The sky seemed slightly larger tonight – wider, broader, more peaceful. It was much like looking into clear water and suddenly being greeted by a vast world that had once been obscured beneath. The openness of this evening seemed to reveal many potential worlds that were faded behind the distractions hidden in the atmosphere – the pollutants and light and materials that come between us and the cosmos
It stood to reason that, in the same fashion water – still and free of impurity – can be looked straight through into once mirky depths, the distant stars could be viewed the same way. It did seem that the crisp, night air knew nothing of the noise and mess that exists closer to the muddy ground. The separation from the usual chaos makes your mind feel similar to the night air – free to dive deeply into places forgotten, unseen, waiting to be revisited, or conjured up. The clarity leaves one suddenly connected to the vast.
Further up, one could only imagine how far you could see. With only space between you and the enormity of the universe, the shining stars and galaxies, light from eons past, would brush against your very being and impart stories of their existence if your mind was quiet enough to listen.
Lost in the clouds? Lost in space, perhaps. Danger Will Robinson.
Back to earth. One can dream of the stories and marvel at the possibilities of the far and beyond, but what about here and now. This tiny rock all the mysteries on it. It’s actually vast enough all on its own. What is the point? Where does the purpose lie? And where is the self the “I” in all of that?
Many late nights have served as echoless sounding boards for the same question in various forms. Why am I here? What should I do with my life? What do I want to be when I grow up? (Do we ever really feel grown-up?) And many have patiently waited for that empty space to reply back. (More on that another time.)
It’s not uncommon to look up and the sky and search for answers far and away from where, perhaps, we can feel clarity for something away from the mess. But, it’s the mess itself the motivates us and gives purpose. True clarity comes from bringing the pieces together in the middle of the chaos to find order and then recognizing that order can be set aside and allowing truth to be felt and lived – letting it burn warmly with intention in our every moment.
How does one keep that in motion?
The conundrum happens when we crash downward from the wonder of all the COULD and find ourselves feeling small and inadequate or adversely large and powerful but uncertain and uncoordinated. Stagnancy comes in the form of dreaming too big or not dreaming enough. We settle for enough or our thirst for success can never be quenched.
As a result, we make plans deciding what we want to be when we grow up well into our 60’s. In the search, we forget to be present. The action doesn’t flow because we forget that living in line with our purpose isn’t about what we do for a living or the things we can accomplish, but instead, about understanding ourselves.
We have jobs and families and bills, so it’s natural that we look to purpose as if it's defined by the job and career we take. It’s about what we get done. All of it needs to flow into this big version of who we are but isn’t the opposite true. What we do is about us and who we are. The actions around that – the jobs and accomplishments – are simply another level of expressing the self.
Life purpose – the action of life – is an expression of self.
It’s the ultimate way of speaking our truth if you think about it. Though it may not be the reason for life it is very much the way in which we seek to engage with the shared reality around us. The driving, motivating force behind our accomplishments all come from the foundation of what makes this body, this lifetime, light up and shine. It comes from what makes our spirit sing.
That joyous song can be heard and felt in the simple moments as well as the grand ones. We can change tides or change diapers, move mountains or move furniture, but we find purpose when we are true to ourselves and honest with our ideas. It also lives in the midst of that mess we keep avoiding. That mess is the material of life and we give purpose to it, not the other way around.
While we may be caught in the light of the distant reaches of spaces, we too often forget about the light that we create. Somewhere far off in those reaches, another soul may be staring towards just that – your shining light and wondering how they could ever accomplish anything so grand.
What makes your light shine?
More aptly, how do you know what makes your light shine? It seems like an odd question, one that should already know, but it often leaves us lost and questioning. We’ll explore further next time.
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