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Purpose - the silver lining in grief?

Updated: Mar 15, 2021

I have always been passionate about purpose. The pathways that lead people to living a life of significance. Over the years I have worked with hundreds of incredible people who allowed me to share in their journey from success to significance.

Significance is not always the result of careful planning. Sometimes significance emerges as a result of seemingly derailed life plans. People who are used to success and being in control suddenly find themselves on a messy emotional dirt road in no man’s land with no place to turn to. The place I am talking about is called grief. There is grief and then there is GRIEF. Life throws each one of us curve-balls, sometimes they are a result of our own mistakes, sometimes they are a result of other people’s mistakes and sometimes they are the result of sickness, death of a loved one, loss of a dream, business, relationship, or the result of a natural or personal disaster. Crisis happens when multiple of those happen within a short period of time. People in this situation can experience a kind of grief that rocks them to the core of who they are, in a way that they don’t recognise themselves, and don’t know how to recover.

What do you do after you have experienced the worst day of your life? Grief will need to run its course – it is a process. It is work. It is grace. You can’t rush it. People used to being in control at this stage are afraid that they will get stuck in emotions so overwhelming that they rather want to avoid or numb them then face them. We can suppress grief and distract ourselves but we can’t avoid it forever without leaving scars and we can’t outrun it. It is a tough process. It can be a very lonely road.

However, the meaning that you assign to what happened to you will ultimately allow you to forge the new path ahead. Befriending your worst moment can eventually become your defining moment for good.

Often purpose is the result of great bravery. The choice of not letting the debilitating forces of grief define your future. Instead using the pain as a fuel to create new hope. Purpose doesn’t give us an identity – it flows out of who we are. It is not about striving for finding one’s purpose. It is about being still enough and making room to allow purpose and new hope to emerge. Making the pain count can ultimately lead to joy. Just like love and commitment are stronger than hate or indifference – Joy and hope are stronger forces than grief and pain.

Many pioneers, leaders, world-changers have experienced great loss. Like brave-hearts they have set out to honour their past by committing to a purpose that is bigger than their grief. If you are going through grief take courage, your best days might still be ahead.

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