Our Purpose in Life

Soooo.... here's the big question: What is our purpose in life? As a psychologist, I often explore this question with clients and it is interesting how everyone has their own idea on why we're here.

'You are not separate from the whole. You are one with the sun, the earth, the air. You don't have a life. You are life.'

~ @EckhartTolle


OuR Purpose in Life

Photo of pink spring blossoms against blue sky

This morning I had a conversation with a good friend who is currently going through a very tough time. I would have loved to get out a magic wand and make all the dark and intense feelings disappear, but unfortunately there is seldom a quick fix solution to circumstances that have come to the boil after simmering for years. We spoke about happiness for a while and focusing on the things that you can control and how you have to move on and keep on living your life despite those unresolved things that are not in your control. It is a relief to know that life is dynamic. Nothing is permanent… not the best or the worst of circumstances… and the pain that he is experiencing right now won’t last either.

Our conversation made me reflect on the purpose of life. Many spiritual gurus claim that the purpose of life is happiness, but my work with people in need over many years has led me to a different conclusion. I honestly don’t think the purpose of life is joy so much as it is to be fully human. I believe we are here to experience life in all its various colours and shades… from the most profound bliss to the darkest depths of despair. We’re here to experience love and loss and change… because that is the very nature of life.

Nothing in the universe is fixed or stagnant. Just think of the seasons. As much as I love summer, I don’t expect the weather to remain sunny day in and day out – not even here in the tropics. I welcome the rain and embrace a cool autumn breeze. Winter has its own magic… in fact, one day I might even take a deep breath and go find some snow to play in!

The point is, if we can accept the change in seasons, why do we expect life to be any different? Why do we resist the winters of loss, failure and defeat? Isn’t it true that the pain is in the resistance? Once we surrender to whatever reality is in the moment and experience it fully, however painful that may be, it releases its grip and frees us to keep moving, to keep flowing towards new life, love and happiness blossoming in spring.

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