Who do you want to be when you grow up?
Written by Tribe Leader, Liska Turner.
I am coming to the end of a five day residential retreat which marks the beginning of a 2 year Young Catholics Women’s Interfaith Fellowship program and am sitting here on the veranda of the Mount St Benedict’s Centre in suburban Sydney looking out on leafy gum trees with the soundtrack of Pennant Hills Road in the background.
Quite a mouthful ‘Young Catholics Women’s Interfaith Fellowship’ and exactly what it means to me I am still coming to terms with. A lot more questions than answers but as a friend said to me, “Well, you need to start with those don’t you?”
More importantly it has acted as a punctuation mark in my daily life. Somewhere between a full stop and a comma.
There has been time to reflect on my daily routines and my interactions with the people in my life, and what I have seen has been discomforting and unsettling.
One of the lecturers said before you even think about your relationship with God you need to think about your relationship with yourself. Hmm … pointy end stuff!
I am even more aware of how I use the demands of family and work life to distract myself from what I need. Seeking outside approval from friendships for decisions. Not for the big stuff rather in those small everyday choices that layer up in patterns subtly and ambiguously until you come to a sudden realization of what you are doing.
How do I go about undoing these patterns that no longer serve me?
In exactly the same way as I got to this point. By being conscious of the choices I make in the small decisions; getting clear on what it is that I want and most importantly who do I want to show up as every day.
As I sit here typing the previous paragraph in the top right of my screen I get an alert that I have received an email from Alexander Franzen (who I just love) and this is how it starts ….
Who do you want to become?
A profoundly reliable person? A prolific writer? A respected healer? A patient listener? A world-class partner? A person who doesn’t need “re-tweets” or “likes” in order to feel worthy or important?
A helper? A daymaker?
What is it going to take… to become the person that you want to be?
Is God reading over my shoulder as I write this?
Because really that is what it is about. Who do I want to become?
At 47 I have a third of my life ahead of me. Childhood. Tick. The early years of very hands on mothering. Tick. Now what?
What’s holding me back? Who’s approval am I waiting for? How attached am I to the patterns of my current daily life? What will people think?
I have been wrestling with this question for the past 6 months going around and around in circles trying to find an answer for “What do I want to with the rest of my life?”
I sit here surrounded by these fabulous, modern young feisty women mostly in their 20’s. One is a human rights lawyer, another co-ordinates Youth Ministry for all of Queensland for a large Catholic institution and yet another is a Prison Chaplain and let me tell you I have never seen a prison chaplain like her before. All hipster, inner city, a very modern don’t mess with me woman!
I can’t allow my self to be distracted by their achievements. I have to detach myself from the desire to replicate their success and find my own approval for my own path.
How do I do this?
In the most ancient of ways.
Reflection, prayer and meditation.
Creating silence to hear my own voice, my own heart and that of God.