I have an idea in my head of what life is supposed to be like. Some pieces of my life fit the idea perfectly. Other pieces look as though they belong to a completely different puzzle.
It feels like as soon as I figure out one part of the picture, some other part collapses completely, and I think to myself, “What is the purpose of all of this?” Even more, what is my purpose in all of this?
The more I begin to put together the puzzle, the less I understand about the overall picture. Yet, I am completely convinced that I am walking in the correct direction…I am quite certain that I am on the right path. (Or, at least, I am as certain as a person can be.)
This is not because I have my life together. Let us be very clear. My life is NOT together. My life is about as not together as a life can be. “How much can I procrastinate and still meet my deadline without losing any sleep?” is pretty much my life motto. I recognize that tomorrow is full of unexpected surprises both good and bad.
Yet, I digress.
Some of you may wonder how I am so certain. How can I be so sure that I am on the right path, walking in the right direction? Some of you are finding your own purpose. Some of you need reassurance that the purpose you have in mind is who you are truly created to be.
Some of you have taken personality tests and career aptitude tests. Some of you have gone to undergraduate school, graduate school, and doctoral programs. Some of you have titles and certifications. But, you are still uncertain. You are still missing something. You are still looking for something. You are trying to find the peace that comes in finding your purpose.
While I usually offer solutions derived from personal life experiences, today I will instead pose three significant questions.
1. Who are you when no one is watching?
When the spotlight is off, when the cameras are not rolling, what is it that you do? I like re-creating free printables to decorate my house. I enjoy a cup of coffee while watching my children play outside. I cuddle with my husband to indulge in our favorite tv shows. I like shopping and taking cute Pinterest perfect, Instagram worthy photos.
I like DIY flower vases and photo frames. I spray paint storage containers and pine cones. All of these are tied directly to my purpose. Being a mom is my purpose. Being a wife is my purpose. I need photos for my blog. I need projects to help share my story, a story specifically designed for me to tell. You have a story specifically designed for you to tell. That story takes place when no one is watching.
2. What did you want to be as a child?
Life tends to come around full circle. When I was young, I wanted to be an author, manage a day care, and run in the Olympics… I blog. I teach, and I coach track. In other words, I am actually living a modified version of the life I spoke into existence as a kid.
I did not always live this life. I majored in business, worked in business and then walked away from corporate America. My blog did not originate until 3 years ago. My only constant my entire life is track and field…
Sometimes you are intimately involved with your purpose from the beginning. Other times, you seek out other avenues. Either way works. You will find, however, that your interests do not drastically change as you grow older. The things that you were created to do, the things directly align to your “why” have generally intrigued you for as long as you can remember.
3. What is your assignment?
I know this question appears counterintuitive to finding your purpose. My first thought is, “If I knew my assignment then I would know my purpose.” That is not the assignment I speak of here. Here, I speak of the assignment which is the special set of circumstances delivered to you over which you have no control. For example, I am black woman married to the love of my life who happens to be a white man. We share currently living in a society that has never been more divided on racial issues. And my voice gets lost because apparently I am married to the “problem.” My sister is a statistic whose death is not even being investigated, and I am raising her black male son in my biracial household. We are trying to embrace differences while simultaneously finding what makes us the same. All the while, he is fighting a generational curse that God has entrusted my family to break…My ministry is to teach low performing math students with a curriculum that becomes more and more scripted as the days go by. My second ministry is to grow a blog in an over saturated market. I am being asked to slay giants with three small stones.
And so are you.
You have an assignment. That assignment is what brought you here. You want to know why. You want to find your purpose.
You are tired. Your enthusiasm has run out. Your energy is low, and you are wondering if somehow you fell off track.
You cannot figure out why life does not match the picture you formed in your mind.
You have no idea what you want to be when you grow up, and you could really just use a little bit, or maybe a lot, of peace.
So to use my teacher training, let me summarize by beginning with the end in mind. You have an assignment. You have bills to pay. You have kids to raise. You have generational curses to break. You have giants to slay, and you are wondering how to make sense of it all. You want to know how your ordinary can possibly tackle the extraordinary task at hand.
First, you go with what you know. Go with what you have always know. Listen to that little kid inside who you silenced because of a life filled with broken dreams and empty promises. Find her. Talk to her.
She will lead you to the real you, the you who only comes out when no one is watching. That you can be anyone. She can do anything. The sky is the limit. She is who she is without explanation.
When you find that girl, be that girl. She is your purpose.
What ways do you work to ensure you are finding your purpose?
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