When you think of the all-important, universe-speaking Purpose with a capital P, that may place pressure on you to assume you should have one. That’s completely normal. When something like that is so ethereal and far-reaching and we don’t have one, we have a tendency to think we’ve failed. It’s not a failure. We all live our lives to our own drum beat, as they say, and in our own time. We spend most of our lives trying to keep up with hectic schedules, pressures and emotions. So why do we need to add more anxiety to ourselves if we’re not passionate about something? Does it mean that if we don’t have a purpose we are inferior human beings?
If you think deeply about it, I bet there is something in your life that you really love. It doesn’t have to be a monumental, far-reaching obsession that seems nearly impossible, but can be quite simple. Take a minute and think about something that you have done (or do now) in your life that you really enjoy. Something where you’re not watching the clock, and you just run with it.
What was your first feeling when you thought of this activity? Was it joy, passion, or just indifference?
Maybe you didn’t feel anything, but you probably thought of something.
I’ll use myself as an example. My entire life, I never had a passion, at least I didn’t think I did. There were things I liked, and there were things I loved, but I never really paid attention to them to actually develop them. I was raised as a musician — piano lessons starting at age 4 — and it was assumed that I would pursue this forever.
When adolescence hit and my interest in boys increased, I ended the piano lessons and became involved in singing in choirs and musicals. I loved this! I even majored in it in college. But I was young and naive and didn’t think to pursue what I loved. I was told over and over You have a gift — keep it up! But I ignored that and just floundered through life. However, as I got older, this love stopped when daily issues took over — relationships, children, jobs, hectic lives, no time for old interests. Then suddenly I was 50. I began to reassess all that had happened in my life, including my lack of purpose. Where have all my passions from high school gone? Why did they need to disappear just because I matured and became an adult?
I consciously became more aware of my feelings and reactions to, well, everything. I wanted to find out if I was more aware of myself, would I discover passions, loves, interests, or even purpose?
One thing I experienced, again, was my love of beautiful musical harmonies. When I hear them I cry almost every time. Sometimes I can’t stop because they bring back amazing feelings and memories and they’re so beautiful. Having this extremely powerful emotion makes me pay attention. This is something that doesn’t deplete me. This is something that feeds my soul.
Please, take a little moment in your day and try to look back at something from your past that you absolutely loved and no longer do, due to life getting in the way. Thank back and rediscover why you loved it. How did it make you feel while remembering? It may still be living inside you, waiting to flourish. If it was love, why not develop it into something that is love?
Last words: What is your heart telling you?