It is pretty amazing to me how certain things we do in life can have the ability to drive us deeper into ourselves, access different parts of ourselves, or let things deep down float up to the surface.
Whether it be a race, a test, new relationship, a deadline for a project, a new job, a backpacking trip around the world, starting a new career...these are the great experiences life offers as a way to truly evolve into a more faceted being. How bad do you want something? How willing are you to literally put your heart and soul into something? Even if you dont know the outcome, are you willing to keep going into the unknown, simply because your passion is so strong?
To me, it's not necessarily these things on the surface that define us as they are not permanent, they are more like vehicles to take you to new heights and depths within your soul...what is integral is the evolution that occurs through these testaments. The freedom and un-attachment that resides in the process of stepping into foreign land and facing fears, staying open to whatever may be regardless of what you want to happen or think should happen.
The essence is that in all of us at all times we have the key to the lock, we just have to access it and trust it. Simply put when we turn inward we open up to the vast universe inside us and thus the expansion to the greater whole emerges. In Yin and Yang theory, Yin becomes Yang and Yang becomes Yin...neither can exist without each other yet they still hold a degree of contrast. The same is true for us. We are all special individuals yet we are all connected, tiny yet oh so vast...