I first wrote this post in January 2011, and since I’ve grown and evolved, it’s no longer in sync with how I teach.
If you want a post more up-to-date, please read this blog post about spiritual purpose:
What Is Purpose and Why Do People Want it?
This topic is a big one. People spend a lot of time trying to figure out what their true purpose is on the spiritual path. It can be the source of much frustration and wringing of hands if you feel like you can’t find it. So I am guided to write about this topic today.
Do the Work on the Spiritual Path
I’ve been blogging for some time about all the stuff that you can do to clear away the internal obstructions. If you’ve been doing this, then you’re ready for this blog. But if you haven’t been working to connect to yourself and to the divine, then you’re going to be in a tough spot. It’s like watching the movie, “Inception.” When you see that first scene, you have no idea how anyone got there. The same goes with awakening to your true purpose. If you haven’t done the internal work to know yourself, getting your answer wouldn’t make any sense.
So please start at the beginning if you’re new here. This link goes to the Starting Out section.
Turn Back Now If You’re Looking for Safety
Oftentimes, the ego that thinks it’s being spiritual is actually just looking for safety. It’s looking for some quiet corner where it can feel good all the time. But that’s not how life works. Life has ups and downs. As we let go of our endeavors to control life, we come into greater peace. But those ups and downs still remain. It is all part of the human experience.
Furthermore, awakening to your true purpose may only accentuate those ups and downs as you realize the changes that you have to make to align with it. Depending on your path, you may have to make dramatic changes, or you may have to make only subtle, but important changes. It varies widely. It varies by who you are trying to be and who you really are. But most of all, awakening to your true purpose means that you are going to give up a lot of stuff. Ultimately, you give up everything–every thing you thought you needed or wanted and every relationship you thought you had to have. As spiritual shifts begin to arise following awakening, everything falls away. And this is an important point to realize. There’s no line item veto on this path. You can’t select some experiences and not others. You simply learn to accept them all.
Awakening Work Is Not Awakening
It’s also important for me to delineate that the tools that I’m offering won’t necessarily lead to awakening. They are tools to cultivate the ground for stuff to grow in it. Awakening has its own intelligence; it’s part of your soul’s own discovery and the pacts your soul has with the universe. So, you can do a lot of the stuff I’m offering through this awakening section and still not awaken. It’s really not about collecting information. It’s about being, and when your soul is ready, nothing will stand in its way to waking up–unless it’s you.
Discovering Your True Purpose
Similar to the awakening to your life work blog post, a lot of this is about noticing what you’ve been doing your whole life. Your purpose has been lurking in the background for some time. It may not have had a clear expression, but you may have been doing it for awhile. It’s like someone who is trying to become a doctor, but that person keeps flunking out of medical school. You get more and more frustrated, but you feel driven that way. I encourage you in these situations to peel this layer back. What is a doctor? A doctor is a healer. Are you trying to be a healer? If so, then the field of opportunity is much, much broader, and you simply need to find a healing art that aligns more deeply with who you are.
This course of inquiry works best if you’re doing something that you have chosen. If you’re trying to be a doctor because your father was a doctor or because you want to make a lot of money, then this example doesn’t work as well. So you have to take a slightly different tact. Any where that you have made choices to do things purely because it’s what you want to do, you’re probably not that far from finding out what your underlying purpose is.
Following Your Bliss, Your Joy
Digging down a level deeper, you need to follow your bliss or your joy. If you don’t know what that is, you still have a lot of connecting to do within yourself. Because if you don’t know what your bliss or your joy is at this point, you really will feel even more lost and frustrated. And that’s not the point of this blog. I’m writing to help you clear things away. I’m writing to help you let go and thereby embrace the deepest truth and love within you.
That love within you manifests through actions that bring you joy. The very doing is a joy. It’s beautiful. Your true purpose is bigger than just your life work, although it includes it. Your true purpose encompasses every moment of your life. So it’s not just about finding a career. It’s about knowing who and what you are at your core because in activating that part of you, everything starts to melt into bliss.
Bliss and Spiritual Perfection Don’t Mean an Easy Life
Too many people confuse spiritual perfection and bliss as meaning a life of luxury. That’s not it at all. You will still have hardships. You will still have sorrows (If a family member dies, for instance, you will grieve. This is part of the human experience). But you won’t hang onto the hardships. You won’t hang onto the fears, angers, or sadnesses. You will know how to experience and release them because to do anything else is to harm you and to cloud your purpose of being.
Being, itself, doesn’t need purpose. That is an ego construct that tries to give itself value and reason to live. Being simply is. And in that “is-ness,” you will find such light and joy that you may be overcome. It is the perfect place to find your purpose because whatever arises will be the right thing. It’s a completely different space because there’s no grasping or desire for purpose. In all the ways you are still trying to define yourself and give yourself a direction, you’ve found your ego still hard at work.
Post-Awakening and Your True Purpose
A human purpose may be one thing, or it could be many things. It will most likely be simply in its essence…a simple little truth or idea that resonates most deeply for you. For some, it’s to heal others. They’ll heal through healing hands, their soothing voices, their diplomatic bearing, and so many countless ways that I couldn’t describe them all. Others will come to build healthy communities. Others will lead. Some will teach. Some will simply come to experience being human and have no other purpose. Still others will come to end cycles of pain. It’s amazing what purposes and gifts people are bringing these days.
Invariably, the gifts that you have to share are pointing at what you’re most naturally going to do and what your purpose is. They’re clues to where you’re headed. And they really don’t care about “real world practicality” because this world we live in is made up. And we have to re-make it.
Finally, being is, as I said, purpose enough. So for some of you, there is no outward activity that is needed. You have no driving movement towards anything but the here and now. And that’s just fine too.