Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My job description, from Spirit

Several jobs in the arts coupled with an unknown future for the building in which I rent sparked me to update my resume. I crafted this objective at the top:

Award-winning journalist, disciplined editor, artful graphic designer, patient listener, compassionate non-profit founder and engaging artist seeks to clarify and energize your presence and message, communicating what deeply speaks to people.

It seemed a good compromise between the corporate world and what I do. This exercise also helped me more clearly view my gifts and skills – a nice bonus.

And, suddenly there was a plethora of communications jobs, taunting me and making my head spin. My friend and confidant, Kathie, judiciously selected the four that made the most sense and told me to forget the rest. I had already tackled the arts openings and, yesterday, completed applying for two in the non-profit/education world. I have to say it was soul-sucking to use the online procedure that bypasses a cover letter in favor of limiting text boxes that do not account for gaps in employment for any variety of reasons. Then there was the signing-your-life-away for a background report. It all made me feel a little dirty. "Pay attention to that," Kathie wisely counseled.

In my busy-ness, I have not spent much time in silence and with God. So, today I settled a bit longer with my daily readings and journaling. Lately, my Thomas Keating daily reader has focused on losing the false self. Online, Richard Rohr has been advocating much the same and they both emphasize purification. How incredibly timely for me since that's the precise word randomly selected for me by my spiritual director for this year. "Never gotten this one before," she remarked.

I journaled about the emotional programs I am dismantling vs. what Spirit speaks to me, specifically:
False Self:
• I'm only of value for doing, behaving a certain way.
• Fibromyalgia has proven me less than.
• I don't heal because I deserve this; there's something wrong with me.
• I am VERY broken.
• I'm not good enough to be successful.
• I can't succeed in the material AND spiritual worlds.
• You are infinitely loved, beyond you knowing though I have shown you.
• You are gifted and blessed for a specific task.
• In your dreams, I have told you, you are chosen.
• You have passed through the cross and transcended.
• You have burned your false self.
• Your current explorations will renew your confidence.
• The money/what you need will come.
• All follows love.
• Believe.
• Trust.
• You are growing your faith.
• You have already been chewed up by the corporate world; remember you are stronger and wiser now.

Maintaining peace, Keating writes, amid the false self's cycle of anger, grief, fear, pride, lust, greed and jealousy requires so much energy that can be FREED. "The fruit of the purifying process is the freedom to decide what to do without the interference from the ... fixations of the false self" according to Keating. "As the false self recedes, our energies can be put to better purposes."

God commands us to put on our new self:
"So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." [Colossians 3:12]

As I read Keating further and began to explore my distorted  view of God being replaced by the freedom to relate to God as she is, I shuddered with revelation: God is purifying me because I am chosen (just as we all are) and have always been held close.

And then I was compelled to write my real job description:
Chosen: Follower of Jesus with great compassion, tenderness, intuition, courage, depth, faith, persistence, abundant creativity, desire to serve the poorest, great listener, organizer, able to gather others with her light and sense of conviction. Thoughtful communicator, backing of trusted friends, family and faith community. One who puts others first, but does not punish herself. She must be fed so she can feed others. Sensible, practical, able to make the abstract reality, step by step, slowly over time even when the path is absent. Deep knowing and sense of purpose. Requires one who is loved more than she can imagine; she will be shown. Ability to speak and solicit on behalf of others and herself. Can show others how to help in places they never imagined. Will touch countless lives in impossible ways, yet may never see this. But will, innately, know. Will be tempted to chuck it all because she hasn't learned how to ask for what she needs. I will provide; this IS teachable. She will grow more clear and confident.

• For what am I searching?
• What throws me off course?
• What happens when I listen in silence?
• How am I dismantling my false self?
• What is Spirit's job description for me

Listen to this post:

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