I was reading a post about asking yourself some big questions in the quest to find, or find again, your life purpose.
Some people have stopped asking, and among the many states that might be described, there are those who are simply stymied, mired in the march of time and the confusion of life.
I wonder if that latter state isn’t related to the part of the parable where good seed fall among weeds. It has grown, it showed promise, but the care and business of this life swallowed up all the available time and energy.
Not being able to breathe and grow, the questions just slowly stopped. Because there doesn’t seem to be any reason to keep asking. The sunlight is blocked, the root starts to wither in a dry place where no moisture of inspiration any longer can reach.
Asking Questions Begins Making Room
It makes room in your mind. It gets you looking for a way to climb out of your rut.
People today love to talk about passion. The concept has turned into a buzzword and marketers use it as a hook, because there is still hope that with this passion comes reward and renewed sensitivity to beauty and life. Sadly, the way it is used it is mostly emptied of any real meaning.
Although allowing the focus of truthful and sincere questions may direct our attention back to the essence of what we mean when we say the word “passion”.
That which we have figured out we really, and truly care about. That which we are willing to expend our selves and the currency of our lives on. Things which matter to us versus what we say matters to us.
What Are Those Questions?
The post I read gave me that author’s thoughts on them, and they were very good ones. I wouldn’t argue with their validity. At the same time it made me think that he meant them as a springboard for me to ask my own questions.
Here are mine:
- Have I put off becoming the person I want to be? Have I traded my life so far for a distant carrot of “someday”, only to wake up and find that I detoured from the road?
- If I am truly convinced that “God is the answer” (forgive this cliché, but you all know what I mean by it), why have I given Him the leftovers of my inner life? Did I really believe that all my time spent thinking selfish, foolish, bitter, angry thoughts would make room for Him and for His nature, or even a connection with God? The mantra of “forgive me” and “help me” didn’t take the place of actual repentance and the work (giving actual time, thought, and energy) of becoming friends with God.
- What can I do to become present in relationships? with God, with people, with endeavors, …. with myself?
Those are the main ones for me at this time.
I also call into question some of the ideas submitted in that article, at least as I have understood them. A big one for me is this.
Understanding that life demands sacrifice
I understood very early that there are hard things in life and disappointments. In fact, I’d say I prided myself on having persistence, endurance in the face of difficulties, or personal “grit”. I tried to pass that on to my children.
I wonder if it didn’t backfire, for them and for me. I mean I truly wonder, because I don’t know how to look at it today. I think it was a good quality, but should have been tempered with wisdom.
Rejection, criticism, failure are parts of life, yes. But I made too much of them, and then spent an awful lot of time backpedaling and trying to repair the damage that came from that imbalance.
That is enough introspection to give you an idea of where my head was at when I thought about making a small list of life “to-dos” in order to move forward.
settle the question that life has meaning.
Don’ t delay acting on your understanding it
Use Your Questions To Add Meaning
Do No Harm
A short explanation of what I mean by each of those actions.
- Humans keep struggling for it, so it is a big time and life waster to keep insisting that we live only for the moment and that there is no meaning. Or act like there is none. We will only wake up wasted and full of regret. So just settle it, like making it a basic premise: life has meaning and we have meaning within it.
- You don’t have to have everything figured out before moving forward. Life has its own momentum, and little actions add up into a force. You understand an infinitesimal piece of the puzzle? Make your action, thoughts, and direction come into harmony and alignment with that. Sometimes understanding is actually built from that, not the other way around.
- This is underestimated. Maybe because we think we have to understand the picture we see and must pass some sort of universal judgement of worthiness. Our business is to show kindness as often as we can. We cannot possibly gauge the power to change the world for the better that this one decision makes.
- So many use their questions to destroy another’s sense of meaning. Gaining a sense of meaning is so much more important, and takes so much effort in the confusion and chaos, that energy is better used building and outlining the positive. Not a mandate, just generally a good rule to pursue. Otherwise we can waste all our time destroying others and not having built anything for ourselves.
- We step on life without even thinking, so borrowing this adage from the medical profession is a reminder to value life. To understand our own power, and to use it wisely. Stop deliberately hurting others. It does not empower you. Eventually you will find this out, but you may have developed a debilitating habit by that time. As much as you can, benefit. Even those you don’t think deserve it, those you don’t like, those who seem small, or too big for their britches. You don’t have to aright the universe, you just need to nurture the little your short life will allow you.
There it is. My thoughts for the day. and should you wish to read the post that triggered this one, 7 Strange Questions