Donna Wares, Managing Editor Online at SecondAct.com, a website for people over 40 that I, (Michelle Rafter), write for, is a big fan of the blogathon. She is inviting bloggers in this year’s event to share your second act stories – or the second acts you have accomplished or aspire to – in a post on your respective blogs on Wednesday, May 16.
I want to be Oprah of Spiritual Directors. I want more than just a TINY handful of people to know what spiritual direction is, what a spiritual director does and how spiritual direction can help. I want to bring spiritual direction to seeking moms. I want to help moms see that their life is wonderful, complex and beautiful. That every experience we have is an important part of who we become, that we have the right to create, and the opportunity to create our lives anew.
My Second Act comes as a continuation of my first act as mom, social worker, and spiritual director. I love what I have accomplished, what my life experience has taught me, what my past has done to help create the person I am; good and bad. As I stand on the cusp of what is my second act I know that this is the time for me to become all God has called me to be. And how exciting it is to think that I have the passion to do something so wonderful, a passion that could just as easily never been allowed to come to fruition.
As a child I lived in a family that was not supportive: spiritually or emotionally. Like so many who have lived in alcoholic families I learned to block my emotions, hid my life, be someone else while desperately trying to find out who I am being called to be. I had been raped three times as a teen, so I hid my femininity. Through I hid my femininity it could not and would be destroyed, it quietly grew more beautiful. I have battled with depression since I was 13. Still the depression brought me to a wonderful psychologist that supported me and helped me grow emotionally. All of those experiences could not keep from finding my husband, who was nothing like the men in my life; he is supportive spiritually, emotionally and lovingly. He came from a family that taught that women and men were equal, that God saw women and men as equal in callings, talent and desire. For my husband there were no traditional roles but roles that came from discussion of who was best at what. We married had children and I worked as a social worker, preschool teacher and then I felt called to go on and become a spiritual director combining all I had done into a more spiritual slant, but I became frozen with fear, and took my studies and did nearly nothing with it.
Then there is the influence of Oprah Winfrey. As a girl I would watch Oprah on WJZ in Baltimore. I followed her and learned about her. She and I, I found, had similar backgrounds and family life. Oprah showed me what a woman could do, could become, was/is a product of her desire to grow, change and be more than she is now. As Oprah became more and more famous she didn’t seem to loose who she was, she still seemed genuine and approachable, something I love about her.
My supportive hubby helped me find myself, I learned from Oprah an example of living positively. If Oprah could create her best life, if my husband’s family was an example that my family was not the norm, I knew deeply in my heart that I could create the life I was being called to have. And if I was being called I could help other moms find and hear their own personal calling by God. Sharing what I learned, paying forward that help that I received from my hubby, the professionals that supported me on my journey to heal, I could be someone who understood for seeking moms.
With all of this: Oprah as my role model, my template, my hubby whose support gives me confidence, and the professionals who gave me the help to grow strong; I know I will be brave and do what God has called me to do! So I have stepped out onto the cliff and God is providing the angels so I do not fall. I have a program I am working on ala Debbie Ford and Oprah, events like the Yahoo Wednesday Informational Chat, Newsletter, Videos, and my blog.
So this Second Act is very exciting because life is what you make of it and I will make my life, my Second Act, one of being supportive and helpful to other moms who seek and hope.