For years, I thought about what my purpose in life was, and I am both embarrassed and proud to admit that I explored it at length. Embarrassed a bit because I took so long to figure it out, and proud that I put that much time and effort into it at the same time.
One key to unlocking your life’s purpose has nothing much to do with you. If you step away from your outside self, you will come to recognize that you did not design yourself. You were created a certain way, given a set of parents with some life experiences along the way. You were designed by the Divine.
Yes, it is true that you can create your life to show up any way you want by the way you are being in the moment. If you are intentional on being joyful, then joy is what your life will be, and the same goes to say if you are being worried and fearful.
However, if you look to some biblical scripture about the potter and the clay for example, this shows that you were designed a certain way, with certain talents and gifts. Moreover, you are expected to hone those gifts and offer them to others. When you do not take responsibility for your gifts and veer away from your design, your ability to function in full purpose mode breaks down.
For many years, I pursued accolades and certificates in an effort to “be” somebody. I was feeling called to write in ministry, to which I responded NO! I am not good enough. I sought out the things of this world, accreditation, skills, and accolades.
While it is our responsibility to hone the skills we are given, it is not natural to stray so far away from our gifts and talents that we spend so much time in the pursuit of those accolades and not in the fullness of our own being.
Much of my time was spent learning the craft of writing that I had all but forgotten to write. My scripture study fell by the wayside, as well.
And, then something happened, as I began to be in the presence of others, I recognized that while it was necessary for education and work, the thing that most carried me through the darkest times was how people were being with me and how I was receptive to their ways of being. The certificate on the wall did not matter. Some of us were designed to be of good humor, to offer joy, to lend a helping hand, to exemplify compassion, generous love, simple quiet listening. These are our real life purposes.
While God did create some to be brilliant scientists and medical experts, he created others to paint beautiful pictures and create divine prose. It makes absolutely no difference whether you are a brilliant scientist or a good listener. Both are of equal importance to the Divine that designed us. God is all things to all people. He is equal parts master creator and unconditional love. We all have the exact Divinity within us – only in different capacities. Compare and contrast has no room here.
I remember times when I felt ashamed that all I was was a caregiver. Not anymore. I came to realize this when the proverbial “it” happened. A friend of mine was sharing his woe about choosing the life of a writer, and I could empathize with him and said:
- I did not choose writing, writing chose me.
About a year later, he told me that he would never forget those words and expressed how they had changed his point of view on his life. I helped someone simply by being me. My words touched someone’s life.
So, here are a few keys to unlocking your life’s purpose:
- Step away from yourself and recognize that your life purpose was not something you chose, it was a gift given to you by God.
- You were designed a certain way, with certain specific gifts that don’t always have to be award winning Pulitzer Prize winning gifts.
- All our gifts are equal as they exist first in God and are generously shared by Him with us. We are divinely created in His image and likeness! We start out already gifted and blessed with the power to illuminate our gifts.
So, shine your light from the inside out on those gifts; don’t hold onto them or seek them in the outside world. Be a contribution just by being yourself
Stop searching and start being – it really is that simple.