Why Am I Here?

Written by on November 18, 2007 in The Healing Journey with 0 Comments

Now that’s the million dollar question…or in today’s economy, trillion dollar.

Next to, “Who am I?”, “What is our purpose?” is the big question.

I remember in my youth, as early as preschool, and a good deal into my adult years, pondering that question. I still ask it every now and then today…but the answer I seek is decidedly different in nature and less urgent these days.

There was an excerpt from Sylvia Plath’s, “The Bell Jar” that struck me to the core when I first read it. Chapter 7 (formatting changed for ease of blog reading):

Portrait of Sylvia Plath I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked.

One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out.

I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.

I was afraid I’d be like that, and in some ways I was. But I did manage to find a way to develop certain skills in specific areas, some through choice, others through necessity, and found a niche for myself despite my indecisions.

I’ve stopped looking at life as it were some big multiple choice test with right and wrong answers, and made friends with my imagination that can dream up of more options that I will ever have enough years to live.

When I was younger, the question of my purpose encompassed not only my place in the universe, but what career choices I should make. But I see now they are only extraneous to the real issue. When you understand the question, then everything else attached to it becomes less important, in and of themselves, because you see they are only in service of something greater.

To me, the answer to the question “Why am I here?” is no longer a cornucopia of choices. There’s only one answer – To love.

Don’t roll your eyes, it’s true. 🙂

When I remember this, every encounter becomes an opportunity to find some way to express love. It may be opening one’s heart or closing a door. It may be extending yourself or drawing your boundaries, but everything – everything is an opportunity, a request to love.

This really makes a big difference to me, because instead of becoming frantic over losing time to “get it right”, get the training, make the career moves, locate to the right place, each and every present moment is just where I need to be to live my life’s purpose. I don’t need a degree or a new job to do that.

From that perspective, I can make whatever choices I need to make to affect the shape and form of my reality. Even if the details of my life are not what I want, at the moment, the heart of it can be true to its purpose – my life’s purpose. There is no waste, just a journey where love is expressed through one form or another.

And that’s what will remain after we “retire”…from our jobs or our lives.

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About the Author

About the Author: Demian Yumei, author, singer/songwriter and artist activist, uses spoken, written word and original songs in her human rights activism. "For the Sake of Love” is her collection of songs written on Demian's healing journey, and “Little Yellow Pear Tomatoes” is a children’s book she wrote for her daughter about the interconnectedness of life published by Illumination Arts and endorsed by Jane Goodall. Currently, Demian is working on recording episodes for her podcast and writing on the "Where There's Smoke Series on Covert Abuse". .

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