I have always felt very strongly like I have some sort of purpose in my life, that there must be a specific reason of why I am here at this moment in time. At some points, I have thought my purpose was to create more love and joy in the world. Other times, I have thought it was to write books, and travel the world, speaking about concepts that are meaningful. And, most recently, I have thought that my main purpose is to create awareness and understanding around the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, particularly youths. Whatever I have thought is my purpose has always been related to the way in which I connect with others in a deeper way.
However, lately I have been thinking about this concept on a deeper level. I have been thinking lately that what IF I have no purpose in being here? What IF I am simply here to live my life, moment to moment? At the same time that that feels frightening, as if I have no purpose, and that means, no identity; at the same time it is quite freeing.
It is freeing because I get to keep remembering to stay in the present moment. It isn’t whether or not I am able to be in the present moment, ever. It simply is whether or not I choose to be there, or to be past or future focused instead. It can be a challenge to do that, because I am a person, like many others, who is also focused on the concept of clock time. Only so many hours in the day. Many problems to solve and things to enjoy. Much to be done in only a little bit of time.
However, when I am really just present, in the now, there are no problems. It doesn’t mean that there may not be difficult situations that I find myself in the midst of, but when I am present, I get to have a perspective that doesn’t make them problematic. If I am physically in pain, I can complain or seek relief, or I can be present to it, and realize that it will pass. If I am having a particularly challenging day at work, I can take one task at a time, moment to moment, and remember that I enjoy my work.
I have always wanted to save the world from itself; show people how they could be happier, more fulfilled in what they do and who they are. I believed that the world had a problem that I could solve. And, even though I have gained wisdom in my life that I feel good about, to believe that I have to fix others is to believe that there is something inherently wrong with them. I don’t have to DO anything. I don’t have to FIX anything. We are all uniquely perfect as we are; with our flaws and quirks and ways that we do things. We have things that we struggle with and that we take pride in. Yet, we all are beautifully, perfectly flawed just as we are.
When I stay in the present moment, as often in the day as I remember, I embrace the fact that the only true purpose for me is to embrace that moment. Be in it fully, joyful or sorrowful. Enter it completely. Cherish it. It takes the angst out of what it is I think I am supposed to be doing, and takes the fear out of my thinking. The “What If” thinking diminishes, and I don’t worry or plan for the future. I just stay in the now.
It’s not a perfect practice mind you. I keep remembering it more frequently every day. And, as a result, I am less pressured, less guilt ridden, and more attentive to the world within me and around me.
When I stay in the present moment, and forget any grand plan of why I am here, I am truly free.