“Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it” ― Siddhārtha Gautama
Do I Have a Purpose?
Do you ever feel a sense that there is something more to your life? You don’t know what it is, but you are haunted by the feeling that you have a purpose? And that purpose is somehow greater than what you are doing now? Even if you are successful in your life, have a great job, terrific family, friends and colleagues who love and admire you, you still feel like something is missing?
All of my life, I have had the feeling that I was meant to do something else, something more useful and meaningful. Even when I had a great job and a great career, performing a function that seemed helpful and loving, I still felt like something was missing.
As I began to examine my life, I recognized that no matter how much I tried, I never had enough!
Not enough power, not enough money, not enough approval, not enough fun, not enough joy… as hard as I worked, I could never find the success I wanted. As I looked at my dissatisfaction, I began to notice a pattern. It seemed like every time I got close to reaching a goal, I saw that goal as being small, unworthy, never big enough. I knew that I would not be satisfied when the goal was accomplished, and I would set another goal. The new goal would be challenging, difficult, and it would take a lot of work to accomplish.
Have you had that experience? Think about it, has any job ever paid you enough? Do you come home from work every day thinking, “WOW! What a great day, what a great job! I accomplished everything I wanted to do, everybody loves me! I can hardly wait to go back tomorrow and do it all again!”? I am guessing this is not your usual experience. I know it is not mine.
“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.” – ― Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness
Would you be surprised to learn that it is not the purpose of this world to make you happy? In fact, the world is a place to see that what I really want is not here. The world is an ILLUSION – made to remind me that I am something more than the body, the personality and the brain that I think I am. I am an infinite and eternal being, created by a Source that is infinite and eternal. How can an infinite and eternal being be confined to a body, a personality and a brain? Those things are temporary, small and finite. When the body dies, I will go on without it. But if that is true, why do I feel so small, limited and dissatisfied? Why am I fooled by this illusion, to the extent that I have lost all remembrance of what I am?
“Each man had only one genuine vocation – to find the way to himself….His task was to discover his own destiny – not an arbitrary one – and to live it out wholly and resolutely within himself. Everything else was only a would-be existence, an attempt at evasion, a flight back to the ideals of the masses, conformity and fear of one’s own inwardness.” – ― Hermann Hesse
Without knowing my true purpose, everything I do seems like a futile effort. I am never satisfied, because I always think there is something more, something else I should be doing. No matter how successful I become, there is still the nagging feeling that I am not doing enough, and so I move from goal to goal, never finding what I seek. I am lost in a world of illusion, and I want to give my whole heart and soul to finding my purpose.
Why am I seeking to break free? Is it because I believe that the world I see is not what I want? Is it because I do not like what is happening and I want to make something else to happen? Looking at my thoughts about this, I see that it is true. The world I see is not making me happy, and I wonder – is it my purpose to be happy? Do I really have a purpose?
As I write these words I become increasingly restless, nervous and upset. Why? Because deep inside I believe that I am not worthy of having a higher purpose. I believe there is something I need to do to prove my worth. Is that my purpose?
In A Course in Miracles Workbook Lesson 25, it says “Purpose is meaning. 2 Today’s idea explains why nothing you see means anything. 3 You do not know what it is for. 4 Therefore, it is meaningless to you. 5 Everything is for your own best interests. 6 That is what it is for; that is its purpose; that is what it means. 7 It is in recognizing this that your goals become unified. 8 It is in recognizing this that what you see is given meaning.
W-pI.25.2. You perceive the world and everything in it as meaningful in terms of ego goals. 2 These goals have nothing to do with your own best interests, because the ego is not you. 3 This false identification makes you incapable of understanding what anything is for. 4 As a result, you are bound to misuse it. 5 When you believe this, you will try to withdraw the goals you have assigned to the world, instead of attempting to reinforce them.”
So I have given myself the only purpose I know, it is a small and unworthy purpose, because it is the ego’s purpose. I do have a Real Purpose though, and that is the one given to me by God. And it is by allowing the ego’s purpose to be replaced by God’s purpose that I retrieve my natural inheritance. No amount of wishing, manifesting or hoping can do this for me.
“T-23.IV.8. Think what is given those who share their Father’s purpose, and who know that it is theirs. 2 They want for nothing. 3 Sorrow of any kind is inconceivable. 4 Only the light they love is in awareness, and only love shines upon them forever. 5 It is their past, their present and their future; always the same, eternally complete and wholly shared. 6 They know it is impossible their happiness could ever suffer change of any kind. 7 Perhaps you think the battleground can offer something you can win. 8 Can it be anything that offers you a perfect calmness, and a sense of love so deep and quiet that no touch of doubt can ever mar your certainty? 9 And that will last forever?”
“T-23.IV.9. … 4 No one who knows that he has everything could seek for limitation, nor could he value the body’s offerings.” A Course in Miracles
When I remember my purpose, I will have nothing else to look for.
“If I could give you information of my life it would be to show how a woman of very ordinary ability has been led by God in strange and unaccustomed paths to do in His service what He has done in her. And if I could tell you all, you would see how God has done all, and I nothing. I have worked hard, very hard, that is all; and I have never refused God anything.” ― Florence Nightingale