I'm nearing the end of my interfaith ministry study. Soon I'll be ordained, which is wonderful, but of course I've been dealing with those nearing the end of things jitters. What comes next?
The answer has come through the form of a different question:
. . . How in the world did I get here?
I keep thinking small things like . . . When did roasted sweet potatoes with avocado oil, salt, and pepper start tasting better than mac and cheese?
I keep thinking big things like . . . When did I stop being so afraid?
And . . .When did I start saying yes when my heart says yes and no when my heart says no?
When did this happen?
For so many years I laid down layer after layer of guilt, shame, and pain without the promise and hope of a light at the end of the tunnel. It was all darkness. One step after the other, not always feeling confident I was doing the right thing--not knowing what I'd look like on the other side if I kept moving forward, following this impulse, that idea, just trying to find where I belong in this world--somewhere at the end of the tunnel.
Somewhere, I thought, there must be an exit sign that I haven't found yet.
After a while, I started to notice that my space was getting brighter, lighter; and yet, I didn't see a great deal of external change. Same stuff. Same body. Same life.
I did not notice the fear slipping away.
I did not notice the depression slipping away.
I did not notice the transformation much at all, really. It felt as though I woke up one day and I was ready to face myself. Ready to pop the hood and take a look. As though it was as strait forward as engine trouble.
I had not realized what I was really doing during those years of shedding. Shedding shame and guilt were things I was working through without a great deal of consciousness. It felt as though I'd been lassoed, gently, by some unseen force that, without words, was leading me through release after release.
If you're still stuck in that dark confusing space and you're wandering for your center, your calling, whatever it is you're looking for, there is one thing that I did without knowing it that kept me on track through out my journey, and it's something I continue to do.
This is going to mean something different to everyone, because wholeness feels different to everyone, but here's the deal:
No matter how broken, how depressed, how afraid, how misunderstood, how neglected, how rotten you feel, somewhere within yourself in a safe haven of wholeness. Maybe it's tiny, maybe it's just a little seed, maybe it's a crawlspace, whatever and wherever it is, you can find it.
Quietness of mind will get you there. Stillness will get you there. When you find it you'll know. To me, in the early days it felt like warmth and assurance; like an exhale. Safety. Home base. Once you've found it within yourself, practice going back to it until you can go there naturally and quickly by choice. The more you can embody your own wholeness, the more wholeness will be reflected back to you. You will see the world differently. You will see yourself differently.
I want you to know that if you feel you've been pouring energy into creating a new reality for yourself and you're not seeing obvious changes, that change is happening even if you aren't seeing it right now. You are not striving in vain. You will get to thriving, and there are beautiful people everywhere who are ready to lend a hand in the right place and at the right time. Trust, and you'll see.
So as far as what comes next for me? I am trusting that I will see. I am letting go of expectations and anxiety over the future. I am embodying my wholeness as big and bold as I can, because that is what brought me here in the first place.
Many Blessings to you and yours,
Anna Turner is the woman behind Little Hearth. She's an ordained interfaith minister, a writer, a believer in purposeful living and healing, a perpetual student, and a full time feminist mother.