What is Life like Without Purpose?
Bob drops himself down on the sofa and lets out a huge gut of air. Collecting himself, he looks around: converter on his left, laptop on right, 2 cans of beer and some chips in arm’s reach, and his canine buddy – ole’ Smokey napping by his feet.
Bob grins and for a change (on a Sunday), he pauses for thought.
His mind drifts to a feeling of contentment. He has it all, he figures – the kids are almost grown, work steady, mortgage is getting paid, and the wife puts up with his habits and complaints. Yes, life good!
Then all of a sudden, the feeling disappears. This time, his mind decides to go a little deeper into thought – and he remembers this process – his heart begins to race a little and in the slideshow of his life history, he runs through some past life events in his mind and thoughts (both enjoyable and disappointing).
A kaleidoscope of emotions and feelings emerge; and although Bob dislikes the moment, he continues to think even though he knows he actually has a choice in the matter.
He remembers back to the summer when he took a car apart and re-assembled it in his garage. The feeling of satisfaction from learning and accomplishment gave him reason to feel happiness.
Bob remembers back to the economic recession a few years ago, and how a near-breakup of his family over money almost destroyed him.
And his mind skips back to the time when he showed his son (and having him understand) how the cylinders of a car engine worked, and almost crying from the experience.
He remembers his father telling him many years ago to be practical with his life and get a job with benefits and a pension.
“Here it is, Sunday,” He thinks to himself. “I’m supposed to feel good on Sundays – I like football.”
Bob begins to wonder why he feels this way, and can feel himself being pulled deeper in thought.
As he feels a sense of desperation lurking and waiting to take over, Bob summons the strength to bring himself back to his front room and the pre-game show. Bob blinks wide-eyed and gives out another long sigh.
Glad the moment is over, he grabs the converter and calls ole’ Smokey over for a loving scratch behind the ears. As a can of beer pops open in his hand; Bob puts his feet up and settles in for another Sunday of sports entertainment, and in relief, puts these thoughts behind him once again.
— * —
Especially for those of us over 40, we all know the expression “mid-life crisis”. We can all recognize it when someone else is having it – and we are scared, stupid, and wacko when we are in it ourselves.
All joking aside, this crisis we all seem to go through, is at a time when we look at our own life and ask questions like:
What have I accomplished in my life?
Is this all there is to life?
Am I doing all the wrong things?
Having I been missing the point all along – and now my life is wasted?
Should I be doing something different with my life?
How Do We Know These Questions Exist?
We just have to look at the news and entertainment gossip to see how these personal questions are answered in our lives. Look at the divorce rates? Seen any over-50 wannabes re-living their youth by driving around in a sports car? How about those Second Career night schools and mature-student college applications? This is a normal part of being human, this being aware that we are humans with ability.
This forms part of the foundation of our Life Purpose.
There are many reasons why people go through this crisis – and it is not always limited to the over-40 crowd either. Many people wander through their whole life living in this constant crisis. Not knowing how and not able to confront this wall. We’ll get into that in a future post when I discuss obstacles to living your Purpose..
Seeking our Life Purpose is the subconscious/unconscious act of going through that (not-so mid-life) crisis with the understanding that it will allow us to be happy and fulfilled (whatever that is, right?) when it is all said and done before we die.
This happens to people every day in every corner of the earth. Some people call it a religious experience, or a voice in the head, or a force calling them … whatever. Thing is, young and old, man and woman, and then and now; we have either felt something like it in our lives or we know someone who has felt or achieved it. It doesn’t even have to be a major health crisis either. There are as many reasons as there are people because everyone has a beautiful and unique gift to share from the expression of their Life Purpose.
Before I finally got it, I used to curse the world for punishing me for being a good guy, and always giving my best to everything and everyone – and still I had no joy or fulfillment in my life. Of course, during those years, I didn’t know about my disabilities or the education from life introspection and social observation.
When I said in an earlier post about “blood, sweat, and tears” being a part of seeking Life Purpose, I wasn’t kidding. In my case, I was blessed/cursed with having many talents, curiosities, and opportunities to use my self as a lab rat in this search.
During these years of searching, I felt as if there was a reason for my being here on this planet.
It wasn’t a religious or existential conviction; rather, it was a deep sense of being able to do something worthwhile with my short time life – so why not? Besides, I thought it was better to get along with people rather than always fighting.
Feelings We All Share
These feelings and type of experiences are not limited to just my life. Our life “stories” are just as similar, just the names, people, and activities are different – but still the same. It all comes down to the same basic questions and emotions we experience ourselves:
Feelings of emptiness, being lost, and unfulfillment
Always questioning our selves in our motivations, needs, and wants
There is something missing in our life – “is this all there is?”
We are secretly lonely (not even close loved ones may be aware)
Feeling like life is out of control
Envious of others when they have successes – especially when we intuitively recognize they are living their Life Purpose
Feel like we are always making the wrong decisions
There is lots of drama in our life
Begin to feel victimized (whether real or perceived)
Wondering if we really ARE just automatons (or robots) living out our time
These thoughts haunt many of us consciously, subconsciously, and/or unconsciously. Regardless, it is usually present in our lives and forces us to wonder.
What is the “story” of your life? Is your wonderings painful? Are you enjoying the learning experience of your life? Is it difficult?
In the next post, we will look at the great joy and benefit of Living A Life WITH Purpose. See you next time.