Everyone expects that there is some grand transcendent answer to the meaning of life. A recipe for happiness… As though it is some majestic pursuit; that if you are not seeking it you are denying it, condemning yourself to a future of unfulfilled desires and a life unlived.
And we fail.
We fail to realise that in the pursuit of a life of purpose the purpose is to live life. This life the one we are in right now. Not some future life where our planets are lined up, everything matches and life is in perfect order and harmony because we are fulfilling our life purpose.
The meaning of life is to live this life, this breath, this moment we are in… with the unpaid bills and the sick kids and the dying parents and the boss from hell and the job that fills a need but leaves you empty. It is this life where the neighbour’s dog barks all night and the garbage man refuses to pick up your mal sorted recycling. It is this life.
The secret that isn’t a secret at all, is to give yourself to this very moment. Realise that everything you have thought, everything that has happened to you up to this very moment in time has brought you to this place. That in this exact breath you are exactly where you are meant to be.
And maybe it is because you have a job to do or maybe it is because your job is done. Maybe it’s because your grand purpose in life has nothing to do with you at all. Maybe your grand purpose is to be a cog, may be you are a stepping stone for some other person to achieve some monumental accomplishment for humanity.
Your destiny is not up to your design, your purpose is your birthright and the longer you fight what you are to be, to accomplish something you imagine you should be, the longer you fight against the universe in an effort to fulfill what you perceive as your quest you will be denied, denied happiness, riches of spirit and life, peace, calm and clarity.
You are one microscopic speck in the universe; you cannot believe that this journey is solely about you. This journey is about a big picture a picture that includes you. A picture to which you are vital and integral, but you don’t get to choose your part, your role, your calling. That is predestined.
And some people know this and they struggle with impatience. They know they have purpose, that they are not just an enigma taking up space and using up oxygen. And they want to know, they are impatient and chase after what they imagine their purpose must be and they call themselves unhappy because the future never reveals itself despite peeling at the layers of themselves and digging deeper and deeper into their being to discover what they are to become they fail to realise that this moment, this breath is all they need.
They forget that happiness is found in hugging your children and loving your spouse and giving your effort to the job at hand. That at this moment your entire purpose on this earth is to devote yourself to just this breath. Do this. Give everything you’ve got to the very minute you are in. I promise you no one reaches the end of their journey yelling “WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THAT!” If that were true we would not mourn those that leave us or celebrate those who arrive.
Live this breath, breath it in. Let it fill you with hope. Greet every opportunity with enthusiasm; face every challenge before you with conviction and determination to see the other side of its trouble. Love every person who comes into your life, they are there for a reason. Praise those who leave your life they have left impressions, fossils on your soul that will be discovered in time. Believe that nothing happens out of context or without purpose.
How bold we are to believe that in a world filled with billions of people that we are the one chosen to impact it all. Our world has become so small that we believe we are huge, mega capable, that our market is reachable and crowded with people but what if it isn’t? What if your sole purpose in this life, your role in the equation is to help just a single person? Perhaps some person you do not even know, maybe a person who, without a second thought, you have erased completely from your memory before the lingering scent of their perfume has left the room. What if your role is something as incremental as letting a stranger take your place in line at the grocery store or cancelling a dentist appointment? What if that is your piece. What if our reach is a far as the end of our fingertips?
You may go to your grave never knowing what great thing your existence in this life has sparked and that will be okay.
That is not to say don’t dream.
Do dream, do plan, do fantasize a future but do not make your happiness dependent upon it. Draft a future. Not something rigid and demanding, dream something, weave it like lace with a pattern open to the possibilities, challenges, opportunities and the souls life is going to place in your path. They are gifts. Capture them and work them into the fabric. Set your intentions but do not attach your happiness to them.
Happiness is fastened to this moment. Give yourself permission to live the breath you are in. Fully. Completely. Use up every scrap of oxygen it contains. Loving completely the people you are with at that moment you are in, committing to make their time with you memorable to the extent that those memories, on a bad day, on a day when you can’t be there to hold a hand and share a smile will sustain them through their trials. Commit to embrace this very moment, it is the only one you are guaranteed and the secret of happiness is that.
It is hiding in the very act of making the very most of the single breath you are in.