Anyone who knows me or who's read my blog a while knows the aimlessness and restlessness I've felt all throughout my early adulthood. I've never really felt settled. In my late teens/early 20's, I would jump from job to job or school to school and could never quite make myself commit to any one thing for any significant period of time. Either the choice I made felt wrong or I felt ill-equipped to deal with what I was facing, and so I'd just quit and run away. Any slight doubt, obstacle, or anxiety was a state of emergency to my mind, and was proof that I was inadequate and incapable and most definitely not where I belonged. After, say a million and a half, changes of mind and even more spineless retreats from some imagined, impending danger, I just stopped trying.
Casa de Grams became my fortress and it's where I've spent the last decade, for the most part, in hiding. It was a cycle. The more useless and depressed I felt, the more I'd want to hide. The more I hid, the more useless and depressed I felt. The longer this cycle continued, the more it became my identity. I saw myself as a cowering loser. And probably most damning of all, I would compare myself and my situation to the lives of my friends and loved ones and hate myself for not measuring up - which made me feel useless and depressed.
As painful as my self-imposed exile was a lot of the time, the truth is I spiritually matured - awakened - in a way that I'm not sure I would have been able to otherwise. My days over these past long years have been spent reading book after book, listening to teaching after teaching, watching video after video - of gurus, saints, masters, and psychics to life coaches, authors, fellow bloggers, and psychotherapists. For hours on end I've studied; I've meditated. The great passion of my life has been investigating the psycho-spiritual nature of Life or Reality or God. Nothing has brought me more joy in this life than contemplating the Divine and learning how to be the clearest vessel I can be to channel that divinity. That's been my work up to now.
What led to most of my suffering over the years has been the judgments of my own mind, telling me that I should be in school. I should have a job - not just a job, but a career. I should be making money. I should have a car. I should have a house. I should have a partner. I should be muscular, healthy, in shape. I should have a direction. I should have a PURPOSE. But what I've slowly come to realize in my core is that all of that time in solitude was my purpose. Dealing with my inner demons was my purpose. Experiencing pain and fear and self-hatred was my purpose. Reaching out to God, establishing a channel, cultivating a spiritual practice, and forging a Relationship with Spirit was my purpose. Having tantrums with my path was my path! I've never not been on track, have never not been exactly where I was supposed to be, doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing. My life has never looked like those of my peers and that has always brought me great shame. But now that I know what I know...how can there be room for that anymore?
"I fell in love the way you fall asleep; slowly, and then all at once." That's a quote I heard in a movie from a novel by John Green. I think it's a beautiful, apt way of describing this revelation of mine. I'm not sure if revelation is even the right word. A part of me has always known that I'd be suited to a career in counseling or social work of some sort. I've always known that I'd love to be of service. That I love to be present for people. That I love to listen. That I love sitting with friends as they explore their present moment feelings and discuss their wisest, most loving course of action. That I love witnessing the Best in them and mirroring it back for them. It's not a new concept, the idea of me becoming a counselor - what is new, the "all at once" that's descended upon me, is the knowing that I can do it. Not only that I could do it, but that I could actually do it well. In the past whenever I'd tell someone of this idea, I'd quickly counter it with the sheepish - and practiced - response of, "But who am I to be counseling anyone? It would be a case of the blind leading the blind. Look at my life. Why would anyone listen to me? How ridiculous am I to even think such a thing when I hide in my room every time the doorbell rings, when I get nervous just walking down an aisle at the grocery store? People scare me! Who am I to think I could ever help anyone? Seriously, who am I?"
And then slowly, and all at once, I had the answers: I'm the one who has lived in emotional hell. I'm the one who has been manipulative and self-loathing. I'm the one who has been petty and cruel. I'm the one who has lived in mental darkness, addicted, in tears. AND I'm the one who has also sought - and found - the light. I'm the one who is challenging and transcending old beliefs and patterns of thought left and right. I'm the one who is facing fear and daring it to stop me. I'm the one who is waking up to his power. I think I'd be of great service to the souls who cross my path because I've known the darkness, not in spite of it.
This is a post of celebration for me. I've had a vague ache inside for a long time. I felt like with all the intellectual knowledge I'd acquired, I should somehow be using it. I felt like I should get out there in the world and make a difference. But I've always been too scared. I've always been too uncertain that I'd have anything to offer. But somehow, with Grace, I'm seeing the falseness of that.
There is a lot of work to be done. I have 8 classes before I can even transfer to a university. I don't know what classes I'll be taking. I don't know the exact field or job title I'm after. But I do know that it's a calling of service. It's one of bringing light. I'd really like for the painful experiences that God/Life has blessed me with to be of use to someone else. I don't know how that will play itself out. But I don't need to. All I need to do is take it one assignment, one course, one semester at a time and I trust that the Universe will show me the way. All of my previous attempts at school were so difficult for me because I never felt a calling. I never felt like there was any reason for me to be there. I didn't know what I was doing and that's why it's such a profound relief for me now. Now that I know the direction I'm moving, now that I have a sense of purpose, now that I have a vision of who I can be and what I can do, that will make bearable all the storms along the way. And that's what's always been missing - a reason that brought me joy, something to keep me going.
I've known I've wanted to serve for a very long time. I've just been too afraid. That north star has always been there for me in reality; it's nothing new that's been revealed. Grace has just given me the courage to acknowledge it and let it lead the way.