What is your purpose?

Yellow trout lily

Yellow trout lily

I saw the first wildflower of spring in our woods this afternoon.

A beautiful yellow trout lily peeking out from its nest of dried autumn leaves.

I pondered purpose.

Did you ever spend hours, days, months, years thinking about your purpose in life?  What the heck you were supposed to be doing on this blue and green spinning planet?  What marvels, what good deeds, what acts of kindness?  What job, what home?  What spinning and toiling and creating and helping and making a difference?

Today I knelt beside the trout lily and thought of purpose once again.

What if our purpose is merely to bloom in our shining beauty in our rainbow colors?  What if our primary purpose is our being and not our doing?

What if we’re all simply reflecting our multi-hued selves like a flower, like a brook in the woods, like a stone, like a hummingbird?

What if what we are is enough? Might our burden feel lighter?

Simply to be.

What do you think about your purpose here on earth, dear blooming flower?

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in May 2014 and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to What is your purpose?

  1. Fountainpen says:

    I have such deep long discussions centered around being or doing
    And I always choose being!!!!!

  2. Susan Derozier says:

    I have a simple “amen” to your beautiful words. To simply be, however and whatever that is!

  3. lisaspiral says:

    I think it’s a beautiful sentiment (and a beautiful flower). I also don’t find it particularly comforting. There is nothing harder for me than just being and not doing. I like a sense of accomplishment and I enjoy experiencing the new and learning – which usually require some forward action. On the other hand I agree that we are enough, simply being, in and of ourselves. A complicated conundrum for a Monday!

  4. Elisa says:

    I was just thinking of this last night and then getting annoyed at me for it. I wonder if people get off track looking for a purpose that is other than what they feel that they are in a moment. People looking to become their true selves try on shoes that they didn’t come with in the beginning. I am not sure that trying on shoes is a ‘bad’ thing, but I suppose it could be if it is a shift away from that simple being, a fake mask taken on because someone said it was good for them, or made that someone a buck. I am now rather wishing that I had better words to express this, as in the end it looks like all I harp upon is marketing and popular trends. While I can, I think perhaps it’s more that the ideas behind them are just odd to me. My purpose so far today, was to smile at roll after roll of fabric and to allow myself a moment of being pleased with my chair reupholstering victory. I am sitting on it as I type!

  5. Susan D says:

    Thank you for this, Beautiful “Being.”

  6. Let me start right out by saying that I’m not a big fan or proponent of Sylvia Browne, and wouldn’t care to try to support her teachings in any theoretical argument. However, one of her books was put in my hands several years ago, and one thing that struck me – and stayed with me – was her chapter on purpose. She gave a long list. She said, calm your mind and read through…when you come to your true purpose, you will know it, as it will resonate with you. I thought one of the artistic fields would be my purpose, and also thought, “what hooey!”, but followed instructions and read calmly through. She was exactly right! When I came to “Helper”, I knew I had identified my reason for being here. When it seems like I am too often called upon for assistance or advice, I take comfort in the fact that I am fulfilling my calling. Lovely post, Kathy, thank you!

  7. Janet says:

    I’ve never seen a trout lily, but it’s beautiful!

  8. Brenda Hardie says:

    Kathy, this hits home for me right now. I’ve been struggling with the thought that my place in this world is valuable in itself. But lately some people have lectured me (and crushed my spirit) saying that because I don’t have a job or money then I am basically useless. One person stated that it seems like I have given up and am waiting to die. This is NOT the case at all, I am simply taking my first baby steps off the crossroads and into a new direction for my life. So, while my heart heals from those hurtful comments, I can read and reread this post for encouragement. Your words feel like a balm to my heart. Thank you, Kathy ♥

  9. christinelaennec says:

    Very interesting post and also comments! Between childhood and the age of 36, I believed that my calling in life was as a teacher and an academic, and while I feel I did make some modest contributions to the world through that work, in fact it’s been very clear to me over the past 18 years that my deepest purpose on this world has been to raise my two children. Their needs have, in different ways, been very great and as a result I’ve had to completely give up paid work and my other ambitions. However, I do also puzzle over the being/doing conundrum. “Just being” my children’s mother has required me to do things and fight battles that I never imagined I would have to face. So I’m left both feeling a deep sense of purpose, and mostly accomplishment (so far – fingers crossed!), and also a bit obliterated by the demands of this purpose. I’m hoping that in addition to “just being” their mother, there will come a time when I can also “just be” myself – whoever that turns out to be!

  10. Robin says:

    I used to ponder my purpose in life, and then one day realized that my purpose is just to be, doing whatever it is I happen to do. Life is so much more peaceful that way. 🙂
    I love your little wildflower. I’ve never seen a yellow trout lily before. It’s beautiful, and perfect just as it is.

  11. be, Be, BE — Simply to BE (with a dash or two of “do” thrown in every now and then for good measure) 🙂

  12. Bonnie says:

    I must admit that the question “Why am I here” has crossed my mind many times. I am still here, so I guess I haven’t accomplished ‘my purpose’ yet. I guess we just have to try to be the best we can be in the moment, and then if we never discover what our purpose was it’s ok, because we did our best. Maybe there is more then one purpose for each of us. I wonder. Lovely post, Kathy and pretty little flower.

  13. Lori D says:

    Oh, how I pondered my purpose when I couldn’t have kids. It turned into a great time of seeking where I found ‘the-one,’ and my purpose. BTW, Miss Kathy, just so you know, I’ve been on a blogging break due to a family crisis. My husband had a serious accident. This is another time of deep introspection for me. It’s giving me lots of ideas for blog posts (about life) for when I return. I haven’t been able to read other blogs near as much. I read one here or there when I have a few minutes, literally. I posted a brief blog about his accident right when it happened. Good to read you again.
    Also, I happened to read a blog that I re-blogged that you might like. It’s brief, to the point, and something I think that we both can relate to.

  14. Dawn says:

    For me I don’t think just being is enough. I wish it were. I was watching a piece on the History channel this morning early (because the dog thought being up early was a good idea) about ‘First Mothers’ ie the mothers of presidents…did you know Lillian Carter went into the Peach Corp at age 70? Amazing. I don’t know if I want to do that but I do want to make a contribution that causes change for the better somehow.

  15. Out of everything wonderful in this post, the most poignant is the image of you kneeling beside a flower.

    Today I knelt beside baby ducks. 🙂

  16. john k says:

    Purpose is contextual. Just be and apply your gifts to each situation as it presents itself.

  17. totsymae1011 says:

    What a nice photo. I’m glad to see spring, although the pollen is bothering me in a worse and different way this year. I’ll peep from the window.

  18. To be or not to be. That is the question. I believe that we all should be giving something back to the universe- that is if you are able bodied. My purpose in life is helping, much the same as what Cindy wrote. If I’m not doing something to help others, the animals, or the environment then I feel I’m a slacker and that life has no meaning. I’m a happy little body if I’ve given, advised, or produced something of value.

    And the yellow trout lily is quite beautiful. Your photo is lovely. The trout lilies here are white and have already bloomed this spring in isolated pockets where the land and woods has not been ravaged by the bulldozer.

    A post of profoundness and an excellent one, Kathy.

  19. me2013 says:

    i was only thing about this at the weekend whilst gardening. The what am I here for question has often gone around and around in my head from a very early age, and I still haven’t a clue. 🙂

  20. Stacy says:

    Of course you know that I have labored over this very question, Kathy. But I like your thought – maybe my purpose is just to be. How uplifting that would be – how calming and settling. I’m glad you thought of this, and that you shared it with us.

    Here’s what I wrote on this topic last year: http://stacyallbritton.com/2013/02/20/what-is-a-life-of-meaning-and-purpose/


  21. It all starts with that annoying question some of us keep asking our children: what do you want to BE when you grow up? What we really are asking is what they are planning to DO when they become adults in the future… As if simply being a child in this moment is not enough…

  22. Munira says:

    My intuition agrees with you and it all ties in with Karl Sagan’s wise words about the pale blue dot suspended in a sunbeam that is us. 🙂

  23. lucindalines says:

    There is a scripture that says, “They also serve who only stand and wait.” I would guess there is purpose in simply enjoying the world around us.

  24. Heather says:

    I tend to be of a mind that our purpose in life is that which we bring to it. I don’t feel like I’ve been ordained a job to do, but that doesn’t mean that my life is without meaning – which is perhaps my own choice. But what do I know? I’m just a tiny speck of star stuff.

  25. I just wrote to a friend about this…being ourselves is about all we can be, don’t you think? One might “do” out of being who they are, and in their doing, they are being!

  26. You don’t know how much I needed that question today, and the potential answers you gave. I KNOW that we are here to just bloom and share our petals with those around us. But sometimes that is so hard to remember.

  27. What an intriguing question. It goes along the same line as “What is the purpose of life”. As my pastor said this Sunday our purpose is to love God and love people. Everything else falls into place after you do that. I am thinking that it will take me a life time to perfect just those two things. Loved the flower picture. Very beautiful.

  28. Karma says:

    What a wonderful, beautiful thought. Yes, what if just our being is enough? It has been a heart-wrenching week around here, for reasons I really can’t go into at this time, and this is a comforting thought.

  29. sybil says:

    It think and fret and ponder and wonder and worry about this far too much. Your advice is comforting. I should learn to just “BE”. BE in this moment.

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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