I was hosting an event on finding your purpose. There were about fifty women sitting in a circle together, brought together to have real conversations about things that matter. This question of purpose, calling, doing meaningful work in the world, is one of those conversations.
As often happens when women come together with open hearts and minds, things quickly moved from the surface level questions to ones of a more soulful nature. And one that keep coming up was around fear. How do you move past the fear to get to what you know your souls calling is? How do you move forward? When do you know you can’t ignore it any longer?
One of the women had been reading my last book, Simple Soulful Sacred.
“I’ve been reading the book, but I’m getting really angry as I read it, so I keep closing it and putting it away,” she told us.
“What’s making you angry?” I asked her.
“There are so many things in there that I’m just not ready to deal with. I know they’re true. But I don’t know what to do,” she said, feeling fully vulnerable, yet safe, in the circle of women.
“You are facing yourself on the page,” I told her gently. “The book is your mirror, and the words are showing you what needs to be dealt with and moved through.”
“And you know,” I continued, “the other side of anger is sadness. So asking yourself what’s making you sad, is a question I would invite you to sit with.”
Silence. Then a quiet realization was reflected on her face. A look between us that acknowledged she knew. And then, a softening.
“The question we all need to ask ourselves,” I said to the women, “Is how much pain are we willing to put ourselves through before we face ourselves. How much distraction – whether it’s drinking, food, bingeing on TV or social media, sex, over working, over stimulating or numbing out in whatever way we know how – before we are ready to face the work we know we need to do?”
The work our soul is leading us to do will not go away. It doesn’t vanish because we ignore it. It sits, waiting until we are ready to show up. It will get ever more insistent until we pay attention.
So my question is, how much pain do you want to deal with? Perhaps you might consider that it’s time to face yourself, to face your soul, to show up and do your work. And to do it with all the self-compassion and love you have inside of you.