What gives your life meaning? Having a purpose makes your life meaningful; however, the purpose shifts over time. Change of meaning is a natural developmental change. The purpose that kept you awake at night in your twenties will rarely be the same as in your thirties. For the most, a change of purpose mostly evolves smoothly, without a life crisis.
In other cases, it can lead to a transition, leaving one with the question, "What now?"
This time is surrounded by a sense of emptiness and a feeling of being lost that is tough to ignore, yet it is a time of great opportunity.
This is the perfect moment to explore a new purpose, creating a new meaning in your life. But how can you achieve that?
Insight and self-awareness make the difference. If we allow ourselves these tools, we will have enough internal support as we:
are familiar with who we are and our values.
allowed ourselves to grow a flexible mindset.
are curious to explore who we want to be.
understand and accept that changes define a situation and not who we are
know that challenges don't last forever.
When you lose your purpose, it is not forever. It just means that it is lost now, and it's fine.
It is part of the growing process, yet you wonder how to find meaning.
“Life is meaningless, but worth living, provided you recognize it's meaningless.”
Looking for your purpose may take time. Finding something that adds value to your life and inspires you enough to create a new meaning requires patience and commitment to explore your inner self and improve self-awareness. Meanwhile, complex feelings of emptiness, sadness, anger, frustration, and guilt might challenge you. Don't be afraid; these are a normal part of the process, don't push away your feelings, explore what is behind them.
These feelings are critical; trying to numb them with alcohol, drugs, and other distractions doesn't bring any good to your future self.
“If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be meaning in suffering.”
How can you deal with challenging feelings?
You can't avoid difficult feelings; you need to learn to stay with them.
Accept your emotions; fighting them will only increase your sense of inadequacy.
You are not these feelings; you are experiencing them.
You are not empty, sad, or guilty. You feel empty, sad or guilty.
Allow these feelings to be with you, but do not let them rule your life.
Allow the same support, compassion, and trust in your abilities.
"Whenever you become anxious or stressed, outer purpose has taken over,
and you lost sight of your inner purpose. You have forgotten that
your state of consciousness is primary, all else secondary.”
To unstuck, explore the following questions:
What are my values and beliefs?·
What do I enjoy doing?
What is important to me?
What do I admire in other people?
What is holding me back?
What brought me joy in the past?
Who do I want to be?
Who do I not want to be?
Ask also "Why is this important to me?" at the end of any of the above questions, to further explore of the reasons behind your choices. Don't push the outcome; jot down your answers. Reading them can give a different perspective.
Don't rush yourself into something you may regret, and do not settle for choices only because they feel easier to accomplish.
“The secret to life is meaningless unless you discover it yourself.”
W. Somerset Maugham
You realise that your basic needs are way less than you thought.
You recognise how a slight shift in your priorities can improve your inner balance.
You learn that living in the present makes you feel better.
In a world where multitasking is becoming a lifestyle, exploring mindfulness becomes a possibility for growth and healing.
Live in the present, do not regret the past, nor be anxious about the future. There are too many variables that cannot be assessed or foreseen. Living in the present moment allows you to devote more time to knowing yourself, which is an act of self-love.
“You have to believe in yourself when no one else does.”
Your purpose will find you; the reason why you weren't able to see it is straightforward: you weren't ready, and it was not the right time.
No regrets or blame for that. Enjoy your time ahead, and never stop growing.
If you feel you need help to overcome a difficult time and don't have someone you feel you can talk to, reach out. Contact a helpline, a support group, or a professional. Your GP or a counsellor can make a difference in your wellbeing.
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