Find your purpose, finding the reason for your existence… a noble pursuit, right?
Or is it just generational bullshit?
I have always chased after the idea of “purpose” and “being whole” and “finding myself.” I’m not sure where the initial thought came from; whether it was handed down to me by a family member, or too much Oprah when I was a teenager. Either way, the idea of “purpose” as being a driving force has always dogged my step. What is my purpose? What was I put on this Earth to do? What is that thing that I would do no matter the “shit sandwich” that came along with it?
I have spent a third of my entire life (saying 30 years) wondering about these questions, and the irony of it all is that I am starting to wonder if the pursuit of purpose is a pipe dream; a generational motivator that those of my age group, and even more those of the millennium age group, have succumbed to and believed in despite evidence to the contrary.
What I Am Talking About
As always, social media is a golden nugget of wisdom, and I particularly like the “Confucius” quote about finding a job that you love and then never having to work a day in your life.
This is one of many such messages that are prevalent about Purpose and Vocation; messages that seep into your brain until searching for that job you love IS what you do…
…But never finding that Job, just searching and searching and searching until you realize that you will never find Purpose in a job, and neither will most people. A job is a job. It pays the bills. The end.
Okay. I know. There are people that are doing jobs they love. You’ve read about them, I’m sure, those individuals who have a “vocation” and not a “career” (do you like how I am using quotes constantly?); however, I wonder even about the portrayal of these individuals and their vocations.
I wonder about how they are idolized in the media or by Oprah etc.; how they are portrayed; and how the focus is not on the entire picture of what they do and how they do it, but only on the zeal in which they perform their individual acts of work.
That seems to be a defining factor for these purpose-driven people. Zeal in what they are doing. To be straight up, I don’t have much zeal for anything. Seriously. Nada. Nothing. I like things. I enjoy things. I do not have some kind of force that transcends my very being into acting.
So I started thinking about being whole, and about healing.
The Next Chapter
I don’t have much of a belief system about purpose and vocation, but I do have a belief system when it comes to healing and becoming a whole being, and yes I AM going to share it with you 😛 :
In order to become a whole being, I truly think that each aspect of the person — the physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental — have to be in harmony WITH EACH OTHER.
Just to get off topic real quick, there are a ton of messages coming my way about the physical body, specifically a woman’s physical body. From FB friends trying to lose weight and being very much “Beach Body, OMG, hashtag hashtag hashtag,” to individuals like Whitney Thorn and her no Body Shame campaign, it seems recently that a woman and her body is the subject of intense scrutiny and conversation (okay, pretty much the norm through much of human history).
Currently, the centralized theme of these conversations is women trying to find peace with their body. Some women are all about losing weight to find peace. Some women are about finding peace with the body they currently have. Now, no judgement on either side, from me at least, I only mention this because I want to point out the fact that there is an intense focus recently on finding peace with the physical body.
The thing is, that is just one aspect of the whole.
I was talking this through the other day, and my thoughts coalesced along the lines that if your physical self is being taken care of AT THE EXPENSE of your emotional, mental or spiritual self, then you are not in fact making progress towards happiness (or contentment or wholeness or whatever).
It is a marrying of every aspect of your Self. It is a belief of mine that to find this mythical wholeness, all aspects of self must be in harmony because they are interconnected. You may deny yourself that Dairy Queen frosty because it fulfills some sort of physical goal, but there is a chance that the denial is doing damage to another aspect of your Self.
There is a link there… I can feel it buzzing in my brain just out of reach, some kind of link that makes wholeness as the purpose. What if those individuals who have found their vocation and have undertaken their “life work” just somehow managed to stumble upon something that fulfills all aspects of their natural self?
What if their vocations marries their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual selves?
And this makes me wonder if we have been having the wrong conversation, or reading the wrong map, or following the wrong signs. What if the question is not what our purpose is, but what brings our entire selves into a harmonized pact?
What if the question is not what makes us lose track of time (apparently THE SIGN of what is our purpose and passion… or so I have read), but rather how we move through life as a whole being? Not searching for that Purpose, or that Vocation, but living a life that fulfills every single aspect of ourselves. Now. Not tomorrow or down the road, but right now as you are sitting there reading this.
Finding wholeness. Not an easy task, my friends, not at all, but I am starting to wonder if it is the most important task of them all.