“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
For some of us, like me, the question, “What is my purpose?” creates a ton of anxiety and a feeling that our self-worth is being undermined.
It’s hard to escape this question because everywhere we turn, finding our purpose and living on a large scale seem to be the main themes of the day. The mounting pressure created by social media and the need to have it all figured out by a certain date exacerbate this search.
I used to succumb to that pressure, until I said enough and changed my entire outlook on life.
During my moments of deep reflection, I have found that the answer to this question is as fluid and as complex as life itself.
Our purpose isn’t really one thing. I think our purpose is multi layered, rich and yet simple, and it should not be pigeonholed into one career or grand master plan, though some of us commit ourselves to one purposeful path. I also believe that our purpose can change throughout our lives.
I believe that our deepest purpose is to discover our true nature, to cherish our true selves, to listen to the call of our soul, to heal the wounds that keep us in the shadow, to become more compassionate, to love the ordinary as well as the extraordinary, to serve, and to enjoy doing nothing from time to time.
When we discover ourselves, our purpose reveals itself naturally.
How do we discover ourselves? We experiment every single day. We become our own scientists. We start to pay attention to what brings us nourishment and joy. We pay attention to what feels natural. Purpose is not one thing; it’s everything.
I like to call myself a lawyer by day and spiritual warrior by night, but the truth is that I am a light warrior all day.
Despite the fact that my current career may not be the highest expression of my true calling, which is to teach, my current career has undoubtedly taught me many lessons about helping people, having integrity (go ahead with the lawyer jokes, I will laugh along with you!), becoming a great listener, and also counseling others.
These are all virtues of a teacher, so even though I am not a full-time spiritual teacher yet, I still get to bring the energy of a teacher to my everyday life—not only in my job, but also in my home and family life.
I am an aunt, niece, spiritual seeker, friend, sister, daughter, partner, and so much more. I am not just a lawyer. And I am living my purpose every day by bringing the qualities of a spiritual teacher to everything that I do and everything that I am.
Our default thinking leads us to believe that having a purpose involves something on a grand stage or having a large audience with whom to share ideas, but that may not be your calling or your day-to-day purpose. Your purpose can be manifested in so many different ways.
Take being a parent, for example. It’s the greatest job and blessing in the world. I am not a parent, but I have happily been involved in my nephew’s and niece’s life since the day they were born. I can appreciate the enormous responsibility one undertakes when they say yes to becoming a parent.
Recently, I had this very conversation with my sister-in-law. She has a yearning desire to share a great message with the world and help others heal, but at the moment her hands are full because she is a super full-time mom. We came to the conclusion that her purpose right now, meaning today, is to raise four beautiful angels, which she is doing so beautifully.
I told her I could not think of a greater purpose. Giving endlessly, serving, giving your heart, time, and energy to the well-being of precious souls. Perhaps a few years down the road that will change when she has more time on her hands. In the meantime, motherhood is teaching her many things that one day she may use to help spread her message.
So even if you’re doing something you don’t want to be doing and you’re in the middle of transitioning to something else like me, your purpose is to be present to whatever is happening in your life right now.
Being present helps us learn about ourselves, because the truth is that we are always preparing for the next step, which is sometimes a mystery. So don’t take one second for granted. Every minute of your life means something.
Another great piece to add to this discussion about purpose is patience. I never really understood divine timing until this year. I believe life unfolds perfectly for each of us. If we can stay present, our purpose will never evade us.
I also believe that we do not arrive at one single destination. So, today, and only today, your purpose is to find as much joy and magic in the little moments as possible, even if you are having a tough day. This day is here to teach you something too. Your purpose is to find and honor the lesson. Your purpose is to allow your life’s plan to unfold perfectly for you.
There’s no need to put more pressure on ourselves to think about our purpose because we can’t get there by obsessing about it anyway.
Life is multi-faceted. You are a rich, dynamic, beautiful spark of life. You are not just one thing, and your life is not just about one thing or one career. You are so much more than that.
So find your purpose in being a friend, daughter, son, partner, activist, or in being your own best friend. Find your purpose in loving who you are. You are an original creation and, I believe, here for a reason. You are here to do all the beautiful things that I just described, and to do them with intention and consciousness.
The world needs you just because you’re here. Do not worry about the limitations in your head about time or age. You are here to contribute. You have your own unique expression, your own way of thinking, your own preferences, and your own feelings. Honor all of who you are. Walk down the street and smile. That may be your purpose for today. I assure you there are people that need you, and you them.
Enjoy the mundane—the drive to work, the meal preparation, the chores. Connect with yourself daily, honor your feelings, and follow your inner guidance, your nudges. Life is always sending us messages.
We do not need to look anymore or find anything. We came here to experience the gift of being alive and that is truly our purpose.