How To Learn Your Life Lesson – Part 1: Identification
In my blog, How to find your life purpose I talked about the importance of discovering and living your individual life purpose. How this is the key to giving your life meaning and finding lasting happiness. Furthermore, living your purpose is also the key to self-awareness.
As you progress down the path of your purpose you will be forced to acknowledge and correct the negative patterns in your life that are holding you back. Otherwise, your spiritual development will be limited. Understanding the relationship between your life purpose and lesson is imperative to gain a full understanding of your experience.
Our lives are a compilation of patterns. Often we are confused by many of them; we see them popping up in different aspects of our life and have difficulty fully grasping the cause and effect of them. The challenge in understanding the patterns is that they appear to come from all different directions. However, if we could figure out where the starting point is for all our patterns they would be easier to understand.
Your life purpose and life lesson are the starting points for all your patterns. Consciously and unconsciously you create an environment to fulfill your purpose and learn your lesson. The more conscious you are of this process the better equipped you are to understand and change your patterns of living to be in alignment with your soul’s intention. When you examine ALL patterns from the perspective of your purpose and lesson they are easy to understand.
If our most-developed qualities make up our purpose in this lifetime, we can say that our least-developed qualities are our lesson. Your life lesson is the greatest resistance in your life. It is the theme that holds you back from achieving your purpose. These are the things you need to learn in order to excel in your purpose. You can think of them as opposite sides of the same coin. You can’t have one without the other; they work together to create the whole. Simply put, your purpose is what you are here to do, and your lesson is what you need to learn in order to do it.
Your human experience is an aid to your spiritual development through the mind/body vehicle. With this view we can focus on our soul as experienced in its journey. Every soul that has entered this human realm has done so with intention. This intention is to discover who you are and your relationship to God. To achieve your soul’s intention, you must peel back the layers to reveal your essence.
These layers are patterns caused by your karma. They are your Samskaras, deep impressions left on your unconscious mind. Karma comes from the Sanskrit root Kri, which means to do. Karma is action; more specifically it means effect of action. Everything that you have ever thought, spoken, done or caused is karma. This totality of your actions and their corresponding reactions in this lifetime and past lifetimes is how you got to where you are now. Karma operating through the law of cause and effect, action and reaction, is what governs all life and binds the atman (the Self) to the wheel of sa?s?ra (birth and death).
If you want to know your past life – look into your present conditions. If you want to know your future – look into your present actions. — Chinese Proverb.
Through our challenges we become aware of how our life has guided our evolution. So many times we blame our environment or our parents for the way we are. In the context of our soul’s journey, we picked this particular life to learn and grow. These patterns began before you were born. This means that every event or circumstance was a necessary part of your development. If you look at these events, some of them possibly being quite traumatic, as an important part of your story, you put them in a more neutral light.
Viewing all aspects of your life as integral to your soul’s growth, you can then evaluate them without judgment, gaining insight into the role that you played; how you reacted, how you used the event, how the event shaped your future behavior and growth. These are all things that need to be assessed for every facet of your life. You will then begin to see patterns in events and relationships, and your actions and reactions to them. These patterns are your life lesson.