I am writing this article in a valley of life….
I wish it was coming from a mountaintop, but the reality is that life has brought me some curve balls that have landed me smack dab in between two huge mountain peaks, but I have faith. I know it won’t be long before I’m reporting live from my own personal Mount Everest.
I have always felt like there was a ‘purpose’ for my life. Ever since I was a teenager, I knew I was here for a reason.
I believe everyone should feel that way as we are all unique, walking miracles. I believe we are created with the innate knowledge that our life is supposed to mean something, that it is supposed to count for something, that we are walking on this earth for a reason.
But how do we get there? How do we get there when we have groceries to buy, bills to pay, children to raise, and student loans to pay off? How can we rise above the monotony of our daily existence and feel the energy that comes when we walk in our destiny?
Perhaps if we do a little introspection, contemplation and meditation, we can all move in the direction of destiny.
Several years ago, at a university campus in Hawaii, I was listening to Lou Engle, a motivational speaker. He said, “Pay attention to your tears, for they will guide you to your destiny.” My daughter was quite small at the time and I was playing with her on the grass above where the rest of the audience was sitting. I was sort of half-listening to his talk, but when he said those words, it was as though time stood still and everything around me stopped.
I felt like he was blaring the message straight to me—“Wendy, pay attention to your tears, for they will guide you to your destiny.”
He then went on to explain that if there is a cause in this world that breaks or stirs your heart, that is God’s way of telling you it is something you are suppose to be involved in. I started to do a little introspective examination of myself and thought, “What is it that stirs my heart? What is it that causes me to have Soul Tears?”
The one thing that came to my mind was children. The little children I saw begging on the streets of Kolkata, India, stretching their hands out and saying, ‘Rupee, rupee.’ It was so sad to see children live in such poverty and hopelessness. I can not stand seeing injustices done against children anywhere in the world. I started to reflect on what I could do to make a difference in that area.
But ‘Soul Tears’ are just one piece of the puzzle. We must be involved in things that compel our heart to move, but we also must be involved in activities that make our heart soar and feel alive.
I am always trying to figure out the meaning of life. Several years ago, I was reading a book called “Cure For the Common Life: Living In Your Sweet Spot” by Max Lucado. He recommended doing an activity that is very easy and effective in helping to figure out what the heck you were put on this earth for.
To paraphrase, Lucado said that we should think back to our childhood and write down five specific experiences that made us feel alive and invigorated. He hypothesized that the specific elements of those experiences are what should be in our lives on a regular basis so that we are walking in our ‘Sweet Spot,’ or destiny.
In other words, we will find fulfillment in our present life if we are participating in similar types of activities that brought us joy as a child.
Here is my list:
- Water-skiing on the lake I grew up on, on a hot, dry summer day. As the warm wind blew through my hair, I felt alive.
- Getting off the plane when I landed in Hawaii, smelling fragrances that I have never smelled before. I felt curious.
- Meeting my friends from the Rotary Exchange from around the world. I loved learning about their cultures and their way of life. I felt mentally stimulated.
- Winning the awards for Top Grade 10 Science, French and Art student—it was truly my glory year. I felt proud.
- Skipping class in high school to go out for fries and gravy with my friends Simon and Christine. We laughed and laughed. I felt happy and connected.
Now here’s the next step in finding our destiny: we have to take a look at that list and then see how we can incorporate each of those elements into our current lives. I am going to make up my own personal equation for happiness and fulfillment:
Soul Tears + Sweet Spots = Fulfilling Our Destiny
So when I look at what gives me Soul Tears (children who are being treated unjustly) and I add it to what my Sweet Spots are (water, travel, people from all over the world, mental stimulation and connection and laughter), I am able to focus on what my ‘path of destiny’ should look like.
Even though right now I am physically in my parents basement, I know that if I start to pursue these areas of my life, I will find further contentment walking in my destiny on this earth. I will keep you posted as it all unfolds.
So what gives you ‘Soul Tears’? What experiences made you feel like you were in your ‘Sweet Spot’? I know that if you take a moment to think on those things, you can climb up to the mountain top, just like I’m planning on.
I’ll see you at the summit.
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Photo: elephant journal archives