The first "Word Wednesday," is a French phrase, which is sort of ironic considering that I took two and a half years of french and only remember how to say "Je ne sais pas. Je ne parle pas français." The translation: "I don't know. I don't speak French."
rai·son d'ê·tre [rey-zohn de-truh; French re-zawn de-truh]
reason or justification for being or existence
How's that for our first word? I figured we could pause to consider our existence, question the meaning of life, and our purpose on this planet.
It seems there are people out there who have known their purpose, really, since they were born. There are others of us, who stroll though life, not knowing exactly what we're "supposed" to do to fulfill the reason of our birth. We feel and hear a calling, but we're just unsure from which direction it's coming. Seeing those who are already fulfilling their purpose, can make a wanderer feel entirely insufficient. When one doesn't have children, this can double the feelings of inadequacy.
I love my job and I feel it's been one of my "raisons d'ê·tre, but I've always felt there was also something else I was meant to do, in addition. The need to find my purpose has been swelling the past few years and the pressure was building so much that I was feeling as though I would burst if I didn't figure myself out, quickly! Does everyone in their early forties feel this way? Or, just the wanderers? Do the artists, musicians, mothers, chefs, teachers, nurses, and business owners who are so clearly fulfilling their raison d' être, still feel a pressure to contribute more?
I was recently re-introduced to the phrase, "raison d' être," and it was in re-discovering this phrase that everything started to fall into place and a vision began to form. I can't identify one single source of the inspiration or revelation, because it felt as though "answers" were pouring in from all directions. A theme was starting to develop among the things I would hear on the radio, see on television, read in a book, or even discuss with friends.
The thought that came to my awareness, was that discovering our "raison d' être," shouldn't be a cause for stress. You know when people say that they have to leave at a particular time so that they don't have to "battle traffic"? Think of that for a moment. How, exactly, does one "battle" traffic and does "battling" traffic expedite the commute? No. It makes it miserable and dangerous. You just have to enjoy the ride, somehow.
We don't have to stress. We don't have to battle ourselves to find our raison d' être. Our reason for being was already fulfilled the moment we were born. The rest is all a fabulous journey of self discovery and awakenings and the beautiful thing, I believe right now, is that at any moment - we can define for ourselves a new raison d' être.