Monday, March 28, 2005

To have a calling

Meant to be....what is this "meant to be" that you speak of? What is it that we humans are meant to do with this life? What exactly is this thing called a calling?

The answer, of course, is different for all of us. I read interviews with people who are things, who have accomplished various accomplishments, and sometimes they say things like, "I've known I wanted to be a ____ since I was just a wee one." Others seem to just stumble into something and find themselves there. There are indeed people out there who are finding exactly what it is that they are supposed to do and they are doing it.

But then there's this other experience, the one where you're of adult age and it seems to have taken you a really long time to figure out what you want to be when you grow up, but now you're starting to sort of figure it out, and the more you figure it out, the more you come to understand that what you are currently doing is not what you are intended for. You came into this life with certain gifts and proclivities, and there are people out there right now that are losing out because you're not using them as you were intended to do.

The weird thing is, this isn't just me. I've been having conversations lately, numerous conversations with people who seem to be riding this same wave with me. It's like we're all coming to similar understandings of ourselves at the same time and at a similar pace. It makes you stop. And think.

Which brings me back to this whole "meant to be" thing. I've been using phrases lately like "don't belong", "not meant for", "not supposed to be", followed by their positive counterparts, "should be doing", "truly meant for", "intended for." And while these are true in one sense, they're false in another. Just think about that phraselet, "meant to be." If all the people in all of the world always did only the things they were "meant for", where would our collective learning be? If your situation was always such that you were doing just what your gifts called you to do, what true appreciation would you really have for them? We are meant to do and be so much more than just what our preferences and leanings and gifts push us towards. To ponder the question of where we belong and what we want to do with our lives and to have the courage to do whatever it takes to do those things rather than stay in a place that, although it isn't quite the right fit, is still comfortable, well, we're meant to do those things too. This is part of how we learn and ultimately grow.

And now, I am meant to go to sleep.

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