My friend Beth Grant posted something on Facebook recently that caught my attention. She said,
“Purpose is a need of the ego, to make it feel important. I'm much more interested in self-expression. I would much more focus on PATH than purpose. I would want you to do that, too. To find your true path and live it. Every path has a purpose, after all … life is a learning experience and your path is a means of self-expression. I've said it a thousand times … your purpose in life is to be yourself. That's it. It's not more complicated than that.”
I’ve written about purpose before. I’ve always felt it was this thing in personal development that some gurus treat as a kind of secret. That once we find our purpose in life we’ll FINALLY feel like we have all our shit together, we’ll feel like we’re “fixed”, and we can join their secret club and wait for the others to join in. And I think that’s bullshit.
I do feel like I’m lucky and not lucky that I feel I’ve found my purpose, but lucky that I don’t feel the need to find IT. The One Thing. The ultimate portion of my life that will make me feel fulfilled.
To be clear, I actually DO feel like I’ve found my purpose. It’s not life coaching, or mothering my children, or even speaking out about things I’m passionate about. My purpose, like Beth mentions above, is my path. It’s my life.
And I do think that when one does dive into personal development, this becomes a trap. Just another topic to entice people with like the dangling carrot.
I totally understand where this comes from on a deep level. We want to know that our lives matter. We want to feel that we matter. That we’re not just taking up space in this crowded, noisy world.
And I wish I could snap my fingers and just tell you, “Let it go, sister! Your purpose is your path. Just accept it.” and all is well and you can skip along your life feeling relieved. Maybe it is this easy, but what if it’s not? Quite honestly, I don’t think it’s my job to convince you. What I can tell you is one of the things that is paramount in working on is surrender and self-trust.
Surrendering means that you give up the notion that there is this one true destiny for you. That you give up that you have to know The Answer and that if you can just figure it out, you’ll be happier, and that’s your solution. Surrendering doesn’t have to mean you pray over your crystals or mediate to the archangel/goddess/priestess of the day to show you the way. I think those are all fine things to do but that’s not how I do it.
Surrendering to the path means that even when things go what I deem as wrong, I feel whatever I’m feeling, and keep moving forward. I don’t hide, or numb it out, or feel like the world is against me. It literally is what it is. When things don’t go the way I planned or how I wanted, I still get frustrated or angry, but I know on a deep level that I’ll be okay. I actually have NO IDEA if our lives have a pre-determined destiny or if we’re just floating around accidental-like on a breeze like Forrest Gump tells us. Most days I think it’s somewhere in the middle. What I do feel on a deep level is that many of us are what I like to call “seekers”. We’re seeking a deeper meaning of life. We’re seeking to better ourselves. We’re seeking out other people like us. We’re seeking who we really are.
And seekers are typically really, really smart. Hence, having a hard time surrendering. We want to know all these answers asap. I’m like that too. But, what I know to be absolutely true is that the more I try to force the answers, the more I try to seek this purpose, the more stressed and anxious I get. I lose the seeker inside of me.
Self-trust is the sister of surrender. It’s knowing we’re going to be okay. It’s knowing you are loved and a magnificent human being even when things aren’t going well and you feel like you don’t know your purpose. It’s knowing that because you are a seeker, that is your purpose. It’s knowing your path is your purpose.
So, fellow seekers of your purpose. I hope you have found some solace from this post. Your path is your purpose. Your life is your purpose. You being a seeker is your purpose. You’re doing it. You’re fulfilling it. It won’t look perfect, you’ll question it and wonder if you’re doing it right and the answer will always be yes.
Resource from this post:
What if you haven’t found your “thing” yet?