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Discovering the Power of Purpose in My Life

            When I was ten years old I decided that, regardless of the risk, I was going to take a stand for my beliefs and walk my best friend and neighbor across the street from her house to mine. I knew that I would incur the wrath of both my family and hers as well, but that did not matter. It would be worth it. My friend, Susan, one year older than myself but quite a bit taller and larger, wore heavy braces on both legs. She lived with her mother and aging grandmother, who cared for her while Susan’s mom worked. Because her grandmother was ailing, Susan rarely had an opportunity to leave her house. That day, just for once, I wanted to give Susan a chance to do something different, to have a little adventure in her life.

            It turned out to be a bigger adventure than either of us was ready for. By the time we got to the sidewalk in front of my house, I knew that I had made a mistake. Susan was leaning heavily on me and I was struggling to keep both of us upright. We were about to take a tumble when suddenly my mom appeared, and grabbing Susan’s arm, led her to safety. By then I was so grateful for the help that I willingly accepted my mom’s angry tirade. “Are you out of your mind?” she screamed at me. “Did you even think about what you were doing?”

            It would have done no good to try to explain my thinking to my mother, but I did later explain it to my grandmother, who was my best friend and advocate.  Day after day, I explained to Grandmother, Susan would tell me how she felt imprisoned in her home, till one day I could stand it no more. I had to do something.

            “Child,” my grandmother said to me, shaking her head in wonder. “Sometimes you remind me of a snapping turtle. When you get hold of something, you just don’t let it go, do you?”

            At the time, I wasn’t quite sure what my grandmother was saying to me. But now, many years later, I think I know. My grandmother recognized in me something that I intuitively sensed was there as well – an inner urge, a push, a nagging, as I perceived it, that sometimes forced me into action. That day, when I chose to walk Susan across the street, I did it because it mattered. It was Susan’s opportunity to express herself, to say, “I need to break out of my protective shell. I need to be free.” It was not simply a matter of disobeying rules. It was a question of recognizing priorities and following my heart, even if there was a risk involved.

            From an early age, I have been aware of feeling pushed, prodded, nagged to follow my heart, to strike out on a path that often has as its only signpost a sense of direction, a sense of forward movement. But toward where and what that movement is leading me, I am often without a clue. Were it not for the insistence and the persistence of my inner urging, and for my own snapping-turtle-like nature, I would probably have long ago ceased to follow these proddings. At times, I have to admit, they have seemed to bring me burdens – feelings of responsibility and duty that I am not sure I can (or want to) handle. Still, I would never think of letting go.

            I know that today many people, like me, are seekers. Others, too, long to find meaning and purpose in their lives. In my fifty-plus years of living a life of purpose, with purpose, for purpose, I have come to believe that it is not so much finding one’s purpose that has the most potential for creating significance and meaning in life. It is, I believe, discovering the truths and the mysteries behind the purpose of purpose itself.

        For about twenty years, starting in the early 1980’s I taught a class called Miracles of the Mind. For eight weeks, two hours a week, I trained students from all walks of life – educators, businessmen and women, retirees, housewives – how to plumb the depths of their own inner minds, to bring forth that which lay hidden and often ignored, but which held the key to the most potent and most powerful elements of their existence. During this class, we often discussed purpose, destiny and the meaning of our lives. Crucial questions were fervently asked, illustrating the questioners’ longing for answers. “What is my purpose in life? What is it that I am uniquely qualified to do? What part do I play in the universal scheme? What is the plan for my life?” In the very act of asking those questions, of honestly wanting answers, and in our willingness to re-direct our lives according to the guidance we received in answer to those questions, many of us did, indeed, discover our destinies. We began to manifest the dreams that our souls requested us to pursue. Today, because of the nagging, which I now believe to be the voice of my soul, I am a psychotherapist specializing in Pathwork (personal and spiritual transformation). I have resurrected my Miracles of the Mind class, and am creating other classes that will help others find their path and their soul’s purpose.

Throughout my life, I have been propelled forward by that sense of urgency, the nagging, with its pushy, insistent energy. Seeing it now from a different vantage point, I view it less harshly. I think of it as a little cosmic joke. For the nagging, I now recognize, is the actual energy of purpose. I understand that even as it could often be irritating and prickly, it always held within it a positive intent. It was there to prod me and to keep me moving when I got tired or became distracted from my path. When I was self vs. soul-focused, I viewed purpose as something whose sole reason for being was to benefit myself and others personally, to support our individual paths. And even though this is a noble mission in itself, I now see that there is more to it. I now view purpose as being designed for something much larger.

Purpose has its own purpose, I believe, and it’s really not about us. It’s about life moving itself forward, growing from one stage into another, unfolding and actually becoming itself as it does. Today I view purpose as serving the goals of the collective Soul. I believe that any responsibilities that I personally feel are really the goals and responsibilities of that larger Soul working through me. Now I experience “the nagging” with a sense of peace and contentment. As I move forward, allowing my intuition to guide me and choose for me which ideas, plans and projects to give my time and attention, I know that can trust that purpose will manifest, not only for myself, but for the highest good of all concerned.

 
 

Rita Milios, LCSW, The Mind Mentor, is a psychotherapist, speaker and freelance writer from Hudson, FL. She specializes in topics related to mind, personal development and creativity. Call Rita at 727-860-5675 or email ritamilios@tampabay.rr.com to discuss help with a writing project or to discuss a workshop/training for your group.

 

 

 



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