I stumbled out of bed one morning, not knowing if I were really awake or not. I’d had a strange dream, one that left me questioning the state of reality. Was I awake while asleep or was life simply another dream? I shook my head, tired of philosophizing. I had spent my nighttime hours discussing the state of human affairs with what could only have been my guardian angels. At least, I imagined that I had. Mostly I remembered asking them questions.

Why are we here? Where is God, in this world of ours? What is the purpose of this experiment called Earth?

Still foggy, I prepared to enter my world of feeding dogs, packing school lunches, and returning E-mails, when I found a piece of notepaper stuck under my computer. It was handwritten, the hand light and feathery, but the source, I could not immediately determine. This is what I read:

You have asked about the purpose of this planet and the life upon it, and we can only tell you this.

We can only tell you what life is not about.

It is not about being safe. The pearl within a shell, it is safe. Is this, then, the reason it was created, spun from suffering? Do you undergo life’s challenges only to remain hidden inside a cave? Life is the sound of pearls polished by the sea’s waves, the sands of time forming grace out of pain. Transformation is not safe, but it ends with beauty.

Life is not about remaining small. Yes, you start as tiny as a mustard seed, an idea in your mother’s heart. Before you’ve even begun breathing, you are growing.

The entire universe was designed to encourage your growth. From love, the Divine crafted hope, faith, truth, and joy, and from these, water, air, earth, and fire.

Did you know that every element of soil began in the stars? That higher consciousness begins at the same brain wave as the Earth’s skies resonant, and both at the frequency of lightning? Everything started with love and love increases, never decreases. Love illuminates, never reduces.

Life is not about always succeeding. To walk is to fall; to fall is to learn how to rise. Soon, you are running. Even then, you will stumble, and in the tumbling, learn. For every mistake or mishap, there is a gain of wisdom.

Nor is life about getting everything you want. Rather it is about seeing the needs in another’s eyes and knowing oneself as able to help. Only by giving can you understand what you are able to achieve.

What is life about, then? Well ask yourself what might seize your mind, at the end of your time. Is it the paper trail left behind? The scores of unfinished dreams, the books written or unread, the promotions bestowed or not, the reputation earned from the neighbors?

No, you will measure your life by far simpler terms than that. Remember the child who smiled when you washed the dirt from her skinned knee? How fast did that puppy’s tail wag when you rescued it from the Humane Society, and didn’t you have to throw the shirt you wore when holding your sobbing friend? He never knew he ruined your favorite outfit through his tear-stains.

Recall the pocketful of treasures you unveiled to Mom, the ball of wax, broken marble, and speckled rock from the mud pit. Oh how happy you felt when she went ooh and ah, and didn’t even wash off her hands afterward. Then there was that inner sense of satisfaction when you could have told a lie, and didn’t.

You ask where is God, in this middle of the muddle, and we laugh that you think we are the experts at the subject. So constantly, humankind seeks the answer from we, the heavenly hosts, as if the truth were not everywhere around you. What holds meaning? There is God. Where is a need? There is God becoming.

Though we care about search for the Divine, we’d rather that you recognize that the Divine has already found you; in fact, the Divine never lost you, even when you had lost your way. Perhaps it would be better to stop seeking altogether, and simply live. For to live is to love and to love is to know the Divine in every moment: house unclean, hair unkempt, spiritual purpose fulfilled or not.

While we can assist, please understand that we cannot teach. We are no substitute for your own experiential wisdom. You are not here to fly as we do; you are here to walk the earth, one footstep at a time. Understand, however, that since you journey on stars, the smallest of steps not only steers you farther toward heaven, but also brings heaven a little closer to earth.

No, you are not here to be safe, small, constantly successful, or completely satiated. You are here to pick up pocketful of treasures. These the Divine revels in, even giddily, throughout the entirety of your life.

In Light,

The Council of the Angelic

Quickly, I looked around. Were my angelic guides still present? Could I ask a few more questions? As soon as my mind wandered, the strangest — or the next strangest thing happened. The words disappeared and I was left holding a piece of blank school paper.

I felt sad. Had I done something wrong in begging for more attention? Should I have first made a Xerox of the letter? No, it was imprinted on my mind and heart. Then I understood. We don’t really need words from Heaven or even from the Divine to accomplish the goals we are here to achieve.

We only need to love and even that is something that cannot really be explained by word or letter, or sometimes, even deed. It simply is.