• Mark Mittlesteadt

This "Damned" Life

Who are You and Why are You Here?

These are probably the two most important questions every human being should answer and yet very few seldom even ask themselves these questions, much less attempt to answer them. However, many do ask, "Why is it important to know the answer?"

Without purpose our lives lack meaning. Again, many question why our lives even need to have any meaning. Why can't we just enjoy life? Why do we have to always be so deep and introspective? We just want to get through our day, get through the week and get to the weekend, hopefully without having to deal with too many things or people that make us mad, sad, irritated, bothered, worried, hurried, anxious or upset. What does any of that have to do with our purpose? Why should we care about any deeper meaning about our lives than making enough money to pay our bills and take care of ourselves and our family? We don't want to look for anything deeper or meaningful than that. We already have enough to worry about. We just want to get our day over with, and get to the weekend so we can finally enjoy some little piece of our life where we can escape or relax. We can't be bothered with something so esoteric or trivial as understanding ourselves or some crazy idea about our purpose for being here.

Yet understanding who we really are and what purpose we have for even being born in the first place is the very thing that solves most every problem we have in life. Perhaps an analogy will provide an idea why it is so important to answer who we truly are and why we are here. Without purpose and meaning, we tend look at life like it was water and our purpose was a dam holding back the water so it doesn't drown us. So what do we do? We grow up thinking our "purpose" is to hold back the water, but in doing so, it is a never-ending, exhausting burden that stresses us out. We do what we can to hold the water back, and because it is so very tiring and stressful, we find ourselves needing a break from it. We take a break at the end of the day or the week. We take vacations to escape this burden once in a while, but not without checking to make sure the dam will hold in our absence. We're all just working on holding the water back until we can retire from it and turn the job over to someone else. While we keep the dam from developing leaks or breaking, just to keep our sanity or have some level of happiness, we engage in minor enjoyable activities or buy material things to distract us from this enormous task of maintaining our "dam" (or is it "damned"?) life.

The leaks that develop in this dam are usually minor and they show up as someone cutting us off in traffic, dealing with a co-worker at work who is difficult, or things we hate about our job, or the bills we have to pay, or our car breaking down, etc. Always having to plug these leaks in our dam that life just keeps throwing at us. Sometimes these leaks are huge gaping holes, like a serious illness, losing our job or some other major problem that life once again throws at us. So we spend our entire life supporting and maintaining this dam, perpetually plugging and fixing leaks as best we can. But it just wears us down as it is a never-ending job. It's what we've been trained to do with our life. This is the basis for our complaints about life.

The truth is, this dam was built before we were even born. We were brought up, just like our parents were, programmed into believing that the reason we were born was to work on this dam, to hold back the water of life so we don't drown. But all of life's problems stem from the very task of holding the water back.

So what does this have to do with our purpose and who we are? We've been "programmed" or conditioned to believe that everything about our existence as human beings is for no reason other than maintaining the dam that holds back the water of life. We were taught how to keep our heads above it and swim if needed, but mostly to keep the water at bay. If you could discover the answer of who you really are, and why you are really here, you'd realize that the damn serves no real purpose. It's all just an illusion.

Who we are is a spiritual being, a manifestation of God in physical form. We are not a body with a spirit. We are spiritual beings that have a body. Knowing this is freedom. We are not our names. They are just an identifying label given to us at birth. Our jobs or careers do not define us either. We are not plumbers nor artists, employees or employers. We are not what we do. Who we are is not about being parents or children, brothers or sisters. Who we are is what we always were, long before we were ever born, and what we always will be, long after our bodies die. When you realize this, you will look at life differently. Discovering who we really are is to become aware of the illusion of this physical life. Understanding why we are here is our purpose. Once we discover our purpose for being here, we become aware of the real reason for living.

When we look deep into ourselves and can answer the question; "Who are we and why are we here?" only then will we realize that the dam we've been working so very hard at, isn't even needed in the first place. Only those who are truly aware and can answer the "big" question of life will see that the water doesn't even need to be held back. Allow the dam to burst. You will not drown. Let the water flow and go with the current, just as God intended it to. Our purpose in life isn't to hold the water back, it is to allow it to take us everywhere it needs to go, and for us to just experience and enjoy it. You see, once you realize you no longer have to keep plugging or fixing the leaks in the dam (because the dam is nothing more than a programmed illusion) there is nothing to escape or distract yourself from. There never was a dam in the first place. You were just taught to believe it was there and programmed to work on it. In our programming, our thoughts and beliefs are strongly entrenched in the false idea that the dam is needed. We've been programmed to live in fear that the dam will burst and we will drown if we don't dedicate our life to maintaining it. Thus all of our beliefs are fear based. Yet it's just an illusion.

All these so-called problems we have in life are equally part of the illusion of this dam that was constructed and supported throughout human existence. Imagine if there were no dam. Without a dam, you no longer have leaks to plug or repair. If there was no dam, you wouldn't have the burden of holding it in place. Imagine flowing with the water of life, allowing it to take you wherever it wishes and you are just along for the ride. Think of all the joyous and new experiences you would have if you just went with the flow, and how all of your burdens just no longer existed. Going with the flow of water is our purpose, each of us living within this flow, experiencing it in different, unique ways. This is the joy of our purpose.

It is precisely when we lack purpose that our lives eventually spiral out of control and we are left with more leaks in our dam than we can handle. Not only do we feel we have little to no control over life, but we soon find ourselves consumed with our problems. It is the overwhelming stress of a life that we were never meant to be living in the first place, despite being convinced we were supposed to. That's why we develop negative thinking, clinging to false beliefs and limiting our imagination to our existing reality.

So who are you and why are you here? Discovering the answer is your purpose and it is the difference between creating your life versus reacting to the one that was given to you. It's up to you how important your life is. Do you really want this damned life? Learn to let it go and let the dam fail and go with the flow.

We must learn to stop letting things hold us back, and just go with the flow.

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