“If our essence is the soul, or the spirit, why did we bother to incarnate in the physical body?” As spirit, there was no pain, no fear, no suffering, and certainly no death, right? Didn’t we know we were better off staying in the spirit world rather than coming to this world?
In other words: What is the purpose and meaning of life?
Soul’s purpose to enjoy
Yep, this is the main thing. We wanted to enjoy this physical world. We wanted to feel the love and abundance, our power to create and manifest, in this tangible world.
Are you disappointed? Does “enjoyment” sound unimportant or petty? Were you expecting something holier?
Then let me ask you, what is more holier than enjoying, which is synonymous to praising and appreciating the creation (whether you see the creator as God or yourself)? If you think enjoyment is something worthless, you may be caught up with the “Value must come from sacrifice” and “We are no good and we must suppress ourselves” myth.
But, you may say, this world is full of horrible things. We don’t get to enjoy much.
Well, I’m writing another post to show you that perception is misled. (It’s published now here.) All the things in this world are good. But even if we accept there are bad things in life, does that decrease your enjoyment? If you believe in bad things, you enjoy the good things even more, don’t you?
If not, it’s probably you not allowing yourself to enjoy — it’s not the bad things preventing you from enjoyment.
And by saying “Our soul’s purpose is to enjoy this life,” I don’t mean we should all spend the rest of our lives lying on the beach. Lying on the beach is enjoyable some of the time, or all the time for some of the people, but not all the time for all of us. I, for one, will be completely bored after a week or so. (Yes, I actually prefer the cool Oregon weather, and most of the time, I like typing up my articles rather than doing nothing.)
Okay, so enjoyment. How do we really enjoy living then?
Soul’s purpose to express itself
By fully expressing our unique gifts and strengths. You enjoy yourself and your life most when you are fully yourself.
If you try to become someone that you are not, your effort is wasted and you feel bad about yourself. Even if you get money or people’s attention this way, you just feel like a fake and you don’t get to enjoy them really. This is the mistaken way to enjoy “love and abundance.”
To really enjoy love and abundance, we first need to love ourselves completely and unconditionally, and to see the abundant and supportive nature of the universe.
We, each one of us, have unique gifts, and the gifts get even better as we go through our unique life experiences. Recognizing our gifts and figuring out how to express them is one of the most important work you do in your life.
So we can say our soul’s purpose is to express ourselves in an authentic way. Which brings true enjoyment.
Soul’s purpose to learn and to help others learn
When we incarnate, we receive the “veil” that make it difficult to know ourselves. It’s a way to enjoy this life game more. It adds the fun of discovery.
So, to get to the place we fully express ourselves and enjoy this life, there are learnings to do. This is often called learning the “life lessons”. Learning the life lessons is part of the soul’s purpose.
I don’t see this learning process goes on indefinitely, however. With Ascension, many souls are completing the “this is the life lessons, here is a plan to learn them in this world, let’s work on this program” style learning.
Sometimes, we volunteer to help others learn. Our souls are so generous! I’ve seen these souls in my Akashic Record Reading — they’ve been relaxing in the spirit world for eons of time, and then decide to come over. Apparently, there is no big reason they “need to” incarnate, but they volunteer to be here.
How specific your soul’s purpose can be
Some people want to be told something like, “Your purpose is to go to Africa to save the starving children.” And they are afraid they’d “fail” in life if they don’t do it. Well, in order to do it, they need to know what their specific purpose is, so they go to psychics for readings.
This is a very poor way to use a psychic. Because, if the psychic (and their spirit guides) is a good one who respects free will, they see the problem of telling clients their specific purpose. We are not order takers and we define our specific path of life. There are many ways you can express yourself and therefore contribute to the world. Choosing which way you want to take is up to your free will.
For instance, if you are told that your purpose is indeed to go to Africa to save the starving children, would you do it? Well, you’d better, right? And if you fail to do so, you live feeling bad, fearing the judgment? Do you really think the loving God, who is the very one who gave you free will, would do something like this?
So let go of the idea that there is a life purpose statement hidden somewhere in the sky. Also let go of the idea God is a mean superintendent tracking your progress against the life purpose plan. And while you are at it, let go of your friends in the spiritual circle who make you feel bad because you are not contributing enough money, time, etc for greater causes.
Instead open up and enjoy your life. Be yourself. Praise the miracle of life and create more miracles yourself.
Whether you are doing it consciously or not, you are creating your life and the world. The principle of this creation is called the Law of Attraction. There are other spiritual laws about creation, but I’m simplifying things here. The important thing to remember is the true nature of “reality”, that reality is something we can mold.
Now the ultimate question to this premise is “Why, then, don’t we get what we want? Why is it so damn hard to have what we desire, like making enough money from my hobby so I can quit my job or finding my life partner?”
There are two things to consider here. One is the misuse of the Law of Attraction. The other, main point of this article, is surrendering to the bigger purpose of life.
Misuse of the Law of Attraction
Common misuse of the Law of Attraction includes:
1. Focusing on NOT having what you want instead of acknowledging the good things you already have and desiring to go further to have it.
Let’s say you are single and want to find a mate for intimacy and personal sharing. Someone you feel attracted and want to spend a lot of time together. Now, do you feel good about yourself — do you find yourself lovable and trustworthy? Are you grateful for the life you have now, for your friends, your past romantic partners for making you the person you are now? Or are you feeling lonely and miserable, needing to find that special person? If it’s the latter, you probably attract more of not having a mate. Or you attract someone that matches the loneliness and misery you harbor.
2. Not being clear and consistent about what you want. Many people seem to know exactly what they DON’T want, but not clear about what they want.
Do you find yourself desiring a life partner one day and then, on other days, saying something like “Oh, I’m just too busy to have a relationship right now. I want a raise…” This is like changing your order at a restaurant. Please be clear and consistent about what you want — this involves sincere exploration of your true desires.
Then there comes a point of surrender. This is different from giving up your desire because you see yourself as a powerless victim of life. This is about surrendering to the bigger purpose of your life that your conscious mind may not readily perceive.
Let me continue the example of finding a life partner. After my divorce, I decided to spend a year to recover my sense of well-being and to rebuild my life. Eventually, I felt ready for a new relationship. I actively sought out a new partner. I joined match.com. I asked my friends if they knew someone single. I did meet many men. But none led to long term relationship.
Was I doing something wrong? Back then, that is what I thought. Although I couldn’t put a finger what I was doing wrong.
I was quite happy with my life. I don’t say this in a way like, “I have a good-paying job, I have great friends, I’m fine. Nothing is wrong with me.” kind of way. Yes, I just wrote this line in a tongue in cheek kind of way because I saw so many online profiles like that. The truth was, yes, I was happy with my life, my job, my social life, but I wanted a romantic relationship and I couldn’t find it.
So, I wasn’t focusing on the negative NOT having part of my desire. And I was fairly consistent in my focus. Even though I didn’t know the term “the Law of Attraction” back then, I was taking the right approach.
Not getting what you want and be happy with it
Then I decided to quit my corporate job and relocate across America to Oregon. Gee, I couldn’t have done this if I had a boyfriend in Tennessee. I’m really accommodating when I’m in a relationship, and I most likely would have given up — or wouldn’t even have entertained — such idea if I were in a serious relationship.
I didn’t get what I sincerely desired — a life partner, an intimate relationship. Looking back, am I upset about this? No. On the contrary, I’m grateful. I couldn’t see far enough into the future when I was busy meeting men, but now I think this is exactly how I am meant to be living now. I can spend my time doing what I am meant to do — doing the Akashic Record Reading service and writing about spirituality — without the constraint of monogamous relationship.
This is what I mean by surrendering. You may not get what you desire, and it may be just as well. You will see how so much better it is not to have your wish come true — if you open up and accept the gifts of not having it, if you surrender.
Recently I had a mini revelation. The memory of my first boyfriend popped in my mind suddenly. Well, I didn’t have sex with him, but I consider him to be my first boyfriend. We were seventeen years old. It ended prematurely because I was an exchange student in Australia and had to come back to Japan at the end of the year. I used to wonder what my life may have been like if I could stay and could keep seeing him.
In a flash, I saw myself with him together. Living together in a house. With kids. Doing the everyday things — get up, breakfast, get the kids ready for school, rush, work, etc. etc. The life I could have had with him. And OMG. I was tired of the repetition within a second!
I always knew I was not meant for motherhood — I find children adorable, but I was never big on becoming a mother myself. The biological clock that so many women talk about — I just never felt it. This — not particularly craving motherhood — was fine with me. But as I’ve been saying, romantic relationship was a different deal. I thought I really wanted it. Living with the guy I really like (and he likes me too), sharing all aspects of our lives. I thought I wouldn’t even mind taking care of kids if that’s what it takes for the relationship.
But no. When I saw that psychic vision, I realized I’m not meant for the regular marriage. Even if it’s a good one. I am meant for something else. For what? Well, look, I already have it. I can freely pursue my interests, build my life and my business. I connect with my clients with love. And being free from the conventional lifestyle keeps my thinking free and my body ageless.
Somehow I surrendered to the bigger purpose of my life. My ego mind could not see it for so many years, but my Higher Self knew what was best for me. This is how creation works sometimes.
(And now, from this liberated place, I can date ^_^ I see my new date from time to time while keeping my life my way. It works.)
Are you ready to surrender?
Or are you attached to a certain outcome? In other words, do you simply desire something or do you NEED it to happen?
I suggest you take a big breath and look at the things you so want but haven’t got in your life. Is it possible not having it is actually better? Can you see the big picture? (Photo by photomason)
Learning the life lessons through experiences in the physical world has been the big part of our souls’ purpose for millenniums of years. While some souls are graduating from this learning process recently, I know there are many souls who are still working on this level, and I want to help. (Photo by FreeWine)
How our souls choose to learn our life lessons
When a soul is ready to incarnate, it determines a set of life lessons, and then choose the appropriate birth setting for the best learning opportunities. Let’s say the soul wants to learn Abundance. Now which of the following two settings do you think would provide the best learning opportunities?
- To be born to a wealthy family and just accept the abundance there
- To be born to a poor family and build his or her abundance, from rugs to riches
Yes, #2 is more challenging but rewarding. So the courageous soul takes up the challenge.
The trouble is that we forget it when we come to this side of the world. So now you don’t understand why you were born to poverty while plenty of others are born to reasonably wealthy families. As you work your way working full time and taking evening classes, and every time you see other kids buying nice stuffs while you worry about paying the rent this month, you wonder, “Why? Why is life so hard on me?”
The truth is you are right on track.
Let me give you another example of learning Love or Compassion. For the same reason with Abundance, the soul may prefer to be born to a loveless family so they know firsthand what it is like not to have Love and Compassion. So that they can grow up to be the Love to the world.
I don’t think we ever choose to learn something negative like Poverty. We are evolving toward Light.
The pitfall of this “learning by contrast” process
Quite obviously, there is a problem about this learning by contrast process. Because we are so shortsighted in this physical world and because we don’t clearly remember the life lessons we ourselves chose prior to birth, we may grow bitter and give up the learning altogether.
This is very sad. Learning the life lessons is one of the purpose of life. (Life is also about just experiencing this beautiful physical world and expressing our wonderful energy.) There is no point in sulking and wasting our time.
The awareness of one’s own life lessons is probably one of the best gift of my Akashic Record Reading. But you can also find your own life lessons through your life challenges.
5 steps to find your life lesson(s)
You need: a few pieces of paper and a few colored pens, a box of tissues, and some quiet time for yourself.
- On a piece of paper, write down the major challenges in your life. List as many as you want. Some examples may include (but by no ways limited to):
- Were you born to an abusive parent?
- Did your parent die when you were young?
- Were you born with physical limitations?
- Were you born to an average middle class family but somehow had trouble connecting to others?
- Did you repeatedly have trouble with authoritative figures?
- Did you become a parent at very early age?
- Did you want children but somehow could not have one?
- Have you been in abusive relationships?
- Have you been unhappy with your career?
- When you are done with step 1, review your list. Now go deeper. For each challenges, find the quality you have been seeking in each negative situation and write it down in a different color. Connect to your own feeling rather than just jotting down typical answers. This is about YOU. And try to come up with one or up to three words for each challenge.
For example, if you were born to an abusive family, did you want Love? Acceptance? Or maybe it prompted you to seek Autonomy? Did it lead you to Compassion with people, animals, to nature? Or maybe in your special case, it helped you to develop a sense of humor with Lightheartedness?
- Now review again. Does a few word appear repeatedly? Do you see a certain “quality”, a theme that runs through all or most of your challenges? On a second sheet of paper, write down what you think is the main theme, or the life lessons you have been working on.
- Examine the first list of your challenges with this new awareness of your life theme, or life lessons. Do you see how each “negative” situations contribute to the learning of your life lessons? Take your time. This is a critical step that can change the way you see your whole life.
- If you notice a new theme or life lessons emerge from your worksheet, write it down on the second sheet of paper. Repeat step 4 and 5 until you get the “Aha! This is it. This is what my life is about!”
Pay attention to your emotional cues
The bigger the emotional hang-ups are, the more likely it is tied to your life lesson. Is there someone in your life that you feel you can’t forgive? Forgiveness or the quality that person lacked so much may be one of your life lessons. Is there something you accused “God” for? Trust or Openness may be your life lesson as well as the quality that improves that something.
180 degree change in how you see life
When you take the time – and more importantly, the courage – to do this exercise to find your life lessons, something magical happens. Things that bothered you so much stop having the emotional grip on you. You stop going down the roller coaster that is so familiar to you.
Because now you see what you thought to be a horrible drawback in your life is not that at all. They were learning opportunities! And you see it so clearly, not like someone telling you “Well, what did you learn from it?” (Don’t we hate that question.)
People may keep saying unkind words. They may point out you are disabled or been to jail or single or whatever. That may annoy you but heck, you know the truth. (Annoying is annoying. A mosquito is annoying. They don’t send you off the emotional shoot.) You know those people are only talking about their own fear.
Learning the life lessons through positive learning experiences
Further, with the awareness of what your life lessons are, you can attract more positive learning experiences. You don’t have to go through poverty to realize abundance. If that is the case, you have to go bankrupt every few years to learn the life lesson of Abundance. No. You can learn abundance in a more expansive way. In this example, how about expanding abundance beyond the monetary sense? How about doing charity?
By becoming fully aware of your life lessons, you attract more positive learning experiences, which speeds up your learning process. As a group, we humans are finishing up this “learning by contrast” process and becoming more about being. So do work on your lessons and graduate the school of life!