I dropped by to visit a man opening his new business just the other day. I’d received email notice of a “grand opening.” I’ve known him for 5 or 6 years, not quite a friend and more than an acquaintance, but somebody I like and respect. I won’t say his true name or true business to preserve his complete anonymity. But I wish I could shout his name from a rooftop to acknowledge his courage and good humor, tenacity and engaged passions.
I’ll call him Sam. When I dropped by on opening day the place was bustling with interesting and interested people. Like me they’d read or heard the news about ten months ago that Sam was losing his business AND home through factors related to the lousy economy and the refined niche to which he markets his wares. His wares are his passion, his life purpose wrapped up in each item he sells. It was no fault of his own that his (larger) business failed in its former location. The tragedy of the situation is that Sam hung on so long that his home ownership was drawn into this downward spiral as he fought to hold on. He went down fighting. But creditors are creditors, as the USA in large is experiencing historically (once again) since ’08. We all sleep with a bit of this monster’s tail peeking our from beneath our beds these days. Yikes!
So after greeting a few people and waiting my turn to speak with Sam I joined him one on one and he gave me a quick tour of his new smaller place of business. It is still stylish, workable, a designed environment highly suitable to help sell and promote his product. I was happy to be see him and he felt that I am sure. It was after all a good day in a series of what had to have been some very bleak or dark days in the preceding year. A further bit of a shock came to me when Sam told me how he was living in his home as before but that it has been emptied of all its main furnishings, what remains is for sale, and the house is not selling quickly, for reasons we can all imagine. (Damnable real estate bubble, who blew so much air up your skirts!?) In other words Sam is living in a place he no longer owns with a constant reminder of what his financial situation is. I did not want into his boots, nor his socks for that matter! It’s a fear most Americans are quite aware of these days
As he saw the shock of this latest news register in my face Sam recognized it for what it was and hit the bottom line note for me. He said, “I’m destitute,” with all good humor, a big smile, and that familiar bit of relief we feel whenever the truth “sets us free,” as the Good Book says. I admired him for his stark admission and for the pride he showed in himself and the gathering around him in a place of his new beginning. I felt honored in fact that he shared it with me. I gathered my wits instantly and said straight back, “But Sam you’re as rich as ever a man I knew!” And he did not disagree. For he knew that I knew it was not money we were using as our measure of success. It was honoring oneself according to one’s Life Purpose, the passion in the core of our being, the Inner voice of we ourselves as a Soul. It is undeniable when we hear its message or see what it has wrought out of determination. We act on this very same undeniable impetus to evolve becasue it is in our genes, at least the best ones.
Sam the Warrior – protecting what is his and the maintenance of his livelihood no matter what, Sam the King – bringing order and prudence to the wise organizing of all his (diminished) resources for the good of all in his domain, Sam the Lover – undeniably marshaling and applying his passions into selling his product (no matter what they are) to the enjoyment and profit of his customers and his community, Sam the Magician – turning nothing into something by sheer tenacity and tough accountability to himself alone for his life purpose, not of vending or running a business, but of fulfilling his vision of himself, acknowledging by his return that there is way more to him than mere commercial success.
Sam as male Warrior, King, Lover and Magician. He was happy, warm and fulfilled on opening day- providing for himself, engaging his skills and talents, receiving emotional support and encouragement from his many friends, and being quite completely in contact with LOVE, God, Universe, or whatever higher power it is we may try to name that sustains us, indeed holds onto us. Universe blesses bravery when it is for our life purp0se, giving us what we need most, including transforming our pains into what produces our joys. This is what the human beings do, out of our essence, when our passions are tuned into our skills. I’m not sure how sure Sam would name “It,” this power for transcending ill fortune, but I am very sure he would not deny it. It was in his pride and joy in the moment he said, “I’m destitute.” Quite the bit of irony, that.
Such is Life Purpose, the larger frame of reference, the deeper motivator, the most rewarding of gifts we receive when we’ve seen, affirmed, grabbed, held on to and begun acting our our soul purpose – no matter when or how many times circumstance may force us to begin again. Life Purpose is undeniable if we align ourselves with it. Some times just a little support is needed. Which of us would deny that?
Go Sam! I’ll be checking in on you from time to time and lend what support or encouragement I can. I’ll buy one too when the time is right!