“If there is no pleasure in life, it is necessary to invent some meaning” (Diogenes of Sinop).
The feeling of emptiness and meaninglessness of life overtakes even gifted, successful people, there are both personal and external reasons for this. Our psyche is a self-regulating system, which periodically gets excited, is in an active state during difficult events or relationships, and vice versa, rests, “hibernates. The holiday can not go on forever, the time comes to roll up the scenery until the next show.
♪ he who seeks may find ♪
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you; for everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew’s Gospel, ch. 7, Art. 7-8).
As usual, to understand a complex phenomenon or process, you must decompose it into simpler, more accessible elements. Life is so multidirectional and multifactorial that each of the several billion people can interpret it in his or her own way. So you have to admit to yourself what meaning you put into this word, without particularly abstracting and delving into metaphysics, hordes of thinkers and philosophers have long done this before you and with more notable success.
“If you regret not getting enough of life now, you’ll still feel like your life is an accident centuries from now” (Kobo Abe).
Let’s look at the perception of life through interconnections with other people. We’re used to perceiving our own success and attitudes through the attitudes and evaluations of others. “I need a second higher education” – and you hear in response: right, we will help you, so you are confidently acting. And if you hear doubts: why, it’s very expensive, the idea is likely to fail.
Even if it seems to you that “everyone is fed up”, “I’ll run away,” just imagine for a moment that the earth is empty, and only you are left as a full-fledged “owner of factories, palaces, steamships” (©). What sense and value is there in such a life without the presence of other squirrelly beings with highly organized nervous systems?
“Life is so short that each day is a great reward and consolation” (r. Emerson).
Therefore, the feeling that life is flowing by, often occurs against the background of other people’s achievements or “charged”, a positive worldview. And it’s not at all about the number of factories, husbands, educational degrees, but the quality of perception, the appreciation of every moment of life.
“I wonder where we get the meaning we give to even meaningless things?..” (Frederic Beigbeder).
An elementary technique, ask 5-6 people today, what is the meaning of life for them, how they maintain interest in what is going on, how they overcome crises, loneliness, a sense of transience. You’re sure to hear something new, useful, surprising, and you can reevaluate your opinions and your importance in a social environment. Simple truths are the most powerful.
Home Training “I am at the Center of the Universe
“Loneliness is the essence of your nature. You can try to forget about it, you can find friends and lovers, blend in with the crowd… But no matter what you do, it stays on the outside. Deep down inside your loneliness remains unchanged” (Elchin Safarli).
If you imagine life in the form of a solar-planetary model, in the center, of course, are you, as a concentrated clot of individual energy, which you exchange with others, draw a circle. Around you there are many viewers and admirers, critics and antagonists who are the most important in your life (spouses, parents, relatives), draw a circle wider for the number of the closest and most influential people, in each write down the names.
Next are people who are indirect, indirect, less important (friends, colleagues, acquaintances), draw wider circles with the names. Next: scientific, literary, artistic, religious authorities and associates whose opinions are important to you, the circles still expand. This egocentric pattern can be continued depending on who is involved in your worldview and shaping your ideas about life.
Now you can analyze: the point is that every person in your environment either creates or destroys. No one can be completely neutral, anyone has a positive or negative charge against you. Check the central circles with family members, how parents act: interfere or help, shading these boxes in green if everything suits you, and in red if it strains you.
In this way you should check all the circles of different colors, which may alternate or form a monolithic spot. You will have a visual model of what shade of life prevails in the center and on the periphery: agreement (green) or opposition (red). Most importantly, you don’t need to contrast relationships with people on a “good-bad” level, it’s just a comparative aspect. The sunset is necessary for the next sunrise to come. Even with one person, the communication pole can repeatedly change from “plus” to “minus”.
No need to be afraid and shy of truthful conclusions, now you will see which people in which area of life are fatiguing, energy consuming. It is such manipulators inspire a sense of inferiority, backwardness, because it is so much easier to control your thoughts and motives. They are consciously or unconsciously make you play by your own rules – you want the same approval, acceptance of friends and relatives or superiors, try to go on.
You will be surprised when you realize that some habitual, tolerant relationships literally “suffocate” you, slow you down and stop you at the threshold of new discoveries, new relationships. That is why it seems that life rolls by, that you are to blame for everything, that you have overlooked something very important, even though there are all the stereotypical achievements: family, work, credits, worries, toil.
Moment of truth
“Before you know the meaning of life, it’s already been changed to a new one” (George Carlin).
Once you figure out who is preventing you from moving on and enjoying every moment, who is quietly wasting your life rating, you’ll get a sudden burst of energy, similar to an epiphany. It cannot be confused with anything else, it is like a breath of air after the depths. It is now that you can deal with the tangle of family or work conflicts, voice your real opinions, and end annoying, toxic relationships, regardless of the degree of closeness and kinship. Then the flow of life will resume, become turbulent, interesting and purposeful again.
The fact is that our cunning brain concentrates primarily on achieving simpler, more straightforward goals. For example, many women try to maintain order and cleanliness in an unthinkable concentration, spend a lot of time and resources on this, so that the windows shine and the cups are parallel. And then they wonder why there is neither time nor desire for self-development and self-promotion. Get hysterical that “life isn’t working out” and just goes by. But it was your choice, your decision – a shiny facade with an emptiness behind it, or a “living”, filled building.
It’s the same with relationships: we gradually acquire familiar, “convenient” connections that your brain perceives as acceptable. An abusive spouse seems more understandable and “needed” than “loneliness” and fear of the unknown. After all, after a divorce you will have to literally reshape your entire life, and no one guarantees a reward, there may be financial difficulties, change the opinions of those closest to you.
Although many victims of abusive relationships also feel an “energy flash,” a fountain of emotion after a breakup. And it is connected not with the absence of a source of irritation in the person of an aggressor, but with the accumulation of inner resources that were spent before to neutralize, level out the conflict situation.
Therefore it is necessary to review their concepts and “ideals” of the “real” life, what is more important: the order, a fixed salary, a strict schedule or improvisation and impromptu, there are many options. The next step is a technical one: to choose the directions in life that one would like to “pump up”” (Marcus Aurelius).
Recall that the concept of “life” consists of many components, write down, for example, 10 arbitrary categories (appearance, cycling, creativity, weight loss, repair, tourism, handicrafts, cooking, floriculture, breeding camels). Rank them from 1 to 10 according to relevance and your requests, focusing on the 2-3 most important. Voila, all that’s left to do is the last action: get off the couch.
Many psychologists insist that your actions and decisions are your sole responsibility, others have absolutely nothing to do. Obviously, this is a strained and tendentious statement, about the same as “thinking positively”. It doesn’t happen that way, and it’s pointless to refute it. As if we are untouchable, located in a vacuum and exuding divine grace. All we do is forgive wrongs and smile and wave and smile. Resentment, by the way, is a normal emotion if it does not become an obsessive, destructive feeling.
Another vast hoax is to urge you to actively do good, caring acts, to devote your life to serving people. Let us suppose that I feed stray dogs from morning till night and water the dead flowers along the sidewalks. What a benefit, what a pleasure, what a thrill to feel life and its decency?
Our structured, functional society long ago monopolized the right to perform humane, compassionate acts. There are hospitals and shelters for all the disadvantaged, utilities water where necessary. Calls for civic duty and knitting warm scarves to nursing homes were relevant during a time of clothing shortages and a shortage of qualified doctors or social workers.
“Do what you have to do and be what you will!” (Marcus Aurelius).
Your task is to carry through the years the awareness of your own uniqueness, uniqueness regardless of the position of others, because “we are not louidors (coins) to please everybody” (O. V. Likhachev). de Balzac). You’ve already spent too much time trying to appear better, to earn approval, but this pointless ritual makes no one feel cozier or warmer.
“The opinion of those around us is the opinion of those who are not asked” (Bruce Willis).
You have the right to choose with whom to communicate, when to communicate, what to talk about, what to do, when to do. You do not have to prove that you are decent, smart, well-read, responsible, you do not have to hide the anger and disgust or a mess on the desk, it is your environment, your element.
“I don’t care what you think of me. I don’t think about you at all” (Coco Chanel).
You don’t have to answer to anyone or conform to anyone else’s requests and beliefs, no one will “check” how happy and content you really are. There are no patrons or authorities in the world who can turn your life into a sparkling spring of kindness and trust. Stepping over your mistakes and stereotypes, you will easily step over the criticism and censure of others, perhaps they envy you more than you do them. The hardest work is working on yourself.
“Life is too short to let yourself grieve about it” (B. Disraeli).
Only when you begin to take charge of every moment of your life will it light up your soul. Your life and your mind – this is the only asset that you own unconditionally and entirely, use it to its full capacity for their own development, happiness and pleasure.
What to do now with this sense of meaninglessness, transience, abandonment? The answer is paradoxical: to enjoy. This is the perfect moment to reach the height of moral enlightenment, when the soul greedily absorbs the smallest nuances of what is happening, is able to listen and empathize. It was in this state that the masterpieces of Baudelaire, Pushkin, and a host of other poets, writers, and musicians appeared.
If you were able to understand that you feel insecure, missing something important and necessary, it means that there is something to compare it with, there is an internal navigator, a distant road calling.