You Mean I have Purpose? Reason?
The angst of the open endless question, why am I here? While the question has many potential answers, the emotion of the question can be hard to bare. Studies have shown that lack of meaning is one of the main causes of anxiety and stress. People who feel they lack purpose are more prone to having feelings of despair, hopelessness, and emptiness which can lead to a manic depressive spiral.
These feelings intensify when people experience loss. We see this alienation occurring presently with the increase in job losses, being confined, and the loss of community and connection. When alone, the mind can spin tales that have one completely immobilized by the anguish of feeling meaningless.
Are you feeling better yet?
Of course that is the ultimate goal. To be truly, fundamentally happy. So what happens when the mind has tricked itself into thinking it is nothing? Viktor Frankl, an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist developed a form of therapy to tackle this cycle of thoughts called Logotherapy. Logotherapy focuses on creating meaning in human existence. Frankl's theory began from his own experience in a concentration camp. He observed that the minds that remained the strongest were the ones that gave themselves meaning or purpose. Even in the worst conditions, Frankl observed that humans have the capacity to take a stand on the external and internal conditions happening around them, they are not subject to them. Like all theories this can be debated. However, whether it is right or wrong, this theory is one to meditate on as logotherapy seems particularly relevant to the times.
Frankl theorized that by creating, or finding, meaning for the self, people were able to overcome discouraging thoughts. His approach was not to tell people what the meaning of life is, but to guide people to their own meaning of life. This creation of purpose for the self, by the self, manifested an immense sense of self worth. There are elements of this practice that can be pulled into everyday life. Simmer on what truly is worth your time and effort each day. In an age when most outside forces are full of malice and uncertainty, our life as we know it is drastically evolving. What are you doing on a daily basis to empower yourself? Whether it be a goal, a simple joy, a movement, or a cause, may it be something that makes you feel like you have purpose and reason. You are meant to be here, living and breathing, in all of your glory.
As always, Be Well