Cost and Promise

It is becoming clear to me that I want a different work configuration. And, perhaps a different configuration of my time, and life, in general.

Since my full-time corporate job ended, I have been engaged in a number of new initiatives that have captured my imagination and energy. They speak more directly to who I am and what I would like to contribute.

I would not have the luxury of investigating these new ventures if it were not for the luxury of time away from a 9-5 routine. Not to mention a severance package.

I feel excited, engaged, hopeful. I like being the master of my time. I know this also means being the master (to the extent possible) of my fate – I will need to find and/or create my own work.

The promise, I hope, is greater fulfillment for me, and a greater benefit for others. I do not mean this in an egotistical way. My goal is not accolades. But, I do believe that when my contributions flow from an authentic place of greater depth, they will have greater consequences.

These freedoms I now enjoy – to think, explore, develop, discuss, discover – feel a bit unbounded now. But this will not always be so. The financial realities of this world will edge in, perhaps sooner than I wish them to. And, so, although I feel the promise inherent in this freedom, I am now asking myself, “At what cost?”

And, with that question, come a host of others, such as:

  • What costs am I willing to bear?
  • What compromises am I willing to make?
  • What are the “needs” and the “nice to haves”?
  • What values will drive these decisions?

It has entered my mind, more than once, that my current financial obligations can be significantly reduced, voluntarily, without putting my welfare in jeopardy. That my current financial obligations are based on the luxury of a healthy corporate salary. That without these obligations I would be free to pursue my dreams without so many bills looming over my shoulder.  However, it may mean leaving a place that I dearly love. A place to which I am deeply grateful and deeply attached.

I may not literally take nothing for the journey, as Jesus instructed his disciples. Nor make a complete renunciation of worldly goods, as lived out by Francis of Assisi.  But, there is an important message in this for me. Attachment, of whatever kind, can stifle the heart’s complete expression. The same is so for the truth.

When the Truth seems at odds with attachments, which wins out?

This is the question for me now.

Amen.

About Soul Intention

"Spirituality is, ultimately, about what we do with...desire. What we do with our longings, both in terms of handling the pain and the hope they bring us, that is our spirituality." from The Holy Longing by Ronald Rolheiser. Paraphrasing what Gerald May has said, in his book Will and Spirit, spirituality is our experience and interpretation of our relationship with the Sacred. The intent of this blog is to explore for myself, and to invite others to explore with me, just what is it we do with our desire? What is our spirituality? Mine has been shaped by many things...in my formative years, by the Roman Catholic church. In the last decade, by the 12 steps. Most recently, by the Episcopal Church. And, always, always, by the sense that Nature helped to reveal the Great Mystery, of which we are all a part. So, my spirituality includes concrete practices, like the Steps, as well as probing more philosophical matters. I was certified, in January 2011, as a Spiritual Director by the Haden Institute. During those 21 months of study, which included a broad range of topics from Celtic Spirituality, to the Christian Mystics, to Jungian Depth psychology, I was given the space and time to ponder my own spiritual journey, hear about others' paths, and benefit from participation in an intentional community. My hope is that this blog can engender a similar conversation. Peace, Paul
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1 Response to Cost and Promise

  1. Elizabeth Broyles says:

    “Attachment, of whatever kind, can stifle the heart’s expression.” What a mouthful, Paul–or pen-full. It is about freedom to be, isn’t it, and flows from that yearning, not from any “should.” It feeds me for my own journey with discerning what to let go of so that I can travel more lightly and be free to live. I wish you the best and look forward to witnessing your heart’s expression as this mystery unfolds.

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