Such a strange question, when you think about it. After all, we were born “here”, raised “here” and taught to desire all the things that “here” can offer, whether they be material things, such as a new car, or the intangibles, such as romantic love. So why do we feel this odd sense that we are here for a greater reason, and often clueless as to what that reason is? I believe it is the knowledge, no matter how deeply buried (or ignored), that are true selves are spiritual and that our true home is somewhere other than this three-dimensional plane.
While those who consciously ask the question often feel tortured by their seeming inability to find an answer, those who do not ask the question may suffer even more deeply. They feel a hole inside them but cannot put a name to it; as a result, they often fill it with it unhealthy things like drugs, alcohol or toxic relationships. Of course, these things only leave them feeling emptier, so they up the “dosage”, and so on.
The “why am I here” question weighs on us most when we are feeling lost or facing some sort of adversity. Then the question becomes, “What is the purpose of all this struggling? Why am I even here if x, y, and z is going to happen to me?” But really, we just want to know what we can do to make the struggle meaningful.
The answer is both simple and complex at the same time. Complex, because each of us has different needs, desires, and abilities, as well as our own unique part to play in this human mosaic. Simple, because all of us can find this purpose by connecting to something larger than ourselves, such as God or nature, and / or outside ourselves, such as another person or a humanitarian cause. In The Two Agreements, I discuss how Jesus’ purpose was to share the Good News and bring people together around an understanding of our oneness with God and with each other.
Similarly, it is by finding our connection to Source, and to each other, that we find our own way to serve. In other words, we have to go within to go without. Take a few minutes each day to clear your mind of the “to do” list and any other chatter that plagues you. Then, in the quiet, ask yourself, “What matters to me? What am I passionate about? How can I make ‘here’ a better place?” I am not suggesting that the meaning of your life will come to you in that moment (although it has for some people), but I can tell you that taking these first steps on the path will lead to a sense of connection, and of purpose.