What Is the True Meaning and Purpose of Life?

What Is the True Meaning and Purpose of Life? August 2, 2018
Photo by Vincentiu Solomon on Unsplash

Many people ask what the meaning of life is. It does not depend on your culture or which religion you follow; we all look up at the stars in the night sky, into its vastness and wonder what our purpose on Earth is. Astronomers and physicists say there are trillions of planets that may support life, even in our own galaxy. Physicist believe there are multi-universes, with multiple Bangs. Yet they say that our universe may be the only one that supports life.

There is system in the universe, that the laws of physics operate the same way through our universe. I have read elementary books on physics. I find so much beauty written in these books. Instead of detracting from my belief in God, they greatly add to it. Who could create such a beautiful universe? Who could create such a beautiful earth? Our bodies that function so well, and the fact that we have consciousness. If we have conscious, our creator must have consciousness. Some say He is Energy. Others say that He is Light, or His law of gravity holds the whole universe together. I believe in all these things.

As I have said in my many essays, I went through a difficult time before I met my husband. Many go through a great deal of suffering on this earth through poverty, war, and other situations. I used to teach abused children and foster children art. Many have parents that may be drug addicted, or abusive parents, or some may be abandoned or mentally ill. There is a multitude of problems in the world.

I suffered a great deal in this life, and I would not let that suffering go. I would play it over and over in my head. It had nothing to do with the present. I was well taken care of, but it affected others, especially my children. Eventually, I realized I could not put it aside because I could not forgive. Forgiveness is a choice. Forgiveness is not easy. It is harder to forgive oneself when one has made a mistake. How can we not forgive, if we want to live in the image of God, as God would be, who is most Merciful and Kind?

A lot of people in dire situations give up. Some lose all their humanity and make others suffer. But those who use their suffering as a learning experience, and want to share their experience with others, are at a much higher level….

How can we not be kind to others or ourselves? I always felt that God was going to punish me because I made mistakes.  I realize now that God does not set out to torment His creation. He gives us many chances to redeem ourselves. I feel that when we leave this earth, the worst torment will not be the Fire—it will be when we review our lives and see how our actions affected all living things on this earth, and the consequences of our actions, or the time that we have wasted. Mental torment is far worse than physical torture, but God is most Merciful and Kind. He has not set out to torture us; we torture ourselves.

What is the meaning of suffering? Do we choose to suffer, or does God test and purify us through mental fire? There is extreme suffering, but do we choose to suffer? Could it be at the end of our suffering, that we do not take life for granted? We appreciate all that is around us, if we do not lose sight of God or our human strength. A lot of people in dire situations give up. Some lose all their humanity and make others suffer. But those who use their suffering as a learning experience, and want to share their experience with others, are at a much higher level as human beings.

What is my purpose and meaning to my life? It is different for each of us. But one thing that got me through bad experiences was to find refuge in nature and in God. My extreme sense of beauty in nature developed from that. All around us there is beauty in nature and in other living things. Beauty in creativity and in the arts and sciences, beauty in our relationships with others.

Love is definitely the guiding force in the universe. When we have someone or something that we love, it gives us the will to live despite dire circumstances. Those who do not realize this suffer greatly and lead very sad lives. God is Love, and if we look up to God, we have the strength to survive anything. How can we prove God’s existence? We can see Him in creation, in the fact that we exist, and all that exists in the Universe, if we ask how it all came about.

God is Love, and if we look up to God, we have the strength to survive anything.

My whole purpose on this earth was not to be an artist. My purpose was to overcome my suffering, and not to cause suffering to others, especially my family. Before I realized this, I must have caused a lot of suffering. I hope God will forgive me and rectify my situation.

I feel that responsibility gives one purpose in life. If one is responsible for others, he cannot give up. I came from an abusive situation before I met my husband, so I tried very hard not to be that way towards my children. My purpose was to break the pattern of abuse in my family. I never wanted my children feel extreme poverty like I had, or to fall on their faces if they made a mistake. This was my responsibility. I live for them.

Some events in the future give us purpose to life and add meaning to our lives as well. We may look for purpose in our lives, yet it may be staring in our faces right along. Our responsibilities give us purpose and a reason to look forward to the future. Faith gives us purpose.

Many in this society feel a great void in their lives, even if all is going well for them. They feel alone and purposeless and suffer mentally because of this void. Depression can set in, as well as other mental illnesses. We have to believe there is more out there than ourselves. That there is something tangible to live for. Everyone needs love, food and shelter, and to financially survive. But we must be some type of goodness and beauty that we can strive for. In this society, many times we are lonely because we do not have a culture or extended family that can help us fill this void. There is too much materialism and isolation due to technology. We forget what will feed our souls and sustain us. Rituals and customs hold society together, and they add to the richness of our lives.

Happiness and love is a choice. Somehow, we must find purpose and meaning in our lives, and it may be in those things we aspire for, feel responsible for, and love, for it is love that gives life meaning.


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About Stephenie Bushra Khan
Stephenie Bushra Khan is a converted Muslim, a poet, and local artist in Temecula, California. She is originally from Winchendon, Massachusetts. You can read more about the author here.
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