The Epoch of My Purpose
Thursday, Mar. 14, 2013 3:30 PM
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ― Albert Einstein
Yesterday they elected a new pope. Imagine my surprise when the pope took on the name Francis I in honor of St. Francis, my favorite saint. I have the Prayer of St. Francis hanging up in my office at work. It's a prayer that I have loved my entire life. It's a prayer that I had placed on my grandparents' obituary cards (and hope is on mine when the time comes), and it is a prayer that I read almost every single day. You know how pictures and other decorations become part of the background after awhile? You stop noticing they are there until it's time to clean or update your interior decorating? Well, this prayer never seems to fade into the background and become a part of my surroundings. I pass by it every single day I'm at work and look directly at that prayer. Then I start to recite it in my head. Look up the Prayer of St. Francis. Carefully read each line. Take time to listen to the message. Even if you're not religious, it is worth reading. It's a very loving and beautiful prayer - one to live one's life by.
Do you believe in numerology? Kent is very big on it, and he has me adding up numbers all the time now. It's improved my math skill tremendously! Ha. Anyhow, my life path number adds up to an 8. (10 + 19 + 1977 = 8). This year, I am 35 years old. (3 + 5 = 8). My birthday this year adds up to an 8, as well. (10 + 19 + 2013 = 8). Knowing these things, plus having Pope Francis I come into reign, I believe this is my year. It will be a year of change, but it will be a change for the better.
I bring this up for a reason. As you know, I've been going through a stage of liminality. I have figured out quite a few things so far (this year alone) that life has been trying to teach me. They are lessons that have been thrown at me numerous times over the years. Did it finally sink in, or was this just the moment chosen for me to actually listen to the universe? When will my soul get it right? Granted, I am human. There are bound to be a few blunders along the way through this stage of change, but I guarantee you that by the time I reach the end of this transformation, I will be a better person.
I will try to summarize what I've grasped so far from life lessons.
Everything has a purpose. Every event in our life affects us in some manner. It doesn't matter if it's a small thing like smiling at a stranger, or a huge thing like losing a loved one.
We experience random acts of kindness to know that we matter and to know what it feels like to be treated kindly. It is with great hope that when one experiences the kindness of others, they will carry the act forward and treat others with compassion and understanding, "for it is in giving that we receive."
We experience heartache so that we can learn to appreciate and love the people in our lives while they are in our lives to be truly appreciated.
True love is loving someone for who they are without any ill intent of attempting to change them into someone else. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."
Life is never still. We are constantly moving forward from point A to Point B. Time can't be stopped, and we can't go back in time. You have to live your life today as if there is no tomorrow, because tomorrow is never guaranteed. "Today is life, the only life we're sure of. Make the most of today."
How you live your life is up to you. While there are always factors and circumstances in life beyond our control, it is our attitude, our determination, our motivation, and our ethics that will define who we are.
Life is a balancing act. (This is very fitting since I am a Libra and our symbol is the scales.) Bad things happen, but so do good things. Is the cup half empty or is it half full? Life = Death, Joy = Sadness, Faith = Doubt, Good = Evil... Balance your life between the things you have to do and the things you love to do. Sometimes the scale may tip in favor of one over the other, but eventually it balances back out.
And most importantly.... it's not about me. This life that I'm living... it has never been about me. It's about the impact I will make and have made on other people's lives (good or bad). It is about everything stated above and then some.
Right now, it is my time to be here for Kent as he enters into the last years of his life, to help him with his troubled son as JR deals with not only the loss of his mother, but the inevitable truth that his father only has a few years left to live - and that's being optimistic. We've known for years Kent is dying and is sick. He has come very close to passing on quite a few times over the last 4 years. However, I strongly believe he's still hanging onto life because he is meant to be here, at this given moment in time, for his son. Not for me, but for JR.
Last night, Kent and I went to Five Guys Burgers and Fries for dinner. We talked about the new pope, the Prayer of St. Francis, Catholicism, life and death. We talked about him becoming a confirmed Catholic before he passes away, about the two of us going to church every Sunday.
This conversation had me up all night thinking, and then it hit me. My purpose. As you may know, I grew up Catholic. I was a very spiritual person growing up. I was never a zealot or someone who threw my religion at others, but I felt such serenity back then in my connection to God. I wanted to become a nun for the sole purpose of dedicating my life to helping the lives of others.
I also realized that everything I prayed for 6 years ago came into fruition. I prayed for a tall dark haired man who would love me for who I am, faults and all. I prayed to make a difference in the lives of others and told God "do with me as you will" because I wanted to help those in need. One year later and I "re-met" Kent, who is tall and dark haired, who loves me unconditionally, faults and all. God placed Kent in my life because Kent needs me. JR needs me. This relationship? This marriage (as hard as it's been over the last 4 years)? It has a purpose. There is a reason for it. And in the end, I got exactly what I prayed for.
So I have made a very bold conclusion in all of this. I will continue with my transition into the person I am meant to be while doing exactly what God needs me to do for those in my life who need me most. And when Kent does pass on and JR becomes a man, I will dedicate the rest of my life to these values. I will live like the nun I have always wanted to be, the nun I was always meant to be.