I was at bible study tonight (I know that doesn't sound like my thing but I am so interested in all religious perspectives and I think it hones my own post-religion message), and the topic was how to know when you're called to do something with your life. Who's doing the calling? When does it happen? How do I know if I am being called? What do I do when it happens? Can I still be called if I don't believe in god (YES!)
I think we all have a path and a purpose. No, I don't think there's a god above us directing the show but I think there is something Important and worthy for each of us to do. I was at sea for years, both before and after my bipolar diagnosis, not knowing how I would make my mark. I was always in a rush to find the calling and worried I would miss the boat if I wasn't paying attention. I would look up at the sun or moon, much like many of you look to god, and say please help me see, open my eyes to my truth and light. And finally after a lot of rushing around in my 20's I learned to say:
"Slow down Hilary. Don't rush it. It will come to you in due course. It will come to you." And some great peace came over me (about the same time I stopped believing in god). And I could literally see the synchronicity of my future and see how my calling would arise from and complement beautifully my other pursuits: being a mom, a wife, an attorney, a mental illness survivor. But I HAD to tend to all those things and diligently plant seeds not knowing when the harvest would come. I had to "ride the pine" until the coach called my number.
And now I have been called. And it hits you like a lightning bolt, but it's warm, not white hot, and gradual, and awfully familiar. It's like you've known it your whole life but never saw it coming. It's empowering and sustaining and awesome in nature.
I'm going to be a mental health advocate and speaker. I've already given my motivational talk to one group and have plans to continue speaking to other groups. I've been asked to write about it. I've fielded mental health crisis calls. I am filling a void in a world desperate for truthful unabashed voices on mental illness. And people are listening. And asking for more. Doing what I care most about for a living is a gift. I truly believe this gift is out there for all of us but there is no rush. It may happen when you are 15 or 37 or 82. But plant those seeds and keep letting light in and it will come. It will all make sense. It will come.
Please contact me if you would like more information or have a group you would like me to speak to. My talk is titled "Through the Open Door: A Bipolar Attorney talks mania, recovery, and heaven on earth".
P.S. I am by no means giving up my career as an attorney. I love it and I'll keep trying to knock it out of the park at the Chaney Law Firm in Arkadelphia.