An observation worth noting … and pondering:
Vocation does not come from willfulness.
It comes from listening.
I must listen to my life and try to understand
what it is truly about—quite apart from what I would like it to be
—or my life will never represent anything real in the world,
no matter how earnest my intentions.
That insight is hidden in the word vocation itself,
which is rooted in the Latin for ‘voice.’
Vocation does not mean a goal that I pursue.
It means a calling that I hear.
Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it,
I must listen to my life telling me who I am.
I must listen for the truths and values
at the heart of my own identity,
not the standards by which I must live—
but the standards by which I cannot help but live
if I am living my own life.
Do any of us really understand why we have a “calling” or a vocation or a purpose or a mission—call it what you will—which we feel most drawn to? What’s the spark?
Is it as Gregg Levoy suggested in his exceptional book, Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life, simply Life’s way of loving itself by providing the talents, the means, the opportunities, and—perhaps most importantly—the freedom to choose to honor whatever “it” is within us that calls to us most clearly and surely?
The stirrings of dissatisfaction too many of us contend with too often and for too long is often an inner knowing that we’re performing a great disservice to ourselves by failing to listen….
The joy and deep knowing that come from the satisfaction of honoring something that resonates deeply within us can be one of Life’s greatest joys. All of the rewards which flow from successes are enjoyed most fully when we are “who we are” at the core of our being—however one defines and describes that.
While the pursuits and successes and benefits enjoyed by so many others carry with them so much appeal to those of us struggling daily, moving away from that identity onto paths others walk will in time prove no more rewarding than the one we may be trying to flee from.
That cycle will persist until we learn that what may be among Life’s greatest gifts is the opportunity to listen to the unique harmony within each of us, and then trust that the messages—however received or defined—are our best guides and our best teachers. Honor them. Life Will Answer
✼ author, activist, educator – from his book Let Your Life Speak
~ My Photo: in San Juan, PR – 02.24.0
I’m a writer Looking Left and Right:
Inspiring Different Ideas, Envisioning Better Tomorrows
by sharing observations about the ideologies
which motivate our political, economic, and cultural discussions.