Untangling What You Are From What You Do
When I was working as a biologist, mixing what I was with what I did felt fine:
People were impressed that I was getting a doctorate, and were impressed more still when I got it and was doing HIV research.
But in time, I became unemployed and stayed in that state for years (I’ll concede that for some years I wasn’t trying to find a job, and one time sabotaged myself in getting hired).
Unemployment, or underemployment at times, made the question, “What do you do?” very uncomfortable for me—after years of not finding new and sustainable work, I felt like a fraud saying that I was going through a career transition.
Not that it helped me to answer dreaded questions, but there’s a quotation that gave me some reprieve from feeling bad about my situation; I hope it can also soothe you if you’re not where you want to be in your worklife:
“WE ARE THE PERMANENT HOLDERS OF A SPIRITUAL CAREER,
FOR IT IS WHAT WE ARE AND NOT WHAT WE DO THAT REPRESENTS OUR GREATEST WORK IN THE WORLD.”
That’s the crux of what I wanted to offer you, but because Marianne entered spiritual territory, I’d like to add something more in case you hadn’t thought that you were spiritual.
We can agree that if you’re reading this that you’re alive, right?
Being alive necessarily means that you’re spirited by spiritual energy, or life force; if that weren’t the case, you’d be dead.
Because life force, or spiritual energy, makes you what you are (i.e., alive), you are, by definition, spiritual.
That doesn’t mean that you must think certain things or behave in certain ways. What it means is that you’re connected to the ONE source of spiritual energy, or life force.
I call this ONE source God; other folks call it Universe.
Through your connection to God, you have access to the ultimate resource for breathing life (force) into what you seek to create—a great career, a painting, a better relationship…anything.
So what if you don’t believe a thing that I’m saying?
Well, now I’m saying that what you believe, in a sense, doesn’t matter.
You believe what you think over and over, and that may not be true or serve your best interest.
What matters is what you decide.
You can decide to believe that you’re out there on your own, or that you have divine support.
You can decide to believe that you can create a better-feeling life with a great career.
Having a great career is having work to look forward to doing, whether you get paid for it or not; that’s something you can start plotting out now.
Just remember, though, that what you do is independent from what you are—a creative, spiritual being.