Monday, February 11, 2008

Epiphany at the UU

I have been lost, it might be safe to say, since around 2002. It may have been connected to being laid off from a great job with an e-learning company in Chicago. It may have been several years of simultaneously defining myself as an actor, writer, arts instructor, choreographer, director, journalist, and manager. Whatever the reason... this sense of searching has been with me for so long that it had begun to feel rather familiar and less than transitory.

Jump cut forward to Sunday, February 10, 2008. I am sitting in the UU Fellowship in Carbondale, IL where I currently reside. It is unusual that I am attending the service, as I am normally in the nursery area watching my soon-to-be 2-year old daughter, Ariana, play... helping out with the other children as needed. I had switched places with my husband on this day to attend a service in which one of my instructors, Dr. Kimberly Asner-Self, was going to speak. She, however, was not going to make it. And so there I was, feeling a little torn as to whether I should relieve Andy (the hubby) from being caught in the nursery or should stay for the rest of the service, when I was hit by a very gentle yet strong revelation: I should become a Unitarian Universalist minister.

Now, mind you, I am apt to make rash decisions... I tend to plan big and invest passionately and to sometimes move from one grand idea to another quickly and with little warning. Yet, this felt very different. This suddenly brought together the seemingly random pursuits of the last 10+ years in a way that made sense and had purpose. I suddenly understood why the various occupations I had considered over the last 5 years (including my current pursuit of a M.S.Ed. in Educational Psychology) did not make sense when taken separately, but - when taken together - created a lovely, intricate, very simple picture of a life that would align my self-concept on both an inner and outer level.

I had been planning to begin this blog before my Sunday epiphany; however, the "ah ha" moment acquired that day led to a clarification and focus for my posts which again brought everything together while moving me forward.

There is a section of the service of the Fellowship during which members are invited to come up and share a joy or sorrow with the rest of the congregation - the idea being that our collective experience of the happiness and sadness in each of our lives is more powerful and more connected to the divine than when taken individually (this is my interpretation at least). It also allows members a chance to pray for or celebrate in the momentous happenings of others... a very essential component to that which is sacred or divine in our spiritual experiences and the potential we are capable of when we choose to focus our collective, creative will together.

So... this blog will explore one sorrow or one joy each day. My task is to identify a joy or sorrow each day - it could be mine, it could be someone else's; it could be local, it could be national. My hope is that, in sharing these stories... these observations, I can provide an opportunity for reflection and connection that will hopefully serve as a positive event in the lives of others.

My first joy to post is personal. I feel so very lucky to have had this revelation... to have been in the right place at the right time... to see with hindsight that all of the chaos and seeming limbotic qualities of my daily life did indeed have purpose and direction. I can see the larger picture now, and I am amazed at its beauty and simplicity.

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