I was listening today to a podcast by Jonathan Fields, a man who has been, in various iterations, a lawyer, a yoga studio owner, and now an entrepreneur as founder of the Good Life Project. I see subtle shades in myself in his trajectory (the legal job, the yoga, and the budding small business sitting under my hat).
This particular podcast was on the idea of purpose, a lively conversation full of more suppositions and ideas about this elusive word than I could count, and long after my phone fell silent, I found the discussion carrying on, Sweeney and Sweeney duking it out, grappling with the various concepts and definitions.
My conclusions, thus far: I don’t believe we were each of us put on this earth to become some one thing. If there was such a thing as anthropomorphizing the divine, this would be the perfect example. I can’t conceive that the kinds of roles we have created in this world of man could translate to a divine purpose. How could I be destined to become a graphic designer, a boot camp instructor, or a carpenter? Those occupations, so created, structured, and named by us mere mortals, seem a little outside the boundaries of divine purveyance, and I have trouble thinking the angels are keeping score as to whether you have figured out your “one task” on this earth.
The closest I can come to a purpose is an intention that is universal to us all. I think, I think I think, that we are put here on this earth to create….something. I don’t mean an actual thing, although we do create those- buildings and sculptures and websites. But also more intangible things, plays. Fleeting things, shapes with our bodies. We create the unseen but deeply felt, families, communities, movements, revolutions.
But there’s another thread to this conversation for me. I hear purpose often described as one’s fulfillment, or purpose as the thing itself which does the fulfilling. A bit rendunant, isn’t it, to be fully filled? I can only suppose the emphasis is there because the idea is important.
So how do we feel fully, how do we live a fully filled life (as it were)? I think the answer lives in the acceptance of ourselves as enough. A human life has value, and yes, even purpose, in its simplest state of existence. We are not required to prove ourselves worthy of such an honor.
The purpose of life is to live. Life is meant for living, and dreams, aspirations, goals, careers, relationships, and places we might explore along the way are the landscape along the journey. To seize the experiences that come along, to live richly (like chocolate rich), I think, might be fulfilling, fully living, the purpose of our humanity.
In love and light.