Tuesday, January 17, 2012

On Purpose...

The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live. ~Ayn Rand

I have thought a lot today about purpose.  Why do we do what we do? And do our actions and speech show purpose?

I teach middle school. I love my job, but I can tell you that there is a lot of time where people do NOT speak with purpose... In fact, I think there are some young people that speak just to hear something.  It isn't just their words--their actions show they have lost purpose in their life.  It is funny that I am more aware about such things once starting this project.

I can tell you that my life is filled with purpose.  It wasn't always that way, though.  In fact, until about five months ago, I felt like my life had little purpose.  I knew I had to exist for my kids, and I needed a job in order to support them.  But I didn't feel a fire inside me... I wasn't excited about life, and I didn't make conscious decisions about my future.  I was living just to get by, and I felt like I was barely holding on.  Life isn't meant for existence--I was meant to thrive!  I knew if I stayed in the same old rut, I would end up miserable (and I was close!).

I made a conscious decision to give my life purpose.  And not just assign purpose, but to find it in all of my actions.  Motive is an interesting thing.  People need something out of every interaction in life.  Once you find the motive, it's easy to see what you are missing in life.  Not only was I orienting myself toward purpose; I was also examining the motives of my actions.

I will be brutally honest for a moment.  I know I was miserable.  I hated my life.  I felt suffocated by everything, and my brain's response was to zone out.  That was no way to even exist.  I hated life, and tried to blame people for causing me to be where I was.  In the end, I realized that I ultimately had a choice over whether I would remain miserable.  I had a choice over everything in my life, and I was tired of sitting by and being miserable that life didn't turn out the way I hoped.

Moving back toward family was probably the best decision I have ever made in my life.  I have gotten so much support, that I have been able to approach all my decisions as whether or not things fill my life with meaning.  I am no longer facing the battle of survival--I am able to make conscious decisions about where I want to go in life, what I want to do in my future, and with whom I want to spend my time.  It has been liberating and very settling at the same time.

This project has caused me to magnify my daily actions, and look for the purpose.  I am examining my world through a completely different lens.  Through the sweat, tears, laughter and pain, I am seeing what a strong, confident, and intelligent woman I have become.  The purpose of these past few months has been a transformation, but it has also been to restore what was rightfully mine.  I got my "self" back. :-) 

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