You have to do what you have to do
Do What You Have to Do
And be happy about it!
Every one of us has to do things we’d rather not – the necessities of life: cooking, cleaning, mowing the lawns, maybe a job that we’re not keen on right now but we all still have to pay the bills.
Sometimes, even when our purpose is clear, we have to do other things along the way. In fact we’ve been doing other things along the way up until now. Every one of those things forms part of our purpose and our journey, and every one of them teaches us something.
In every religious tradition in the world, initiates have had to involve in the daily routine; sometimes that’s all they do for years. Monks have gardened, cleaned floors, tended animals… There is an important type of spiritual connectedness that goes with being happy with having to do the most mundane things. One of my most frequent pieces of advice to people I work with is if you’re feeling unhappy, go clean! I don’t know what it is about cleaning, but it’s satisfying and somehow gets us out of ourselves in some way.
There is a balancing act in the pursuit of your purpose between doing what you have to do, and saying “Enough!” and taking a leap of faith into something new. I advocate both. (Even then there will always still be things you have to do.) Only you can know when the time is right to launch yourself into something new.
There’s also a balancing act between learning to live purposefully regardless of what you’re doing, and finding the particular purpose you want to live. We also need to be able to do both of these. Living your purpose has a lot more to it than finding that one thing that you believe will make you happy and purposeful; you can choose to live life purposefully now, with all that that means. In fact the more purposefully you live the more likely you are to find your purpose.
These last two paragraphs above simultaneously hold a bunch of contradictions and an enormous amount of wisdom. Do ponder on these. Contradiction is natural to life – life is not often ‘either/or’.
photos courtesy Drumully Irish Arts