There was a time in my life when my greatest desire was to get a degree, any degree as long as I had one. I thought if I had a degree, I would feel better about myself and others would accept me. After dealing with sexual abuse and depression I needed validation. I needed something that would make me feel good about myself and be an acceptable shield to hide behind. A degree was it for me.
Before that goal was realized I got married. One day, I sat down and planned how I could get my degree online. In my excitement and with some trepidation I approached my husband (now my ex) with my plan. My well laid out plan was met with silence. He did not look up, he did not respond. Silence.
I was crushed. But something had shifted. When I sat to make that plan, I had initially seen closed doors and felt that I would never get my degree. As I planned, I started seeing possibilities. Ways of realizing my goal. Sometimes all we need to do is to start planning. I started seeing what I wanted to do with my life and what I needed to get there. I started to get an idea of purpose.
I took small steps toward that purpose. I was scared to make waves in my marriage, but I couldn’t let go of the fire simmering in me. I couldn’t let go of the hunger and longing for more.
It was inevitable that the fire growing in me would eventually spill over. The more I insisted on pursuing my goals, or just having my own ideas, the more I worked towards determining who I was, the more I was beaten back by my husband and a few others. The more I spoke up on what I thought or felt, the more I was laughed at. I wanted to retreat far into myself and a dark corner so that no one would remember I existed.
However, one could no longer pull back far enough. The light of my dreams and the purpose that was coming alive in me would not let me go.
Eventually, I gave in. I started to push back, pushed up and take a stand. The end result, we are now divorced and most of those people I used to know are no longer part of my life.
When you start aligning with purpose you will find that ideas, thoughts, feelings, people that do not support that alignment will be displaced from your life.
It took 11 years for me to get to University so that I could get my first degree and I went right on to get a second one. My reasons for wanting that degree changed. It was no longer about self-acceptance and being accepted. It became about:
- Persistence – go after your dreams regardless of the obstacles; the journey is priceless.
- Change- I removed myself from an environment that did not serve my purpose and replanted myself in one that did. The rewards were miraculous.
- Self-discovery – I used my time at university to test my academic potential and to explore what I really liked about me and what I loved to do. The results have been a phenomenal transformation.
- Possibilities- to show others what was possible I had to first achieve some of my possibilities.
- Transformation- I went from the girl who believed she was dumb and worthless because I had been told so to valedictorian, and all-round outstanding student and individual. I have gone on to live a life that helps others to transform theirs.
One of my greatest lessons during that time was that you cannot live a life of purpose and hang on to the things that suffocate that purpose. Reach out to me if you have been wondering about your purpose and how you can transform your life or parts of your life.