I've always been taught, and modeled, to listen to others "who are in authority," listen to their suggestions, their promptings, and when possible, "follow their direction." And I've trusted, sometimes too much. And I've suppressed my desires, because, after all, who am I to say, "no."
This week I turned 58 years old, and with this 59th year on its way comes the license to take care of me, to listen to me, to do what is right for me. To see clearly in front of me, behind me, no regrets, no fears.
So I took my dream, my very own dream, put it into words, and spoke these out loud, for the first time, to someone other than my higher power and my husband.
"I want to counsel others, have my own private practice as a pastoral counselor," I said. "I want to grow the palliative care program at UVRMC, to serve patients," I said.
"Hurray," they said. "About time," they replied. "I'm here to help all the way," they applauded. And then, another door opened only a few hours after I said my final, "No thanks, that's not what I want to do."
Who knew that saying no, nourishing me, could unfold, so rapidly? There's lots of work ahead, but the fog has lifted, and I can see the path.