definition: accomplished aim; resolution; determination; intention; full of meaning; a reason for.
i read something recently that talked about “purpose”. the article asked questions like; “what is the purpose?” ” what is the desired outcome?” “am I being honest with myself?”…. this made me think about my life and my dreams. it also made me reflect on what holds me back…”fear”. i’m consumed by my thoughts of fear; fear in pursuing my dreams and fear in accomplishing my goals. And, at the same time, i recognized if i challenged that fear in me, use it to motivate me, my dreams will come true and probably even greater than I could ever imagine. as i get older i try to look at fear in a different way. my old habit is to run away so am trying to form new habits of pushing through this fear and treating it more like a obstacle to push past.
I did that recently when i approached a photographer i’ve admired and asked if he’d be willing to do a one on one workshop. he said yes. wow, that was easy. i was so excited until the day came to meet, my first session with him. i was struck with fear. i almost didn’t go. i started thinking of excuses to cancel this workshop. my fears manifested in negative thoughts telling me I was wasting his time, I wasn’t good enough etc.. started to flood my head. i was on the verge of tears. i had a good friend visiting me and shared with her what was going on. she was compassionate to my feelings while at the same time pushed me into going by reminding me, with my own words, about why i wanted to do this workshop. I am so glad she did. it was GREAT! my biggest accomplishment that day was just showing up. what i learned that day was immeasurable. it was just what i needed to hear the and timing couldn’t have been better. what is also interesting is the information i learned in that class not only taught me a lot about myself as a photographer, but about myself in general. it was quite enlightening. it is amazing how this was a much bigger life lesson than i had imagined or anticipated.
at the end of class i was given an assignment. i felt fear sweep through my body. i knew this assignment would be challenging for me. i was encouraged to do a bit of street photography and to get up and close with the subjects. get into the scene. i chose a street scene and a social gathering in which to do this assignment. i actually thought the social gathering would be a bit easier because i knew the people. both proved to be quite challenging. i not only felt the fear but also felt so emotional as if i could cry at any moment. i not only had to deal with fear in doing the assignment but also felt my creative drive had somehow disappeared. it was as if my creative side had been drained from my body. i had no idea what to do. again, the negative emotions flooded my body and it was all i could do to not burst into tears. what were these fears? most were the fear of failure and feeling inadequate. again, i wanted to give up. once again, i found myself trying to push aside the fear and to just do the assignment. it was not great work and yet I learned a lot from it. it was great to discuss this at my second workshop session. i knew my work wasn’t great but hearing the feedback had me understanding why, encouragement on ways to improve on it and had me reflecting on how I felt during these assignments so that i, personally, know what i can do to improve them. it will take some time and i will be out once again pushing through my fears because i know this is the road i must travel.
so, as i look back at “purpose” i am reminded that my fears are my NOT being honest with myself and that in order to achieve my desired outcome i must not listen to the fears and let them hold me back and instead focus on the outcome. by doing so i will find my “purpose”.