To live a life of purpose, one must realise;
‘Why am I here?’
‘For what reason am I alive?’
To go through life blindly believing that this is all for nothing- lacking any sense of purpose- is an incredibly pessimistic way to live, at least, from my experience it is. Looking back a couple of years ago to 19 year old Lisa who couldn’t answer; ‘Why?’, I was at my absolute lowest. Constantly Depressed, and in the middle of a really bad relapse back into the depths of Anorexia, I couldn’t see a point to anything- I was, without a doubt, suicidal. Hardly surprising when, as human beings, we need to feel like we have a sense of purpose. I say ‘need’ and not ‘want’ here because, as this article in Psychology Today highlights;
‘The need for purpose is one of the defining characteristics of human beings. Human beings crave purpose and suffer serious psychological difficulties when we don’t have it. Purpose is a fundamental component of a fulfilling life.’
I know firsthand this (^) to be the case, as it is during the times in my life when I feel most lost, devoid of a sense of purpose, that my mental health starts to suffer, with this being as a direct response of my need for purpose going unmet…
Perhaps in an attempt to feel in control of my life at a time during which the absence of a purpose can make me feel very much out of control, my eating disorder ‘thoughts’, such as the temptation to revert back to the comfortably uncomfortable pattern of restrictive eating and over exercising, becomes increasingly hard to ignore. A tendency to hyper focus on my appearance, everything I dislike about myself becomes magnified ten (+) fold. Albeit not the healthiest thing, at least it gives me something to focus on, whereby, instead of planning my days based on a shift pattern, I plan them around HIIT workouts and weights, cardio and abs, hating myself and, what I am constantly striving for (but not progressing very much towards), not hating myself, all as a result of me lacking any real sense of purpose in my life.
It wasn’t until I came to understand spirituality that I finally did find my purpose in life- my true purpose- not a purpose based on how many hours I work, what I do for work, or even, if I work in the first place*, but a purpose based on simply being alive…
*Believe me, I’ve done the whole ‘attaching my purpose to work’ thing. I’ve spent many an hour, day, week, month, year, even, scrolling through job adverts, setting up businesses, trying, and failing, to find my purpose through a job, the pursuit of which has seen me constantly changing my mind about which direction I want my life to go in. After much unsuccess in doing this, however, I realised; maybe there’s a reason why I am yet to find my purpose. Maybe I am yet to find it because it’s not something that needs to be found… Maybe, my purpose is already within me-
Alive as everything is alive, I am simply ‘the universe expressing itself as a human for a little while‘- Eckhart Tolle.
With no pressure to do anything or be anything but myself, I am free to find, and make, my own happiness in life.
This is my purpose.
Now, I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is that led me to my moment of ‘awakening’, as described above, but I can remember waking up one morning and thinking; ‘Damn, Now I get it’, the ‘point’ to life.
Ultimately, that led me to where I am today in terms of my views on existence/my spiritual outlook on life. And, having arrived at this point, my eyes well and truly opened, never again will I go back, the realisation that the ‘point’ to life has in fact, been hiding in plain sight all along…
The sheer scale of the universe- looking up to a sky full of stars- a reminder of how seemingly small and insignificant we all are, but, likewise, a reminder of how important we all are, too- an essential part of the whole that makes up existence. Like a jigsaw puzzle, without all the individual pieces, the point to this- existence- would fail to be decipherable (i.e., it would be pointless), for, the fact is that we are all here for a reason and, we all need to be here to make sense of that reason…
Referring back to the jigsaw puzzle analogy, Like the individual pieces of a jigsaw, your position/purpose in life might not be immediately obvious, it might take you several attempts to get it right/to find where you belong, but, that’s the point, it’s all part and parcel of the game we call life- to experiment and make mistakes and have fun along the way…
So, yes, it will be hard, and, yes, you will feel like giving up, I have no doubt about that, but, you will get there and, when you do, you will realise that it was all worth it, for, if you had given up, then you’d never have got to see what you helped to create, your contribution, however seemingly ‘insignificant’, essential to make it all make sense.
The moral of the story here, then?
Never give up. The beauty on the other side is unimaginable, and you need to be here to witness it.
I believe in you. Keep going. You’ve got this.