Where to start?
What you are about to read is, in essence, a coming out.
I believe a touch of irony sits just below most situations in the world. No surprises then, that a man who purports a philosophy of full expression has met with tremendous hardship when faced with the challenge of doing the very thing his philosophy demands.
And this has been so true for me.
I will forever be able to recall that jaw dropping moment, and the shock that came along with it, when I first became aware something in particular was expected of me.
‘No! It can’t be true! It just can’t be!’
It was about 7 years ago and I felt as if I had been called to be a priest.
I thought of the person I was.
It just didn’t make sense.
There were many things I loved about my life that weren’t really going to be possible if I was to become a priest.
So, despite the insistence of my intuition, I set about relentlessly building the case for a life of indulgence and revelry. There were far too many good times to be had to even contemplate a stint in the priesthood.
The voice calling me persisted but I was able to resist it, and eventually it would become quieter, but it was always there, whispering in the background.
I guess I should have known something was up. The clues were everywhere.
Raised a Catholic, I recall a conversation with my parents when I was just a little boy. They were enforcing the dress code for Mass.
‘God doesn’t care what we wear to Mass!’ was my stance.
Already spirituality, rather than religion, was innate to me.
My great friend Matthew would introduce me to his friends as, ‘This is Tim – he’s a Jesus man!’
Krshni, a beautiful Indian friend of mine, always states that deep down I am a Hindu.
And a dear family friend, Father Mark Croker, has long held, ‘you should have been a priest Tim. You’d make a great priest!’
Yes, it would be fair to say, that the clues were there.
But that didn’t stop me. I continued to numb my calling, keeping it to the barest of whispers, as I set about living life as a metaphor. (Check footnote)
If I looked back to when my life started to unravel it had its beginnings here, when I chose complete denial, rather than acceptance. Stuck and caged where I was but refusing to follow the natural direction that had been asked of me. My demise was underway.
While personally (and very privately) everything unravelled, I was able to maintain quite an impressive masquerade. I was contributing in many areas and doing wonderful things. People were impressed and they were getting what they wanted from me.
But I knew things weren’t right. And those close to me during this time would say that is an understatement.
As luck would have it I had an interesting conversation with a clairvoyant, a gift from a friend, Stella. I mentioned to her I was struggling a little with my identity.
She replied, ‘Oh that’s easy. You are like a priest, but you’re not a priest.’
It was the missing piece in my personal dilemma – otherwise known as a major identity crisis. It was not a priest I was called to be, nor was I meant to be tied to an institution and definitely not bound by a set of rules – just committed to a world where everyone in it is loved and respected for who they are.
There was relief and fear.
Why were spiritual messages pouring into a brain that wanted nothing to do with it. This was my biggest mistake. I was so attached and blinded by who I thought I was and wanted to be, I couldn’t see who I was.
Now, this conversation was some time ago and though I have been edging towards sharing who I am more fully with the world there has been much fear and much hesitation…and I have paid for it.
My health, my relationships, my attitude, my emotional and financial health all disintegrated.
I allowed people to treat me unfairly and struggled to build appropriate boundaries around myself. I spoke to people about my thinking and ideas and they walked away with them.
People close to me said, ‘I don’t believe in you!’ And how could they?
I wasn’t losing my voice –I no longer had one.
I didn’t believe in myself.
Throughout it all, the voice that first spoke to me when I was a child remained patient and faithful.
It’s time that voice was free.
You see, I am not the type of person who just flaunts who they are to the world – I never wanted to cause trouble. I could be loud, sure – but rarely me. I guess that is why, and maybe some of you reading this might be doing the same, I often presented as somewhat of a masquerade. It’s safe. People like you and feel safe around when they know what they are going to get.
But it’s not safe. And worse still – how can the people around you possibly know you, when what they are getting isn’t the truth?
I have walked with fear and darkness from the time I was a child. And this hasn’t changed. Nor do I want it to.
What has is my ability to walk with it more honestly, and to accept it lovingly, and this has only been a recent occurrence.
Two weeks ago I found myself with nothing else to lose. Everything I was, or thought I was, has been slowly fading away and breaking down. For a time I didn’t know where I ended and the masquerade began. The intense personal work of the past few years has finally paid off however, and what remains is who I am.
Last night I cried a river of tears, It caught be by surprise as the floodgates opened. But it didn’t feel wrong. It felt right. It felt like the final farewell to all I once was.
I am still the same person, but if anything has changed it is the lightness with which I tread the earth and the honesty with which I speak.
I feel…kind of…free.
I have finally granted myself permission to be me and to share the spiritual philosophies that, for whatever reason, I have been blessed with.
So I now move forward, sharing a philosophy of love and service with the world. Sharing what I believe to be right and what I believe to be the real truth. Not what is comfortable or popular to the ears of others?
I am no longer playing to win. I am fighting for what is right.
As part of this fight, and to celebrate my own personal journey I am just today releasing the first ‘Phusion Mini’ publication.
It examines the Easter Story, the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the lessons we can all take from it – regardless of whether or not we consider ourselves to be spiritual or religious.
It is titled, ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told Could be Yours’.
Jesus was an incredible man and his, is a cracking story. He is one of the coolest human beings to have lived.
I have been hiding who I am for some time. I guess I have experienced my own personal crucifixion. And it feels light to be back.
I have a mountain of information to share. I am looking forward to unloading that as well.
Here I come, ready or not!
The book can book can be downloaded from the shop page at:
Footnote: Author Steven Pressfield explores life as a metaphor in his book, ‘Turning Pro!’