A Prayer For Letting Go
It's been a while since I wrote for LRK, but it's hard to ignore the calling when it strikes: on a Wednesday afternoon, in 100-degree heat, with a sinus headache and a heavy heart.
When I first started this website it was a blog, a diary of my journey in recovery. Never before had I felt so free by expressing words on a screen, or so connected to others who share this challenging and confusing journey of recovery. It still amazes me today when people say that what I write resonates so deeply. Some people call that a gift – spiritual teacher and author Rebecca Campbell does.
While my Britishness means I mock some of her words as flowery or woo-woo, I know there is inherent value in this woman's work. And her book, Light is the New Black, has given me great food for thought over what has been a challenging few weeks and months.
I'm not entirely sure how I came across this book. Perhaps I saw it on Instagram and was drawn to it for some reason. At the time — at some point last year — I hadn't realized, or even acknowledged, my value as a writer and journalist, much less considered that my words made me a light-worker or healer. Those phrases seemed a little too far-fetched, and beyond reach out there in the spiritual realm — a place that felt, if I'm honest, a little cuckoo.
Except I was living in a new realm. I had no idea that I was listening and living by the drive within my spirit: I had sold all of my belongings, packed two suitcases, and moved to America with a dream. I had no job, no friends, and nowhere to live, but I felt called to Portland, Oregon. That, as many of my friends told me, was a little on the crazy spectrum itself. I just knew within my spirit that this is something that I had to do.
As well as calling me bonkers, the people who have supported me have called me: resilient, courageous, brave, strong, tenacious, determined, entrepreneurial, driven, and — still — crazy. While I can identify with those adjectives — especially the lunatic — I often take a step back and realize that's me they're describing. I did that?! Oh, I guess I did.
Frankly, if it were someone other than myself, I'd be more naturally accepting and be more willing to acknowledge those achievements. It's no mean feat to move to a country under those challenging circumstances, start a business, establish a home, assimilate to life in a new culture, and remain sober, sane, and make a profit. In the midst of all that, I broke my arm and had a swift induction into the American healthcare system (!), dated someone who placed my sobriety in danger (without my knowledge), broke free from that destructive relationship, suffered severe burnout, and was diagnosed with complex PTSD. Over time, however, I've become more able to appreciate the woman that I have become and what I have achieved. But not always.
These past few weeks — months even — have been hard. I've been undergoing trauma therapy, and I've let a few energy vampires sneak in and made me doubt my abilities. They've led to my reverting to a fearful mindset:
- What if you don't make your rent this month?
- How will you pay your bills if that client continues not to pay you the thousands of dollars they owe you?
- Should I just get a job?!
- You're not a proper writer — you're not good enough.
The questions and doubts don't matter so much as the meaning behind them: my greatest fear is that I can't make it in America — that I am a failure. My good friend helped me realize that whether I fail or not doesn't make me any less worthy, or any less of a writer.
Over these last few weeks I've been reading Light Is The New Black each morning and working through Rebecca's questions about my soul's calling. She unpacks the insidious nature of fear, helps you dig into your gifts, and walks you through taking that leap of faith to pursue your calling. Woo-woo aside, there is some really powerful content in this book.
I realized that I am already working within my calling: I'm writing, I'm reporting, and I'm sharing who I am honestly and with integrity. I've written more than 400 articles since I stepped on American soil 20 months ago. I've billed for every single one of those features. In spite of those achievements, I still grapple with fear — some days more than others.
I lost a big client last month. As much as I hate to acknowledge it — as well as recognizing it is a good thing because they treated me terribly — this is likely to have some impact on my business revenue. I've stepped into the fear mindset and worry can suffocate me some days. But here's the thing: if I take a step back and look at the evidence, I see that every time this has happened, something better has come along.
Every month, over the past 20 months, I have paid my bills and I have lived comfortably. I've already made more profit than I did last year. I take a leap of faith every single day that I do this job. If I let the fearful thinking in, it will drown me. Instead I need to let the fears and doubts go, and stop engaging with the vampires.
For the past two weeks I've been saying this prayer to the universe. It helps me to see that I just need to keep trying, writing, and being me. The rest will work itself out because — as much as I don't like to admit it — my spirit is fierce.