As promised, I’m posting my thoughts and beliefs on this question for you.
(UPDATE: Due to a technical glitch this show did not go live or record on May 28th so I will be discussing this topic on my BlogTalkRadio show, Messages From the Other Side, this Saturday, June 1st, 2013. Please tune in!)
Two weeks ago, Tony from NY asked: What is the purpose of life? Why are we here? I could also hear his concern about all the negative things that you see and read about and what kind of purpose those have, if any. I know he’s not alone, I know most, if not all of us, have these same questions and concerns throughout our lifetime so I wanted to expand upon my answer. Tony, I hope you’re listening.
I firmly believe we are here to experience everything life has to offer, both good and bad. We’re here to learn, to grow, to love, to help one another, and be happy. Oftentimes, though, the road to happiness is lined with challenges but that’s okay, that’s how we appreciate moments of happiness, and of joy.
To me, that’s THE purpose of why we’re here. I think we try to make it more complicated than it really is: what is my purpose? Like it’s a single solitary thing…well, in a way, it is. To experience life. Period. But…that encompasses everything!!
One of your purposes could be helping a neighbor plant a garden or babysit her children. Your purpose might be uplifting someone’s day in such a way that it saves them from making a poor decision, it could be as simple as an act of kindness like letting someone in front of you in a supermarket line. You don’t know how it’s going to impact their day or their life but you do it anyway. Think of the “bigger picture.”
I think it’s possible to look at our entire life as the purpose of why we’re here. We want to experience being sad, being happy, being in love, being heartbroken, being helpful, even feeling hatred, feeling forgiving and forgiven. We want to find our passions and yes, that’s plural, passions – you can have more than one passion in a lifetime, just like you can have more than one purpose, so to speak. Don’t limit yourself. However, like I said, within the main purpose of experiencing life, there are many, many purposes within that…to be a parent, to be a friend, to be a catalyst or motivator, to be an artist or a teacher, the list goes on and on!
And know, that with each experience, it offers an opportunity for everyone involved to grow. For example, if a group goes through a traumatic experience together, each one of those people will probably learn something different. One will learn never to trust again (or at least for a while and will then have to learn to trust again), one will learn to be more cautious, one will learn to listen to their intuition the next time it tells them not to do something or go somewhere, one will learn to continue to listen to their intuition because it saved them from experiencing the traumatic event.
One will learn to forgive, one will learn about hate, one will learn about love and not taking people they love for granted. One will learn to live life more richly and fully. One will come to their own truth about themselves, their relationships, their career and/or all of these things.
There is so much wisdom to be gained from a negative experience but it can take some time for the wisdom to be recognized. Healing needs to take place before we can recognize it sometimes. Give yourself that time to heal.
Negative experiences also offer opportunities for others to rise to the occasion and help others. Remember 9/11 and, more recently, the bombings in Boston? Those tragic and shocking events brought out the best in people, didn’t they? People risked their own lives to rescue others from the wreckage, people opened their homes to strangers,
STRANGERS! In a world where we are constantly telling our children not to talk to strangers much less invite them into our homes-we did both!
We opened our homes and ourselves to help one another. We gave blankets, water, food, shelter, clothing, emotional support, financial support, we gave our compassion to everyone involved and by doing so, it brought us, as Americans, and in the case of 9/11, almost the entire world together.
As Americans, we had become distant and separate and divided and 9/11, I think, changed that. It united us, we came together to help each other, to do good in any way we could, even if it was simply sending our prayers out to everyone directly involved. What a beautiful thing that came out of a very negative experience.
We, as humans, are capable of so much more than we can imagine (though our Spirit or Higher Self knows it), and sometimes we need a negative experience in this physical world to remind us of our strength, our compassion, our bravery, our wisdom, our appreciation for each other, our love for humanity…it doesn’t matter what package we’re in, what color we are, what nationality we are, we are all human beings having very human experiences. That simple fact bonds us together. It allows us to help each other when we see someone struggling with a similar situation or event. This is the value of a negative experience: to help ourSelves and others so we know we’re not alone, we know there’s help out there, we know someone cares. We all long for this connection and, experiences, both positive and negative, give us that connection.
So, know that what you’re going through now may end up helping someone else in years to come. I know you may not be able to see or feel that now but hang in there. The purpose of your experience will be realized as time passes.
Amongst the weeds and overgrown grass, beautiful little yellow flowers blossom.
Now, for the positive experiences. When we help someone, what do we feel? Happiness! Joy! Right? When you give someone a hug, doesn’t that feel good? It’s a moment of joy, of love, of connection. That’s what life is all about and sometimes we have to go through a negative experience to realize that yes, that really is what life is all about. Love. As humans, we all want to be acknowledged and appreciated and loved for who we are, flaws and all. Imperfections and all. No one is perfect and that’s okay! Life would be boring if everyone was exactly the same and “perfect”!
So remember, we all want to be loved and we are all hurt in some way. Each one of us goes through our own version of Hell and not one of those versions is any less important than another’s. There are lessons to be learned, our Selves and others to be appreciated and loved, joy to be had, if we can only get through the pain, anguish, and trauma of the events of life, we’ll see that. It may take months or even years to recognize the good that comes from a bad situation and that process in itself, is a journey worth having, worth experiencing, worth sharing. That process is our purpose.
When we’ve just had a negative experience, we never know how it will result in something positive for ourselves and/or for others but at some point, we know we’ll be able to reflect back and say, “Wow. That’s why I went through that. That’s why that happened!” Kinda’ neat, huh?
So…Our purpose is not an end product, it’s the process of life itself, the experience of life…the journey of life…the joy of life.
Our purpose is to live our lives. Our purpose is to love, to learn, to grow, to help one another, and find our passions and our joy through experiencing all of life, both positive and negative. It’s as simple as that and it’s as complex as that.
Life’s most simplest joys: finding the perfect chair for a nap. You can’t help but smile, can you? Focus on these moments.
And as far as the imbalance of negativity vs. positivity goes? The media gives us that illusion. I invite you, as I did Tony last week, to look for the positivity, the joy in life. Once you start looking for positive happy, joyful moments, you’ll start noticing them everywhere and if you can’t seem to find any…then create one! And that’s something as simple as going outside for a walk and finding joy in the trees, the sunshine, the animals. Something as simple as smiling to a stranger or your neighbor. Bask in those moments…focus on those moments…add to those moments. Focus on the good and you’ll find it. I’m sure of it. 😀
Does any of this ring true to you? What do you feel is the purpose of life? Where do you find joy in your life? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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