Figuring Out Why
The first two months of 2019 have been an intentional search for clarity. Clarity about purpose and life and choices; about who I am. Recently, I found myself struggling to see things clearly. I felt like I completely lost most of the clarity I had.
And I realized that in order to find it I needed to stop searching and just be still. I needed to be where I am. So, I unplugged for 72 hours and drove out to the beach. Yes, the beach in February. I had the place all to myself. It was perfect.
“If you're lost and you're lonely
go and figure out why
take a trip to your dark side
go on and have a good cry
cause we're all lonely yeah
we're all lonely together.”
“Heavy” by Birdtalker
Complete technology hiatus. And, this is what I figured out.
I needed to start from scratch. There was at least one thing that was already clear, it always has been and I hope it always will be. It is clear to me that my purpose is to contribute to changing the world as we know it, into more of the world as it should be.
Anchoring myself in this felt like an empowered start. It gave me some clarity back.
But, while I feel unwavering certainty about this purpose - in the last year I had never felt so uncertain about how I could or should do this. I had never felt so much doubt, like I was not doing enough. Like I didn’t know what to do next. I felt powerless.
“Power is the ability to achieve purpose, power is the ability to affect change.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
So, I tried to sort out why I was feeling this way. I started by breaking things down and gathering what I already knew.
And, this is what I figured out next.
First, imagine if you could categorize your life; yourself. Think along the lines of major threads or themes or categories, or what I will call buckets. Things like “family” or “work” or “health.”
I thought back to a year ago. Some of my buckets were empty. And I mean, EMPTY. And some of my buckets were full. So many good vibes. I threw myself into the buckets that were full and that made me feel full. I actually kept doing this until some of those buckets started to overflow, while others remained empty. I am not even sure I realized what I was doing. But hindsight is 20/20, right?
My buckets were lopsided. I was way out of balance.
Again, not the best news, but definitely some meaningful clarity.
The extreme and consistent nature of the imbalance was pervasive. Finally, I dedicated myself to filling what was empty. So, I made a lot of really hard, but necessary, choices that prioritized the empty buckets.
Great job, Meaghan! At first, I was relieved.
But, now I am right back where I started. Empty and overflowing all at the same time. And, frustrated.
I still don’t feel like I want to. But, why?
This is a big question, and I still do not have the entire answer. But, all answers and solutions begin and questions and challenges.
I am on to something. I have even more clarity.
I figured out that as some buckets fill, others are emptying.
With my focus on the empty buckets, what was once thriving is now disappearing.
So, how can I have balance? Harmony?
I had this urgency to be at a final destination that I didn’t know. I had this urgency for everything to fall into place. An urgency for clarity. An urgency for all my buckets to be full. An urgency to feel full. But what I need most was to slow down. To be still. To be patient. The moment I recognized this truth, light poured through the uncertainty about how to move forward. About how to take my power back.
I reflected on my buckets. About what is full, filling, empty, and emptying.
I figured out some really important things.
I figured out that I need balance. I need impossible, hard work. I need to be challenged. I need to be part of something that is bigger than me. I need to live in my purpose. BUT, I also need to take care of myself. I need safe, BRAVE spaces. I need to be patient. I need to be where I am. I need to slow down more.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who are alive.”
I figured out most of the pieces to my peace of mind.
My clarity and my faith are vibrant and I am becoming more free everyday. I am empowered to live in my purpose; to contribute to changing the world as we know it, into more of the world as it should be.
I am figuring out how to own my story as it continues to unfold.
“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we'll ever do.”