After reading a couple of friend’s blogs this morning, I realized that the feelings I am having are not mine alone. They are something that is more global than I thought. The questions I am struggling with are also what others are working through: What am I to do? Where is the direction I am to take and what is it I am striving to do? Two years ago, I thought I had a life pretty well figured out. I would work at my current job and retire in seven years. It was an easy plan without much depth to it. These past months have been very difficult at work. It has brought awareness that this is not my destiny. I think I have accepted that as disappointing as it is because I really thought it was a good situation. I know I must travel on at some point but there has been an underlying issue which I have articulated many times and that is knowing where I am going. It seems that being on this spiritual path has a lot of wonderful things on it like feeling connected and healing. But from what I am reading, I am not alone on this one area of concern. “What is the thing I was made to do?”
A friend of mine and I were having a spiritual discussion. She and her husband are going to school to get their Masters in Divinity. They are both pastors and are hoping to have their own congregation someday. We were talking about things we do and I was mentioning a volunteer group I am working with. She said “ that work was worthy.” I struck me profoundly. We all work at something, but is the work worthy? In other words, is the work making the world a better place? Is it serving the source and giving or is it self-serving and only production.
Before anyone gets upset with what I just wrote, let me add this. We need people who toll at the everyday jobs. We must have them to keep our world functioning. This work is important and stands alone as being worthy but it is not the worthy I am talking about. There is work that serves humanity that needs to be done. This work is based on helping others; to help them heal and grow. It is work that brings people back to their source, whatever they call it. It is work that is done in Love. You can be a hairdresser and if you do your job with love for others, that work can be worthy. Say for example you cut hair for elderly for free or for an underserved population who would not normally have the opportunity to be pampered. This is worthy work by definition. You could also be a doctor, but you see only patients for five minutes because it is all about the dollar and not the care you are rendering. That is not worthy. I hope you see what I am saying because it could be misconstrued as being judgmental about occupations. Worthy work is any work that is done in service to others with love as the main driver. You also need to love what you are doing. That makes the work worthy.
When I was younger, I was the one in the family designated to resolve issues. I was present and that was what was needed. I thought that was my role and it was to some extent. Unfortunately, it left me pretty scarred and I have worked through many things and healed from some of it. But was it worthy enough? No, I do not think so.
When my first husband decided to go into law enforcement, I totally supported him even when it changed him so much. I thought my role was to be a cop’s wife and all that meant. Unfortunately, the biggest regret I have was that I did not have children and that would have been a qualifier for worthy work. But I stayed in the marriage because I thought that was my destiny. It took huge pieces of me but I am also healing from that. The answer is a resounding no to it being worthy. It was self-sacrificing, which in truth is not a good thing and not what we are here for.
When I became a teacher, I knew that work was worthy. I loved that job the most of all the work I have done so far. The work with the students was worthy and my reward is having connections and relationships still with several of my students as they progress through their worthy lives. But the schools where I worked were not honest and the students were not the focus. Scores and tests results or big tuitions were the driving force. The system is corrupt and I know in my heart I cannot participate in the educational systems as they currently stand. I am also acutely aware that I may be destined to teach, but I have not learned what I am to teach yet. I am still very much the student.
I thought working with clinicians would be very worthy. But I have written volumes on how this is not working out for me.
I know many people who have sacrificed so much of themselves and now are struggling to understand their lives and the point to it. Sometimes we do not see the worth of those sacrifices even though in many cases these people may have saved hundreds of lives. They did what they had to do. Sadly the cost in my mind was too high as now many of them suffer greatly with demons.
I remember listening to my mother and my mother-in-laws gripe about their lives. My mother told me when she died she would have done a lot of things different. She wanted to be an artist and stopped painting when we kids came around. My Mother-in-law is suffering with some dementia. But she often berates my father-in-law for abandoning her as he was involved with many activities during their marriage. She was a homebody and stayed with the kids who are now all in their 60’s. Even now, when my FIL spends times doing something like a puzzle she will get upset and call herself a puzzle widow. She speaks often of regrets and her anger is confusing for the family.
The point is that from the outside, we would say all of these things are worthy. Parenting, soldiering, teaching and on the list goes. But it is what intrinsically a person feels that counts. There is a feeling I am having, and I think others are feeling it too, that says there is more to this time we spend here. There is a calling that hits the soul and says “I have a plan for you. Prepare for it.”
I do not have an answer for all this. I do find comfort of sorts that I am not alone in these feelings and that the company includes some truly amazing people. I could have easily not started down this road, missed the entrance to the path and blindly continued in my life as it was. I can also quit at any time. But my heart knows that there is something more I am to do. It will be worthy work. It will come. I have to trust that.