In my garden this year the weeds are plentiful. Especially one kind of weed that is very satisfying to find and pull out. It is wide and can spread out its lush and large tendrils for several feet in all directions but at its base is a small ball and if you are lucky and pull it out just right you get the very deep central small single minuscule little root. I am always amazed that such a small yet tenacious root can give rise to such a prolific plant. Buckets of this weed come out of my garden and into the compost. A Taproot, as it is called, turns out is the first root to appear from the seed and remains the central root of the plant.
I love this as a metaphor.
While we may, in our lives, spread out in many directions with flashy, fleshy greenery we have one central root to our lives and it has always been true. In the Pathwork this is called our Soul Task. The promise is that finding this task and staying true to it is the secret to a satisfying life. Recently, my husband Tom found a letter that I wrote him in 1988. We had been married for 7 years and I was about to turn 35. In the letter I say that I feel like I have checked important boxes in my life: kids, self employment and married for life. While all this is great I go on in the letter to answer a question Tom has asked me the week before. He asked, “Do you think we will ever make the Big Time.” He is referring our fledgling technology business at the time. Reading it all these years later, I am pretty astonished at my answer . I write, “I think we will — but on a different track than what we are on now. I think the contribution we can really make is to share with others who we are and how we are and that is our most marketable product!” I go on to say that I am clear I can only keep going in this business for two more years.
We finally sold the company in 2019, 21 years later. There was no linear trajectory. Having kids was very challenging for me as a step parent, especially during the teen years. Married life for us included a three-year separation, with me in California and Tom in Virginia. Each of us through misery was led to do our own work in therapy and finding the Pathwork. I go on in the letter to say, with not much humility, “that I have this idea that I was conceived with some magical, unique, special resource — since I am an only child.” But the first 28 years before I met Tom, I continue to to say was, “an undoing with one step forward and two steps backward — but I always knew there was more and I was waiting.”
Who is this young woman? And how did she have such a clear sense of a mission awaiting her. I would say she had a solid sense of her Taproot!
Well part of me is still waiting now all these years later and part of me feels she has solidly arrived. And with her husband Tom they share with others who they really are and help others feel the courage to do the same.
It is worth it to not get too distracted by all the tendrils of life and consider your main purpose. There is a kind of click when you find it and spend your life deepening it.