What is Purpose?
After my last post I wanted to get specific as to what purpose is. I always had an unhealthy view of it where it stressed me out because it felt like this unattainable goal so far removed from where I was. It felt daunting and so incredibly nebulous. The act of trying to find it was tiring and it often left me feeling paralyzed. As I gave that stress to God He revealed to me that purpose is me and that I am purpose. He revealed to me the simplest things that we were called to do: love God, love ourselves, and love others (Matthew 22:36-40). It is in the loving of others we fulfill the "entire law and all the demands of the prophets." It sounds so simple -- just love.
I am affectionately called by my friends "aggressively friendly." I love meeting new people and am in truest of forms "a talker." You'll find me making small talk with the person checking me out at the grocery store or at a party in the corner asking someone their life story. It is through talking with others I see so much of Jesus and I see the beauty of humanity. The life of Jesus is a blueprint for purpose -- it is through his life, ministry, and death that all of humanity was saved. What a purpose and how incredibly hard does that sound? I sure wouldn't know where to start. But when I think about what made Jesus so revolutionary? He simply loved others. In Jesus' day religious leaders were so overly concerned with keeping the law of the land that they ignored the needs of others. Jesus shocked the world by choosing to love the liars, cheaters, backsliders, poor, sick, and the very people who society casted out. He saved humanity by loving humanity.
I often thought of purpose as this big aspirational goal that was so nebulous and removed from who I was. It felt like being a little girl dressing up in my mom's clothes: really nice clothes that were obviously way too big for me. Last year I worked with a Life Coach who helped me undo my view of what purpose was. He told me to "Explore purpose. Treat purpose as if it were a new friend, or someone you were trying to get to know. How might you approach it, as if purpose were always unfolding, versus being static. What would you ask purpose if it were an actual person?" Through that exercise I really began to realize purpose is so intricately woven into my identity and all that I do. When I do things that make me light up like pouring into others, engaging in other people's stories, sharing my own story, reflecting on my growth, and really just being my authentic self -- I'm walking in purpose.
Purpose is innately who we are. It's like the Coach Carter quote that says "we were all meant to shine like children do" - carefree, wild, loving, expressive, and incredibly themselves. It's not about finding purpose, it's about finding ourselves. It's finding our spark and understanding how all of our unique experiences have led us up to the point of rock bottom. The point where we realize that there is so much more out there in the world for us, that our gifts are far too great to be used in the sphere of influence we're currently in, and the plan for our lives is far bigger than what we thought it was. We do ourselves and the world a disservice if we choose to not live in our purpose. God created us especially for such a time as this to be able to find a need and uniquely fill it in a way, in which only we can. So purpose -- live in it, walk in it, be it, and own it.