"Things happen for a reason."
We hear this all the time, but not always are we in a state of awareness that allows us to discover that reason. I haven't always been the most patient, when it comes to letting things happen when they is right. I've always wanted to rush things along to fit the schedule I thought life should follow. But over the past few years, maybe it's the intelligence of age and experience finally showing through, I've tried to be more mindful and allow the lessons and coincidences in life to develop as organically as possible.
Lately those little coincidences have left me in moments of awe. This fall it was a comment from my daughter several weeks after stepping away from a full time job to be more of a full time mommy that confirmed I had made the right decision. It's been things like the gift of a book from a friend with a very pointed story about one woman's spiritual quest. It's been running across a blog by Sean Corn (internationally known yoga teacher who does work with YouthAIDS) about using her vocation in India to positively affect a terribly negative situation. Or this week it was my brother asking me to edit/read an article that he's writing for work and the sentence "I live in a system created to consume, not conserve, and that troubles me." that summed up so many of the same thoughts/questions/struggles I've been pondering as of late.
I tend to live in my head. More than I think those who know me realize. I mull things over. I soak in as much information as I can, think through all the possible scenarios, and let my heart get a good feel for the situation before coming to a decision/opinion. Then, if you're lucky, I'll share those thoughts with you when and IF the right moment presents itself. It's this final step, the getting things out of my head that seems to present me with a challenge. Whether it's because I'm afraid of not getting acceptance for my thoughts and beliefs, or if it's because I just don't necessarily see th importance of letting that information be known as long as I've reached a place of peace within myself, I'm not sure why this is such a hard step for me. Whatever the reason, I know it ultimately stifles growth.
Recently, meaning over the past few years, I've noticed the need to discover and define more who I am. Not who I am Jenn, married with 2 kids, a dog, and a house, who enjoys yoga, coffee, and gardening. But a much deeper sense of who I am in relationship to the greater universe around me. I mean, don't get me wrong, those other titles are important to me. I love my family and friends dearly. My favorite titles in life are "mommy", "sister", "daughter", "friend", and "wife" just to name a few. I'm blessed to have what I have in life. But I've notice over the past several years a shift in focus/topic of my inner dialog when I think about who I am and why I exist on this Earth in this place and time.
Interestingly enough, while this inner thought process has been going on for years in my head, an external dialog with others in my life to parallel this process hasn't always been happening. Heaven knows if people understood where my thoughts were sometimes it might make some of the more tense relationships/topics in my life a little less so. Such as why I choose to NOT shop at Wal-mart and promote wasteful consumerism. Or why I have a problem with individuals showering my girls with THINGS as a show of their love rather than other gifts such as time or experiences.
So I find myself at this point where I have developed thoughts and feelings about topics such as my spiritual beliefs, feelings about my role in caring for our environment, passions concerning what I feel is my vocation and dreams about how I'd like to use that calling to bring more good into the world, and I suddenly am starting to feel the need to share these things with loved ones in my life, to allow for continued growth. And I am lost.
How do you begin that type of conversation?
"Well today I going to the grocery store, I need to mail a few items at the post office, and then I was wondering if you'd like to have dinner with me and discuss my passions about my vocation and where I'd like to focus my future efforts in relationship to those passions." Ok, that's not a bad one, but you get the point. I mean anytime you put yourself out there like that there is the risk of forever upsetting the balance of a relationship in your life. I think we'd all agree that it's a fact of life that as you grow and develop as an individual you're going to gain and lose people along the way. Hopefully you are lucky enough to have people come into your life who can help to nurture the individual you are becoming. At times you need to let go of relationships that hold you back from that development. But the most scary of all, at least in my opinion, are those relationship which you don't expect (or want) to change, but do for one reason or another. Essentially, this fear is probably the number one reason I don't often share my deepest thoughts and feelings with those in my life...even those closest to me.
It's interesting finding our way in life. The different paths we travel which we may never expect to explore. The people we meet along the way. The pains and the joys that are experienced. I think you'd agree with me it's not always an easy journey, especially for those of us who feel the need to actively engage in the journey, rather than just coast along on a joy ride. But it's also reassuring to know that we're not alone on our journey. That more likely than not there's at least one person out there who has felt the same way you have, who has experienced the same internal and external struggles. And if were lucky, we'll meet a few of those people along the way...when the time is ready. After all, everything happens for a reason.