Take the step.

Life has been a rough road lately.  Dealing with how things have turned out the past two months since "The Victoria Incident" has left me hurting, lonely, frustrated, and broke.   It has been an emotional drain dealing with the loss of a friend, but it is also a very real financial burden.

The whole point of BorneBackCeaselessly is to take a break from my life.  But it’s not a break from my faith.  It's an experiment to see if I can be a better person without all the BS and politics of daily life – including the power of money.  I want to figure out what I can do better.  Because a root fear is that life has not been easy and/or “worked out” for me because I am broken in some way. 

But I know I’m not broken.

I am flawed.  I am a product of my circumstances and life experiences.  I know that the universe has my best interests at heart.  I believe that the universe wants me to be happy and successful - whatever that may mean. I want to grow.  I want so badly to be better, to become all that I am destined to become to fulfill my calling on this earth.  But lately, I feel so beaten back that I’m on the verge of giving up.

I thought I was doing everything I could.  I thought I was staying positive and heeding promptings and following appropriate counsel. But it's like one blow after another and I don't know what to do anymore.

Where something becomes extremely difficult and unbearable, there we also stand already quite near its transformation. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

It is important for me to do the "right" thing.  Obviously not everyone is going to agree with what I deem to be "right," but I need help.  I need guidance.  If my friends and loved ones could honestly see something that I don't, I would want to know.  A while back, I toyed with the idea of sending out a survey to all of my friends.  I would ask for honest, anonymous feedback.  How do they see me?  What are my positive traits?  What do they feel I could improve upon?  What do they think might help me to forward?  Candid, constructive, criticism about how I can be better.

Is that weird?  Would you respond to that kind of survey from a friend?

I’ve always had strangers and random people tell me how beautiful I am.  But I know that outside beauty is not what fills my soul.  I am constantly being asked to assist others by using my time and talents – like music, service, caring for children.  But I have not yet found the talent and service that connects my soul to its greater purpose: joy.  And right now with no job, I have no money coming in.  With no family, I don’t have traditional support.  With no plan, I have no back-up.  I’m just moving for the sake of going forward. I’m blindly stepping out.

I was recently chatting with a house guest about my plan to travel the world.  He questioned my safety and immediately started listing all the reasons NOT to go.  In fact, the more I talk to people about my intentions, the more opposition they raise.  Not because they aren’t happy for me.  Not because they don’t think it’s an exciting idea.  Who wouldn’t want to step out of their life for a while?  But people are scared of stepping out.  People are anxious about making change.

The more questions people raise and the more obstacles they think of, the more I’m feeling empty and stuck that this isn’t happening yet.  I’m ready to step out of my own little corner of the world to learn about love, life, myself.  

I’ve fought too damned hard to make the same mistakes over and over again.  But life is just so damned hard right now, you know?  I just want to know what I can do better.  How can I change?  Will I finally catch a break?

I worry that my mother’s words are right: I am a selfish bitch.  And no one will ever love me.

I worry that if I end up broke, in debt, alone - or worse homeless - then maybe I am just like my mother.

While I don't believe those things to be true, I am honestly at a loss as to how to reframe what is happening.

I never hold anything back from God.  It's part of my DNA to put it all out there.  You have no idea what I've been through with Him in my life.  We're buds, He and I.  I've no reason to rationalize or avoid.  He knows me whether I like it or not.  And I generally don't feel like a victim, but these past few months have been so hard that I don't even know what to think anymore.  I want so badly to stay optimistic.  I feel positive.  But then what do I do when things just keep getting less and less light?

I'm working on being my most authentic self in all things and at all times, and I believe that will help me to achieve my purpose: To be kind, to serve others, to love in a way that others can recognize, to be seen and accepted as my highest self, and most importantly, to Be better. Do better. Live better.  

I don't know that I can accomplish this growth while in crisis mode.  My whole life has either been navigating from crisis to crisis (sometimes self-created, sometimes not) or allowing life to happen to me.  I finally started making some active choices and, what do you know?  Crisis hits.  And now I am faced with a choice:

Do I focus on my growth and healing OR do I focus on managing and reacting to this crisis?

A friend reminded me that perspective is indeed difficult.  Some of the most incredible people died thinking they were failures.  Mother Theresa said:

Where is my faith? – even deep down, right in, there is nothing but emptiness & darkness. – My God – how painful is this unknown pain. It pains without ceasing. – I have no faith. – I dare not utter the words & thoughts that crowd in my heart - & make me suffer untold agony. So many unanswered questions live within me – I am afraid to uncover them – because of the blasphemy – If there be God, - please forgive me.

One of my limiting beliefs has always been not to speak of my dreams because they would never come to pass anyway.  So, to challenge this limiting belief, I actively chose to speak about this journey.  To plan it.  To share it.  And, in so doing, I have already created change in my life.  Sharing my plan has fed my soul and has often inspired others. 

As I’ve paused periodically to evaluate if I should give up and resign myself to the financial barrier leading me to get a “real” job, my heart and soul reject it as an option.  You see, that is what I've always done.  Make big plans.  Dream big dreams.  And then abandon them to be practical and/or manage a crisis.

My fear kicks in and I hear my mother's voice in my head.  Then I wonder: “Maybe I don't actually have dreams.  Maybe I’m just being selfish for wanting to step out into the world.”

The first time my mom was hospitalized for her mental illness for an extended period of time, she said something to me.  It's not the only time or the worst thing she ever said or did to me, but it pretty much encapsulates what I'm up against emotionally.  It's probably the strongest memory I have tied to what my mom "did" to me growing up in terms of planting seeds of self-doubt and worthlessness.  (Eventually you will read about it in my memoirs.)

I lived my entire life being criticized and stifled because of my mother’s own self-hatred and mental instability.  As a result, I ended up believing I was crazy, selfish, and unlovable.  I believe I am better at redirecting and reframing this negative image of myself.  But that's a lot harder to do when life seems to be falling apart at the seams, you know?

Yes, it has been a rough couple of months.  I'm not sure yet what I’m learning from all of this.  It's hard.  I want to give up almost every day.  But I don’t.  I cannot give up because I have already taken a step toward the edge of my comfort zone and I want to know what is on the other side.  Maybe another obstacle.  Maybe another abandonment.  Maybe fear, doubt, and rejection.  Or maybe, just maybe, the other side is where I come out changed for the better.



✏️ Writer • 🎤 Speaker • 🙋🏻 Teacher • RESILIENT OPTIMIST • Sharing words of love and compassion.