For some of us when we think about Life, the Universe and Everything, the answer 42 comes to mind from the popular book Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Just like in the books, defining our life and life purpose is more than just the answer. It involves also knowing the questions behind our purpose.
Consider when you meet someone new. How do you introduce yourself to help the other person understand who you are? Many of us define ourselves by what we do or who we are connected to. What happens when those things that have defined us are suddenly gone? How many, even recently, have lost their jobs? Many that I have worked with have lost their family and community. And many have lost the person who defined who they thought they were. Suddenly the way we define who we are and what our purpose in life is can be pulled out from under us.
I thought I would approach this subject in a slightly different way and continue the art of storytelling by encouraging you to watch the video attached to this post. Hopefully, I will do justice to Joseph Campbell while I recount the journey of our hero, as she finds her purpose. Here is the story of Karry.
This morning my father sent an email to my uncle, and in that correspondence, he sent a photograph of a jar of extremely clear maple syrup. The comment he put in there was: “this may be the only clarity we have for a while”.
Humans along with all animals on the planet are hard-wired to respond to threats by freezing, fleeing or fighting. It is part of our natural survival behaviours. Sometimes fear is useful to us when we find ourselves in dangerous situations and these automatic behaviours just kick in. Sometimes they are a hindrance when our fears are deemed irrational, like fear of a dark closet or of leaving our house when there is no reason not to.