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Pain and Purpose

The past holds many keys to understanding the present.

Whether we are attempting to work through the challenges and pains of today, or whether we are trying to understand our purpose and mission in this life, the past can help us find many of the answers we seek. The more we can zoom out to look at our life as a series of events that are significantly connected and not random, the more easily we can find meaning in whatever is happening today.

Covid-19 is a good example that can demonstrate how something that is global affects each person differently, according to their life story. The challenges that different individuals are going through during this global crisis, are directly connected with the specific challenges that they’ve experienced in the past. Those who have struggled economically in the past, might find that this is their greatest challenge of this time. Those who have struggled with their health, might encounter an issue challenging their health. Those who have lost loved ones or who generally hold a fear of losing those they care about, will experience fear and separation as the greatest challenge they face today.

When we look carefully at the specific challenges that we’re facing, we can find an invisible, yet connecting line that helps us to understand our lives and challenges more clearly. What’s also amazing is that our challenges and difficulties are deeply connected with our purpose and mission. Our deepest challenges can help point us in the direction of what we’re here to do and what we’re here to learn in this life.

The part of the past that is most meaningful to me in understanding the challenges of our lives today, in addition to understanding our purpose and mission, is the time in our mother’s womb. Even though we have no conscious memories of this time of our life, the experience still holds many keys to understanding who we are and why we’re here. When speaking to parents about their baby to come, we find a deep emotion that is present regarding the life of this baby. It can be a profound wish for the life of the baby to be happy and fulfilling, or a deep fear that this baby will not have to suffer in the same way the parents have suffered. The emotion can be a shock of not expecting the baby at this time or at all, along with many expectations the parents have for this baby.

“Maybe this baby will save our marriage, will bring me joy as a mother, will allow me to finally feel meaningful, will free me from the job I hate, will connect me to my husband, will be there for the other child so he/she is not alone, will take care of us when we grow old…” and many more conscious and unconscious expectations for this baby to live out. What’s so interesting is that parents will have different expectations for each of their children, depending on the circumstances during the time before the birth, which can explain why siblings can be so different.

These expectations and emotions are the story of who we are and why we’re here.

The story of our conception, of the time in the womb and of our birth, can give us so many hints to discover our purpose and the source of our deepest challenges.

By learning to ask the right questions, we have the opportunity to understand ourselves and those around us better. We can begin to free ourselves from the invisible shackles that hold us back from being ourselves. We can be free, joyful and full of love.


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