Life gives us innumerable opportunities to be fully immersed in our purpose, but because of fear, we engage in over-analysis and self-censure. We spend a disproportionate amount of time seeking external validation of what has already been confirmed. Though we know it is time to step out of our fear and into our light, we wait for yet another sign. Sounds familiar?
In this post, I would like to offer a slightly different take on this age-old matter of purpose.
I believe that our real trouble with purpose is due to our failure to see purpose primarily through a spiritual lens. Purpose is not a human endeavor. No mere mortal, soothsayer, stranger, pastor, bishop, shaman, or even life coach can grant you your purpose. Certainly, these people have gifts of their own that can direct us to important questions that help this discovery, but in and of themselves, they are no more divine or less human than you. Finding your purpose is a deeply personal and spiritual matter that requires a process of transparent introspection. This process requires a closer examination of the narratives we’ve come to believe about ourselves, our own system of beliefs (or faith), and what we believe to be our connection and value to the rest of the world.
When answered truthfully, these three questions have helped me to better understand my life purpose:
- How am I touching and activating life around me? More specifically, how am I already making a difference?
- What part of my work and life fuels me – whether I am at an office as a writer, hair stylist, manager, teacher, administrator, or at home as a mother, caretaker, or student? Is it the part in which I’m connecting, giving, healing, encouraging, leading, inspiring, serving, motivating, beautifying, or advocating?
- Lastly, how do I feel when I do any of these? Do I feel alive, confident, connected? Does it feel like nothing else even matters? Do I lose track of time? Would I do this without a financial incentive?
I arrived at the knowledge that my purpose is to make others feel worthy, valued, and whole. I want others to know that they matter. Ultimately, I want them to know that their stories matter too, so I write my way into their hearts. As a writer, I am accountable only for writing whatever has to be written, no matter how uncomfortable the truths. Whether its fiction or nonfiction, the imperative is to first be truthful with myself, despite the vulnerability, because this forum allows me the unique privilege of connecting with others— other real people struggling with real situations. In this space, I am fueled not by the need to impress or curry favor, but by the sacred knowledge that someone else might be coming to this space at some point during their own life journey. It cannot be all about me! In this space, I am no longer worried about being right or wrong; I simply do. I show up. I submit. I surrender. I take courage when I feel that because I have emptied out, someone else now feels less afraid to do the same.
I share all of this with you today to urge you to dig deeper, to commit to the spiritual exercise of unearthing your best. I want to assure you that you are neither scramble-brained nor flawed. You have the propensity to be ridiculously clear and decisive. Be compassionate with your whole and imperfect self today, regardless of the questions you have about what you’ve been put here to do.
Believe that whatever you are called to do is not only important and useful, but part of a greater and divine plan, then do it. Getting to this clarity requires stillness, intention, and attentiveness, but I believe you’re worth it. Getting there might mean unplugging. It could mean clearing the clutter to make room to receive. It might even mean saying “Yes!” to that which you’ve been afraid to do, and a resounding “No” to what’s been too easy to do for too long, despite it distracting you from your greatness.
Be okay with who you are today. Start there, and not with the person you are still beating yourself up for not being. Let go of the old beliefs and narratives you once clinged to so dearly, and don’t spend so much time preoccupying yourself with what your work or role is called. Some days, it might look like writing; other days, it might look like advocating or feeding someone else. On some occasions, it might even sound like preaching! As long as you’re serving your purpose, it really doesn’t matter. Simply do. Show up. Submit. Surrender … all of it. Indeed, you have been called, and your best life is still ahead of you. Lastly, remember this: the life that is most beautiful and worthy of having is the one that you have been called to create
Featured Photo Credit: Annie Spratt