When I was working as the attending psychiatrist on a substance abuse unit, I usually asked new patients if they thought their life had a purpose. Most of them thought so. A few thought not, believing they were in this life due to a contraceptive failure. Of those who felt their life had a purpose, I asked if they knew what that purpose was. All were clueless. A few said they would love to know. Since my job was to do evaluations and prescribe medications, so I did not try to assist those few in a discovery process.
In my private practice I have the freedom and ability to assist people in this discovery process but I don't have many patients who are interested in it. The cultural thought form is still, "Feeling ill? Pop a pill!" With my patients, that usually means a nutritional supplement pill rather than a pharmaceutical pill, but a pill is still a pill. Quite a few of my patients have as a purpose getting their health and their lives back. We often work together quite effectively to accomplish this. When a patient is far along in the process, I am likely to ask, "Now that you have your life back what are you going to do with it?" I was talking with Wanda yesterday. She had gotten her life back by freeing herself from nine debilitating symptoms. She was glowing with health, vibrant with energy, and I could see the happiness in her eyes. She said, "I am going to get my exercise program down a little better and then start doing volunteer work." I suggested that she see if she could find some volunteer work that would put her in contact with people who need to know what she has discovered. Actually, she couldn't throw a rock without hitting somebody who needs to know what she has discovered but I should have added, "... and want to learn how to do it."
If Wanda acts on her intent, her life will probably be a remarkably fulfilling and joyful adventure although it will have pain and major challenges. Watching the people I know who have recovered their health, discovered their purpose, and are taking action daily to fulfill that purpose, reminds me of the proverb, "The path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." I see others make equally spectacular breakthroughs in regaining their health and then go back to the apparently trivial pursuits from which they sank into ill health. What I consistently see then is that they sink right . Robert is an example of this and I think in my next post I will tell you about Charles, who demonstrates this from a different and more interesting angle.
In the meantime, if you don't know whether or not your life has a purpose, I suggest that you carefully consider that question. If you believe it has a purpose but you don't know what that purpose is, I encourage you to set the intent to gain clarity on it. Setting and holding that intent is an essential and powerful first step. In my next post or two I’ll have some comments on the process of gaining that clarity. If you already have that clarity perhaps it would be good to just check to see if you're taking action every day to fulfill your purpose.