Growing up I met some people that I believed to be some of the strongest, wisest and capable people I thought that ever lived. I wanted to be them so bad.
When you are young you think the end of the world lies at the edge of your hometown, and so I believed. Much of my family believed this too but I was eager to get my toes over the threshold.
As you get older you realize everything you thought may have been wrong. Maybe even everything your mentors thought was wrong too. This can be a difficult phase of life… I think it might also last the rest of my life.
Growing up in rural communities you think that physical strength and even stubbornness are the strongest gifts that anyone can possess. It’s not until you have lived and really loved that you realize that these are only small parts of a much bigger and deeper truth. The truth of life.
From the time we are born we are all searching for independence and control. We learn to walk. We learn to eat. We learn to talk. And we keep trying to build on all these skills to make us stronger and so on. It never occurs to you that these skills may leave you and they can leave suddenly.
The past decade has forced me to realize that I am not strong I thought or as strong as I hoped I was. People think I am. But I am not. I am smart though. Smart enough to know what my strengths are and who I am. My strengths lay in my ability to want to try and my capacity for love. My commitment to what I love.
There is also an overlooked and underestimated strength and it trancends age, sex, size, culture, money and education. It is a strength of purpose.
Few people have it and many people mistake it, but a strength of purpose is not dependent on money, recognition, fame, celebrity or anything tangible to the rest of the world. It lies within the heart of the beholder.
It’s what makes someone live alone in the jungle studying fungi. It’s what makes someone foster and care for unwanted children. It’s what makes a person care for a sick and disabled loved one. It’s a strength from doing what they feel in their heart, regardless of what it requires of you. It’s truly your purpose. Until you find it you may never know true peace. And that can be a very sad and discouraging prospect.
I think I have met several people who have found their true purpose and I hope I am always growing closer to mine. I hope by writing and sharing that I am slowly getting closer with each word.
I find that at this time of my life my world has once again shrunken and it ends, for me, at my front fence. I figured that this would make finding my purpose that much harder but when I look at my husband and I see the relationship we have made and what we share and I truly think that has been a big part of my purpose because I would do it all again without question or hesitation.
Perhaps our true underlying purpose is to make a peace with this life and who we are. Regardless of what happens to us.