Finding your life purpose or a diagnosis?https://www.karinvondaler.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/CA72CF17-7D3E-40A7-BB58-67A8C3B9180C-scaled.jpeg25601919Karin von Daler Healing ArtsKarin von Daler Healing Artshttps://www.karinvondaler.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/CA72CF17-7D3E-40A7-BB58-67A8C3B9180C-scaled.jpeg
Nowadays, it’s common to have a diagnosis of a mental disorder. Especially for children and young adults. In the past, diagnoses were rare and mostly used to describe more severe mental illness and suffering.
There are probably several reasons why diagnoses are given out more liberally. Partly, it may be because we are better at recognizing and detecting mental disorders and partly because we are more chronically stressed – not least because of the amount of information and lack of calm and concentration, we expose our brains to.
Often, sadly, diagnoses are the only way to get help from the public or health insurance. Diagnoses can be helpful in treatment planning because if there is a relevant treatment, they can help point to the right one. Also, many feel seen and relieved to have an explanation that absolves them of responsibility, according to a young psychiatrist, I spoke with last week.
He would prefer to avoid diagnosing, unless it is absolutely necessary, and would rather help people heal and change with psychotherapy – if they want to.
The Norwegian writer and psychologist, Arnhild Lauveng, who struggled her way through enormous mental suffering and psychiatric stigmatization, felt imprisoned by her diagnosis and also stands for offering therapy and other mental health treatments that meet the individual human.
When I was a young woman, I was one of those ambitious and very sensitive young people. Today, I would probably have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. There were several highly educated and experienced people who wanted to give me diagnoses, but to me, these labels neither helped nor described me very well. So, I gave that up in favor of developing myself through therapy, art, closeness with others, and not least time in nature.
On the other hand, I have always been very interested in using all kinds of personality tests and have been to many clairvoyants. Mostly to find my purpose in life, my soul nature – my calling.
Many of the people who come to my courses and for therapy in my clinic feel the same way:
They are looking for their calling or a vision for a life that makes sense.
And there is a need for many of us to find a beautiful and rewarding purpose for our lives – only in that way can we help our suffering world. I have learned, that a life purpose is not static, but unfolds gradually under the right conditions.
Just like the acorn which turns into an oak without self-doubt, therapy, or personality tests, as described in James Hillman’s beautiful analogy.
So how do we give ourselves the conditions that help us grow, so our inner acorn can grow into the oak? In my world, at least, it is not primarily through diagnoses. For me, it’s more about getting in touch with yourself and the nature of your soul in a nourishing and creative way.
In The Art of Self-Healing cards, which have just been released from Wonderland Publishing and are now sold worldwide, there is actually an exercise in finding your calling that you might want to try for free right here.
Listen to Chopin’s Nocturne, Opus 9 (1830-31), no. 2: Nocturne in E flat major. You can find many beautiful versions of it online. While listening to this piece ― or something else that calls you, reflect and write a little on what’s calling on you now? Write freely.
If you like more structure, here is one way to find out more about your calling:
Draw three circles that overlap. In the first circle, write a few words about what activities or tasks really awaken your joy and curiosity and make you come alive.
In the next circle, write about everything you think should be changed or done better in the world. What’s your main grievance with how things work? Where do you think there is a real and urgent need for help? What could really help the world
In the last circle, write about what you know you are good at. Think about what you feel and think you are good at and what others have repeatedly complimented you for.
In the rounded triangular shape in the middle, which in geometry is called the Reuleaux Triangle, write those words or themes that seem to repeat in all three circles.
Look at your diagram here. What does it say about what you love to do that the world needs and that you are good at? What’s your first step to answering your calling?
Write to me if you are also interested in finding your life purpose. I am developing some new course ideas. and would very much like to hear if this is something that interests you.
Thank you for reading my reflections – I’m grateful you are here.