These days there is a lot of pressure to find your overarching life purpose. This will supposedly lead to greater clarity, focus and a more satisfying life. If this purpose is noble and serves others, even better. It seems we must all be on a quest to find and live our purpose to make our lives meaningful. Our purpose – is it to love fully and deeply?
I too sought my life purpose, reading the books and doing the inquiry. Being of a spiritual inclination I was convinced I could find where I fitted into the puzzle of life. And there were important recognitions along the way of trusting the intuition of my higher self and valuing the gifts I bring to others. And somewhere in there the need to define my purpose dropped away as I embraced my feminine essence. Purpose was a good thing when in service to my heart.
For the feminine essence love and creativity are central to her motivation. For the masculine essence, purpose is central to his motivation. And we have both of these energies in us at times. I see many men, and an increasing number of women, feel they are a failure because they don’t have a ‘life purpose’. Or they judge that their life purpose isn’t meaningful enough, or clear enough. It’s a trap.
If you have a masculine essence
If you have a masculine essence you are most likely to have several different purposes throughout your life. Your purpose may be very different depending on your age and what stage of life you are at. When we are young adults, a large part of our purpose is looking for sexual partners and learning about life. When we are in the process of building family, career and wealth, our purpose is very different. Or when family has grown up, career goals achieved or faded away, you may want to explore more adventurous or spiritual pursuits. Your purpose will change and grow as you do.
When a person with a strong masculine essence is in the gap between a purpose coming to an end, and the new one not yet formed, this can be a very confusing time. Nothing seems clear anymore, he is in the unknown. Or he may have had an idea of a big purpose and failed to fulfil it.
Patience and discipline is required to navigate this new territory and it can literally feel like life has no value or meaning. Right now, in the pandemic, we are seeing people lose businesses overnight that they have built up for decades, jobs are disappearing, and what was once a clear purpose is lost in space.
I know how hard it can be when our beloved seems to change from a person of action and purpose, to one of indecision, doubt, inaction and even despair. It can be challenging to know how to respond to them in this space. Do you help them find their new purpose, or challenge them to find one, unhappily put up with it, or leave them until they do? None of those will support them during a period of purposelessness.
I learnt that I needed to be aware when it was my own emotions or frustration that was biting me. Sometimes for them sitting on the couch doing nothing is genuinely needed to navigate the abyss. But when they are getting lost and spiralling down into a waste land that doesn’t serve them, I need to act with authentic energetic responses, and show my love and trust to help them navigate these tricky waters.
If you are lacking purpose don’t despair and grab for something, like a life raft. You most likely need to sink into the ocean and then rise with a new purpose. Sometimes your purpose may be revealed in a flash of insight, and sometimes it will take time, or even gradually dawn on you that you are already living your purpose.
Traditional initiation rituals, such as a vision quest, were designed to help us discover our purpose. People do various forms of these today, men and women, hoping for the clarity of a unifying vision, clear direction and knowing. Sometimes that knowing may come from the paradox of finding purpose by giving up purpose.
Trying too hard to find your purpose can create a reaction that keeps it away. It’s the subtle art of intention, release and letting go. Trusted friends will know how you are doing with this, as well as your partner if you have one. Your partner will respond with devotion and patience if they see you genuinely having the intention to discover your purpose.
If you have a feminine essence
If you have a feminine essence, you may also long to have a clear life purpose. If it is a higher purpose that puts you in service to others, that is meaningful for the feminine heart. It also makes bearable all the masculine energy you need to activate to achieve the purpose. A life purpose also gives an internal certainty and structure that can help the feminine relax and flow.
However, many women and those with strong feminine essence find that they can’t connect to a deep life purpose and are wondering, ‘ Is there something wrong with me?’
This includes those who are raising small children. Our society generally doesn’t value raising children as a worthwhile purpose, a stay at home parent should be doing other things as well. I wonder what is more worthwhile than being the source of love, care and wisdom to new human beings?
The feminine essence is a mystery, an opening, an embodiment of love. What if the feminine life purpose is to be just that? To remind others of the delight of life with her skin, her hair, her radiant smile, her tears, her heart, her sensuality. That she is in herself a purpose, not as something to achieve but as a living, breathing force of nature.
This understanding can always be combined with a more goal-oriented life purpose, they are not exclusive. If you are confused as to what to do in the world, how to best give your gifts, follow what energetically attracts you. That will lead you to the place where you feel fulfilled and can give your gifts to others. You may need to train or study, and work hard, but it will feel right (most of the time). Even when it is difficult there will be this inner attraction that makes sense of it all.
If you are primarily a masculine essence you will be happier with a clear life purpose, knowing this will most likely change several times during your life. If you don’t have one, it’s an opportunity to go deeper and find the next layer of your life’s commitment. Criticising yourself or comparison with other more focused men won’t help — but quiet intention will.
If you are a young man, the pressure to know your purpose, and have a form for it, can be intense. Take the freedom to organically live your life, exploring and adventuring, and discovering your deepest purpose along the way. The urgency to find THE career, specialise, get it right, and succeed is often blocking the ability to discover what is right for each person.
Whatever you are doing, do it with care and excellence and the next step will happen. If you are distracting yourself a lot, it can be a great idea to cut down on these distractions and be open to honing down into your purpose.
If you are primarily a feminine essence you don’t need a purpose in the same way as the masculine does. You will be happiest with your heart having a way to love fully and deeply, in service to others, with a wonderful freedom to express your energy and embodiment.
It won’t necessarily follow a straight line, it will probably be creatively full of curves and swirls. Enjoy!
When we are single, our purpose in life often includes finding a mate, a beloved. It is helpful to know the purpose of the relationship you are seeking. Having fun and sexual exploration? Or building a life together? Creating a family? Following spiritual paths or choosing someone you want to evolve with in the best possible way? If you and a partner are not aligned in your purpose for the relationship it can be a struggle.
Couples sometimes find that when their purpose no longer matches it is hard to stay together. If one starts to want commitment and a family and the other does not want that, then love may not be enough. Or if years of marriage and raising a family has finished, they have completed that purpose, and if one of them wants to explore and grow in alternative ways, and the other doesn’t, they may separate.
Ideally, a couple can match their love and commitment to finding new purpose and new love that nourishes and gifts others, and it usually takes time, so let’s not be in a rush to have a life purpose. Celebrate it if you have one, for now. Be ready to dig deeper when you don’t have one.
Or be content to love fully and deeply as one of the most profound purposes you could have.
Are you in alignment with your soul destiny, your purpose? Have you had a few purposes in this incarnation? What’s next for you? How do you feel about the nomenclature of masculine and feminine essence? We realise they are fluid and not gender specific but somehow we all recognise the language of masculine and feminine energies — Both vital, both equally important and both with joys and challenges. We love that the world is becoming less binary and more fluid. In praise of the dance of the masculine and feminine essence in all of us, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
I trust this article will support you in exploring your purpose in this challenging time.
This revised article was first published on Uplift Connect