Finding Your Purpose or Abdicating Responsibility?
August 21, 2009
So much has been written about finding your purpose, discovering your true passion or living your calling and, over the years I’ve read many books and articles and attended seminars in the hope that I would discover just what, exactly, my true purpose is. I somehow thought that if I knew what this mystical thing was I could then dedicate my life to it and live happily ever after. But, I see now, that that seeking was a subtle form of abdicating responsibility.
Unconsciously, I was acting from a wish, if I could only find my soul purpose, I wouldn’t have to choose what I wanted to do. My calling would tell me what to do and I wouldn’t get it wrong. There’s an external feel to this – something outside of me that calls me to it. Something separate from my self. But, I suspect, that true purpose has to arise from within. Not be pulled in from outside.
So, that seems to leave me with 2 choices. I can wait until I’ve done the inner work and have discovered what my calling is or I can get on with my life and choose an, apparently, less grand purpose that develops and changes over time. I say “apparently” because I have it mentally set up that finding your purpose is a big deal and should lead to such lofty goals as world peace or otherwise changing the world.
Interestingly, when I mentioned to my coach that “all” I seemed to be up to at the moment was mothering, being in a relationship, being a friend etc., his response was “Proud and admirable purposes, all. They inspire courage, creativity and spirit”. Yet, to me, they often don’t seem enough.
“You don’t find your purpose, you create it”, he says. “Or you don’t. And you don’t have to”.
So, having freed myself from the finding your purpose diversion, I will get back to creating my life. I will shift my focus to answering the question – “what would I enjoy doing?” and then experiment with the answers.
This little gem on the subject amused me – “Lancelot told Arthur that he heard Camelot’s call from far off France. He was called to the Round Table. But was he? Or did he choose it? He could have gone fishing in Scotland instead”.