Like countless others, in fact, probably all of us, I often ask myself about the calling of my soul. I do not ask what this calling might be; I feel blessed in not ever having to question the call’s nature, but rather the way in which I do and should answer. It cannot be a thing denied that I have spent countless hours, accumulating no doubt in years, listening to my soul’s endless cries to be expressed, but how do I answer? It is that question which may keep me awake at night, or pensive during daylight hours. Why, I ask myself, if I am blessed with the insight to understand the most innate call of my being, do I immerse myself in endless pursuits of confusion, chasing the ghosts of chaos and submerging my creativity into pools of poisoned ink? Why, when I could be taking up the challenge set by my inner voice, charging forth with every ounce of divine energy gifted me by the universe, do I indulge in a lethargic, listless state of soul? Passive in its undertakings and innately inert.
To hear the true call assigned to each of us but to put it to the side is tragic and the true meaning of waste, as we follow fruitless paths; wasted avenues; consuming the empty calories of the soul. We chase our tails in some endless rush to fill our lives with nothingness, complaining at the end of the day that there is not enough time. It seems to me that we create our own barriers, hurdles which need not be there in the first place, but which we must leap across each day, rendering ourselves exhausted and depleted in more ways than one. We would love to paint; to philosophise; to write, but we don’t have the time after the endless chores of the day. It feels almost as if expending our time and energy on the soul’s desires is a guilty pleasure. Of course, we live in a society where we have to make a living; we need to pay rent, bills; it becomes harder and harder to meet financial demands. This is not a new concept, of course. But, how many people who spend their days toiling in order to perpetuate the enormous wealth of some corporation or other, while just managing to maintain their own, feel satisfied when they lay down to sleep? That is, satisfied to the very core of their being?
I ask myself why I never became a ballerina, a pianist, a novelist. Of course, there’s still time. But of all the potential paths of procrastination, why are the truly important things the first on the list? I once read that there is none so attractive as the person who is “on their path”. Have you ever looked at someone who seems to have it all and felt sharply envious, and berated yourself for being so? The girl who followed a career in her beloved dance and who draws crowds to watch as she elegantly exhibits to the universe her given talent; the musician who inspires countless listeners with their melodies; the writer who travels to the most exalting places in the world and makes a living from writing about his experiences. It seems to us that these people’s lives flow in an endless river of good fortune, gifts bestowed upon them from a unseen benefactor. Luck. Opportunities that were perhaps never afforded to us. And while it is true that release from financial restraints does certainly lend itself more to freedom, this does not automatically mean that this freedom is used in pursuit of our dreams. What is it about that person that is following their true path that makes them different from us? If not opportunity, is it confidence? An inherent self belief; a true sense of identity and recognition of one’s worth? Is it perhaps recklessness, a lack of regard for the supposed structure of things? Maybe I know the answer to these questions and maybe not, and maybe it doesn’t matter in the slightest either way.
Having always believed that a life filled with drama was preventing me from following my own creative path, it was only recently that I was set free from this limiting belief. Far from being the cause of the neglect of my creativity, it was the symptom of it, the reason why I was wasting precious energy on emotional futility, languishing in bleak, barren mental landscapes. This too, I believe is probably the reason why many artists are prone to addiction. It is not a new concept that addiction and creativity are often synonymous, but why is this? Is it something to do with the fundamental nature of “the artist” or is it a manifestation of the pain experienced when creativity is being in any way stifled? Creativity is our life blood; we come from creation, and to create is, I believe, our most basic instinct. On a fundamental level, this could be the instinct to reproduce, but there is so much more to creation than this. With our every thought, we create a pathway for our future, a blueprint for who we are and what we may become, and with every action we create an imprint in our mind for the rest of our life, or lives; buddhists would call this karma. We can choose what to think, and how we allow our thoughts to manifest. Our minds are filled with all kinds of thoughts, ambitions and desires, and with our actions we demonstrate that which we choose to embrace. This is our choice. Every word we speak or action we take as a manifestation of our thoughts is our creation.
That is really all any of us can do. If you are blessed enough to hear the call of your soul, do more than just hear it. Listen to it.