Purpose? Who does this dude think he is?

Purpose? Who does this dude think he is?

The temerity. The arrogance of a website that proposes to address the issue of life purpose. Who is this dude who believes he has something to say to me about the meaning of my life?

I admit it—if I ran across this website, I’d be skeptical, even offended.  Write a blog about raising foster children, or tiny houses. Blog about vegan cooking.  But life purpose?  Give me a freaking break.

OK. Let me respond. No I don’t know anything about you. I’m really speaking for myself, and what I’ve learned in my own reflections on purpose. My purpose—not yours or someone else’s.  I’m telling about my own struggles and discoveries, and claim no higher authority.  I commit myself to telling the truth here—both factual and emotional. I won’t BS you. If I’m not sure about something, you’ll know it. If I’m excited or passionate about something, I’ll make sure you know that, too.

I’ll also be transparent about who I am and what I feel and think. This is very different for me. I worked as a psychotherapist for thirty years, and my job then in therapy sessions was to be opaque. I never talked about my own life—my relationship, my children, my struggles with my parents. The therapy relationship is an odd one—entirely one-sided, so we only talk about what is going on for the client.

Well, that’s not exactly true, either. I told my story in therapy sessions, but in disguise. I would refer to the experience of “someone I knew,” then would go on to tell something about what I have gone through personally. That was my training as a therapist—to be a conundrum. I think that there is a point to this in therapy. If I sunk deeply into my own story and reactions and experience, it might suck the air out of the room, not leave space for the client to feel and express his or her own experience.

But that’s not what I’m doing here. No conundrum. Full disclosure. This entire blog project is going to be one long I-statement. Maybe I’m allowing myself—at last—to exhale. I’m talking about my own experience, as honestly as I can. Full disclosure: I also believe that it’s relevant to others—I wouldn’t be airing this publicly if I didn’t believe that it has relevance beyond my own hula-hoop. But I don’t presume to speak for you. You—I believe—are your own authority about what you think and feel.

That said, I invite you to join me.  Join me for as little or much of this as you’d like.  And this is a blog, a conversation, not a lecture, not a rant (OK, maybe sometimes I will lecture or rant a little). But I invite you to respond–agree, disagree, express confusion, clarify or elaborate.

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