“A lot of my life was spent feeling empty and dissatisfied and negative. Life is hard and then you die. I was a young mother in the 1960s. I was part of that whole movement, and never found how to put my pieces together. They were always at war with one another; my inner parts. I didn’t have faith for a very long time. Or at least I had faith only in negative things. My faith was that nothing good would happen and that you could always count on being disappointed.

And when that changed was the whole way in which I found the calling, when I went to see this woman who was a metaphysician; a “Science of Mind” lady. And I was at a really down place; a bottom in my own life. I had no idea what to do. I’d left social work. My one child had gone off to college, and I thought, ‘Well that’s it, there’s nothing more for me.’

So before I decided to kill myself I went to see this lady and she said, ‘What is it that you want?’ And I never sought any kind of spiritual help. I considered myself an atheist, at least an agnostic, a cynic, a skeptic; this was not for me, but I was pretty desperate. And she said, ‘What do you want?’

And I said, ‘Well, that’s my problem. I don’t know what I want. What I want is I want to know what I want.’

And she said, ‘Do you pray?’

I said, ‘Lady, come on…. Pray? You know, I’m an intellectual, I’m a Jew, I, I never prayed in my life.’

And she said, ‘I’m going to pray for you. Father of the universe, take this woman by the hand and guide her to her rightful work. She knows she wants to do something to make a difference. She doesn’t know what it is.’ Then she said, ‘That’s it. Now you pay attention.’

A little hokey, but I was unemployed and I was looking in the want ads. And I had left social work, I wanted to do something else; make a lot of money. And something said to me, ‘Well why don’t you see what social work has to offer?’ And, in retrospect, that was the still small voice I think.

So I looked and there was this tiny little ad. It was the smallest ad on the page and it said, ‘Person of Jewish background and culture to work with Jewish criminal offenders.’ And that was my moment. Every time I retell it—and I’ve retold it a lot over the years—the hairs on my arms stand up with what they call in the program ‘God bumps.’ And I thought, ‘Oh shit! You know? This is it! And this worked! This worked.’
I Want To Know What I Want — by Harriet Rossetto (Portraits in Faith)