Turning Your Pain Into Soul Purpose: A Young Man’s Inspiring Journey.

As a meditation teacher and coach, the most common question I hear from folks of all ages worldwide are: What is the meaning and purpose of my life?

I recently had the privilege of interviewing a young man, Alec Holmes, who found the meaning and purpose of life through the pain of his teenage depression. I asked Alec to share his story in a video (below) to inspire others who may be called to turn their pain into purpose.

Alec reached out to me asking that I contribute a blog to the Arts of Thought blogging platform he had created. Something about his blogging platform felt sacred to me, and I knew it was something I wanted to support. I was grateful to contribute an article about When Your Soul Awakens Find The Courage to Follow Your North Star. 

After interviewing Alec, I realized that Arts of Thought was a creation from his soul, and that’s why it felt sacred to me.

Alec had felt called at a young age to create a book based on the wisdom of inspiring people. He then found himself at 18 years old in the pit of depression, as he called it, due to his parent’s divorce and losing his identity due to a baseball accident.

After a few years of putting the healing of his depression into the hands of others and not feeling he was making progress, he began a simple daily meditation practice. This started his journey to reclaim his life and personal power.

To understand and get to the root of his depression, he studied and obtained a degree in psychology to create meaning around his experience. The article, What If Depression Is A Summons From The Soul For Awakening provides an empowering perspective about the role that depression plays in awakening deeper meaning and purpose.

From this, he felt inspired to bring his childhood dream to life and developed the Arts of Thought to share his poetry and shed light on psychology and spirituality to help others who may be suffering and looking for inspiration.

Turn your pain into purpose.

I was fascinated that we both discovered the deeper meaning and purpose of life by turning our pain into purpose, creating meaning around our suffering, and then using our journey to lessen the unnecessary suffering of others.

This is what the soul asks of us and ultimately becomes the purpose of our suffering.

The most profound example was the psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir, Man’s Search for Meaning, which he wrote after being in four concentration camps, including Auschwitz. At the same time, his parents, brother and pregnant wife perished. As Frankl so profoundly shares,

If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be meaning in suffering.

Seeing a higher purpose in our suffering enables us to come through the suffering in a way that grows both our heart and soul and our desire to serve others, which is the root of compassion.

The difference between survival purpose and soul purpose.

In discussion with Alec, I loved how we touched on the nature of purpose and that it’s often not just one thing. For example, Alec described his survival purpose, which aligned with his need to make a living, pay his bills, contribute to his family, etc. We explored how his need to survive, while necessary, is different than his soul purpose, which arose from someplace deep within him and was awakened through this depression.

While Alec works his day job to survive, he knows that his Arts of Thought is his soul purpose – at least for now until life shows him what else may be asked of him. Or perhaps he’ll evolve to a place where his survival and soul purpose can merge.

Alec finds the courage daily to bring his soul purpose into the world, even if it is challenging and not always understood by others whose path hasn’t awakened their soul purpose.

Soul purpose takes courage because we must unlearn what many of us are taught about and what should make us happy. It often involves going against the grain and creating a new path! A path that is uniquely ours and requires that we connect within to create space for our own inner knowing to arise.

Living your soul purpose is what the hero’s journey is all about. It requires that we make peace with our pasts, be present in the now to receive the soul’s nudges and create a vision for our lives that arises from the soul’s energy and what wants and needs to be brought forth into the world.

The following is an interview with Alec, who shares his inspiring journey.