Almost 20 years ago, I was working as an addictions counsellor in a very intense, long-term recovery and residential program for men. I loved the work and the clients I worked with in their healing journey. As with many social service agencies, the workload was far more intense and required more staff than funds allowed. During my last year there, provincial policy and funding changes as well as significant staff turmoil amidst the ongoing challenges and joys of client healing, made me yearn for my earlier training and calling to spiritual ministry and development.
Like many stories I hear, I began to get sick and found it increasingly difficult to continue working. Conventional medical procedures could not identify the cause, nor prescribe any treatment for my symptoms. Numerous alternative and energy medicine techniques restored my health over time, but none more so than my decision to leave my work. Though I loved what I did, my soul had had enough and I needed to return to my path of ‘highest point of contribution.’ Through the screams of my body (we call it STRESS), I knew I had to return ‘home’ to my soul’s life work. Today, I look back in wonder and awe that I found the courage to say, “I’m going to start my own private practice”, because never in my wildest dreams did that idea have any credibility for me.
The most challenging realizations for me at that time in my life were that my body was screaming to get out of my work and create work aligned with my life purpose and mission! My mental arguments were entirely fear-ridden. “I can’t leave”, I told myself. “How will I live? I will have no money. I can’t make it on my own.” My worst fear was living on the street, alone, bankrupt. While in the moments of my worst fears, I sought to hold onto my job. But I could not deny my body’s scream and the stress it evidently could no longer tolerate. My inner life of spiritual connection and wisdom was leading me out the door, and in many ways I could only follow this guidance.
The season of Lent is an invitation to return back to our Divinity and to discover the Great Love along the way. What fears are keeping you from deeply accepting yourself? What core memory is this fear attached to that needs help being transformed and liberated? Choose this Lent as a time to give up a particular fear and replace it with the power of self acceptance. What might you discover?