"It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection." ~ Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita.
I first read this quote in the Bhagavad Gita in my teens, and I was blown away. It meant I didn't have to be perfect, I just had to be "me." I wasn't certain who "me" really was, but there were some things I knew for sure. I was kind, thoughtful and loving, and most of all I was audacious and vivacious! I was full of life and fun. So I went with that. I did that which brought me joy, and shared it with those around me.
I came across two quotes today that say the same thing. I took it as a sign that I needed to write about this topic. The first one was by Herman Melville, the guy who wrote Moby Dick, an amazing book, by the way. That quote I found in a magazine about creativity, a Dutch magazine called Flow Weekly. (I love that magazine!)
Melville said, "It's better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation."The second was from the Buddha and was found in a book about writing.
The Buddha said, "Your work is to discover your work, and then, with all your heart, to give yourself to it."
It took me years to officially discover my purpose. When I looked back on my life, I found that when I did what I felt was important, and gave me joy, I was doing my work, my purpose. Even though I am an introvert, and need long bouts of solitude to recover, I have to work with people. I have to help them learn to live better, more complete lives. I work with people who hope that life can be better, and sometimes I work with those who have no hope at all, but show up anyway. And the real catch of the thing is, I am not even the one doing it. I am like a conduit for Spirit, a big, fat garden hose for Universal intelligence to flow through. It is my job to let the Divine work through me. It just might feel the same way for you.
Another part of my work is engaging in arts and crafts. For that I, primarily, knit and write, both of which give me immense joy in the doing and again when I share the product of my creativity, when I give that joy to another. I also serve the animals in, and outside of, my community by volunteering and activism. Being creative and serving animals feels like Spirit flowing through me, as well.
The other part of these quotes, which I didn't understand as a teenager, is that we cannot do another's purpose. We are born for OUR purpose alone. We are born with that purpose because that is what the world needs from us, and it is what we need to give. Each of us is a unique being, with our own hidden and unique talents, skills and desires. Each of us has a unique gift to give. Without our gifts, the world is incomplete.
I'm not sure if I can say the right thing to help you to discover your purpose, other than to look to those things that give you the most joy, or in which you lose sense of time. Have you ever felt like time stopped, like you were in the flow? Have you ever looked up at the clock to see hours have gone by? Maybe you were so enthralled with what you were doing you forgot to eat? These provide clues to what your purpose may be. Think of those activities and see how you can use them to serve others. That will be a big hint to your purpose.
And remember, you don't have to be perfect, only perfectly you.
Please comment below. Have you found your purpose or work? What is it and how do you feel about it? Do you need help finding your purpose? Do you have some clues or ideas?
Namaste and Blessings to you and yours.