In the early eighties, I was on the edge. I remember lying on the bathroom floor of my Greensboro apartment, clueless as to how I had ended up there, but knowing that I had to do something to stop the emotional pain I felt, but not knowing how. Suicide was looking like an attractive option.
I felt like I’d trashed my life, even though to all outward appearances I was living the Great American Dream. I was a small animal vet, had my own business, had invested in real estate with my brother, had a nice car, etc.
It all looked good on paper, but the truth was, I felt like my life had no real meaning. I’d wanted to be a vet since I was 7 years old, but here I was after 12 years in practice not knowing if I could stand going into the office for another day.
Reflecting back on that dark night of the soul, I realize now it was a case of mistaken identity. I’d misidentified my life purpose as my career as a vet. And no matter how much I did as a vet, it was never enough to fill the void I felt inside. It was like eating junk food. No matter how much junk food one eats, it’s never enough to fully nourish you because it’s missing some key ingredients. The same is true when you think what you do is your life purpose.
Now, here I am some 20-plus years later, loving my life, feeling a deep sense of purpose and connection. Yes, I love what I do as a coach, as the founder of Life On Purpose Institute, as a father, husband and volleyball player, but most of all I love who I am. I love experiencing the joy of being a Divine Spiritual Being who chooses to live an inspired and inspiring life of purposeful, passionate, and playful service; a life of mindful abundance balanced with simplicity; and spiritual serenity.
For the past 12 years, I’ve tried to consistently allow all of my life to be shaped by this greater context, and it has made all the difference. Oh, it’s not always been easy, and I ‘fail’ on a regular basis, but I do believe we live in a grace-filled universe where we’re allowed quite a few failures without it costing us joy and fulfillment.
The universe really is not fair. It’s wired up in our favor. I am grateful that God saw fit to spare me back there on that bathroom floor. My life wasn’t over. In many ways, it had just begun. My life on purpose, that is.