I’ve been thinking a lot about purpose.
What’s my purpose? What’s your purpose? Is purpose real? or are we floating around like leaves in the wind?
Purpose is a tricky concept because it goes in circles. What feels like your purpose one day might not be your purpose 5 years from now. Does that mean that all of your time was wasted? No, it means that life is a journey and you’re best bet is to enjoy the ride.
I’ve been thinking of ways that we can find our purpose, or at least get a little bit closer to understanding how we can best spend our time.
Here’s what I’ve come up with.
People will tell you that they feel most valuable when they are helping other people. I’ve seen over and over again, in my life and in the lives of others, that when we sacrifice our time to try and ease the suffering of other people we reap the benefits of emotional well being, serenity, contentment and peace.
I don’t think there is anything else that fills our hearts, minds and souls with such fulfillment as being of service to other people.
Here’s the best part.
Helping other people helps us ease our own suffering. It’s a way to unburden ourselves of the trauma we may have experienced in the past.
Volunteering your time is great. Working at a soup kitchen or cleaning up your neighborhood is time well spent.
But it’s another thing to work with battered women when you have been through that yourself. Or using your life experience with addiction to help someone else who is struggling. Or to teach music lessons to kids who have PTSD because music helped you out when you got home from the war.
You see what I’m getting at?
I don’t know of any better way to find purpose than to use the hurt you have lived through as a healing mechanism for someone else. It makes the suffering mean something. It gives purpose and meaning behind our hurt. That way, it wasn’t all for nothing.