We often get caught up in the idea that our life’s purpose is about some grand mark we will leave on the world. That the legacy we leave behind after our bodies return to the earth should carry our name and identity into the future. But who or what does that really serve?
What if our life’s purpose is much simpler than that? What if our life’s purpose is to be exactly as we are? When we stop searching for purpose outside ourselves, we relax into the innate purpose that’s right under our noses. Over the years, in all my work with clients, I have discovered that living out our true purpose is usually more a process of reduction, than one of expansion; more a process of unraveling, than reaching.
This past week I got to spend time with my 88-yr-old mother, my sister and brother-in-law, and my 3-yr-old niece. (How valuable and edifying it is when the generations mingle!) Being with these humans allowed me a glimpse into the interconnectedness of all our lives. As our human family moves through the transition before us (which I expect to last the rest of the lifetime of anyone reading this,) living our own life’s purpose will have less to do with splashy heroic moves to save the collective day, and more to do with being our truest selves within our web of relations. In the hyper-mobile lives we lead, it is easy to lose touch with the impact we have on the places and people most familiar to us.
Being and becoming our truest selves often involves shedding a lot of innocent misunderstandings. It often means a commitment to a longterm healing process. It often requires letting go of the past, letting go of cherished notions, letting go of dreams that belonged to older versions of ourselves. The process can be daunting, bewildering, and sometimes painful. Yet I can think of nothing more rewarding.
Transforming ourselves in these ways grants us entry into our own inner chamber of authenticity. Operating from this place is our life’s purpose. Everything else – all the outer roles, identities, legacies – fall in line when we arrive in this place. Serendipity walks with us, showing us what to do next. It is this place of our inner truth that has the power to transform the world. Without this foundation, all the valor in the world can produce only lateral moves.