What’s my purpose?

I have spent the past four months trying to figure out my purpose in life. Now that we are settled in Valencia with all of the paperwork complete, friends made, doctors found, favorite food brands identified, bus routes figured out… 

Is That All There Is?

You know the old song. That’s what life had begun to feel like – until today. As I ran around taking care of everyday business, the needs of old friends reached out to me.  A former teacher in the midst of end of the year stress needing an understanding shoulder and thoughtful advice.  Another friend whose daughter has lost her battle to stay in this world.  As I write messages to these friends my heart fills with their pain.  It’s that pain that reminds me I am connected, and I have purpose.  I am here to feel, to be part of the whole.

Other People’s Feelings

I have always felt other people’s fears and pain more acutely than most.  And it bothered me. I didn’t understand why they didn’t just pick themselves up and go on with life.  Get over it! Don’t wallow in sorrow.  But this winter the lesson came full circle.  I struggled with pain that I “should have been able to handle” I pushed myself to get it together and move on.  With no job that I had to do, and no more responsibilities for settling into our new home all I had was time to wallow, and to complete a course in Self Compassion.  


Feeling sorry for myself has never been a strong point for me.  The self-compassion course taught me it was OK to recognize the pain and stress I was feeling and to support myself through the experience.  There wasn’t any one event or even one day that I can say everything clicked, but over time I quit worrying about having to make things right.  It was OK to grieve old losses.  It was OK to skip a day of exercise and allow my body to rest. It was OK not to be perfect.

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

Of course, I kept reading and looking for answers, and the answers arrived. My sensitivity to other people’s feeling is my gift. I can allow myself to feel the pain of others and I can sit with their pain as well. They don’t have to be perfect and I don’t have to fix them.  I can just sit with them and acknowledge their struggle knowing that eventually they will be ready to move on, and me with them.