The search for purpose in these modern times has become excruciatingly trendy, overly romanticized, and highly stylized that it seems that it has become increasingly more difficult and confusing than it should be. It’s the talk of many books, blogs, and vlogs across the globe, but it seems that this talk is creating more confusion and anxiety rather than bringing people closer to finding themselves and their peace. The topic has become somewhat reminiscent of a Disney movie in which all you have to do is sit and meditate for a couple minutes and your purpose will wash over you in a blaze of glory, light, and joy. Everything will immediately make sense, and you will finally be saved from your misery only now being able to live happily ever after. The man (or woman) of your dreams will burst through your door on an ivory horse with a red rose clutched between his (or her) pearled teeth. It is almost expected to feel like something from a movie—man defeats challenge/obstacle and scores “the girl” in his endless testosterone-fueled conquest.
People’s expectations are soaring exceedingly beyond reality. People expect to feel something—they expect to feel this overwhelming clarity, happiness, love, and passion as an angel descends from the Heavens to hand deliver their entire life’s purpose to them. It should feel like an Instagram-perfect shot because it can’t be legit if it isn’t on social media, right? Unfortunately, I feel that it is far less romantic and sexy than that, though.
In my (limited) experience, though in the vastness of the Universe all of our experiences are limited whether young or old, purpose has felt like more of an impulsive need rather than being enveloped in the embrace of a lover. If you haven’t pursued it, it feels like not taking care of yourself or your needs while you sit and procrastinate until the end of time (like I did with the writing of this article); a nagging that never ceases. It’s the passing of an old friend on the street that you’ve been meaning to meet up with, or a pet demanding your attention until you finally can’t ignore it, giving it the attention it desires. It is the nurturing of the soul, or the neglect when you ignore it, and can either heal you or destroy you. It feels much like a physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental need. You can feel the need in your body. Your hands will get antsy and restless aching for a pen, your throat will ache in words unsaid and lyrics unsung, and your heart will sink into the depths of despair while your soul unhealed is too weak to lift it back up; however, when you fulfill it, you feel a certain level of satisfaction rather than an amazing epiphany, but it only lasts as long as you feed it. It is a simple need added onto your other baser needs; nothing more, nothing less. I feel that this is why many people struggle to find their life’s purpose due to the expectation that they should feel something massive. They feel that mountains should crumble at their feet and roar as they shift when it’s more of a whisper of the wind. The Universe does not shout.
Many ignore the things they are good at due to the lack of roaring emotions, adrenaline, and seas of ecstasy. Building things doesn’t sound romantic to society, so one may ignore their calling of building whether it be building homes or relationships faded as it doesn’t seem extravagant enough. Destroying things, names and faces on billboards, corporate slavery sounds much more appealing to the pursuer of trends. Your hand may ache to serenade sheets in notebooks and journals with lyrics and poetry, or your throat may quake and shiver to vibrate into song and inspire to dance. Perhaps you’re perfectly content working in a donut shop, working in a restaurant, maintaining a building, or running a non-profit, but one may say that it can’t be true as I am still miserable. It can’t be true because it’s not extraordinary enough. It’s not about feeling good but more about creating meaning for yourself and others. Meaning can be the smile on a customer’s face when they taste the food you cooked for them, the way a song you wrote fills your audience with emotion, or the simple act of changing someone’s day just by sharing a simple “hello” and a smile.
I feel that the voice of the Universe does not howl at the moon. That which roars is not coming from you. Listen for the voice that caresses your ears and soul gently. That is where the truth will reside.