A few weeks ago I wrote about how little choices every day can lead to lasting and meaningful change. And it’s true. The little choices we make every day for the better will lead to new habits and a meaningful change that does us good. I have seen the benefit of this idea in my own life over the last year or so. It hasn’t been an easy journey to stay on with illness and being ill-disciplined at times. But slowly and surely I have begun to really understand and appreciate just how important it is to focus on the little changes and not become overwhelmed by the big picture. This gradual understanding of slow and steady change has opened up a new discovery in my life though; finding a renewed sense of purpose in life.
A lot of my personal change has been down to physical impairment and overcoming it. The freedoms I am already feeling in my movement have opened up headspace that I’d forgotten about. Headspace for new things, new possibilities, fewer limitations, and more productivity. I keep reminding myself not to get ahead of myself since I still have a ways to go on my road to full recovery, but there’s hope. Finally, it feels like there is actually hope.
Getting bogged down
For so long now, I’ve honestly felt bogged down by my physical limitations. Constantly needing breaks, having to plan my day around rest, looking at the clock to figure out pain meds…and honestly, feeling fed up with keeping others back. It’s so demoralising to feel like you can’t do certain things which in turn prevents others from what they’d like to do or achieve. That sense of holding others back, feeling like people pity you, or just that horrible sense of being stuck in life – it’s all so demoralising. You gradually lose your sense of purpose and life just starts to flit by. Yes, you are productive in many ways, but nothing seems to hold much joy anymore. Or maybe you settle for other things that are not quite what you wanted, but you make work.
You don’t feel free.
You feel like you’re managing at life, but not really living it.
Don’t settle for less
Sounds depressing, I know. But that’s what life can become if we’re not paying attention. There are so many reasons why you might feel like that. But you can choose not to. But here’s the thing – you have to really want it. You have to really want the change you seek. You have to understand why you want it. And you have to make little choices every day that take you in that direction. Finding a renewed sense of purpose in life is the golden lining that will follow. My knee won’t miraculously heal itself. I have to be consistent and determined in my daily choices to see the change I seek.
As a person of faith, I ask God every day for His help to do so. I’ve prayed many times for healing, and believe it will come. But there’s a lesson to be learned too. Many times I asked God to divinely heal me, and if there was a purpose in doing so He would have. But the greater purpose for me was to learn through the experience. Learning that I am able. Realising that I can set my mind to something and achieve it. Finding that through pain and difficulty, there is purpose, joy, and growth. But I have to seek it, to want change, and find the determination to succeed.
So now I know that I am able to do more than I thought possible. I know that I can discipline myself to exercise every day, just enough, to keep me moving forward and not hurt myself. I can balance pain meds, exercise, and my own mental fitness to do what needs doing in order to find healing. And it’s all through those little choices every day.
As I said, with the change I’ve been experiencing, I’ve been finding a renewed sense of purpose in life. I feel more hopeful, more capable, and more optimistic. Yes, I still have down moments, especially when the pain kicks up. But I can see a way forward. With the summer holidays starting, I will have more time on my hands and it has got me motivated to be productive around our home. Renovations have slowed down significantly for various reasons besides what I’ve already mentioned. But now I’d like to get a move on and see some progress. So John and I have made plans to do so. I know I’ll need to manage my days still so that I don’t do too much and set myself back, but I feel ready. We want to enjoy our home while we’re here and make it the best it can be. With my head feeling clearer, finding this renewed sense of purpose in life will drive me to achieve what I want to. So I’ll make a list of what needs doing, and much like my little choices every day, I’ll do a little each day towards our goals.
It’s the little things
Finding purpose in life can seem daunting. You only get one life so it can feel overwhelming to get it right. We are all called to certain professions, places, people, and opportunities, yes. But often it’s the little things in life that give our lives meaning and purpose. Being intentional each day about loving those around you, being kind, seeking and seeing the beauty around you, choosing good things over bad…all of this gives meaning and purpose to your life. For many, their faith gives them purpose and drives their choices and actions every day. Whatever you find purpose in, pursue it with gusto. Find joy in it, seek good with it, be kind through it, and you’ll find yourself feeling fulfilled.