In my teens, I discovered physical freedom. In my 20’s, I realized freedom of choice and its consequences. In my 30’s I began to seek and finally tasted a glimpse of spiritual freedom. Now, in my 40’s, I’m learning to follow my soul’s calling vs. society’s. I strongly believe that spiritual freedom begins with following your purpose. I don’t think Purpose is something you have to find, but rather something you’ve been prepared for during the high and low times of your life. But how do you know if you’re in line with your purpose? Here are some indicators that worked for me…
1. You begin to wonder “Is this it?”
I remember the journey to my purpose started with a pedestrian car accident. Guess who was the pedestrian? Me. I was in the middle of a nasty divorce and custody battle– I was miserable, disappointed, and angry at how life had turned out for me. As I crossed the street wondering “Is this it? Is this what life is about?”, it happened…BAM!! I get hit by a pick-up truck. The interesting thing is that while I was on the concrete waiting for the ambulance, there was 1 thought that haunted me: “What kind of morning did I have with my son today?” I couldn’t remember if it was a good morning or a bad one. I couldn’t remember the hug he always gave me as I dropped him off. I couldn’t remember if he was smiling or not when I left him. Why? Because I was sleepwalking through life. I was going through the motions, just doing what I “had to do” and not savoring the most important people and experiences in my life. You’re on the brink to finding your purpose when you begin to question the reason you do what you do every day, question what society has sold you as the dream, and wonder what footprint you were put on here to leave.
2. You feel like you’re going through a Mid-Life Crisis.
There was a lot of confusion in that stage of my life. One day I wanted to stay a banker and the next I wanted to be a contestant on American Idol (except for one little snaffoo – I didn’t really sing). I felt confused, like I knew I should be doing something different but just didn’t know what it was. So, I followed this instinct to seek. I began looking at the different ideas that would pop into my head and ask myself “What would that bring me? And then what? Then what?” It helped me get to the core of where my soul was trying to lead me.
3. You suddenly have a strong attraction to self-help books and seminars
There’s a big part of you that wants growth. Don’t ignore that! And don’t lie to yourself by thinking you’re growing by moving up in the corporate ladder. The growth you are seeking is spiritual growth, not only monetary growth. We tend monetize everything and begin to believe that bigger salaries, houses, and more stuff will make us feel successful but, in the end, we know that’s not true. There is an inner thirst to grow, contribute, and love. That is at our core. We want to love and be loved, we want to grow, and we want to contribute. Do NOT ignore that. There is nothing wrong with ambition or luxury. However, a millionaire status can give you comfort but not self-fulfillment.
Following the calls of your purpose gets tricky because we wonder if we are following the right thing. Don’t worry, there is not 1 purpose. We have multiple purposes throughout our lives and if you continue to follow that inner calling, you cannot and will not go wrong.