In our lives sooner or later
we are called to particular paths. Each of us has a uniqueness that
asks to be lived. There are inner voices and callings that we experience
and we have to somehow gather the courage to answer what calls.
It is deeply important to discover one’s true vocation and
to be open to guidance on life’s journey.
Callings are often experienced as longings that you feel, and you
might want to act on them, instead of tuning them out. Callings may
come through many different channels: intuitions, symptoms, dreams,
afflictions, accidents, etc. Responding to a call means doing something
about it. In the words of the Mother: “We are here upon earth
to manifest the Divine’s will”. In the Bible, book of
Romans: “Be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that
you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable
and perfect. “When you think about what your gifts are and what
it means to live the life you are meant to live, always ask, what
in God’s name are you doing?
Do you ever have words to a song going through your head that won’t
go away? What if you were given an hour of prime time to preach or
talk about whatever you wanted to: what would you say?
These are questions which suggest what your calling might be. One
of the challenges in regards to callings is discernment. Gregg Levoy
speaks of this in Callings: Finding And Following An Authentic Life.
Discernment involves “knowing whether or not our calls are true
or false, knowing how and when to respond to them” and “requires
that we also tread a path between 2 essential questions: ‘What
is right for me?’ and ‘Where am I willing to be led?’”
Regarding callings and relationships, he gives an example of a burning
question which may come to mind: “Does falling in love with
someone else signal that your marriage needs dissolution or [rather]
attention?” If you don’t follow a call, you may feel alienated
from yourself and frustrated. There may be deep disappointment—the
feeling you have missed or procrastinated an appointment with yourself.
To follow a calling, you need to be willing to challenge the status
quo, be shaken up and to rock the boat. There naturally is the fear
of giving up something dear to you: a relationship, a house, precious
time, or the prestige of being a big fish in a small (or large) pond.
As James Hillman says in The Soul’s Code, “The price of
the calling is often paid by the immediate participants in the life
of the calling, such as wives, children and friends... Often the demands
of the calling ruthlessly wreak havoc on the decencies of a well-lived
life.” Following a call may feel utterly at odds with what you’re
trying to conserve, and it is very likely to bring about a crisis
and/or a separation. A call is asking you to separate from something.
No wonder you try to ignore It! And yet “the deeper my crisis,
the clearer my choices” (Andrew Boyd).
In following a calling, you bring forth the courage to leave behind
what you have for what you don’t, and what you are for what
you could be. As Rumi says, “This giving up is not a repenting.
It’s a deep honoring of yourself.” While it is hard to
move towards chaos and upheaval, sometimes chaos and conflict are
Nonetheless there probably is such a thing as the right kind of trouble.
As you come to terms with a calling, you realize you have to take
risks and face conflict, and that you’re approaching a hero’s
journey. And part of what heroism is about is the ability to tolerate
paradox. While holding or being in paradox, it’s important to
“embrace seemingly opposing forces without rejecting one or
the other just for the sheer relief of it.” (Gregg Levoy). You
need to allow the tensions you feel regarding a call to coexist long
enough to inform you, to teach you something.
A calling may involve a vision or inspiration for a certain form of
or direction in your creativity. A musician, for instance may be called
to a deeper commitment to sacred music or a different approach to
music. An artist may aspire to “go out on a limb” and
aesthetically express that which seems inexpressible, while noticing
the voices of despair and faith and knowing that you must follow your
heart, even in the face of heartbreak.
Sometimes a calling involves making a choice and thereby becoming
more mature and responsible. In the words of Henri Bergson: “To
exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on
creating oneself endlessly.” Indeed as your life goes on, there
may be callings which are inescapable. “In ‘late adulthood,’
when [responding to a calling] character and fate have become more
inescapable, then, too, one’s intelligence, and all that it
serves, belongs more to the code of the soul than to that of the genes”.
A calling may be felt wholeheartedly and in your soul. A sense of
personal calling is what must be recovered: there is a reason you
are alive. It may seem too difficult to live the demands of what you’re
called to do, and so-called failure may be a likely result, but “the
soul would much rather fail at its own life than succeed at someone
else’s” (David Whyte).
Callings involve listening in silence to the voice of God and being
open to Grace. When you make a “Grace-ful” choice, you
choose according to what will bring you closer to the Divine. “We
begin to realize that our deepest nature, the center of ourselves,
or God within, is the SOURCE of our callings” (Gregg Levoy).
The calling feels essential and reflects a fundamental necessity and
instinct, an “I want!” of the soul.
Notice the word “call” in “wake-up call”.
Have you had a wake-up call recently? In the words of a Buddhist gatha:
“Awake! Awake! Awake! Do not squander your life.” In conclusion,
when you experience a calling which profoundly touches your mind,
life and body, it may resemble what Sri Aurobindo describes in his
poem SAVITRI: “A ripple of light and glory wraps the brain...The
Ineffable shall find a secret voice.”
is a talented local singer and musician. He facilitates sacred singing
with groups and individuals, and gives private lessons. For more
information, please see his website www.seaburygould.com
Visit the Christine Breese website to read articles on consciousness and awakening, visit University of Metaphysical Sciences Video Satsangs to see talks on spiritual subjects. Read articles on Wisdom of the Heart Church. Visit Starlight Journal for blogs, newsletter, and forums on spiritual subjects. Visit Christine Breese's Metaphysical Sciences youtube channel to view free video satsangs.