What is a mission, exactly? I like this definition pretty well, partly stolen from the dictionary, partly my own:
A strongly felt aim, ambition or calling that guides most of one’s waking hours.
I think I used to have a mission or three, back in my twenties and thirties.
Re-evaluation counseling (RC)
When I got involved in co-counseling, aka RC, sharing RC theory and practice definitely became a mission for me for several years. There is much to say about RC, but I would say the primary goal, paraphrased from the official RC wording, is to recover one’s own good, natural human functioning, and help others to do the same.
I tried to teach RC classes, but my low energy issues sabotaged that plan, of course. Nevertheless, I counselled a few hours a week, led a support group, attended others, took classes, and went to several weekend workshops over the years. Although RC is still incorporated very deeply into my being, I have not participated in the community in the last few years. It is quite a shame, but that darn old low energy…
Whenever I used to have an RC counselling session on my goals, I would always end up deciding that my main life goal is to have fun. By “fun,” I didn’t mean selfish, shallow pleasure, but the deep enjoyment of using my intelligence, connecting with people, and making the world a better place, in whatever large or small ways I can.
Early childhood education
Around the same time, I got into early childhood education, training at Cabrillo College and working at daycare centers. I had quite a burning mission to understand, get close to, and support young people. I worked as a preschool daycare teacher for more than fifteen years before I burned out from the onerous working conditions, and that darn old low energy.
Physical health (or at least survival)
In my late twenties, I was wasting away. Despite biking an hour and a half a day and eating the best diet imaginable, I had pretty severe malnutrition and had hair falling out, muscles atrophying, etc. etc. At the time, I had no health insurance, not much money, and some bad experiences with doctors making fun of my complaints. So I pretty much had to make it a mission to find help. Christopher Hobbs helped me quite a lot; probably saved my life. As I received treatments, supplements and guidance, I gradually improved and learned and got to the point where I could manage my problems.
No mission now, just hanging in there
I seriously don’t know whether I achieved or failed my missions. I think I did a lot of things that were good for both me and others in pursuing them, and a lot of the good was lasting. But I don’t have that burning sense of mission anymore.
I’m more in survival mode. My life is quite out of balance these days. My brain gets pretty well stimulated, but my body is out of shape and often ill; and my emotional health is neglected, due to not counselling, and the isolation I fall into when I’m tired so much of the time. I’m struggling to start righting the balance.
If I could muster the energy to organize it and show up regularly, I would start a small exercise support group, where the members would exercise and counsel each other. Hmm. I will think about this.
I can still have a good cry, remembering more than one counselor who gave me the direction that if I “never lifted a pinky again for my whole life, I would still be completely loveable and good.”
I believe that, and I believe the same is true of all of you, my dear friends and readers!