Wounds + Authentic Makeup = True Calling

iStock_000000231241XSmallWould you be the person you are today without the experience of surviving your major life wounds? I’ve been pondering the idea of a truly benevolent Universe. In such a Universe everything conspires for your highest good.

Everything includes every annoyance and even your most heart-breaking disappointments.  Every challenge has been for your good and the highest good of everyone else involved.

Normally when we say “it’s all good”  – it’s after a big hurt when we are coming to terms with a disappointment or an outcome that at the time was not a desired.

Yet if the Universe is indeed a benevolent, cooperative environment, that takes everything into account for our ultimate blessing, then perhaps these are its operating principles.

1). You and I came equipped with the exact completely unique and authentic makeup we need to create whatever life’s work we most want.

2). Our less than encouraging childhood not only frightened us from expressing authentically but at the same time built our strength and determination to one day become more fully authentic.

3). Our stumbles, failures and suffering were all necessary so that our resolve to serve others with the same suffering, could build itself to a point of unwavering commitment.

Our wounds influence our passions.  These passions over time become our heart’s desires.  What if we needed the experience of being scared to death in order to really care enough to seize a true calling?

Perhaps our true life’s work means so much to us that deep within we can’t imagine not going for it.

Is it possible that your vocational uncertainty and resistance to working a true calling is an attempt to deny the very pain that has made you who you are?

Perhaps your one true vocation calls you like no other because no other could have felt your pain like you have.

Yes both your authentic makeup and your life experiences have prepared you to answer your sacred call.  It’s great that you’re afraid.

If you aren’t afraid then you can’t really care enough to make a difference.  If you don’t make a big difference, you won’t make a lot of money.  If you don’t make a lot of money you’ll be less able to be generous with others.

That’s the beauty of being selfish in service to others.  What’s really good for you is even better for humanity.

Embrace your wounds; they have made you the strong woman or man that you are.  Your existence here is not a cruel joke.   You were meant to do the work that only you can do.

Life is for living all out!  You can make a difference and make more money by being the boldly beautiful being that you are, wounds and all.


  1. Tom,

    I’ve embraced all my trials and tribulations as spiritual journeys and lessons. Often the lesson is to forgive (usually myself) or to let go, but sometimes there are lessons of compassion, or having fun, or being present. Fear is a different thing – some things scare me – but I don’t let fear run my life – except for that skydiving or bungie jumping thing… When I come across fear though, I do try to tune in and see if there is further information for me to listen to.

    I appreciate the ’embrace your wounds’.. Important and profound.
    .-= Michelle Vandepas´s last blog ..Angela Bear – Millionaires Access =-.

  2. I love how you look at being selfish during the services of others is a double win. The person who figures out how to help as many people as possible wins as well as the people s/he helps.

    I sometimes forget all the good that I’ve created. I always want to be five steps ahead of where I am now. It’s understandable. I have goals that need to be met. I just have to remember to stay selfish so I can reach as many people as possible.

  3. Karl – Yep. I love being selfish in service to others. We each have our place and often the bolder we get the more value and service we give. Lots of good has been made in the world by driven entrepreneurs who became philanthropists. You lift many with your work. Stay at it.

  4. Tom,
    I remember that wound I got as a kid – riding my bike as fast as I could down the biggest hill in the neighborhood. It hurt really bad! And I probably cried, and then got a band aid or three…and then, got back on that bike and did it again. Failure back then was so temporary. Maybe that’s not the exact angle you were going with here…it’s good for me, though, as I think about those wounds that I might get today…and would I just patch them up and do it again, or would I hesitate?? Here’s to patching it all up and going for it again…
    .-= Lance´s last blog ..Exposed =-.

  5. I agree! My wounds have helped to sculpt who I am and what my passions are. If I hadn’t gone down the painful road I did, I wouldn’t have had the ideas I have had, nor the courage to move forward with them. Pain sucks, so don’t waste it. I really try not to.

    My authentic artist is moving forward! I am studying and getting better, venturing into areas I wouldn’t have thought I would. I love it!!

  6. Hi Tom – Now I’m really confused because you’re back at your normal domain again. Have you got two blogs now?

    I used to hate bad things happening to me – I thought they wasted time from my life and held me back.

    More recently I have realised that I’ve actually benefited from the learning experiences. As you say, we wouldn’t be the person we are now without shit happening to us.

  7. Hi Tom,

    I do think healing comes from embracing our wounds (and the lessons they taught us and the strengths and intelligence we developed in response to them).

    I also think that we can learn in easy and pleasurable ways (as I guess you do too).
    .-= Evan´s last blog ..A Week’s Holiday =-.

  8. I believe we all have one true calling, and that is to give our best at every situation. Every experience we had in life are just variables nudging us to unleash our best. Until we learn this we will never know our calling. 🙂
    .-= Walter´s last blog ..Success eludes mediocrity =-.

  9. Michelle – I’m not so sure that fear is that different in this context. Perhaps we are fearing what we fear because we aren’t willing to see where it might go. In this post I was thinking about the accumulation of all of our experiences and how they have shaped us to care about what we really care about. I appreciate the visit and I have not doubt that you’ll continue to deeply self-examine.

    Laurie – “pain sucks so don’t waste it.” Thanks for the way you put that. You know I love direct. Keep following the artists trail – enthusisam can’t steer you wrong.

    Cath – Yep two blogs now. Some folks have told me that I write about the same things at http://www.biglinkrally.com/ but I wanted the events to have their own home. Glad you’ve come to learn from your shit. It’s all good. Boy am I saying that a lot lately. 🙂

    Lance – You’re right I was thinking more about the emotional and spiritual scarring but your analogy applies nicely. Who says that big hurts need to stay with us for a long time? We can heal as quickly as we like with or without benefit of the lesson.

    Evan – Absolutely. Wisdom does not have to come form pain. But pain sure gets our attention. Pain has helped me to see what I reall give a damn about and who.

  10. Tom, I have had my share of troubles, but I believe that each one has made me who I am today.

    By the way I really enjoy reading your blog. You have such an amazing outlook on life.
    .-= Rose´s last blog ..Christmas holiday themes for WordPress =-.

  11. Tom,

    You wrote a damn fine piece here–thank you for stirring up the mud! I would sign every single thought of yours.

    However, this idea sticks out for me: “…your vocational uncertainty and resistance to working a true calling is an attempt to deny the very pain that has made you who you are.”

    You are correct.

    Fooling around with–I believe artificial–uncertainty and other distractions is indeed an attempt to suppress past pain with the intention to escape it. Similar to Greek tragedy, the action we take to avoid the past is the very recipe that destines us to repeat it indefinitely, until we are willing to meet our “demons” face to face.

    You are inspiring, as always!

    I love you man,


  12. Paul Maurice Martin says:

    I’ve also noticed that adverse events often made me better in the long run. You can find yourself looking back at something that darkened your life for a while and actually find yourself glad it happened because you see that you’re now a better person for it.

    That said, it’s not always the case – for example, adverse events kill and maim children every day. Whole populations live in poverty and suffer from preventable diseases.

    I think it’s important for folks who live in prosperous countries and happen to have their health to be mindful that mental attitude isn’t the only factor impacting people’s well being even though it’s an important one.

  13. Hi Tom!

    I have been missing from here for awhile but am glad I stopped in.

    Thank you as always with what you’ve shared…indeed, each experience has a star and a scar and it is up to us to choose which one to wear…ultimately this molds us into us!

  14. Scared to death to find a true calling is one of those recurring themes … it’s the stuff movies are made of (Scrooge comes to mind.)

  15. Walter – That’s an interesting take. I think we all do have one true purpose and that’s to experience joy. Perhaps we’d be there by both being and doing our best. I think that expressing our true calling can be challenging and messy and even dark at times. I know I live and work my calling daily and I often fall short of my best. But I’m alive in the arena bloodied and all and it feels great.

    Henie- It’s always great to hear form an old friend. I like your star/scar choice – very profound. Be well and be strong!

    Rose – Welcome. Yes you and I and all of us have had our challenges and yet we still stand and serve. That’s life. So glad you resonate with my outlook. Bless you.

    Egbert – Love you back bold one. You certainly know about pain and how to face it. I’m honored that you’d visit and take the time to reflect on my words. Here’s to facing pain forever and moving through the mud. Thank you.

    Paul – Welcome. Yes the perspective of reflecting on pour past troubles is huge and important. I agree with you, we are blessed and responsible for both our prosperity and for keeping our eyes wide open to challenges around the globe. We need to do what we can with what we have. That’s why I love the responsibility of loaning money to third world entrepreneurs through Kiva.

    J.D. – Yes and it’s a recurring theme that draws me in every time whether it be movie or book.

  16. Tom,

    This is such a great concept. We don’t often think that our pain is valuable and such a part of who we are.

    And in this world of duality I think it helps us appreciate the good things – and appreciate just what our true calling could mean to us if we accept its challenge!

    .-= Keena´s last blog ..Develop your intuition with meditation =-.

  17. Chris Edgar says:

    Hi Tom — that’s something I’ve noticed in myself as well, and in those I’ve worked with — that doing something that really lights us up is almost certainly going to trigger old shame and fear. But I’ll definitely take that kind of rollercoaster over blandness. 🙂

  18. You wrote: What’s really good for you is even better for humanity.

    Praise Jesus, Buddha and Cap’t Crunch for that one Tom. I agree!

    I didn’t see your Wounds + Authentic Makeup = True Calling post until I finished my latest piece, Bitch Slappin’ My Funny. I wrote: “I can’t really help or inspire anyone. All I can really do is help myself – that is, focus on the “I” and everything else will (I hope) fall into place.”

    I dunno if I want to embrace my wounds – prefer some days to bitch slap them but why worry. Why ask why?

    As my favorite patron saint of cartoons once said: “Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out alive.” — Bugs Bunny
    .-= Christa´s last blog ..Bitch Slappin’ My Funny =-.

  19. Christa – A good bitch slapping or in my case a forearm shiver is what we need sometimes to wake up. I love your images and devil may care attitude. Keep pushing those boundaries. You’re admired for it.

    Keena – Thank you. Yes It’;s all good? It’s all good! it’s all good and it’s all God! Appreciation can save the world from its pain and misery.

    Chris – I’ve been risking so often and failing so spectacularly for so long that I can’t even recall blandness. 🙂 Yes shame and fear of embarrassment still grabs hold of me often but what a glorious grip it is to have lived in the arena and survived the sword of truth.

  20. “Our less than encouraging childhoods…”

    Have we ALL had childhoods to run from?, I sometimes wonder. Surely there is someone out there who had an ideal one? There must be.

    I dunno, still I am curious to see who, if anyone, had nothing but cartwheels and bliss 24 / 7 growing up. Do you think there could be such people who exist? And are they happier than the rest of us?

    Just wondering.
    .-= Jannie Funster´s last blog ..Getting To Know Him… Getting To Know All About A Wonderful Blogger. =-.

  21. Amen. I would not be where I am without the pain and joy I experienced growing up…both are critical and over the years I have learned to embrace them. Onward in 2010.

  22. I love this connection you’ve made between the wounds and true callings, I totally agree. I sometimes think that the wounds that cut the deepest are the very ones that happen when we’re engaged in what we love the most.

    James Hillman talks about this paradox in The Soul’s Code, where he says that we’re challenged (and wounded) in exactly the areas where we’re called to go deep.

    And I totally agree with Chris, I’ll take the roller coaster any day!
    .-= SusanJ´s last blog ..The War of Art Revisited… =-.

  23. Susan – Welcome. It’s an honor to have you join us. Yes I agree those wounds while engaged on our path do cut the deepest but are never mortal. They always give me pause for deeper reflection. It’s an endless well. I’m pleased to meet another on the journey.

  24. Tom, I love this blog! Wow! I’m not sure which is my favorite part for it resonated so beautifully within and I have much to think about… If I was to have one takeaway though it would be this:

    [Perhaps your one true vocation calls you like no other because no other could have felt your pain like you have.]

    thank you for this.. as I’m trying to find my authentic voice and speak up about that which felt so hidden even raw sometimes..

    luv Jenn
    .-= Jenn Z´s last blog ..Aww.. The Beauty of a New Year Threshold =-.

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