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Day 84 - Stages of Purpose

Purpose. We talk about purpose a lot these days. I talk about it regularly, discussing how I have found mine and am living it. We have discussed it with several of the connections. It is a common theme. None of us wish to live what Thoreau coined, "lives of quiet desperation," so we strive to find greater meaning and drive. It's such a focus for us, that often we seem to feel like finding it will be enough to singularly shift our perspective on all things, but what do you do once you have your purpose? Growth is not simply the acquisition of a specific point, as though it were a trophy. Growth is a journey, a never ending one, and one in which we need to take the time to listen and heed other travellers when we have the chance to meet them.

Erin Frisby is one such traveller. She is a being of pure love and of faith. It is impossible to walk next to her and not feel that energy. She is amazingly calming. Even at parts of the conversation where I would normally find myself fired up and raring to go, something about her walk, her tone, her demeanor and the words coming from her mouth are instantly calming. At one moment I disclose about my mental health and the struggles I have always dealt with. Erin reaches out with a hand on my back. It is soothing, perfectly timed and welcome, although I did not know I wanted that until it happened. There is something remarkably therapeutic in her presence, and do not doubt for a moment that she is present. Erin listens to every word, picks up on ever gesture, every shift in intonation. She asks amazing questions, not only to help her gain a greater understanding of you, but to help you gain a greater understanding of yourself. It is as though we are two travellers who have stopped to rest and taken a moment to tell each other about our roads.

Erin is a woman of great faith. Her faith is a part of her purpose, where her purpose came from. Our conversation is especially interesting as I have been returning to my own faith during this process. She found her purpose in a call, a genuine calling to show love to all people and in return allow that to reflect the love of God. I walk beside her for a couple of hours and she truly does this. Her enthusiasm is wonderful. She asks me about how I came to the place I am in, about how the project is going and where I will be when it is done. She tells me about how powerful it is, about her own journey to purpose and the work as she travelled further with it.

Erin talks to me about how finding your purpose is just the beginning. Once you have found it, and dedicated your life to it, now it is a time for rebalancing. It is a time when you examine your values, the truths in your life and what you are doing to give intention to that purpose and find a path forward. She speaks with wisdom, with the words of someone who has travelled this same path I am on now, but years earlier. We talk about next steps, ways that I can learn and things I can do that might help me grow into my purpose. She tells me I am in the infancy of my purpose, and she is right. I have only recently found it, but this infancy has accelerated and she can see that. Already I have learned to clumsily walk with it, to move forward and speak to it. Erin tells me she is excited for how it has accelerated and the purpose itself. She believes it can be great. I truly hope so.

We talk about abandoning too much thought, about digging into impulse and feeling. Erin's knowledge does not stop in one arena, it is knowledge of the world, knowledge of one who will always be herself and stand on what she believes. It is gentle power, but power nonetheless. I tell her about how I began this journey by listening to impulse and leaving rational analysis behind. She is similar to me. We both focus on the feeling part of our mind, though we are also both intelligent.

At the end of our time together, I feel renewed. I have been able to open up to someone as so many have opened up to me during this process. Erin truly shows the love she seeks to put into the world. We are both travelers, both veterans and yet we are so much more. We are fellow sojourners, seeking wisdom and a life of purpose. We are not perfect and yet we still see the beauty in others. She has known her purpose for a while, mine is newly discovered, and yet we are excited for the work we will each do. It is amazing what can happen on a Sunday afternoon walk, when we decide to be present and listen, to respect and learn.

Favorite DInosaur: Stegosaurus

Why: Because he is carrying all of the baggage, but he is still happy. The bags are always there, but they don't have to be heavy and they contribute to your purpose.

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