Serenity in an Age of Anxiety

vintage from Pixabay   “Most people who come to see me want to find their calling, “ reported Shoshanna, a counselor who works with adults. She and two of her self-employed friends were chatting over dinner about work. “The idea that you need a calling makes people unhappy and is completely untrue. A job puts food on the table and should not be seen as second rate,” she lamented.


Ellen, a physician with a clear and strong calling, balked. “Everyone needs to discover their calling,’ she countered. ‘It is critical for vibrant health and well-being.” She embarked on a story to support her view.


“This is exactly the thinking that makes people miserable,” Shoshanna muttered.


“Anyone for dessert?” piped in Kerry, whose calling appeared to be peacemaker.


Shoshanna’s point is worthy of further consideration. A calling is an internal or mystical tug towards a specific vocation. Your mission, should you recognize and accept it, makes you special. God, the universe, or something bigger than myself has chosen you to do something important.  Who doesn’t want to be acknowledged from above for their gift to the world?


Indeed, research suggests a sense of purpose is associated with happiness. But a purpose and a calling are not the same.  You can choose a purpose.  A calling implies the purpose chooses you.  You wait and the situation is out of your control. There is a sign, a dream or a transformative feeling that bestows worthiness or does not.


Everyone might have a calling but there is little chance we will all hear it.  Each person does have a purpose. You can decide what you are doing here whenever you want and have providence over your happiness.


The differences are:


Calling                                                             Purpose

Involves a job/task                                          Is a way of being, not doing

Requires outside intervention                        Requires internal decision

May never come                                             Is always present

Implies you are chosen                                   Available to everyone


If you have a calling, terrific! If you don’t, forget about waiting for a burning bush and choose a purpose. It can be a simple as being as kind as possible to everyone you meet or having an intention every day.  You don’t have to save the world; you just need to have a reason to be here.

Post #29

Next time: Your Mission Statement


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