Soul Searching: Our Life’s Work

We are our own greatest mystery, and our life’s work is to solve ourselves.

– Jan-Philipp Sendker

Today, I want to talk about this quote and how it pertains to this site.

Soul Searching

santorini14There are a lot of things in life that I aim to perfect: my mind, my body, my heart and my soul.  When I cook up recipes, I look for things that are challenging so that I can become a better cook.  When I try out new restaurants and new dishes, it is so I can learn to be more cultured.  When I read, I want to learn things I didn’t know before.  When I walk this path, I want it to be filled with all of the riches that life has to offer.  The only way to do that is by not only becoming a greater human being, but by also challenging myself to make myself better than I was before.

We never know what we are capable of.  There are times you can feel so defeated that you feel like the only best alternative in life is death.  I know.  I’ve been there many times at various junctures in this lifetime so far.  I was ready for whatever decision God had for me.  He could let this tumor kill me or he could change my life.

That latter part is why this site exists.  Back in August 2013, I was diagnosed with a tumor in my parathyroid gland.  Both the tumor and the gland had to come out.  The parathyroid is the gland in the neck that synthesizes calcium.  When I went in for my physical, the amount of calcium in my blood stream was over 120.  Normal is in the single or lower double digits.

What did that mean?  It meant that not only was the gland synthesizing the calcium I was putting into my body, it was working overtime and pulling calcium from my bones and putting that calcium into the blood stream.  Left untreated it could either give me a heart attack I could not come back from or a brain malfunction due to the amount of calcium circulating in the body.

Doctors still talk about my case.  It wasn’t because I had a tumor, it was how I knew something was wrong.

Only a Doctor Can Fix It

Right when I had given up on the only dream I had ever had in this lifetime (to have a family of my own), I was struggling with my relationship with God.  I was furious with him because for some reason he just didn’t seem to want to make my only dream in life come true.  He pointed out this one guy.  It was someone he had been talking to me about all of my life.  After 36 years of promises and nothing to show for, I doubted God would deliver up what he had promised to me.  He was failing to live up to our bargain.

Was what I have done for God my entire lifetime not good enough?  Or was it not enough?

I was mad.  I felt like I had paid my dues and God decided I was not worthy of this one dream…the only dream.  So I decided to break my own heart and let go of the dream.  Trust me, I was mad at God.  I would sit in the meditation room at the Meditation Center trying to center myself, feel peaceful, but all I could do was scream at God.

Why give me this dream if he never intended to make it come true?

At one point, I heard him yell back at me after having to listen to my laments for a few months.  He told me it was enough.  There was something more important that I needed to focus on.  He told me that there was something wrong.  I needed to see a doctor.  It was not something I could fix.  Only a doctor could fix it.

At first, I blew off the warning.  What makes me think this is really God talking to me after I thought he was talking to me all of these other times pointing some guy out to me saying, “That’s him.  That’s the one I’ve been telling you about ever since you were a child.”

I blew off making the doctor’s appointment.  Each time I went in and humbled myself before God, he kept repeating the same message: “You need to see a doctor.  There is something wrong.  It is something you can’t fix.  Only a doctor can.”

So after several warnings, I made the appointment to see the doctor.  I went through all of the motions.  I appeared healthy.  She just wanted me to go to the gym, maybe interact with other people a little more.  Be more social.  So I started looking at gyms and classes, trying to take my doctor’s advice.

I was prepping to go on a cruise with my friend when the doctor called and left a message saying she had received my blood tests.  She said, “Scrap everything I told you before.”  She needed me to come back in to do the tests again.  There was something wrong.  My calcium count was off the charts. She needed to double check to make sure it wasn’t an error.

I thought to myself, “What in the hell is high calcium?”  I quickly did a Google search and discovered that I had hyperparathyroidism.  In other words, I had a tumor in my parathyroid gland.  This is what we had been waiting five years for.  The tumor had finally shown up.

I had been showing signs for the last five years that something was wrong.  We knew it was cancer related we just didn’t have any idea where it was in the body.  Now we did.

When I returned from the cruise, I was retested and it came back positive that I had high calcium.  We started going through the next steps to having the surgery.  All the while, they were preparing me for the worst.

With each doctor I saw after the diagnosis, they asked me how I knew.  I said, “God told me in my meditation that something was wrong.  I couldn’t fix it, only a doctor could.”  I repeated this from one doctor to the next.

When I went in for my nuclear tests at Roosevelt Hospital, the doctors had been talking to each other about what I had said.  As I awaited the chief doctor’s decision on whether I needed more testing, one doctor sat looking at the screen, shaking his head.  He asked me, “How did you know?”

I repeated the same thing.

He was an Indian man.  He looked at the screen then looked back at me in disbelief.  I realized that God was working his reality on this man.

You see, there was absolutely no way I could have known about the tumor.  There are ZERO SIGNS.  There are symptoms that can easily be misdiagnosed as acid reflux or feet problems that can be corrected with shoe supports.  There are no signs that are definitive that there is a tumor in your parathyroid gland.  Only a blood test can reveal there is a tumor.

The doctor told me his faith (before he went into medicine) believed this way.  He said this was the actual first time that God and science agreed.  They had several doctors ask me the exact same question: How did you know?  The fact my response was the exact same every single time, so matter of fact, and I did not appear delusional, it made them question their own beliefs.  Maybe God really was talking to us.  They had put my responses in my medical report.  Each doctor confirmed I said the exact same thing.

Because the truth was, there was something wrong.  I couldn’t fix it.  Only a doctor could.

I was diagnosed mid-August.  I had the tumor removed on October 22, 2013.  Who I was prior to going under died that day.  Who I became after I woke up…that is the journey I’m currently on.

Who Are You?

I lost almost all of my memories within the weeks that followed.  I had to remind myself what my name was every single morning.  The woman looking back at me in the mirror…I did not recognize.  To this very day, I still don’t see that the person I am today is the same person I was before the surgery.  I can tell.  I can even see it in the pictures of me before and after.  They are two very different people.  At least to me, I see two very different people.  They do not look the same at all.  Actually, I don’t recognize the person looking back at me anymore.

I cut off my long locks.  I refuse to grow them out anymore.  That person with the long beautiful hair is not me anymore.

That person that loved hockey and writing about it and just loved that journey she was on…she does not exist anymore.

I had to reteach myself how to do so many things, like math, for example. I tested out of every math course in college except statistics (because it was required for my major).  To all of a sudden forget how to add simple numbers, do division or multiply…I was absolutely humiliated that I was reduced to being an idiot.

I had problems reading books.  I just didn’t want to read.  I had no interest in it whatsoever.  I knew I loved to read.  I just couldn’t pick up a book.

I had to reteach myself how to spell.  I’m a credentialed member of the media…I never had to check my work after so many years of writing.  Now, I have to read everything ten times before clicking SUBMIT. I leave out words all of the time.  ALL OF THE TIME.

I knew I loved to travel all over the world, but something inside of me refused to leave New York.  Now, I use my newly adopted cat as a reason I can’t leave.

It took almost a year for this foodie to eat anything beyond basic children’s food.  I ate grilled cheese sandwiches for months.  I knew I loved amazing food, but I tried to eat it post-op and I could not taste anything.  It took almost a year to be able to enjoy something that was absolutely amazing.

In other words, all of this time post-op, I struggled to find myself.  I was lost within the walls of this body feeling trapped.  I have said to myself every single day since I woke up, “I should have died that day.”  But for some reason, God decided I should live.  We are not necessarily on the same page.

One think I am thankful for, no matter how complicated this journey has been, was the loss of my memories.  He left me with only one memory.  He left me with the dream thus far.  That story about that guy he had pointed out to me…I remembered him and the story thus far.  I could not even remember my own name or the person looking back at me in the mirror, but I remembered that guy.

I couldn’t remember the people that hurt me in the past.  When they surfaced, my friends and my brother helped me.  If they were bad, they just told me to stay away from them.  If they were good, they let me know that person was okay.  When the memories came back, it came back without the emotions.  I recognize that an emotion existed connected to that person, but I no longer felt that emotion towards that person.  I no longer felt the pain and suffering.

While this is a good thing, I think it disconnected me from being human.

Second Chances

This site was a way of finding myself again.  It was a way to force myself to rediscover who I was prior to 10/22/13.  There are things I discovered in life that were tremendous and amazing.  There were experiences I had in life that created this incredible and amazing journey I was on.  I needed to find myself again in that confusing emptiness that now existed within me.

I was given a clean slate when I lost the memories.  Now, I’m refilling this mind, soul and body with things that will make me into a better human being.

This is also the life of learning how to live without the dream.  You just don’t realize how much you are part of something until it is gone.  This is what happens when you stop dreaming.  You are lost trying to figure out what in the world is going on.

Being Faithful

God gave me a second chance and left me with only one clue…the dream.  He didn’t even give me my name.  He told me about that dream I had let go.

Knowing God, he’ll make sure he puts this post before the eyes of the other person this dream is meant to be shared with.  For some reason that dream means something very important to God.  I wish it didn’t.  I also realize that this person must have prayed for me to live.  I’d like to slap him across the face for it, especially because when you look at our reality today, what has become of the dream?  Nothing.

This morning, during my meditation, I was talking to God about reality versus faith today.  How can he expect me to have faith in a dream that in reality has never come to fruition?

His answer came from Master Noel Bada just a few minutes later.

How about that for an answer?  God has called you to be faithful to your calling.

Don’t Forget

Before I awoke from the anesthesia, I felt like I was floating down the river of life, going past houses with families standing alongside the road.  They were all smiling and waving as I floated past.  I heard God say, “Don’t forget.”

I woke up to the sound of a loud beeping noise and a nurse telling me to breathe.  I felt like I had just taken a dip into God’s ocean of love.  I was reborn.

All of these things are connected: the dream, seeing families alongside the road, and remembering only one person in this entire universe (and it wasn’t me).

That is life’s mystery, trying to figure out what this life is meant for.  We are meant to solve that mystery.

It’s Not the Story, It’s Just the Setting

In a dream I had not so long ago, God explained this lifetime to me.  He explained why the story played out a certain way.  He explained the mystery within the story.  I am in a certain setting.  It’s just the setting.  We may think it’s really the journey in life, but it is only the setting.

The setting was created that way because it was designed for the two of us to meet.  The real story was the love story.

God appeared as the best friend I took with me wherever I go.  No matter what happens, what pain I endure, or the decisions I ultimately choose, I will always return to my best friend no matter what.  There is no being in the universe that can rip me away from him, because no matter what happens in the story…even if I lose my way and fall in love with the wrong person…I will always return to God.

That’s where I am in this juncture.  I’m working on my relationship with God.  I’ve had to go back to the very beginning, reminding myself of the law of attraction.  I’ve had to remind myself that my soul is always recording what is happening.  That videotape is always seen by God.  I must always have pure thoughts, no matter how sad my soul is.  I must always do good for others first.  Bestow good thoughts and blessings upon people as they walk past.  I have to refill my karmic bank account for the next lifetime…the one where I ask God to make sure I don’t come back and I can just stay with him.  This child wants to go home, but I’m stuck here.  My mission is apparently incomplete.

So this is my new mission: I dream of owning a large home filled with children that do not have a family of their own.  Perhaps we can be a family together.  That is what I want.  This is not something I aim to do with anyone else.  I am exactly where I want to be right now.  I’ve changed my entire way of being and living because I understand my choice to do this on my own.  The dream isn’t about faith anymore…it’s either God delivers what he promised, or he doesn’t.  Either way, I’m moving forward without God’s dream.  If that dream is so important, he’ll figure out how to deliver it.  I’ll look at it with absolutely no expectations.  I find that when you expect something and it isn’t delivered, you become disappointed.  I kind of don’t want to be disappointed in God again.  He has failed me several times already in this lifetime.

But where there is failure and disappointment, sometimes you can look at it as a life lesson.  But what that lesson is…only time will tell.  You just have to hope and pray you figure it out before it’s time to start a new life all over again.

What Any of This Has To Do With This Site

I just want all of you to understand where I’m coming from by putting my energy into this site.  This is my way of challenging myself to be a better human being.  By pushing myself to understand things I never understood before, relearning how to do the basic stuff, and using what I’ve learned to create a better world…that is my aim for this site.

I don’t want a life that is just mediocre, because I’m not mediocre in any sense of the word.  I aim to have a better life.  Most people do.  But what is better?

We start with learning how to be a better soul.  So once a week I’m going to get spiritual on you.  Believe it or not, I find that bearing my soul has always had more interest.  Why?  Because we relate to each other in some way.  We just need each other in order to learn and be inspired to be greater than we were yesterday.  That is really our aim in life, to be a better human being than we were yesterday.

That, in itself, is the true journey I’m on.  That is this site’s mission: To Be A Better Human Being Than I Was Yesterday.

It’s about healing ourselves and the world.  I haven’t heard this song in years, but every time I get a moment of quiet, I hear this song playing in my mind.  This is my new life’s mission.