Very often when we talk about life’s purpose, in most people’s minds they think that it has something to do with spiritual work. And some people even think that fulfilling one’s life’s purpose means having to make lots of sacrifices, including material sacrifices.
But what if your life’s purpose is not spiritual? Does it make it any less meaningful? Who then decides what makes something spiritual versus something that is not.
I think there are many points for discussion here. Let’s establish what we mean when we say something is spiritual or not.
I, like most people tend to believe that everything is spiritual. And that even if the particular type of work is not about spreading the miracles of God, or it is not life transformational, it still has its place in God’s world.
One good example could be someone who is a dedicated parent, and that his/her role is simply to be the best parent to allow his/her children to be nurtured in the most wondrous and beautiful ways. Then in this case, the person’s life’s purpose is really to be the best parent he/she can be.
But what if a person’s focus is only on making money? Where do we draw the line? Do we then say, ok this person’s work is only spiritual if he makes money for a higher cause? But what if he doesn’t have a higher cause? What if he only wants to make money for himself and for the comfort of his family, even if he has accumulated millions? Does this make him less spiritual? I like to believe that even in this sort of situation, the person is still living his purpose. But it is not in the way we think.
There could be lessons that other people could learn from him eg. his skills on what to do and what not to do, and many other reasons which we do not know about.
Recently a friend of mine said in a distasteful way that such and such a person is only focused on making money, making that person sound like a really bad person. I thought about this and felt that it was an unfair statement to make. Who are we to say whether this person is living a life of purpose or not? How do we know what is his greater purpose? Moreover, by judging this person for only focusing on making money, are we not then stopping ourselves from becoming abundant with our judgments?
For many of us, even when we have a passion to do something other than ‘spiritual work’ we may be stopping ourselves because we think we are not focused on doing God’s work. There is a possibility that this ‘non-spiritual’ work could be a stepping stone to something greater. Or not. Does it matter?
Ultimately everyone is responsible for their own paths. Seeing our own paths through limited perspectives do not serve us well. The main point is that we need to be able to live fulfilling lives and if one part of us feels unfulfilled, then we certainly must question ourselves and find a way that works for us.
What if your spiritual community does not think you are living your purpose because you are not doing spiritual work? Just know that it is none of their business. Because this is between you and your Creator.
© 2012, 2015 Shamala Tan