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Knowing What You Want: the Journey

My heart has hijacked my life and is holding my rational thinking hostage.  Sound like something familiar?

Since an experience in 2010 that we’ll call here the “intuit experience”, I find that no matter how hard I try, I am unable to apply the usual safe, straight and narrow path of conventional progress.  Specifically and especially with my strategies for career, but also with most things important.  If my ‘heart’ is not 100% in agreement with an opportunity or choice, something goes wrong.  Something unexpected and unpreventable happens, resulting in conflicts of commitments or curiously spontaneous cancellations in an almost magical manner.  Some might describe these occurrences as divine intervention or serendipitous.

The details of the intuit experience are not the window into what I’m exploring here, I just felt the need to give this changed experience of myself a starting point.  For some people, I think such a change often happens following a severe loss of some kind.  A loss of a deep attachment to a person, to an identity, a great loss of health or ability; in my case, a loss of perspective.  It’s been frustrating to think I want one thing and then to discover, by the mischievous and irrational handling of my heart, that I actually want the impractical, the inconvenient, the unexpected and unpredictable.  For a Virgo who takes pleasure making lists and organizing life into neat piles of labeled transparency, this change of leadership between the looping analytic mind and the heart-wheeling impulses has called forth my greatest efforts in building patience, self-compassion and humility.  I fumble daily and slowly do I learn.

And as I have become intimate and familiar with loss, endings, death, I have become further connected to the core of what I value in life and to the rhythm my life.  I have been very frustrated when sitting with ambiguity and indecision, often delaying or avoiding action.  I have struggled with the simple, yet perplexing question, “What Do I Want?” with all things small and significant from what to eat to how to earn a living, to where to live, and who to love and how to love what I do.  To value an experience, a state of being, a career or a connection to other, is to experience the journey of being without that which we value.

A friend recently gifted me with one of my favourite books, The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.  My attention to his poem on death inspired me to finish this entry that I had started almost a month ago (thank you, Harpal).

These words from the passage on Death offers perspective in times of feeling bewildered, directionless or alone:

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.

And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.

And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

I am reminded that I am but a visitor in this big beautiful world, and

I have been here before.

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