Monday, November 1, 2010

Finding Purpose

Finding purpose, I get asked that alot and quite honestly, I ask myself that pretty often.
I think so many times that we are all guilty of allowing ourselves to drift. Finding purpose in our lives can be difficult, we have to do things we might not want to do, smile when we don't feel like smiling, and travel a path that has way too many curves and hills.

But when we have no purpose, when we ignore our purpose, it is like being lost at sea or adrift with no direction. Purpose gives us a reason to get up in the mornings, to pursue a sense of worth, to treasure our values. Purpose can be as simple as deciding to greet each person you meet with a smile or as complicated as dedicating your life to a calling of service to others.

When life gets hurried, when seemingly unsurmountable problems arise, most often our sense of purpose tends to drop off the radar screen. For me, when each day becomes jam packed, when
I have no time for stillness, I tend to lose my purpose, to forget it at times. Distractions, big and small, grab our thoughts, steal our time, and there we are , our purpose completely lost.

What is purpose? For me, purpose is the very reason I exist, that my life happened. All my life,
people have found comfort in talking with me, sharing with me. I have always tried my best to listen without judgement, not so much to advise, but just be there to hear their stories.
Living without judgement is hard and I fail at it so much, but I think it is a part of my purpose.
Creating and sharing music is a part of my purpose, teaching is a part of my purpose, I think writing this blog is a part of my purpose.

So purpose can have many dimensions, and I believe we all have multi purposes. Some of us are here to be great parents and rear children that are remarkable, some of us live lives that touch people all over the world, while others change the world with our deeds and no one ever knows it. Purpose can bring fame, and glory and it can bring heartache and sadness. Finding our purpose can lead us down a lonely road or take us on a crowded one way street. The second verse of the Tao talks about the beautiful cannot exist without the ugly, the tall without the short, peace without war, .....I think finding our purpose is much like those dualities the Tao speaks of......purpose is important, yet it can take you in a direction you truly do not want to go. Purpose can make you feel like a saint, and then full of guilt, because maybe your purpose allowed you to help someone, while ignoring or hurting someone else.

So what answer do I have for finding purpose, I think you have to allow yourself stillness.
In the stillness, I believe purpose will reveal itself. I think purpose is something we are born with, and many of us cast it aside as we grow up. Maybe our purpose doesn't fit what our parents want for us, what we believe or see as success. Honestly, I think that some of us go to our graves, ignoring our purpose. But maybe even that in itself is purpose, maybe that was the lesson or reason we lived.

1 comment:

  1. I knew my purpose when I was younger - to raise my daughters the best way I could. But when I was in my forties I felt a little lost. I went back to college thinking of a career in Library Sciences and work as an archivist. But things happened and my daughters and grandchildren needed me so I helped them instead. I was a little disappointed back then that I didn't have a career, but now when I look back I can see it was the best thing I could ever have done, for them and for me. I am happy my purpose in life was shown to me. If I could choose again, I would do the same thing.