“What is my purpose in life?” I asked the void.
“What if I told you that you fulfilled it when you took an extra hour to talk to that kid about his life?” said the voice.
“Or when you paid for that young couple in the restaurant? Or when you saved that dog in traffic? Or when you tied your father’s shoes for him?”
“Your problem is that you equate your purpose with goal-based achievement. The Universe isn’t interested in your achievements…just your heart. When you choose to act out of kindness, compassion and love, you are already aligned with your true purpose.
No need to look any further!”
You know when you are scrolling Instagram thinking about how much time you are wasting scrolling on Instagram? Earlier this week, I was doing this very thing when I stumbled upon a reminder of why sometimes scrolling is not a waste of time after all.
A friend posted the quote above to her stories and I stopped short. So many of my conversations of late have focused on purpose. By virtue of the fact that our children are getting older, my friends and I are looking at larger swatches of time when our children simply do not need us. Many of us have not worked outside of the home for all these years and now, we can’t stop thinking about how we should be filling this new found time. I feel guilty that I am not financially contributing to our family at this point and truthfully, I feel bored. But beyond that, I feel something a little bit bigger. What is my purpose right now?
Yesterday, I read an old high school friend’s bio. I have lost touch with her and while I knew she was a doctor, I didn’t know all details. I won’t list them here but let’s just say that the word impressive does not do her justice. As I read her long list of accomplishments, I found myself justifying my choices and crossing my fingers that, when I got to the end of the article, I would learn that she had no children. Mean-spirited but true. I would feel somehow ‘better’ if she had achieved all she had professionally at the expense of creating a family. I’m sure you can see where this is going. She has three girls including a set of twins.
I know that reading the quote above will not stop my head from spinning. It won’t stop me from desperately trying to find that ever elusive high paying job that you can complete between the hours of nine and one only on the days when school is in session. But I am grateful that for a minute I was able to stop and realize that there are things that I do everyday that are important. There are things that I do that would not show up in my professional bio but maybe, in the grand scheme of things, they are things that matter to the universe.