SPROWT Article | Assane Sidi
Happiness and our purpose reside in the journey and are not an end in themselves
Our quest is and always will be for our purpose, which fundamentally lies in the courage to be who we are, with our purpose being our ‘Dharma,’ that is, our way of connecting with the Universe. We are the first and last responsible for our purpose, unfolding it in daily actions in pursuit of the same. Let us differentiate between a higher purpose and purposes, with purposes being the unfolding paths that lead us to our higher purpose.
The higher purpose is directly related, on one hand, to the self-recognition of who we are, our origins, and conquering ourselves, and on the other hand, with our ability to work towards the fulfillment of others’ purposes (service to others). It is in giving and receiving, continuously and with gratitude.
Our purpose is realized through words, actions, and intuition. The combination of these three realities, intrinsically linked to each other, is the guiding thread of human relationships. Words have indescribable power; when spoken, they can either build or destroy, and once spoken, there is no way to take them back. Actions define who we really are in practice, despite words. The ability to intuit (intuition from the Latin intuitus, meaning ‘to see inwardly’) allows us to escape the rational vs. emotional dispute. Let us be ourselves through our actions, ensuring that our words are coherent and both aligned with our intuition.
In my life journey, where I lived 5 years away from home, family, and friends, I realized that my purposes had to readjust and adapt to a new way of life to achieve my higher purpose. This was repeated upon my return to Mozambique, where once again, the purposes had to realign, meaning it was impossible to achieve the purposes using the same words and having the same attitudes. I would not be in harmony with intuition and would be misaligned with the higher purpose. From this experience, I intuited that our higher purpose is unique and immutable, but our purposes adapt according to life stages and the people we interact with, making it an iterative process. The greatest challenge for human beings is living in society because it is in this process that we perceive and intuit what needs to be transformed in ourselves, from these different stages and processes of life, as Sri Prem Baba says: ‘We need to find a balance point. There must be a balance between mind and heart, reason and intuition, as this is what makes us capable of transcending our limitations and realizing our potential.’
We are made of the past, present, and future, in the context of life in society, never forgetting that we truly live in the present. Everything boils down to an hourglass where the fallen sand is the past, a done deal, the sand yet to fall is the future—we know it exists, but we have no control over it. In the end, what truly counts is the now, the grains of sand that pass slowly through the middle of the hourglass. We often experience anxiety, an excess of the future, or traumas and regrets, an excess of the past. And these behaviors, unfocused on living in the present, negatively affect our purposes and how we seek them.
There are phases in life where external imbalances affect our trinity (Word-Action-Intuition), causing us to say what we shouldn’t, act as we shouldn’t, and risk losing those we love most or jeopardizing our purposes, and consequently, achieving our higher purpose. But we must not forget that the higher purpose is still there; it is part of us, it is our ‘Dharma.’ It is important to forgive ourselves, reframing the past through an understanding of what happened, healing from that pain, respecting the process, and finding new purposes that allow us to achieve the higher purpose. Not every day will be positive, and that is normal.
In summary, everything comes down to the journey, that is, our purposes and how we adapt them according to the stages of life. Achieving our higher purpose and fulfillment is and should be a utopia; there are always edges to smooth and realities to refine. Never forgetting that life happens in the purposes, redefining the past, living in the present, and not fearing the future.