I read this as the very first post for today on wordpress and I found myself unable to continue. It had me caught in place and very much pondering the short message. It was a quote from Bishop T. D. Jakes about finding your purpose. Purpose is something I have been searching for and at a loss for how to find in my life. I long to have a reason for existing, something that drives me forwards and can be broken down into aims, goals and targets. I have irritated my husband with my constant searching for purpose; trying a few different things and finding a glimmer of purpose within my work at a charity shop, but this is not enough to make me feel truly satisfied.
According to Bishop T. D. Jakes I should look at my passion to lead me to my purpose, this sounds like great advice except I cannot think of any passions. Dictionary.com defines passion as ‘any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.’ I love my husband with passion but when it comes to activities or hobbies I am not so intense with my feelings. I do not feel myself compelled to do one thing above all else or an overpowering drive to do one hobby more than any other.
I have things I like but I can live without them. For example I enjoy and get satisfaction and achievement from writing, but I am not passionate about it and often go many weeks between writing (as my blog clearly shows). There is no compulsion or drive to write each day, just an enjoyment when I do manage to create something I feel is well written or creative. So for me writing isn’t a ‘passion’ but a firm hobby and possibly the closest thing I might come to a passion.
So what then should be my passion and where can I look for it? Instead of inspiring me it seems the post has simply added more questions so I searched online for the sermon from which the quote is from and found that Bishop T. D. Jakes goes on to say
“Step into the field of your dreams. Even if you have not landed on the thing, at least get in the territory of the thing you are dreaming to do.”
He says that many feel like me; that there are no passions in their life but In order to feel you need to be exposed and that we must get out of the boat and experience a new thing. It seems I need to keep searching by experiencing life and try find my passion and my purpose. This might mean trying to broaden my experiences to gain a wider view on life. Like an arrow being drawn back, I need to first take that step back and find my target.
I admit to a reluctance in searching for his original sermon as I was brought up a Christian but no longer believe. I often find that Christians use many short quotes as a quick one liner but without unpacking what it means or how you might go about applying that to life. Yet they throw those little lines out at me as if some great sounding line will make me stop and turn my life back to God. But its just a phrase with no substance or knowledge and suddenly they talk about the weather or a TV show, they don’t follow it up they don’t explain the underlying currents it’s just a line. So with that rant and back history you can maybe see why I was so hesitant to look up the Bishop who it seems is very often quoted with his snazzy little lines that are easy to remember and bandy about.
I then got a bit hooked on listening to a few of his sermons and at one point he challenges us to let go of our history for
‘If you hold on to your history at the expense of your destiny.’
Now Oprah at this point responds with ‘That hit me, that just hit me.’ Well I would have to agree, for me it makes sense but it is much harder when you unpack and try to apply this to life.
Who can honestly say they don’t worry about something that is in their past or that they aren’t in some way holding on to their ‘history’? For me I still haven’t learnt to fully let go of my old self from before getting ill with Fibro and that old self haunts me and tells me I am useless and I can’t do things and I will never find a purpose. My old life is always held up in comparison to where I am now. But don’t we all do this; Hold up where we were to see where we have come?
I think all of us wish to progress in our lives and feel that we are not in the same place we were five years ago or one year ago or even a month ago. I want to feel I have achieved something in my life but I am comparing myself to a very different version of myself (One without the illness); this type of contrast does not help me progress forwards and does not lead me to a purpose. I am stuck looking backwards and not focusing on where to go. So I can understand what Bishop T. D. Jakes is saying about letting go of that past but the actual applying is a much harder task then a snappy line like that first indicates.