Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Purpose In Life

I cannot say for sure however if there is just one purpose in life for each of us then I would say right now that “to become who I really am” is my one purpose in life.

Of course becoming who I really am encompasses all those things that we speak of as our purpose in life, inclusive of the external actions to be taken that are the result of what we believe to be our purpose in life, or at least one of our purposes in life.

More importantly however is that finding our purpose encompasses all of our inner world. It means getting to know our interior selves, our feelings, our thoughts, our dreams and fantasies. It means expressing our inner selves which of course means expressing our own innate and individual creativity.

What comes out of my heart and soul, what comes from my mind is the creative expression of who I am in whatever form it takes. What I say, what I do, what I think, what I like, what I dislike, all of these phenomena are part and parcel of that which is really me.

It is not possible to dispose of the mask that we wear. It is not possible to dissolve the persona that we carry around, that “me” that I show to the world at large. It is not possible for me to dispose of my mask unless everyone with whom I come into contact disposes of theirs also... and we know that ain’t going to happen anytime soon. I do not think we are capable of doing this simply because I do not think we’re even aware of where we end and our mask begins. In our conscious minds the two have become one and it takes a significant bit of work and courage to investigate and dismantle that mask. So many people aren’t even aware of the possibility of doing this.

Dismantling the mask to the greatest degree possible – this is a challenge, because it means first finding the courage and this is the true definition of courage. Finding the courage to first weed through the garbage, the emotional garbage in order to get to what is really there and then to allow what is really there to emerge even though it makes us uncomfortable, even though we don’t like certain aspects of ourselves, even though what we may find flies in the face of everything we ever thought was right and true and especially in the presence and pressure of all those other masks out there now THAT is courage.

Funny thing is that even though those of us who sense that there is a purpose to our lives tend to look right past this really rather simple idea. In Victor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” it was his suggestion, or rather observation that those individuals who survived the horrors of Auschwitz were those that attached a purpose to their lives, not necessarily a definitive purpose but they knew that there was something out there, somewhere, perhaps in some future time and place for which they needed to stay alive in order to ultimately achieve. God wants me to accomplish “something” in this life yet that “something” is defined I think as something very specific. Something very specific that is as yet down the road, not yet realized.

But here’s the kicker: that “something” happens every minute of our lives. That “something” happens moment by moment when we exercise our ability to think and feel and do that which we can. That “something” is exercised when we stretch ourselves, when we reach for yet more of our potential, when we grasp for more, when we put ourselves to the test, when we seek for more or different from ourselves or… OR when we simply allow to emerge what we already know to be within.

Sometimes that “something” means nothing more than experiencing what is within us in that moment. That too is part of what it means to be me and is that not our purpose? To learn how to be Me? Sometimes that purpose, that “something” means trying to hang on to life because in that moment and for whatever reason life has become harder than we might have imagined. And so in that moment, and perhaps for moments yet to come the “something” is merely to try and hang on to life.

We are here for something that much most of us would agree to be true but what we seldom consider is how that purpose changes from moment to moment and encompasses not just some unseen, future event or activity, some cause that the twists and turns in our life force us to consider and oftentimes embrace as our “purpose” but that which is happening right now, in that very moment. That cause in which we are currently engaged, sometimes joyful, sometimes a painful struggle but either way an integral piece of our purpose in life.

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