Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Sometimes I feel like I am suffocating. My chest tightens, my breath shortens, my head feels light and just before I panic, I recover.

Upon presentation of these symptoms, a doctor might suggest high blood pressure or low blood pressure or even panic attacks. The pastor might ask me to consider the life path I have chosen and whether or not this is the result of guilt. The psychic or the shaman may interpret this as a spiritual attack related to my ancestors and say that I am suffering the sins of my fathers before me. But they are all wrong.

Taking inventory of your life usually occurs around a big birthday--25, 30, 35, 50. And sometimes that inventory can cause brief feelings of suffocation. Sometimes the suffocation is due to a fear of what lies ahead and sometimes it is the result of what happened in the past.

Three weeks before my 35th birthday, I am taking inventory. And it's time for change. Maybe it will just be a move to a bigger, nice apartment. Or maybe I will decide that cleaning outhouses for 50 grand a year is the job for me. Maybe I will buy a dog or perhaps I will start thinking before I speak. I know it all sounds drastic. What is wrong with my life as it is?

There is nothing really wrong with it except that I don't make enough money. But some days, I struggle to find enough that is really right. Am I having the impact on the world that I always dreamed I'd have? Am I utilizing my God-given talents and abilities to the potential that God expected when he blessed me with them? Am I making any difference at all? And if I am making a difference to someone, then why am I not focusing on that as my life's purpose?

Recently quite a few people have come forward to tell me that in their expert opinions, I am really not fulfilling my purpose in life. I am not working the job I SHOULD be working. And some, have even made suggestions of what I might do instead. While I appreciate the concern and the genuineness with which the suggestions were offered, I submit this: isn't that a discovery I should make on my own?

Please, don't just stand there telling me what I should be doing, help me get to the nearest sofa so I can take a load off. Loosen my collar, wipe my brow or just be supportively quiet. My being is so weighed down by all of this inventory taking and the many other life issues I deal with daily that I am suffocating.

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