Doing Your Duty? Or Your Divine Destiny?
I was a Girl Scout (and a Brownie too) when I was a child – and here is what I learned and what I’m realizing I need to UNLEARN too!
Annually the Girl Scouts have their cookie drive – this of course raises funds but it also teaches the girls how to sell – how to offer something of value and receive money for the troop or the organization in exchange for that offer. The year my mom was the cookie chairman I personally sold 763 boxes of cookies – this was in the days long ago before the girls were allowed to set up in grocery stores or sell online – I sold those cookies going door to door and calling all my relatives and their relatives and their relatives relatives. Nothing like the GOLDEN PHONE for generating sales! The next nearest girl to me in sales sold about 30 boxes.
The UPS man came daily for about a week delivering case after case of cookies – the stack of cases went up almost to the ceiling or so it appeared to my 9 year old eyes. Clearly I was an overachiever at a very young age. PRESSED into service by my mom of course – for whom being the mom of the girl who sold the most cookies as well as being the cookie chairman seemed to be a very high value distinction that she definitely wanted to bask in.
I remember that I was pretty bitter for a very long time about the fact that after selling 763 boxes of cookies the reward that the troop leaders deemed appropriate for me was a little metal camping soapdish – with a girlscout emblem cookie cutter inside. Even at that age I had expected that I’d get a week at camp or something significantly MORE for selling all those cookies – especially since the cookie cutter also went to the next highest selling girl (without the soap dish but really??).
I’ve long since let this whole thing go into the fire for redemption but I realized this week that there was another piece of my childhood Girl Scout experience that has been hanging like an ingrown toenail in my consciousness. Irritatingly present yet not quite seen. It’s that pledge I made every time we had a meeting.
This is how I remember it…..
Holding up my hand – three fingers extended the words recited were:
“On My Honor, I will do my duty, to God & my country. To help other people every day – especially those at home.”
Somehow that pledge stuck in my “programming” and I’ve been TORN ever since. Have you ever felt TORN??? Between “doing your duty” and the insistent calling of your Divine Destiny?
It’s a terrible feeling. I remember the first time I ever felt torn – it was when I moved in with the first guy I ever lived with. Granted he was NOT the best choice for me – but the feeling that came over me whenever I went to visit my mom was excruciating – like she had one end of me and he had the other and the two of them were pulling me apart like two dogs fighting over a bone. I didn’t know it then but I realize now that I was highly empathic and that at the energetic level that’s exactly what was going on.
I felt torn when I was traveling for business and my next boyfriend didn’t like me being out of town. I felt torn when I got married and could feel the expectations that I was going to settle in to “wifely duties” like cooking cleaning and making sure all his shirts were hung color coded in order in the closet nicely ironed. I felt torn when I became a mom and one part of me absolutely craved with a passion being present for that beautiful child and the other part wanted to do whatever she could to get ahead in her career because the money I earned surpassed my husband’s paycheck and frankly the intellectual stimulation was an absolute necessity for me.
Fast forward to this past week. I had my mom down for the purpose of watching my cat and getting a little vacation from her lonely existence up in my brother’s in-law apartment that he built for her. I was supposed to go to Costa Rica. But a few days before – that ‘starting to feel torn’ feeling began brewing – it was palpable in my being – that feeling that something was going to happen – that would prevent me from leaving and in fact something did. More than one thing – and I won’t go into detail because you don’t need to get sucked in and drowned in the drama along with me.
There were a lot of lessons from the week – but I think the one that’s most important to share is that I became clear – to myself and to everyone – and I finally communicated it without feeling guilty – that I am NOT going to be doing my “duty” and taking on the caregiving for my mom as she declines. Ok maybe I still have some residual feelings of guilt or maybe self-expectation or better yet “Duty” because my mouth got dry and I feel a little queasy just having written that.
What I know about Divine Destiny is this – if you don’t align and follow your Destiny a part of you dies – a BIG part – in fact your Spirit just up and moves out. I know this because when I left the real estate industry back in 2002 after my spiritual awakening I just KNEW I had to leave or I would die.
Last week I knew I had to stay. I had to choose to stay-cation and walk away from a week in the jungle to experience a week in my own personal jungle with the wildcat that is my mother – so that both of us could become clear and so that I could finally speak my truth. When I insisted that she admit she wanted me to ask her to live with me she finally was able to do so – saying “well 9 out of 10 women take care of their parents”.
But I’m not 9 out of 10. I’m 1. Maybe you are too. I’m here to tell you – the world will not end if you say NO to doing your duty. In fact the world will likely be a significantly BETTER place if you say YES to your Divine Destiny.
Let me know if you need some help with that – or with speaking your truth – to your mom, your mate or maybe to millions around the world. Apply here for an opportunity to engage in a complimentary exploration conversation to see if it’s a fit for us to work together.
Oh and it’s cookie season by the way – be sure to support those young girls who are learning to sell and to serve. Hopefully their lessons will be golden.