Have you read The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren?
I started it a year ago, and didn’t get far. Mostly because my attention span for reading has dissipated to almost nothing. I don’t get too many free chunks of time these days, and when I do, I want fast and easy entertainment like puzzle games on my phone or happy Arashi variety shows.
I started it up again a couple of weeks ago (Purpose Driven Life) and have been stuck on the first chapter this entire time. The way the book is written, the reader is meant to read one chapter a day, contemplate and absorb and focus on the Word and all that. Last time, I must have gotten at least 15 chapters in, but maybe I rushed because it didn’t stick.
Well now it’s sticking. I haven’t gotten past the first chapter, which reminds and reinforces the truth that my purpose isn’t my own. It’s God’s.
I’m in a state of mind where I need this every day now. I was getting confused for a while. Social media made it worse. So many “uplifting” stories about perseverance and dreams and work hard and exercise and just do it and God is good… and you know what? I had to mute all that shit. Which included some friends, even. Because it had me questioning my purpose. Like, I wasn’t doing my part by using the gifts God gave me because I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to do. And if I don’t follow my dreams (which I don’t even have) then I am wasting it all away and life cannot be complete. So I have to find my dream and look for clues of my gifts so I can utilize them for His purpose and then my life can be whole… It was a vicious cycle. And it was fucking me up. Guilt, confusion, and despair. That’s what I ended up with. Not joy. Not a sense of purpose. Not ecstacy in God’s plans.
Now, let me clarify, I wasn’t, nor am I now, envious of anyone’s success. I am genuinely happy for anyone who is loving the path they are on, fired up by their dreams, and doing great things in their lives. But I don’t dream of success in that way. I am so pessimistic that all I think is more success is more stress. Fame is less than freedom and more responsibility. Too much wealth is worrisome and and a burden. So any “envy” I felt wasn’t geared towards that.
Did I feel envy that some people seemed to have found their purpose? Yes. I was envious of that image of completion that they gave off. I was envious of the peace they must feel having something to strive for. And I do not think anyone has it “easy.” No one. Everyone has their own struggles, and it is a beautiful thing to celebrate life when you’ve reached high points.
I just happen to be stuck in a low point right now.
But back to my purpose… reminding myself daily that my purpose isn’t my own has made the days softer. I don’t know what I’m here for, but God knows. So even if I can’t see past tomorrow right now, it’s okay. It sucks balls, but it’s okay.
You know, there’s this thing about how “special” we all are. I see it a lot in children’s books and again, social media. Uplifting messages about how we are each unique. If you believe in God, then about how God created YOU to be you. If you believe in something else, then that the universe came together to form YOU. YOU were made to do anything you set your mind to. No one else in the history of mankind is like YOU. So how special is that? We are soooo amazing, right?
We don’t all make it. Some of us were created for sorrow. For pain. For confusion. Some die too young. Some live forever lost. Some have shining moments and burn away. Some faded before they ever materialized. If we see ourselves through our own lens, then there are those of us that cannot wholeheartedly embrace that message of “I am special.” It is too much pressure.
BUT… for me, the joy in God is that somewhere down the line, after we are long gone, THERE it is! We may not see it in our lifetime. But it’s there. A purpose. So I may not be special in this world. You may not be special in this world. But we aren’t purpose-less. We are special to God. So for me, my hope is that my existence makes my daughters strong. And their strength will carry onto their children. And maybe, somewhere down the line, my great great great grandchildren will be like, THERE it is! (I mean, sure, it’d be cooler if it was in my kids’ lifetime, but I’m a pessimist, so I don’t think so…)
That’s what I believe, anyway.
It is, I know, convoluted and contradictory, but how else can it be? We are built from the past, the present, and the future. There is no straight path.
For me, now, it is enough. Maybe I’ll get to Chapter Two today…
If you are struggling too, then know that I’m with you. And know that I don’t have any uplifting thing to say, because right now, where we are at, it sucks balls. And that’s it.