Which myth have you believed about your calling?
Do you mistakenly believe that your calling and career must be identical?
Do you hang on to the myth that calling is ultimately about personal fulfillment and happiness?
Are you misguided by the idea that when you discover your calling, then you will have arrived?
Do you believe you are either too old or too young to discover your calling?
Those are four myths I have addressed in my blog posts and newsletters over the last month. You can read about the ones you may have missed here in my blog The Further and Fantastic Journey. There’s one more myth to unpack: My calling is all about me at my best.
So, yes, in a sense operating in your calling is about you using your unique personality traits along with a strong gift mix to contribute to the world, but it may also be about you at your darkest moment. Your calling might be a response to your deepest struggle.
Pain, loss, and disappointment, unfortunately, are common afflictions for all of us. Life can be brutal. It’s what you DO with the affliction that matters most to your calling. You might harbor bitterness and a sense of aggrievement. Your struggle might make you feel angry and entitled. Just know that callings never arise out of resentment.
You could also respond to the dark side of your story with withdrawal and silence. It may feel too hard to think about it, let alone talk about it. This is fully understandable, but unlikely to shape your contribution to the world.
What if, though, the rough parts of your life story allowed you to develop a sense of empathy with others who have had similar circumstances? Do you see that the dark days of your life can uniquely sensitize you to the pain of the people in your sphere of influence, in particular to those who have had losses like yours?
One of the writers of the Bible reflected on this as he looked back at his life of suffering. Here’s my paraphrase of what Paul, the Apostle said in 2 Corinthians 1:
I thank God who comforted me in my suffering so that I could comfort those of you who have similar troubles. If I was distraught, it was to identify with you, and if I was comforted it was to offer that same comfort to you.
Your calling may arise out of you at your worst. You are now an expert in surviving your kind of pain. There are people all around you who are lost, without a clue as to where to start unraveling their turmoil.
You can show them…or at least understand them. That may well be your calling.