From time to time we’ve all struggled with the deeper questions in life. What is my purpose? What am I supposed to do with my life? These big questions can be daunting and overwhelming as we attempt to navigate this messy, broken world.
I believe that purpose cannot be separated from who you are as an individual. You must firmly understand your identity before you can even begin to consider what your purpose might be. Often, we tend to allow specific life roles to shape our identity, because they are obvious/easy to recognize. In the short run this may work, but as life goes on, those roles will shift. When you base your identity on something that will surely change, you set yourself up for depression and anxiety when those roles end or things don’t go as planned.
As an example, when we step into the role of motherhood, it is very easy to let it assume our identity. We become consumed with taking the best care of our children and fulfilling every single thing they need or want. We want them to have it better or at least easier than we had as kids. Unfortunately, when we let the motherhood role consume our identity, we are devastated when they grow up and make what we may consider poor choices. We view their decisions as our failures, a direct attack on who we are as mothers, when the truth is that those decisions are simply a reflection on their individual choices.
There are other roles that are easy to associate with our identity, such as a significant other, caregiver, job, or volunteer. These roles are all incredibly important and are key in what drives us; however, they are only one aspect of who we are and can not be taken out of context.
Our identity must be based on something unchanging and foundational. It tells us about our character and sense of self. Those things are only found by understanding what we believe spiritually. My desire is not to tell you what to follow, but to start a holistic conversation. Whether you believe in God, the universe, or nothing at all, the approach is still the same. Recognizing what you believe spiritually about your soul is pivotal to discovering the foundation of your true identity.
Once you know what you believe and why, you can begin discovering your purpose. Don’t think you’ve missed your calling in life just because you can’t come up with that one major cause that will change the world. Maybe you will, but at its core, your purpose is going to be found surrounding the things that you love.
Do you love to cook? Maybe your purpose is to make meals for people in need. Do you love to garden? Maybe you grow flowers for people who are hurting or food to donate to food pantries.
Your purpose will shift throughout the different stages of your life. As a student, your purpose is to learn, while your purpose in early motherhood is to keep small children alive. There is movement and growth with your purpose as you walk the path that has been designed for you.
Once I realized my true identity was rooted in my belief system, it changed my perspective on life. I was hit with such a deep sense of purpose to help other women who are walking in similar circumstances. My passion is to speak into the darkness and walk with those who are hurting, helping them to realize their own identity and purpose. Life is not easy. The journey set before us will naturally fluctuate, but with a deeper understanding of who we are, those low moments of life will slow down and we will no longer lose sight of where we are headed.
I encourage you to journal, meditate, read, or talk to a close friend to start this process of understanding who you are and finding your purpose. It’s not an easy process or for the faint of heart. You may have to face some rocky things to work through the truth, but I can promise you that the hard inner work is always worth it. You will come out on the other side with a deeper understanding of yourself and how you fit in the world around you.