He who has a why to live can bear almost any how”
What is my ‘why?’ 
I’m not looking for answers. These are just my wonderings…
Do we all need a purpose to live a happy life? Do we just merely survive, rather than live, if we have no purpose? 
I sometimes wonder what my purpose is. I’m profound like that. The things that defined me as a human being are now mostly gone thanks to ill health. I’m no longer a student studying for a degree. I’m no longer an employee or a member of staff. I’m not a homeowner. I’m not a wage earner. So much of who we are is defined by what we do. Well, I don’t and can’t do very much. 
Being ill has opened my eyes to so much. I have become exposed to suffering and negativity that I didn’t know existed. I had my first taste of how cruel life could be when I was just five, when we lost a family member who was too young to be lost. At the time I was too young to understand and my faith helped to explain it; She was too special to live on earth so she was in heaven. 
I no longer have such faith. I no longer believe that everything happens for a reason. Instead I see that there is no rhyme or reason for much of what life throws at us. Life is cruel and unfair and people suffer for no reason. As I get older I see how life can be so harsh. There is only so much positive thinking can do to paint a brighter picture. And there is nothing we can do about it. It is out of our control. 
So how do we get through? What makes it worthwhile? What’s the point? Surely we all believe there is a point to life or we just wouldn’t bother to constantly better ourselves? 
You could say that my purpose is to recover from illness. But how do you recover from an incurable illness? When I wrote I’m not okay I wasn’t sure there was any point in continuing with the CFS/ME rehabilitation programme. I couldn’t see the point when I am still so severely affected three years in. The truth is I’d be too disappointed in myself to throw in the towel now, so I didn’t. 
Perhaps my purpose is to find the balance between hope, despair and reality…
What makes life worthwhile? And how do your define a good and purposeful life? Is it the dream job? Finding the perfect partner to share the rest of your life with? Is self worth measured by our achievements and accomplishments? I hope not. Or is it simply the beauty of life itself? 
My own suffering has led a loved one to question what the point of life was when you could be struck down by illness or disaster at any moment. According to this loved one I have a degree that I may never use. I have work experience that I may never benefit from. So how now does he live his life? Should he bother with education and exams? Does he take each day at a time and count every blessing? Or does he throw caution to the wind and not even think about purpose and the meaning of life? 
Our purpose changes constantly, illhealth or otherwise. At one time you might define your purpose as being a student and getting good grades… I am still finding my new purpose. Maybe that’s the point? Is one’s purpose in life to find out what one’s purpose is? Confused? Me too. 
Maybe I don’t need to seek out answers. Afterall I am, and have always been, a sister and a daughter and a cousin and a friend. Is family therefore my reason; my purpose? 

Published by Anna Redshaw

Blogging about life in the slow lane with an invisible, chronic illness. I wasn't always a sick chick so this is somewhat of a life changing experience!

2 thoughts on “Purpose

  1. You ask a lot of questions but, as you point out yourself, you are not looking for answers.And there, I believe, is the nub of it. There are no answers to these question and for humans to constantly seek answers to these sort of issues, answers that we can understand at any rate, is a rather vain pursuit. If there is a bigger issue to why we exist alongside the rest of nature in this world then we almost probably will never find it out. Our planet, the universe, our place in the whole thing?
    Lets just be happy with what we do know, and what we do know in relation to our lives is that we are born, will live and eventually we will die. Knowledge is a positive thing. Humans grow in the company of others- family, friends- and all any of us can do is the best we can with what we have.
    Your blog is, as usual, a great read and your gift for writing is there for all to see.


  2. Hi Anna,

    After my first bout of this illness I gave up on the idea of purpose. To me it became all about living in the moment. After a while though I started to miss having a purpose, especially once I became ill again. So my journey has reflected how a sense of purpose changes over time!

    I think now though, I would say that our purpose in life is to love, to find joy, to grow and develop, to appreciate the wonders of life and if we can find a way to share our unique talents to contribute to others, then that's our purpose too. However over a lifetime we may do this is many different ways both small and large.

    Your blog is often inspirational, informative, comforting and thought provoking. That seems to serve a great purpose to me. Good luck with any purpose you choose, and with finding happiness even when you choose not to have a purpose!


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