Deeper Perception Made Practical

Purpose Redefined, a guest post by SARAH

Finding purpose in life. Sweet!

Finding purpose in life. Sweet!

Rose, thank you so much for this post on life purpose! It is very special to me on a personal level because of how much my relationship to this topic has changed since I found your work.

It reminds me of why I was attracted to your blog and your work in the first place–I was desperately seeking a deeper purpose for my life! (hah) And the first time that I heard you offer this perspective on purpose, I was very uncomfortable, to put it gently.

(Internal tantrums, temporary “rage quit” from reading the blog for a day or so, eventual acceptance that I could disagree wholeheartedly with you on this topic and still enjoy your work…)

But I must confess –- secretly I love this kind of discomfort.

You made me think, you made me question the beliefs that I held firmly, but I never felt that I had to give them up to benefit from your healing and your wisdom. And I had no intention of changing my mind with respect to finding my purpose.

Fast forward–-what, a couple of months? less?–-and here I am seeing your perspective on “purpose” in a whole new light, and I am loving every bit of it.

And the best part is that I never felt you were trying to change my mind–-heck, you probably didn’t even know about this heated debate going on, entirely internal within me. :)

But largely as a result of my healing from sessions with you, Rose, as well as some other healing and growing I have done, my thinking has gotten much clearer and less clouded by desperation, and here’s how I think about my purpose now:

When I was looking for a purpose before, I was looking for something like “Teach math to underprivileged teens,” or “Help rehabilitate abused ex-racehorses.”

Even “Live on a big beautiful ranch in Montana” would have been more satisfying than “Just live your life.”

But wait a minute, what if I did come to the conclusion that one or all of these was my purpose?

How many years would I have to spend teaching for it to “count?” And what if that ranch were actually in Kentucky, is that good enough??

Ok, ok, so maybe a purpose has to be more vague than that. Maybe it is something like, “Help someone, somewhere.”

Wow. Inspiring.

If I pick up some trash, am I done? Now I can retire from purposeful living?

And THEN what, exactly?

Or maybe purpose is something you live by, like “Help people in general, be nice to animals, speak kind words …”

Somehow I wasn’t able to come up with a sufficiently vague purpose that wasn’t too limited, and didn’t just sound like general advice on morality.

The problem with a “Purpose”

It’s either something you can never achieve (how depressing!) or something you can achieve (and… then… what?).

So maybe:

Purpose is anything and everything you do or work towards, right now and forever!!

Which is such a delightfully satisfying answer to me now–-the same answer which, a couple of months ago, irked me so deeply that I had trouble sleeping.

The difference

The difference was that, before, if I had tried to do something as “frivolous” and “un-purposeful” as (for example, to me) developing skills as a pastry chef, I would have been completely unable to enjoy the process.

Because what use were pastry chef skills?? I didn’t want to be a pastry chef. Clearly that wasn’t my “purpose,” and even if I became a pastry chef, I would still be mad at my ex-boyfriend/feel insecure around my family/whatever other human problem I was having. (Insert grumbling.)

I couldn’t find meaning or joy in ANYTHING because I was too busy with “STUFF,” so to speak.

Now, on the other side of quite some healing, just the other day, I made eclairs for the first time!

And they came out terrible! No future as a pastry chef for me, haha. :D

But I wanted to try. And I loved every minute of it because I wasn’t fixated on my “purpose.”

I was able to fully engage with the experience, which was, to me, spiritually fulfilling in its own way. (The custard filling? Heavenly!)

And yeah, of course I still feel angry at my ex-boyfriend or insecure around my family or bored with my job, sometimes. Except now these things are totally irrelevant to the experience of making eclairs. (And why wouldn’t they be?)

What changed?

Now that I have taken the time to address some of what wasn’t going well in my life, I am not so worried about what ELSE isn’t going well in my life, and I can enjoy something as silly as making an almost inedible batch of eclairs.

And, better yet, because I DON’T think that I am “meant to” be a baker, it didn’t crush my spirit that they came out kind of chewy.

And if I want more confidence around my family, or more forgiveness for an ex-partner, or a more interesting day job, or to volunteer with a horse rescue or move to Montana, I can take steps towards achieving those goals, perhaps with the help of a coach or counselor or healer or Google. But not 24/7. Some days you just gotta make eclairs.

On a slightly more serious note, I think if you really did set goals for yourself for this life, before you came to Earth, then achieving those goals is going to be what you are drawn to do, anyway, when you have the health and freedom to figure out what you genuinely enjoy doing.

Why would it be a big secret?

I really do think that “Finding one’s purpose” is the same process as “Healing and growing in order to enjoy one’s life and experience meaning in it, however you choose to define meaning.” And recognizing this could make the process smoother.

Has for me, anyway, so far.

The healing/growth process has rapidly shifted my own personal relationship with “purpose.” :)

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  1. 1
    Kylie says:

    I love this post Sarah. I had a similar process around this issue. 10 years ago, I read every book that came out about finding one’s purpose. At the time, it felt like only if I found some huge and compelling life’s work would my life be meaningful. I hadn’t connected the dots like you have: but being focused in that way did prevent me from doing a lot of other things.
    It’s hard to explain how that changed. The more healing sessions I had, the more I focused on one intention at a time, the less it seemed important to have a life purpose.
    Also, the more I gained skills as an empath, the more I became aware of the many-layered being that I am the more I realized how special it is, just being.
    I don’t need to do something monumental to be special, and I fulfill my purpose just being here and doing the things that I enjoy doing.
    Those eclairs look delicious, by the way.

  2. 2
    Isabella says:

    Sarah, this had me cracking up and nodding my head all the way! I so agree with you. Wonderful post, and so charming!! 😉

  3. 3
    Madeline says:

    Sarah what a beautiful post! I thoroughly enjoyed and related to it.

  4. 4
    Jessica Gates says:

    I really enjoyed reading this, Sarah. Thank you for sharing.

  5. 5
    Kira says:

    I think a good bit of my need for purpose was external, in a manner of speaking; I felt like everyone expected “great things” from me, but I had no idea what kind of great things. I felt like I was letting people down if I didn’t do something visibly outstanding with my life, probably along the lines of being the best at something or other. So I was both searching for a purpose and inwardly rebelling at needing a purpose at the same time. LOL

    I still ended up with a view very similar to yours, Sarah. Nicely explained!

  6. 6
    Grace S. says:

    Sarah, thanks for such a great post – I can completely identify with it!!!

    I’m in my mid-40s now & just spent a lovely weekend with some girlfriends. It brought forth feelings of recognition, that all of these women were fully living a career or lifestyle that I used to romanticize (& used to have on my “purpose list”).

    It was a lovely feeling – both having a deep respect for other life paths AND now being at peace with mine, which is based in daily living like you were saying – thanks again for the post!

  7. 7
    Sylvia says:

    I so enjoyed this post, Sarah. I too am finding it wonderful to be able to enjoy “frivolous” and so-called “unpurposeful” activities in my life!

  8. 8
    ZJones says:

    Good stuff. Thoughts about purpose can be triggered when you’ve been dealing with difficult situation and you lose sense of yourself. I had this phase when I realised I was so busy trying to survive as a human that I realised that I was way behind on self-knowledge and self-understanding. I knew how to keep people calm and to be reliable to family members in distress but wasn’t sure what I wanted out of career etc. Or even to accurately describe my own personality as a stand alone human being. So it’s partly a reaction to having too much stuff and partly a stage in psychological development.

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