Purposeful Living

13 Dec

http://www.animalclipart.net/animal_clipart_images/hands_letting_go_of_a_butterfly_and_setting_it_free_0515-1108-2000-4535.htmlSo much of what is rattling around in my brain and in my meditation and reading this morning has to do with purpose. I read an article about the screenwriter from the Twilight trilogy who said we are given a talent we’re supposed to share with the world. I read a quote this morning that said there are things you’re put on this Earth to do that only you can do because of your unique set of skills. I got an email suggesting that I take a quiz to find out my archetype aka life purpose/skills. Am I sensing a theme here? You betcha!

As a little girl, I used to pretend my Barbie was a stewardess; it was the word we used in those days, who was single and flew around the world. I never had a Ken doll and never felt the need for one. I was fiercely independent and head strong and smart. I could do anything. So how did I end up married, a mother of three and living in suburbia? I would say it is because of a series of fortunate events. In some ways, life kept knocking me down a peg. I found out that being smarter than the boys meant I didn’t get a lot of dates, and the ones I did get could be challenging, which explains so much about my first marriage. I found out being independent and strong minded, scared people off and more than occasionally offended them. I found out that being different could be liberating, but it could also be isolating, and if you wanted to be part of the fun on a Midwest college campus, you better find at least a few ways to fit in so you wouldn’t be miserable. So I conformed, some, but I walked away from college feeling like a whole and complete person, still head strong and smart, but with a little life knowledge thrown in too.

By the end of my first marriage, I lost that young woman and was full of fear. I questioned everything about myself. I lost my independent spirit and wondered why I was blessed with brains when using them seemed to cause nothing but struggle. I do not blame my first husband for anything. With the wisdom of hindsight, I realize that he was put in my life to help steer me toward the life I live today, and for that, I am truly grateful. My relationship with him helped me re-define who I wanted to be and the kind of man I wanted to be with, and that was a huge blessing because it opened up my life to be with my husband now of almost twenty years. When I started dating my husband, it only took weeks to know I would spend the rest of my life with him if he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. We bonded almost instantly and are still one of the most connected couples I know. When I married him, it was the first time in my adult life that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was born to do something. I was born to be his wife. That really was a shock and a revelation, and even better, I found out that I was good at being his wife, or at least in his opinion I was, and that was new too.

Nine months after our wedding, after getting lucky on our very first try, I became a mom, and my life opened up in a way I couldn’t even fathom at the time. Our oldest child opened his eyes in the delivery room before his cord was cut and looked right into his Dad’s eyes. Then he turned his face and looked right into my eyes. I know it’s not supposed to happen that way, but it did. Even the doctor commented that he wasn’t supposed to do that, but he did, and he opened a place in my heart that I didn’t know existed. It is a place that has been touched only two other times since then. At that moment, some of my old fierceness returned, but it was covered in love. There was a time in my life I never thought I could take another human life. When I looked into the eyes of my children, I knew that to protect them, I could and I would.

So, I’ve spent the last eighteen or so years being a parent; it has changed me and challenged me more than I ever thought possible, but I also know that it was exactly what I was created to do. I know that I was given the children I have to teach me as much as I teach them. They are so very different in temperament, drive and spirit, and I love them each more than I can express in words, and for a woman who loves words, that is saying something. They’ve made me face fears I never knew existed. They have challenged me to my wit’s end. They have loved me more than I ever thought I could be loved. They have taught me more than I ever thought I could learn, and I hope I have done the same for them because I feel like it is what we are here to do for each other.

Now they are nearly grown. In five and a half short years, they will all be adults, and my life will change again. When each of my angels came into my life, I welcomed them to the Earth and promised to do everything I could to raise them to be the best version of themselves possible. I still try to focus on that and remember that someday I will send them into the world alone. By then, I hope their bucket of self-worth is so full that the world will never be able to drain it dry and that their ability to be a positive force in this world is even greater. I hope they know themselves so well, that they will follow their heart and become the men they were put on this Earth to be.

On the way, I will see my career as a mom transform from caretaker to cheerleader to quiet affirmer to almost invisible support. Although it’s bittersweet because I have loved being the mom to my three boys, I hope I send them into the world with as much love as I welcomed them on the day of their birth. By the way, when I took the quiz about what archetype(s) I might be, I was 38% caregiver, 28% spiritual, 14% visionary and 20% other. In my book, those are pretty good qualities for a mom, but as I move away from the intensity of that role, I hope I can parlay the same qualities into encouraging everyone who reads what I write. Just as I believe in my children, I believe in each of you. You are unique and special and talented in so many ways. I hope you are sharing your talents with the world in the best possible ways. If you believe the news, we need it now more than ever, so step up, step out and do what you can to make yourself, your family, your community and your world a better place. Find the thing that opens up your heart, and you might even change yourself in the process. You might become the fired up version of you that the world so desperately needs. Thanks for being you and have a great day.

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3 Responses to “Purposeful Living”

  1. Sarah December 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    Karen, your writing and the wonderful things you share drive me every day to be the best possible version of me, and though one day i hope i will not need reminding, i know that until then, i have great friends who always will.

  2. karenbemmes December 13, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    Sarah, thank you for your kind words. I think we all need reminding now and then that we are incredible beings and that we can always be and do better. Have a great day!

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