“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” – Pablo Picasso
Each of us is here at this time and in this place by design and because we have a mission. While our missions may be different, they are all are equally import. The extent to which our life has meaning and purpose – which in turn gives a feeling of fulfilment – is the extent to which we are on purpose with our mission.
Our mission is like a quest; we have a goal and have made a commitment to do all we can to achieve and fulfil it in this life. It is also true that upon our arrival on this scene we had in our backpack every gift we needed to fulfil our mission. Nothing was missing and the circumstances, including the people we encountered from the earliest moments, has all been just as it should be.
It would be cruel to send someone on a mission and then deprive them of the means to achieve it, and the Creator has not been cruel or unkind in this way for we have been provided with all the gifts we need to lead a happy and meaningful life. So, the only problem is not what we have been given but our fear of accepting those qualities. To embrace our gifts would mean that we would stand out, maybe even shine, possibly be radiant and live in a state of rapture; yet because of our desire for safety and mediocrity we felt a strong desire to dump these gifts and qualities.
How do you get rid of your gifts? Well, that is easy: we create a trauma, we have something go so wrong in our lives that we fall into a victim place. We fully understand what we are saying here, and when we start on a healing path our resistance can rise and we can go into reaction. Often our reaction to the idea of becoming responsible and accountable for the events of our lives is to question, how can a child be responsible for some form of abuse? While that is a valid discussion, for now let’s make it about ourselves. All of us have and will from time to time feel like a victim, but it is important to face the challenges and learn and grow from those events and leave the grievances behind. Of course, some of us hide this all and live an independent dissociated life, but that life is difficult, often lonely, and it is a struggle to achieve goals. Certainly not on mission.
Good therapy is not only about healing traumas but bringing the understanding that every trauma hides a gift, and it is the embracing and ownership of the gift that is the true healing. Also, the gift is what will shift the dynamics of the trauma from a tragedy to a life lesson which will realign us with our mission.
It takes courage to win back our gifts. They have never really left us; instead, we have buried them under blankets of misperceptions, misunderstanding and fear. For me personally I know how much fear and humiliation I needed to burn through to embrace my gift of teaching and communicating. I still make mistakes and my ego uses every opportunity to attack me around my mistakes, but I keep the gift in mind and that process seems to help to keep the focus on the gift not the pain.
Every time someone tells me a traumatic story my mind now drifts to the question: “what is the gift that lies under all of this?” I also recognise the greater the trauma the greater the gift that was thrown away and so while there is an importance to getting the emotional aspects of the trauma out and healed the main purpose of healing is to win back the heart to find our gift.
And what anchors the gift, and nurtures it, is sharing it with others.
Jeff and Sue