I felt pretty connected and “in the flow of life” as a child and teenager. I got married young, at the age of 18, and had my son at 19. During my young marriage, I would say I was fairly unaware of my own spiritual path. When we divorced at age 24 and my mother passed away the same year, I was what they call “cracked open.” I began questioning so many things, questions like, “what is my purpose?” and “what will make me happy?” I was determined to figure it out. Those words figure it out haunted me for a long time. I had such determination to do it despite numerous challenges and heartache.
For me, it was a space of searching, yearning for more, reading books, wanting answers, and to desperately find my place in the world. I knew I had more to offer than my day to day life was allowing me. I stayed in that place for a long time. A decade maybe. Lost & confused.
I eventually got tired of it. It didn’t seem like my efforts were bringing me to that imagined state of happiness, and so I immersed with myself in another relationship and a lot of chaos. Chaos offers the illusion of purpose, except that it is a black hole. It never ends, and it takes you down with it. If I could just try one more thing, maybe…a different home, a different job, more money, …the trouble with chaos is that it’s a good distraction from yourself, but no matter how hard you try to organize it, it never stays that way. I guess it’s comfortable and consistent in the way that it never changes. Maybe that’s part of the appeal. The upside is that I was blessed with a lovely daughter.
Years later, I had a spiritual experience that woke me up again, giving me a glimpse of the real me and what life could be. This experience made me realize that it was ridiculous not to follow my dreams and that I COULD trust myself. (I wanted to be an artist, have a creative business, and help others in some way with what I’ve learned.) That enlightenment compared to the toxicity I was used to gave me the shock I needed to take the leap. It was then that I recommitted to my search for happiness. Things haven’t been easy, but they are simple. I’ve learned to go with what feels good and away from what doesn’t. I pause and check in with my heart/gut. I take better care of myself to not get drained by others and have better boundaries. Life gets better slowly and possibilities open up. Joy returns. Life still challenges me, but when it does, I can see the meaning behind it. Sometimes it takes me awhile.
I’ve prayed for purpose for YEARS. I still don’t have the whole picture, but I can say somewhere in the pain, there is purpose. This is where we learn the lessons that we will later serve others with. I am learning to surrender over and over and over. Our connection to God (or however you know God) will show us where to go if we really stop and listen. For stubborn people like me, it usually looks like, “Pray…..take off in another direction………try all kinds of things……hit a wall, get upset, breakdown, surrender…..and then listen.” I’m stubborn that way.
At this point my desires have returned, and I can see clear, colorful visions of my next steps. For once in a really long time, I no longer feel stuck. I know my purpose is coming together and everything I’ve been through is starting to make sense. I still get impatient, but I can see the meaning in my life now. There is so much beauty, so many things and people to love. When I have a hard time seeing it, I begin with saying what I’m grateful for…my children, a roof over my head, warm water…. a good place to start.
Perhaps the experiences that life is bringing you is really an invitation. The Hero’s Journey starts with a call. I’ve read countless books, listened to lectures, watched numerous videos, and attended years of therapy on my journey. And at this point, I know my life experience has provided me with wisdom to share. By being open and saying a prayer to God, the universe, the divine (or whatever name works for you) we will receive a call to inspired action. (This is often different than our own ideas). It takes baby steps, courage, and vulnerability. Be open, willing & have faith…even just a little. Your mind may have talked you out of your dreams, but your heart hasn’t.
We all deserve to find meaning and get to a place where even if we don’t know our purpose yet, we feel good along the way. After all, the purpose of life really is simple: to generate the love inside of you, and bring it to where it’s needed. And the journey continues…..
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