a career, volunteerism, or at home.
As I learn to trust inner guidance more and more, believing that there is a divine plan for my life, I know that I can observe the confluence calmly. In the past the uncertainty about my future and the stress to make the “right” decision would have had me in a snarl of emotions literally bobbing on the waters of the merging streams. Now I notice, however, that I can quickly step back from the converging streams of my life and say with interest “I wonder what’s going to come from all of this.”
Approaching ‘life confluence’ with inquisitiveness instead of panic is new to me, yet feels good. Unlike before, I am not frantically trying to make something happen nor passively just letting things happen to me but I am somewhere in the middle. I am trusting that it will become clear what steps I am to take next.
In the meantime, I gather information and pray for guidance. I show up in my relationships with others and share openly my thoughts and feelings. This includes my relationship with myself (knowing my own heart) and with my God (connecting to divine guidance for my life).
I don’t know what the merging of the professional and personal streams of my life will be yet but I know that I can ride through this confluence in a boat constructed of connections: to myself, my God, and the people in each stream. I daily release my doubts and fears, choosing instead to embrace expectancy and trust. Approaching change in this way makes it a great adventure and a thrilling ride.