Today, on the Desi Outsiders website, Meenal published a post on "purpose" where she talks about that drive within us to find a project that we will be ready to give our heart and soul into. She tells us how she chanced upon a man from Nyahururu in Kenya and discovered the plight of the 12 orphans that he was trying to take care of. Soon, she took it upon herself to build a home for these innocent kids and began to devote her everything to this purpose. My favourite lines from her piece are:
"If you are looking for your 'passion', if you are looking for that one thing to put blood, sweat and tears into - don't look too hard. It will find you, all you have to do is your give hundred percent to the things that make you happy and one day, you will find it right at your doorstep".
It felt like she reached deep down and plucked those words right out of me.
Her views on the subject got me thinking about my purpose. Sure, we don't always know what we want to do with our lives. In fact, I'm still pretty confused about the concept. I've always been an "in the moment" kind of person as I've shared before, and planning for more than a week at a time is something I still struggle with. So I sat down and tried to simplify the task of discovering what I truly wanted to do with my life and (surprise, surprise!) it still mostly has to do with what I want to do right now - in this moment. I wasn't sure if I wanted to publish this post initially, as I mostly depend on writing things down for them to make sense in my head. I have many unpublished posts in my archives which were written randomly in a diary format and while most of them will never see the light of day, I've decided to share this private musing with you guys.
When I started this blog, my purpose was to give in to the hobby of expressing myself through my writing. Of finally sharing what I had to offer to (what I thought would be) a very small and unique niche audience. I started with semi-fictional short stories in the form of journals which were mostly about hurt and resentment. Some, I wrote to bury the ghosts of my past. Others, to give expression to stories of people that astonished me with their choices. All of that was mostly me trying to come to terms with those emotions that were gnawing at me from within. That was mostly me trying to get over those things and finally moving on. A year later, I feel that I did a pretty good job of moving on. Writing helped and I lived up to that purpose.
Soon, I moved on to sharing snippets of my own life with this treasured niche audience. I felt that it was quite a safe space to share as my people were good people. They never judged. Or even if they did, they weren't mean or hurtful about it. I'm guessing this came from a deep seated need to share. I don't fully understand why I felt this need but I'm guessing that if it hadn't been this, I would have found some other means to share. The point is that sharing almost every aspect of my life then became my purpose. Especially after a lot of people reached out to say that reading my blog when they were having a bad day lifted their moods most of the time. So I took it upon myself to lift moods. I was going to make people laugh. I was going to help them through their rough days. I was going to be brutally honest about my experiences in the hopes that others like me would be able to relate. That was a very good purpose to have, I feel.
It was during this time that I had a pretty devastating falling out with someone I considered to be a close personal...I'm going to have to come back and fill in this blank because I struggled for the last minute trying to figure out a word to use here. Friend? Nah. I'm going to have to reflect on a word to describe my relationship with this person. Later.
After this brutal rift, I got filled with a lot of that same ol' sentiment that I was trying to grow out of - resentment. A lot of it. It was so bad that I started including secret jabs within my seemingly innocent blog posts because I was aware of the fact that this person kept coming back to read my blog. I found shameful solace in thinking that "Aha! That must have hurt and only so-and-so will get it". That was not cool at all. In trying to poke at another person's weaknesses and shortcomings, I was only hindering my own personal growth. That was low. That was a shitty purpose to have for a while. It took months to grow out of but the good news is, I'm done. I'm completely out of that stage. I'm completely out of resentment. I don't feel a thing when I think about this person. So while I did give in to base sentiments and cheap solace for a while, I feel that it did kind of serve it's purpose in a way. It did help me heal and move on. But surely there must have been a better way to get here?
That brings us to now. Now, for me, is a very good time. Now, for me, is a very happy time. Now, for me, is a time when I spend each day in mindful gratitude for all the many many things that seem to be going in my favour. It took more than a few years of battling with resentment, jealousy, pain and hatred to get here. But now...now is good. Which brings me to question how I got here. Surely something must have clicked somewhere and worked in my favour. So this is how I'm going to try and summarize my current purpose which seems to be working: Happiness.
Let me explain.
When I'm happy, I attract more happiness into my life. I've felt it.
When I'm happy, I'm kind to my spouse. I'm more understanding of him. I'm more patient with him. And in return, he feels happy and returns kindness, compassion, understanding, patience, love and friendship to me. It's a cycle.
When I'm happy, I feel motivated to work hard. To achieve my goals. To tick things off my to-do list. This is turn makes me even more happy and motivated to continue doing what I do. It's a cycle.
But how do you stay happy in order to do these things? It's not something you have 100% control over. I have some days on which everything just seems to be going wrong one after another. I have days on which nothing seems to be going wrong but I feel anxious and defeated nevertheless. So on these days, I give myself 12 hours. I give myself 12 hours to grieve. To bawl. To lay motionless on the couch. To start drinking at noon. I give myself 12 hours to curl up in self pity and be mad at everything around me. I give myself 12 hours to feel miserable.
Then, I go to bed. I sleep it off and wake up the next morning being done with that misery. I wake up feeling that I was fair to myself to give myself a window of time to dwell on those emotions. And now, it's go time. I get to my tasks one by one. Dishes in the sink that need washing, deadlines that need to be met, clothes that need laundering, posts that need writing, my body that needs showering, my scalp that needs cleaning. And truly, this 12 hour rule has worked magic in my life so far. It has helped me to dwell on my current purpose: to be happy, and to spread happiness. In a way, I've gone back to my second purpose in the past year: To make people laugh, to be a mood-lifter. All that becomes possible when I'm laughing everyday. When I'm my own mood lifter.
I've always been mindful of sharing from the perspective of my true authentic self here on this blog. And those of you who've been here for a while might have even noticed this progression and growth that I've experienced. I'm hoping to seek out all the things that make me happy, do all the things I always wanted to do, buy all the things I want to buy and generally, serve myself. And obviously, I will take you along with me on this journey and even relish in your own personal experiences of conquering your happiness. Hopefully, you can relate to this mindset.
So here's a task for you: Write down your purpose. It can be as simple as a three syllable word or a 1600 word essay like this. Sorry about that, by the way. I got a bit carried away :D
Also, if you have a bad day in the future, try the 12 hour rule and let me know what you think. I'd love to hear your stories.
On that note, happy Monday! May you have an amazing week ahead.