I had a huge epiphany today.  It was the result of reading a chapter titled "Learning to Follow" in my current favorite book:  Life's Companion: Journal Writing as a Spiritual Quest by Christina Baldwin.

This chapter begins, "Our primary task in life is to discover and define our life purpose and then to accomplish it to the best of our ability." (p 257)  I finally figured out my purpose in life this year.  It is to use my God-given talent of writing to touch minds and hearts and help others.  Today the how-to's appeared in my journal writing and reflections.

Please ignore my crazy talk, once again, about becoming an expert in your niche and building a strong platform.  It grows like dandelions just from contact with the Internet.  Yesterday, before I had my inner awakening, I was planning to write an e-book on becoming an expert in your niche writing area.  I Googled it and discovered there are hundreds of such books, some book length, and many costing over $50 by the way.  The world does not need another.

That's neither here nor there.  The wake-up call I had today was the result of a journaling exercise from the book that looked at the conditions I set on my willingness to be led.  And remember I have written about it in my blogs, I set out each and every day praying to do God's will that day.  That is what I mean to follow.

The exercise then asks what are your conditions for being led to fulfill your life's purpose.  Okay, I want to reach out and touch people and help them.  I want to learn compassion.  I want to evolve and become enlightened.  Here are a few conditions I place on doing God's will and fulfilling my purpose in life though:

       1.  It must result in fame and abundance.
       2.  It must involve publication of my writing and money.
       3.  It must make me an authority figure and important ("expert" "go-to
       4. It must make me respected and looked up to by others.
       5. It must make me wealthy.  (What happened to the Law of Abundance?
           Must have been afraid it wouldn't be generous enough with me in the
           manifestation department.)
       6. It must involve my being a prolific writer with many publications including
           national print magazine articles, e-books and books.
       7. It should involve spiritual beliefs--for show or for real?
       8. It should give me a sense of accomplishment, achievement, and
           fulfillment.  (Not "Look what I was able to do by God's grace, but look
           what the great I did, me Maryellen Grady.  I did this all by myself.)
       9. It should not involve any one-to-one meetings with individuals.
     10. It should keep me in the limelight--teaching, speaking, publishing, writing,

How's that for hubris to start chopping through to get to the authentic person and work on getting some humility?  Because I know one thing:  No one, no matter how bad they're hurting, wants to be helped by a windy, know-it-all, pompous ass.  You can only reach others with humility and honesty.

I am not going to complete my mission in life if I don't put my gigantic ego aside and allow myself to be led by God's will for me.  It's that simple.

Here's the closet I am stepping out of in order to begin to live authentically:  I am recovering from and living with treated bipolar disorder, adult attention deficit (A.D.D.), alcoholism, addiction, depression and being a non-custodial parent for most of my children's lives.

And wham bang out come the labels:  Insane, a drunk, a druggie, crazy, fruitcake, flaky, slow, not all there, a downer, an unfit mother... I'm sure I've been called them all and worse.   I am happy to say that I have gotten and am getting help.  I see a psychiatrist regularly, take medication for A.D.D., depression,  and bipolar disorder, go to A.A. meetings and try to work the program, and have some kind of relationships with my grown children today.

That wasn't so hard to confess.  Of course it will be when people start commenting that as an addict and alcoholic alone I deserved to lose my children.

I don't feel like sharing the whole long story right now.  It might sound like I was just making excuses.  So I can come out now.  I am not an ugly duckling but a swan that was in hiding and owning up to its true self.  Now I can re-oin my people in recovery groups.  This has convinced me to look harder for a local adult A.D.D. support group.  I sometimes need to speak with people who speak my language.

I know many, many people struggle with the illnesses and disorders I have survived by the grace of God.  If I am allowed to share my experience, strength, and hope and it helps even one person, I can say I fulfilled my life's purpose.

I will share more about these illnesses from a personal viewpoint in future blog posts unless people let me know they don't want to hear it.  The heartbreak to all of them is that you're sometimes the last person to find out that you suffer from them.  No one wants to be an alcoholic, addict or say they are chronically depressed in this society which urges us all to put on a happy face and fake it until we make it.  We don't want to label ourselves with something like adult attention deficit even when we live in chaos, clutter, and can't focus or get organized to save our lives.  We blank it out as working too hard or stress.  The non-custodial mother rarely discloses her status if it can be helped.  She knows the criticisms she will feel as well as hear.

This is another step in building my self-esteem and accepting myself.  I know if I don't love myself I can't love others.  I must stop the self-blame and shame game and love myself unconditionally whether others accept me as I am or not.

"One thing you can't hide is when you're crippled inside."  --John Lennon, Crippled Inside





Deanne said...

This was truly brave of you to write. In time it will be the catalyst for your healing and becoming an inspration for many. There is only one place to go from here and that is up.

Letting you ego take the back seat while your heart and God takes the wheel. Keep writing from your heart and you will see that the labels are all in our your mind. We truly are our own worst enemy.

As for the label you put on yourself about being an unfit Mother. I lived with an achoholic all my life. God had another plan for you and your children and that is it. Let that one go because it will be your doom if you don't.

Forgive yourself!!!!

God forgave you the minute you felt remorse. Start there and everything will come together. All the pieces will fit, you will see a picture that is more beautiful then you ever imagined!

Lots of Love,

Tony Anders said...

Bravo -
It is also funny how our stories parallel ~ crossing the chasm of addictions, journaling to recovery, desire for fame and fortune then confronting the ego driven behaviors did not serve as well as thought. I to have now totally changed my direction in life and the navigational systems I use. I am now into using my experiences to help others as opposed to using my skills to impress others. I wrote a book about my awakening journey as well. The thing I realize now, I wrote it for me as in the past it would have been to make zillions of dollars. Completing a once thought impossible task was invaluable in and of itself. Bless you on your journey!

MsRefusenik said...

I was intrigued by your book and blog list on your profile. We seem to have a lot of the same interests. What are you doing to help now? Is your book published? Is any of it online? I know how I felt accomplishing writing a novel after having it as a goal on every goals list for the last 33 years.

Thanks for reading. Bless you on your journey too!