Many of us spend years or even decades searching for our true life’s purpose, never quite sure if we’re on the right path. A fear of missing out can take hold, paralyzing us and making us wonder how we could ever be sure we’re making the best use of our skills. But what if we could tap into a truth that’s been inside us all along? In a tantalizing selection from her book THE AWAKENED WOMAN, author Tererai Trent, shares how identifying our Great Hunger can point us toward our life’s purpose.
There is a deeper hunger that lies within us, waiting to be discovered. It is the innate, human hunger to support one another, though our material desires often mask it. Your task is to listen for the stirring of an insatiable hunger begging you to connect to the world in a new way and to align your dreams with this yearning. The power of the Great Hunger leads us to a different path, a path of the true, authentic self. Once we find our Great Hunger, then the voices that silence us, the names that others use to define us, and the fears that lurk in dark corners, become diminished—and an electrical surge of purpose fills us. Our Great Hunger becomes the source of our calling.
You will know you’ve found that place when you are aligned with a purpose that makes you come alive, when you feel harmony between your Great Hunger and the needs of others. When we find this place of deep contentment where the Great Hunger resides, then we have awakened our sacred dream and we find abundance and great joy.
I am not saying that once we find our Great Hunger all becomes well. We need healing and we must do the hard work of nurturing our positive traits—resilience, courage, empathy, compassion, loyalty, conscientiousness, and openness. In turn, these traits will nourish us in times of doubt and distress. Tapping into your Great Hunger is not the end of our healing, it is the beginning—the beginning of our collective waking up.
It can be so easy to wear other people’s faces: the face of the “committed to commitment” wife, regardless of her unhappiness; the face of the selfless mother, stifling her own dreams; the face of the impoverished “Third World” victim, weighed down by words and terms others put on her with no awareness of her true self; and on and on. What we need more than anything is to feel exuberantly comfortable wearing the face of our true, authentic selves, and this has major consequences for our ability to contribute to the world.
When we are not deeply tapped into our authentic selves, we become divided from ourselves, and as a result, we grow to be divided from one another, from our sacred purpose, and from the world. The world is depending on you to name your Great Hunger, for indeed, awakening to your sacred purpose is a radical, social act. It is time to let your sacred purpose come forth. Like a river flowing, let your Great Hunger pour from you and let it flood the world.
Hear it from the echoes of my own silencing and how that changed once I found my Great Hunger. I can tell you this: without a burning desire to change the trajectory of my life and move toward a purposeful life, I would still be leading an unfulfilled life in my village.
Want more inspirational advice on pursuing your life’s purpose? Be sure to pick up a copy of The Awakened Woman by Dr. Tererai Trent.
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Excerpted from The Awakened Woman by Dr. Tererai Trent. Copyright © 2017 by Tererai Trent, PhD. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.