A conundrum arose this past week as I witnessed an expression about a course of study. I sat with my nephew and two of my sisters at a heavy dark wood table with a friendly game of Scrabble sprawled out in the middle of us. My nephew sat down, filling in for the placeholder game piece we had going out of whimsy and fun. We chatted and I asked him what his favorite course was this semester.
“Can I say none?” was his answer.
We bantered a bit more. His mom sat next to him and did not hear any of it. She is focused on encouraging him to get accepted into the field of study she and his girlfriend have chosen for him. Urging him on, keeping him focused on the goal of getting a decent job with a living wage. I honor that. I do. But meanwhile, I see the person sitting across from me who is miserable in his life. I pick up on much that is not communicated out loud. I hear very, very clearly, “Today was a very hard day.”
With compassion, I understand that all parents simply want and desperately need their children to be safe and nourished. To fly from the nest and take flight. As an individual, that safety and nourishment needs to expand into creativity, generosity, giving, receiving, truth, connection and ultimate sense of being.
There is also the hidden agenda many parents have. And that is to keep our children miserable and suffering. As if in their suffering, we may always be needed as parents to provide comfort in times of need. I’m not sure where it comes from and to me it is very twisted. Perhaps it’s a “contract” and if it is, I recognize it as so and ask that all contracts I have with my children to be released. May the wisdom and grace of all dimensions, release our souls from the chains that bind us and set us free.
It reminds me of a similar path I took in college. In high school I excelled in art class and absolutely loved pottery, drafting plans for homes, lettering, drawing and creative visual expression. I was ok at everything else and was completely surprised to receive a literary award upon graduation and a small scholarship. I had plans to attend a university close to home with a focus on art and then life happened. Everyone told me that there was no money in art. That confused me. The concept of not having enough never entered my mind. I had survived up to that point so I figured everything would work out fine. I was simply getting through the moment and could not grasp the concept of a 5-year plan.
The plans for studying art shifted like the wind. Art studies shifted to nursing studies due to life literally spinning me into a vortex and down a rabbit hole designed by some sort of wizard.
I was shot out of the vortex and landed in a different place. In a land where the wind carried me across campus with a depth of sadness I could not comprehend. Nursing became a refuge for three years until graphic design whispered into my ear one summer day. I enrolled in a course of study for something called “advertising design” and IMMEDIATELY grasped every concept, every skill set needed and flourished. I absolutely loved every minute of every class. In sync with the universe at last! I was told, “You are going to be an art director.” Oh my gosh! It was the first time in my life that anyone had EVER said something positive to me about my potential. I had something to live for! I had found a calling! An art director? I did not know what it was at the time but something told me it was right and felt good.
I was eager to finish studies and get out into the real world to practice and work. A much, much different feeling than when I had been studying in nursing. Nursing terrified me. I was never confident about what I was doing with or for patients or the other students. I could not even put on a pair of gloves fast enough.
My nephew is finding his way to his calling and career that energizes him. I also know that I cannot control his current path so I ask all angels, masters, gurus, teachers and guides to be with him now so that he can find peace and joy and strength.