What’s in the backseat?

For months now, everything in my life has taken a backseat to one thing.  We like to think our lives are driven by a sense of purpose, by a pursuit of our passion or manifesting our dreams.  Yet from time to time none of those things are driving our lives—it is something different and usually, hopefully, temporary.  You might guess my driver has been COVID 19 or even Black Lives Matter but you would be wrong.  For months everything has been driven by THE MOVE.  COVID 19 has been experienced in the context of how it affected THE MOVE (and it did in many ways).  As a social justice advocate, I’ve tried to eek out moments for Black Lives Matter self-education, reflection and advocacy around the time consumed by THE MOVE. 

Just to be clear, THE MOVE wasn’t even just a single faceted issue. In a lapse of planning or thinking things through, I moved out of church ministry after 11 years; which required I move all my books and things out of my church office; while implementing moving my insurance to Medicare; while moving my income to Social Security and retirement; while finding an apartment and moving my residence across the country IN THE MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC.  Yes, the capitalization is for emphasis.  Because honestly, I am yelling in my head!  As if the chaos in the outer world beyond my doorstep weren’t enough, I have dumped my life out on the floor, tried to sort through it and gather it back up in some new order.  That process is not going as smoothly as you might hope.  Still, it is going.

It is a bit ironic that this beginning of September happens to be the fourth anniversary of another time in my life when something unusual was the driver. In 2016, from January to September and then some, healing was the only focus I had.  I managed to keep working to pay the bills but otherwise, I let go of everything that wasn’t strictly related to my health and healing.  In some ways, I am still putting things back in order from that journey.  I learned new priorities and the importance of self-care on that healing path.  I am curious exactly what I will keep from THE MOVE experience.  I’m not sure I can really discern what I’m learning, yet I can feel a shift happening. 

But at some point, we take back conscious control of driving our lives and look at what is in the backseat.  I look back there and notice the priorities I cherish when I allow them to direct my daily activities. I notice I’ve not spent much time pursuing my passion (like writing about the intersectionality of spirituality and disability or the way BLM impacts that intersectionality) or manifesting my dreams (like making Radical Wholeness a vibrant ministry online).  I become aware of how the details and minutia of THE MOVE have made self-care secondary to the list of things to do.  So today I put writing for Radical Wholeness on the list of things to do. I made self-care and passion a priority. It feels good.  It’s not that I didn’t have other stuff to do, I consciously took back control, choosing my life activities in alignment with my passion. 

Sometimes I feel like taking control of my life activities is not a choice but I know it always is.  I wake up to my power. I decide it is time to stop sleepwalking through life. I invite you to touch that innate wholeness within you and draw strength and courage from it. Just take a moment to breathe. If you feel that something other than conscious choice has been driving your life lately, look and see what is in the backseat.  Give yourself space to explore what activity you might engage in if purpose and passion and creativity were priorities in your activities today.  Then DO THAT activity!  See, I’m yelling again.  It’s important.  If pain or healing or work or grief or survival seems to have been driving your activities, draw strength from your wholeness, still untouched and undiminished by outer conditions, and choose a simple action.  For me, even the smallest action aligned with purpose, passion and creativity affirms my innate divinity and renews my faith in wholeness as my true nature. 

What's driving your life choices and what's been left in the back seat?
Image description: narrow view of the rear window of a car, a cream colored straw fedora with black and white patterned band on the ledge and the gray, rear headrests of the back seat showing.

2 thoughts on “What’s in the backseat?

  1. When I read your article, I feel tired! However, from all you have had to do, you manage to pull yourself back to center and reach out to support others. You are a courageous woman. Thanks for sharing your gifts.


    1. It seems I have the energy and sometimes the sense to go back to center more easily when I am following my passion. It’s why I try not to let passion sit in the backseat too much.


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