Someone recently asked me the purpose of my life. The one purpose that makes my life meaningful. I frankly had no answer.
Life is not constant. It changes every time you breathe, with every thought you take and with every act you do. Then how does life have one meaning and one purpose.
I have often thought of life as a moon. A journey from new moon to the full moon and back to the new moon. Each phase of life comes with its purpose and all you need to do is to allow yourself to accept it.
Think of the new moon. The darkest phase of your life. When nothing is visible and all you can see is the darkness all around you. It is a phase from nightmares, where the ghosts of the pasts haunt you. Seemingly mundane things take ominous scary meaning simply because I lack the sight to interpret it correctly. I feel lost, alone and hopeless. So what purpose does this phase serve?
On the darkest of the night, the stars are brightest. The purpose is to appreciate these stars. Small insignificant things which we ignore when there is too much brightness around. These stars may seem insignificant, but they are not. They are huge heavenly bodies which are suns to their own solar system. Small experience in our lives, conversations with random people, a small gesture and sweet smile, all of these are the stars of our life. They are millions of them, uncountable, we just don’t see them when things are going well. And then there are the shooting stars, sacrifices of people which helped me fulfil a wish. When else do I see them but on a darkest night.
Ask an astronomer, he will tell you that you are most likely to see the constellations and planets on the darkest nights. The collective wisdom of mankind, the learnings from our elders and the knowledge of the world makes sense to us when we are not blinded by the lights of our arrogance and intelligence. The darkness makes me humble, it makes me realise that there is so much to learn and so much to experience.
And then the legends say that Goddess Lakshmi comes when the night is dark. Success comes to me when I accept my lows and use it to work towards my goal.
The new moon phase of my life is probably the most difficult but has a bigger purpose than we give credit for.
Then comes the crescent moon. The phase of the new beginning. Learning new things, starting a new relationship, finding a new job or even the prelude of a favourite song. It stirs up excitement. It gives a feeling of hope. This phase is probably like that of a toddler’s life. So many things to learn and explore without the burden of responsibility. Just learning for pleasure and not for mastery.
The crescent moon is also the much awaited Eid ka Chand. A new beginning after hard work and sacrifices. A time to celebrate and rejoice for the life is going to take a new turn from here on.
The moon slowly continues to grow and so does life. I am not talking about growth in terms of years but in terms of experiences. Each passing day we meet new people, undergo different experiences and look at life differently.
Sometimes the life looks monotonous. We feel as if we are at a status quo. That we are stuck and are not moving forward. At this time remember the moon. The moon continues to change every day. Sometimes the change is not obvious to us. Not because it is too small but simply because we are not looking at it carefully enough. Or maybe we are so looking forward to the full moon that we forget to appreciate the smaller changes in life. But these small changes continue to happen and they continue to fill our life with more light and more meaning. We only we could stay awake a little longer and observe with an open mind.
Then comes the night before the full moon. The Chaudavi ka Chand. The epitome of beauty with promises of more to come. The most awaited stage in our life. The hard work that we put in, the sacrifices that we made have finally borne fruit.
Yes do enjoy this phase of life. But in this phase of life don’t forget the millions of stars who are doing their best to shine. Yes they are not as bright as you but they are still trying the best. Maybe you outshine them but they will outlive your brightness. These are the people around us. The one’s we consider are ‘lesser’. The one’s we believe we are superior to. But they teach a lesson to us. They are suns to their solar system, they give light to others. Your success is a reflection which changes each passing day. This phase teaches us to respect the people who seemingly are lesser than us but have the strength to light up the world. No one is insignificant in your life nor are you insignificant in anyone’s life. You may not be the moon to someone but you could be a distant star to them. Say a kind word, do a random act of kindness you may just be lightening up someone’s new moon night.
The full moon. The point of completeness and wholeness. The inspiration to many. The success of my life. The point of life when I am at the brightest. I have the power to inspire, to guide others and to show them the way of life. Life has reached its fullest. It has come a long way from despair of the new moon.
This is the life we dream of. But the full moon is bright only if it doesn’t hide behind the clouds. These clouds are our fears and insecurities. They stop us from revealing our true potentially. These clouds are not letting me see the purpose of my life. I need to set them aside to come forward not only to shine bright but also to inspire others.
There however is a flip side to the full moon. It brings out the werewolf in seemingly normal people. Our success will bring out the evil. No I am not talking about jealousy. I am talking about the evil monster in us. The one who is so full that he/she can cause the harm to others. The purpose of life then becomes to destroy just because I have the power to. Remember the full moon is the closest to earth and that is the reason it appears bright. I need to build relations in this phase of my life. I need to come closer to people who need me or are looking up at me. The moon appears lower in the sky when it is full. I have to go down and bend forward. I have to listen to the unheard and the underdog to illuminate their lives with my light. It is the purpose of the full moon.
I believe the people around me are so blinded by my beauty and success that they will not see the faults in me. How wrong we are. It is during the full moon when I can see the dark patches on the moon. At the height of my success, people will criticise me, point out my faults. They will tell me that I am there because of the sun and I have no brightness of my own. Just remember that the sun shines on all heavenly bodies only a few choose to reflect it back.
This phase is marred with anxiety. The waning is going to start. I will slowly spiral into nothingness. To another phase of new moon. But this new moon is different. This time I am armed with the learning of last time. I know that life comes a full cycle. This time I know my despair also has a purpose.
The moon has no light of its own. What it has is the will to absorb the light from the harsh sun and reflect it in milder ways. No one can look at the sun. It is up to the moon to pass on the brightness.
The purpose of my life is to absorb the happiness and wisdom from the world and reflect it back to you.