I often find myself at the Bar.
Sometimes I drink, often I eat (I LOVE bar food for some reason.. second only to diner food.. strange I know), but mostly I watch sports and/or people. It’s a past time.
I’m also what you call an introvert. Most of my energy is harnessed and cultivated on my own or with intimate interactions and with the absence of socially obligated exchanges. So bar time, by myself, with a glass of wine and some tater tots (yup, that’s a real thing of mine) is usually where you’ll find me living out both my need to be alone, as well as, be simultaneously immersed in the world.
What I don’t particularly look forward to, and usually hope to avoid, is the inevitable chat with my neighbor. Sometimes if I’m lucky, it will just be a short exchange about my drink selection or something on the screen. But more times than not, it’s a longer more engaged conversation about life. Last night, for example, I was sitting alone.. minding my own.. trying to comfort myself from a hard day with a little fatkid food and a man sat down beside and proceeded to talk quite candid with me. His full disclosed to me about his struggles with God and purpose at this time in his life and how he has a hard time relating this to his lifelong missionary parents is what prompted my this post.
I learned a long time ago that I have this gift. And I don’t say gift as a way of being boastful.. I truly have an energy around me that invites people and their lives into mine. It’s one of the reasons I got into psychology and counseling in the first place. But it’s also the reason I ran from it.
In the process of training to be a therapist, I realized that my openness will be life changing for someone. I would be a change agent. Now for some, that’s exciting and damn near intoxicating. But for me.. it was scary as hell! Especially at such a young and tender age having not really seen or learned the world that I was supposed to help others understand.
Nope. I wasn’t having it.
So I reverted to a piece of the field that felt more protected and secure. Research. The math.. The Writing.. ah yes. I was safe again. And not able to have the power to mess up anyone’s life irrevocably.
As the years went by I still found myself in spaces that felt uncomfortable. I was still sought out from people as source of comfort. But now, I felt that I didn’t have the tools I needed to give them the help they truly deserved. It came to a point that I felt I missing my calling and not doing my service to the community. A community that truly needs someone like me.
Have you ever felt that way? scared of your Gift? Not really sure if what God has for you is truly for you?
I have to say I see a lot of people missing their true path. Sometimes they’re chasing the dreams of corporate scaling when their true talent lies in dance. And other times they are consistently putting precious money and time into being an artist when they are really a master of design and would flourish in architecture.
In essence, what I’m saying is this. My gift scared the crap out of me and I avoided it for years, not able to face the Good that I could eventually provide for others and this world. But in that time I learned a lot about myself and I now cherish the love I have for a field that once made me piss my pants.
These days, when I sit at bar tops I don’t shy away from people because I can’t help.. It’s because I don’t particularly want to at that time. I know that sounds selfish.. but it’s usually because I’m trying to have that precious “me time” we most certainly need for self care management. However, when the opportunity presents itself I don’t block it, I lean in. And make myself available.
I invite you to do the same. Lean into that calling no matter how uncomfortable it is sometimes. You never know what the Universe has planned and you never know what good it will do for you or other parties.
Don’t dim your own light.. shine on. Blind em.
And talk to your neighbors at the Bar over ales and spirits.