There he was, at the rock bottom of his life. Or so he thought, without realizing that the bottom was not supported by a rock. Instead, it was unstable, and he was sliding down further into a bottomless abyss.
In these moments of anguish, one asks himself or herself: Why me, God? What is the meaning of life? What is the purpose of life? And what is my life purpose? What is my soul purpose? How can I make mine a purpose driven life? Where do I even begin?
Has this happened to you at any time? For me, I have hit that rock bottom several times. Each time I hit the bottom, there were new revelations and new life lessons to learn, altering my perspectives, for the better.
During those moments, it is not uncommon to question your purpose. This is a natural and very human inquisition. The fact that you are asking yourself such questions is because deep inside of you, from the depths of your soul, there may be a dissatisfaction with your life, and you are looking for deeper fulfillment.
It becomes painfully clear in those moments of despair that the pain and unhappiness that you are going through is because your life is not in alignment with its real purpose.
To bring our lives onto the proper track, we need to align our life purpose with our soul purpose. But what is our life purpose and soul purpose, and most importantly how do we align the two?
One’s life may have a variety of purposes at different stages. For example, one may find purpose in seeking education, their chosen profession, in relationships, in assisting family members, being of service to society, or simply being still within one’s self, and so on.
At any given point of time, one’s life purpose may not be singular. There may be multiple purposes that you are pursuing.
Also, some life purposes may be stepping stones for a later and perhaps higher purpose.
Modern life, for most of us, demands that we act to support ourselves and our families. However, we often feel unfulfilled with purely material pursuits. Personal accomplishments and professional accolades bring only fleeting contentment until a further goal or benchmark materializes, and relationships always change and evolve. Change and evolution are essential and immutable aspects of the human experience. The fact of the world’s state of constant change cannot be altered. Inability to adapt to change can lead some of us to feel unsatisfied or unfulfilled.
Finding Your Life’s Purpose
Identifying your life purpose and living on purpose can be a very satisfying journey. If we drift about in life without a particular purpose, we can end up being dissatisfied and disillusioned.
How do you find your life’s purpose? To begin with, you can go deep within yourself and ask yourself a few questions.
First, ask yourself, what is it that you do, that at your worst is better than most people? All of us have strengths, even if they are not immediately apparent to us. They exist and can be unveiled after deep reflection or meditation. Some of us may excel in academics, where others advance in music, the arts, or social interactions which rely on heightened empathy. Some of us are good at looking at the big picture while others are good at following through with the details. We first need to identify our strengths to figure out our life’s purpose.
Second, ask yourself, if you knew you would not fail, what would you be doing? This question is an inquiry into your interests and passions. What is it that you would be doing if failure was not possible? What is it that you already enjoy doing, that you would want to do if nothing stood in the way?
The third question to ask yourself is how your strengths (what is it that you do, that at your worst is better than most people?) and interests (what would you do, if you knew you would not fail?) intersect.
Discovering this intersection of strengths and interests may happen effortlessly, it may occur after significant time searching, or perhaps, possibly, never at all. What is critical, is to keep in mind that even the search can be deeply fulfilling to one’s soul and in one’s life. Know that your path, your journey, is how the soul grows and evolves. Enjoy the process. If you maintain this mindset, the journey and process will be as, if not more rewarding, than the goal.
When you are truly living your life purpose, there is joy, satisfaction, and everything appears to flow effortlessly. You will internalize and be in harmony with the meaning of life and purpose of life. That is because you are in tune with what the Universe intended you to be.
A soul’s purpose is simply Self-Realization and to experience life, in its many stages and forms, on its way to realizing your true Divine Nature. A soul goes through different stages of evolution. A soul is where it is because it has evolved and grown through all its previous stages. For it to realize its highest purpose, it has to evolve further until it becomes One with the Divine Consciousness. This Oneness with one’s Higher Self is the state of Ekatvam.
For this evolution to happen, the soul chooses the most suitable life and body to experience and work out its karmas. The ultimate purpose of one’s soul is to uplift their karmic debt to set itself free from all bondages.
It is possible for every human soul to evolve to its ultimate destination in this lifetime – if the mind, body, and soul are aligned. Just being aware of and acknowledging our ultimate soul purpose alone is enough to raise our levels of consciousness. And setting an intention to realize the soul purpose establishes the person on the path to self-realization, to realize the meaning of life.
Aligning Life and Soul Purpose
One’s ultimate purpose of Moksha or liberation occurs at a soul-level. Aligning one’s soul and life purpose is an important aspect of the journey on this path. This alignment is sometimes overlooked or thought to be less important to one’s growth and evolution.
For example, there is a mistaken notion that one needs to forsake all worldly relations and involvement to attain liberation. This is far from the truth. On the contrary, if one runs away from what they are supposed to do in life, there is that unfulfilled karma.
The key is to align one’s life purpose with their soul purpose. This alignment brings into balance one’s worldly pursuits with their soul’s journey and advances the evolution of both simultaneously, and it brings fulfillment and harmony into one’s life.
When one aligns their life purposes at different stages of their life to their soul purpose, all these life purposes become stepping stones towards the soul’s ultimate purpose. This alignment paves the way for one’s life purpose to be the same as their soul purpose. When this happens, one is truly on the way to Self-Realization. In fact, your whole journey becomes one of Self-Realization.
Think of the soul purpose as the end goal, the ultimate goal. Life purposes are the interim goals and cumulatively, the means goals to achieve the end goal.
About the authors
Swami Shanmuga and Amma Adi Sakthi are a Yogi and Yogini couple. They are Adiyargal (ardent devotees and servants) of the Divine Mother Sri Maha Pratyangira Devi. They manifest and personify the pristine energies of Pratyangira Devi and are in Ekatvam, in Oneness with Her. At the current time, Amma and Swami are in Mangala Tapasya in the Himalayas, to usher auspiciousness and Satya Loka energies in the world and serving the Divine by serving humanity. Read More...