Situating Yourself: What is Our Purpose Here?
Like everyone else, you probably are searching for something in this life to satisfy a dream, a longing, or something that you can’t even name. As you begin to read this book you may even have an agenda for yourself. Perhaps you’re looking for answers to the gnawing questions in your brain about what your role in this life is. And perhaps you’re looking for some serenity, a little peace of mind that will at least temporarily take you away from your troubles. Maybe you’ve tried other things to help you gain this peace and nothing has worked, so you’re skeptical that anything can work.
Perhaps you’ve reached some measure of peace in your life and want to go deeper. You want to experience more joy. You want to experience your life more fully, and you want to achieve an emotional balance so that the highs and lows of life are moderated.
Or maybe you’re committed to the pursuit of happiness at any cost, or to acquiring things like money and power because you believe that these will give you joy and freedom.
Perhaps you don’t even know what you want—you just know that something is amiss, something needs to happen inside you because no matter what happens to and around you there is no satisfaction. Maybe you have everything you’ve ever dreamed of—the compatible relationship, the satisfying job, the nice home, plenty of love from children and family—yet something inside feels empty. You might even hesitate to acknowledge this empty feeling, thinking that your friends and family wouldn’t believe you or would consider you ungrateful.
Perhaps you believe you have a fatal flaw that nothing and nobody can correct, and up to this point in your life you’ve kept it your secret. Or maybe you’re sitting with a minor under-the-skin-dis-ease, something you can live with but that colors the way you see everything. It’s not extreme, mostly it goes unnoticed by others, but it’s beginning to affect your behavior more and more. You’re simply fed up with it and want it gone.
Right now, try not to figure any of this out, and don’t worry about where or whether you fit in to any of these scenarios. Simply know that wherever you are coming from and wherever you think you might want to go, you are, right this moment, in the right place. Know that whatever you think your purpose in life or your purpose in reading this book (blog) is, you are, right this moment, in the right place.
Let’s make a pact. Let’s agree that for now our purpose is to be present and willing, right here, right now. To this end, let’s do a simple exercise. Look around you. What does the room you’re in look like? Are there windows? Notice the source of light. What shoes are you wearing? Are you standing or sitting? How’s your breathing? Take three long, deep breaths to put your attention there. Look around you again. Ground yourself in the here and now. Focus on just being where you are, right now, in this moment. Breathe deeply.
This exercise is a simple one, and I will ask you to remember it and turn to it from time to time. Let’s call it your purpose tool. Whenever you find yourself fearful or anxious, use this tool. Whenever the question “What is my purpose?” arises, use this tool. Whenever you are in a state of existential angst, use this tool. Whenever you don’t know what to do next, use this tool
You may be asking yourself such questions as “Why? What good will this do me? How can such a simple exercise help with the important maters of my life?” Take a moment. Stop. Use your purpose tool. If you practice this regularly and follow the other suggestions in this book (blog), I promise that you will find the answers to even your most perplexing questions. But for now let’s agree that our purpose is to be here, on this page, in this moment, and nowhere else. That is enough purpose just now. Read along, trust, and bring this tool with you as you go.
To be continued…