What Purpose Do You Serve?

"You have to ask yourself this very important question: What do I serve? Some people serve God, some people serve themselves, some people serve their community. 

It's okay if you can't answer this question yet, but I suggest you come back to the question every day until you can." - Quote included without credit in Every Day is a Poem.

"What Purpose Do You Serve?" is another gem I found in Every Day is a Poem by Jaqueline Suskin. Perhaps it's because the author is a poet, but I am finding the pages filled with words of wisdom that hit a deep note. I am thinking of re-reading each chapter after I finish the 10 day challenge and journaling a poem every time I read something that pops off the page. As it stands now, I just can't keep track of them all.

Purpose is a subject we hear about a lot in these times.  What is your purpose? Know your purpose? Do we all have a purpose?  The list goes on and on.  It can be challenging if you are at a place in life that the answer is not clear.  I know it took me 5 decades to begin to figure out what mine was.

My lifelong passion and
 curiosity about people and their stories led me to work on my Masters in Counseling. I was going to help people. They would come to me in pain, tell me their deepest secrets and I would send them out healed. Yes I was idealistic and yes I was living in a dream world.  When I spoke with a professor working in this career, reality hit me like a grenade.  It was not the happy picture I held in my head. I walked away lost. 

The day I fell into interviewing by answering a Craigslist ad literally changed my life. I discovered while conducting my first interview that hearing someone share their story rocked my world. The focus of interviewing was also positive.  I would hear their stories - which scratched my itch, my curiosity - and in return would write a magazine article to promote them. It was a total win/win for each side.

Hearing people share their stories was hands down my passion, and for years filled me to the brim. That did change. I eventually came to understand there was way more to it.  There was a reason for this passion and that was tied up with my purpose, my why?  

Writing was never my first love. It came fairly easy to me in school, but it did take time for me to gain my skills writing for magazine. Also needed was practice so I could learn to listen more effectively - really hear what was hiding behind their words.  Once learned, however, I came to enjoy writing on its own, but interviewing was where my deepest passion lay.  

It took time working with a mentor for several years for my purpose to start to appear. I don't think there really was one answer. Purpose can have many sides to it, and I suspect I will take many years to discover the depth of mine.
  • First, my purpose is to give wings to the stories of others. I believe all stories are important and need to be shared. 
  • Second, by sharing the diversity of stories, I help others learn to accept their own uniqueness. You ARE who you are meant to be. Embrace yourself as you are, don't try to change for others, you are here for a reason only you can fulfill. 
  • Third, to help the world understand the importance of diversity and to celebrate the joy of discovery as we learn about other's uniqueness. The acceptance we offer ourselves, we then offer to others.  
  • Fourth - in this past year I have felt the call of digging deeper on my purpose. There is something there, buried deep, still be be discovered. 

Are you struggling to figure out your purpose? I think a good place to start is where your passions lies. Next try to explore the "why" behind your passions. Why do they draw you? How do they make you feel.  Lastly look at different ways your passions can be infused with meaning and purpose. How can you use them in an uplifting way?