It’s natural, as we age, to wonder at times if our life has had meaning. I had a touching letter from an older reader the other day in which she says, “I don’t seek honor or praise, but just that I left the world a tiny bit better than had I not existed. I don't want to just fill up space and put in my time. Of course, this runs smack into something I have considered before, ‘What is my purpose here?’”
I know this person, and I know she has indeed made a difference because of what she has offered over the years. How do I know? Well, for one thing, she has made a difference in my life through her interesting and thoughtful comments to my blog, that have brought encouragement to me and, I’m sure, other people too.
This question, "What is our true purpose here?" has obviously vexed our race for a long, long time. And so far anyway I see little evidence that our cogitations on this matter have helped make the world a better place.
It seems to me it may be helpful to narrow this issue down a bit so that it becomes more specific. For example, I might ask myself, ‘What is my purpose in life right now in this moment?” Or, “What is the right course of action for me in this particular situation?”
Mind you, I’m sure there is an over-arching purpose to our life that is true, and could perhaps be summed up in a few words. “I’m here to face fear and realize the truth of my own Eternal Nature,” for example, I might say. But even if such words are true, how do I make that truth become real in my own experience?
The only way to do this, I have found -- and continue to find -- is to do my very best to be true to the truth of my Eternal Nature in the little moments of everyday life. It takes humility and courage to do this -- to hear the impulse of Truth that flows fresh and spontaneous in our hearts in each moment from its source in the Eternal, and let that impulse find expression in our lives.
Here’s a simple 3-step approach that I believe can help any of us discover and fulfill our true purpose. It goes like this:
1. Be still
2. Ask for guidance, or be open to guidance
This simple formula has helped me many times in my own life. Faced with the strange, wild urge to move to Canada as a young man, for example, an urge that in so many ways made not a lick of purpose, I felt an instinctive urge to go to a beautiful place by the sea where I could be alone with Nature. With the sea stretching in grandeur around me, and English skylarks ascending into the Heavens with their sweet song, I was still, I asked for help, and I listened.
Immediately, the answer came. I knew in the very core of my Being that it was the right thing for me to go to Canada. Making the determination to act on that impulse that emerged so effortlessly and seamlessly in my experience that long ago day opened the door to a new life. It was a critical piece of my own journey into greater freedom and happiness.
I do hope these musings may be a help. The issue that my Internet friend raises is a huge issue. But, perhaps it’s not as difficult or complicated as we think?
What does the Bible say? “Before they call, I will answer.” As far as our past is concerned, we will never really know what impact we may or may not have had upon our world. But there is something that we can do right now, in this moment and the next, to allow the truth of our Eternal Spirit to find greater expression through us.
I send blessings and love, and would love to share any thoughts you may have on the above.