The following is an excerpt from a comment that I wrote today on @Julien's post, Welcome Back. If he or anyone else comments, I will add it below later.
You talk about work worth dying for, worth suffering for. I know what mine is, but have long been at a loss as to why I’ve not been doing it. I seem to be everywhere but where my heart is. It’s reassuring to hear you say that avoidance is normal, but scary, too. Will I ever figure out how to break through that wall? Do you just do it?
You ask me where I am? Lost. Very lost. Somewhere left of Pluto. You ask, what am I trying to be? Light in the darkness. Can you help? I don’t think you can, or rather, I don’t think you will, though I wish you could and would.
It helps a little that you are who you are, that you this stuff you do. You already helped me once by putting me in the orbit of some of the right people. I read Trust Agents and I read this blog. I read The Flinch, and I think of things you said in it, from time to time, and have had conversations with some of the smartest people I know about things that you said. So you will help in that way, in that you help inspire me to keep going. You can help me by continuing to provide some of your best insights and inspiration for free, since I can no longer afford to pay for them.
I just wonder sometimes if I’m not ready to be helped. I feel kind of broken down.
But your questions touch me today, so I’ll answer you honestly and publicly. This is what I think calls to me. There was an earthquake in Haiti in 2010. I saw this picture in the news shortly after it happened:
The man in the photo has lost his child. The day I saw the photo, my daughter was nearly the same age as the baby in the photo. I looked at that man and I connected deeply and viscerally with his pain and loss. I made him a silent promise that I would never forget his pain.
This is what I feel deeply called to do: to lessen anguish and unnecessary suffering in the world. To have, and teach others to have, deep compassion. To see across borders and through race and culture and economics and outright pettiness to our common humanity, and to honor and appreciate it. To comfort those in pain, and to prevent their pain in the first place.
So please tell me why I spent the day doing anything BUT that?
I have been doing a little bit. I have been volunteering since April 19 for the site called HopeMob, http://www.hopemob.org. It’s a start.
But how do I know you’re right? How do I know who to listen to? I’m trying to listen to my heart, but it tells me crazy talk things.
How can YOU do what YOU do and survive? Does it boil down to “You just do it?”