Finding myself

Mission (Feb 2004)

I lost sight of my mission somewhere along the way.
At my birth I was given an inescapable task.
Go and teach, spread the Word, be worthy of your heritage.
Such a noble legacy, stories of heroism, sacrifice, and love.
Somewhere, my ego got in the way.
In my zeal to serve I realized other things.
I became less nave and more cynical.
My compassion never diminished, but my intentions changed.
When I protest, they say Im just being humble.
Most of the time, it is true.
But somewhere inside me, my conscience is cringing.

I recognized the need to strive one day,
When I sat in a room full of people and didnt want to connect with them.
Fellow human beings, and even my social abilities were strained.
(please understand, for me this is very strange!)
It is like a shock to the system.
Surrounded by the things I love most in the world
I wanted to be alone.
It has never occurred to me to be other that who I am
The combination of characteristics that makes me unique.
And my beliefs will never change.

But in myself, I was aware of a call for transformation.
God never leaves us without a solution.
To pray, to seek guidance, to simply serve with all of your heart and soul.
Struggling against the lower nature, the part of you that says:
But I want to sleep in today. Or I want a reward for this job.
In the process of separation from self,
I found myself, somewhere along the way.

There is a reason parts of this poem are in present tense, and other parts in past tense. This poem represents conflicting emotions, and how one deals with them. Also, in the process of transformation, one never knows if they have really overcome something, I think.

You may also like

4 Comments

  1. Very well written 🙂
    I think that it’s something that almost everyone deals with. “Self discovery” and exploration is something that I know I struggled with…(still do sometimes) and sometimes your emotions can really get the best of you and mess you up in the head…

    anyway, well put!! you really have a good way with words…

  2. Sholeh,

    Wow. I first read this a day or two ago, and it is the type of thing i couldn’t hope to comment on right away.

    Now that i am trying to comment, it’s still more than a little overwhelming- there is so much here. I don’t want to make a nuisance of myself by rambling on and on (he says after two paragraphs of having said basically nothing, haha)

    I really like this part:

    “I recognized the need to strive one day,
    When I sat in a room full of people and didnt want to connect with them.
    Fellow human beings, and even my social abilities were strained.
    (please understand, for me this is very strange!)
    It is like a shock to the system.
    Surrounded by the things I love most in the world
    I wanted to be alone.”

    the middle part is funny. 😉 imho, the first and last parts describe very well the “existential pain” (to quote my high school english teacher) of growing (emotionally, spiritually, mentally) while those around you may not be experiencing the same thing in the same time frame. (just a stab in the dark there, but that’s what comes across to me)

    i really like the parts about the call for transformation; solutions; prayer; the struggle against the lower nature, and the interesting thing you did with tenses and thanks for semi-explaining it- that helped me alot, you know, to pick up on it, and the possible meanings)

    again, there’s so much here.

    a part of the first stanza also reminded me of a joke a friend of mine (who ended up getting to serve in Haifa!) used to make about himself that captures the paradox of humility- “my humility is so inspiring.” 😉 he had a gift for spiritually incisive humor.

    sorry for the rambling length of this comment.

    thanks for sharing!

    awesome.

  3. Thank you Sam and Jay. I never really analyze what I write, so it is nice to have other folks pick up on things that I didn’t think about. I almost always free-write and rarely edit. So y’all are seeing the raw thing here.

  4. maybe i edit too much, but editing has become an important part of the process for me. hmm…