Most of us have similar tendencies when it comes to following our Callings. We can talk ourselves in an our of following our heart, heeding our instincts and reveling in our deepest desires many times over. We remain stuck in a mental loop. That loop is far more painful than anything that is waiting for us on the other side of our fears, worst-case scenarios, assumptions and imagined implications. What I try to remind myself to do, when hoping to comprehend whether or not an idea of mine is a true calling, is this:
Put your energy behind what you cannot talk yourself out of rather than into what you have to spend time talking yourself into.
Cool or what! I find it works. Then you just have to add more than a good dose of courage and honesty with oneself and keep going.
Why do we go in circles and not answer our most sincere and deepest Callings? Because we have all sorts of beliefs going on that we have saved and stored; we have not cleared out. They tell us we cannot possibly follow our callings. We have all sorts of reasons why. Money. Experience. Responsibilities. Vague notions of integrity. A penchant for martyrdom. All of these false ideas are often perpetuated by others who have not found the courage to live in accordance with their heart and soul.
We tell ourselves we will end up alone like outsiders. We will fall prey to addiction. We will abandon our morals and sense. We will be punished by the finicky finger of God for our audacity and foolhardy. We will be a laughing stock. We will embarrass ourselves, our parents and family. We will fail and have nothing to fall back on. We will succeed but continue to feel discontented, depressed and lost. We are not capable of finding true happiness and peace within. We don’t know how to be the greatest most joyful version of ourselves. We’re doomed to live out the life of our lot, just like the generations before us. We are just not meant to be among the lucky few who get to live their dreams. We are not smart, ingenious or grateful enough. Even if we made some headway to our goals, we will inevitably arse it up. This is what we think! Incessantly! Right? Am I right?
Haven’t most, if not all, of these preemptive and self-defeating assumptions kept you stuck in a place of misery where you hardly recognize yourself? Where you feel used, useless and abused. Where you feel like nothing can or will change. Where you feel estranged from even those close to you because you don’t feel that they comprehend the depth of your anguish. Pieces of you and your life are falling away. Friends. Projects. Family members. Colleagues. Interests. Hobbies. Clarity. Isn’t it all happening already? Aren’t those worst fears already materializing? The alienation. The hopelessness. The unsettling feeling of being utterly alone. Do you suppose there may be a better way; a way forward? Can you suspend your self-pressure and degradation long enough to stay in your heart and face the truth. What you have been fixated on – your brokenness – is intensifying, and it’s your own creation. What you’ve been fearing is coming true and the one person who can change the course is you. And the one soul to survive it is yours.
The only thing left is to do something different with that last instance of clarity. Can you sit still, imagine a new circumstance, and hold it in your heart long enough to feel what it would be like to experience and live it. In that moment your body eases; feels triumphant and alive. Can you hold it in your body, that ecstatic feeling of loving yourself enough to accept and invite happiness into your reality, in full color, like it has always been there, beyond the surface? Can you feel your whole body and being shift? When you can, when you allow yourself that leap, that moment of suspending disbelief, that is when your heart desires can begin to show up for you. But only when you can agree to Be with your heart and see what it needs. Really see. Really, really take the time to see, feel and believe. Then, the way is made. And no force of man can stop you from finding a way to allow it, that momentary dip into a new reality, to be called into being. Imagine the implications of this. And understand that the same is true of nursing our fears. All of those what-if’s hold the power to dislodge and dismantle our greatest intention to live by our heart and soul. Being diligent to dissolve our fears in loving, forward, dream-supporting action and thought is essential. Training our thoughts. Disciplining our receptive powers.
So often, we abandon our dreams and right to be happy and content because we’ve walked that road before and failed. We tell ourselves we are too old and belabored with adult responsibilities to have the luxury of entertaining another fruitless trip into dreamland. We take on a thin wisdom that is closer to cynicism and pretend we have outgrown our silly notions of becoming who we might have had life not thwarted our original attempt at authenticity of character and practice. We shy completely away from doing anything even remotely resembling our true desire. We feign moving on. And we suffer. We suffer more in everyday then we could have thought was possible when we were younger and more impressionable. Our Joie de Vivre is replaced with doubt, insecurity and resignation. Resentment. Still, we hold tight to our perceptions. Give nothing to the pursuit of our dreams and let everything fall away, even love.
Somewhere along the way we delude ourselves into believing things have changed within our heart. We, the outfit, the costume we are wearing may have changed, yes. But not our heart. Not our core. Not our loves and desires. Nope, those have not gone anywhere. It is one thing to admit our dreams remain but we have chosen through free will to forge another path. To admit we have given into our defeat and simply cannot muster the courage to try again. Admitting this is not weakness. It is humanness and it is universal. But to deny the dream entirely as if you have gotten over it and have no use for it is death to the soul. And there are consequences.
A consistent, nagging ache. A sense of dread. Jealousy. Hatred. Depression. Fear. Loathsome self-annihilation. Denial is the disarming of our true gift. Giving us no chance at ever redeeming, rekindling or rebirthing that possibility or fire. It would be better to admit feelings of defeat, clear that experience, own up to and accept it than to linger in self-delusion. In letting go, there is freedom. In freedom, there is honesty. And, in honesty there is always a prime opportunity for renewal and attrition. Who knows what may conspire to bring you all you ever wanted when you have not hidden the truth of your longing behind wrought iron gates of shame, embarrassment, disappointment and rage.
Callings are not for the faint of heart. It takes more than a small dose of courage to follow what we feel is the correct direction for our lives. In fact, most people never discover or elect to pursue what pulls at them day in and day out. Most never even take that first step. And, without taking that first step, however small, the second step is not revealed.
May we all follow the call.