Distress, and how it relates to your purpose

“Your distress over any issue provides greater clarity about your purpose. If you dig. Your distress is to alert you to what you want.”

The above thought arrived in a meditation. I can no longer recall the issue prompting the thought, but the idea has served me well. When I remember it!

Distress comes because there’s a sharp gap between what I’m expecting and what I’m living. 

Like when you think you’ve got a play date with your wife and suddenly unexpected company shows up. Maybe that’s not real distress for some — only dismay — but in my case, with my wife, it’s an abominable misuse of my time.

When I dig into distress I often find something unexpected. Unfortunately it’s the same unexpected thing that keeps popping up.

I imagined distress comes because I’m being thwarted from my purpose

Yes, I get thwarted. We all do. Those are easy signals to change direction. To tweak my approach.

But much more often it comes because I’m not aligned with my purpose

I’m not living congruently in that moment. Maybe for so many moments that mild stress had to turn into real distress — to get my attention.

Real distress is when I’m not living up to my purpose. When I am the obstacle to my purpose.

Distress, in this way, is a cautionary signal. You could say it’s friendly fire. A signal to be attentive. To line up with my deeper values. 

Who knew?! Distress is a beacon . . . seeking to pull me away from disaster.

You know when I’ll know I’ve grown? When it only takes mild annoyance to get my attention to line up with Deeper Me.

For you 

Evan Griffith
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