Updated: Feb 5, 2020
Do you feel like you’re here for a reason? Or just a random coincidence?
There is no right answer, it’s your opinion and you’re free to believe whatever you like.
Personally, I believe each one of us is here for a reason. I don’t believe in coincidences (anymore) and I think we are all connected by something we cannot see or touch, but rather feel and sense.
From a young age I felt I had a purpose; something I had to do in my time on Earth. For many years I was frustrated because I felt like I didn’t know what my purpose was. Now, looking back, I can see that my whole life has been centered around it, I was just looking in all the wrong places.
I think a lot of people get held up with the idea of having a purpose because it seems limiting.
“Like, I’m only here for one single thing? That’s it?”
And I can see how this would seem small, and that’s what led me to righting this post. I want to show you that your purpose doesn’t confine your life or make it small. It’s not a rule book or lines to contain your art. It’s more like the colors you choose to paint with. It’s liberating and it makes you who you are.
But, I’m getting ahead of myself. First things first:
Is my ‘Purpose’ and my ‘Calling’ the same thing?
No. But they do go hand in hand.
So, what is my Purpose?
Your Purpose is basically the theme of your soul; the premise of your life; the foundation of your personality. It is “what” you are here for.
Now, let me extinguish any confusion. If you love animals, and become a veterinarian, I wouldn’t say your ‘Purpose’ is to be a vet. Your Purpose might be to help those in need, or to heal, or to guide others toward a healthier, happier life.
Your purpose is a more general theme.
This is why this misconception of your purpose making your life limited, or confining your existence to one thing is just that; a misconception. Let’s say your purpose is to heal. You might become a vet, a doctor, a counselor, a nurse, a teacher, an energy healer, a writer specializing in healing, or even just a good listener that others trust, the list goes on.
It basically means you feel called to heal, it’s what you love to do, it’s what you crave, it’s what you would do even if it wasn’t your job. It’s your passion, and you are passionate about it. Maybe you read about it, watch shows about it, talk about it, are drawn to other people that do it, whatever it is, you just want to be around it.
Another big misconception about your ‘purpose’, one that I also used to believe, is that you must find it. Like it’s something outside of ourselves. That’s where we’re wrong. It’s not something we have to find, it’s something we just have to tune into.
I used to feel frustrated that I couldn’t figure out what my purpose was, like it was some kind of math equation or jigsaw puzzle that needed a solution. If I would have stopped looking outward and started looking inward, I would have realized that I always knew what it was. Because it is me. I am not separate from it.
Okay, so what is my ‘Calling’?
Ah yes, your calling. This is that indescribable pull you feel to certain people or things. It might be what lead you to this page, your current job, or even your relationship (or lack thereof).
Your calling is your souls way of steering you toward your purpose. It’s like a treasure hunt and your calling is the clues. You don’t stop at the first clue, you keep following the clues until you reach the treasure. But in this case, the treasure is the joy you get from each clue.
Think of it like this: If you never experience something, how do you know you love it or hate it? You don’t. You can’t. So how do you know what your calling is if you don’t go out and experiment?
I believe everything happens for a reason and in the exact order it is supposed to.
For example; the healer in my previous example: She might not have ever made it to vet school if she hadn’t taken biology in high school.
She might not have ever taken biology in high school if she hadn’t become so obsessed with the body and how it functions from watching Grey’s Anatomy.
She might not have ever watched Grey’s Anatomy if she hadn’t become close with her friend Sheila who’s Mom watched the show.
She might not have ever become close with her friend Sheila unless they didn’t both share a common interest in animals.
She might not have ever shared a common interest in animals if she hadn’t had such an emotional experience rescuing a wounded bird on the side of the highway when she was 6.
She might not have urged her Mom to stop the car and rescue that bird unless she had a strong urge to help and heal.
BOOM. It all comes back to her PURPOSE. *nailed it*
(And just to be clear, her calling could have been a Veterinarian, or any number of other things related to healing, such as a doctor, reiki healer, coach, counselor, etc.)
In this example, she followed her calling as a young child (as most do) and it lead her straight to her purpose. It seems so simple, right? Just follow what lights you up. And it really is that simple. But we let others get in our heads, or we feel like we have to conform to some standard and we get lost along the way.
What if she had never had that experience rescuing that bird? Surely she would have pushed forward and fell in love with animals anyways.
But what if her Father told her vet school was a waste of money because she might not even get a job when she graduates, and she’d be left with mounds of debt and be working as a waitress for the rest of her life trying to pay it off.
That might derail her.
And that’s what happens. We choose “logic” (or fear as I like to call it) over what we know to be true. We become scared to be who we really are and so we conform to what we think we should be.
Maybe she chooses a more “logical” career, you know, “plays it safe” and ends up going into finance and becomes a Bank Manager. She ends up with less debt, a steady paycheck, and a lifetime of regret. Seems like a good trade off, right?...
What can I do right now to follow my calling?
Want to make sure you end up a Vet instead of a Bank Manager? (Hypothetically of course, I have nothing against Bank Managers)
You can stop bull shitting yourself and figure out who you really are.
What have you always had an interest in?
If you had to pick something to learn more about, what would it be?
What have you dabbled in but stopped for some reason you can’t recall.
What do you enjoy but don’t do often enough?
What could you talk about for hours?
If you stopped caring what people thought of you, what would you start doing?
If you could help people in one way, what would it be?
What is one problem you solved in your life that you would love to help others solve in theirs?
What would you do all day if you never had to work? Don’t say nothing. Nobody can do nothing forever.
What path did you decide not to take because there was “no money in it”?
If you could pick your legacy, what would it be?
If you wrote your obituary at the age of 80, what would you wish it said?
If you answered these honestly, I think you’d be well on your way to following your calling. Also, if you answered these honestly, then took a step back and saw the overall theme of your answers, I think you might get some pretty big clues to realizing your purpose.
Try to recognize when you are letting fear dictate your life. And as yourself if that fear is a rational fear (ie. keeping you safe from danger) or an irrational fear (ie. keeping you from being who you really are).
What it all comes down to is following what lights you up. And just because something lights you up now, doesn’t mean it always will. Don’t attach yourself to something, allow you calling to change and morph as you become more you.
The most important thing is that you follow it.