Posts Tagged ‘the meaning of life’

I’ve been reading a lot lately about the ego’s need to feel special.  “I have special talents.  I am an artist (writer…sculptor…PhD…celebrity…mother…).”  When we engage with the ego and begin to believe we’re special we can spin all kinds of drama into our lives.  I noticed this for the first time while at one of my (many) jobs.  I was particularly grumpy about one of my client’s requests and somewhere in the back of my head I could hear the most obnoxious thought, “THAT task is beneath me!”  :O  What?!!!  SERIOUSLY?!!!  I have to admit I grossed myself out in that moment. I mean, really, who the hell did I think I was?

Later on that week while at my bimonthly housecleaning job (Yes, ego, we clean house twice a month and now we’ve told people about it.  Can you stand it?) my mind began to wander into the realm of ego and “special” work and tasks that “are not in alignment with your soul’s purpose”, and I found myself ruminating on the idea of “soul purpose”.  How many books, e-courses, seminars, television shows have been created to help people “find their soul purpose”?  If you’re miserable, we are told, it is only because you have yet to find your purpose in life.  Find that, the “soul-preneurs” promise, and you will know endless joy. I wonder about that.  Could this be yet another ploy of the overactive ego’s need to feel special?

Standing in the kitchen that day after having returned from my toilet-scrubbing job, I stared out the window and watched the squirrels.  I thought about how they go about their days:  Wake up, blink a few times, yawn, stretch, assess the weather outside, sigh, leave the nest to begin foraging for food and storing it for lean times, run around a bit, perhaps play, scratch, fornicate, poo, pee, return to the nest, yawn, stretch, sleep, repeat.  Hardly the stuff of the soul-finding movement, is it?  But exactly how different is it from your day?  If you look at it honestly, is it all that different?

So I wonder:  What if this is all there is?  What if, when we take all the “special” out of it, there is nothing left but the scratching and fornicating and foraging and storing?  What if our only purpose is to be as present to all these simple and mundane things as our friends the squirrels?  What if all the rest of it is ego-spun yarn?  Meaningless.  What if, in spending our waking hours agonizing over not having found our purpose and pouring tons of time and energy and money into its pursuit, we are missing the only thing there is–TO LIVE…NOW!

My mother experiences a good deal of pain when she listens to these speakers or reads books on finding your purpose and passion.  She believes there is something inherently wrong with her and with her life since, at 65 years of age, she has yet to find that “thing” that everyone’s talking about.  I know she’s not alone in this torment.  I have faced it and I’m sure many of you have too.  Just for a moment try this one on and see what it does:  There is no soul purpose.  This is it, right here, right now.  Cleaning the cat box, wiping your elderly parent’s backside, stepping in puke on the sidewalk, kissing your dead partner’s forehead for the last time, watching the rays of the sun flicker through the autumn leaves, smelling the crisp smell of foliage decay on the frosty breeze, wood smoke, warm water on your skin…all of this IS it.  

I will be bold and, without writing a book about it or selling you a $1000 workshop, I will say to you:  THIS IS YOUR SOUL’S PURPOSE.  THERE IS NOTHING MORE.  NOW, GO OUT AND ENJOY!!!!!

With love from the bottom of my heart,


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