A new year always brings reflection of what and how things come to pass and the end of 2012 was no different. Reflecting over the gifts and lessons I was presented with this past year, gave me a newfound appreciation for faith and letting go. For most of my life, I didn't understand faith or how someone could say, "Have faith". Those words didn't resonate or make sense to me. I was taught that God was this wondrous, all knowing being of immense power. I always loved God, but also feared him. Since I came back from the Peace Corps I was put on a spiritual journey I didn't always understand or want to understand. What I did understand was that the person I was before the Peace Corps was not the person I was after the Peace Corps. It was an ultimate test that has influenced my life. My experience made me aware that I was seeing my glass as half empty instead of half full. I didn't take responsibility for my part in events that changed my life. I was blaming everyone else.
In the 13 years since that time in my life, I have been on a quest, that has changed the alchemy of my soul. I read Paulo Coehlo's "The Alchemist" while in the Peace Corps and I remember distinctly wanting to throw the book across the room of the Mopti Stage House in Mali after I had finished it. I was frustrated that I didn't get any concrete answers of why I was there in Mali, or any ideas on how to deal with my isolation, depression, and bad health. A few weeks later, I was back home and the story wouldn't leave me. It kept repeating phrases and scenarios in my mind that wouldn't leave. Six months later, I reread "The Alchemist" and wept at the beauty of all the trials and tribulations Santiago went through to find his worldly treasure. The story became my touchstone, to change my life, to give myself meaning in what I was doing. It made me understand that the most trying events in your life are the biggest gifts, because they make you aware of something you didn't see before or give yourself credit for.
I always see my life as a map. That is what I identify with, a journey. A map full of adventures and challenges that make me excited. This past year, I have been given opportunities and met people that have made me open my eyes wider and marvel at the beauty of letting go. I've been introduced to Dr. Wayne Dyer for the umpteenth time in the past 13 years, but this year his message stuck. He and many other spiritual teachers talk of how God and us are One. We aren't separate. We are One of the same. I have never felt closer to God since listening to Dr. Dyer's CDs. I am still on the path of fully accepting that we as beings are One with God. I am being given little gifts here and there that make me believe that I must have faith in God and he will provide, because he has and it makes me so grateful!
I still have lessons on judgement to work through because if we are One I have no room to judge anyone. That I know is my ego and I have a date with Eckhart Tolle for that. I know I have dreams of being a television actor and a writer of books, because I feel that is my avenue for my voice to be heard. If I put my life into perspective, me, writing this blog is already filling my soul because I am fulfilling my dream of writing. I have to have faith that I am doing exactly what I have been meant to do, my whole life. Of course, I would like a family of my own, and if I look at my life as it is, I do have a family of my own, that comprises of my actual family and a core group of friends that I am so grateful for and can't imagine being without them. I have to remind myself often that it isn't about the dream but about the journey, that got me here. My journey is the meaning behind the dream. The more I take stock of the person I want to be, how I am working to get there and stop to appreciate the little gifts along the way, the dream will appear as if out of thin air. It is all about perspective. I will always be eternally grateful for my Peace Corps experience because it taught me to be happier, to see things from all sides, to take responsibility and if I have faith, God will provide.
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