In my seventies I am experiencing the ageing of the body in a more telling way as the years pass, so seventy-eight is very different from seventy, and in this respect it is a transition or bridging decade. And yet I have more sense of myself and ability to connect with life and engage in it. As my bones become weaker, and my organs give me many problems and symptoms, walking up hills is more tiring, and so on – I am realising there is a job to do of the utmost importance which brings a new vitality.
This realisation comes from a deeper connection within. As the body and its activities diminish and change, space is made for the inner essence of ourselves to grow and flower through the wisdom discovered there from an expanded understanding and knowing of our Soul. The question begins to be asked and continues to be asked:
“What is my true purpose now, beyond and deeper than the obvious ones of enjoying myself, keeping myself active, looking after my health and doing the best I can to manage?”
So every day I ask myself “what is my purpose today?” No looking forward to the eighties with any pictures of what that brings up, and no attachment to the past or regrets or nostalgias, except for the learning I have gained from past experiences. Not easy, but it has huge benefits, for it brings focus to how I live each day, what it holds for me, how I approach it, how much I can be present with myself and alert, and how amazing the flow of life is throughout a day if I keep this focus.
Some of the most amazing days have come about when I have broken rules I have lived with all my life, and even those I have accumulated recently! I am reminded of the poem ‘When I am Old and Wear Purple’. Letting go of the thoughts about how I ought to behave, what I should or should not do, and the emotions attached to these things if I manage to let them go – like guilt, or caring what others think of me – feels very liberating.
When I live without these imprisoning ideals I become more myself, more natural, more expressive, lighter, more loving. I have lived so much by ideals until now, struggling to let go of them, excruciatingly twisted inside. Now I am giving myself permission to burst out of this shell and actually live, despite an ageing body with its irritating and painful complaints. But it is my own body that is my saviour, for it makes it plain to me what I cannot do any more, and shows me a new way of being. And when I say ‘being’ I do mean BEING, not continuing with the doing of having to live by those rules.
It is from this freedom to express myself from within (not being attached to all that exists outside of myself), that I find it is not so much about ‘does it give me joy?’ as it is the joy inside of me wanting to express in whatever I choose to be engaged in. This is for me a new experience of what Joy feels like; not elation, but an all-encompassing feeling of being held by Love and holding Love for all things.
It is coming to know myself in a new way, and from this self I can feel the emergence of the joy from deep inside, and a new release of expression comes from this recognition. Then I connect with a deeper sense of where I am from, the collective source of us all. I come from the stars and am a child of the Universe, every particle of what makes up me is connected to all. I call myself Star, a unique point of Light.
My purpose is to bring this understanding into every movement, every meeting with another human being, every interaction between us, whenever it arrives. This is bringing Heaven into the Ordinary, the practicality and sudden surprises of everyday life. At this present time there is such gloom in the world, and so much separation, anger, brutality, revenge, corruption, war, competition, illness and disease, so that to bring some light and joy and love to daily life feels like a way to counteract these horrible things that most of us hate.
Yet if any of these emotions inside myself remain unresolved, or at least unacknowledged, I will not be bringing the qualities of love with true purpose.
So here is a purpose – to bring true purpose!
Impossible! you might say, and sometimes it feels so, but on the occasions when I let go of that moaning, grumbling, self-pitying me, and instead feel the space inside, I feel a vibration within which warms me and expands me, and allows all the qualities of Love to be expressed through me – delicate, gentle, sensitive, giving stillness and space to others … it is then that I find the practice is making some difference, and I know it is well worthwhile.
All this is so different from back in my fifties when I thought that my purpose was to continue my Solo Theatre performances about the Divine Feminine in the service of God, and that the way to do that was to plan, doing quick trips to the USA, in drive all the time, congratulating myself on ‘true’ commitment. What happened? I exhausted myself trying to do the impossible --- I gave myself away to a life of servitude rather than true service, in detriment to my health and my well-being, and not claiming my sense of power within.
Gradually I learned that the above is not true purpose. I learned in my seventies that the way to live each day is caring for and loving myself first, and building this practice day by day so that one day, without trying or planning, I arrive at what true purpose may be. It can be unexpected and surprising, a long way from the intentions and end-gaining of my old self. This way there is no strain or effort or agenda about taking the Light of my Soul into service in the world – only joy.
There is always more to learn, more growth to feel, more depth to open up to, more to explore, and the beauty of that too. We let go of ourselves and feel how we are at One with Everyone. There is no end, only consistency and divine practicality, and a sense that there is more to us than the merely human.
Joan C., UK
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