purpose

what are you curious about?

I consider myself a passionate person. I have lots of opinions and get fired up easily. I tend towards extremes and express an expansive range of emotions on a daily basis.

Living your passion can be quite lovely. But if you can’t identify it, if you can’t identify yourself, or if you just don’t have the energy — living your passion can also be intimidating and burdensome.

I can confidently recognize activities and causes about which I care a great deal, but my life is not stripped of direction if I am not constantly engaged in them. In fact, in this season, I would prefer to not be preoccupied by passion. It sounds heavy and exhausting.

Lately, instead of: “What are you passionate about?” I prefer a question that’s more sustainable for my everyday life: “What are you curious about?”

Passion asks, “For what cause will you die? What keeps your soul awake at night? What battle will you fight until the very end?”

Curiosity asks, “What are you interested in right now? Maybe not tomorrow, but just in this moment?”

I learn a lot from watching my one-year-old discover the world. He may hate blackberries for the next month, but in this moment, he loves them and wants to devour a dozen all at once. I want to embrace life with such eagerness, and not worry if things will change tomorrow — because inevitably they will.

My toddler doesn’t need to submit to one life path now (or ever). If Atlas develops a clear passion, he will go after it, for is that not what a passion is — an extravagant conviction that compels you to follow? I want to foster his interests, but I don’t want him to be overwhelmed by the pressure to commit to them, as I felt for years.

I used to be obsessed with purpose, obsessed with passion. I wanted so badly to live right, with unwavering zeal and determination. But out of fear and disconnection with myself, I hardly lived at all.

Now, I am motivated less by ambition, and more by gratitude and wonder. I am not naturally a curious person, but staying in this moment — not tomorrow, but just in this moment — is exactly what I need.

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I’d love to hear your thoughts! Are you living your passion? How did you identify it? What motivates you? What are you curious about today? What reflective question is most helpful to you in this season?


Inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic

Photo credit: Taryn Kimberly Photography

 

finding my purpose

Dear younger self,

I know you are obsessed with finding your purpose. You say you don’t care about making friends, getting married, having kids — I admire your focus and conviction, but you don’t have to sacrifice relationships in order to be successful.

In fact, there is one relationship in particular you need more than anything, and you have ignored it your whole life: your relationship with yourself.

Before you can find your purpose, you will need to find yourself. 

You will discover self-connection is your first purpose. That giving your life away before you know its value rejects your worth and the worth of anyone you want to impact. That the most powerful knowledge you could possess just might be the knowledge of who you are.

One day, you will believe God loves you, personally and intimately. That he sees you and speaks to you and just wants to be with you. That there may be accidental parents but there are never accidental children. That with his love, anything is possible.

You will learn to process pain, to forgive, to release. As you become whole and free, you will start to dream. You haven’t really dreamed before, but you will uncover so much of your heart in the process. You will realize relationships are what makes life worth living.

One day, you will have a husband. He will choose you again and again. He will show you that you don’t have to be strong all the time, that you can let your walls down and still be safe. He will love you so well that you will learn to love yourself.

You will fall in love with yourself. You will be content that you are enough, so you won’t need to prove yourself to anyone. You will want to take care of yourself, so you will learn to say ‘yes’ to what is helpful and ‘no’ to what is harmful.

One day, you will have a child. You will be fulfilled as a mother not because of anything your child does, but because his existence creates in you the purest love you have ever known. This love will inspire you to lead a life worth imitating, a life worth celebrating.

You will watch your child grow and change so quickly that you will want to grow and change as well. You will want to be brave. You will take risks to live more authentically, more intentionally, more passionately.

Pursue love, and you’ll find freedom. Pursue your dreams, and you’ll find your calling.

Getting there won’t be easy. You will sacrifice ambition for the sake of love. You will decline your dreams and wait for the right timing. Some nights you will cry yourself to sleep and wonder if it will ever be your turn. You will whisper your dreams into the darkness and hope beyond hope that one day they will become your reality.

Your calling will come as you go. When your purpose calls you, it will be a call you can’t ignore. Your spirit will taste eternity and know it is just the beginning. Your heart will confirm it as you sing a prayer, as you feed your squishy baby, as excitement wells up inside at the prospect of a new opportunity. Your days will be full of life and possibility.

I know you are afraid you have missed your prime, that it’s too late for you, but that is a lie. You are not behind. You are exactly where you need to be. Your best days will come as you become more and more yourself.

You have yet to find your purpose because you have yet to find yourself, but once you do, you will understand that finding your purpose happens through living on purpose. Through embracing each season, owning your choices, listening and trusting and trying.

You will find your way as you find yourself, and I’ll be here every step of the journey.

With love,

Your older self