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Slices of Life

Finding purpose in the moment

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As we traverse through life, I think most of us ponder and wonder about our purpose - the reason for our experience on the planet at this particular time. What is the meaning of life? What is the meaning of me? (Gulp.)

I’ve pondered this question quite a bit, feeling a little inept in my answers. I long for a grand and important purpose - to change the world for the better. But the honest answer is I’m just a normal human living life in abject anonymity - and quite liking it that way, thank you very much.

On one level, I believe I should aspire to have a grand and world-changing purpose. On another, maybe being average and obscure has a purpose in it as well. 

Maybe not everyone is supposed to rise to the level of Mother Theresa or Mahatma Gandhi. Maybe doing the best in the everyday can and does make the world a better place - even if it is only a little bit at a time. 

So, instead of going for the grandiose purpose, maybe we take it to a smaller scale. Instead of life-altering, perhaps appreciating and maximizing on each moment is a purpose in and of itself. 

Maybe miracles are all around us - every day, in every moment - if only we open our eyes, our senses and our souls. 

Our moments combine to make weeks, months, years, decades. Lifetimes. They are ours to discover. Moment by moment by moment.

Take them all in. Take each of them in. Notice. See. Breathe. Appreciate. The reality, the magic, the miracles - they are all there in front of you, yours for the taking. 

The clouds forming random patterns of beauty. Appreciate that. 

The unexplainable, yet very real feeling you get deep inside yourself when you provide a kind gesture or reach out in kindness to a random person because your heart pushed you to do so. 

Moments spent with those people with whom you have a deep, lasting soul connection - however brief or lasting. Laughing. Crying. Just being - together.

The sun glistening on water - whether it’s a lake, river, ocean or a puddle in the middle of a roadway. 

Color, and the ability of each of us to choose a favorite one. 

People, and the ability of each of us to choose favorite ones. 

Trusting yourself, because you truly deserve it. 

Trusting others, because they’ve earned it and truly deserve it. 

Trusting life, because it is good, if you allow it to be.

For new beginnings - because they are possible at any time in life.

For endings, because they lead to new beginnings. 

For middles because they are the ooey, gooey and sometimes best part.

The smell of springtime when the snow is melting and everything is coming back to life. 

The smell of bacon and coffee on an unencumbered Saturday morning. 

Hearing a song that reminds you of a beautiful time long gone.

Hearing a new song that touches your heart without you ever expecting it.

Understanding and appreciating the basics: love, life, gratitude, appreciation, bliss, true happiness, empathy, kindness, wisdom from within, peace and love (again.)

Understanding and appreciating the details: bees pollinating, birds singing, cats cuddling, holding hands, children’s laughter, a calm day on the lake, paying the bills, clean laundry, a breath of fresh air, bare feet on a sandy beach, a new hair cut, a new friend, a new life. 

Understanding and seeing it all and living it all is yours for the taking - in each moment. String them together to make a lifetime - to not only find, but to create your true purpose.

Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright and author. Don’t miss a slice; follow the Slices of Life page on Facebook.

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