Focus. Focus is a word that defines so much of our reality. Where we are in our lives, where we are in our careers. Are we happy enough, healthy enough, doing enough of what excites us?
In this quest to see ourselves, create balance, and build our perfect life, where is the right place to focus?
I used to believe that vision was the paramount ingredient in living a life that mattered. Do everything you can in service to the vision! Then, I began thinking purpose was the defining point of clarity to make life meaningful.
Define your purpose and suddenly life gets so much easier and clearer. All your actions become congruent to a master mission.
As I continued to get no closer to my vision and I seemed to be further and further from actually fulfilling my purpose, I began to look towards community as perhaps the piece that I’d been missing. Though this seemed much closer to living a happier life, it too left me feeling unfulfilled.
I’d done great spiritual work, felt very content in my own energy, experienced extreme inner peace and meditative bliss for months on end: Yet, I felt no closer to being the higher version of myself I saw. I started to think, ‘maybe I’ve got a serious chemical imbalance here.’
As I began to push myself to feel okay, despite the chemical shifts I felt in my brain, things became easier, but I didn’t feel any closer to the vision I had for myself.
Then, something changed.
A friend and musical collaborator killed himself. I saw the vision of who I wanted to be live in front of me and I felt hollow. I leapt into the unknown and I felt alive again. Then, wound up sitting in a room with all my old journals: The history of my adult life lay before me.
As I opened the pages, what I saw was the same patterns repeating, over and over and over again. Feel a new clarity has been reached, take action with joy and belief, see actions fail, grow despondent, sink into depression, and question entire point to life, find way out, and then repeat.
Was I living out the hero’s journey over and over, year after year?
It’s like I was forever caught in the loop of hearing the call of my vision, answering the call with purpose, taking action, sinking into the pit, finding the answer for how to move out, ascending to new heights, celebrating my victories and feeling THIS was finally it. I finally would be the hero to my own life and BE who I longed to be.
It never happened. It still hasn’t happened. But, something has changed.
I’ve let go of needing to be the hero. I’ve realized that living each day and trying to be the best version of myself is all I can really control. I can’t bend the universe to my will. I can’t make my dreams happen. I know others can and have, but I have had no success with this approach and generally it’s left me with nothing but stress and angst at not being where I long to be.
So what’s this mean for you?
I think that by letting go of who we “need” and “want” to be and by focussing on who we are, there is a freedom that comes with that shift.
This doesn’t mean we don’t seek to grow, change, reach goals, follow our purpose, and passions, but it does mean that we’ve let go of needing a result, needing a victory and to be the hero to our stories.
I’ve seen my life flash before my eyes. I’ve felt great meditative bliss. I’ve felt great love, loss, and the depths of depression, but I’ve never let go of needing to be a hero.
As I’ve made this subtle shift of letting go of the outcome, I feel a general sense of ease that I haven’t felt for a long time. Beyond that of a blissed out meditative state, this one feels firmly grounded and rooted in actual life experience, as opposed to just living in the spiritual bliss of the present moment.
My life purpose and vision remain the same as they have for decades. The only thing that’s changed is my focus. Instead of looking at a destination, I’m focussed on the journey and stepping forward each day as the best version of myself that I can be.