Some years ago, I felt I was not living with purpose. I felt I was not living on purpose. I was just going through the motions despite having everything I’d ever desired. I was a partner in a law firm, a favorite of my boss, I was in an amazing relationship with a man, who I now feel was sent to help me to recognize my worthiness and help me to rebuild my self-esteem after a horrid previous relationship with a narcissistic and abusive alcoholic, and I had an amazing home and a brand new SUV that I loved. To the outside world, I was doing great, and yet, in my heart, I had everything I wanted and yet, still felt something was missing.
What was it? Was this all there was? There has to be more to life than this. What is it? What am I missing? Am I living my purpose? Is helping people sell and buy commercial real property what I was really sent here to do?
I should explain that from a very young age, I’ve felt that I was here to execute some mission. I’m not sure if it was my Christian upbringing and my connection to Jesus as a spiritual entity who was sent here to complete a major task that had me feeling this way. I’ve always been drawn to the Divine. The unknown who is guiding us in this life. I grew up hearing that God crafted me and sent me to my mother and father. So, of course, I figure he must have sent me for something, but to assist developers and business entities buy, sell and develop commercial real property seemed mundane in the spiritual sense.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure there is someone that can see being a commercial real estate attorney as a calling, but for me, it felt empty. I didn’t feel like I was actually helping anyone. It’s not like I was helping build homeless shelters. Well, actually, I did do that a few times to assist my church, but most of my work consisted of helping to make the well-to-do more well-to-do. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but I wanted more.
I wanted to inspire. I wanted to help people to feel better about themselves, so much so that they in turn helped others. So, I became a health coach with a well-known company that markets exercise programs. I was so inspired when I started. I felt like I was truly making a difference, as I helped several people achieve their fitness goals. However, what I soon discovered was that the physical goal was a byproduct of a mental and emotional struggle within. I was treating the symptom, but not helping with the core issue. I was putting a Band-Aid on a wound that needed to be healed from within.
And so I stopped being a health coach and found myself working to learn everything I could about healing, mindset, energy, and how various religious and spiritual traditions had weighed in on how we could live more peaceful, abundant and loving lives here on this earth. I devoured books on the aforementioned subjects, I listened to podcasts, YouTube and Ted talks and I went to a few retreats and workshops to learn more.
But then, my world experienced a crack. I found out my mother was sick. She had a form of cancer that was not common in my hometown, so I moved her to Houston to seek treatment at MD Anderson. In a matter of six months, she was in full remission and readying herself for a stem cell transplant. The transplant was successful, but just six months after, the cancer had returned.
During all of this, I was attempting to live on purpose. I was attempting to not only be a light for my mom to help her maintain a positive mindset, but I was also attempting to share that light with others. I had a YouTube channel, Facebook page, Instagram page, and a podcast. In a few of my podcasts, I would speak of sadness, but not really the cause of it. I simply reflected on the importance of allowing oneself to be in the emotion in order to process it.
So, when my mom died just seven short months after she was told her cancer had returned, I gave up everything. I stopped posting. I stopped podcasting. I stopped YouTubing. I stopped and went into my shell to grieve and to try to heal. It’s been over a year, and though I know my purpose is not to be a spiritual teacher for myself, I struggle with returning to the way in which I showed up before my mom passed. Isn’t there another way to share my gifts? Isn’t there another way to live my purpose and live on purpose?
Why yes, Traci, there is. It is this. It is writing. I’ve been a writer since I was young. I can remember begging my mom for my first diary at age 10, and I’ve maintained diaries/journals throughout my 41 plus years of life. And now, I come back to sharing what I know to be true for me with you through my words. Words that for a while I felt had to be shared through speech because writing felt too hard and took too long.
I was not living my purpose and living on purpose in these other aspects because they were not my strength. I thought I’d lost the gift of the pen, but it has come back to me. The more I do it, the more it feels like home to me. When I do it, I’m reminded of my mom reading one of the last things I wrote proposing a book I wanted to write. I’m reminded of how she called me “a good writer.” I’m reminded of what high praise that was because not only was she my mom, she was an English grammar teacher. I’m reminded that each time I sit at my computer or write in my journal, I’m allowing the Divine to flow through me in a way that feels like second nature to me.
This is living on purpose. This is the shift I’ve been waiting for. This is the shift I continue to achieve. Whenever I feel like I’m not living my purpose or living on purpose, I will come back home. I will share my words. I will express myself in written form. Because through this medium, I’ve begun to reclaim who I am. Through this medium, I feel closer to the woman who gave me life. Through this medium, I feel I’m finally operating in the gift that God gave to me. This is living on purpose.
This post was written in response to a journaling prompt from Suleika Jaouad’s 10 Day Challenge in her The Isolation Journals group.