Tucked away in the shadowy corners of the world that make us stressed out, frightened, or feel wronged, is a golden nugget of Truth, just waiting for us to polish it off so that its glow can guide all of us to a brighter way of being, and a kinder world. I want to talk a little bit about purpose, and the unexpexcted places you can find it, or refine it once it’s found. I’ll start with a current example, the one which inspired this post.
This weekend was a rough one, friends. The main thing that had triggered my year of deep depression and paralyzing anxiety popped up in a new form to show me where I stood. Or, rather, where I hid under my blanket in a flurry of panic and shame.
My rent was two days later than normal, because I had a hard time getting my new debit card activated, and with my work schedule, couldn’t get to the bank. I got a very cold overreacting text from the person I rent from, who treats the house like an apartment building she owns (because her name is on the lease and she can add and subtract people at will), and has no consideration for how the others in the home feel about any decisions made, including whatever random guys off Craigslist she moves in under this common roof without our consent. I was already nervous because she never responded to my text confronting that issue, and then once I felt like I wasn’t doing my part, I lost it.
All of Saturday, I hid in my room. I couldn’t face her. I didn’t feel welcome, and I was afraid I’d lose my home, petrified to the point of not being able to leave my room to eat or go to the bathroom, or make any sound that would make it obvious that I was in the house, until six hours later when I was sure she’d left the house. I tried to sleep to escape the feeling and make the weekend disappear until I could go to work on Monday. It was irrational, damaging behavior, and I was so angry that it was beyond my control. But I’d dealt a year with it before, and I knew I just had to wait it out, and distract myself until I was stable enough to face it.
I was too far gone, though. I was a crying hopeless mess, who couldn’t see beyond the feeling, or get up from under its weight. I was embarrassed and ashamed for having just posted about how well I was doing, only to have a full day of full-blown depression for the first time in months, due to one small threat to my stability. I was afraid again that I’d never get better because when you don’t do everything perfectly in this society, you often get the boot, and falling apart is simply not an option. Unless someone has your back. Luckily someone had mine, and I cried a bunch, and he sent her a message for me, and gave me a hug.
That experience gave me a whole lot of perspective. I realized that I definitely can’t handle living with a landlord who is not sensitive friend, even though I thought I’d be able to tough it. And that’s okay. We’re all delicate in our own ways, and have certain things that may trigger old trauma as if it’s brand new, and it doesn’t mean we’re weak or damaged or dysfunctional if we need to rearrange our lives in a way that minimizes those triggers. It’s a sign of strength to be brave enough to live in an unconventional way for the sake of self-care and balance.
I slept a whole bunch, cried, and eventually vented angrily. This human embodied the main wrong in our society that fires me up like no other, the cold, heartless way that humans are kept from having a true sense of home, a place no one can touch or take, a place that isn’t owned, but is respected and cared for by its inhabitants. The thing I want more than anything, for myself, and for every living soul on this earth.
What do you really care about? We spend most of our time and energy on earning money that goes to a person or entity that has agreed to let us have a place to exist in. Does that not sound insane? Humans, I believe, have a right to a home. A sizeable place on the earth with water, materials to build a shelter, and soil and weather conditions conducive to the growing of food. We should have that option, free of charge.
But if we did, it would be a drastically different society that we live in. Instead of spending the first half of our lives doing work we don’t care about, to pay other people to live on their property, while saving for a home that won’t really belong to us for another twenty to fifty years, while we’re continuing to work doing things we don’t care about, things would be different.
We’d grow up on family land, feeling like our connection with the earth is the only logical survival method, our and start imagining how our own homes would look and function from an early age. Our parents would have far less debt, and fewer expenses, especially if living off grid, and would have more time to pursue passions that would become careers. Most likely, they’d have chosen an alternative form of education for you, as our public education is mainly geared towards teaching compliance and job training.
Your childhood would have given you a completely different perspective on life, and what you could do with it. And a greater freedom of time and money due to having the ability to have a true home, built naturally on land that was simply your birthright, saving you hundreds of thousands of dollars when you factor in the years of rent you’d never have to pay someone else while saving up for it, or the interest building for decades on loans. What would you do with that extra time and money? What would you ponder, and put into plans?
This is what I want to whole world to think about. Who would you be if you had that kind of freedom?
These are important questions that help us to clarify purpose. What would we be doing if our time and energy were free, and which of those things would bring us the deepest satisfaction, and have the greatest impact on all around us?
Once you’ve pondered that, and have a warm and inspiring answer, I invite you to question what baby steps you can take in that direction now. Is there a book you can read, a class you can take, or a daily habit you can put into practice? Is there a group of people you can join, maybe on Meetup or in a Facebook group to keep you inspired in that direction? Would an accountability partner help to keep you on track moving towards your goals consistently? (The answer to all of these is a resounding YES. It’s just a matter of feeling out which one best suits you in this moment.)
One of the biggest keys to long-term fulfillment is this simple, but powerful, approach:
As soon you notice a problem, do whatever you need to do to calm down, and immediately find a solution. Don’t wait, don’t dwell.
If you have an icky, uncomfortable thing in your life, notice how awful it feels, and then find that golden nugget. What is the truth about what you really need, that this situation can show you?
If it’s a lack of wealth or time, how can you start to simplify your life, create a budget or schedule, reprioritize, and ask for support?
If it’s dissatisfaction with your job, or your relationships, brainstorm about what’s not fitting right, and what does better fit your needs. And what steps can you take to be more calm and present through all of these scenarios while you create solutions?
There is always something we can do to cause improvements, and once these dark dusty corners of our lives show us what we’re missing, we have the opportunity to embrace our path with a far deeper passion.
And, as always, I’m here to guide you along the Journey, sister… Goddess to Goddess.