The buzz question of the decade is “What is my purpose?” We all want to know why we incarnated and if we matter anywhere on this big spinning ball we call earth. I am here to say a big thunderous, “YES! YOU MATTER AND YOU ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH!”
I have fallen into the same foxhole as you, a belief that where I am in space in this moment is not enough. After a 21-year career as a massage therapist, my back no longer permitted such strenuous work. I felt lost and like my worth had decreased exponentially. Who am I now if not a massage therapist? Over and over again clients told me how much I helped them back to wellness. During my career I was kind, compassionate, and caring and today those traits still hold true. It took a lot of soul-searching to recognize that I am still me. The role I played as a massage therapist is not me, it was an extension of who I am. Hurray! I am still living my purpose and I am enough! The battle is hard won, fought with therapy, affirmations, rescripting old stories, determination, and a strong, ceaseless desire to know without a doubt that I, you have value.
Where did this idea come from, the sense that we must do some big huge thing in order to attain life purpose; that everyone must notice and love us and we must attain notoriety or fame? It is as though we think that we alone shoulder the responsibility of correcting the wrongs and creating the rights in the world. I know for myself that these thoughts were born of childhood wounds that never healed, wounds from the authorities in my small world that said I was not enough and did not “do it right.” Almost no one comes away from childhood unscathed. Know that uncovering the wound and seeing it for what it is — a mistaken assertion by an unhealed adult — is a good beginning to heal and find the truth of who you are.
I consider my ancestors, whose main objective was survival, to put things in perspective. The daily affairs of tending to livestock and crops, feeding, watering, harvesting, thrashing, butchering, kneading, baking, churning, and sewing, to name a few of many chores, left no time or energy to contemplate and puzzle over our personal value or purpose in life. Their value rested in the knowledge that they aided the lives of their loved ones and maybe, just maybe at the end of the day, had time to read a book to the family by candlelight or make their own music and dance together in the firelight after dinner. Gratitude for loved ones, healthy bodies, crops that made it to harvest, and a roof over their heads played a huge part in helping them know their personal value, their purpose, and contribution to the whole.
I do not suggest we turn back the clocks, but instead realize how our modern “conveniences” and “I need it yesterday” instant gratification mindset have made us restless. Our restless state has led us to competition and a malignant need to acquire more until we come to believe that our work is who we are and without it and our stuff we are nothing. We turn all our pursuits, even hobbies and what started out as pleasurable activities, into a pressurized, often painful measure of our value. “Is this good enough?” “Am I wasting my time?” “Will this project ever go anywhere (i.e. make any money, be noticed by other people, increase my value)?” We forget our true purpose. We forget to be grateful for all that we have in simply being alive.
Your purpose, in my humble opinion, is to be the best you that you can be in this moment.
Take the pressure off. Take a pen and paper and write down all the good things you have done in your life. Affirm your good qualities and give yourself a big bear hug. Chances are you will never know how much you changed the world with your beautiful smile or a heartfelt compliment aimed at a store clerk, bank teller, other public servant, friend, or family member who is having a rough day.
Now, take a look at the aspects of yourself that you would like to improve, because let’s face it, no one starts out perfect or gets through life without making mistakes. Your past cannot be changed and the memories remain for a reason; they make a great springboard for self-enhancement. I propose that the statement, “Make something of yourself,” that you may have heard growing up, be viewed as a pathway to rise above the abasement of this world rather than strictly a stressed-out command to put on a big show of acquisition and ego-based status.
Your assignment, if you wish to take it on, is to wake up tomorrow and say, “I am enough! I am not my past.” Then, gently ask yourself, “What small thing can I do better today? How can I feel better about myself? How can I add to the peace and joy of others by being peace and joy within myself?” You disdain the corruption and greed and disgraces of the world? Take your best qualities with you everywhere you go. Bring humor into difficult situations. Find the rainbow in the cloud. Act as a peacemaker in the midst of strife instead of joining in the fray. Offer a listening ear to a friend or family member. Be more honest, loyal, courteous, respectful, compassionate, grateful, understanding, patient, and kind.
If you are doing something big and huge and enjoying the journey with gratitude, congratulations! For those who are grateful for the gift of life and continue doing the daily small gestures that add up to big change, congratulations! You are so much more that your occupation, your pursuits, your money, and the stuff you accumulate. When you succeed in finding a few moments of peace and happiness and share those moments with others, you have done more to change the world than you know. You ARE living your purpose by being your best you!
***Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this article, I invite you to test how many times can you hit the clapping hands to your immediate left in 5, 10, or 60 seconds. It’s one more way to keep your fingers in shape AND will help other people see the story. Writing is my passion, so thanks for your help in spreading my work to others!
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