Emily Threatt, author of the upcoming Loving and Living Your Way Through Grief, has written a new blog post on finding your purpose.
In grief, our roles shift from those we had before our loss to those we have after. Often our before roles are clear and we tend to do them without having to think much about them. After, though, we often aren’t sure what to do. Before your roles may have been things like caretaker, lover, and companion. After those roles may need to be replaced with something else.
For me, with both Jacques and Ron, I had spent two years each focusing on their needs, both physically and emotionally. My life was consumed with all things related to them. After Jacques I was lost and took a long to time start to figure things out. But after Ron, I discovered that the one thing I focused on most was now what was I supposed to do. What was my purpose?
I journaled and explored what I loved to do, what I desired to do, what was next for me. Though the answers didn’t come quickly, they prepared me to be ready to say yes when I realized what my new purpose was. When the realization dawned on me that what I would love to do is to help others who have also experienced loss by using the skill I am most comfortable with: writing. And this realization came to me when I noticed that was what I had already started to do.
I love creating relationships with others who can use what I have to give. My new relationships are deep and lovely, and I am grateful for them. The process naturally evolved for me without my noticing till one day I realized that what I had done so far was the perfect content for a book. So I wrote it, it is being published, and I will be able to touch so many more people.
What is your purpose? There is so much to do in our world right now. Our country is suffering from fires, hurricanes, lack of integrity, racism, violence, and a pandemic. Just looking at that sentence is overwhelming. Yet, all things can improve. And that improvement will come from individuals stepping up. You may be thinking that all those things are so big that you wouldn’t be able to tackle them as your purpose, but this is a place you could start. They key here, is to focus on one thing and take the first step.
After my journaling, my first step was to write a letter to a dear friend whose husband died suddenly. Writing that letter allowed me to realize that I could help others by using my writing, and this process opened the flood gates for me. What are you concerned about now, and how can you help? For instance, if you are concerned by the lack of integrity we are experiencing right now in our government, what you can do right now is be totally integral yourself. This is a commitment I have made to me, and by making that commitment, I have learned to stop myself when what I am thinking or saying may not be the absolute truth. Integrity can spread as we all focus on that.
For racism, I have started a serious self-study program to learn what I missed in my education and discover how what I say and what my actions are affect others. I never thought of myself as racist, but through my studies I have found that isn’t enough. I have committed to be anti-racist and to talk to others about the significance of this.
My purpose related to the pandemic is to learn what I need to there, and to do what I need to so that I can protect myself, my loved ones, and society in general. If we all do this, we will get through this challenge sooner and with less loss. I also use my main purpose of helping others to deal with loss by helping people dealing with loss caused by the pandemic.
I encourage you now to write out what your purpose is in life right now. There is no judgement here. Write about your deepest desire for your life’s fulfillment. I asked the members of my Writing Through Grief with Emily private Facebook group to do this, and Joanna Thompson Gabriel wrote from her heart and has allowed me to share this here:
“A year ago, I published a book, Re-Wired: A Sankofa Healing Journey which chronicles my healing journey through retirement which I like to call re-wirement. For me “retirement” speaks to endings and “re-wirement” speaks to beginnings. Although it has not been revealed what the results of all these tests will conclude, obviously, I am being rewired once again. I am saying hello to life.
And truly there is no way that any one of us knows all that is before us.
So the only purpose I have right now is to:
*Seek to find joy in all I do
*Live one moment at a time
*Contribute to the world with love
*Cherish all my wonderful relationships
*Continue facilitating support groups on liberation from the effects of racism, classism, and sexism.
*Share inspirational messages through word and song
*Continue in my Writing Through Grief Support Group with you Emily
*Finish the book that I am writing: My Soul Is A Witness: The Legacy of Grief.
*And, plan to live a long and fruitful life.”
I would love to read what you discover as you write about your purpose. Life is good!
Loving and Living Your Way Through Grief
A Comprehensive Guide to Reclaiming and Cultivating Joy and Carrying on in the Face of Loss
Rediscover sustained moments of joy as you seek a new way of being in the world. Loving and Living Your Way Through Grief guides and lightens the journey to positivity for those who feel the pain of loss, whether it is the loss of a loved one, a job, a marriage, a house, a pregnancy, a nest egg―anyone or anything that we loved and that is no longer in our lives. In this book, author and fellow griever Emily Thiroux Threatt provides you with strategies to embrace the process of learning how to start living again.