Sooner or later in life, each of us faces the question “What is my purpose . . . and what should I do about it?” Whether as a response to humanity’s current crises or as a very personal cry from the heart, the question comes in many forms.
Finding your purpose, and living it, is the key to life, as it gives you a certainty on who you are, a connection with your higher being, and valuable daily guidance on what to do, and what not to do!
That you have a purpose can be understood better in the light of that major characteristic of human life, reincarnation. When we understand that this life is not our only one – and that our soul has many incarnations in personality, one after the other, or even several at the same time . . . then we have a framework for understanding our purpose in this life – along with our limitations and lessons. For purpose and the lessons of limitations underlie all that we are, all that we experience, and all that we might become in this life.
The good news is that everybody has a purpose! You may know or believe this already! Most people believe it – even when they are not sure what that purpose is. Sometimes it is referred to as a person’s ‘passion’. But is not the passion of everyday emotions and feelings. It is something much more.
The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.Samuel Clements
Our life’s purpose is determined by our higher Self, prior to each incarnation. It is the reason we incarnated – we are living another link in the chain of our soul’s incarnations. So it chooses the purpose which moves its incarnations forward along its path of experience and development. If there was not a reason, a purpose, we would not be incarnating! By incarnating, we are each fulfilling a small part of the purpose of human life itself, because we are all part of the one incarnating life stream called ‘humanity’.
Whatever your purpose, you are given everything you need to fulfill it. You are given the skills, the interests, the tendencies, the attitudes, wishes, etc. You might say you are designed to fulfill your purpose in any given life.
We are also given our karma, or particular life conditions and circumstances, which we must deal with in order to fulfill our soul’s purpose. Simply put, karma involves lessons that we need to learn – areas of human activity, feeling and thought where we are challenged to behave, feel and think in line with the higher values of life; with our higher Self, rather than behaving, feeling and thinking self-centredly and harmfully to others. Effectively, karma is part of our purpose, and inseparable from it.
What will knowing my purpose do for me?
What’s important, as an everyday fact, is that knowing your purpose makes your life better – perhaps even easier! In fact, it makes it much better, if you follow your purpose and seek to live it!
Once found, that treasure within, your purpose, is found to be a gem; a jewel of great value, a light that shines from your higher Self through all of your being, and that gives you the opportunity to grow your consciousness; to feel complete, fulfilled – in your life, body, mind and feelings.
When a person does not know their purpose, it is most likely being made difficult by some barrier around it – a cluster of attitudes and lessons unlearnt in the past – this is a form that karma from past lives may take. Too often, people believe their karma is fixed, not understanding the key transformative benefit of opening to their soul, and to their soul’s purpose – of accepting and fulfilling their purpose!
Sometimes the personality gets stuck in those karmic attitudes or energies for many lives. In these lives, little spiritual progress is made – growth and development in consciousness does not occur. Also, further karma accumulates. These attitudes and energies are mostly unconscious – they are not in the person’s awareness and hence remain unquestioned by the person. This does not change unless a person takes up their purpose!
The personality has wants, needs, likes and dislikes, while the soul has its purpose. The two are not incompatible. For the personality must work out how to do what is its soul’s purpose and how to express it – through what it wants and needs for itself. It’s a matter of balance.
If the personality does just what it wants, ignoring the soul’s purpose, the soul will arrange a path in life that confronts it, challenges it and steers it, in order to pressure the personality to fulfill its purpose. This can be quite unpleasant! This can lead to disastrous activities, desperation and depression! These stall the spiritual development of the person.
This is where karma really begins to bite, as progress is not being made towards the soul’s goals! The person’s unconscious tends to reign supreme, as the person tries to fulfill its demands, possibly repeating old patterns from the past, not growing, not progressing in consciousness. Further karma accumulates for future lives.
On the other hand, when the personality does what is its life purpose, it may still be challenged by its un-redeemed parts – the karma that lies as patterns in its unconscious. These unconscious parts of the self have been developed early in life to protect the personality from insecurity or from painful, even traumatic experiences. They invariably reflect karmic issues to be dealt with in this life. Here we have a path of potential conflict and suffering.
So, in both cases, karma is encountered. What is most important is making it conscious, bringing to it the light of soul, of super-consciousness – of knowing your karma, both of your general life circumstances, and day-to-day karma in your relationships and ways of thinking and feeling about the world. These things are part of your personality, and the better you know your personality, your own story, the better you are able to move it along, to redeem your karma, and to fulfill your soul’s purpose, to grow.
Following a path of purpose is a balance of personality and higher self. It requires you to be aware of your karma and work with it and on it. It is a cooperative venture! This collaboration takes place in the heart, where the soul and personality meet . . . and where they can come to a working relationship on how to move forward. It is a path of renewal – of breaking consciously the old patterns of many lives.
Learn the alchemy true human beings know. The moment you accept what troubles you’ve been given, the door will open.Rumi
How do I find my purpose?
Your purpose is not about a career, a job, a means of making money in order to live. Your soul does not care if you are a butcher or baker or candlestick maker!
Similarly, it is not necessarily about what your teachers told you, or your parents taught you as a child – it’s not about what others think you should be . . . either your friends, your neighbours or the prevailing social conditioning of the market economy, trying to sell you products as a ‘lifestyle’!
You must find your purpose for yourself, inside, in your deeper consciousness – not outside in the babble of words, thoughts and feelings around you. Finding your purpose is about listening to your inner calling – letting your heart speak. We need to let our heart speak to us, not tell our life what we’re going to do with it. (see Start in Your Heart)
Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really loveRumi
However, knowing your purpose can show you how to achieve success and fulfillment in your life. This can be through finding work or activities that are a better expression of who you truly are, or by learning how to bring your purpose into your daily life.
We are each part of humanity’s need to renew and to live in the higher light of love and wisdom. By bringing into worldly action the consciousness and flow of love of our heart, our purpose and service, we support meeting that broader need. We increase the flow of love into the world, and we help lift the vibration of humanity! There is no greater contribution you can make to the world than living your purpose – for your soul knows its part of the plan!!
Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it.Gautama Buddha
Take that journey of finding your purpose and you will meet yourself: you will find the answer to both questions deep within: ‘why am I here?’ and ‘what should I do about it?’ It’s like a hidden treasure, planted there by your soul.
There is a life of excitement, fulfillment, and joy waiting for you on this fabulous journey! Finding your purpose, your soul’s passion, is an inward journey that requires your attention, effort and will. (see Do you choose to change?)
However, in this journey, you must become accustomed to not having easy answers. You must tolerate ambiguity and be okay with struggling, as you become more aware, more conscious of your purpose and its constraining conditions along the way. You must allow yourself to feel – to deeply sense. Thinking your way to your purpose or to your karma will never work. Be gentle and be forgiving with yourself.
I’m not outlining an easy path here. This is a tall order for many people; one that they may deny, ridicule, or downright ignore. Each of us must make our own choice on this. But for people wanting to become more aware, to improve the quality of their lives, to grow in consciousness, becoming more conscious of your purpose and karma is your only real option. The alternative does not bear thinking about!
Stop the words now. Open the window in the center of your chest and let the spirits fly in and out.Rumi