The path to knowing your purpose, living your calling, and feeling truly fulfilled ultimately becomes a journey within. You must come to know yourself if you are ever going to find lasting love, peace, and joy. At first glance it seems easy to do because, after all, you are with yourself all the time. You are the expression of your soul. However, anyone who has started down this path will tell you that the hardest relationship to build is the one that you have with self.
You use your eyes to see the world yet your eyes are incapable of seeing themselves. The same is true with your soul. Soul is your life force calling you into your greatness yet you struggle to relate to the soul. Instead of having a direct relationship with self it is easier to see the soul’s calling reflected in the relationships and circumstances of your life. Below are three ideas to catch a glimpse of your true self.
Observe your relationships
We use people, animals, and events as a reflection of self to better understand how to feel fulfilled. Our emotions constantly provide feedback about whether or not the things we perceive are aligned with our soul or not. The problem is that we are often unaware of the reflection and instead attribute our emotions to the external stimulus.
Example: Every time you see a parent get cross with a child it makes you really angry. You don’t understand why it pushes your buttons and you blame their behavior for your anger. That anger is showing you that what you are observing is not aligned with who you are. Your soul resonates with compassion and understanding. Furthermore, perhaps that anger is a call to be a parent, to teach compassion, or to volunteer at a battered women’s program. Listen to the message as you interact with life.
Embrace your criticisms
While knowing yourself is difficult, you are probably much more aware of your faults than your strengths. We have a tendency to be very critical of ourselves and it is easier to list things about our lives that we are unhappy with. We tend to be much more aware of our behavior when we have an outburst of frustration then when we feel patient. You can use this awareness to open to the possibility that your faults are actually pointing to your brilliance.
Example: You have a tendency to not follow through on things. You start projects and leave them unfinished because you lose interest. You feel very self-critical because you are a loser that never gets anything done. With a change in perspective, you just may find that you are a genius at generating new ideas. Perhaps an environment where idea generation is valued and other people can follow through on those ideas would allow you to excel. Or you may realize that it is a good thing to be able to let go of what no longer serves you in search of a better idea.
Look back on your legacy
When we seek purpose and meaning in life we want to feel fulfilled right now. We want to know what we are supposed to do in life to be happy. This sends us on a quest for how to live our future. We want the answers of what we can do to ensure that tomorrow will be better than today. On this journey forward into greater desires we rarely remember to look backward for clues about how to do that. We assume that since we weren’t completely fulfilled then that there is no value in our experience to help us feel fulfilled in the future, but the past can be a gold mine.
Example: You hated your last job and feel as though you failed miserably. You decided to leave in search of your life purpose so that you can do work you absolutely love and make plenty of money doing it. So far your search for what’s next has nothing to do with that job you hated. If you took a moment to reflect, you may find that in the list of things you didn’t like you may be able to better define what you want. Furthermore, you may see that you left gifts along the path. Perhaps you empowered multiple co-workers to make big changes in their lives by listening to them over lunch. Those gifts are your brilliance shining through. Pay attention.