Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about life purpose. It’s one of the main questions constantly raised in an Akashic Record Reading.
When this question is asked, what I find interesting is that the response is never what is expected, but for most folks, is exactly what they need.
If I boil down the difference, the expectation is a succinct answer along the lines of, “your purpose is to be a dogcatcher or a lion trainer.” In other words, a clearly defined purpose which can easily be embraced and followed.
Instead, the response is usually more about the how of the motion of life with words like, “when your heart feels connected to deep purpose and you feel fulfilled creatively, you will be able to choose your path.”
Along with this variance on defining life purpose, I think of the words must and should, especially as they both might be connected to life purpose.
Should is a word I’ve always tried to avoid because I’ve felt that most shoulds come from outside of me, from others, or from society at large. Most shoulds aren’t what I want. It’s something for me to do not because I want or I choose, but because…you know…I should!
Where must, in contrast, is something which is burning inside of me, calling me, pulling from my heart to engage with because it is clear, honest truth. I am making a choice because nothing else would be truthful and that is what I must do now.
Now let me unpack another idea and hope I don’t go too far down the rabbit hole.
All flows of energy have three characteristics: motion, intention, and knowing. This means that energy is in motion, has direction to its motion, and there is some level of awareness of and within the flow. For us humans, knowing is the process of how we know.
What I notice is that often we humans try to use knowing to get a jump on motion. If we know where we are going then we think that will make the going more tolerable. Or pre-armed, we might be able to change intention and shift motion. Control being the operative word. Control knowing to control motion.
Control is also related to should and related to the standard life purpose query. Generally, the idea is that there is a reason you’re here and that if you can find this predefined life purpose, then all is good and life will be happy.
However, this is following should. Predefined purposes are just should all dressed up in fancy language. However a should is packaged, it is still a motion which comes from outside of you and not from the burning self-love within.
Whereas a must, born from within, is motion free to follow heart and soul. To follow all you need to know is the joy of must. You don’t need knowing to predict motion, because you’re connected and empowered by the motion which animates must. Here whatever knowing may emerge does so to enhance motion rather than to control it.
I would say that this is the moral of this short story:
Looking out there, somewhere, for life purpose is a should.
To follow your heart, listen for the musts, avoid the shoulds.
To live with purpose, listen to your heart and only follow the motion of your musts.
For a deep dive, begin with What is Spiritual Practice?