Your Life Purpose on a Tea Bag Tag

Image courtesy Leah Kelley via

ne afternoon, I was at my desk drinking my favorite ginger tea.

I’m the impatient type who leaves the bag in the cup to steep while I sip. I learned from a lover way back in my 20s how to wind the string around the cup handle and tuck the tag under the string. This means the tag won’t fall in when the hot water gushes from the kettle.

This sunny afternoon, I looked up from what I was doing on my laptop and noticed the (nicely dry) tea bag tag pointing its memo at me:

The purpose of life is to know yourself and love yourself and trust yourself and be yourself.

This is the kind of message that hits you in the gut with its rightness. It felt so profound and special, I couldn’t bear to throw the tag away. I taped it inside a notebook that I leaf through frequently.

To further commemorate this wisdom (inspired by or uttered by Yogi Bhajan), I decided that writing about it would be my act of devotion.

Striving to find a purpose in life

I’m gratefully exempt from this striving. I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a writer. It was a matter of getting over my fear and self-doubt enough to gain momentum. Once I did that, I never looked back.

But thousands of people go online every day searching for a purpose in life. There are coaches to help people identify and start to live their purpose.

The drive to find a meaningful way to express ourselves and contribute to the world is like seeking oxygen for the soul.

But maybe we have the words “life purpose” mixed up with “passionate pursuit.”

Image courtesy uniquedesign52 via Pixabay

Separating being from doing

This message on the tea bag tag asks us to stop identifying so heavily with what we do and go deeper.

Even though the experts are always advising us to do this, it takes more than just advice to understand how to separate being from doing.

The purpose of life is to know yourself and love yourself and trust yourself and be yourself.

I don’t propose any answers or how-to’s. All I can do is reflect on how far I’ve come re: knowing | loving | trusting | being myself and try to notice anything I did that helped.

I’d need to write a book to capture it all. But if I had to sum it up goes like this:

First I worked myself into the darkest hole I could find, even though on the surface I wanted to be happy. And when it was finally too unbearable, I started shouting to the Universe that I wanted my power back. But I didn’t just shout. I took risks. Made mistakes and bad decisions. Got kicked out of the nest. Got scared. Got sick. Got angry. Worked to be less emotional. Pushed myself out of my comfort zone (because I had to) and forced myself to try things, achieve things, fail at things and let go of things with the intensity of needing to survive.

Strangely, all of this mess did lead to more self-love, self-knowledge, self-trust and being who I really am.

Is power part of love?

For me, one of the keys to regaining self-love and self-trust has been to finally regain some of the power I lost by giving my time and energy to the wrong belief systems, relationships and decisions.

It’s a work-in-progress, this life purpose stuff. But I’m trusting my path.

The cleansing aftermath

After writing this, I noticed how emotional I was feeling. It kept building up until it was ready to release. I cried and grieved for the parts of my life that felt damaging to my self-love. This had a cleansing effect. Afterward, I felt lighter, as if I’d released an old burden.

Milli Thornton helps writers overcome perfectionism and procrastination at Write More Words. Under her Kindle pen name, she’s the author of Happiness in 2 Minutes: A Simple Trick You Can Use Almost Anywhere, Anytime.

Half Aussie. Writing coach. Deep listener. Devoted fan of the indestructible genius (aka the imagination). Get a 1-hour free consultation at

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