Distraction can be quite subtle and present itself in many forms; however, it is important to make sure it is not keeping us from our soul’s purpose! I, myself, have come to realize quite a few ways in which I allow distraction to keep me from my real purpose… I’d like to share a glimpse of it.
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So yes, I’ve had quite a few interesting conversations in the last few days. They have led me to reflect deeper into what forms of distractions have entered my life and what has kept me from truly trying to follow my soul’s purpose.
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Distraction Can Be Very Subtle
It all started with an encounter with a few friends. It was totally unplanned, they’re the friends I meet here and there and as always, they invited to me to join in. There were a few unfamiliar faces, so I tried to get to know them a little and asked a few questions.
This triggered a sort of love-life conversation. One of the guys mentioned he met his new lover after a previous relationship of 17 years. I exclaimed, spontaneously, “Wow, seventeen years! That is a lot and it must be very hard to simply turn the page…” My friend came to my ear and whispered as spontaneously, “Yeah, it’s like giving up on being a monk and a priest after 18 years!”
OHHHH! That suddenly brought a pinch in my heart. Did I ever feel like telling him, “Geeeee, go easy on me!”… but it was sadly true! Did I really take the time to listen to my heart? To heal my wounds? To forgive? To turn the page with love and peace?
I obviously took the decision to leave after many years of discernment and of spiritual accompaniment, but didn’t I just dive into distraction right away to keep me from mourning? Did I allow myself to process it all?
Distraction, Enemy of Your Soul’s Purpose!
Because this friend had the audacity to tell me such truthful affirmation, I was launched in a space of pain, a space of self-doubt and of fear … the place where I sort of paused my journey! The last three years of my life have basically been a pause! Yes, a long pause that distracted me from what I truly wanted.
When I look back to my adulthood, I can tell you I’ve travelled the world, been to so many places, met so many wonderful people… Since I left the priesthood, I’ve changed jobs quite a few times … abandoned projects and gave up on amazing opportunities for this one purpose: writing!
My blog is one part of this journey … much more is to come! Writing is more than a caprice, it’s a calling! I’ve been approached by publishers in the past and wasn’t ready to publish… I did not know how to love my work… I did not know how to love myself.
When you do not know your self-value, when love for yourself only depends on what others think of you or of how they value your work, you fear the worst… You then try to become what others want you to be, you become a copy of their desires … you lose sense of what it means to be yourself!
Your Soul’s Purpose Is Greater Than Distraction
So yes, that was a major distraction … stepping away from my heart! I’ve been told too many times, “it’s the past, you have to get over it!” By people who have not even suffered an ounce of what I’ve been through! I don’t think you can get over it! You learn from your experiences and discover pain to be a reminder of where you need to be!
It is exactly it! Pain is a reminder of where you’ve got to be! When that friend hit at me with that sentence, I felt it in my heart! It brought me back there … exactly there … where I needed to be! Strangely enough, my soulmate told me the same thing this very morning, “Pain will never go away, you learn to live with it, it becomes your best friend, you learn to listen to where it’s trying to lead you!”
You cannot numb it out! You need to face it and when someone tries to follow his soul’s purpose, the universe conspires to make it happen! That is exactly what Paulo Coelho says in his book The Alchemist (buy here if you’d like to read https://amzn.to/3KPkvLJ).
And in this same book, he adds, “ ‘My heart is afraid it will have to suffer’, the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky. ’Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”
So yes, don’t get distracted from your soul’s purpose … learn to follow your heart and listen. The greatest distraction is quieting the voice within your heart that calls you to follow your dreams. It is already a journey to learn to listen to your heart, once you get there, don’t try to quiet it down, it will only become louder. If you keep avoiding it, it will die out, but will also leave you with a sense of emptiness.
Distraction Leads to Unhappiness
The distractions are many and take various forms; Too much time on social media, too much television, too much gossiping, too much procrastinating, etc. All these distractions would have no power over you if you became obsessed with your soul’s purpose.
How many people dream of doing certain things and give up when they face a little adversity? What if God was only testing you to see if you really wanted it? How many more will never follow their heart’s desires and will live in regrets and die unhappy of what they’ve missed out on!
I’m just as fearful as you are! The only thing I can say, is I’m listening to my heart and trying to find my path. My writing is my companion and a witness that will certainly help others on their journey!
You see, I write since I’m 13 years old! When I became a monk, I was confiscated my book of poems and was asked to stop being an artist. Being an artist would lead me to hell, they told me! I gave up on writing and felt totally astray from where I needed to be. Later, every time I’d write a few poems, I’d end up burning them.
When I then became a priest, after leaving the monks, another elderly priest took me under his wing. We were totally different. I was ultra conservative, he was more than liberal. He summoned me to start writing again. He believed in my writing!
After years of a pure loving relationship, we went for our weekly meal. We did not know he would die a few weeks later, but I think he felt it! In that “last supper”, he told me about his last will and testament. I refused he’d leave me any money although he was wealthy. I begged him to only give me a rare painting of the prodigal son he had. Two weeks later, he passed.
I was left with two things after his passing: a reignited desire to write and a painting of the prodigal son! It’s the best inheritance I can ask for … you know why? Because he reconnected my heart with my soul’s purpose and because the painting in its uniqueness shows a God that runs towards his son and that keeps him from kneeling.
This image of God means a lot. It tells you that no matter how far you’ve gone, He will always keep you from humiliating yourself, will love you to the core of your being, and will make sure you stand back up after life throws you to the ground!
Here I am, shaken by life’s challenges, but ready to give it my all!