Are you struggling to find fulfillment in your work or everyday life? We often feel like we’re stuck or lacking direction. Sometimes we feel we need to make a large shift in our lifestyle as a means to finding the fulfillment we crave—the fulfillment God wants for us.
Are you looking to discover God’s plan for your life?
We can find answers to some of these concerns in St John Paul’s Theology of The Body.
Theology of the Body teaches us first, that we all have gifts and second, that we’re all meant to be a gift. The key to finding fulfillment is combining these lessons; learning how to use our gifts to be a gift.
The first step is to get in touch with the things we do that bring us joy. Why? Because we tend to feel joyful when we’re most connected to our strengths and our passions. Knowing what our strengths and passions are can give us hints into how we might be a blessing to others. For example you might find joy in caring for others, or maybe we have an interest in or passion for running and get a lot of joy going for a run every day. These are our gifts, the things that make us unique and unrepeatable in God’s eyes.
It isn’t always obvious how a particular strength or passion could enable us to be a gift to others. For instance, how could I turn my passion for running into a gift? Don’t worry about that right now. The answer to that question will be revealed in the second step of this exercise; bringing that strength or passion to God in prayer, and asking him to show you how to use it to be a blessing to others.
As you bring your gifts to God and ask him to show you how to use them to bless others, you might be surprised at what he reveals to you. Some things will be more obvious—if we have a gift of being caring, we can use that gift to care for others. But other strengths or interests might be a bit more difficult. Let’s go back to running for a moment. When you bring that passion to God, perhaps he would remind you of an upcoming charity run. Or he might just encourage you
to smile at the other people you meet on your jog instead of staring straight ahead. Or maybe, he would inspire you to draw strength from the joy that you received on your run so that you could engage with your family more, or be more focused in your work or in our life. All of these options represent ways you could use something that seems like a solitary, personal pursuit to be more of a blessing to others.
Using our gifts to be a gift, means opening ourselves up to the Holy Spirit, and allowing God to guide us in using our strengths and interests to bless others.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to begin your path towards finding fulfillment:
Finding your strengths:
- How would I describe myself based on my strengths/positive characteristics/virtues?
- Check in every day: What is one thing that I did well today? What strengths allowed me to do that well?
- How am I capable of using my strengths to serve others?
Finding your interests:
- What activities help me feel most like myself?
- In what situations/environments do I feel most at peace?
- If nothing is sparking my interest, what activities do I dislike least? How can I start there to find greater passion?
Using our gifts to be a gift:
- In what ways can I use what fuels me to be a better version of myself?
- What would it look like to be my best self today?
- How can I schedule at least 20 minutes a day to do something that I enjoy?
- How can I be present in that activity so that it truly fuels me and I can have more to give to others?
- How can I be a gift today?
Reflect on these questions. Ask God to help you find concrete answers. As you do, you’ll find that this process can be your starting point for getting to know yourself–and who God created you to be–in a deeper way. Let the Lord help you find true fulfillment by showing you, step-by-step, how to use your gifts to be a gift to the people who share your life.
If you would like additional support in finding the life that God wants you to live, visit us online at CatholicCounselors.com!