It Is A Calling

Since I announced my return to school, people have asked me what made me return. This is a great question; my answer is not traditional.

Have you ever heard of a “dark night of the soul”? This is a real spiritual thing. Let me first tell you what it felt like to me. It felt like the death of myself and life as I’ve known it. A collapsing of so much of what I had always thought was true. The great spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle defines it as “a term used to describe what one could call a collapse of a perceived meaning in life…an eruption into your life of a deep sense of meaninglessness”. Similar to a deep depression, it causes an awakening, a more profound sense of purpose that can’t be derived from the mind.

My world began drastically changing as my mom moved in with me last September. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and the woman I knew all my life was changing. My mom has been my best friend my entire life. She’s truly the most wonderful mother you could ever ask for. Her diagnosis then moved in, and my witnessing her decline daily took me down a dark hole. I was (and still am) angry and deeply saddened by the way I’m losing her, and I grieve.

It made me question many things in my life and how I lived it. My mom, someone who represented security and love and had been the nucleus of much of my life, was slowly being taken away from me. She was physically in front of my eyes, but she was becoming less and less of the woman I’d always known. This was/is gut-wrenching to witness daily. The pressure, oh, the pressure I placed on myself to care for my mom, was so intense that I began to cave.

I felt like I was losing my mind. I couldn’t eat; I was dry heaving in the middle of the night, and sleep was rare. I had reached a point after months of this level of anxiety and depression where I was no longer feeling a higher power in my life, and it terrified me.

Despite not feeling God in my life (God, the Divine, Universe, call it what you want; it’s all the same to me), I leaned into my faith more than ever before. I prayed intensely every single day, multiple times a day. I meditated numerous times a day and did EFT twice daily, I was trying everything. I kept praying for God to help me out of this nightmare I was living. It felt like no one was there.

Still, I asked for guidance, and I waited. I kept off social media. I didn’t try to distract myself with meaningless things. I waited. Finally, one morning, as I sat on my couch, exhausted from little sleep, I got my answer. It felt like I was hit between the eyes with what I can only describe as a hand hitting me, and the words “go to school to become a therapist” just flooded my mind like a bright explosion of light. I began crying tears of relief. Was I finally getting some answers? I knew for certain that was a direct message and I needed to do this. My heart instantly filled with so much love, and a smile spread across my face. It is a calling I believe.

In the weeks after this epiphany, I began searching online programs for psychology and narrowed it down to one. I got accepted and picked a start date within a month. I still feel moments of doubt, but I know those are the voices I must ignore. Just last night, I was sitting on my couch, and a smile crept across my face as I thought about how hard and amazing getting this degree would be. The impact I’m going to be able to make on numerous lives is the driving force.

I’m not the same woman I was last summer or even 2 months ago. I’m coming out of my dark night of the soul, and it’s forever changing me for the better.

I’d love to hear if you’ve ever experienced anything like this where it changed the trajectory of your life. Leave a comment or email me.


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