meditations: purpose

During a session with my therapist last year, she asked if I remembered feeling calm. I said I felt the calmest just before I almost died. As a drowning child, I saw my flaying feet, the surface of the water sparkling with sun-diamonds and said goodbye. My feet touched bottom and I could push myself up. As an adult, airway now totally blocked, I felt extremely calm as I thought: if this is it, then this is it. Then they got my airway cleared.

And, being me, I had to add some flip, irreverent, or funny comment to ease the seriousness. I was the first first first: the 1st child of 1st children to live past my 1st birthday and how my parents (my mother was more superstitious than my father) didn’t plan on celebrating my first birthday until the week after, just to be sure.

My therapist shook her head and said, “You really do have a purpose.”* I quipped, “Well, my mother believed you never passed before your time.”

The negatives of purpose have a strong voice. Is it for purpose, or for punishment I find myself in 2015? If nothing happens without a purpose, then is my purpose to watch others receive what I never will? What on earth can I be destined to do that makes all the emotional and physical pain worthwhile?

My concept of purpose has changed over time, but there is still a part of me that wishes my purpose is important and inspiring. That I couldn’t be ignored and forgotten. That my purpose was special and worthwhile. I realize that my purpose can be very small, such as smiling at a stranger.

Things happened this week that have me meditating, again, about purpose. My yoga teacher believes that nothing happens without a purpose, and if you let your beliefs lead, what should happen will follow. Three things that are wonderful for her came together last week. I’m happy for her, I’ll miss her, and then the little voices whispered: things will never come together like that for you. Why always someone else, why never you?”

Earlier in the week, doing something as mundane as cleaning the bathroom, I heard one of the other voices – the neutral ones that have a message I haven’t heard for all the negative, spiteful and sad ramblings inside my head. Or a message, finally freeing itself from my subconscious, speaks or writes it’s voice. And, these just come, no thinking, self-talk, remembering, imaging, and so on. The bathroom-cleaning voice: “It’s not all about you.”

* I’ve written on the concept of purpose in life before. For example, If it Were so: “midway in life’s journey” and living a life that mattered is a matter of scale.


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