Last week was a “dark night of the soul” kind of week for me. I felt unmotivated, untethered, and lost. I have a great life, but suddenly it felt as if I had gone off the path and into the brambles. I had lost sight of what gave my life meaning.
We all have weeks like this, weeks where we feel as if we’ve lost our way. I think a lot of people live lives like this, never knowing in which direction they should be headed, and never expecting anything better.
Last year I quit a job I used to love. It reached a point where I felt as if I was selling my soul every time I went to work. I didn’t believe in what I was doing any longer and I walked away.
I think a lot about meaning these days. What makes our lives meaningful? Does it just happen, or can we create meaning?
I mostly believe life is what you make it, that we facilitate a meaningful life by the things we do, the relationships we build, and the experiences we create. Sometimes, though, you have to search for meaning, and it’s not always easy to find.
After a week of soul searching, I finally figured out that most of what I’ve done this past year has been solely for the purpose of making money.
We all have to eat and make our way in the world of work, but focusing mainly on how to make money completely changes everything. Whereas I used to look forward to writing, it became a chore, something that might possibly lead to a way to make a living. My writing changed, became less personal. I found ways to avoid sitting at the computer. I found excuses. Having to write took all the joy away. I started to resent the constant pressure of having to write something every day.
If I’m writing only because I hope to make a living from it, it will probably never happen. I don’t want to write because it will put food on the table; I want to write because it’s the food that will nourish my soul.
I had forgotten that without meaning, without having things we do for no other reason than we love doing them, life becomes stagnant and hollow.
What did I do? I sat down and wrote, for no other reason than I wanted to. I wrote without an agenda, without an ulterior motive, without expecting anything to come of it.
I’m going to try and write poetry again. I’m going to knit something beautiful. I’m going to grow green beans.
Your passions may be something other than mine. It could be painting, gardening, cooking, running, knitting, photography . . . the possibilities are endless. Hopefully you have more than one passion.
Whatever brings meaning to your life has to be nurtured and allowed to breathe. It has to be something you can’t live without doing, something that encapsulates your entire life into one single, small moment of creation.
Find time each day to do something creative, for no other reason than the pure act of creating something. Do something just because you love doing it. It will bring meaning back into your life.