As a result of a writing assignment I am doing for a client, I am thinking about a personal mission statement.
I created one a few years ago and carried it around on a business card that I kept in my day timer. I haven’t looked at it for a few years, but it would be interesting to see if my life has evolved in accordance with its qualities since I penned it. I wonder where it is now? It would be difficult to locate it now with my personal possessions in such a disarray and in so many different places. If I included personal order in that mission statement, I can say that at this moment in time, I am way off course!
I do know however, that my personal mission statement spoke to the desire and commitment to be involved in my community making a positive contribution toward quality of life issues. When I first married John, I joined the Art Association, the Downtown Revitalization Committee and a new church, all actions that supported my mission statement. We stared a recycling business and my creative juices were drenching me with ideas, energy, and productive action. This too, fell in line with my personal mission. There was a purpose and order to the days of my life.
Then things fell apart. My own quality of life dropped dramatically. The experience of that marriage was like being dropped from an airplane into a jungle maze with no compass.
Ah, but I did have a compass – my mission statement and my foundation on faith.
The drop caught me by surprise. I had no parachute prepared. My support of family and friends had no idea I was in a jungle. I didn’t even know it myself at first. It was only after starvation and thirst began to cripple me that I opened my eyes and saw that I was alone in wild, untamed territory. Darkness fell and monsters emerged from the shadows. My internal compass wriggled and strained to point me north. My foundation on faith became the soft, mossy carpet of the forest floor. It absorbed my weight, invited me to rest, encouraged me to take another step.
Quality of living is not always defined or identified by tangibles. When I was in the jungle dodging monsters and meeting dead ends, quality of living appeared as beams of light through dense forest branches offering me stamina, integrity, reason. Quality of living was fueled by my faith and given to me as recognition of my own gypsy feet that were designed to keep moving and venture down new, unforged paths.
For awhile, quality of living was simply survival and the conscious choice to keep on living.
That mission statement I wrote once upon a time was the needle on the compass that I didn’t even know I was carrying. And that mission statement was designed by the concepts of my faith.
Yes, I am thinking about a personal mission statement. We all have one somewhere deep inside where psyche meets spirit, but the act of forming it into words that fit the earth life experience may not be something many of us have ever done. I strongly recommend it though, because the deliberate thinking of your personal mission and writing it down somewhere is immeasurable valuable. Some day, we all come to a crossroads where things fall apart. When you least expect it, your personal mission statement will rise out of the debris and point you northward, the only way home.