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Topic 8a: "Awakening of Purpose" - Putting Meaning into Life #283847
03/06/13 04:27 AM
03/06/13 04:27 AM
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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I am writing this because of the postings of some friends in MA, directly on this topic. While I have often encountered this subject and its benefits /complications in relationships, I have written little about it. This, below, is my one article on it that holds the place for future articles. Until I write my thoughts on this, here are some references.

Quote:
One of the clearest sources for this material is the writings and speeches of Malidoma Patrice Som. By being raised in an indigenous culture and by being educated in the west, he stands as a bridge connecting the wisdom of ancient cultures and the modern.

Malidoma is an initiated Elder into the Dagara Tribe of West Central Africa. He is also the holder of a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Sorbonne, and a second Ph.D. in English Literature from Brandeis. Author of many books, including Of Water and the Spirit and The Healing Wisdom of Africa he now travels the world providing workshops to share the traditional wisdom and spirit of Africa.

As I have learned, in the Dagara Tribe all children are believed to be born with the seed of unique genius within them. Each child is seen as potentially brilliant at something. I've learned to call this Purpose. If a person is acting out their unique purpose, they will feel energized and sense "meaning" in all they do. If you are not acting out what they are designed to do, they will often feel discouraged, depressed, and have a sense of "wasting their lives."

It takes a community to help fertilize each person's genius, and that genius takes form in relationship to that community. This back and forth connection can be found in phrases like "it is better to give than receive" and "Don't ask what your country can do for you, better ask what you can do for your country."

My belief is that when a couple begins to achieve success at forming a healthy community for themselves, this spark of genius will start to surface in both of them. It will awaken and needs to be nourished by both partners.


There are several life events that bring this drive toward Purpose in Life to the surface: a close-brush-with-death is good, retirement or closing-of-a-job in men, children-leaving-home in women are a few examples. In many writings this is called a midlife- or an identity-crisis.

And here we are.

Let's start with an orientation on what I've learned is Purpose. Remember, this is how I see it.

1) The best idea I've found is that a person's Purpose is created prior to birth by God, is born with them, and follows them throughout life till they die. It is not something to go out or look out and find. It is something to look inside for.

2) While it is unique for each person, many people have similar purposes.

3) Since it is always there, it has been around all your life, though you may not have, probably haven't, noticed it. Still it has effected you all the time. The image I use is that rope in a subway or bus or trolley that runs from the front to the rear. Anyone can pull it to stop the vehicle. I think of purpose as a golden thread that is born with you, travels with you in every room you go through and bends down into your open grave.

4) It is always within reach, but sometimes you have to reach far and sometimes it rubs up against you. You can't lose it. You can not know it is there and you can forget it. I recall Malidoma saying that childhood is often called "the forgetting," a time when kids forget their God-given purpose. Initiation, he went on, was a time/event to help kids remember their Purpose.

5) When you touch it or it touches you, you will feel alive, excited, and everything you do will seem to have meaning and delight. When you see your purpose in others, you will be attracted. My guess is "music" has something to do with your purpose, Marta.

6) When you are far away from your purpose you may feel discouraged, depressed, bored, etc.

7) Everyone has "purpose." Ideally it needs to nurtured by the society. In a couple that means both partners pay attention to nurturing each other's purpose. Tis part of love. And both partners thrive inside the relationship because that is one place (in a cold world) where their purpose is nurtured.

8) I say "cold", because I believe our culture is more a "control-freak" system where other people want to control/dominate you and extinguish your awareness of your purpose. And this attitude seems all around us and thus "NORMAL."

9) I think for many people "Purpose" seems a radical and dangerous concept, rather than the life-giving gift of God. When I lie down to die I would rather say, "I did my thing, the thing God gave me to do", than have to say, I did "their thing, the thing they manipulated me into."

No wonder I haven't written too much on this topic. Tis kind of hot.


Re: Topic 8a: "Awakening of Purpose" - Putting Meaning into Life [Re: AlTurtle] #283895
03/06/13 02:48 PM
03/06/13 02:48 PM
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Al,

I think it is vitally important for couples to discover and understand their spouse's purpose and make sure that it's not squashed or discouraged. I don't think it's unusual for a spouse to feel insecure about the other's purpose. It is in fact easy to feel jealous, excluded, or have a desire to control purpose because it seems more important than the relationship. And sometimes it is. That can be a scary thing.

A musician may find his wife discouraging because she's unhappy with the lifestyle that goes along with his purpose. A husband may resent the amount of time his wife spends at work pursuing her purpose. It's sometimes hard to nurture purpose in the cold world when it can often be at odds with the needs of the marriage and the family.

But a marriage where purpose is unsupported is very vulnerable....because someone out there will be willing to make your spouse feel good about what they love, who they are, and what makes them sing.....especially people who share the same purpose as they do. This is why the workplace is such a minefield for marriages. Everyone wants to love someone who makes them feel good about themselves....affair partners are very adept at this.

I think couples are very lucky when they share the same purpose, but most don't. Traveling that path together must be very bonding, and yet....we're often attracted to people who are different because they are different.

How do we nurture purpose, when our spouse's purpose overpowers our own? How do we support something that creates distance between us? Or puts our marriage at risk?

It's easy to understand....sometimes hard to do.



"Yes, I'll have the love combo, open faced with a side of respect and large a glass of forgiveness, easy on the ice please--my brother
Re: Topic 8a: "Awakening of Purpose" - Putting Meaning into Life [Re: star*fish] #283919
03/06/13 05:24 PM
03/06/13 05:24 PM
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The Farm
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(The following are just some random thoughts of mine. I almost didn't post them because I am not sure it adds to the conversation.)

Very interesting. I hadn't thought about it in these terms before, but this probably is very applicable to people in the military, in office (government), medicine, etc. These positions make it very difficult to follow the "suggestions" for a good marriage like to avoid traveling without your spouse. It always bothered me that the MB "program" seemed to write off couples who weren't willing to give up such careers so they would never need to spend a night alone. I think it's unrealistic and unfair to say everyone in the military or in medicine should be single or resign themselves to getting divorced.

But this description of sharing purposes or supporting the other's purpose brings that into balance.

I'm very lucky that my H and I share the same "purpose" in that we are in the same field. Because of that, we've maintained a relationship that others would have said was doomed - living in separate countries, business trips with members of the opposite sex, medical difficulties, etc. My H is at meetings in California all week this week in fact. I consider his presence there as benefiting me as well. He can keep me up to date on what happens, he can talk to people for me, and I didn't have to make arrangements for a trip when I had several important deadlines looming.

To me, a mindset of "being on the same team" is crucial. If your spouse is confident that you are "on their team" or "on their side" then they will trust you. It can be difficult to feel like you are on the same team when there are lots of arguments. But if you can separate the "inner-looking" arguments (differences of opinion related to household, children, extended family obligations, finances, meeting each other's needs, etc.) from the "outer-looking" issues such as purpose, then the inner-looking arguments don't disrupt the outer-looking united front.

Other examples of "outer-looking" issues might be weathering difficulties such as medical crises, war, natural disaster, etc. Those are often very unifying. But wouldn't it be nice if it didn't take a disaster to bring people together?

I'm not sure why people of vastly different purposes or goals would want to join together in marriage. I think that would be one of the deal-breakers on marriage, along with agreement on whether to have children. But people change, and I could see someone finding themself married to a spouse who now has different goals than they originally presented. It doesn't really matter who changed or what changed. What to do now?

I don't know. If your goals do not align with your spouse's goals, then a power struggle is probably going on. It isn't good for either spouse to "win" at the expense of the other. I guess, if you don't support your spouse's goals and you don't feel they support yours, then I don't see why you would want to stay married. If you say "I want to stay married to provide a two-parent home for our kids" then that is a common goal.

(I think I prefer the term "goal" rather than "purpose." Purpose seems less defined, more uncertain. A goal can be specific. Probably folks used to writing business plans and mission statements can describe the difference between a goal and a purpose, but I think it's something like this: a medical clinic's purpose might be to bring health care to a certain community. The clinic's goal might be to serve a certain number of patients a year, or to decrease the incidence of diabetes or STDs or leprosy or something by a certain percentage in a certain population. So a personal purpose might be something as ambiguous as to be the best person/spouse/parent/Christian/friend you can be, but I think people actually yearn for goals, something more definable. JMHO. Also, two people might think they share the same purpose, serving their community or raising their children as best they can, but if their *goals* aren't aligned, if they disagree on how to fulfill the purpose, then they are at odds with one another.)

ETA: But I think my discussion of goals is at odds with Al's original post about purpose. I don't mean to negate his quote about each child having a purpose and the importance of being aligned with your purpose. I'm just not sure how to know if you are fulfilling your purpose, unless you attach some goals to it.

Last edited by Jayne241; 03/06/13 05:30 PM.

42.
Re: Topic 8a: "Awakening of Purpose" - Putting Meaning into Life [Re: star*fish] #283933
03/06/13 06:13 PM
03/06/13 06:13 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: star*fish
I think it is vitally important for couples to discover and understand their spouse's purpose and make sure that it's not squashed or discouraged.
A great point, Star*fish. The most common case I see is one person who has a firm (maybe foolish) idea of their purpose, who is married to a supportive (maybe foolish) partner who does not have hardly any idea of their own purpose.

Two people with solid awareness of their own purposes seem to get along easier.

If I have the idea I am a hunter and when I ask my wife what she wants to be she says, honestly, "I don't know.", well then it is easy for us to collect ourselves (foolishly) around hunting.

Originally Posted By: star*fish
But a marriage where purpose is unsupported is very vulnerable....
Kind of like having a clock ticking on a bomb and no one hears the ticking. Yup.

Originally Posted By: star*fish
I think couples are very lucky when they share the same purpose, but most don't. Traveling that path together must be very bonding,
Must be. But I've never met this sitch. Never heard of it either.

Originally Posted By: star*fish
and yet....we're often attracted to people who are different because they are different.
Change that word "often" to the word "always" and you can see why a couple must learn the skills of Diversity and Autonomy. Yup

Originally Posted By: star*fish
How do we nurture purpose, when our spouse's purpose overpowers our own? How do we support something that creates distance between us? Or puts our marriage at risk?
Good questions. But go one further. Why would you set as your goal living your life in a close relationship with someone who "overpowers" you? You wouldn't. There is no Autonomy, Diversity, and Reliable Membership and Safety.

Better to set the goal as two people, children of God, who are equally valuable before Him and who live in harmony - not sychronicity/conformity. One sure can get lost in "power over" and "over powered."


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 8a: "Awakening of Purpose" - Putting Meaning into Life [Re: Jayne241] #283940
03/06/13 06:54 PM
03/06/13 06:54 PM
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
Retired Therapist
AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Jayne241
(The following are just some random thoughts of mine. I almost didn't post them because I am not sure it adds to the conversation.)

I personally think your addition is very very valuable. Separating goals and purpose, yep. Purpose is much more "uncertain", I love that word. The idea of "Being on the same team" tis to me a simple way of describing one of the traits of Vintage Love. Couples can be on that "team" while physically very far apart, easily. Sharing common things, fields, can make relationships, and even supporting each other's Purposes, easier.

Role of arguments: I find they have no utilitarian use if they are replaced by dialogue. I see an argument usually as a symptom of the need to develop Diversity and Autonomy skills. (I do enjoy your point about inner-looking and outer-looking.)

Originally Posted By: Jayne241
I'm not sure why people of vastly different purposes or goals would want to join together in marriage.....
Seems to be the way God has set this thing up. Here's how I see it.
Quote:
I recall Theilard de Chardin saying that this was a normal result of living on a spherical planet. Expand the population enough and there are no frontiers you can use to avoid your neighbor - who disagrees with you.
As an earth culture I think it easy to see we are moving toward acceptance of greater and greater diversity. Slowly (creak, creak), but surely, intolerance is losing. And we get to practice the skills of this at home with a personally dedicated (free) partner who disagrees with us all the time on everything. Kinda a big picture!

Originally Posted By: Jayne241
But people change, and I could see someone finding themselves married to a spouse who now has different goals than they originally presented. It doesn't really matter who changed or what changed. What to do now?
If your communication system is good enough, you will be fully aware of these changes and participate in them. AND isn't your goal that you are allowed to change as is your partner? Human tendency to grow and learn. I don't think you can, or want to, stop it. But it does kinda define how good your communication system has to be.

Oh, and remember from my first note in this thread, I was worried about this "waking up and finding your partner was heading for Africa" problem. Good thinking.

Originally Posted By: Jayne241
If your goals do not align with your spouse's goals, then a power struggle is probably going on. It isn't good for either spouse to "win" at the expense of the other. I guess, if you don't support your spouse's goals and you don't feel they support yours, then I don't see why you would want to stay married. If you say "I want to stay married to provide a two-parent home for our kids" then that is a common goal.
I think the couple you speak of is facing the definition of their desired goal (Vintage Love), and the awareness they are not there yet. So they can build strategies to get there. They could model for their kids how to give up. (Map of Relationship) but that just puts those (foolish) tactics into their kids heads.

Originally Posted By: Jayne241
ETA: But I think my discussion of goals is at odds with Al's original post about purpose. I don't mean to negate his quote about each child having a purpose and the importance of being aligned with your purpose. I'm just not sure how to know if you are fulfilling your purpose, unless you attach some goals to it.
I hear you. Which brings us back to the discussion of "finding your Purpose". For another essay to come. (My beliefs are in my head.)


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 8a: "Awakening of Purpose" - Putting Meaning into Life [Re: AlTurtle] #283971
03/06/13 08:02 PM
03/06/13 08:02 PM
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
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FINDING YOUR PURPOSE

Finding your purpose seems to happen a little after coming to believe it exists, and even then it grows with time. If you live in a relationship, a family, a faith, or a community that doesn't belief in individual purpose, then you won't even start looking for it until you "awaken."

My experience is that most people's lives are suddenly changed profoundly by just the awareness of their purpose being "something." I didn't know anything about Purpose until I read Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, and later in the 1990s when I and some friends started studying this topic. Others, Ive seen, discover the existence of purpose after a long time of feeling depressed, purposeless, discouraged with life, etc. Sharing about purpose seems to really help people understand themselves better.

A Story about a Purpose Helping Community

This is how it was told to me. In this African tribe, the community was used to helping youth discover their purpose. The idea was that a person who was following their purpose would be productive 20 times more for the community than a person doing what they-were-told-to-do.

Quote:
Note: one of the traits of Purpose is that it only has meaning in the context of a community. Your purpose has something to do with giving, doing for others, and not much with taking (unless you are helping others to give).


When a kid is about 3, elders would come and live near the kid. They would watch and not interfere. After some days they would get together and talk about their discoveries. This kid is interesting. Notice that his mom is a potter, but the kid is clumsy and handles pottery negligently. I notice that he neglects other people when they come by. He seems really uninterested in people, which is odd because his dad is such a great lover. But do you see his eyes when a bird flies over! Did your see the quickness with which he grabs the lizard after lying still watching it for a long time! I think this kid is a hunter. Lets assign him to old (name) who was a great hunter. Let him learn as an apprentice. Lets see.

Clues to your purpose

Whenever you touch it, come close to it, you feel excited, more energy, a sense of joy, a sense of meaning and a feeling of being involved. When you move away the opposite feelings appear in your body: low energy, bored, life is pointless, discouragement, disconnected. These feelings can be strong or weak, but theyll be there.

Since your purpose has been around since you were born, you can review your history and look around for those feelings and the circumstances where they occurred. Ive shared this with many as an assignment.

List all your favorite books. Note your favorite characters or passages.
List all your favorite movies. Note your favorite actors/characters or passages.
Look through your schooling. What teachers/subjects were your favorites.
Look through all the music or songs you like. What are your favorite themes/singers.

Your Purpose will be among these favorite things. Not a one to one match, but among. Start looking for trends. Get a friend who believes in Purpose to go over your lists with you. Ponder. Others may have similar Purposes, but no one can control what makes your heart leap.

Start talking with others about what may be your Purpose. When you are on target or close to target, others will share how theyve seen that in you, too. Your partner should be able to see it in you.

When you are on target or close to target, you will see this Purpose acted out all over and through your life. You'll be able to say, "You know why this is so much fun for me? It's part of my purpose in life."

Eventually, you will in the future note when you are feeling close to Purpose and will be attracted to places and actions where you can have that feeling.

Tis my experience that I share.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 8a: "Awakening of Purpose" - Putting Meaning into Life [Re: AlTurtle] #284199
03/07/13 04:24 PM
03/07/13 04:24 PM
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PEEKSKILL NY
Rich57 Offline
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I have very little to add to this at the moment, however I find this topic VERY interesting and quite useful.

Does age have anything to do with finding your purpose?
Does our purpose change as we age?
I would tend to think yes.

I do think I will add this to our twitter/FB page with a link to here.

Please continue to post and discuss.

Re: Topic 8a: "Awakening of Purpose" - Putting Meaning into Life [Re: Rich57] #284224
03/07/13 06:04 PM
03/07/13 06:04 PM
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TimeHeals Offline
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Originally Posted By: Rich57


Does age have anything to do with finding your purpose?
Does our purpose change as we age?
I would tend to think yes.


My sense of Purpose has evolved continuously... with a few jumps here and there smile


Your Time Perspective Can Heal
Mend the broken, make strong the weak and vanquish the evil.
Re: Topic 8a: "Awakening of Purpose" - Putting Meaning into Life [Re: TimeHeals] #284232
03/07/13 06:49 PM
03/07/13 06:49 PM
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AlTurtle Offline OP
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AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Good questions, Rich, and thanks for sharing TH. (I am completely unsure of what name abbreviations to use. Oh well.)

About age and change

My guess is that a person's Purpose doesn't change through life, but their awareness of it and their way of verbalizing it will evolve. Perhaps a better word is "refine."

Personally, when I first made a stab at my purpose (1992 I was 50) it was pretty generalized concept. Over the next 15 years, I thought of it more and more, experienced it more and more. I changed my description to be more simple and, I feel, more accurate. I haven't made much of a change in my understanding of my Purpose in probably 6 years. I think it still lives with me all the time. In fact recently I realized some things about me as a child that were expressions of my Purpose, but that I had never seen that way before.

In the Dagara tribe I gather they see the first part of life as a forgetting period, followed by the quick awakening to Purpose in Initiation, followed by living out that Purpose, followed by becoming an elder, and death.

In my experience the first part of my life up through age 50 was a forgetting. For 30 or so years I worked, brought in money for my family, raised my kids, often living out the "life" of others or of my company. Looking back I banged up against my Purpose all over the place and then would wander away. Then I stumbled through an awakening (1992), blending into a period of living out my Purpose. Now I think I am mostly into elderhood.

My experience is that my Purpose never changed. It belonged to me.

In the Dagara tribe they think of people in their middle years as too busy living out their Purpose to talk about it much. Elders reflect and share. Elders conduct Initiation for the youth.

In our culture, I think most people do what comes up next. Simple. As one gets older, events sometimes conspire to make a person thoughtful and reflective. That's when discussions of Purpose seem to happen.

I put Purpose into my Map of Relationships, the concepts of the "Biological Dream", and "Vintage Love", as it seemed to be a needed building block to understanding people. Without it something was missing.

Re: Topic 8a: "Awakening of Purpose" - Putting Meaning into Life [Re: AlTurtle] #284277
03/07/13 10:33 PM
03/07/13 10:33 PM
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for to fade Offline
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I have felt my purpose in life was taken away when the affair happened. I have felt very lost. I did have a life it was just very busy doing things for everyone but me, I forgot I mattered.

My purpose, things I wanted to do, they are still there, on hold all this time while I was married.

I will read all this slowly, maybe it will wake me up somehow.

The Dagara tribe, amazing.


Last edited by Tinkerbell; 03/07/13 10:41 PM.
Re: Topic 8a: "Awakening of Purpose" - Putting Meaning into Life [Re: for to fade] #284303
03/07/13 11:47 PM
03/07/13 11:47 PM
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AlTurtle Offline OP
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Hello Tinkerbell, Glad you joined this thread. The affair sounds like an awful happening for you.

Since in my opinion one cannot "lose" a purpose (you can misplace it), I would seek another description of what awesome and awful stuff happened to you.

Certainly, I hear, you felt, thought, your life's purpose was taken away. I got that. Also something about "being busy" and "doing things for others" was involved.

I'd try this on for size. My experience is that a vast number of kids in childhood are trained ("brainwashed" might be a bit strong) into self-neglect and into focusing on the needs of others. This pattern in adulthood is often called Codependency. I think it is based on an adopted habit of "taking care of others" while neglecting oneself or accepting neglect from others as a way of life. When "others" go away, one can feel completely lost and bereft.

I think that part of the process for people recovering from Codependency (I certainly had to do this) is to become familiar with your own life's Purpose that cannot be taken away.

Well, anyway it's a thought.

Re: Topic 8a: "Awakening of Purpose" - Putting Meaning into Life [Re: AlTurtle] #284317
03/08/13 01:40 AM
03/08/13 01:40 AM
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Mary Emma Offline
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Interesting, I was reading a magazine today and the article was explaining how difficulties in life change your perspectives on what really matters in life.


Me 41
H 40
S 9
S 6

I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night. -Bishop G. Brewer
Re: Topic 8a: "Awakening of Purpose" - Putting Meaning into Life [Re: Mary Emma] #284318
03/08/13 01:47 AM
03/08/13 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted By: LadyGrey

I absolutely lost it about a month ago over this subject after we had looked at houses in the target city -- one of those sobbing, please, please don't do this to me nights. I was being "irrational," my personal favorite dismissive phrase.


Originally Posted By: Al
I'm gonna try to unwind these sentences. Tell me if I get it.

Somehow you two got into a discussion that started off about houses in a target city. The discussion evolved into him crying and begging you not to "do this" (moving/complaining/disagreeing thing?).


No, I was the one crying begging him not to do this to me, this being to move me to a new city and buy another big house.

I was moved a lot as a kid, generally under circumstances guaranteed to maximize the trauma, so Im sure some of my reaction is based upon once again not being in control of my life. But the real issue for me is buying another big house.

My husband cares deeply what the front yard looks like and I care deeply what the back yard looks like, and that is an excellent metaphor for our relationship.

Originally Posted By: Al
He then called you, labeled you, irrational cuz he was so scared/angry.


I dont know why he labeled me irrational. Maybe I was being irrational. I stopped trusting my judgment on that point three decades ago.

Originally Posted By: Al
And you felt that your thoughts/concerns/wishes were being dismissed.


Well, yea Im pretty sure they were.

Originally Posted By: Al
My general thought is that your communication system sucks still: MasterTalk and bullying and submission (lying) is involved still.


The thing is Al, that is not going to change. It just isnt.

I gave up on my Purpose when I ended the affair and recommitted to the marriage. I did it consciously, knowing full well the sacrifice I chose to make. Everyone and I mean everyone-- wanted to make the issue about the affair the sadness and grief I was feeling were about missing the Guy, the problem with the marriage was that I was not meeting my husbands emotional needs, I was projecting/contrasting/foggy, blah blah blah, etc. ad nauseum. I look back on it an it still makes me sick.

That just wasnt true. I was grieving still do sometimes giving up on my Purpose. I did it for all the right reasons but it still stings. Im back to being a Stepford Wife, with no one to blame but myself. It is my choice.

So for me, this isnt about Purpose. It is about having a modicum of influence on our lives going forward or accepting that I wont with some degree of grace.

It isnt easy Ive been doing it for a very long time, and it never gets any easier.

At this point the only real reservation I have is my fear that my physical self will continue to deteriorate as that process seems to be accelerating at an unnatural speed.

So what. Live fast, die young and leave a good looking corpse.

Originally Posted By: Al
If I am anywhere near accurate, one of your life goals is to be with a partner who understands and values you always. Still working on that.


I like the theory, but I am realistic.

Look, he is a good man who is doing the best he can. He isnt a jerk who sets out to dismiss me or hurt me any difference of viewpoint from me on matters relating to appearances or our future are profoundly threatening to him and he must squelch them.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Topic 8a: "Awakening of Purpose" - Putting Meaning into Life [Re: LadyGrey] #284359
03/08/13 01:06 PM
03/08/13 01:06 PM
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TimeHeals Offline
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Originally Posted By: LadyGrey

That just wasnt true. I was grieving still do sometimes giving up on my Purpose


What is your Purpose?


Your Time Perspective Can Heal
Mend the broken, make strong the weak and vanquish the evil.
Re: Topic 8a: "Awakening of Purpose" - Putting Meaning into Life [Re: TimeHeals] #284379
03/08/13 03:47 PM
03/08/13 03:47 PM
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LadyGrey Offline
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Originally Posted By: TimeHeals
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey

That just wasnt true. I was grieving still do sometimes giving up on my Purpose


What is your Purpose?


The only thing that matters at this point is that it is inconsistent with being married to my husband and I have made that choice.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Topic 8a: "Awakening of Purpose" - Putting Meaning into Life [Re: LadyGrey] #284380
03/08/13 03:51 PM
03/08/13 03:51 PM
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TimeHeals Offline
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Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Originally Posted By: TimeHeals
Originally Posted By: LadyGrey

That just wasnt true. I was grieving still do sometimes giving up on my Purpose


What is your Purpose?


The only thing that matters at this point is that it is inconsistent with being married to my husband and I have made that choice.


I don't understand. Sounds too Sisyphean.


Your Time Perspective Can Heal
Mend the broken, make strong the weak and vanquish the evil.
Re: Topic 8a: "Awakening of Purpose" - Putting Meaning into Life [Re: LadyGrey] #284381
03/08/13 03:52 PM
03/08/13 03:52 PM
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Miranda Offline
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I'm just not sure that I believe people have one "purpose" to last their entire lifetimes. I have been so many things in my life and they've all brought their own type of fulfillment. From mothering my stepchildren to being a student in the sciences and even when I worked as a makeup artist.

Maybe my purpose is just to help out where and when I can. I'm cool with that.


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: Topic 8a: "Awakening of Purpose" - Putting Meaning into Life [Re: Miranda] #284383
03/08/13 03:59 PM
03/08/13 03:59 PM
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TimeHeals Offline
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Originally Posted By: Miranda


Maybe my purpose is just to help out where and when I can. I'm cool with that.


Sounds good to me.

grin

Having a positive view of the past, a positive view of the present and toward the future, and concrete, achievable goals is nice, right?


Your Time Perspective Can Heal
Mend the broken, make strong the weak and vanquish the evil.
Re: Topic 8a: "Awakening of Purpose" - Putting Meaning into Life [Re: TimeHeals] #284386
03/08/13 04:02 PM
03/08/13 04:02 PM
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ohmy_marie Offline
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i'm thinking my purpose is sleep. i've always said that if it were an olympic sport, i'd win gold.

Last edited by ohmy_marie; 03/08/13 04:06 PM. Reason: grammar

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone. -- e. e. cummings
Re: Topic 8a: "Awakening of Purpose" - Putting Meaning into Life [Re: ohmy_marie] #284421
03/08/13 05:57 PM
03/08/13 05:57 PM
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Gladstone Offline
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This is a very interesting topic.

I have seen in my own relationship that things improved tremendously when I gave up the idea that I had to control the marriage or the family. Which was how I was raised, with the idea that I was to be the Head of the Household and responsible for everything. And that was contrary to my own Purpose, because while I felt I had to do that... I was never good at it and never expended any effort at doing it.

When I had my epiphany about how unhappy my wife was, I started to realize that she had her own separate goals, her own Purpose (although I didn't think of it using that term.)

This came out a few months ago in a conversation with my mother, who occasionally pushes for me to push my wife into converting to Christianity. (My wife is Jewish). I told my mom that, as her husband, I was the LAST person on earth who should be pushing her to convert. And what I meant by that was that it would be blatantly unfair of me to use my inside knowledge of her, and my closeness to her as her husband, to pressure her to do something she does not want to do. The explanation I came up with here on MA when I discussed the convo was that, as her husband, I am called to help her develop into the person she was meant to be, not to push her to develop into the person I think she should be.


**Formerly known as Cuthbert Calculus**

"There is enough sadness in life without having fellows like Gussie Fink-Nottle going about in sea boots."

Glad Tidings

Gladstone's Sucess Story
Re: Topic 8a: "Awakening of Purpose" - Putting Meaning into Life [Re: ohmy_marie] #284423
03/08/13 06:05 PM
03/08/13 06:05 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
Retired Therapist
AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Northwest Washington State, US...
Good comments, everyone. I'm glad you've all brought up how important choice is in these experiences. From my work on autonomy I recall that everyone makes their own decisions based on what seems right to them at the time. I think one's Purpose, which I do think is born with you, is just one of those factors/drives to make choices about. And we all bear the consequences of our choices.

I was thinking of sleep this morning as I chose to get up. Sometimes I think I am really with you, Ohmy_Marie.

LG, I see nothing wrong with repeatedly choosing husband/family over your current understanding of your Purpose. I encourage you.

I love humor when dealing with "life/death" subjects. My understanding of Initiation processes in many cultures is that they almost always deal with the potential of death. Typically some initiates do die during. The community, I gather, thinks this risk and loss is worth it, if in return they get initiated adults. A friend from Guatemala, a Mayan, told me that "there are only two sure things in life: death and jokes."


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 8a: "Awakening of Purpose" - Putting Meaning into Life [Re: Gladstone] #284430
03/08/13 06:37 PM
03/08/13 06:37 PM
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midwest
Miranda Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gladstone
as her husband, I am called to help her develop into the person she was meant to be, not to push her to develop into the person I think she should be.


PURE BRILLIANCE!!


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: Topic 8a: "Awakening of Purpose" - Putting Meaning into Life [Re: Gladstone] #284450
03/08/13 07:11 PM
03/08/13 07:11 PM
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline OP
Retired Therapist
AlTurtle  Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Gladstone
I have seen in my own relationship that things improved tremendously when I gave up the idea that I had to control the marriage or the family. Which was how I was raised, with the idea that I was to be the Head of the Household and responsible for everything. And that was contrary to my own Purpose, because while I felt I had to do that... I was never good at it and never expended any effort at doing it.


I love your point and want to draw something out of it. If you are doing something that is congruent with your purpose, you will have lots of energy and fun and excitement. But it's very common to be raised to be "what others think you should be." Here my hand drawn chart on this.


I was raised, pushed, driven to be a Doctor (my dad was), a Lawyer (my grandpa was) or an Indian Chief. But my purpose was elsewhere. People would support me if I moved toward being a Doctor or Lawyer. I felt no eagerness. When I finally found my purpose, I had to "break" through the wall of rules and conformity around me. But then I had energy to do it, and support, by then.

I think of the girls of the 1950s who were offered Housewife, Teacher, Nurse, Secretary and who's purposes were to be explorers or hunters or rocket scientists! Wow. I think of the guys whose goal is to be a nurturer and who is told to become an computer scientist. Argh.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Topic 8a: "Awakening of Purpose" - Putting Meaning into Life [Re: AlTurtle] #284608
03/09/13 06:46 AM
03/09/13 06:46 AM
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oops

Last edited by Tinkerbell; 03/09/13 06:48 AM.
Re: Topic 8a: "Awakening of Purpose" - Putting Meaning into Life [Re: for to fade] #284609
03/09/13 06:49 AM
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((((Tink))))
I read the word "terrible" and I don't read it as a negative.....but as a very grave decision you have taken after years of suffering. We are here for you.


Chrysalis
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