Do you know why you are here on Earth? Are you walking a path that fulfills your purpose?
In this post I’ll discuss how finding your purpose is a hero’s journey.
Why Do People Struggle With Finding Purpose in Life
Finding true purpose is a challenge that plagues many people throughout their lives. Yet, there are plenty who really never give it a thought and just walk through life doing what is acceptable or necessary. They don’t inquire, step out of line, make waves, take a chance, or dance like nobody’s watching. They keep their heads down and don’t take risks.
You, on the other hand, are more aware and curious. You suspect there is something missing and desire more out of your life than the status quo. You have that nagging sense about something that needs to be discovered. Something more, something deeper.
Your friends and family may consider you successful because you have chosen a suitable career. Yet, in the quiet moments of your life, you ponder the lingering question about whether this is really the correct path that leads to fulfilling the goals and higher purpose that were a part of the deal your soul promised when incarnating into this lifetime.
Those thoughts, my friend, are the seeds that will grow your consciousness. Follow that nagging sense, water those seeds, and watch your awareness blossom!
While we are led to seek outside assistance in finding our purpose, by consulting career counselors and taking aptitude tests, your career is related more to your innate function, rather than to your purpose.
The good news is that there is a part of you that knows the truth of that life purpose. The bad news? Getting to that part is as easy as pinning the tail on the donkey while wearing a blindfold. And that is how most people approach this quest. A stab in the dark.
The seeds of your purpose were created at the same time that you were. At the point that your soul, your Being, was formed, inherent function and aptitude were built into the design. It is foundational.
However, as we are raised, we are more likely to be pointed toward our function than toward our true purpose. “She’s good at math,” “He’s a natural athlete”, “She’s too short to be a model”, “He loves cars”. These are the criteria that guidance counselors will use to make their assessments. But they don’t know your soul, do they?
These are indications of your capabilities for function. But what is the purpose of these?
A hammer has a form, a function, and a purpose. The form allows for many functions. It can be used as a doorstop, paperweight, weapon, and so forth. But its true purpose is to pound nails. Are you a hammer being used as a paperweight? Or are you using your form and function to tackle your real purpose?
There are a number of reasons why we don’t become fully aware of our purpose:
- Money. How many people do you know who could have become amazing artists, whose dreams were squashed because that wouldn’t bring a lucrative paycheck?
- Society. Parental and social pressures, cultural norms or expectations, are major contributors to missing the mark on developing your achieving your purpose. You look for a career rather than a calling. You grasp at the shiny object and miss the treasure.
- Lack of options. This was my own experience. When I was in high school in the late 60’s, career counselors were not including psychic skills, hypnotherapy, past life regression, tarot, and astrology as indicators of solid career choices. It wasn’t until my late 30’s when I started to shape and focus my talents and inclinations into a viable career.
- Fear. Fear is another major roadblock: fear of taking risks, playing it big, and paving your own path. Fear of failure, embarrassment, ridicule.
Finding Your Purpose in Life is a Hero’s Journey
Noted mythologist and author Joseph Campbell says that, at some point in his journey, the classic hero must trust his instincts and make a leap of faith into a new reality. Luke Skywalker did this in Star Wars when he closed up his radar and electronics, and trusted “The Force” to guide his release of weapons into Darth Vader’s Death Star. When the hero is willing to make this leap, he wins the prize, discovers fire, slays the dragon, saves the maiden, or gains whatever it is that fulfills his quest.
When I read Tarot cards, I use the Moon card to illustrate the concept of being on “the path”. The scene depicted on this card is of a creature emerging from a body of water. There is a path that lies ahead of him that eventually leads through twists and turns to the top of a mountain. In order to make his journey and arrive at his final destination, he must first pass by a hound and a wolf and through a set of pillars.
This is not unlike what it takes to realize your purpose, and then achieve it.
The crab is comfortable living in the water, but the view is limited. It is also considered to represent the subconscious. Only when he emerges does he have the clear vision to see a higher goal: the mountaintop. As he becomes aware of this higher goal, he also realizes that the journey begins by moving through the pillars. The pillars have the same reference as the gates of the village that Joseph Campbell refers to when the hero must leave the comfort of his community to embark on his adventure.
Yet, this crab must safely navigate past the hound and the wolf before he can even reach the pillars and start on his path. We all face this.
If we set a goal, we will have to deal with the hounds in our lives who try to distract us. They are the shiny objects that take our attention or those who would “hound” us to forget the big dream and just stay here safe at home with them. They may suggest you go shopping, play small, blend in. And then we also have to negotiate with the wolves. They are the ones who sabotage, put us down, criticize, smash our dreams, or are competitive and jealous.
Can you name any hounds and wolves in your life?
In a moment I’ll share some tips about how to discover clues to your purpose. First, let me share a case study of a client who was in pursuit of her purpose.
Client Story: Case Study on Purpose
Finding clarity and meaning in our lives is vitally important, and is a reason that brings many people into my office.
Together, through techniques of hypnotherapy and past life regression, we explore how our past circumstances and experiences provide clues to the greater reasons for our existence and the role we are best suited to fulfill.
In the following case, my client wanted to gain a greater understanding of her purpose so that she could make more sound decisions concerning her life path. She wanted to begin living a life of purpose, so sought out a series of one-on-one sessions with me.
Notice how the door she comes to has more to do with her subconscious view of the difficulty in discovering the answers than it has to do with the location of her past life.
Mary Lee: What do you notice about this door?
Client: It is a metal door. It’s big and heavy.
ML: As the door opens and you step through, what do you notice?
C: I’m in a cave. It is earthen, rounded. There are tunnels. It is dark and moist. It is raining outside. I’m afraid of predators. I am hungry and I need to fetch berries and water.
ML: Are you alone or with others?
C: I sense someone else in the cave. They need these things, too.
ML: What else do you notice?
C: There is a stream nearby. I go and collect water and berries. I also collect leaves. They are for medicine.
ML: What do you sense as your role here?
C: I am a healer.
ML: What else do you notice?
C: I’m tall. I am being careful of bears. I go back into the cave. There is a woman and baby there. They are sick.
ML: As time passes, what do you notice?
C: They get better. I am an accomplished healer. I’m good at it, and I’m right about the treatments.
ML: Imagine going back into the hallway. You discover another door that will lead to yet another lifetime, which will help you in your quest for purpose and passion. 3,2,1…what do you notice about this door?
C: It’s a clock. When I go through it, there are gypsies, music, colors, flowing clothes. There is a party, with people drinking. There is a lot of excitement.
ML: What else do you notice?
C: Friendship, lovers, and passion. Everyone is happy. I notice music.
ML: What do you know about yourself?
C: I’m a female. I am wearing a chiffon dress. It’s shoulderless, billowy, and I have flowers in my hair. I play the flute, dance, drink, eat, and have fun. There is so much passion! It feels so good to not be weighted down, not be afraid to move on. I can take chances and live life. I don’t worry about the future. I go for it!
ML: What advice would she give to you?
C: Don’t be afraid of failing. Have fun. Don’t care what people think of you.
ML: If you followed her advice, what would be different in your life?
C: I’d shed my obligations. I’d be more mobile, less weighted down by things. I’d help people—children or the elderly. I’d care for the infirm. I’d make a difference in life. I’d be lighter. I’d have a better perspective. I wouldn’t take things for granted. I’d enjoy the small things.
ML: And going to yet another lifetime, 3,2,1…where do you find yourself now?
C: I’m in the light. I’m in the atmosphere. I’m airborne. I see stars. I feel the presence of a higher being. It draws me to it. It says that it gives me strength directly. I feel its energy. It’s warm, good, electrical, powerful, elevated.
ML: What else do you notice about this experience?
C: It seems to tell me that I’m wasting my life by…no…I’m not getting it. I see a yellow beam now.
ML: What else do you experience?
C: It’s a perspective. I see life as though from a higher consciousness. Humans look like ants running around like idiots. I want to open my arms to those beings. All the children, the infirm, and the animals. I want to open myself up more.
ML: What have you learned from this experience?
C: I’ve learned to not be afraid of failure. I’ve learned to not fear love or life. In the big scheme of things, when you see life from a different vantage point, there are many lessons. It is wasting time if you don’t love. The purpose is to share it, to give, to nurture. And, to be surrounded only by people who can also feel that way. When you feel that way, you will make a difference.
ML: So what are you to do in your life?
C: Walk the talk. I don’t want to have a job for the money, but for the fulfillment. I won’t worry about a briefcase and pantyhose, but strive to make a difference. I can make a difference. I need to be happy. I need to smile more, get dirty, wear my hair up, and not worry. It’s better to laugh a lot.
ML: What else do you know?
C: I need to start now. Take steps and begin the journey. The end result is what I will look for. I will take the time, do it right, and do it once. If it’s not right, I’ll keep trying. I won’t be afraid of mistakes.
ML: Is there anything else?
C: Less is more. I’ll be a better mom when I am happier. I will stop talking and start doing. Look for a job that is fulfilling. Take a chance. Not be afraid. It feels selfish, but really good.
ML: Is it okay to make yourself happy?
C: Yes, if everyone did, everyone’s quality of life would be better.
As you can see, life opens up to you in ways that you never imagined when you are aware of your true purpose. It’s never too late to begin the process of self-discovery and start to understand exactly why you are here and what will truly fulfill you.
Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
To know your purpose, take the time to determine what would truly fulfill your passions.
A good place to start is to remember the games you most liked to play as a child. What roles did you choose both among your friends and in your imagination? What tasks did you enjoy? What got you excited before all the filters and restrictions were imposed?
If reincarnation is a part of your philosophy, exploring your past lives will reveal lifetimes when you were expressing your purpose. You can even explore and learn from those lifetimes when you failed to find or pursue your purpose.
What is your true nature? What are your cherished values? How do you best function, and what is the highest use of that functionality?
Ask yourself the well-worn question about what you would do if time and money were no object. This time add the caveat of what you would do if you had to spend all your time away from the house except to sleep, and it can’t be anything passive like reading, getting lost on the internet, or playing video games. Who would you be and what would you do?
Clearly envision your purpose and aim in that direction. Your understanding of your purpose may not fully emerge at the first glance. This quest requires that you continue to sense the calling and make the necessary adjustments in order to stay aimed in the right direction. Stay tuned as new and better information is revealed to you.
Then, garner the courage and confidence to stay determined and faithful to that calling, navigating through all the distracting shiny objects and the sabotaging nay-sayers. Take small steps, if necessary. Each day push your boundaries just a bit, taking a greater risk or trying something new that draws your interest. Remember the importance of your goal and keep it high on your values as your north star.
Journal Ideas for Finding your Purpose
If you’re curious about beginning the journey of self-discovery and purpose, dedicate a journal to exploring the following questions:
- What would you pursue if money were no object?
- How would you be different if there were no societal restrictions or criticism from others?
- What options can you think of if you could think “out of bounds”?
- What would you do differently if you had no fear at all?
- What do you believe you are here on Earth to be and do?
- What do you value above all else?
- What role do you tend to fall to in social interactions and situations?
- What past life memories do you have that point to certain innate talents and abilities?
- What virtues and character traits do you have that allow you to gain and keep your highest values?
- What obstacles do you face in discovering and pursuing your purpose and how do you plan to overcome them?
- What would make your life more meaningful right now?
- What do you perceive as your purpose in life?
- What is the course of action you can take to move closer to aligning with your life purpose?
Each individual has a unique purpose which will create a distinct and exclusive life path. There is no one better than you to determine your true purpose. You deserve to create your destiny, to manifest your dreams, and to fulfill your soul’s purpose. Be the hero in your own soul’s saga, and have the adventure of a lifetime!
If you have any questions, please share them below!