For accessibility and ease, you can listen to this post narrated by Mike:
I’m generally bored with most life purpose conversations.
I remember years ago—when I was struggling to really understand myself. To understand why certain traumas happened to me. To make sense of the world around me and my place in it.
And I’d buy all of these books on life purpose or join all of these webinars. And I was always so—deflated.
Because, for all the build-up that I was going to walk away with some sense of what my purpose is, I usually just walked away with either some generic stock line, like “Your purpose is to love,” or “Your purpose is to be you”—or I’d be told my purpose was one specific thing I did—like being a writer or having deep talks with people.
Which is amazing. Except what about all of the times that I’m not writing? Or don’t feel like writing? Or was a baby in diapers? Did I just not have a purpose?
It felt like I was being told—again—that my purpose was only what I could do to benefit people. And that had been the story of my life.
It was like I was split into two Mikes. I was told that there were parts of me that were “purposeful” or useful to society—like that I’m funny or smart or a good writer.
And then there was the other stuff. The parts that were “too much” and “not enough.” The trauma and shame and painful emotions that no one wanted to look at.
So I could be purposeful if I was doing something “worthwhile”—as deemed by others. It was conditional.
And, if I wasn’t doing that stuff, like writing or having deep talks, then apparently I wasn’t “worthwhile.” I wasn’t worthy.
Which is strange. Because, even as a guy who probably spends more time writing than the average person, that negates about 99% of my life experiences.
When I’m brushing my teeth or talking to Garrett or watching a movie, do I just not have a purpose?
I was so bored with most of the life purpose conversations because they felt like they were just objectifying me all over again. Telling me the times when I matter and the times when I don’t. That I only matter—that I’m only worthy—when I’m doing very specific tasks.
This cultural over-identification with our tasks and jobs and relationships and external conditions (what we collectively call ‘containers’) makes it really, really hard to know who we are.
The trouble is we’re talking about purpose in the conditional doing here. Not the unconditional being.
My purpose isn’t that I am a writer, but why writing feels so purposeful to me. It’s the same reason that being in a relationship with Garrett feels so purposeful to me. And that running the Sacred Circle feels so purposeful to me.
Because the word purpose doesn’t mean “what,” it means “why.”
And I’m way less interested in being split into the things I can do and achieve in any given day. And way more interested in who I am and what my genius is—regardless if I choose to create from it or not.
Because you are a genius. You are a unique genius.
Full stop. That’s it. By definition. It’s a fact.
You are a genius.
I don’t care if you choose to watch Netflix all day or go create a million-dollar business. Neither can change who you are. Neither can make you more or less of a genius.
You can’t increase or decrease your infinite, inherent worth.
You are a genius.
And, once we get that, our only job is to begin to unpack and discover that genius. Because our genius is what makes us feel purposeful. It’s what makes us feel like ourselves. It’s what brings us home to ourselves.
I love writing because it’s a good container for me to feel Vulnerable and Aligned and Zany and Free and Unmistakable and Successful. And it’s a good container to express those things to others, too.
I love Garrett because he helps me to feel Vulnerable and Aligned and Zany and Free and Unmistakable and Successful. And he makes me want to share more of that with others, too.
I have a purpose because I have a genius. A life force. An essence inside of me.
And I have that unconditionally—regardless of what I choose to spend my time doing.
I have that when I’m—gasp—not just working. I have that when I’m brushing my teeth. Or talking to Garrett. Or watching a movie.
I even had that when I was a baby.
And moments of trauma in my life were moments when I didn’t feel safe to express and feel that. They were moments that maybe made me feel the opposite of those things—which is why they felt so traumatic.
It drives me crazy how often we pretend the container is the end all, be all. Like having a certain job or making X amount of money just suddenly gives us purpose. Which—it might (and, certainly, if we’re unable to access basic necessities, a conversation about purpose is a moot point because none of us could feel our essence).
But we have to know what our essence is first to even know if it’s a good container to contain that essence.
I know tons of people who feel super purposeful in “dead end jobs.” I know many life coaches and yoga teachers who don’t feel purposeful at all.
It’s not about the container. It’s about the essence. It’s about the purpose inside. The genius.
All we have to do is know what that genius is. And then find the right containers for it. Just as I might not choose a cheap plastic cup to hold my boiling hot tea.
But, until we can talk about life purpose that way, it’s still objectifying. It’s still splitting ourselves into the “purposeful” stuff and the “not purposeful” stuff by society’s norms.
It’s reiterating shame and telling us that we’re wrong again. That we have to do certain things—imposed upon us from the outside—to be “on purpose.” And that we don’t just inherently have a purpose.
Which is crazy-making. You’re alive. Of course you have a purpose!
You don’t have to achieve anything to access that purpose.
You’re worthy. You matter. You’re a fucking genius.
Outside of anything you choose to do with your time, you’re a fucking genius.
And that essence, that spark of life, that Divinity, is filled with purpose. The why behind all of your gifts, experiences, yearnings, and trauma.
Questions for Reflection:
*Answer in a journal, in the comments right here, or take it over to the Sacred Branding® Facebook group where we can support one another:
Are you so bored talking about life purpose, too?
— Are you bored with all of the life purpose conversations that tell you generic things like “Your purpose is to be you” or super specific roles you can achieve, like “Your purpose is to be a life coach”?
— Have you ever struggled to understand why you want, say, or do certain things? Have you been confused as to why you’ve felt a certain way or why certain things happened to you?
— What if you already are a genius with a unique life purpose? What if you can’t lose that purpose, regardless of how you choose to spend your time? What if life purpose—true to definition—is less about the ‘what’ and more about the ‘why’ of life? What if it just takes discovering the unique genius—the spark of life—inside of you?