Can we spot the difference between a job, a career and a vocation ?
Job is what we do from “nine to five” and what we live from. A career is a reward and promotion system that is designed to motivate us to behave as society desires; therefore, linear salary growth, higher positions, higher ranks, promotions, greater social prestige and all that our ego and the people around us love and approve of. Vocation is what we genuinely like to do, whether it brings us money and glory or not; work itself is a reward because it is “natural” to our being and makes us happy even if it has no “benefits”.
How many of us can boast that our job = career = vocation?
I also talked to this very successful student who told me:
I realized that for 20 years, I honestly believed that I was one of the lucky few who do what they really love and live for the most part. I thought I was able to turn my vocation into a job and a career. I have been successful in my work, I have received many formal and informal awards, from many sides, at home and abroad, in the public and private sectors, and I should be in full swing absorbed by inspiration. However, lately my work has been increasingly blurred. I started to look like a mistress who, since she loves to live a love story, does not want to admit that the passion is gone. There was also fear … For 20 years I have invested in my career and it has brought me success, position, accolades … that I don’t see where exactly they can take me. Was that all in vain? Should so much investment of time and effort be dismissed as a wasted story? I even began to suspect that I might not have recognized the vocation.
And do you know what it means to find your vocation?
Maybe. You were a pharmacist, a doctor, a doctor of medicine, whatever, and then you dropped it all to become a Reiki teacher? Explain two things to me. First of all, now that you look back, what was the turning point when you decided to dare to jump into the empty, or to leave these recognizable roles and start working on Reiki and presenting yourself as a Reiki therapist and teacher? Secondly, what is the first thing you did on that, for some people, crazy road?
I still am all that, but let’s start in order. The pivotal moment happened one cold winter night when my father suffered a heart attack. That night he died on my hands in the Emergency Centre coronary unit after which he was scarcely resuscitated. As I sat in the empty waiting room in some thin shirt because I was rushing out of the house, taking him to the hospital, I suddenly felt that I was scared and hopeless. There was no one around me to rely on and help me solve my problems or encourage me and advice on how to live with what was happening to me. In that agony, which lasted all night on the cold bench in the hallway, I realized that I could only rely on Him, God, the universe – whatever it was called. The problem was that at that moment I did not feel a strong enough connection with Him and it simply was not possible then to find solace in that way. It was a crucial moment – the realization that I was alone. That realization ignited all survival mechanisms and made me fight. I was alone and I knew that He alone was there, the Source I could not fathom. How terrible that realization was, but at the same time liberating. To all this horror, at some time of the night they turned off the light in the hall. I was left in the dark. Is there worse? I thought I’d choke on a roar that couldn’t get out. I clutched a wooden bench under my fists and said to myself, “Come on slowly.” I opened my heart and tried to connect through it with the only one who was there. That night I met God and his love. The next day I left the hospital with the knowledge that I was alone and there was no need to look in the eyes of others, seeking their approval and help, listening to their reproaches and opinions, worrying about other people’s actions and deeds. I cared about myself, my thoughts and deeds, and I knew I would be better for others. I did not seek support around me, but above and beyond!
Interesting, but you still don’t have a family … so it’s easier to be free than others?
Look, you can’t go through the narrow gate carrying heavy luggage with you. However, if you leave the weight and go through the gate by yourself, it will be easier for you to carry one piece of luggage inside. You cannot live the life of your child, husband, sister … they all have their own destiny and tasks that you cannot solve instead. But you can do much more to help them by becoming spiritually awakened.
Therefore, the realization that we are alone and that God is with us and that the opinions of others are not essential, frees us from the burden of doing nothing for others but for ourselves. So free can we give in to our calling?