;This week conversations with friends seemed to centre around connecting with our life purpose. I’ve always wanted to say “…and that is my calling”, but I’m just not quite in that place yet. I can sense it’s getting closer, yet it’s still elusive.
One friend, that I have watched struggle so much in the last year as she has taken off the corporate layers that were weighing her down, reflected on the temporary job she has helping in a school that requires extra assistance with pupils who need more focused attention. She said “although it’s not my life’s purpose it is, at least, doing something more purposeful.”
There’s something in that.
Then I was reading an account of a young girl whose mother had left her as a baby in a small rural village with her grandparents to bring her up while she went off to seek her fortune in the big city. Years had passed and the little girl was so miserable and sickly as she yearned to see the mother with whom she had no contact nor memories.
One day she happened to meet with a very wise lady in the forest and, when asked what was weighing on her tiny shoulders, the little girl shared her heart’s desire as she looked at this lady with tear stained eyes. Unlike the grandparents, this lady made no move to console her with thoughts that one day soon her mother would come.
Instead, she quietly and calmly told the little girl that her mother may not come back for 20 years, or ever, though perhaps she would come by next week, she could not say. Her mother, who had not made her fortune in the city, and in fact had lost everything, comforted herself that perhaps at least she had done the best thing for her daughter.
The wise lady talked to the little girl about this. Then she asked the little girl to think about the scene her mother would come upon if ever she did return, ailing from her own disappointments and hurts and failure. Would the little girl prefer her mother find her sad and weak, living in run down conditions, or that she find her strong and vibrant, in a thriving environment?
From that moment the little girl determined to take more care of herself and the little house she lived in with her grandparents, and this in turn inspired the grandparents and then the neighbours to take more care of their little village. The scene transformed from run down to flourishing.
There is something in that too.
I may not know yet what role awaits me, but I do trust that one will come about that fits like a glove.
In the meantime I can wring my hands and weep for what is not yet in my life, or I can be purposeful and do things that matter.
What matters to me matters not. There is not a shelf stacked with ‘good causes’, though society would have you think that. What matters to you matters; discount anything that matters because it's important to someone else. Whether it’s nurturing a seed, taking a hike, contemplating the extraordinary science of nature or throwing a javelin, what matters is that it fills your cup and feels like time well spent.
We are often so busy doing things we feel we should do, and being miserable, what is the point in that? Misery was certainly not your life’s purpose, it only points to what you don’t want in your life. A great start, but don’t stay there.
If your life is crap, just do something that at least feels better than whatever you are doing right now that is making you miserable. But don’t stop there; keep going, until your life is more joyful than miserable.
Be purposeful in filling your cup and then, one dot at a time, one day at a time, it will lead you to your best life.
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