June 4, 2015 admin

PURPOSE: Soften the Journey

by Marge Clark

Age 73. Toledo, OH

Man has wrestled with the answer to the meaning of life forever and no one has come up with a definitive conclusion. Victor Frankel comes close in his, “Man’s Search for Meaning.” We usually end up with the “It’s a mystery” answer when confusion sets in.

 Scott Peck says, “Life is difficult.” I agree and get annoyed with the in vogue expression, “It’s all good” response to whatever happens. No, it is not all good!

 I am 73 years old, have 4 adult children (one is handicapped for whom I am still a full time caretaker of 48 years), 7 grandchildren and 8 greats. Setting aside not knowing the meaning of life, my purpose has been obvious to me. I fly under the radar of the mystery and try to not let it overwhelm me.

 I try to live my life being a companion for others as we travel the journey. There is enough pain and misery without my adding to it, so my efforts are to help alleviate or soften the difficulties as we travel together. The “we” is everyone who enters into my day.

I TRY TO LIVE MY LIFE BEING A COMPANION FOR OTHERS AS WE TRAVEL THE JOURNEY.

I often fail at this, but that is my purpose. I worked in a hospital for 25 years and plenty of opportunity to practice.

 Emerson says that a friend is one before whom I may think aloud. I have friends like that who help center me. Thomas Merton, Pema Chodron, Thomas a Kempis are authors who help me try to focus on the moment, to think not of myself, but the needs of others. I cling to their writings because wisdom and purpose can often be fleeting and it is easy to get weak and confused.

 Knowing ones purpose if not a one time eureka event, but a daily, moment to moment attempt to focus on our goal as we journey towards it. Sometimes that goal or purpose changes as we get closer to the mountain top. Fear, frustration, and anger can disrupt our endeavors.

KNOWING ONE’S PURPOSE IS NOT A ONE TIME EUREKA EVENT, BUT A DAILY, MOMENT TO MOMENT ATTEMPT TO FOCUS ON OUR GOAL AS WE JOURNEY TOWARDS IT.

We are forever trying to get back up on that balance beam and it is difficult to do it alone. We all need a “coach” to teach us whether it be a friend, an author, a family member or our faith. Sometime we just need to jump off that balance beam and go hide under the covers until the energy and motivation return

 Plato said, “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Let your words heal not hurt.” When I can focus on that, I find fulfilling my purpose is easier and it gets my ego and self-absorption out of the way. Like anything in life, it takes practice, commitment, patience with failure, and trust that renewed motivation will keep returning when fatigue and apathy take over.

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