accepting the call (again)

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Today the world magically shifted back to technicolor after a tragically black-and-white phase. I suppose really it was a gray phase, rarely even becoming alive enough to show the darks and lights of the world. Mush, mud, puddles of murky tears formed on every surface in my home. The past few weeks have revolved mostly around two activities: crying and numbing. When I cried it was the ugly, snotty, soul-wrenching tears. Each time, when I couldn’t take it any longer I began the words. I used angrily dispensed logic to peel away the hurt. I used desperately formed arguments designed to keep me from my feeling my soul’s anguish. After the anger burned a hole into my heart I turned to the tv and comfort food to numb the fresh wound… this frantic struggle gripped me completely. I haven’t felt clear for over six months. I haven’t really felt anything for six months actually.

Why would I have stayed so long in a place so devoid of feeling? I was busy rejecting life. HARD. I was painfully pushing myself to accept a smaller life, to leave behind my calling. Anyone who reads my work will find this perplexing…have we travelled back in time? Didn’t I just write about finally hearing the call last year? In fact, just exactly one year ago? HA! Yes, you’ve got me. I did accept my call to depth psychology- with joyous rapture in fact! And then, well, life.

I jumped in with both feet last year. More importantly, my whole heart engaged, I worked harder and dove deeper than I ever had before. I was challenged, nourished and kindled. From what I have read, I felt the presence of my daimon. Hillman would say that the acorn of my soul had found fertile ground. Then the demons arrived…distrust, fear, comparison… these were the first to arrive. I had expected these though, and at first I was able to stay the course. So the demons invited in my greatest downfall, my deep sense of unworthiness. In the children’s story The Never Ending Story, the hero could only pass through the great gates to continue his quest by truly feeling his own worth. By this past summer, I could no longer do that. My demons brought me to my literal knees, in tears, doubtful of my own soul’s worth, every day.

I couldn’t see the demons during my battle with them. I saw a million practical reasons why attending to my dream of a PhD was wasteful. I watched carefully as my mind constructed beautiful arguments, exquisitely crafted, so wonderfully circular and resilient that no one could break through them. These arguments made no allowance for a thinking person to proceed down this path of folly. I watched this happen and I built solid walls around my heart so that the weak spot in my argument could never be touched. If the walls contained me from the joys of Pacifica maybe the demons of rationality could win. They fortified those walls.

Today, my best friend found the way to save my life. He heard me say that I would never allow my child to turn his back on the gift he brought to this life. In an act of courageous love, my lovely friend turned that argument on me.

This morning my heart broke open when my friend told me that my soul deserves to be in this world and that he was no longer going to aid and abet my demons. With tears in his eyes he asked me what I would say if it was my child and not myself who felt so drawn to depth psychology that she could trace it backwards through the years to her earliest memories. He asked me to feel the true pain of watching someone reject their daimon, their passion, their soul’s purpose.

My heart broke open. The flood of emotion was blissful calm, like a tide of warm water washing into an empty nautilus. My heart said yes, my soul said yes, and finally my voice said yes out loud. I found myself holding a paintbrush at the canvas within minutes, my smile feels at home on my face again, I feel the trepidation of saying yes mixed into the utter joy of my soul, who has finally felt heard.

I am enough, I choose joy.

Joli Hamilton

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