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Asking for Help

I’ve been stuck lately. There are different ways to describe it – hopeless, depressed, attenuated to failure.

Another way could be numb – to creativity, to possibility of change and fulfilling my potential. I go to my daily job, do what needs to be done from 8:30am to 3pm, maybe run an errand after work, go home, make dinner, and do very little the rest of the evening until I can finally put myself to bed with the justification that I have to get up for work the next day.

Somehow I manage to get the BARE minimum of my other duties accomplished. I do enough laundry to have something clean to wear, shop in little bits here and there to keep a modicum of food on hand, shower at least every other day. As far as my Baha’i responsibilities are concerned, there are assembly duties I have literally been avoiding for years, including archiving old assembly papers, calling National to ask about assembly business, updating membership and records. Guilt weighs heavy on me, but is only partially why I have so little energy to move forward.

Doug sees my struggles. He’s amazingly patient with me – more than I am with myself. He found a person online who offers life coaching and encouraged me to give her a call. (Her name is Penelope Trunk.) I have been considering it, but she charges $350 for a 1 hour phone call. And though the hour may give me some of the direction and momentum I need, there are several reasons I drag my feet.

1. $350 is about what I get paid for 3 6-hour days at work. For 18 hours I do my day gig for 1 hour of her time. I get spending anxiety as it is, and given our money situation, I don’t feel good about this ratio of input to output. Yes, due to not having insurance this year, we have some savings. But that will be spent on my dental implant, plus I would really like to replace the tub in the girls’ house, since it is gross, at best, and full of heath-damaging black mold at worst.

2. The Baha’i writings talk about asking God for help – a version of “ask and ye shall receive”. It feels like I am betraying God, like I don’t have full faith in Him if I ask someone else for help without asking God first.

Then again, I am reminded of the joke about the guy whose home is in the path of flood waters. People come to his door to warn him and offer to drive him to a safe zone. But his answer is, “God will save me.” Then, when the water enters his home, a rescuer in a boat comes by to pick him up. But the man refuses to go, saying “God will save me.” The flood is so bad that eventually the homeowner has to climb onto the roof to escape the waters. A helicopter comes to take him off the roof, but again he stays put, saying, “God will save me.” The man dies and goes to heaven, where he confronts God – “Why didn’t you save me?” God’s reply is, “What do you mean? I sent you a car, a boat, and a helicopter!”

So maybe Penelope Trunk is one of those versions of help that I need to accept and be grateful for.

But maybe I haven’t asked God for help in the proper way. Or maybe I haven’t listened well enough or comprehended His answer.

This is not a new issue for me, trying to figure out my destiny, my calling, and reconcile whatever that is with my need to earn money. I found a couple of undated, penciled poems on a random note pad today. The pages before them contain sketches of ideas for “Word Ferd” products. “Food for inner nourishment and outer decoration”, I have written. A knitted hat with “word ferd” on the brim. A skirt whose hem says “wordswordswords…” all the way around. A list of other products that could feature words on them: belts, t-shirts, shoelaces, earrings, etc. A list of things to purchase: “ACE 14-16 guage wire, gallon Ziplocs, Value Village – shelf- white mesh (hang on wall), baubles & pretties, Misc. tool things.”

Then there’s a poem about our old therapist who left town without explanation. (I can post that in Poems later).

And then this:

Resolve
To think and feel
To see and hear,
To know, but not to judge.
The plan
Is to feel out options.
Long term plans
Depend on the time/place frame.
But if I am a frameless picture,
Then plans are plain and bold,
Unhindered by thoughts that supposedly made them.
Spontaneity is a plan
Made less-than-seconds ahead,
And a million years ago,
Like a seed that finally feels
Its time is right to grow.
I resolve to dissolve
All plans and expectations
In the ocean of True Self,
To let them wash ashore
One by one
Until maybe I see a pattern
And can fish out what really matters.
Until then,
I let myself float
In a sea of all,
And resolve.

I will post an updated version of the above under “Poems”.

And I will ask God what to do.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that this is a difficult prospect for me. As Baha’u’llah said, “…souls shall be perturbed as they make mention of Me. For minds cannot grasp Me nor hearts contain Me.”

Even when I want to ask God what to do with my life, I don’t know exactly how to do it. Also, how do I hear the answer with all the noisiness of my neuroses and other issues?

I feel like life is way too complicated, with too many unrelated parts to make them work together coherently.

Then again, the human body is made of many seemingly unrelated parts that all work together quite wonderfully.

I believe that a Divine Force created human beings.

And I believe that Life, as an emanation of this force, offers innumerable metaphors for humanity’s education. The human body is one of my favorite metaphors.

So, with that, I take my brain, with its current pre-migraine sensations, and my strangely tweaky left shoulder, and my skin, basking in warmth and reveling in the cooling breeze, and I ask God, the Creator, to take these disparate elements that make up this person I have been made to be, and to move them into a fully functioning, Self-actualized form.

And to please help me recognize the modes of transportation that have been divinely sent to help me.

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