Many of us are discontented with our work and / or our lifestyle, but few of us can identify what it is we really want. Fewer still have the courage to make the changes necessary to find happiness and fulfillment.
Although most of us live with comforts only kings enjoyed hundreds of years ago, statistics show that increasingly more people experience disillusionment and depression. We might have money and material security, but we lack a sense of meaning in our professional and social lives.
I, for one, experienced such a crisis at the age of twenty-four having worked for two years as a chemical engineer in a large industrial chemical plant. I had everything society had convinced me I needed to be happy, but I was completely miserable. I decided to find a more meaningful occupation. This is not to say that such a job could not be meaningful to someone else. Such jobs obviously have great value for society and are interesting and fulfilling for many. It simply was not what I personally had come to do on this earth. What may be the perfect role for one person may be boring and meaningless for another.
Each of us has incarnated to play a specific role in this theater of life. When we find our special role and play it with all our heart, we experience contentment and happiness. When we do not remember our life purpose, or do not have the courage to live it, we experience discontent and emptiness. Unless we connect to our life purpose, our lives are often mechanical and lacking in essence.
Have you ever walked into a room to get something, but upon arriving in that room, have forgotten what you came to get? I have. I have also found that when I turn around and start heading in the direction from which I was coming, I remember what it was I had been seeking. This is true of our lives here on the earth. We are immortal souls who have incarnated temporarily to evolve, create and serve. Upon arrival, however, we forget why we came, and waste our lives occupying ourselves with superficial pleasures and material pursuits.
Eventually, for our own good, through some series of events, often unpleasant and challenging, we are forced to look inward and remember our life purpose.
THE EARTH SYMPHONY
Collectively, we are like members of a great universal orchestra. Each has his or her part to play. The harmony of the universal piece we are playing (called life) demands two basic requirements from each member of the orchestra. Each must first know his part, and secondly, must be capable of playing it.
All animals and plants naturally and instinctively play their parts in this harmony. They have no choice.
We, on the other hand, blessed with free will, have the choice to play our part or not. We also have the responsibility to develop the inner qualities necessary to assume our role.
At the present time, we may say that the Earth Symphony Orchestra is considerably discordant. Many of us are playing a piece dictated by our own ego rather than what is best for the good of the whole. Few of us have found our real part in this symphony, and out of discontent, are competing rather than co-operating with the others. Thus, finding our role in life is not only imperative for our own happiness, but also for social and world harmony.
a. Money or meaningfulness
b. Comfort or creativity
c. Security or evolution
d. Social "success" or social responsibility
e. Superficial happiness or real inner contentment
f. Satisfying others' expectations or our own inner voice of wisdom.
We need to choose wisely.
Let us examine what we can do to regain contact with our life purpose.
FREEDOM FROM SOCIAL PROGRAMMING
We will need to free ourselves from our social conditioning concerning what kind of work has value. Society puts a certain value on each profession. This is usually based on the amount of money, prestige or power it can generate. This money, prestige and power, however, may not make us happy. Society's formula for success is based on a rather superficial view of man's nature.
We are programmed as young children to feel economically insecure. We are also programmed to place the utmost importance on what others think of us. We seek their acceptance, respect and admiration. Such programming leads to anxiety, fear, nervous tension, and illness.
In the process of listening to our inner voice, we may find we are confronted by criticism from family and relatives who perhaps feel intimidated by our lifestyle changes. Our changes could force them to either doubt their presumptions about life or reject us. The second is easier for them. In such cases, we will need sufficient inner strength to remain unaffected by their reactions. At the same time, we need to have enough love to forgive them and try to help them understand that we are not running away from them or from life, but just asking for the freedom to pursue that which fulfills us.
After passing through a period of self-examination, we may also find that we are actually doing that which we were born to do. In such a case, we most likely will feel fulfilled. There is, however, the possibility that we may not yet have connected with the truths which would allow us to enjoy that purpose and perform it with love and dedication.
Often the simplest roles can offer us the greatest spiritual lessons. Take, for example, the roles of motherhood or fatherhood. Not much importance is given to them today because many feel that working in an office has more prestige or creativity. Yet, there is no more important role than that of parenthood. The future of the world depends on the quality of today's children. As adults, their inner world, quality of being and behavior are clearly a product of how much attention and love they receive as children. Many parents believe they can offer their children more by working more so as to offer them a better education. A person becomes great not because of his education, but because of his character.
We will need to overcome our fears of such things as:
2. What others think.
3. That we may not make it financially
4. That we may not be perfect in what we do
5. That we might make a mistake.
We are all in a process of evolution. If we were perfect, we would not have incarnated. Making mistakes is natural when we are learning and creating. It is important to understand that we are worthy and lovable even though we are not perfect.
We must also overcome various fears of specific objects and situations, such as airplanes, elevators, boats, hospitals, dust, microbes, certain kinds of people, animals, etc. These can be obstacles towards fulfilling our life purpose.
As expressions of divine consciousness, we want to become effective instruments of that consciousness, able to play any part that serves the benefit of the whole. Our fears are an obstacle to that effectiveness.
Continued in the next issue
by Robert Elias Najemy
(Robert Elias Najemy's recently released book "The Psychology of Happiness" (ISBN 0-9710116-0-5) is available at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect-home/holisticharmo-20 and http://www.HolisticHarmony.com/psychofhappiness.html . His writings can be viewed at http://www.HolisticHarmony.com where you can also download FREE articles and e-books.)