At the Gate
Who would have ever thought that I would still be here 10 months after the start of my sabbatical. Money have been growing in my pocket lately and I feel like someone is helping me hang in there a little longer. The problem is that I don't know anymore what I am waiting for or what I am doing it for.
I am frustrated and confused about the process right now.
The purpose of this experiment was to blindly follow my desires and find out what it is I want to do for life and, along with that, also face my fears about money and stay in the sabbatical until my bank account goes down to zero (as if the first part isn't crazy enough).
Since October last year I have been volunteering in a shelter for abused women and children and everything about this place has been perfect from day one. The people, the culture, the vibe, the purpose. The first day of our Volunteers Training Session I felt I had finally found my place. My soul was burning in desire and I had a huge impetus to be part of their team.
I started helping with tasks that nobody had the time to complete, such as cleaning and reorganizing spaces that had become a temporary warehouse for the donations that kept coming in on a regular basis. I sorted through hundred of books to create a library for the kids in the shelter and every Friday I would be at the front desk answering calls from clients and potential donors. Some days I would leave the shelter being completely drained by the hours of cleaning, lifting and reorganizing but I would always leave with a smile on my face. I knew those efforts would make the daily operations of the shelter smoother and I knew the residents would eventually benefit from it. That alone made me feel accomplished and happy. After a few weeks, though, I started to question if this is really what I want to do FOR LIFE and that's when doubt has started to creep in. The drive that I first had began to hiccup and I started to wake up some days feeling super excited about helping out at the shelter and other days asking myself what the heck am I doing with my life? Recently I have been thinking a lot about all the years spent in school, the parties I didn't attend to be able to graduate faster, the sleepless nights before an exam, the expectations of what life would have been after school and the potential I wanted to unfold and reach. While all of that goes through my mind I can't help but feel that this "early mid-life crisis crap" is the stupidest thing I could ever do. But then I reflect on the times when things seemed to be great in my career and even then I wasn't REALLY happy. Then what is the solution to this conundrum?
Every route I think of seems either pointless or wrong and some days I ask myself what is the meaning of...everything really. Why do we need to struggle so much to find our place in the world and why can't things just be easy? I feel stuck in a weird limbo and I don't really know what direction I should take next.
I only know that my sabbatical will be extended for at least another month (if not two) now that my tax return granted me about $5,000 in refunds, but I have no idea what I will be doing with this time and, mostly, where I will be at the end of it.
Few weeks ago an ex-colleague of mine reached out to me to offer me a position as Account Manager in her team. It was a golden opportunity to get back into the corporate world on a fast track but I simply couldn't accept the offer. As strange as it might sound, I felt compelled to decline what seemed to be a great opportunity to get out of my current trouble. Accepting the offer felt more like a step back in my journey, while moving on with the experiment felt like the most obvious and easy choice to make in spite of the doubt and confusion I was experiencing at the moment. That reminded me of Aphraar's emotional turmoil before crossing the Gate of Haven and Rael's explanation of the process: (*)
Rael - You are in the position of a child struggling in the birth-throes - all the energies you possess are being exerted to free yourself from your present limitations and gain the boundless freedom of immortality which intuitively impel the soul.
Aphraar - Do you suggest, then, that I am bound to go forward, have no choice, no free will in the matter?
Rael - I will not go so far as to say that you must go forward, but I do say that you will do so. [...] The attractive force of the future is irresistible.
For those who didn't read Robert James Lees' trilogy, Aphraar is a soul who is progressing through the spheres of the spirit world and in the third and final book, called the Gate of Haven, he comes to the most momentous event of his soul's journey: the crossing of the Gate.
Sitting in front of it, Aphraar feels lost and overwhelmed and that's when Rael and Omra come to support him until the crossing is triumphantly completed.
I know it would be crazy to compare the passing of the gate (also defined by Jesus as the Second Birth or the "At-onement" with God) to my quest for my life purpose but, in a weird way, I see a parallel between the two. Maybe my gate is smaller but the feelings attached to that crossing are exactly the same as those described by Aphraar. I desire to move on but I fear the unknown. I want to embrace change but I'm afraid of letting go of what I have today. I know God is guiding me through the dark patches of my journey but I am afraid of surrendering to His guidance.
I know faith in the process is key at this point, even if I don't fully understand the process. And that's ok since 'We do not expect - even when the presence of genius is assured - to find scientific accuracy in the infant during its birth-throes'. (*)
So here I am, standing in front of my own little gate feeling overwhelmed and intimidated by the steps I need to take. At times this experiment seems a pointless and impossible task but 'God is too wise and just to require or expect any man to perform an impossibility'. (**)
However, "when God works for man it is always in conjunction with man. It is not canon of Divine law that the master shall do all the labor while the servant gives the orders. When you ask God to lay the corner-stone, you may rest reassured that He will wait for you to get the foundation ready". (**)
I like to believe that my decision to leave my job and explore this new path of my life represents the foundation of my new home. I hope it will be soon ready for God to lay the corner-stone. More often than not I feel I lack what it takes to get to the bottom of this quest but I trust Omra when he says that 'God doesn't bring His children to the birth and then withhold the strength for delivery'. (*)
(*) Gate of Haven - Robert James Lees - Chapter III
(**) Through the mists - Robert James Lees - Chapter VII
For more info about Faith and resistance to Faith please refer to the Assistance group 1.1 (or 1.2), Presentation #13 called "Facing my resistance to Faith":
For more info on Desire please watch the following conversation: