Tuesday, January 5, 2016

gardening in my heart

I'm working on being my soul — being who I'm meant to be. 

If you read my healing blog, you've heard this many times: I believe we're born with a divine core, and as we go through life, we accumulate junk around that core. When we're living through those layers of junk, we're not living from our authentic selves. 

For many years, I've been working on shedding my junk. Years of talk therapy and intense energy work have helped immensely. At one point, my inner voice was practically silenced, drowned out by the louder junk voices; now my inner voice is strong and almost always the first one I hear. 

As I reduce constant criticism and limiting thoughts and expectations, I become more free and able to live my truth. 

But what is that truth? 

I know I'm here to help people. I've always known that. I help people in my healing practice by balancing their energy and helping them feel better. I help people in my job at an Episcopal church by helping to create opportunities for people to connect with God. I help people in my non-work life by trying to be kind and respectful. 

All of that is good, but it's not complete. There's something missing; I don't know what it is or how to get there, but nevertheless I've been approaching it one step at a time. 

I'm a high-structure, control-happy person; I figure out where I want to go and how to get there, and I do it. How can I move forward if I don't know where I'm going? That's where the one step comes in, and I find that step by listening to my heart, my strongest connection to my divine core. 

Is this all too vague? Here's an example of an early step. A few years ago, I realized that the most fulfilling part of my job at the church (talking with people one-on-one in a pastoral care role) wasn't officially part of my job as Communications Director. My step, enormously scary at the time, was telling that to my boss, Kate. If there was any potential for more of what fulfilled me, I said, that would be wonderful. Kate, rector (priest in charge of the parish), said she didn't know what it would look like, but if we remained open, she was sure it would come. 

One day about six months later, I worked on opening my heart fully to my higher purpose. "Okay, God," I said (substitute "Universe" or another word if "God" doesn't work for you), "here I am. What am I meant to do? I'm ready."

And immediately my heart closed a little — not quite ready, after all. 

That was about a year ago; this deep processing takes time for me. Years ago in therapy, my psychiatrist suggested I learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. That's some of the best advice I've ever received, and it definitely applies to this one-step-at-a-time business, where my destination is still a mystery. 

I've been off since Christmas Day — a real gift (I go back to work today, as soon as I finish this post). Other than a doctor appointment, I scheduled nothing, leaving myself time to recover and relax. A handful of days ago, I meditated/prayed and tried again to fully open my heart to my higher purpose. This time my heart stayed open. And then a seed was planted in my heart. "What do I do next?" I asked. 

"Wait," I was told. 

Yesterday I thought about the seed. "Time to weed," I was told. So one more step was revealed: I set about identifying the weeds. How I define success and worth/worthiness are obvious — they're big buttons for me. Thinking more deeply about it, I decided they have something in common: the external voices disagree with and overpower my inner voices, covering and choking them. 

My next step is figuring out how to pull those weeds. I'm imagining it will be a messy process, just as real-life weeding is. I've never been a fan of gardening gloves, so I'm prepared to get my hands dirty. I'll need tools, I suspect; identifying and gathering them is next.

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