We all wonder about our purpose. Are we on the right track? Have we figured it out yet? Did we screw it up? Was that a wrong turn? A right turn? How will I know when I’ve “figured it out?” In this week’s blog from Mindrise Coach, Jennifer Wielage, we take a deeper dive into defining your purpose in life. Read on and enjoy…

Pondering the Purpose

by Jennifer Wielage, Mindrise Coach

Wanting to understand the story of our significance is universal.   Since the beginning of time, human beings have pondered the reason for, and grappled with, the meaning of life.

I bet you also have similar thoughts as these.   When these questions come up, do you, like me, get overwhelmed and anxious at the prospect of finding, or even worse, not finding the answers?

The number one obstacle which holds me back is that, deep down inside, I struggle believing that I have anything of value to offer the world.   I feel so small, untalented, unworthy and downright unnecessary here.   What could I possibly offer to make the world a better place?

From where do these limiting beliefs stem?

If I were to guess, I would imagine it comes from my past experiences, which left me with scars; if not gaping wounds.   These past experiences have hurt and often prevented me from trusting others completely.   I have a deep-seated fear of being hurt, of being laughed at, being vulnerable, and being rejected and abandoned.

I have believed in the past that I was a victim of life’s circumstances.  I had this thought that external circumstances were the cause for all of my suffering and unease.    And I felt powerless.

Things happened in my life that weren’t always easy to accept and overcome:  one example, my father, who was a piano teacher and tuner, left my mother and my sisters for his French-speaking piano client and her children.   Apparently, he was tuning more than just her piano.  This was devastating to our family.

From this experience, I began to struggle with a deep sense of unworthiness, had major insecurities and low self-esteem.

We learn subconsciously from a young age many defensive mechanisms, ways to cope, and we develop patterns of behavior after traumatic life experiences.  No one is immune.

Then, as an adult, these memories remain in our psyches. We have triggers that can be tripped when a situation presents itself in a similar way as an unpleasant past experience.  At these times it is easy to want to cast blame and lash out at others.

And what I have learned is this: my life is my responsibility. My life is what it is today because of my actions and inactions, my good choices and my bad choices, and my beliefs about who I am.

 I realize now that I need to create my life, fully trusting in God for everything.   I can exercise control over my thoughts and what I decide to believe is true.  This takes time and conditioning.

When I start spiraling into old patterns of thinking, I ask: does this thought serve me?  Is it helping me to be happier; healthier; closer to God?  Is this situation merely sparking a memory from my past that has nothing to do with what is really happening in the present moment? Is it merely my interpretation of the circumstance that is making me so upset?  Shifting my thoughts to thoughts that serve me instead of ones that keep me stuck is the key to contentment.

What is the meaning of life?  

I have come to believe wholeheartedly that my purpose in life is to love and serve God, while striving to be at peace, offering mercy and compassion to my fellow sojourners, when necessary.    It is to be a loving wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend, and when I fall — because I will fall – knowing that I can begin again.

My purpose is to accept myself as I am at this moment, honoring all my faults and imperfections.   It is to feel my emotions, allowing them to come and go without letting them fester.

It is to laugh as much as possible, to act goofy, to dance in my kitchen. My purpose is to experience the peacefulness of sitting on my porch, strumming my guitar.  My purpose shows up when riding my bike to yoga class, and allowing myself to appreciate the breeze in my hair and the sun on my face

My purpose is to feel a sense of balance between work and play, pursuing my passions and activities that light me up inside.   My purpose is to practice gratitude and to share with those in need in whatever way I am called, encouraging them to see the truth.