Friday, January 8, 2010

Continuing Along the Path to Wholeness

In 1991 several real changes took place in my life.  To begin with, I met my soul mate.  I hadn't planned on starting a new relationship.  Actually, after the bad relationship I had just come out of, I had sworn off men, but after looking into this stranger's eyes, I knew we had been destined to meet...and, ironically, he felt the same way.  From that day on, we were together every day.  My boys liked and respected him, and he took time and patience to teach my youngest how to do little repairs around the home.  We held many of the same beliefs and could talk for hours on subjects many people may have laughed at.  

I was still working with the Golden Dawn, but was always open to learning something new, so when he introduced me to Native American Wisdom teachings, I was more than eager to delve into what he had to teach me.  I was also reading about Zen Buddhism, but couldn't develop an interest enough to continue further.  But Native Americanism, that was another story.  I was hooked and couldn't get enough.  I enrolled in a course on Cherokee Wisdom and expanded my library to include books on the Medicine Wheel,  Native American Mythology, etc.  I was fascinated with their earth-based spirituality  and realized that this was the first time I had been exposed to beliefs that all things on earth were inter-connected and that it was possible to communicate with nature.  The Rosicrucians had taught that everything was alive, but they mainly concentrated on the evolution of the mineral world to man. I was also introduced to Goddess and was infatuated with such mythological figures such as White Buffalo Woman and Changing Woman, and having been introduced to the Goddess, of course I wanted more.

By 1994 I was ready to change careers.  With the encouragement and support of my new husband, I set off in an entirely different profession--in the helping field .  My first job was working on an ACT team.  This is a mental health team--social worker, substance abuse counselor, nurse, case manager--that meets the client where they are at.  Our clients had failed at all traditional treatment and our team worked in the field...we went to their the shelters...wherever they lived to make sure they were taking their medications and eating properly.  And we had some of the most difficult clients to deal with--Mentally Ill Substance Abusers with HIV; we were the first HIV ACT team in the state of New York.  

It was devastating for me....watching so many of my clients many hospital visits, the suffering.  I wanted to tell those who were just barely hanging on that it was okay to go to the light, but I wasn't allowed to because of my job, so I could only watch them suffer.   It was unbearable being able to do nothing...and then when I went to the hospital to visit a client who only a few days before had accompanied me to the ice cream parlor for a strawberry shake...only to find her hooked up on machines...well, that was the final straw.  I decided I wanted to do something more, and I came to the decision that the best way to help these people was to become a minister and to work with them in the hospices.  

I chose to become an Interfaith Minister and enrolled in a two year course which was better than I had expected.  It included such courses as--Goddess Earth-Based Religions, Native American Religion, Jung and Depth Psychology, African Religions, Basics of well as Judiasm, Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism,...the list is endless. I could go on and on.  Needless to say, I was in my glory.  Each course was better than the previous course.   I graduated the school, but alas, by then, I had burned myself out.  Dealing with so much death had drained me.  I realized that, my problem was that, unlike doctors, nurses, ministers, bereavement counselors, I was unable to separate myself.  I became too personal; if I client had no family, I became their family.  It was taking its toll and it was time to let it although I am ordained, I have never become a practicing minister.

It was time for a change in careers.  

To be continued....


  1. a soulmate is a treasured thing... I know so what you mean.... I am so enjoying this continuing story.... thank you so much for opening up yourself and being so giving of your experiences and wisdom.... have a blessed weekend....and stay warm

  2. Your interfaith training sounds fabulous -- no wonder you know so much about so many spiritual things! And how wonderful that your new husband introduced you to Native Spirituality!

  3. I can't believe how much you have studied and learned. It's amazing!

  4. Oh I can see, how you would become burned out..... -sigh-

  5. Re: my blog changes... Oh I know. It is awfully, awfully pale and bland looking. Which is kind of weird for me, since I alllllllllways go toward the warm red-pink-wine colors, etc.

    Don't know just what came over me, but maybe it's necessary, just for a while.

    And feel perfectly free to give your view, any time! I totally understand. Plus, you just know I'll be itching to change again, in not too long.

    Mmmmmmmmm... Wonder what deep, dark, secret things it says of me... This need to go so far out of my usual color range, etc., on my blog? Mmmmmmmmmmm... Betcha' I don't want to know. >,-)

  6. You really are an amazing woman! I love reading all of your stuff thanks to Mother Moon and I love the glimpses into your life.

    You are an inspiration...

  7. I've got a friend who did hospice work for a few years. She said after a while you get used to people passing - but I know that I could never get used to it. I can see how your work was so hard on you - seeing suffering is not easy at all.

  8. Enjoying the reading here, you have a knack, and an amazing life.

  9. It's so easy to get burned out...the amount of seperation required between yourself and the people you help is something that you either are capable of or not, and so many of us just don't have that knack. We do take it to far too personal of a place and bring it home with us and is something I've struggled with a lot in certain jobs I've had in the past.

    But Goddess love you for your big heart. Because that is beautiful, as are you.

    Can't wait to read the next installment. =)