What a wonderful feeling it is when your passion and your work come together. Lately, I have been becoming more and more aware of a feeling of deep fulfillment that seems to cloak me when I spend a few minutes each evening, just playing the day back in my mind. The mute rewind makes me sigh and smile and wonder. So much can happen in just 12 – 14 hours! Each day I wake up and do what I love and this sense of fulfilment pervades every day. Every single day.
The thing I love most is the fact that I get to be part of people’s lives, part of their joys and triumphs, partners in their sorrows and despair. Maybe I’m a tad too sensitive. I think I was absent the day they taught how to do that whole “close your heart off” thing because I don’t seem to be able to do it.
As a child, I hated being in crowded places; being near so many people dealing with difficult emotions overwhelmed me. I was much happier curled up with a book or at home alone. As I got older, I found ways to deal with other’s complicated experiences, to deal with all of the emotions bouncing around from people, to deal with anger, sadness, joy and pain in the world around me. The drive to fix things or help people stayed with me like the scent from wet earth that you can’t shake off in a hurry. I traveled across India working with my youth group. Volunteering in old age homes, clinics, aids camps, jails, NGO’s and orphanages.
Strange how fleeting our time on earth is, each of us here for the other. To fulfil a cosmic purpose; a divine plan that connects us all. Tikkun olam. However, it look me a long time and several late night conversations with friends to realize this one true thing:
We are not here to fix each other. There is no magical Utopia where you can intervene and then like magic, everyone is happy and whole again. Life is just not like that. But that isn’t the end of the story and while this is the place where some people throw in the towel and decide that all is futile, it is where I come into my own. I believe I am wired and fashioned to be there for others. THIS is my calling and is probably why dealing in lives each day gives me such a deep sense of fulfillment.
People aren’t problems that need solving. Life happens to us all and sometimes, there’s beauty to be found in its struggles. What matters is who you have with you on that journey. Sadly the lives we invest in so heavily are sometimes just foreigners passing through.
Very often I am reminded of how much my outer and inner life is shaped by the labors of people who have been my helpers, my co-pilgrims, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received. My journey is about living purposefully. Being to others the kind of co-travelers I was fortunate to have had and to leave people a little richer than before our paths crossed.
I work so I can live (in every sense of the term) and I love that each day my work improves my life.