I realize now why I have been having problems in my personal life and with my photography.
As many of you know here I used to be married. My wife decided she wanted to start over and delete everyone and everything from her past life. There was no discussion or warning, she just disappeared one day. And it tore me up. It has taken me several years to realize everything that has happened to me and everything that has changed. And with the recognition of these changes I have found out something about myself. Something that I wasn't completely aware of.
I was a full time photographer for 22 years. This wasn't just a job or a career, it was 'who' and 'what' I was. I wasn't just Victor. I was Victor H. Schlosser Photographer. It was a part of me. Something I did because not only did I enjoy it, but I needed to do it. I wasn't complete without it. And I have been incomplete these last few years. Yes, I tried doing some things, but for all the wrong reasons. I did them for the money, or because I thought it was what I should be doing. That's why I failed, I was doing everything for the wrong reasons.
I had to shut down my photography business due to the divorce. I have tried several times to get it going again - and failed. I have tried getting back into photography, just taking photos again - and failed. This gave me doubts. Doubts about photography. Doubts about work. Doubts about myself. And I couldn't get these to go away. These doubts were holding me back. And now I believe I understand where these doubts came from.
I don't consider myself to be a religious person. I have total respect for people that are but throughout my life I haven't been able to find the ... Faith ... that these people have. I do believe that there is something that controls what we do. Whether it is God, The Force, Mother Nature, or whatever, there is something behind our universe and our lives but I find it hard to accept what the established religions try to force on us. I think the key is figuring out what the source of this power is (to me) and then accepting it rather than fighting against it and we will get much farther in our lives and in our careers.
I am currently working for a major corporation as a retail store manager. I like the company and have been a customer of theirs since the 1960's. I still shop there because they have things that I like and enjoy owning. I just returned today from a 5 day intensive training program that the company provides to managers. I now understand a lot more about the company, its goals and intentions, and what it wants to do. I also have a lot of tools that I will be able to use to build my stores sales and grow the business. And this training program, or rather my attendance at this program, is what triggered the realization that I am talking to you about here.
Monday morning I felt great and the flight and the events throughout that day went well. On Tuesday morning I got up feeling good and headed in to classes. After an hour or so there I started feeling like I was allergic to something there. It felt like hay fever, or like I was in a room full of cats. I thought I was having a reaction to the new carpeting in the room or something like that. As the day progressed I started feeling worse. My eyes were burning, I had a runny nose, headache, and a slight cough. Then as the day progressed I was finding it harder and harder to walk, I couldn't keep my balance. Then about 4:30 that afternoon my chest tightened up and I was having trouble breathing. I ended up being taken to a hospital in an ambulance.
My blood pressure was high, my vision was blurred, chest was hurting, couldn't walk, was having trouble breathing... They were all concerned about either a heart attack or a stroke. After taking a lot of my blood, doing an EKG, a chest X-Ray, and a Head CT, it was finally determined that I had a sinus infection. My chest hurt because of the labored breathing, and there was fluid in my ear canal which was why I couldn't walk. They gave me several medications and I am feeling much better now. I did make my classes on Wednesday but I really didn't feel or look like I should be there.
Something happened during the last half of this week that I didn't grasp at the time. All of these people in attendance there, over 200 people in all between staff, instructors and participants, all of these people were showing genuine concern for me. This wasn't business. This wasn't worry about losing a company asset. This was concern for me, concern about Victor. At the time I thanked them, told them I was okay, and went on. Not really thinking about it.
This morning I was listening to Dr. Wayne Dwyer talking about "The Power of Intention" on TV and I realized what I have been missing. I saw what I missed over the last few days. Why I haven't been able to get anything done. Why each and every thing that I have tried I have failed at. It is because I was doing it for the wrong reasons and in the wrong way. I now know what the 'source' is for me.
When my wife left it almost destroyed me. I thought I had nothing left. The pain was unlike anything I had ever felt before and I just couldn't take it. I closed myself off and built up a wall to defend myself. But that wall works both ways. It kept the pain out - and I haven't been hurt since then. But it also bottled something else inside of me.
The ability to Love.
I used to do photography because I loved it. I loved shooting. I loved creating the images. I loved making people happy with the images. I also feel that the love I felt both for the art and for the subjects/images is what made my images what they were. What made my work different from other peoples.
I also realize now that the expressions of concern and all the help I received this week wasn't done because these people just thought it was what they were supposed to do or because it was at work, it was Love for a fellow human being that they had hardly known for a few days. But I didn't realize this at the time because I was closed off to it.
It is impossible to receive love if you can't give love. This is how the 'source' works. You receive in proportion to what you give. But you have to give first, otherwise you won't be open to receive when the opportunity is there.
My head still hurts a bit, my throat is still a bit sore, but I feel better than I have in a long time. A lot more relaxed. A lot more comfortable. I just hope I have the strength and the courage to open myself up again. I know I would like to try, that I would like to get back a bit of what I lost, and see what else is available to me. I know there are great things out there and I would like to be a part of them, both on the giving end and on the receiving end.
If you have read this far - Thank You.