December 27 - Life Calling
Last Updated on Monday, 13 February 2012 12:00
Over the holidays, I often hear people talking about their “depression.” It seems to start right around Thanksgiving, and it can have a variety of stories behind it. For example, a man I’ll call “John” said, “I am all alone, and it hurts so much when I see families shopping and going to parties together while I stay home all by myself.”
A woman I’ll call “Holly” said to me, “I don’t know how I am going to stand being around my mother (father, sister, brother, sister-in-law, etc.) for an entire week...I just dread it!”
Too often, the tendency is to try to change these feelings...or to numb them...or just to ignore them altogether. Choosing any of these options, unfortunately, can actually lead to even more depression. The emotions are bottled up inside of us with no way to be expressed…everywhere we go, they go with us.
I have to wonder what our world would be like if we all, instead of trying to ignore these feelings, started to listen to them with awe and curiosity as our lives calling to us with their wisdom.
For example, instead of going to a liquor store to buy a bottle or two of wine to numb his feelings, what if “John” collected gifts for the children in an orphanage and threw a party for them on Christmas Day? Instead of withdrawing into his own sadness, he would be using his familiarity with it to help him recognize when others needed companionship as well.
How might that truly change the future of the world? What if we used our pain to recognize the pain in others and then we reached out to them as a result? What might those individuals do in the future and how many people might they touch, now that they knew that they mattered to someone?
Instead of “Holly” eating lots of cookies and candies so that she didn’t feel her dread of the holidays with relatives, what if she practiced her skills of looking deep inside another for all that truly mattered? What if she made it her mission to understand her mother and to see the child inside that was hurt so long ago? What if Holly recognized the dread inside her mother’s heart and took steps to ensure that her mother would never have to fear her visit again? What if she filled her heart with kindness and love...how would that change her visit?
What is your life calling for you to do? Begin with what brings tears to your eyes. Could it be an abandoned and hungry child, an elderly person alone on a park bench, a mistreated innocent animal, or perhaps children alone in their rooms while their parents are enjoying still one more cocktail? Whatever you notice, celebrate the pain it brings!
It is a living map. It is your life calling...pointing you in a direction where your training, your emotions, your experiences will all join together to make a difference in our world. It is the energy you will use to propel you into action. It is through your pain that you truly grow into your life’s purpose.
When you hear the “ring” of life calling, what do you do first? Do you reach for something (food, alcohol, drugs) with which to numb your feelings, or do you immediately try to get away (go shopping, stay at work, gamble, etc.) from that which triggers the feelings? What do you think you would feel if you stayed right where you are? What could you do with that feeling to make a difference in your world, in your loved one’s world, and in the world in general? Will you answer your life when it calls today?