I am a master at saying yes when I mean no, artfully lying about what I want to avoid conflict, and most importantly hiding from any situation that may cause judgment or rejection. Top off my spinelessness with the fact that I am introverted and often don’t know what I want and you have a manifesting your dream nightmare. Yet, even for me, manifesting my dreams became a truth that found me amidst my own hiding.
When I was 21, with introversion in high gear, and self-doubt dominating, I answered an ad for a job as a school counselor. On the day of the interview, I arrived 30 minutes early and pulled my car over on a side street to wait. My heart pounded and my face was turning that wonderful shade of red that pronounces I am a chicken shit.
Two weeks earlier, I began my first full-time job as a customer service manager for a mortgage company. A pretty impressive accomplishment for someone who earned only marginal grades in college and who after changing majors 12 times ended up with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Psychology as a major seemed to be a cost-effective way to manage my anxiety. Earning a full-time job would be my stamp of credibility.
On my first day as a customer service manager, I was escorted to a cubicle, given a binder, and instructed to read. I sat dumbfounded. The world of work was not what I envisioned. As I pretended to read the pages, I heard this whisper “get out.”
Something was happening. There was an illogical and socially unacceptable whisper telling me to run away. I was this responsible, rule-following, good girl who always did what she was told. Now I was obsessed with violating the rules and jumping out of the window. As soon as the clock struck noon I bolted. I raced to my car and drove away never to return. I failed.
Two weeks later, I sat in my car hyperventilating waiting to interview for this school counselor job. I was filled with shame, doubt, fear, hope, ambition, and a dream for something I could feel but not articulate. My needy, good girl wanted to be hired to redeem myself. But something else was also happening. There was something mystical moving me forward. I’m not sure why I ever thought I could be a school counselor. I had never trained for the profession. Honestly, none of that qualification malarkey even crossed my mind when I called about the job.
On the visor of my car was a small card about 2 inches long and 1 inch wide. It had a picture of St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes, on the front and a prayer on the back. While I was raised Catholic, my devotion was more in line with seeing prayer as the emergency red button connecting me to some higher power when all my lower powers were freaking me out. My mother, the real Catholic. She was the kind that would light votive candles, go to Mass each week, and say rosaries. She was also anxious all the time and afraid of everything. She wasn’t exactly the best model of the calming and manifesting power of prayer. But on this day, I needed something– so bring on the prayer. For me, praying is this magical thinking that I am not in control of what comes out of my mouth but rather God will take over and give me wonderfully articulate words that I speak without knowing where they came from.
The prayer on the card said, “Most holy Apostle, Saint Jude Thaddeus, I place myself in your care. Help me know that I need not face my troubles alone. Please give me courage in my fear, and healing amid my suffering. Ask our loving Lord to fill me with the grace to accept whatever may lie ahead for me.” I read the card aloud – which was weird. Not only was I sitting alone in my car, now I was praying out loud. When I spoke the words, “fill me with the grace to accept whatever may lie ahead for me” I felt this overwhelming wave of peace, calm, and love wash over me. Something happened at that moment. My entire world shifted. I was at ease and the red flush of my face faded, my hands stopped shaking and I knew. I had no idea why I felt calm but I knew I belonged in that school.
I believe we are born with our own unique manifestation map. That map is imprinted in our hearts. Now, I’ve never been skilled at map reading and I tend to listen to that mind of mine and so I am often lost, confused, and in a state of panic; however, that is not my truth. As I look back on those moments where I believed I was a failure and a fraud, I have found my heart has been authentically following my manifestation map guiding me to live my own uniquely designed life of love and truth.
At that moment in my car, with a holy card, I found something. I found me. I felt this loving-kindness for this scared, confused, strange little girl who ran away all the time. I welcomed her home and knew she had the courage and grace to handle anything. After all, she knew when to run away and when to get there early (even if she looked like a crazy stalker on a side street.) The key to following our manifestation map is love. Loving who you are -the good - the not so good – the wonderfully imperfect – that is where manifestation begins and ends. Manifesting your true life requires just one special step – loving the beautifully imperfect wonder that you are. I wish you the love that lives in every moment of your life.