“Be your own purpose.”
This is a great reminder out of the Kindle book I love “365 Wisdom Pills.”
Sometimes we may feel that things outside of our own self give us purpose like other people, money, things, our job, certain skills we have….or that without certain things, we have no purpose, but we are our own purpose for living.
People say things often like find your purpose or your life’s purpose and live it. At first this may seem all inspiring or motivational but truly think about it? It can be kind of degrading.
I don’t believe we each have a specific purpose. Suppose we think our purpose is to get married and then that person leaves us?
Then what? We have no purpose? What if we feel our purpose is a certain hobby like running or traveling then we become paralyzed or too sick to travel or run? Then we suddenly become purposeless? Or what if our “purpose” is to help others in a certain way then we suffer some loss and can’t? What if you’re a surgeon then you suffer an injury or lose your practice or license or something? Then you have no reason to exist?!
What if we become confined to a chair, paralyzed at the neck down and can’t even turn our head? There are people like that! And some are very happy! There’s a lady who is a painter and can paint with a brush in her mouth and she’s like the happiest person! She cannot move most of her body and she’s so happy and so full of purpose. I don’t know much about her but my dad told me about her years ago. We did not know her personally. He used to carry a picture of one of her paintings in his wallet to remind himself that it’s possible to be happy and love life no matter what. Her ability to paint isn’t what gives her purpose. She is a living, sentient being who exists. That’s her purpose.
And what about people who have severe brain damage or were born with complications and can’t feed themselves? They can’t walk or hardly talk or anything, yet they have purpose. No less than I do. And they are happy too. They can smile and look around and feel. I used to walk by a school for children like this, with extra needs, when I was walking to class in college. They were in wheelchairs, some with feeding tubes and oxygen and I saw them smile and make contact with people helping them and walking by.
It’s like cruelty to claim that someone like this has less of a reason to live than anyone else! And some people do claim that!
I don’t feel sorry for people with disabilities or brain damage as long as they are alive. I don’t feel sorry for mothers who give birth to extra needs children. Those people don’t need and probably do not want my sympathy or sorrow. They are a blessing and I have compassion for them just like I have for anyone else. They are not necessarily suffering and are not without purpose. And even through our suffering, we have purpose.
When I was a young girl in middle and high school, I made my whole “purpose” to be about getting good grades. I did not have perfect grades but I got honor roll every semester. I frequently felt that I had no reason to live. But I reminded myself that I did have a reason to live, I got good grades! Then one day I got my report card and got a C in math! I seriously contemplated killing myself after school that day. I was really going to then lost the nerve. Not that suicide takes true courage, it does take some kind of fearlessness or determination but that’s not true courage. True courage is choosing to live even when it’s so hard. But whatever was giving me the balls to kill myself, suddenly dissipated when I got the chance. That has happened frequently.
Not everyone who feels like there’s no purpose wants to kill themselves but it’s an unpleasant, painful way to live!
So it’s good if we can all realize that our purpose is us. We don’t need anything else to give us a reason. It’s great to have passions, interests, goals, plans, people….but they aren’t our reason for living.
Hugs & love to you! ❤