I work for a non-profit. Many of you may not know that about me. During my daytime hours, instead of fulfilling my heart’s desire to write, I put my skills to use at an addiction treatment center. I took the job because when it landed at my feet I was just finishing my memoir. The book that chronicles how growing up surrounded by addiction set the foundation that, albeit gut-wrenchingly difficult, provided the necessary launching point to become the writer and healer that I’ve become.
Yet, there are days when my energy is tapped due to this added occupation. At times I question if this endeavor is simply a detour or derailing me completely. There are days when I grumble when as soon as I walk through the office doors the voice within my soul tells me just what I need to write – knowing full well I can’t. I no longer have the ease of unconfined creative freedom.
But I’m still helping people. And my personal knowledge of addiction provides a level of compassion that is helpful to the agency. Not to mention, they utilize my peace, passion and drive to help people discover and claim their value. They saw all of this within me, and no doubt it’s why I landed the job. I do grow weary, though. Having a passion that can not be expressed on whim is not an easy plight. And so with that I find myself silently asking Spirit – why. Why the detour? What in this is allowing me to serve my purpose?
Then, as if one cue, I found myself sitting in a photography workshop that I had orchestrated. One in which the photographer, whom I had just driven all about town in an effort to gather publicity shots for the agency, was teaching a room full of women’s residential recovery clients the power of using photography as a tool to stay in the moment. Everyone had to give their brief story. All were touching. All were sincere. I absorbed the instruction being taught, then remember I’m terrible at photography. But as everyone filed out of the room one woman stayed behind. She looked at me, then asked if I had just written an article for a local woman’s magazine. “Yes,” I answered. She smiled.
She said she’d never picked up that magazine before but when she did it opened to my article. She said tears streamed down her face as she stood engrossed in my words. She said that I write beautifully. But that my words, resonated deep within her. She wrote down a few key sentences of mine, and took them with her to therapy that evening as they meant so much to her. Mainly, the one in which I said I had to come clean about living a life that didn’t honor me. And choose a life that does.
And there it was. In that moment, Spirit provided my answer. If I hadn’t taken this detour, I wouldn’t have written the article that is an overview of my memoir. Had I not been sitting in that workshop, I would not have been able to hear first hand how my writing impacts another. All I want, dear reader, is to remind others of their worth, their beauty and their purpose. To nourish their soul because, this life of ours has little to do with all that we see around us and everything to do with what our soul is wanting to accomplish. In that moment, I was shown that this wasn’t a detour that I am on, it’s the road I was meant to travel.
So walk on. Walk knowing that even the roughest roads are roads your soul knows you need to traverse. Pay attention, though. Learn what you are meant to learn. People and experiences are brought your way for a reason. Whether to awaken something within you, or to bring to light something you work hard to keep in dark. Life is the playground on which all of this happens. Go with it. Not against it. Your soul is busy whether you know it or not. Life is at its best, when you notice the work your soul is up to. So, go with your soul. Trust me, life becomes better once you do.