I am not my body and you are not your body. Don't get me wrong. Our bodies are temples. They must be cherished. They house the most divine piece of creation in the whole Universe, namely - us - we are souls. Also, it is somewhat hard to trade in a body for a newer model if it gets damaged, like you can a car.
I am a soul from the spirit world. I came to this planet for a reason, actually two main categories of reasons, as did everyone else on this planet. The meaning of life is growth. That is the meaning of life, very simple, one word, growth. There are two aspects of this. First, we each need to work on aspects of ourselves that need growth. Second, we each came here with a special gift or perhaps a small number of special gifts to help others with their growth. Life in the spirit world, or heaven, is easy. This planet is much more challenging. The challenge, and unfortunately some suffering, are necessary. They allow for growth, which is the meaning of life, why we are all here, and why this planet exists. The Tibetan Buddhists have the concept of samsara. Briefly, it means that we reincarnate here on Earth over and over again with the goal of growing and gaining wisdom. Unfortunately this involves suffering. Once we have grown enough and gained enough wisdom we become buddhas, or fully enlightened beings. From that point forward we stay in the spirit world and don't need to reincarnate again.
The things that we need to work on in ourselves are different for each person. Some people need to learn how to be more independent. Some people need to learn how to ask for help. Some people need to learn how to forgive. Some people need to learn how to let go of rigid beliefs. Some people need to learn to not be overwhelmed by anger. Everybody has one or maybe a small number of areas of themselves that they came here to work on.
For me, I think that I had and have three areas to work on. First, I needed to overcome the anxiety and depression I experienced for about 15 to 20 years. I have largely done this. Second, I need to gain more balance. This is a really big one that many people work on and that I will likely be working on for my next three or four lifetimes or so. I have described it in more detail in it's own tab. The third, for me, is to learn to love the darkness. First, I need to learn to love what is ugly and bad within myself, and accept myself despite all the mistakes I have made. Second, I will need to forgive and love those who commit horrible acts.
The second reason we are all here is to help others with their growth. Again, we all do this in different ways. Each of us has a special gift that we can give to the world. Some are artists, some are healers, some are protectors. I am somewhat envious of others who know from a young age what their special gift is. Perhaps I am fortunate that I have varied interests and varied talents. I find science, spirituality, philosophy all to be fascinating. I like playing the piano and jogging outside when the weather is sunny. I enjoy making computer software. This has the disadvantage, however, that I sometimes don't focus on one thing and I sometimes get confused about what I want to do with my life.
I haven't been shown exactly my role in helping others yet. I have the impression that it has something to do with working with others to correct society's course a bit. As I have mentioned, the meaning of life for the individual is growth. Given this, the ideal society is one that facilitates and encourages the individual to pursue growth, in a sustainable manner, with a minimum of suffering. Unfortunately, some suffering is a necessity and we will be unable to eliminate it entirely. I also have the impression that one of my goals in this life, perhaps related to this, is to fight the darkness. This is curious since one of my personal goals is to learn to love the darkness. I believe, however, that this world is currently out of balance. We do need the darkness. We need to learn how to love the ugly, the ignoble, and the bad. There is too much darkness right now, however. Society is ruled primarily by fear, not love, at the moment. It has been since the beginning of the dark ages.