A girlfriend posted on Facebook earlier today “If you had to explain in a single sentence what is the purpose of your life what would it be?” (thanks @ayamcmillan). During the course of the day, I managed to eek out enough time to read Shauna Niequest’s book Present Over Perfect. And late this afternoon, we had a boat trip out to see the lighthouse, whose light we can see far off in the distance from the cottage at night.
The confluence of these three things today came to me as I sat down to write this post.
I have been musing of late as to what exactly my purpose is. But my time up north this summer as made me acutely aware of what I don’t want my life to look like come next week and the advent of the new school year. I don’t want to run my life like some sort of frenetic marathoner trying desperately to please everyone.
But you see, therein lies the problem. I find it all too easy to get swept up in the current (although it feels like a tidal wave at times) of things I should be doing – for the kids, for the Husband, for the family, and superficially, for me.
While I have been able to draw a line in the sand when it comes to the things I and the family eat and drink, I just don’t seem to find it as easy to follow my gut when it comes to other things. And this friction between what I find myself, and the family doing, and what I feel in my gut we should be doing, well, no one likes to feel ill-at-ease with how they’re living life.
Cue the trip to the lighthouse. A half hour boat ride through choppy waters and at times significant waves, and we found ourselves in front of the lighthouse. A lighthouse – built to be a beacon to ships sailing in the dark, or rough, stormy waters; a means of illuminating the right path to take, warning sailors away from dangerous, rocky territory, and hopefully preventing shipwrecks.
As humans, we all have a built-in lighthouse – our guts, or our intuition – if we look out for what our gut or our intuition is telling us, it can be our beacon when we find ourselves fumbling in the dark, or trying to make our way through choppy waters. But how many of us have created the quiet space we need to hear what our gut is telling us? As Shauna Niequst says:
“(We are) Too busy, too tired, too frantic and strung out on the drug of efficiency”
As I return home, and to my city life, I will strive to make room for the lighthouse within me. I will no longer silence what my body, my gut, my intuition is screaming out for simply to please, to prove, or to go along with someone else. And in pruning my life to allow for this, perhaps my purpose (for the next few years anyway), will come to me.
Oh . . . and today . . . I captured this. An apt photo for my frame of mind, and the thoughts in my head today – a dark cloud, fully lined in sliver, with the sun emerging from behind the shadows . . .