Last night, I decided to take a bath. I lit a candle, shut the lights off, and stepped into the warm water with the same thought as always on my mind. "God, what do I need to do? What purpose did you bring me here for? Please, just give me a sign so I can do your will justice."
I was fooling myself with what should be a relaxing setting, with the "what they do in the movies" hope of finding an answer - or was I? As my mind kept racing as time went on, with the same questions over and over again about what I should be doing to move my life purpose forward, I told myself to be quiet and just be - and surprisingly, I listened.
As I sat there in darkness and in stillness, it gave me the chance to look within myself. Something I fail to do no matter how often I try. The reason I think it worked this time, was because I wasn't really trying - I just decided to let go. This is when I closed my eyes, laid back, and said to myself, "I know I'm supposed to be a light - to make people happy and to ensure they know they're loved."
I felt a oneness saying this out loud to myself. Then, I opened my eyes softly, and often like I do, I saw a story unfold within my head and immediately pasted it into my reality. This scenario consisted of me, in real time, seeing .a ghostly young girl standing at the edge of the bath tub watching me with nothing, but the look of being misunderstood in her eyes. Though I felt afraid and that she could possible hurt me, I also had a sadness wash over me, needing to hear her out. This is when the "sign" I was looking for hit me like a ton of bricks.
The last few weeks, I had been preparing for an audition that I submitted to on a whim and ultimately got myself a callback for. The moment I got the audition, I felt more connected to myself than I had in quite some time, and so incredibly excited to prepare for as it included so many aspects of myself I hadn't been able to use in so long. I sent my mom a video of the song I was planning to sing for it, and we talked soon afterwards where she expressed that maybe I should really give acting and singing a true chance - and I thought that was a great idea and one I was really thrilled about. A few days after, I performed at a showcase and I got the same feeling again - happy, like I was able to feel again (and so easily), along with having a lot of fun in the process. I also got great feedback, which on top of everything, was redeeming in so many ways.
With that serving as context, I asked myself, "How do you feel?" while sitting there in the tub, facing forward, but looking within. "This means so much, Mary. Look deeper." I opened my mind and heart to what I saw unfold within my imagination, and came up with this:
"Since moving here, I haven't really felt a connection with anyone. All I've experienced was false personas and lack of depth within scenarios and individuals. It has felt like I'm living on autopilot and going through the motions - but when I imagine things as they aren't, I am connected. I am living in a new world. I create a different life for myself. When I do this, I'm creating and living the lives of characters I see in these stories I see so clearly, except they're really not characters at all - they're me. They're versions of myself with voices I never knew I had, with feelings I didn't know I felt. This is why I act. I act to get to know myself better, and in doing this, I create the connection I've always longed for - a friendship that's almost indescribably full in so many dimensions. I couldn't think of anything more fulfilling."
Ultimately, the answer I was looking for was to create the stories, as literary works and words, that ever so easily come to my mind, inspire and connect people, and to bring those characters to life even more so, by putting myself into their shoes, pulling them off of the pages, and into the world they were destined to be free in, by acting.
With all of this, I have a very strong and simple point. Stop looking for answers in books. Stop looking for answers in other people. No matter how much you love someone, don't live your life trying to achieve what you think they want you to (chances are, they probably want you to do what you want to do), which is exactly the way to go. Have faith and hope in yourself and any higher power you might believe in, because chances are, if you're looking and asking for a sign, they'll point you straight back to you - it just depends on if you're willing to actually feel and listen.
I read once, I believe it was in The Success Principles by Jack Canfield, that someone once wrote regarding intuition, that the Gods thought of it as such a powerful gift, that the most clever place they could hide it, was within ourselves .- as no one would think to look there - which most oftentimes is true. Heck, obviously I'm a living breathing example of that!
So given my experience last night, if you're looking for an answer to your destiny, find a place where nothing else can impact your thoughts and where you can truly be still and look within yourself. No thoughts about anything. Just check in. I promise eventually, you'll find exactly what you're looking for. It's much easier than it seems.
I highly recommend the bath tub though. After you've given yourself the proper time and attention, who knows, you might even say "Eureka!" ;)
You've got this. Just trust yourself. After all, you're the one who knows you best.
Mary Gabrielle Strause