I got an email the other night from a lady I used to run into often, but had lost touch with. Her note says, in part:
“I came across your website, and wanted to reach out and let you know that I enjoy reading your entries, and value your willingness to be vulnerable and publish your journey. I guess it gives those of us on a more secluded path an opportunity to be spiritual voyeurs. :-)”
Odd, the timing of it. I’ve wondered at times whether anyone beside myself was getting anything out of this. It started as a place to report my experiences as I reinvented myself. I knew others had been tossed over the side by corporate America, or left their jobs for some other reason and might need the encouragement of someone else’s experiences.
And I probably also hoped it would buck up my own spirits. I tend to get despondent over setbacks, a consequence of growing up with a mother whose father was an alcoholic.
Who Are You?
What I discovered is that reinventing myself isn’t just about branding, marketing and networking. It goes much deeper than that. When you get past the what, the when and the how of it, you come to the who.
And as The Who put it, “Who are you?”
Well, I’m a guy who grew up without the conviction that you need what I’ve got (see Trump, Donald). There was a shortage of self-esteem that I’ve spent my lifetime trying to fix. It’s an obsession dangerously close to narcissism, searching for the fix, but taking life on it’s terms is not an option.
Discovering Al-Anon’s 12-step program has given direction to my spiritual longings, and recently I got an opportunity to take it even deeper.
It’s a Put-On!
I’ve been invited to participate this month in a “spiritual formation” seminar at a theological seminary.
The assigned reading includes “Thirsty for God” by Bradley P. Holt in which Holt discusses “vocation” as something we are led to that expresses our core values. It came to me almost immediately that my “vocation” is encouraging others, reassuring them that it’s safe to come out from under the bed and play.
There’s a saying that one teaches what he most needs to learn, and that’s certainly true in this case. I’ve spent most of my life hiding behind a mask, and as The Who (where would I be without them?) put it so well in “Eminence Front” , “It’s a put-on!”
I Know! I Know!
Where is this leading? I wish I knew. But that’s the old me, the one who tried to control his environment and was always thinking, always trying to figure it out.
Now, as Scrooge puts it in the extraordinary ’51 version of “Scrooge” while dancing a jig on Christmas morning, “I know! I know! I know that I don’t know!” (If I’ve used that line before on the site, I owe you one….)
I know that I don’t know. And yet, because I keep turning my life over to the Creator, it seems like things keep getting better. I couldn’t have said that a year ago.