It’s Not About Finding Your Purpose

Accepting who you are warts and all

When I started this blogging journey, it was all about my writing. I wanted a place to pursue my passion. I wanted an arena to showcase my work and a venting spot to unleash my unexpressed writing dream. Since then, I’ve moved to Hawaii, bought a house, suffered from a few chronic illnesses and had a baby. Through it all, I realized the journey has molded my intention rather than the other way around. Instead of a place to inspire creativity and to get more writing gigs, it opened up my soul. It’s not just about finding our purpose or living our dreams. It’s about loving your life and finding a way to accept wherever we are in the process. It’s about self-acceptance. Patience. Faith. And courage.

I realized this because I found myself getting too attached to external circumstances. How many people were viewing my blog? How many freelance writing jobs was I getting? Was my work good enough?

Understandable questions to ask when striving for freelance writing success. But it was the meaning I placed on professional achievement and positive feedback that was wonky. Success, attention, like Lady Gaga’s new song, Applause, should not equal self-worth.

Doing well in your profession is important. Never giving up on your dreams is important. But more than anything else, our goal in life should be to find ways to love our self.

Basing who you are and your value on feedback from others or from success will inevitably deplete you. What nourishes our soul, what we’re really looking for, isn’t temporary validation through external sources. What lasts longer than a complement is the belief that regardless of what we accomplish, our lives mean something.

And that doesn’t have to mean BIG, grand, dramatic things. Just because your neighbor, a Facebook friend or a relative has done something so fabulous it leaves your life seem boring and worthless in comparison, doesn’t mean your less valuable than them. Just because you haven’t found “it” yet (great job, relationship, etc.), doesn’t mean you should walk around with your head down and your voice squelched.

It’s not about what you do that matters. You matter because you are here.

The secret is not in uncovering what will make us shine. The secret is that we don’t know we’re worthy of shining.

If we could all take that in on a deep level, the world would be a kinder, more loving, compassionate place to live. When we’re not trying to convince others of our worthiness, we’re ourselves. Being authentically you and feeling good in your own skin are the ways to happiness.

And your true calling?

It will find you on that path.

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where inspiration began…

{photo by kevin dean via flickr}

when i was a tad-bit of a person. just a pint-sized version of me. i used to walk up green stairs on creaky dusty carpeted floors and watch the soft seconds fall beneath me. i heard the ringing of the grandfather clock. waited for the wooden chick to pop out of his home and then went on with the exploration.

i walked in to say, “hi!” to my great grandma rocking on her old musty chair, black-rimmed glasses, thin, bony, wrinkled and yet so full of love SO in need of it. i felt the wave of loneliness as much as the old carpet beneath my feet.

{by aaron.bihari via flickr}

but i was most anxious to explore the bookcase. the one filled with anything, but books. Japanese teapots, melded metal, grooves and impressions. i traced my fingers over to feel each of them, carrying dust and cobwebs wherever my fingers went. i lingered there. idling my childhood hours away, i held each ever so carefully-the old heavy metal trays, the worn cups, the dusty fake fruit. they were fascinating. they were the magical world hidden in an otherwise lonely too quiet home.

i would take each with great grandma’s curious eyes watching. would i like to eat croutons instead? “you know how much you like those croutons? or how about sweet jellies? i bought you a bag of fruit ones.”

“no, great grandma.” just these. these are the treasures i’d like to play with.

some days would be spent playing in the back room. old pocket doors pulled open a

{by teresia via flickr}

hideaway room. she bought me a doll with weird eyes that moved up and down when you rocked her and a box of beautiful silky scarves. scarves that were blankets, and skirts and fancy blouses in my imagination. suddenly the silence was filled with footsteps on wooden floors and a tiny girl’s voice filled with excitement and anticipation.

it was my own little world and i created it. a bubble of a world where life was as exciting as i made it. it’s where the desire for inspiration began. a passion for finding the treasures in never touched adult fragiles displayed on bookshelves just short enough for me to reach them.

when i was tired i would say, “thank you great grandma.”

“you don’t want to stay,” she’d say. a statement rather than a question. a sadness rather than a request.

“no, going to go downstairs now.”

“okay,” she’d say.

i closed the door softly to somehow ease the deep wells of loneliness from the quiet that would return. i looked at her through the space between the closing door. black rimmed glasses, rocking on that musty chair. a need for love and a sense of loneliness.

through layers of sadness grew a passion of purpose.

no more old rocking chair. no more dusty dishes. no more great grandma.

but haunting memories of hope, loneliness, and love sit inspiring beauty, truth, expression and this post.

thank you great grandma…

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