Many people say they’d have more energy if they could just find their purpose in life. It’s a lovely idea: feeling so fulfilled that you can’t imagine doing anything else. Feeling so connected that your heart opens and pours out love to everything and everyone, which is eagerly received and reciprocated. Feeling so focused that stray, annoying or stressful thoughts shrink into the background, or disappear altogether. Feeling so content that at the end of each day, the only words left to say are “thank you” before you fall into a blissful sleep that refreshes you for another wonderful day.
The promise of purpose is obvious; the problem with purpose is that people think they have to go searching for it. For some, purpose is something that supposedly is evasive or hiding, and we are meant to seek it. For others, purpose is something you believe in, attaching all of your actions to it to achieve something grand. Still others feel that purpose is something that serves others, whether that be the person beside you, or the one who created him/her.
Millions of people have experienced the results mentioned earlier by pursuing purpose in these ways, and it is not my intention to question these approaches. But for those who are tired of the hunt; exhausted from trying; or feeling like you’re giving more than you’re getting, I’d like to suggest something simple.
The purpose of your life is…
To Be You.
What does that mean? Exactly what you think it does; that’s the whole point. All of us have many different identities. We are someone’s daughter, son or gender-neutral child. We are somebody’s friend, neighbor, colleague. Depending on our life choices, we might be someone’s spouse, partner or parent. If we went to school, we are among its alumni. We are citizens of one of the countries on this planet, regardless of our citizenship status at the moment. We are consumers of all types of goods, services and food.
What we are is as varied as fingerprints and snowflakes; no two of us navigate life in exactly the same way. And that’s the point when it comes to purpose. If you were not the way you are, someone else would not have exactly what he or she needs to be who they are. This is why we judge other people, inventions and situations: life provides the endless contrast necessary for us to make choices we think are right for ourselves.
Every decision we make speaks to our purpose in that moment. The problem is that we don’t allow ourselves to realize it because we’re busy judging ourselves or the situation as either good or bad, wrong or right. Even if our purpose is so-called “lofty” (always by our own definition, as others may not see it that way), we bury our bliss under layers of meaning, which ultimately make it harder to live in a state of flow.
It’s been argued that those who commit crimes are not living their purpose, but if you ask them, they will almost always know the purpose for what they did, which often relates to the fear for their own survival or the need to feel powerful. And when they are living this purpose—however gruesome or heinous it may be—it provides more contrast for others to choose their purpose.
We have all had many purposes in our lives; they appear and disappear according to our needs and desires. We use them to create for ourselves and others. Although some may be more visible, pay better or be more admired than others, they are all purpose, and they all matter to the life of the world.
Imagine what your life might be like if you stopped trying to find your purpose and instead got comfortable with being you, as you are right now. Resistance falls away, and in its place is the peace that makes all things possible from an energy standpoint. This does not mean that you accept things you consider wrong for you; on the contrary; by allowing them to be as they are, you gain the freedom to choose whatever purpose suits you now.
Try being you for one hour. One day. One month. By the end of 30 days, you’ll likely have silenced the restless voice in your own head and feel a whole lot better as a result. From that state, you can engage in any outer purpose you want and experience the bliss of knowing that you are perfect, just as you are.
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