Welcome to June, and a new month following Kevin Schoeninger’s weekly messages on Spiritual Growth Monthly. Kevin continues exploring how we can improve the connection we have with our intuition, by asking us to consider the Big Questions we have for our lives.
The Big Questions are the ones that matter the most to us, whether they matter to anyone else or not. For examples of this idea, he has chosen four specific questions that can be very Big to the people who ask them:
1) “What is my life purpose?”
2) “How do I find love and deeper intimacy?”
3) “How can I live in abundance?” and
4) “What do I need to do to heal, be healthy, and lose weight?”
These kinds of questions, Kevin explains, force us to take a look at the decisions we have made in our past, which brought us to where we are right now. Understanding how our choices have formed our lives, we can forge a better connection with our inner guidance system, alias our intuition, and possibly make better decisions about how we move forward from here.
The question of finding your life purpose.
This week, Kevin focuses on the question we all probably have about “what is my purpose in life?” This is a sticky one, because we are apt to have been raised to view a purpose as a destiny, some grand design, some enormous heroic goal we are supposed to attain.
This whole idea of a grand fate may start us out in life as a way to encourage big dreams and actions. But if, as we become older, we haven’t found that big ideal yet, or still have any idea what our purpose is supposed to be, it can leave us feeling we’ve failed somehow. We’ve missed our calling…whatever it was. And now we feel a little lost.
There is something in the idea of becoming that always reminds me of Elia Kazan’s classic movie, On the Waterfront. When Marlon Brando’s character is forced by his brother to purposefully lose a prize fight, he pours out his deep sense of loss. “I could have been somebody,” he cries. “I could have been a contender.”
What is it about this idea of being “somebody” that is always out there…somewhere else. Is it something we have to evolve into? If we miss it, is it something we have lost for good. And if we are not somebody now, who are we?
I wrestle with this a lot. If becoming somebody means fulfilling some grand destiny, then I have missed it. I have never become much more than I have ever been. And I don’t know whether that means I have failed somehow, or that I never had a purpose to begin with. But if life is not about attaining, then it must be about just being here.
I don’t fault other people for not attaining some grand ideal. Traveling around the world, I have known so many amazing people, and I’ve loved them for who they are. Have they fulfilled some great purpose? Probably not. But many of them were wonderful parents, good hearted citizens, and all were extraordinary friends. They left no mark on the world stage, but for me, their presence or their memories are the greatest treasure of my life.
“What if your life purpose is the way you live your life?”
That is one of the questions Kevin asks us, to get us to look at this idea of purpose from a different perspective. If purpose is not something we have to achieve, but is something we fulfill every day, it totally changes how we view where we are going, and how we reflect on where we’ve been.
This idea is often mentioned when people talk about life being a journey, not a destination. If we run the race of life without paying attention to what we are experiencing, we don’t get another lap around the track.
If every moment, Kevin explains, is an opportunity to live purposefully, then every action we take has meaning. The smallest action can be important, and inside we all know this. One small gesture of kindness or joy can change our entire day. A smile or a laugh can pull us out of the doldrums, or give us the inspiration we need for a new project or idea.
Several years ago there was a popular phrase, “don’t sweat the small stuff.” It even became a book. The idea was pretty good advice. But maybe what we need is to really appreciate the small stuff. What if a life lived full of tiny loving actions was a far better purpose than any grand achievement that is done without a loving heart?
Questions within questions.
Getting back to our title…in order to ask the Big Questions, Kevin encourages us to ask 10 smaller ones that build up to the Big Answers we need. Of course, none of these smaller questions are that easy to answer either. Each one takes a while to really consider, and the answers may even change as you dig a little deeper into each one.
A few of Kevin’s questions include:
“What would you like to change in the world?”
“What legacy do you want to leave? How do you want to be remembered?”
“What comes easily to you?”
“What is hardest for you?”
Taking this kind of mental inventory can lead us to what we really believe matters. And that leads us to discover what we want our purpose to be.
Kevin’s complete list of 10 questions, and his full exploration of life purpose are available at www.spiritualgrowthmonthly.com.
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