Monday, January 24, 2005

Charging myself for therapy

I'm trying to use the discernment exercise of pretending to give advice to someone who is in my position, or imagining what decisions I think I would be most proud of looking back. - Hey, Elizabeth, can you give me advice? - Sure, I'm great at solving everyone else's problems. What's up? - See, ever since last year when I went through my cancer surgery and treatment, and my Mom died and I travelled halfway around the world to meet my new daughter, well, I've been feeling like I need to devote my life to Something Bigger. That's why I quit my unfulfilling job at the paper. - And do you feel like you're not devoting yourself to Something Bigger now? - No, I am. My family is Something Bigger, although I feel pretty helpless there sometimes because Xerxes is a teenager and Buttercup is a toddler and JC is prone to depression, and things are still not back to normal with me physically. - So, in spite of feeling helpless about the mess of your own family, you think God has called you to sort out other people's problems? - God has done stranger things. - Granted. OK, so your family is Something Bigger, but it is frustrating because the answers aren't clear cut, yes? - Yes. - Maybe this is a chance to really put your nose to that stone and make some lasting changes. - Not a bad idea. - But you still feel the tug of a calling. - Yes. - But it's not clearly defined. - Right. It's like the Holy Spirit is at bat and I'm in the outfield trying to predict where the ball will come down. - You've never played an organized sport in your life. Where did the sports metaphor come from? - I have no freaking idea. - But the point is still there that you're trying to be open to the voice of the Spirit and have your bags packed when it's time to move. - Am i still standing in the field in this metaphor? - No, this time you're more like a child waiting to be picked up for a trip and you want to be ready to go the instant the car pulls up to get you. - Yes. - So you know that, whatever the calling, you're probably going to have to have more credentials and more education. And that's something that takes a while, but you're making the first steps toward it, yes? - Yes. - And you're writing, which is probably your real calling, seeing as how EVERY FREAKING PERSON YOU MEET tells you that your work moves them and you should write a book and the spirit is present in your work. - Um. - Is it remotely possible that you're sofuckingterrified of failing at writing that you're not even trying and you're looking everywhere but right in front of you for a calling? And maybe your time would be best spent in a little meditation about what you could contribute to the world in your own words, and then - rather than just tell all your friends that you're going to write blah, bloah, blah, you could actually sit the fuck down at your desk and endure the labor of the work? - Um. - Hey, it's OK. Don't be so down yourself now. Sometimes the best way to chart a path is by looking at a map and taking a gander at all the roads and think about all the places you could go and see what feels right. What flows, what opportunities come. I think you're in a good place. You have a beautiful, growing family, a place to work where you're needed and appreciated, and a tlent that you can share with the world. have faith in your won response to the calling and remember that your response happens day-by-day, It's an everyday thing. It's a minute-by-minute thing. You're doing just fine.


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