Much of the spiritual journey is about seeking the answer to the question, “What is my life’s purpose? Why am I here? ” Today’s blog explores that question.
Everyday between clients, students and email inquiries, I get the question, “What is my life purpose? Why am I here?” Of course, this is not a question I can answer for them, but through the process of spiritual direction (and other tools for transformation), this is a question that they can be empowered to answer for themselves. While I cannot answer that question for another person (and I sometimes even wonder if I can answer it for myself!), there are certain things I have learned through my own process of inquiry that I feel I can confidently say regarding this question of purpose. So….this is what I have come to know and understand in this moment, recognizing that life continues to reveal the deeper and broader answers to this quandary.
The Search for Fulfillment
As human beings, we have been gifted with the longing for purpose. We want meaning in our lives. We seek to do good things. We want to make a mark in the world through our work, our relationships and our creative expression. At first, we think that this longing seeks to be fulfilled through “the perfect job” or “the perfect partner.” I know for myself, this has been the case. And in truth, it is through our work and our relationships that this longing will find its fulfillment. I know that for myself, when I heard the call to explore active ministry, the restlessness that plagued me in my corporate work was immediately calmed. I had heard my call and continue to listen to the restlessness within that invites me to continue to seek new and expanded ways in which I can share my gifts in the world. I have seen this to be true for others as well.
While I may have found the “perfect job” for myself, and continue to seek expanded versions of what that might mean, there is a problem. The search for fulfillment is not always about “the job.” In fact, it is really not about “the job” at all. It is about discovering our own unique giftedness and being open to sharing that in the world. Which brings me to another problem. We are pretty selective about what we might consider a gift. We think our gifts have to be wrapped up in pretty packages – I’m a great artist, writer, philosopher, healer, teacher, prophet, lover, friend, athlete, leader, boss, actor, etc. etc. etc. While my gifts may find much of their expression through my healing, teaching and writing, this may in fact not be were my greatest gifts lie. Instead, we are invited to look at our gifts through a wider lens. Have we ever taken the time to consider the possibility that our greatest gifts are not those that have come in a pretty package, but are those that we think are ugly and want to hide from others – our fears, our vulnerabilities, our hurts, our woundedness, our pain. For me, it has been through my most painful experiences that I have been able to be a source of help and support for another. In the search for purpose, we are invited to keep these things in mind.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line, as I discuss at length in Chapter 4 of Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy, is that each and every one of us is uniquely gifted and called to reveal the Divine in the world. It is through our very being that God is expressing God’s self and seeks to do so through our own unique gifts, talents, personalities, weaknesses, vulnerabilities, fears, joys, sorrows, hopes and dreams. When we simply allow ourselves to be an open vessel through which this Divine expression can be made known in the world, HERE is where we find fulfillment. And at the end of the day….it is really ONLY about ONE thing. And that one thing is LOVE (because at the end of the day, GOD IS LOVE). When we allow ourselves to show up and be the LOVE that we are, then we know fulfillment, peace, contentment and joy. And then it has nothing to do with the job or the vocation or the relationship, is simply has to do with allowing ourselves to show up as love and let God do the rest.
A Helping Mantra
So, here is a little mantra that has helped me to embrace the concepts shown above:
I am a vessel through which love is known in this space
Can we allow this to be true?
Authentic Freedom Ministries