10 February 2014

Word for the Week

It's Monday - a new day, a new week, and a new Word for the Week drawn from Mary Lunnen's Rediscovery Cards. A single word to be held in my heart throughout the week to rediscover my own inner wisdom...

And this week it's 

Oh dear, this is a really tricky one for me... 

This is something I feel I've been searching for my whole life, and here I am, aged almost 50, and I'm no closer to finding it - let alone rediscovering it!!

Ho hum...

There's always the dictionary definition: 

the reason for which something is done or created or 
for which something exists

but as a typical Type 4 Enneagram person, I have always struggled with a sense of identity, and thereby a sense of purpose.

I've always been envious of those who know from childhood they want to be a pilot, a doctor, a singer. They have a definition, a direction, an ambition.

Yes, I've had 'mini-ambitions:

  • at 14, after reading Jude the Obscure,  I knew I wanted to go to Oxford
  • after college, I knew I wanted to travel, so I spent a year in Kenya teaching at a Bible College
  • in my mid-20s, having met Nick, I knew I wanted to get married and have children
  • in my 30s, finally having the children I longed for, my focus was on being the best wife and mother I could be
  • in my 40s, I finally tapped into my artistic self and began to draw/paint/write, then the stroke hit

But none of these was a Purpose, with a capital P.

Ho hum...

And what of the colour? 
It's the strong, regal colour worn by emperors and bishops... not a colour you find much in Nature, though it's very striking when you do!

It's not a colour I warm to much, or use much, though I did find these two early creations made several years ago

So, I'm gong to have to sit with this card awhile, and really ask and seek what it means right here, right now...

Already there's a glimmer in my morning reading:

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or 
the mirror that reflects it.
Edith Wharton

Now, I've never been one to set the world alight, but I do like the idea of reflecting the light of brighter souls... I'm naturally a moon person, rather than a sun follower, and maybe, just maybe, that's an equally valid life-purpose.

I'd love to know your thoughts on this week's word :-)


  1. What a great word! Reading this, I realize that I feel as if I've lost a lot of my purpose. Life throws us curves that we certainly don't expect. I was reading someone's post today as to suggestions how to keep a task on the person's radar to be sure it is done by Christmas. I was thinking I need to take my mental to-do list and make it a written to-do list to make myself accountable. I can see progress, or lack thereof. That's gives me the opportunity to see if goals are realistic and if they need to be revamped or scrapped. Maybe a list will help give me purpose. I'm also learning in a grief recovery group, that when I'm physically able, volunteering can give great purpose to life. I can knit for preemies while sitting in my chair. Thankfully I can still do that. You are an inspiration to others. Blue has always been my favorite color and and I find the purple very refreshing. I try to do some quilting and am trying to incorporate some more variety of color in them. Thanks for making me realize that I need to find more purpose in my life each and every day.

  2. You know what, Claire, maybe you don't NEED a concrete, set-in-stone purpose. I feel the same - I've had things I've wanted to achieve, but no huge over-arching purpose. I think it's only now that I'm actually starting to feel okay about that. Maybe the sum of all these you and and that you've done all meshes beautifully together to form this THING that doesn't need a label attached to it defining a particular purpose?

    That enneagram thing is very interesting. I'm a type five: "The Investigator". Not too sure I'm very keen on the description ("The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated") but hey-ho!

    Anyway, my advice, for what it's worth, is not to get hung up on finding one purpose. Oh, and I also believe that people's purposes can change many, many times in a lifetime. :-)

    1. Oooh, I so wanted to be a Type 5 - that's my wing, so at least I share some traits, but I wanted to be an Investigator - anyone can be an Individualist!

  3. I too have struggled with finding "my purpose". As you, at different ages I wanted different things. Really, when asked, I am not sure what I want to be when I grow up. Nearing the age of 60, you would think I would have figured it out. I like the thought of being a reflection. The moon is no less than the sun, each has it's place and beauty. Maybe we have times when we are a sun and other times a moon. The yearning of our spirit to find it's home, maybe the quest of a lifetime.
    On a lighter note, you speak of others finding their purpose....I envy those that find a hairstyle that suits them! I seem to go from one hairstyle to another and never find my style.

  4. Anonymous2:25 pm

    Awesome post! Very thought provoking. First of all, I'd like to say that i love purples - especially in my garden. Purpose, I'm still searching. You've given me something to think harder about. Thank you.

  5. Good word! My PURPOSE for this week is to get as many things organized. I've been just bumming doing this and that and not actually achieving anything. The only thing good that I did was got back into an exercise regime with a PURPOSE that the weight loss will show in 6 weeks time! Well….there's a long way to go!

  6. i like your new blog space claire. purpose...i think i've struggled with that as well. and while some people really know their purpose, i think there are more of us that have struggles with it. also, i agree with Croila above...i believe our purpose can change over time, many times, maybe depending on our life experiences.

  7. Thank you for all your lovely, helpful comments - I knew I'd find sympathetic, wise souls somewhere :) There's so much we can teach each other... it's just wonderful when the www works and we can connect, and not feel we're struggling on our own...
    I will ponder each piece of wisdom, and try not to get too hung up and not knowing my Purpose - so THANK YOU, you lovely folk :) x

  8. What do you mean, you have no sense of purpose? You achieved all of the goals you set yourself, and then moved on to the next one. A Purpose doesn't have to be Big to be qualified as one!

  9. Claire, love your art, especially the card. I'm not sure of the meaning of the color, but it's one I picked for my website redesign last time around. Very drawn to it. I have to agree with Donna. I don't think we have one set purpose, but a series of purposes we weave together into something meaningful. Great post!

  10. Hello, Claire - a very thoughtful post. I hope to come back often and read some more. Blessings!

  11. I never knew I was a four until this post. it explains a lot. I suppose we are never completely one thing as I was disappointed not to see kindness or empathy as characteristics although humane was in there. Now I understand why I struggle with a sense of purpose. I had strong purpose in raising my children and call my kiddos my greatest achievement. I think I've found another in creating my wildlife friendly garden, time will tell.

  12. Hello Claire, and all who have written here - thank you. (I started writing this and it disappeared, so apologies if it pops up somewhere!) Purpose is such an interesting concept, I am working more and more with 'small steps'. Also the idea that my purpose is just to be, not necessarily do, and to be the best I can in any moment. Even if sometimes that best is what I see as imperfect and messy and may involve hiding away from the world. Last night after sending my latest blog post out I dreamt about being 'exposed' and vulnerable - something I often feel when sharing my uncertainties. I have been told that this is what helps others the most - and this is proved again here.

    With love and blessings to all of us sharing this journey home to ourselves. x


Thank you for taking the time to comment - I really appreciate it!
It's good to know I'm not alone :)