The Discovery of Purpose

I am sitting here two hours into my first ever severe allergic reaction to yellow jacket stings. Hives all over, facial swelling, chest tightening, itching and intense heat. All that from just a few stings on the hand!

Realizing that anxiety never helps in such situations, I am focusing my thoughts on the matter of purpose, for I can think of nothing more captivating a topic in this time of need.

The discovery of purpose develops much like an allergic reaction. Most people initially perceive their purpose as an irritant. It agitates, causing all kinds of reactions. It pushes against that which is contrary to its nature and trajectory. It makes aimless living uncomfortable.

As with anxiety in the midst of an allergic episode, reacting to the discomfort only compounds the problem. The challenge with most discomfort is that its source is typically hidden from sight. Realizing this, you can see why it is important not to give ghost feelings a body. Let them reveal themselves.

If it is purpose, you’ll be thankful that you didn’t attribute its attendant discomfort to something or someone else. Mistaken identity defeats more people from realizing their purpose than just about anything else.

Eschewing both prejudice and judgment will, over time, make it easier to recognize which compulsions are true and which are irrelevant. You’ll stop hitching your wagon to falling stars and begin living your life as you should.

The pattern will likely continue to intensify until you’ve relaxed fully into your true purpose. Think of Job’s experience. He started with a deep sense of purpose but refined it as he went along, no matter how uncomfortable he felt along the way.

When you finally come around to getting your thoughts, words and deeds aligned with your purpose, the intense pressure, heat and discomfort will
give way to a peaceful, assured state of being.

6 thoughts on “The Discovery of Purpose

  1. Ricardo B.

    I think about a human being as a confluence of pressures which constantly exert their force on the psyche. Some are more or less biological whereas others you could say are spiritual in that they carry greater depth. Pressure agitates, creates a discomfort, and causes the psyche to reconcile them in some action – you are forced to make a decision and take some action. I’ve become convinced that if all you seek is a relief of discomfort, you lose the aim of your purpose, which once again I’ve become convinced that everyone has. Purpose is that spiritual pressure which has no end and has its own aim, part of which is to make itself known to one’s mind. Any effort to dismiss it is to dismiss the very essence of who you are, and when that happens, war in any of its varieties surfaces.

    Your recent episode provided a nice analogy of a great truth.


  2. Isabelle

    Oww! I hope you are feeling better. This is a great lesson to learn, especially in a situation such as this. We are faced with uncomfortable circumstances throughout our lives and how we handle them is what leaves us with victory or failure, regardless of how they may appear on the outside.


  3. Carol

    I too had an allergic reaction to a yellow jacket sting last month and landed up at an emergency care center. It was painful and the fact that you’ve used the situation to see how it relates to purpose speaks volumes about your priorities. Sometimes, I’ve seen tough situations as something to get through rather than radiate through. It’s a good lesson to learn otherwise your life is spent waiting to live until just the right set of circumstances present themselves. A peaceful, assured state of being is infinitely more desirable than one full of fear and anxiety. It does take practice!


  4. Zachary

    There is no benefit to anxiety in the middle of a tough situation. Although sometimes the feeling comes unbidden, we have the ability (and even the responsibility) to do our best to minimize it. While at first it may seem hard to do this, we all have many times in our lives that we have this opportunity to overcome anxiety.
    As you described, our purpose being at odds with our actions and feelings can sometimes create anxiety. The fix to this is to align action with purpose, but you can’t do this if you are reacting to the anxiety that is felt.


  5. Lady Leo

    I hope as you receive my comment you’re feeling better. Your post reminded me of a feeling episode I had 45 years ago. I was one of the aimless, uncomfortable with all the usual choices that the time in history was presenting as possible avenues to follow. My first mentor suggested instead of wrestling with the choices and seeming demands coming from all directions that I just do what ever job I was doing in that moment as if it were the only thing happening in my life. I remember they quoted the line from the Rudyard Kipling poem If, “If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,”. They suggested I didn’t need to execute a life plan, have all the answers or even be afraid of making a misstep. I simply had to give the circumstances I was in the best I had and that would provide the most favorable conditions for the next moments that were developing. It proved to be exquisite advice. As I look back, it seemed to create a rest for my heart and mind. It also helped me create the habit of giving my all to my tasks at hand. My understanding of purpose didn’t immediately present itself but over time the compulsion had more still space in my heart to mature. Thanks Gregg it is still the best advice for anyone seeking to live a life on purpose.


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