How trying to find my purpose has blocked me from living purposefully!

If you have not been living under a rock, you’ve definitely seen the boom in the self help and self improvement field over the last 10 years. It’s been steadily gaining steam for maybe the last 20 years for sure but it’s blown up recently. Mainstream media is discussing meditation, yoga, mindfulness, finding more happiness, living your purpose, etc!

Dont get me wrong, I’m all about the self improvement movement and I pretty much only read spiritual and self help books because it’s what interests me. I love learning more about human behavior, changing habits, accessing more peace and finding more presence!

Over the last few years it seems like two topics that have caught like wildfire are how to choose happiness and how to find your true purpose. It’s all about always being happy and defining your destiny. Those are some lofty goals!! In fact I’m guilty and spending large sums of money on books, seminars, retreats, and courses trying to track these things down.

I seriously believe that I could spend my whole life seeking for my true purpose.

And why? Because below the surface there’s a real fear that I will be lying on my death bed full of regret that I never found, defined, and lived my destiny. That somehow I wasted my life because I couldn’t narrow my existence down to a few lines on a business card.

Lately I’ve been really aware that maybe the whole concept of destiny and purpose as a single role or something I can wrap up in a pretty box is not real at all. I’ve actually been a bit concerned that it’s one big fat distraction from the real deal- which might be a bit harder to define.

Let me explain the predicament I’ve been in for the last 3-4 years…maybe a bit longer. When I left the world of education, I was more than a bit disgruntled and I didn’t want to go back to teaching. I then found out we were pregnant and I couldn’t have been happier because my whole life I couldn’t wait to be a mother. It’s probably what drew me to teaching in the first place.

After the first year of being a mom I started really panicking that I might not be living my purpose. It sounds crazy hearing it aloud because my whole life I had wanted to be a mother- it seems I would have told you my purpose was to be a mom. Here’s where it gets complicated and humans are more complex than having one pretty wrapped purpose because being a mother is part of my purpose and it still is!

I truly feel I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be and doing exactly what I was put on this earth to do. It’s definitely part of my destiny.

How do I know?

  • Because 1) It its my reality, I made the decision to have a child and become a mother and
  • 2) I make huge life decisions from the place that right now I feel more than a strong urge to be home with my daughter.

The difficulty in being a stay at home mother is that I’m a layered, complex human being with many interests, needs, desires, goals, etc. To say that my whole life’s purpose is to be a mother would not be accurate. It will always be a big part of my life’s purpose but there’s more to me as a person.

But this is where it gets tricky and the slope gets very slippery. When I feel that longing to have something for myself, and you read as many self help books as I do, I get sucked into this concept that I might need to find my true life’s purpose and then I will start living.

There are  actual quotes that our life’s purpose is to find our life’s purpose and live that. Really? Vague much? Our life’s purpose is to find our purpose? I think maybe our life purpose is to live fully in all of the roles and unique layers we possess.

Right now my purpose is to be a mother, wife, daughter, friend, community organizer, event planner, speaker, and writer…among others.

A note to myself- stop waiting to live your life in defined terms. You’re already living it! Don’t use finding a purpose as an excuse to protect yourself from failure or mistakes. Try to be present and enjoy the flow of life instead of trying to swim upstream trying to find a new stream.

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