I had a realization the other day, the work is its own reward. And the more I don’t let myself do what I love, the more depressed I get. This seems quite obvious in theory, in reality, to let yourself have what you truly want, to choose the path that soothes your soul and makes your heart run wild, can often be the harder choice. Why is this so? Because we’re taught to conform and choose the safe route, which isn’t a bad thing per se, we just have to make sure we can live with our decision and haven’t betrayed our deepest longing. While I enjoy being alone, I also crave more connection. The key is to find a balance.
Or we hit our happiness threshold and self-sabotage because it feels scary and unfamiliar. The questions isn’t – Can I be happy? The question is – Can I let myself be happier than I’ve ever been? Can I let myself be loved even though I’m not perfect? Why do I think perfection is a prerequisite for love? We feel most seen, heard, and loved when we are being vulnerable. From an early age, we’re taught if we look a certain way and say the right things, someone will love us. We grow up feeling like we have to do something special to be loved, that our unique, quirky self isn’t good enough. We build walls in an effort to protect ourselves from getting hurt which in turn prevents intimacy, the only thing that will save us.
Sometimes, we make the mistake of letting other people tell us what our work is and choose a job that’s more socially acceptable. These are things I’m working through. Do what feels good and then life will feel good. And yet, I haven’t been writing. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break from writing. I have to be careful I’m not taking an extended break. Fiction is as just important as nonfiction, if not more. Sometimes we need laughter not theories. Even though there’s warmth in his words, I need to be held. He makes you feel safe. Yes, he does. That’s important. I know. You’ll be together again. I hope so. You had to go through the bad to get to the good. I wouldn’t have appreciated him. No, you wouldn’t have.
I’m trying to find my way back. I quieted the outside world for so long that I got a bit disconnected. Maybe that’s a sacrifice you have to make to get a big project done. I know there’s a way to have a better balance even if it means doing work that isn’t my real work. Won’t those other experiences add richness to my writing? Yes! Most likely. And it will make me appreciate my creative time more. It feels good to be busy. We’re each called to do something and one isn’t better than the other. What if everyone wanted to be the same thing? It wouldn’t work. We need different types of work to make the world work. Everyone has a special light that adds beauty to the world.
I had an interview for a volunteer position, but it didn’t feel right. The hospital felt triggering and the job wouldn’t be making good use of my skills. The nice lady could sense my heart wasn’t in it. I didn’t even want to make the very small time commitment. How odd my thinking is now after what I’ve been through, or maybe it’s completely normal to see everything differently. We underestimate the effects of trauma. I need to work on my composure and professionalism. I was nervous which seems silly now since I was overqualified for the position. No worries, she had seven other applicants to choose from. It was good practice for me, and I want to find something that does make sense.
I want to travel more which is forcing me to become the person I lost on the day I was diagnosed. I was happy and carefree. I want to be strong and give love. I’m tired of being weak and stingy. I need to pick up the stuff I dropped and neglected in order to get the book done. In a sense, I have been trying to run away from my obligations, the less-than-fun things that need to be faced here. I think there’s a misconception that some people are always on and making progress. There’s nothing wrong with going through a short, restful, contemplative phase because it usually precedes a longer phase of discipline, structure, and productivity. It’s always the workaholics who think they aren’t working hard enough!
I thought after the book was done everything would be okay or get better. I forgot life doesn’t work that way. I have to keep going. I have to keep working, exercising, and practicing my affirmations. I have to keep the apartment running. I have to keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I remember listening to a Neale Donald Walsch interview and he quoted a line from the Bible, “Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all else will be added unto you.” I would add: Be patient for it won’t happen immediately. God doesn’t make miracles in a microwave. And then all of sudden you realize you have everything you’ve ever wanted and more. It’s what you call magic.
All too often, we think we’re ready, because we’ve prayed and begged and planned and forced. We become needy and aggressive which prevents the miracles from reaching us. And then we get mad and hurt because God isn’t doing his job. But He is. He’s teaching us how to step back, be receptive, and surrender. And that’s when our good can flow towards us, the bounty that’s truly ours. I found so many fun things to do this year and became somewhat confused as to which ones were for my highest good. To do all of them would be logistically and financially impossible. And they weren’t baby steps, they were giant leaps into the unknown. I need to be moving and shaking around here before I can be successful elsewhere.
I’ve always shied away from practicing manifestation because I know how powerful it can be. Let’s try this out, I need some guidance. I began asking the universe before I left the apartment something like: “Give me a sign about what I should do. Give me a sign I’ve made the right decision. Give me a sign of which path I should pursue.” And I got a few answers. I want to preface this by saying, you have to be careful you’re reading the signs right. You could think you’re getting the answer you want because that’s the answer you want rather than the answer you’re actually receiving. I went over to the mailbox expecting to get a few bills or junk mail, I pulled the mail out and an envelope fell and smacked the concrete. This surprised me because I’m usually very careful. I looked down – it was my passport. It had only taken three weeks even though I didn’t expedite it.
Then I went to Target to return something and it was taking unusually long because there were two women in front of me. I was pretty much stuck in this one spot. I felt a nudge to look down to my right and three words on the cover of a magazine jumped out at me. The words were nearly identical to the name of an organization that gives cancer survivors an opportunity to volunteer abroad. Later that day, I saw this quote: “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.” The right amount of challenge stretches rather than breaks us. The right kind of challenge gives us grace and confidence. It’s okay things were neglected, I wrote a book. I wasn’t being lazy. There’s always another opportunity if we’re brave enough to try. Instead of doing ten things poorly, I will do several things well! 🙂
Have a great month,