So you have heard the call … what next?
Living a life of purpose and meaning has seemingly become a pop psychology fad in the last few years as a plethora of self-help books are published and are marketed via online courses and content. Some of these works however are truly excellent and speak with humility and integrity to the significance and authenticity of living a life of value. Topping the list must be Viktor Frankl’s ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ and Joseph Campbell’s ‘Man with 1000 Faces’.
Both of these timeless classics illustrate a similar consistent message. To live a life of purpose and meaning is to answer to the call of one’s own inner Soul’s urging. Philosophical this may be. However it is the experience of anyone who authentically lives out their unique purpose and the value that they have to offer the world, which incidentally is one definition of freedom, that in so doing, there is so much more to merely heeding this call, responding to and creating a vision and dream for one’s life.
Joseph Campbell illustrates the step by step process that is involved in the ‘hero’- being me, being you – embarking on the journey of self-discovery in answering our Soul’s call to be and to live authentically.
It is not enough however to answer the call. That is only the first step. The balance of the journey to living life with purpose and meaning, whilst reflected in how we engage with others in their view of the world, is first and foremost the journey within. It is for this reason that most people who hear the call, who have a dream and a vision do not get past the idealistic nature and emotional attachment to and of their vision. In so doing they stay ensnared and trapped by the existing paradigm and version of how they see themselves and their world.
Honouring the call is probably one of the most challenging quests that any one person can embark upon and yet why do so few people engage and invest in their true passion and calling?
Because in a world of quick fix, instant gratification, 30 second views on a mobile phone of a web site, article, piece of music, when we do not achieve instantaneous enlightenment we move on to yet another book, another fix, another form of addiction so that we avoid the very thing that scares us the most – facing the man or the woman that we see in the mirror.
Prisoners of our own making
Honouring the Call, requires of us to face who we are, who we have become, who we have believed ourselves to be – in light and in shadow. It requires an HONEST appraisal of who we are, delving into our deepest fears, the negative aspects of how we show who we are to ourselves and others, for how can we know our light when we avoid, suppress, ignore, and negate our shadow.
Why do we do this?
Because there is pain there, there are emotional scars, events, people and places where we have been harmed, hurt and where other people’s stuff has been inflicted upon us. And, we have accepted these events, viewpoints and projections as truth of who we are. To delve too deeply into our shadow for most causes us to relive events that we have buried in all forms and manners of addictions. Our senses are dulled, we live cauterised lives, half existing, afraid, angry, resentful, filled with regrets of what could have been, trapped … all symptoms of living a life in the shadow of the potential we were born with, prisoners of our own making.
The gifts hidden in our shadow, and those who have traversed their shadow will, one after the other confirm this, make up the very essence of the jewel that is you that you have to offer the world. The Native American Indians believe that every person on the planet has a path of beauty that they can choose to follow. They too have rituals and traditions that facilitate the movement through the shadow so that the warrior / maiden can emerge healed and whole adding his or her gifts for the benefit of their tribe and for the whole of humankind.
Diamonds are formed under immense pressure – any amount of quick fixes will not bring anyone to a point of the freedom to, walk in beauty, to live a life of purpose and meaning. The search for meaning is within, not without, and is made visible by the pressure (like the diamond) of true transformation. This requires surrender, willingness, courage, determination, tenacity, alignment, reflection, awareness and most of all action. For when one does the work, faces oneself fully, realistically and with a loving self-acceptance of who we really are in our shadow, it is then that our light becomes truly visible to ourselves and others. It is only then that the alignment between who we are and what our vision of and for our lives can become real.
Living authentically is all about value – the value that each one of us has to add in being in alignment with the reason why we have been given unique gifts, talents and strengths which are needed in the world. These are the means through which we truly are able to be in the energy of service in action.
Once you have answered the call and delved into that part of you that is holding, like the earth holds the diamond – your purpose, your unique value that you have to offer the world – it is time to emerge and find others who too have not only heard their call, they have honoured and answered it too.
Our world needs you to choose your own inner hero; your path of beauty and freedom by finding and living your truth. It’s time to more than hear the call …
Angela is an avid advocate for freedom and choice and her passion lies in transformation, facilitating processes as Storytelling and Experience Economy thinking that encourage people and organisations to access their strengths, talents and potential.