When all around you is moving capriciously and rapidly, which way is forward?
I’m not sure who coined the expression, the ‘maelstrom’ of life, but it’s an apt description. There are times when it’s difficult to see the forest for the trees, to know what is really important and what should be the current priority. The alternatives are to allow events or other people to make the essential decisions. This does not always serve my purposes.
The first step in taking back control of one’s own life is to decide whether I am a human ‘doing’, a human ‘being’ or a human ‘becoming’. In other words am I reactive, responsive, or intentional? In the first state I have no control nor even the prospect. In the second I can manage and moderate my experiences. In the third, and most rare state, I have purpose and the potential for growth.
Purpose is most often revealed as an unfolding condition, rather than as a flash of insight, although its emergence is not always smooth and comfortable. It would seem that there’s insufficient time and circumstance to manage the process deliberately while there are often opportunities to do so reflectively. Trends can be my best facilitators.
When I reflect, there are things I really enjoy doing, where time and events are willingly suspended in favor of the pleasures of the moment. These refresh and reward me whenever I experience them. There are also things I do well, willingly investing time and effort because the outcomes are so rewarding, and these I consider my strengths and talents. I want more of these!
They are both signposts to my life’s purpose, why I am here and what I need to pursue. It isn’t my destination at which I should arrive, nor is it my mission to fulfil, rather it is the marker on my horizon. It is a recognition point that keeps me headed in the right direction, moving along the appropriate pathways that are aligned with my life’s proper course, all the while as the maelstrom occurs.
The world around me is continuously changing. Like everyone one else, I’m incapable of predicting its course other than reviewing and extending the trends that emerge with unfolding events. Thus, my marker on the horizon may well change too, but while it is deliberately defined and selected it serves me well. This is my intention, and, for now, the basis for my expectations.
I am shaped by my experiences and also by those to which I am exposed in others. I’m drawn to those who share my intentions, and stimulated by their inputs, so I’ll follow a reasonably predictable course for the present. My personal intentions and expectations, however, should prevail, for the responsibility for my life is mine alone, as theirs is their own.
How confident am I that I am being and becoming true to myself?
Might I need to refresh my marker?