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The what, how and why of it all

Posted by Simon Parke, 17 July 2020, 10.29am

There are many ways to reflect on our lives.

One way is the what, the how and the why of it all

The ‘what’ of my life is what I want to be.

We are not long on this earth, shooting stars through the sky.

So what will I stand for, what do I want to be, what values, what glory, do I most want to express?

It doesn’t have to be a grand vision.

But are there three or four words, a sentence perhaps, that describe above all else, what you want your life to be, to offer?

What words would you like on your gravestone?

It can make for interesting reflection.

The next consideration is the ‘how’.

You have decided what you want to be, what you want to offer - so how will you do that?

Where and how will your aspirations be embodied?

Through relationships, service, skills, silence, community, politics, business, solitude - something else?

Julian of Norwich would have answered differently to Florence Nightingale.

And you will answer differently again.

There is no right answer; only your answer – as to how your vision will be expressed in the world.

The ‘why’ is the final question and a little under the radar.

It doesn’t seem immediately important.

Does it matter why we want to be and do something? Let’s just get on with it, surely?

The ‘why’ is here only for our protection; to make sure that our vision is actually ours and not someone else’s.

It is to make sure our vision springs from ourselves and is not rooted in forgotten messages from the past.

If, for instance, you want to help people because your mother gave the message that you must be helpful to her; and if you then become a nurse because she was a nurse, then this is a borrowed vision, a borrowed ‘what’ and adopted in guilt.

It is not worthy of you. The ‘what’ of your life cannot be borrowed; it is a polluted spring.

It might be beautiful for you to become a nurse; but it must be your choice.

So why we do things, though a little under the radar, is important. It is for our protection and authenticity.

A vision only liberates if it is ours. 

So why do you want to be what you want to be?

And shine on.

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