Once upon a time in a faraway desert an old man was walking, going one step after the other.. Slowly but steadily, he just wanted to reach the sea. One observing him can see that determination, that drive and that focus.
“What is your purpose, remember your purpose. What is your purpose, remember your purpose. What is your purpose, remember your purpose”. This what the old man was repeating to himself while going step after step.
As he was walking with a purpose, a bee started to bother him, flying around and around and the old man started to get annoyed by it. “Go away little bee, find your own purpose, I have to walk to meet the sea.”
And he kept pushing the little bee away.
Eventually the bee found a spot and bit the old man, who out of pain and angry smashed the bee and the bee died.
But that bite was hard, and the old man was weak after walking for so long; the pain was unbearable. He was so tired, and he stopped, to lie down and breathe; he was overwhelmed by the pain and felt exhausted. He collapsed in a coma. While he lied down there his soul started to explore flying around. From his soul’s eyes he realized the sea was just a few meters away not in front of him, but on his right side, and just before the sea the desert was turned into a wild garden full of cacti and wild flowers. He noticed so many bees around, and he realized bees were a sign of life. He realized that the bee was just trying to guide him home. To where he wanted to go in the first place; and instead of thanking the bee for its guidance, he pushed away his only guide. As he killed the bee, he also killed himself.
Few things may help just in case you find yourself in this old man shoes one day:
Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it, as Maya Angelou said it rightly. How many times, what we truly want is in front of our eyes and we don’t even see it. We do see it for others, people we interact with. Like when we see a woman desperate to find her true love and she does not notice her loyal friend who does all he can for years just to be there for her. Asking for what we want is an essential part of getting it but it is not enough, as we have to have faith and to put ourselves in a position of getting it. Is like when you go to bring water and you find the river and then all you have with you is a small cup…
A purpose can give you the drive but could cut you out of the experience. Purpose is important in life, in the same time it may become obsessional. When it does it loses its own purpose isn’t it? A purposeful life is what most people aim to, even if many may not have the drive to follow their purpose. Yet when we detach from the outcome we are able to enjoy the ride a little more, and see it as a becoming process not a goal in itself. And to experience why we are here to begin with. And that will lead us to our higher purpose. What kind of experience do you want to have for this ride?
Doing is important, being is essential. In many ways we are doers, we want things to get done. But for what purpose, to get back to the previous point. How do we feel when we get things done? Do we take time to celebrate, do we feel happy and proud, or we just jump into the next thing on the list? Remember to experience life. To have time to feel and enjoy. And sometimes the best gift to oneself is to build up not only a “to do” list, but a “to be” list. Why not instead of what I want to do today, I get on what I want to be and experience today. Ready to try?
Whatever may bother you most of the time is your guidance. In so many ways we get annoyed when things don’t go our way, the way we want them to. And we don’t like to be bothered by other external stuff. Yet how many stories each of us knows about what may disturb us also coming with a purpose; and how many times someone’s bigger enemy is their’ greatest teacher. And maybe there is a reason why whatever bothers us has the power to do so. Take time to reflect on what is annoying you, and why. When in peace of mind one may be surprised of what they realize. “What is that I prevent myself from seeing today?”
Things happen for you not to you, so accept it with grace, candor, and gratitude. It is just that, changing your mindset to saying thank you to whatever comes. You may never know. Whatever looks like an awfully bad thing in the moment may turn out as our biggest lesson and growing experience. I hear you, it is hard sometimes to say thank you after a bike accident, in the same time have a little faith in life. Who says that gods or universe come with bad intentions 😊
As for the old man, you may ask, did he ever wake up from the coma, did he ever learned the lesson and finally swim in the sea?
Well, when I was 8 or so at school we got a very interesting homework: we were supposed to finish a story in a way we wanted. I always loved the exercise, but I was also a little sad because I wanted to know how the story ended for the writer, how they have imagined it. While I still love this today, writing my own ending to the story taught me many things. Mainly that when we own a story it become ours. And we are the writers of our own life. But for now, I will invite you to write your own ending for the old man. There is no good or bad ending, there is just an end. Enjoy the ride.