Shaken by an Epiphany

We are experts at fooling ourselves and hiding from changes we need to make. However, every once in a while, we get a message that we can’t ignore. I had that experience several months ago, and I am just coming to terms with it now.

As is evident in my other writing, I am a big advocate for self-exploration. One tool I use for self-exploration is the retreat. I went to a retreat with the theme: “Our Deepest Longing”. I have gone to retreats like this for years, and I always get something out of it. In this case, as the retreat began, I felt uncomfortable with the topic. Something deep inside me was bothered. The material was not controversial or offensive. I just felt something wrong deep inside me.

How could something as big as world peace be someone’s deepest longing? How could people be so flippant with their answers?

A big part of this particular program is sharing thoughts and feelings. I typically participate. In this case, I had nothing to say. Other participants were sharing their deepest longings in general terms. An example of the general longing was longing for world peace. We all want world peace, but I could not take it seriously. How could something as big as world peace be someone’s deepest longing? How could people be so flippant with their answers? I wanted to lash out, which surprised me. I usually am very welcoming to different responses. Everyone is at a different point in their journey. I didn’t understand why I felt this hostility.

Whether you think epiphanies come from God, or your subconscious or from universal forces, I learned that they are real. I had an epiphany. I had a revelation so strong that it took me months to come to terms with it. I am on the wrong path.

When considering my deepest longing, the only thing I could come up with was my deepest longing is to get through the week.

This epiphany shook me to the core. I needed to step back and revisit what I am doing with my life. I am still struggling with that question, but I am making progress.

Have you heard a message? Are you hiding from it, or are you addressing it? I was shopping a few weeks ago. The store was crowded, and I was stuck with a cart with a bad wheel. It was so bad that it was jarring as I pushed the cart through the store. It felt like the clunking wheel was so loud that people were looking at me. I realized that is how I was going through life. The discomforting hole in my life that I uncovered in the retreat was a constant presence in my life. The feeling was like the damaged wheel on the cart, in the background, a continuous negative rhythm affecting my life.

What is your longing? Is being on the wrong path crushing your spirit? Take the time to reflect and to understand what you want to do with your life. Determine your purpose and achieve your goals.


Chad C. Betz
Chad C. Betz
Chad C. Betz is a financial services executive with over 20 years of experience, a keynote speaker and the author of "Late Bloomer, It's not too late to succeed!", a highly reviewed book, that uses his experiences and personal stories to demonstrate how people can succeed at any age. He has advised CEOs and coached business people. Chad holds a Master's Degree in Economics. Chad is also a martial artist with black belts in two nontraditional styles and is currently studying Goju Ryu. He is a husband and father of two plus an overweight, prematurely gray dog that reminds him of himself.

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  1. Chad, thank you for sharing this piece with us. It resonates with me, as I, too, have found myself ambling down this path – and now is no exception. I recently lost my job due to a reorganization, and my role eliminated. However, through all the preceding events where my instinct knew something was up, I couldn’t help but feel that I wasn’t on the right path. It can be an unsettling feeling, but a freeing one also.

    I do feel like the universe is pulling me into a direction, yet I struggle with how to execute it. Then I begin to question whether this is fleeting because of current circumstances, or is this the centrifugal force that’s been pulling me all along?

    You aren’t alone, Chad, and I know we will both figure it out – in time. For now, I try to embrace the day and do what I can to figure it out. I wish you well.

  2. Chad, such a motivating article to share. Thanks.

    My path has been similar to Laura, but my road has been more of a wild roller coaster than a curvy path. Now, in my late 60s, I am still not certain about the “right” path for me. Still I am confident in the fact it has all been good. It’s been good even though some months were scary when it came time for rent. It’s been good even when prospective clients put my work on “someday isle” for a long time. It’s been good when I had challenging health and as good as it has been, I am seriously considering the path of becoming an end-of-life coach. An article by Sarah Hines posted on this site is what started me thinking about my value to those who are unaware they have dying and burial options.

    Chad, I see you are committed to martial arts. Is this the aspect of your life you are now reconsidering? Or is it your work in financial services? Which part of the way you show up in the world doesn’t quite feel right? I don’t need an answer to these questions, but I suspect you do. Keep questioning.

    • Thanks Kate. I still love martial arts and will continue to train. My conflict comes with the amount of time I spend on the hamster wheel as opposed to focusing on my goals. I would like more opportunities to help other people. I am still working out how I can accomplish this.

  3. Hi Chad,
    You got me thinking.
    Some people’s greatest longings are big universal things, such as, Heaven. This is the ultimate longing for millions if not billions. Then there are other important longings in this life: a good friend, a healthy family life, that ‘perfect’ job or a wonderful spouse.
    It is a great thing to find a longing you didn’t even know you had-and I’m guessing that’s what those kinds of retreats are for, to unearth hidden buried things… we couldn’t face or didn’t have the time for, or gave up on….

    Lots of food for thought here.
    Very nice share.

    • Our longing is a very personal thing. It is hard to relate to other people’s longings if you don’t even know your own.

      Thanks for commenting.

  4. Chad, I celebrate your courage in attending the retreat, to be roaming around inside questions that we may not immediately have answers to, and to have had your epiphany about being on the “wrong” path. I have had such a curvy, totally non-linear journey to deeper alignment. Life threw so many curves balls, poo covered shoes, and whatnot that I simply had to course correct time and time again. From the inside I finally discovered safety, a home in my soul, and the enduring experience of my own value-all inside of me. This has freed my voice and unleashed my creative passions in so many ways. I wish for you the thousand times a thousand many steps to what makes your heart sing and sets your soul free!! Thank you so much for sharing your epiphany!