Our culture tells us that following our hearts is a dangerous waste of time and energy. That we have to earn our happiness, by doing things we don’t really want to do, by suffering. What if that’s wrong?
Destiny. Mission. Purpose. Karma.
Many different names for that certain solid something; that thing that drives us, that feeling that pulls us. The things we enjoy, the stuff we like, that feeling of happiness. That feels so, so right when we are pointed towards it… that thing that cannot be replaced by any amount of ‘second-best’ — be that money, power, privilege, sex, possessions, travel… That thing that lights us up just thinking about it, that feels amazing, that brings us joy… that thing that, when it is absent, leaves a pain within us, a feeling that things just aren’t… right. It takes tremendous courage to try and put a name to this thing. Sometimes it cannot be named; it’s more of a pull, magnetic; or a direction; or a single point of light, an idea, a navigational aide, something constant and shining, like the North Star. Maybe it’s a feeling, that incredible, peaceful joy that occurs when we’ve found it, and the aching sense of loss when we turn away from it. When we are following that North Star towards our soul’s purpose, our reason for being on this Earth, going in the direction of our destiny, miracles happen. This may sound silly or smarmy or like New Age bullshit… unless you’ve experienced it yourself. Then, you know what I mean; that coincidences start piling up, serendipitous meetings, opportunities, events, big and small, help you along your way. There’s a feeling of magic. There is magic. Some people would consider that just dumb luck, or even convince themselves that they deserve it, that they worked hard, and got what was coming to them. Preparation meets opportunity, am I right?But here’s the thing. As Alison Armstrong points out in The Queen’s Code, if you’ve earned something, then it is a payment, not a gift. If you want to believe that people have to earn everything in this life, you will inevitably find yourself and others coming short, living large on handouts they don’t deserve, because none of us could ever possibly do enough to ‘earn’ the lives of the plants and animals who sustain us as food, or the miracle of oxygen animating and invigorating our cells, or the devotion of parents, or the miracle of life itself. We would all come up short. We would all be found undeserving. And that is a very sad way to look at the world.
— Life is a Gift. —
Those things — food, air, water, family, love, and life itself — they aren’t payment. They’re not our due, for getting good grades and working overtime on weekends; for sacrificing our dreams to work a 9-5, for making our mortgage payments on time and always being faithful. They’re not something that must be earned and that can therefore be taken away, if we don’t do enough, or well enough. When we get sick. When we are working on something that someone else doesn’t value (like that dream, that purpose, for example). Not one of us could possibly earn their keep on this good Earth, if the universe were keeping tabs. Those things are gifts.
Friendship, love, peace, joy, dancing, trees, fresh air, water… all the best things in life, whatever those are to you, those are all gifts. All of the best things in life are. All of life is.
You don’t have to deserve a gift. You don’t have to earn it. The whole point is that it is given to you because you are lovely, inherently. You are good enough, just as you are. Because you are here for a reason because what you have to give is special and important and needed by the world. Not what the world has earned, not what others deserve, but the gifts that you bring. We are all giving to each other, deeply and selflessly, simply by existing.
When we connect with our heart’s purpose, our soul destiny, our reason for being on this earth… we are able to give so much more, to ourselves and to others and to the entirety of creation. And so, all of creation gives to us, too. We deserve that. Not because we’ve earned it, because we never could. But because life is beautiful, and so are we.
Sometimes it takes a while to find your purpose. Sometimes, there are challenging steps along the way, suffering that doesn’t seem like a gift at all. Sometimes, that Star disappears behind clouds or guides you into dangerous, dark waters.
I’m not saying this is all going to be Love and Light.
It won’t be.
It will be really, really hard sometimes. For me, writing is a big part of my mission, my purpose. I couldn’t do it at all for nearly two years after the car accident that left my brain injured — I had to work my ass off, every day, to heal and to retrain my brain so that I could handle the cognitive strain again. At first I couldn’t even remember the right words, and just the effort of trying left me reeling. Because of my hard work, I can now do 30-60 minutes per day. And that involves working in spite of severe and constant headache pain, dealing with the memory loss and fuzziness associated with heavy painkillers, setting timers because if I work for too long, my brain can’t handle it and my already-brutal-pain becomes unbearable agony.
It’s worth it. It feels so good and it makes me so happy. Everyone has struggles. Everyone has shit that hurts. Everyone has stuff happen that knocks them off their feet. And that’s OK. It may even be part of your path. Do what you’re meant to do anyways.
Sometimes, part of following our path is becoming the type of person who can. And that’s hard. And it’s scary.
But it is always worth it.
When you are moving in the right direction, things will work better. You will know that it’s right, deep in your bones. You have a gift, that only you can give. We need it.
What is your passion, your purpose, your mission? I would be honoured for you to share it here!From the heart,Kathryn