Yes, you do have a purpose

We live such limiting lives, don’t we? Seemingly without purpose.

Ennui isn’t something new. It hits each of us in varying degrees as we grow older, come to terms with our limitations, our mortality and even our chosen profession or passion.Over the past year, it’s something that’s been rearing its head more often than I’ve deemed necessary. Oh I know it’s not something we choose and it’s not what you can really show off in a list of qualifications. But it exists.

Purpose, Life Lesson, Moving Quill, Shailaja

It’s made me wonder, ‘What is my purpose in life?’

Yes, I blog. I work as an editor and I write for pleasure. And I parent and cook and clean and do all the sundry things that make up my normal, everyday existence. Nothing out of the ordinary there, if you think about it.

But there is. There always is.

In each of us, there lies a purpose. Sometimes it’s obvious. It stares us in the face when we least expect it. Other times, it hides behind layers of frustration and angst, that feeling of melancholic drudgery that life doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

As March draws to a close and I inchΒ closer to completing another year on this blue planet, it’s becoming clearer to me.

I must do and should do what makes me happy. So, what is that?

It’s no surprise that I love to blog but is it my life’s purpose? Somehow I doubt it. I am not hung up on a lot of things that bloggers should be concerned about such as stats and figures and influencer status. However, I do like the art of blogging- the fine nuances of putting words down for people to read.

Would I feel broken though, if I didn’t blog or couldn’t? Would I feel like a part of me is missing? Perhaps but the fact that I am not saying a resounding ‘Yes’ gives me reason to pause.

And as always, it is when my mind is at its silent zenith that the answer comes to me.

I was reading a couple of articles on depression and mental health and shared them with a couple of survivors; people I know are struggling to put their feelings into words. When one of them broke down and admitted to feeling suicidal, I felt a cold hand squeezing itselfΒ around my heart.

This was me, manyΒ years ago. I was suicidal that long ago. I was at the cusp of taking a plunge that would end my life and my pain forever. Yet, something stopped me. Back then it was the love that surrounded me and the support of those I cared.

Hearing the friend low and depressed awakened something within me, the instinct to protect, to reach out, to help in any way I could.

That was the moment I realised my current purpose in life: it is to share my story. Yes, the same story you’ve heard about for a year now. Working on the memoir is more important than ever for me now.

Not for the money or the views or the critiques. No. That’s not the reason; none of it is. The purpose is simple.

My story will help others. Of this I am certain. And I will finish it and tell the tale for those who need to hear it. They need it as much as I need to get it out there. We all need love and support and encouragement and if I can do that for one other soul, I’d think my life is inching towards its purpose. Inexorably so.

And bonus? It makes me happy. Seeing others survive makes me incredibly happy.

The best part is my mom told me this 15 years ago. Turns out moms really do know everything, including the purpose of our lives. At least, mine does.

If you’re thinking too hard about what could be your life’s purpose, maybe it’s time to step back and breathe. Relax and let the answer find you, in the stillness of your heart.

What do you believe is your life’s purpose?

45 thoughts on “Yes, you do have a purpose

  1. First things first. Your writing is simple, yet mature. Short sentences, yet substantial. Add about the purpose of life, I guess you and Sid have echoed my thoughts. Always happy to help.

  2. We do have a purpose in life. I would like to call it passion. It is difficult to identify the purpose. But we all should. Gives meaning to life.

  3. This is so lovely and emotional….your journey is one of authentic grappling with the things that truly matter and it is what makes you such a genuinely beautiful person, Shailaja πŸ™‚ I have every confidence that you will make the difference you want to make through the words that you write in your memoir because you ALREADY do make a difference through the words that you have written here!!! There is something so strong and powerful that resonates in the human spirit when it hears another say, “Me, too. I’ve been there too.” By sharing your story, your journey, you will be giving that gift of empathy, that strength of shared experience that empowers people to fight to overcome their own circumstances and struggles, too! You go, Girl πŸ™‚

  4. All the best Shailaja. Even if your book helps just one person, though I am sure it will help many, you would have done a service. What’s my life purpose? I don’t know. I simply go with the universal flow and no doubt it will take me where I am meant to be.

    1. I’m really hoping that it will. As you say, even if one person finds solace in reading my story, then my current life’s purpose is done. Thank you, Suzy.

      I have a feeling your calling is highly spiritual and beautiful from what I’ve read on your blog. Love always.

  5. I must say, your purpose of penning down this memoir is really noble. I am sure that many lives will be touched after reading what you will have written. Your style of writing can really influence people, I am sure you know that.

    I, for one, assure you that I will read it and share it as much as possible. There are too many people out there whose lives need to be saved.

    Wishing you all the very best to complete your memoir! Stay strong, and come back from the blogging break soon πŸ™‚ <3

    1. In my heart, these are the things that matter, Mithila- the support of people like you. More than the critics and the naysayers, I’m counting on the love of all my friends- online and offline- to help me reach more people.

      I’ll be back to blogging before you know it. Good luck for A-Z and have fun!

  6. We do struggle in life for survival and happiness. We do have a purpose in life and feel that I can reach the purpose through my writings. Writing has always been a passion for me


    1. I am so glad to hear that writing is your purpose, Vishal. The more writers the world has, the better in my opinion πŸ™‚ Thank you for your thoughtful comment!

  7. Very deep post Shailaja. I have a thought a lot on the subject.. but sometimes words fall short if I try to verbalize it…This is an ever-present pursuit for most of us. Lucky are those who are able to find their purpose quickly for their focus is then intent on fulfilling it and not being distracted. But then, there could also be a purpose to simply “live” and live life to the fullest – by being a better human being, being happy and spreading it to people around you, learning new things, being curious.. We should talk about it sometime, when time is not a constraint..

    1. For the most part, I fall into the latter category. I’m a very live and let live kind of person. It’s why I don’t argue on social media on topics of a sensitive nature. But once in a while a purpose comes along that motivates you to contemplate your place in the world and if you can do something about it. For now, it’s this. It may continue beyond the writing of the book but if not, then I’m content to be the live, simply live kind of person too. I’m easily pleased ?

  8. I agree Shailu . Each of us has a purpose and it will come to us if we want it n sometimes even otherwise. I am sure your story will help many. Thank God you had love n ssupport around u which pulled you back. Love n hugs.

  9. That’s actually a very noble purpose Shailaja. Thankfully today the awareness about mental health is a lot better than before. Your memoir will definitely help so many people… Good Luck

  10. Shailaja, your post made me to think deeper and deeper. I am waiting … Relaxed and let the answer find me in the stillness of my heart ! Thanks for sharing your stories …… really it would help someone in depression and self pity ….

  11. Simply beautiful Shailaja! I was drawn by the title to read on….something I am not finding time for since the past few days. This question has been hitting me very often and I found some solace in the fact that there are others who are faced with it too! Guess one just has to continue on his karmic path and not have any expectations….what is the point of doing this, what will I gain from this etc should not matter. Keep the memoir writing rolling.

    1. See? Now you’ve got me re-thinking the blogging break πŸ˜‰ kidding. It’s nice to know people want to read you so thank you Kala πŸ™‚

      Not having any expectations has been my motto for the last 15 years. I still slip every now and then but it’s getting better πŸ™‚

      Thanks for the support.

  12. Honestly, Shailaja, I don’t know what my purpose is… I love writing and blogging.. And someday I want to write something that is the very best from me..But I don’t know what that is…Do stats and pageviews etc bother me? Not so much but if I do well, I feel happy…But if I don’t have good stats will I stop writing? No…A resounding no..But still I don’t know if writing is my purpose…Damn, you put me in some contemplative mood this Friday…I just hope like you, I too have a purpose that is greater than my own happiness…

    1. I hope you find your purpose when the time is right, Naba πŸ™‚ And you will. You’ve always struck me as the kind of person who has a very firm head on her shoulders. Always.

      Adore you for your honesty in writing and blogging.

  13. I am glad you found such a noble purpose for yourself , Shailaja! I hope I find one for myself too. Hugs to you for caring so much about the people around you. Not many have such a large heart. Bless you, sweetie! ❀

    1. I am sure yours is very much aligned to this, perhaps something to do with dogs πŸ™‚ You have a very large heart too Shilpa. Never forget that.

  14. Purpose, hmmm. I take life as it comes and never think too far ahead. Writing has been my passion, but purpose is larger than that. I think like you sharing my experiences and helping people is big on my list, “ask and you shall receive what I can give”. I want people to think they are better for having interacted with me. But I really just do what feels right in my heart.

    Looking forward to your book. Just finish it fast, Please.

    1. Thanks for sharing your purpose, Jaibala. I am so glad to hear that we think alike on this subject.

      As for the book, it’s on and I hope to finish it very, very soon indeed, with all your support.


  15. Life’s purpose — too profound! I would like to add that I think that it changes with the phase of life we are in. 10 years ago, writing or blogging was nowhere on the list of passions. Now it is . But I want to do more than just write. I want content to be given its hard earned place. I want its importance and passion to be recognized. I want to do much more than writing and I am doing that as I move to editing and collaborating with brands and corporates. I want to share my knowledge and passion both of which I try my best to do. I also take raising my children as responsible, sensitive, happy children very seriously. Hence, I read and write about that subject; I learn and share; I recalibrate where I want to be as a mother.

    You must get that memoir out there because I have seen firsthand how mental illnesses just don’t find voices. The tendency is to not address them or talk about them or seek help but just wish that they would go away. Even taking counseling help is looked down upon. More survivors sharing their tales will give solace and a much-needed push to a struggling soul out there. I do love it that you recognize your calling. All the best that you succeed in it.

    1. Thank you so much, Rachna! I sincerely hope this helps more people speak up normally about mental illness. Thanks again for the support.

      I’m so glad to read about your purpose πŸ™‚

  16. The more I think about life and how fragile it is in the face of the ultimate truth, the more I’m convinced of how insignificant I’m and how irrelevant my perceived notions of life are. Not sure if everybody is sent here with a purpose. I suppose we just have to live the moment as it is supposed to be and then let that moment go.
    I’m glad that you’ve identified what will make you feel worthy and satisfied in this life. My best wishes that it is fulfilled and you reach that goal very soon!

    1. My perception is not about what makes me feel worthy πŸ™‚ I find that my happiness is of my own making and that makes me feel good. And as for our space in the larger cosmic sense, I believe we all matter and nobody is insignificant, not by a large margin.

      I also believe in living day to day. But a part of me also believes in having a larger purpose to work towards. For now, it’s the memoir. After that, who knows? The purpose may shift again. Either way, I am ready or at least, at the moment, I am ready πŸ™‚

      1. True, the larger purpose. But, not everyone gets to know that, although we try to figure it out. It’s great if we even find one thing that can make a difference to other lives here. And, you have crossed that first and biggest hurdle. So, that’s indeed wonderful πŸ™‚

        1. Yes to make a difference in others’ lives is probably a great motivator. I don’t claim that it’s going to be easy or even widely accepted but here’s hoping it helps a few, at least. Thanks Uma πŸ™‚

  17. Yes, I believe that everyone has a purpose in life. Go write, your memoir will surely reach out to people who need it and help them heal. We all are waiting to read it.
    For me, I’m still waiting my answer to find me.

  18. As they say it in those Nike ads, ‘Just do it!’
    Your purpose is to help others. And ironically, I think that might be mine in some ways too. Like I always say, I can’t quote myself to say things like ‘if I don’t write I’ll die’ or anything of that sort.
    But if anyone asks me for help or I see someone struggling and if there is something I can do, I want to do that. Of course that has also led to other issues because people sometimes take advantage of that – but for now, I’ll take my purpose as trying to bring a smile on the faces of the people I interact with. And a pleasant memory when they think of me.

    1. I think we are both similar in that sense. We offer help, almost instinctively. Of course, the help isn’t always welcomed but that’s fine. It’s our way of doing what we can. A pleasant memory is always a good thing to strive for so I think you’ve chosen well , in that sense πŸ™‚

  19. It is interesting how you suddenly find answers when you least expect it. Like you said, in the stillness of your heart. It happened to me, a few times. I wasn’t looking for my life’s purpose, but I believe that the universe has a way of answering your questions. Only, you should be looking for it.

    I am glad you found your purpose. I know what suicidal depression feels like. I have seen my closest family go through it. And you would be helping them a great deal with your memoir.

    1. This is my purpose for now. Who knows what the purpose will be once the book is out? Perhaps something else πŸ™‚ Either way I am ready to be receptive to the Universe and all its wisdom.

      Sorry to hear you’ve had close family who suffered.

  20. I believe as our scriptures say that each person born on this Earth is born with a purpose. Earlier I was keen to unravel the reason or mystery b ut with advancing age the question seems to have withdrawn into a shell. I live each day and thank God every morn to see the sun rise.

    1. Yes we are all born with a purpose and to my mind, as much as we must live each moment as it comes, we must also be aware of the larger significance we play in the cosmic sense. Glad you live each day as it comes.

    1. I know you do and it speaks through all your posts as well. Waiting to read what you have to say, when you say it. Thank you for the support πŸ™‚

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