“Hey! I had a dream about you last night. We were both lost and ran in to each other and we were like, I’m lost! And the other was like, me too!! So we were lost together. Haha. How are you ma’am?”
That has been how I have felt the last little while. Floundering. Disappointed. Confused. Ambivalent. Pushing and working at nothing that really matters/speaks to/fills my soul. Disconnected. Distant. Blindly travelling down the path of least resistance. Fearing the onslaught of bitterness and fearing any move in another direction. When I got the above text message I responded honestly that the dream sounded like my life and what I needed to work out. So, the friend that sent the text and had the dream and I got together to talk after months of not communicating with each other.
It is an interesting relationship we have. He a recovering alcoholic that owns seven businesses, has seven lives full of experiences, finds himself in some of the most dramatic situations I could imagine and feeds his soul through street art. Me a naive, recovering Christian who’s biggest internal conflict is that she believes she has nothing worth saying and has lived life having the majority of things – from jobs to cars to apartments – handed to her without hesitation or question. He, who generally struggles to sleep and has to be aware of any and all addictions. Me, who is basically asleep and uncommitted to all things. The imbalance was exactly what I needed.
As we spoke of our shared feelings of lost-ness and shared the questions about life and work and purpose that were tangling up our minds a few things stepped in to my line of sight that have chased out a bit of the blindness. Most importantly, that I was sitting right where I should be in that moment. The feeling that I was where I should be has been alluding me for years. It is taking chunks out of my security and making me fear that my days and time are a waste. Like love lost, being without that assurance after knowing what it feels like has been draining and devastating. I am only beginning to realize how exhausting it has become to try and be someone, somewhere that is not right for me. When I speak of the person and place I don’t necessarily mean the outside components – the address or the job, though they are playing a part. I mean the placement and dedication of my soul.
After an hour and a half of talking and asking each other questions we split ways to go about our appointments and jobs and for the first time in a few months I felt like I was coming back in to balance.
Many, many years ago someone came to me with another dream they had about me. They said they saw me with one toe up on a high cliff, reaching down into deep darkness and pulling people out of it and up on to the safe ledge. This dream has stuck with me and been my answer to what the purpose of my life is here on Earth. It has given me inspiration when I am in the craziest places of pain and hurt. It has been the reason behind the stories I have told. It is commonly the catalyst that springs me into a different location, structure and way of living that means I am surrounded by those that are hurting and without answers. Not that I have answers, I gave up thinking I had answers a long time ago, but I can listen. And I can ask questions. And I am not willing to walk away from someone that needs help.
With all of this coming together I took a minute to go through some old journals and old notes that I have kept to try to piece back what I have been missing. As I re-read words from the past I found this: Feel in the deepest way possible that this isn’t right, it cannot be sustained. It must be changed. Feel it in your gut. Stay away from the things that make you numb – interrupt your numbness and get back in touch with the crisis that compels you. It appears that it is from a series of notes during a weekend conference about social justice from 2012, but it pricks my heart now. What makes me numb, that I may stay away from it? What do I use to interrupt the numbness? The answer of what to do is simple. I sit and have coffee with someone that is as confused and misguided as I am. I look the homeless person in the eye when I talk to them on the street corner. I nod and understand when my unwed friend is pregnant and scared, when my close confidante is struggling through depression, when someone else calls and tells me they just don’t know what to do or where to go or how to live this life anymore. I divert my eyes from the well put together version of life that only a few get to carry and look deep into the longing and need of the majority.
“You have got to be one of the most comforting people to be around. I swear . . . You could bring calm to even the most savage.” The words given at the end of the not-so-random stop for tea this morning confirm what I was reminded of today – that I was meant for the messiness of life and that is where I find my deepest fulfillment.