I was on the phone last week with an old friend and she was asking me about the recent changes in my life. She was mostly concerned about my finances since I had left my lucrative real estate career to write. At the time I chuckled, so planted was I in the belief that it is already handled. Things were already worked out because I am on the path of my soul’s truth. I am in alignment with what I felt I was put on this earth for; my calling, my purpose, call it what you will.
I have wanted to express myself to the world through my writing since I was a child, but was for a long time overpowered by the dominant voice of “reason.” Through a series of events that unfolded last year, I found myself disentangling from a life I had created that had become more of a prison than a source of joy. As I learned to go within and to connect with Divinity, I began to reconnect to the truth of my soul, what I came to this earth for. The more I confronted this, the less it lined up with the life I was living.
She seemed a little confused but I knew that she got it on a deeper level. She said that she would love to do that, but could it be done without being poor?
Funny but so true! Financial security is so important to us that it’s hard to think about taking such leaps of faith into the unknown. I get that. For years I knew that my corporate career would never fulfill me the way my soul was longing to be. It was like the more I would grind, the deeper my soul fell into starvation. And yet I was living a good life. I built a strong business that allowed me to serve others, gave me financial stability, put me in rooms with interesting people and connected me to some of my closest friends to this day. But I knew there was something more out there for me. I carried a pervasive emptiness in my core that gnawed away at me day after day and it showed up in my life as separation. I was disconnected from others. I was disconnected from myself. And although I knew that my dream life was to use words to touch people, I had not the first clue how to make this a reality and furthermore, how would I make money doing it? God forbid I give all of this up to be a starving artist.
But beyond the quest for my life’s purpose, what I did not realize then was that the primary need of my soul was connection. To the Divine, to myself and to others. As things unfolded (or you could say unravelled) in my life a couple of years ago, I randomly picked up a book that talked about praying. To God. In a totally non-religious, very personal way.
Since I had left the Christian church a decade or so before, I didn’t think God wanted anything to do with me. But the woman in the book talked about her relationship with God in a way that was completely free of doctrine and she seemed to have a beautiful connection to Divine. So I (suspiciously) tried praying again. And I began to get answers. I would see signs. Incredible people came into my life in unexpected ways and other people were removed from my life in a blink. Everything started to shift underneath my feet. I began to experience a connection to the Divine just in how my prayers were answered, whether it was work related, relationships or a decision I had to make. I started experiencing a peace that I had not felt since childhood. My anxiety, which had gotten so intense in the years leading up to this that it had begun to manifest in my body, was easing.
The big changes followed, once I knew beyond doubt that I was held and supported by a great and all-powerful Love. It started as all journeys do, with a small but profound first step. I got home from work after a particularly stressful day and took the dogs out for a walk as was my habit. I used these evening dog walks as a way to destress, get present and leave the work day behind. Stress has always been a major trigger of anxiety and then depression for me. Although I had grown more skilled at coping with my depression, daily suicidal fantasies were par for the course as a way to give my brain the illusion of escape. A momentary respite from my daily reality that was sucking me dry.
As I walked my dogs that evening, I went through the standard suicide-fantasy checklist in my brain. The bridge I passed on the way to the dog park was a go-to. Isolated enough, deep enough, close to home so convenient too. As I toyed with this fantasy, the temporary endorphins or whatever flooding my brain as always when I indulge in my suicide storylines, I stopped dead in my tracks. This was not right. My life was in stark contrast with what I was beginning to see was available to me. This could not possibly be how we are meant to live this life. I was in survival mode. I suddenly knew, as clearly as I have known anything in my life that it was time to leave my mortgage career. It was like someone said it to my face, but instead it just registered as right in my deepest place.
I spent the majority of my afternoon laying in the grass asking over and over,
“What the f*** am I even doing?!”
I still knew that I was in the exact right place, but my fear was having a moment.
And that’s okay.
Now the ironic epilogue to that phone call last week is that the days that followed this conversation suddenly were really hard! On Monday of this week, I spent the majority of my afternoon laying in the grass in my backyard under a tree crying, asking over and over, “What the f*** am I even doing?!” I still knew in my heart that I was in the exact right place, but my fear was having a moment. And that’s okay. I cried a lot that afternoon.
The notable difference? Not a single suicide fantasy.
I’m learning that my healing journey has a lot to do with honoring what truly brings be joy. What truly brings you joy is tied in to your soul’s highest calling. It’s okay if you don’t know all the details. I for one am glad that when I made the choice that evening to leave behind the career that was no longer serving me, I didn’t at the same time get a vision of myself crying in the grass in a new city where I barely knew anyone saying “What the f*** am I doing?!” to the sky over and over. That would have been a major buzzkill and probably would have had me thinking twice.
The point is, baby steps y’all. It’s not always easy, but damn it’s worth it. I still know that I will be taken care of. Financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually. That my needs will be met, just as they are being met now, day to day and moment to moment.
I sometimes write letters to myself, a practice that allows me to step out of the muck of my internal world and get some perspective. In closing, I would like to share a portion of a letter that I wrote to myself yesterday.
Rachel, if it were easy, well, you already know. There is a reason you spent so many years stifling the call of your soul. There is so much unknown in surrender. There is so much to trust God for when you are only getting one piece of the puzzle at a time. And though your faith is strong, it can be lonely in the wilderness. It’s not like you decide to follow your soul’s purpose and get poofed right into an instant blockbuster. I know it is scary to put yourself out there so vulnerably. I know you feel so overwhelmed sometimes that you feel physically paralyzed. I know that you are lonely in this new city.
If this were the easy way, the world would be a very different place. But here is where you need to be. And at the end of it all, where you may not have the answers you so desperately want, you are learning to trust in your Divine intuition. You are learning to pray more and to listen better because this is uncharted territory and you cannot wing it. You are learning to deepen your connection to Source by simply admitting you’re all of out answers and coming to your knees (or back). You were suffocating in the old. You are breathing now.
For the healing of all,