The Journey to Finding Your Purpose in Life

Monday, June 12, 2017

"Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it." ~ Gautama Buddha

Every Wednesday morning for the last three years, I have had a standing therapy appointment where I go to talk about everything from grief to anger to even my frustrations in fashion, people and overall, life. 

It has become a staple in my life that I learned to welcome. Seeking help has such a negative stigma to it so at first, I didn't tell anyone. What would they think if I said I was in therapy? Little did I know, more people go to therapy than I thought!

After my session weekly, I always see this woman who has the time slot before me and is always waiting in the lobby for her ride home. One day, she smiled at me and we began to chat. A friendship was born.

We'd chat almost every week and have been for about two years. The last time we spoke, she said something to me that still has me thinking, almost a week later. 

We were talking about our therapist who is leaving the practice and how we were not looking forward to being paired with someone new. I was telling her how far I have come in my life because of therapy and how I used to be afraid to leave the house after my brother died because the thought of not knowing when it's my time to die is terrifying so I would much rather stay at home in my safe place. And she said:

"Oh, I'd welcome death. At this point, I am waiting for my time to go. I feel like I am wasting space in this life that someone else can use to be something great. I feel I don't have a purpose and am doing nothing in this life. I am not scared of death at all. I'd welcome it."

I was stunned, to say the least. I had never heard someone say that before. Here I am, scared of dying because I feel like I have not accomplished everything I want to do in this life and I am just not ready. And this woman is ready to die.

I told her that we are all here for a reason and that she may feel like she doesn't have a purpose but that's because she hasn't figured it out yet. And I also told her that sometimes we get in our own way. Perhaps all these negative thoughts she was having about dying was blocking her from seeing the positive and truly finding her purpose. 

I stressed that she needed to change the conversations she was having with herself because she was limiting herself in life. 

Her ride came and she hugged me tight. She suggested we go to lunch soon and told me:

"Thank you. You're always honest but in a deep, compassionate way. And you get it."

I believe we all have a purpose and if you believe it, even when you don't know what it is, that will give you the incentive to want to live your life fully. In order to find your purpose, you have to put yourself out in the world. Show up for yourself and others. Once you do that, you will be amazed at all the magical things that come your way.

It can be something small like someone thanking you for helping them across the street or giving them directions. It can be you offering a smile to someone and telling them you like their hair. It could be you sitting on a bench, enjoying a cup of coffee and admiring the blue sky. These little things add up and when the time is right, your purpose will become clear. 

For me, my purpose is an accumulation of things but the base has always been my writing.

My writing has been a way for me to inspire others and myself. It has been a way for me to purge my soul while sharing my story. It has given me an outlet to express myself. My writing is something that will live on forever, after I am gone. My writing is my legacy. 

That writing is not just me blogging or writing a book. It has been me writing a note in a card and giving it to someone, who was so happy to receive that message. It has been me creating a resume for someone or helping them with content on their website. It has been me helping someone write a cover letter or editing their blog post. My writing has lent itself to so many avenues in the world and it is my gift and purpose.

It is a way for me to serve others while also serving myself. My writing also gives me a voice. I believe that is what your purpose does... it gives you a voice.

I remember when my step-mom asked me to perform the eulogy at my dad's service. It was one of the easiest and hardest pieces I have ever had to write. The writing flowed so easily but the pain that came with every word written was almost unbearable.

But my writing is what told people who my dad was. It made them laugh and it made them cry. It told them how amazing a dad he was and how his life was truly lived. It also inspired others to rethink how they were living their lives and it served as a reminder that we truly don't know when it's our time to leave this earth so we have to make every single moment count.

Writing to me is like a second nature. Anyone can blog or write a book. But to feel that craft within your heart and love the language of the written word... that is a feeling that not everyone knows. 

Writing for me is like me giving away a piece of myself to the world but still feeling like my spirit is full.

That's what it feels like to know your purpose AND be open to where that purpose takes you.

I wrote a letter to my friend that I plan to give her next Wednesday. I hope she can find her purpose and want to live. Life is so precious and if you have it, live it. You never know what can happen or what lies ahead.

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