Purposeful Identity

In just over 48 hours of this writing, it will be April 1st 2020. It's been some time since my last post and the following reveal the intervals of time which have transpired since then (my apologies for that by the way).

3 months * 92 days * 13 Saturdays * 14 Sundays

They highlight elements of missed opportunities related to the current project I am working on. Life happens for everyone; sometimes through precise planning, at other times through messy and unexpected scenarios.

In hindsight, being purposeful in our daily routines usually results in the sum of their parts being greater than the whole. In the midst of any perceived drudgery or monotony, we continually wrestle with the core essence of who we are. This can pose a challenge related to our identity. With that in mind, does having purpose in our lives define or reveal our identity? Or does our identity allow for purpose to be established? It is within this dichotomy where the proverbial rubber meets the road.

We presently find ourselves in an altered state of existence because of the ongoing global pandemic. We have been forced into isolation and out of our comfort zones; ironically in the very places we normally seek comfort - our homes. Those of the contemplative or introverted variety, may view things differently, as the boundaries of their zones of comfort lean more toward isolation than interaction. Regardless of which camp you consider to be your default, it goes without saying we all are adjusting to a new normal.

Identity is one of several themes I cover in my current manuscript; which by the way I am endeavouring to bring to light before the end of this year. It is getting closer to the final draft stage and I am hoping to retain an editor for a final analysis before too long. It has been an ironic literary journey thus far, as I have been forced to reconcile the very themes I am writing about. So going back to the initial challenge of identifying purpose vs identity, are the two mutually exclusive?

When looking at identity, it can be viewed with precise close-in focus or with a wide lens of understanding. I think it’s fair to say everyone has an identity irrespective of any real or perceived purpose associated with their life. Your identity may be skewed or toxic because (you think) you are not living in a purposeful manner (wide or loose focus). There may also be a strong and clear sense of identity if augmented by a defined functional purpose (precise focus).

The goal therefore is to endeavour to acquire a clear and balanced understanding of our individual makeup. We were never meant to be automatons; preprogrammed to function according to a set of conditions and rules dictated by environment or culture. Yet we acquiesce consciously and subconsciously to these influences on a daily basis. When the status quo gets shaken (as the present mandated isolation has done) I believe it affords us an opportunity to recalibrate our thinking; a chance to reassess what is of import and value.

On several levels this isolation has forced us to review how we relate to one another and that in turn reveals who we are at our core. For some this revelation is encouraging, for others less so, but it cannot be ignored as we are left with little choice but to face our inherent humanity. And when faced with something we are not accustomed to confronting (at least in a raw uninhibited state) it can provide a chance for us to discover hidden key elements of strength and value in ourselves. Not just for our own benefit, but for those who also interact with us.

Full disclosure: I am as much speaking to myself as to anyone else. We can be our own worst critic and can easily find fault with ourselves because of any real or perceived lack of purpose or a clear path to follow. Also be aware that being isolated does not necessarily mean you are alone. Reach out as much as you can, whenever you can, however you can. There are more people than are readily apparent, who are also  trudging through the trenches of thought processes similar to the ones you are dealing with.

Stay safe and healthy my friends.