I am asked time and time again about purpose. I often watch people go through life struggling to find their niche, "calling" and fulfill what they believe they are supposed to do. Many times we breeze through our adolescent years and follow in the footsteps of our parents simply because that is what we know. It is what we have been taught to do and "it" (be it walking into a trade, scholastic roles or even Motherhood, single-hood or carrying on a family business) feels comfortable to us. This may be what is expected of us and one was not given the option nor groomed or even coached in the area of walking in what is true to us. Perhaps, you are fulfilling your purpose and those roles ARE your truth. Congratulations to you if this is the case. Even still, this writing is applicable for every single person. You need not be chronically ill to gain wisdom here; however, having walked the path of one who has had to remember my own purpose, I do believe that those who battle illness will find encouragement and hope wherever you are.
What do you love? When you think of that word "love" in its true sense, what makes you feel an overwhelming sense of joy, excitement, peace and brings you to a place where you cannot imagine being without it? What is the thing or action that you think of doing, creating or perpetuating every single day? What do you do, give, say, and hope for without ever longing for reciprocation in any fashion, praise, accolades, monetary gifts, or even status and celebrity? If no one knew your name and you could live out any dream and money, time, space and health were not a factor: What brings a never-ending smile to your beautiful face? This is an exercise of “YES” in order for you to discover, find and hold onto your truth with great value before we even move onto the action phase! Here, there is always a blue sky. The "n'ts" are locked away until you feel a completed resonation of joy, fulfillment with visualization of your purpose mentally and physically as you receive what we call in the coaching world your "A-HA" moment!
Now, write this moment down. Journal it. Whatever your "LOVE" is, this has now become your purpose. I fully understand that the "n'ts" will try to creep in. Those are the "can'ts', "won’ts", "don'ts" and so forth. For those of us who battle chronic and incurable illness we will have to make some adjustments in order to fulfill our purpose. We may have some uphill mountains to climb to keep our love going; however, it is “our” love right? It is the very thing that is our truth? It is our core being? It is who we are? We don't need praise for it, we don't need anyone to give us money, accolades, pat us on the back or beg us to do so? Just like Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, our favorite kindergarten teacher, mentor, author or even our family member who may have inspired us through their own love we now have this fire within us, reignited, and we have passion! Yes, we will need a friend, support system or a cheerleader filled with compassion and wisdom to hold us up when we feel discouraged; however, with our truth (love aka purpose) now rediscovered we know we will find a way!
As a chronically ill woman, I have experienced tremendous turmoil in my life even prior to any debilitating illness. I have respectively experienced an exuberance of joy! Receiving multiple diagnoses was not what made this journey difficult. It is only if and when I give into the thoughts that cross my mind that can conquer and destroy my ability to fulfill my purpose. I allowed myself to give in to the "I can't" and "now what" for a time and succumbed to a deep depression with anxiety. There were many circumstances that seemed to be surrounding me at once and I did not see how I could possibly give back. I did not understand how going from a full time job, working out at the gym, teaching as a volunteer, singing on the weekends and pouring into my family to laying in bed or riding in ambulances had any value to anyone but to the pocket books of the insurance companies. I even put my pen down and stopped writing music. My piano sat without a tune to be played. It was a dismal road and I literally watched my health decline rapidly the more I pined over what I thought were my "losses" as opposed to trying to adjust the vehicle to fulfilling my purpose. I was a coach for crying out loud and for whatever reason I was wrapped in sorrow. I knew I had to fight for me!
When I finally decided that I would go back to my truth; my love, then I worked harder than ever to pull out of that depression and anxiety. Little did I know I would become a patient advocate and return to the truth of my childhood. I am a giver, a teacher, a coach, a lover, an encourager, a forgiver, an uplifter, a cheerleader. I am ME, all by myself. The only difference is that I do these things from my bed or couch or even while sitting in doctor's offices. Are you capturing the essence of the coaching goldmine here? In walking in my own truth, with merely an adjusted vehicle, I found many new family members and comrades along the way and so can you! You can sing, teach, blog, encourage, post, educate, affirm, inform, Youtube, craft, paint, advocate, change legislation and so much more even while chronically ill! You can even write a book and self publish nowadays! You can take up that platform for your child with special accommodations or that of a caretaker and truly effect change. The world is your oyster! Though we may need to take a break for days if you are migraine prone like me or weeks if you are in the hospital, that is alright. We have an opportunity that some never get. We are the CEO's of our own lives. We get our choice to change our vocation. We, along with every healthy person, have the power to adjust our perspective and either get bitter or get better mentally, emotionally and spiritually!
Some roads are longer and other struggles are deeper than our own; however, that is where the love, our niche and our truth comes together quite marvelously. When we are secure in walking (metaphorically) in who we are then we can unite with others who are, likewise, fulfilling their purpose and may reach thousands. We can touch millions. You can band together with others and form a cause, a platform and raise awareness far greater than one. When you are living your love then this is not an issue for you because your deep passion to see others changed and filled with freedom is your driver. Your own desires of need (accolades, praise and so forth) are placed on the backburner and you long for others to succeed; to become significant and that becomes a mission. Your seed becomes greater than your own need. You will find others asking to join you and you will become filled up without even asking. Those around you with like minds and passion will essentially pour into you as your pour into yourself and the lives of others. I’ve often thought of coining the phrase, “No Warrior Left UnLOVED”!
My hope for you is that you find your truth. I long for every person to live out their LOVE so much so that if no one was ever watching, reciprocating or paying them back one, red cent that they would do it no matter what because of the sheer JOY that you feel simply for being YOU! Here's a little extra tip for free...if you ever find yourself feeling as if you're not praised enough, noticed enough, valued enough or repaid enough then you're not living your truth, purpose or the true love of your heart. I am not saying that we shouldn't ever receive an "atta boy or girl" or "well done" or "hey YOU are AMAZING". The key is IF you never received it - would you still love it? That is your purpose. Whatever that is? Do that and do it well. It's your life, You can always change your vehicle. We love you - whoever you choose to be. The only one who should really make you proud of you, is you!