Is there a plan for your life?
Do you have a purpose?
I was raised in the firm belief that nothing is predestined or predetermined about our lives.
We have free will; we make choices; those choices have consequences.
We can choose to do good and loving things, or we can choose to do bad and evil things. We attain situations in life by working for them (trying, reaching, seeking.) The things that happen in our lives happen because of chance, luck, randomness, our actions and other people’s actions.
When I was growing up, I heard people talk about gifts, talents, and inclinations, but never life purpose or soul mission.
I was raised to believe in resurrection and redemption, that it was never too late to make changes in our lives, and therefore change the course of our lives.
I still pretty much still believe all of those things…except where I don’t.
I certainly don’t believe everything happens for a reason, and I do believe we have free will, but I also believe there’s a plan for my life.
I do believe I came into this life with this plan, that there was a dream for me, and that I agreed to it.
When I look at the map of my life, I can see places where I veered far off the path I was supposed to be on. At each of these places, my intuition warned me. I was guided to redirect, but I didn’t. Eventually, I got pulled back on path, but I created difficulties and regrets for myself.
There are other places where it didn’t seem to matter what I chose - the choice wasn’t going to put me any closer to my mission or remove me from it. At these points on my map, it’s as if God just shrugged and said, do whatever you want.
And there are places on the map that felt like closed doors. These options were completely shut off. No matter how much I wanted those doors to open - no matter how hard I begged - the answer was a decided and ultimate no.
I think there are some people whose lives exhibit clearly, without question, they came in with a big divine purpose and fulfilled it.
Martin Luther King, Jr., for instance.
And there are people who are clearly living their purpose, but on a smaller, or lesser known scale.
You could certainly say we all have the same purpose - to be kind to one another, to serve love, to spread joy
- but I do believe we come in to this world with plans for our lives.
I can’t explain to you exactly why I believe it; I just do.
How much is predetermined and how much is flexible and how much is left up to chance?
I have no idea.
I do find it comforting to think thoughts about angelic protection and going when you’re meant to go, etc., but I also know there are deaths that are nothing but tragic.
I know that accidents happen.
Yet nothing about the natural world and not much of our lives here feels random to me.
And as I said, I know that all along the way in my life, I’ve been guided, which indicates to me there is a purpose to this.
I don’t think purpose is something we have to seek.
In fact, I think it’s probably best for us not to go searching for it or try to figure it out, but instead just let it be, allow life to unfold, listen for our guidance, and trust it.
Sometimes it is knowing we are on purpose that inspires bravery and courage.
Recently, I told a friend how much better Tracy and I feel when we’re in Southern California, but how the threat of the big cataclysmic earthquake gives me pause and she said, without missing a beat, If you’re meant to die in the big earthquake, you will. If you’re not meant to, you won’t.
I realized that it would incredibly liberating to believe in that sort of fated destiny.
If I truly believed that only what was meant to happen would happen, then why would I ever fear anything again? Why would I spend anytime at all trying to outrun pain or wrong turns? Wouldn’t I then just lie back into the arms of faith and breathe and allow and experience the pleasure of this life?
While I do think there’s a danger in personifying God, or imagining the world beyond the veil to be simply a more light-filled version of this world, I do sometimes imagine myself sitting around a table with a council of loving guides.
(We are sitting in fuchsia velvet chairs, in case you’re wondering - there are lost of amethysts around and selenite. We’re all wearing flowing white and drinking out of big white mugs.)
Jesus is there and Mary Magdalene and Mary, his mother.
Angels are there, of course.
And other loving, wise beings who hold my best interest at heart.
We discuss my life - how it’s going, where I’ve been, where I might be headed.
(Which is not to say that it’s all about me.
Surely, if we have a life plan, it’s about the uplifting and healing of the collective, the greater good.)
They share with me things they would like for me to consider, some stuff I might want to let go of, some things I might think about doing.
Sometimes they give me little glimpses into the future.
It feels good, this imaginary meeting, because it feels like love and it feel like order.
It feels like I can take my hands off the steering wheel, because it’s all going to be what it’s going to be, and it’s all going to be all right.
But when I hear people say, don’t worry, if something’s meant to happen it will; that nothing can stop you from fulfilling your soul’s mission, I don’t think that’s exactly true.
It’s the free will thing.
I think I could say no to my mission - through my choices, my actions or inactions, my refusal to follow the guidance.
I think it’s very possible to leave this physical plane without having done the thing we said we would do.
I don’t think there’s any punishment or even disappointment attached to this.
I believe that when we die, we go back to God.
This is why sitting in the velvet chair and drinking from the big white mug is an important visualization for me.
This is why I get to church a little bit early and sit beneath the stained glass in the quiet.
This is why I light some nag champa and turn on the salt lamp and meditate every morning; and why I record my dreams; and why I lie in savasana with my palms upturned, and always say yes to the drop of lavender oil at the end of yoga class.
I want to be a clear vessel - for peace, for love -
-for the unfolding.
So, what about you?
Do you believe you have a life purpose?
Are you here on a mission?
How’s it going so far?