I have had a love and desire for writing, for storytelling, for expressing myself through written form from a very young age. As a youth, it was something that brought me great joy and served as an outlet of expression, an opportunity for sharing, speaking my truth at times when I felt I had no voice. I had many diaries that I hid in my closet (that my mother found and read). As a 3rd grader I become a playwright – writing and directing a play performed for my entire grade school (with rave reviews, I must say). In junior high, I entered and won many essay contests. I was on my high school’s newspaper and a part of a community-based television program. Since I can remember, I’ve had an innate desire to write…to express myself…to share and tell stories. Sometimes my storytelling was saying my brother did something that I did – but, that’s still storytelling right? Just a different kind.
Oftentimes my writing also resulted in investing in and empathizing with the stories of others. In high school, I wrote an article for the school paper after the recent loss of another student to a tragic car accident. When the article was published, I received a very thoughtful thank you message from the student’s parents and others in our school community. They thanked me for taking the time to remember their son and having the courage to share my feelings. At the time, it was my hope that my writing prompted others to also pause and reflect on how lucky we were to be alive, have our families, and for each day we were given. How important it was to let those in our lives know how much we loved and appreciate them, because tomorrow is not promised. At this time, I felt deep fulfillment and a spark ignited.
However, as life progressed somewhere the spark ignited within slowly dimmed. I lost my desire for writing…for expression…for storytelling. As I aged, my voice became progressively stifled and conformed to what was expected of me. I lost my focus…or should I say, shifted my focus. Heading to college, like most I was not definitively clear of my chosen major or career path. I contemplated a career in writing. But, I rationalized that you couldn’t make enough money as a writer/journalist. So, instead of pursuing a major in journalism (despite attending a school with the best journalism program in the country) I opted to pursue a major that would better prepare me to be a lawyer or some other high paying position. And, thus began my long and misguided pursuit of financial rewards and material possessions. A shift from that which came so naturally – a shift from that which brought me comfort and fed my soul – a shift towards what I was expected to pursue, who I thought I was supposed to be.
Today, I find myself at a place of searching. Searching for answers…searching for direction…searching for clarity…searching for meaning…searching for purpose…searching for guidance. I am coming through the final phase of an extended health journey and blessed with tremendous healing. A journey, however that at times caused some of the most severe pain I’ve ever known. A journey wrought with confusion and misdiagnoses. I am at a place of having “lost” the majority of my material possessions and so called financial security and moved back home with my parents. Moved back to my hometown, a place where I vowed I would never live. The manufactured façade – the false identity – the mask of so-called material wealth and success is being stripped away. Who I thought I was, what I thought I was meant to do is no longer there. And, I am left to question, who am I? Why am I here? Reaching for greater context, greater meaning, and greater purpose for the dramatic shifts occurring in my life.
In this journey towards true purpose, there have been inexplicable parallels. Simultaneous to experiencing pain, loss and confusion has been indescribable healing, beauty and love. Pain has birthed healing and guidance. Loss has gifted unexpected gains. Confusion has ultimately resulted in clarity. Darkness has evolved into an amazing and blinding light – a light that I now realize has always resided deep inside of me. A relighting of that spark that I thought had been dimmed many years ago.
There is no coincidence that which resided deep in my soul at such a young age, is the one thing that has brought me comfort and solace during my times of difficulty. Clarity has brought further understanding of the true healing power in my writing, in sharing my story. Understanding the purpose in the pain. The gifts that come from reflecting and dealing with the difficult. The understanding that you cannot heal what you do not face. The gift of sharing – in the hope that others may benefit as they progress along their own journeys.
I now realize that I never lost my love and desire for writing. It’s always been there, tucked away, safeguarded deep in my soul, deep in my spirit. Hidden behind an ultimately empty search and shift towards that which I naïvely thought would bring me the peace, happiness and satisfaction that I so longed for. I am grateful and feel so very blessed to be brought back to something that truly feeds my spirit.
I am more confident than ever, that each of us has been placed on this earth for a pre-defined, pre-determined, pre-destined purpose – well before we were conceived in our mother’s womb. Whether we realize it or not, our soul has a journey and a purpose that it is constantly seeking to fulfill. Thus, this Blog is my personal journey of completely embracing that which is seeking to be fulfilled in my soul. My personal journey of shedding, growing, developing, evolving. My journey of losing to gain, surrendering to serve. I am courageously moving out of a murky pool of insecurity, low self-esteem, confusion, questioning and deep fear. I am confidently moving forward and fully surrendering to God’s will. I am embracing that which has resided deep in my soul and embracing God’s continual guidance of my soul, of my evolution. I am fully embracing and sharing my gifts.
It is often said, that you will know when you’ve found your life’s purpose, your passion – when you find that one thing you could do all day. That one thing that comes seamlessly, without effort. So, as I sit writing – in my parent’s dining room – I am completely confident that there is true purpose in my writing, in my sharing my testimony. Through my being completely open and vulnerable, I know that I can and will be a blessing to someone – even if that is only one person. If I can be a blessing and bring healing to someone else through my writing, through my sharing – then I know that my purpose, my gifts will have been put to good use and served their pre-determined purpose.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
– Marianne Williamson