What’s my purpose in life?

For years, I’ve asked myself the question: What’s my purpose in life? The question was so strong within me that the not-knowing led to inertia. I just didn’t have a clue. And while everybody was going about their business, whether they knew their purpose or not, I just seemed incapable of moving forward. So for years, I searched frantically for an answer to my question. When I became a mom, I understood that my daughter was part of the answer, and I gave her the attention we both needed. I led a rather inconspicuous life. I cared for my daughter and at the same time, I started clearing up all the emotional mess I had amassed, that too was part of my purpose I felt.

Ever seen the home of an excessive hoarder, a home so full of stuff that the resident of that home only has very little actual space to live in, usually with only very small pathways between the stuff to get from the living to the kitchen, and many rooms so full that they are inaccessible. That was me on the inside. I started by cleaning up my language. I stopped using disempowering words and sentences and started using language that felt (more) empowering. And as I was learning this new language, automatically my focus shifted and I started looking at life differently. Saying: I can’t do that, or I have to do that, or I should do that, stopped being an option and I had to find alternatives: I will find a way; I choose to do that; I prefer to do that. Learning a new language helped me to get rid of a lot of stuff, it helped me carve new neural pathways and widen them until I could walk around in my home. Changing my words changed my thoughts and it challenged the stories I had been telling myself for so long. Getting rid of those stories was a painful process, as I had become very attached to them. They weren’t stories I liked, most of them hurt like hell, but for some reason they made me feel safe. As I was able to let go of more and more stories, it became clear why they had made me feel safe. My home was falling apart because of a problem with the foundation and I had been hiding the growing cracks in my walls and floors with stories. With each stories gone, I had to face the growing problem if I did not want my home to collapse. And that’s exactly what I did. I went to the basement and found false belief upon false belief. For the past years, I have been letting go of these untruths that I had picked up early on along my trail, most of them preverbally. And slowly, the cracks started to close. Today, my home is officially a safe residence. I am beautifying it on the inside and lately, I even started dreaming of expanding it.

I am still in the process of learning ever more empowering language, and I will until the day I die, because this is a perpetuum mobile, once in motion it cannot be stopped and will always set in motion new language that promotes new thought that asks for new language. As for the word purpose, it has changed from something outside of myself to something that comes from within, like everything else in my life. My purpose is to live a life that is meaningful to me, and that is a two-way street. There are things that are intrinsically meaningful to me: connection to my chosen tribe, these stories, my art, paying forward all that I have been blessed with, my journey, and experiencing Life to its fullest. And then there are the things I attribute meaning to through my words and focus, things like cleaning the bathroom and doing the groceries, small talk while I wait for my girl to get out of school, environmental and social issues, illness and death. I have chosen to love this life, to LOVE LIFE, and that is an inclusive experience, it means loving it all equally. It means I choose to love everything equally. The small and the monumental, the mundane and the extraordinary, the universal and the personal, they are all meaningless until I attribute meaning to them. I attribute meaning by choosing to see the empowering storyline that is unfolding through our lives, the beauty and goodness that are radiating from everyone. The meaning I attribute to Life is Love. I focus on Love, because Love trumps everything. Love is stronger. Love gives purpose to my life. Period.

photo by Joana Abreu

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