A Soulful Conundrum

Never have I truly believed that it was possible to have the life of my dreams - one that involved both a love relationship and work that I loved. My life history proved this repeatedly.

My mother chose relationship and deprived herself of work and career that she loved. My father chose career and deprived himself of family and love.

In the mid-80’s, I moved to New York and was beginning to score some decent career successes. But I chose to abandon that (and my career dreams) to go back home to Ohio to be married. Following that marriage, I chose relationship again over my work – only to end in the dismal demise of both.

In my most recent past, I finally chose career – only to again prove to myself what I had come to believe – and I lost my relationship.

So, my track record does not seem to offer much proof that there is the option of having both love and rewarding work in the world.

Further - and perhaps more core - is that I have not believed myself worthy of having both. I have spent half a century torn in a lesser Sophie’s Choice between passionately pursuing work that I love or having the love of a partner in my life.

Ironically, perhaps, one of the recent business ventures I tried to launch was called Both & -  or more clearly – Both/And. Why have I not believed that I could have both/and? Certainly the lack of evidence in my life history, combined with a sense of un-deserving.

But most importantly what was absent was faith.

I say that I believe in a Universe in which we can have fulfillment, both personally and professionally – why would that not apply to me? On some level, perhaps I still believe in the punishing God of my youth, one who makes you do penance for your sins. So, I’ve been doing my penance, I suppose. Payment for the certainly less than worthy person I’ve believed myself to be.

But what if, God/the Universe/Higher Power actually did want us to be all that he/she/it put us here to be? What if, as Marianne Williamson said,

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

Why is it such a conundrum? How do we make the choice of both/and? If my belief is that I am here to be of service, wouldn’t that be best accomplished by opening my heart to love and allowing myself to fully and completely be present in the world in bringing my gifts and talents to the table? Why do I believe that God would really only want me to bring half of myself to the party?

If I allow, for a moment, the possibility of stepping up to the plate of riches that is presenting itself to me and believing that I can have both love in relationship and love in my work, oh my god, the expanse of possibility is unlimited.

So, with that premise set before me, (and you, perhaps?) I choose to trust that the Universe does support me in becoming the full, 360 degree, integrated, expansive, voluminous, brilliant being that I was born into this lifetime to be.

Let’s fly, shall we?

Sharon Eisenhauer