Why on Earth Am I Doing This?
Updated: Feb 11
365 days left to live: The experiment of a lifetime!
Why am I doing this? The seeds were planted many years ago when I started to feel the rumblings of a calling to change the direction of my life. At that time, I’d been working as an actress in NYC for 16 years and loved it. But I began to sense there was some other way I was meant to serve. This of course also meant there was something my soul longed to explore and learn. I had absolutely no idea what that might be. So in my spare time, I began contemplating and investigating different ideas and possibilities.
After 2 years, I still had no clue. But the longing had increased significantly. So one night while doing my dishes I began pouring my heart out to God. I was telling Him/Her/It how it had been a long time and I was no closer to an answer or a direction. And then interjected a little begging: Please, I don’t care what it is, I just want to serve. I want to do thy will. It was at that point I realized later that I’d entered an altered state of consciousness. But at the time if felt very normal.
I suddenly was experiencing myself working with the dying (still washing my dishes J). I was not aware of it being in any particular capacity but I felt absolutely ecstatic. As much joy as acting had brought me, it didn’t even begin to touch this level of ecstasy.
So I said I can see what a miraculous gift this work would be for me, but what do I have to offer? Having been an actress my whole adult life and knowing less than nothing about this field of work, I wondered how I could be of service.
It was made perfectly clear to me that it would be a mutual exchange.
I have no idea how long this ecstatic experience lasted. But the next thing I knew I was leaving the kitchen and walking into my living room. As I did so, it was like all the air in a balloon escaping. The euphoria faded to black and I was left standing in the middle of the room in abject horror. I dropped from heaven into hell in a matter of seconds.
I was mortified. I thought working with the dying is not ecstatic; it’s scary, sad, morbid and depressing. I was so freaked out I quickly went to the tv and turned it on. I sat down on the couch ready to escape from this nightmare. I was going to put this experience behind me, never to be thought of again. The tv was on the PBS channel. They were airing a documentary about a man who had a near death experience and was now dedicating his life to working with the dying. My jaw dropped to the floor and I began to cry. I muted the tv and through my tears I thanked God. I could no longer deny the miracle and the direct, very clear answer to my long held prayer. But I made it clear (as if God wasn’t aware already) that I was not happy with this answer. I had no idea what to do with the information or where to begin but promised I would keep my heart, my ears and my eyes open.
I then went back to “life” as usual and put the whole thing in a special compartment where I wouldn’t have to think about it. And kinda hoped that would be that.
And it was… until a whole 2 days later when I ran into a friend on the street. I made what felt like the fatal mistake of asking her what she was doing now. She told me she had just started volunteering for Hospice. Warning warning- compartment door opening! Yep I had to keep my promise and thankfully I did. I began volunteering. During the training I dealt with my fears and from then on it was indeed the experience I had in my kitchen. I fell in love with the work, with hospice workers and the patients. After a year of volunteering and studying with some of the greats in the area of death and dying and reading everything I could, I gave up acting and began working for hospice. In fact, I not only worked a 40 hour week I continued to volunteer on the weekends.
continue RE the value of being around the dying- if you want to know God in this lifetime work with the dying.
Why am I doing this now?
It’s something I’ve wanted to for a number of years and now without a doubt is the perfect timing.
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