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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Purpose

When I went to yoga today the teacher's theme was purpose. She talked a lot about each of us having a purpose and she went on to claim that finding that purpose is the key to contentment.

Several months ago I was reading Yoga and the Quest for the True Self but after a while, the book started to make me anxious and unhappy. I was obsessed with finding my true self, my purpose etc... This fixation troubled me. I could not remember who I was before MS and after it I no longer had a sense of who I was and what I wanted. When I finally stopped trying so hard, things got easier. I started living much more in the moment and enjoying the little things as they came to pass. Eventually I had a recollection of who I am and realized that I had never left. This feeling has brought me a measure of peace. I no longer feel adrift in a universe with no answers for me. Today's yoga class did give me some pause though.

I asked my husband, "Do you think we all have a purpose?" This is a hard question, especially for someone who does not believe in a "higher power" or a "life after death." My husband commented that we all need a purpose to take us through this life. I asked if it was preordained or if we create it for ourselves. He said we create it. I think I agree with this idea but I wonder if I might see my own purpose differently if I did not look at life through an MS lens. Would I still be satisfied with where I am at right now? This is not a question I can actually answer because my life is my life. When I get to really thinking about something I like to think about it from many angles.

The other day I tried to visualize what my life might be like if I were living my fantasies. It was quite a bit different but when I look at where I am, I am not discontent. My fantasy world is different but not necessarily better.

My husband mentioned that his purpose was to be the best he could be although that might change on any given day. I like that way of thinking. I think that might be my purpose too; giving life my all on any given day. Perfection, impressing others or overall outcome are not necessarily that important, like in yoga, it is the practice that counts.

I am curious what other people think about my question, "Do we all have a purpose?" Feel free to comment.

Today I am grateful for the sunshine and the fact that I have the time and energy to ponder one of life's great philosophical questions.

4 comments:

LISA EMRICH said...

I do believe that we have a purpose in life. However, that purpose may change and evolve as we evolve through life. Sometimes it is when we stop searching for a purpose that it finds us. At least that's what I currently think.

Emms said...

I recently found myself questioning my purpose, as a result of MS coming in to my life. I concluded that searching for a purpose is the purpose.

I read a book, Man's Search For Meaning, by Viktor Frankl, during this time. Frankl developed what is known as "Logotherapy":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logotherapy

works for me!

Denver Refashionista said...

Thanks for the comments on this. It is a very interesting question to contemplate.

Lazy Julie said...

Great question. I do believe in a higher power AND I believe that we create our own purpose. To me, the Universe/God wants me to find my own purpose. I do not, however, completely have a grasp on what my purpose is. :-) Part of it is about having, raising, and loving my children. Part of it is about finding humor and joy in all of life's journeys--good and bad (and helping others to do the same). The rest, I don't know. Since I plan to live to be 100, I guess I still have some time to figure it out.
Julie