I’m not keeping up this blog very well, as my days are now filled with writing and reading theology for graduate school. I am more than halfway through this graduate program – and yet I’m still amazed at how the heck I, of all people (and in my mid-40s), became a theology student. I am not even particularly religious! I won’t go into the whole story of how I found myself here, but…
…the bottom line is that I was propelled into it – propelled onto this academic path.
Propelled much in the same way that I was propelled into motherhood – ME – a single, self-absorbed woman suddenly adopting a traumatized first grader and raising her. Really?
Both of these big life choices hopped right over the thinking part of my brain and grabbed my gut in a way that all other options disappeared.
Neither motherhood nor graduate school (this second time around) seemed like choices so much as road signs dropped onto my path (Detour Ahead!) with no way around it.
And here’s the thing: I love when these road signs drop into my life – because making the best life choices often require us to let go of our rational minds – a process that is counter-intuitive, counter-cultural and just plain HARD.
These road signs appear when I plead / pray:
God! (Universe! Angels! Saints! Spirit Guides! Ancestors!)
Show me the way!
And they do.
It’s a process of course – learning how to ask for what you need,
how to notice when it appears and
how to accept what has been offered.
It’s a long, difficult process but before I explain further I need to say that I chose the tagline of this website for a reason.
Focusing Your Life in the Direction of Your Happiest Self
I was stuck trying to decide between Best Self? Truest Self? when my friend Celina suggested Happiest Self.
Of course! Happiness is what I struggled towards for years – straining against the depression and anxiety that is so rampant on both sides of my family. My genes are definitely depressed genes but I have learned to step away from the rabbit hole, so to speak and focus my thoughts in a more positive direction.
I can share many life lessons about becoming my happiest self
because it is something I have had to work so dang hard at.
I consider myself a melancholic optimist.
Melancholic by nature, and stubbornly optimistic by sheer will. I am optimistic because I have developed the awareness to see that
God/ the Universe/ Angels/ Spirit Guides / Ancestors
really do have my back and really do want to keep offering me gifts and direction and opportunities.
You see, when I was a little girl my dad repeatedly told me that our family was born under a black cloud. Great role model, I know. He said this quite a bit and so of course I believed it. I expected bad things to happen. I focused on the bad things that happened.
And the Universe did not disappoint. As a new college grad living in my hometown of Chicago, the shit just kept coming. In less than three months time, my car broke down on Lake Shore Drive, I was jumped by three strangers with a baseball bat, my car was stolen – and it kept coming. My roommate had to bail on our lease, I didn’t get the job I wanted, etc. etc – but through it all a teeny, tiny voice kept telling me that I was special.
“There’s something special about you.”
It started with a teeny voice but then I noticed the Universe confirming this message, letting me know it was true. First, in random ways: a drunk, homeless guy shouted it at me, an author at a book signing telling me during a talk at a bookstore. Then, in earned ways: from a supervisor, from a friend.
I began to LOOK for and notice the signs that showed that I matter, I have gifts to share and I am here on Earth to use them.
Noticing this message from the Universe and believing it to be true was my first step into the world of possibility. I learned to ask God/the Universe, etc. for signs of how to best use my gifts and accept whatever answers come.
This became a daily practice: asking, noticing, accepting – and giving thanks. (Over time, this practice morphs into a totally new perspective on life and everything that happens to you.)
And that, readers, is the short version of how I ended up in graduate school, how I became the mother of an amazingly courageous young woman and how I learned to overcome my melancholic genes and become a happier person.
And you know what?
God/ the Universe/ Your Spirit Guides / Your Dead Loved Ones
want YOU to know – YOU reading this – that :
There is something special about you, too.
If you don’t believe it, and you have never noticed a sign confirming this for you before –
then consider this blog post and whatever path lead you to read it to be your first one.
There is something special about you.
(Use it for the greater good.)
Photo credit: By ReubenGBrewer (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons