What I forgot when I was trying to work out the meaning of life…

I woke up at 2am last night, convinced that something was wrong. The world is eerily quiet when you’re panicking on your own. I checked the hobs and the iron which I hadn’t been using; and, on the way back downstairs, did that thing when I thought I was at the bottom but wasn’t quite. My legs buckled as the floor disappeared, and my heart skipped a few beats. 

I have been thinking a lot about life recently. 

After coming so close to losing it, I am desperate to make every second count. I am beginning to realise that death, something I’ve always been horribly afraid of, is also the context that makes life so achingly beautiful. 

This is right, I think; but I’ve been going about it all wrong. 

I have been so fixated on doing something important. On finding my “purpose”. On squeezing every minute out of every hour out of every day – that I have slightly crumbled under the pressure and forgotten that life is also about living. It is also about having fun. And sometimes not having fun, but that’s part of the deal.

The realisation lets me breathe and changes the direction.

There’s no point trying to make sense of life if I’m not present in it. Little chance of me working out what I’m here for if I do it in isolation, or end up chasing my tail seeing whether this – or that – or maybe that – is what I should be doing…

And so I have decided, for the moment, to stop looking and start living. To trust that the answer will emerge if I focus on the action, rather than the outcome; and if I follow the energy, rather than try and direct it’s course.

This means living with an amount of uncertainty and the possibility that I am going down the wrong path –

But I don’t think I’ll find any answers if I’m always trying to work out the meaning or wring out a purpose; and I wonder if we find these things in living – rather than in looking – and in embracing the things that we enjoy.

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14 responses to “What I forgot when I was trying to work out the meaning of life…

  1. I don’t think you can always figure it out in advance. Sometimes we try stuff and then pause to reflect – and realise in looking back what it is that engages us and has meaning for us.

    Embrace what you enjoy indeed!

    • I think you’re right – it’s this strange forwards backwards thing…which I guess means that you can only stick with the present, and stop every now and then to check you’re going (mostly) in the right direction. And enjoying the journey.

  2. This resonates a lot with me and my constant grasping and striving to telescope time and squeeze everything. Putting so much pressure on finding purpose, trying to justify everything and stressing out about things detracts from actually enjoying life and actually living.

    We have no idea how close we are to death and you’re right in saying that that’s part of what makes life so special. Letting go and living is the way to enjoy life and something I personally need to embrace more than the anxiety. Another thought-provoking post and powerful reminder. 🙂

    • Yes – the telescoping time thing is exactly it and you’re right, it sucks the enjoyment out of everything. With you in working through the anxiety and going with life rather than trying to cram everything I’m “meant” to do in. xx

  3. ALways have me hooked with with your words. Thank you for giving me this pep talk that I so needed after all that has transpired in the past week and a half. You still inspire! ~Amy

    • Thanks Amy, that means loads. It’s been quite scary starting blogging over, so the support is really great. Hope things are okay for you. xx

  4. Hugs sweetie – I think the thing about life is learning to appreciate the ordinary – as you said in an earlier post – the simple beauty of a butterfly, the joy of a sunny day, watching children play. Observing is important – there can be so much beauty all around us and we end of missing it while trying to find something bigger.

    • This is exactly it. I keep trying to look for answers but because I don’t know the questions, I get nowhere….and all the time, there’s great stuff going on around me. Time to slow down I think… 🙂

  5. I frickin love you so much. I truly feel like we are kindred spirits in many ways. I absolutely feel this way a LOT. There is that quote – “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”
    John Lennon

    I think taking a moment to slow down, breathe, let go and not always run the wheel can help us be present. Kudos for you for listening and being aware.

    • ❤ you too. And love that Lennon quote…just determined to not quite let that happen 🙂 Listening and slowing down and making space for just being rather than doing or justifying or rationalising or analysing, I think. xx

  6. Judy wrote this the other day. You may have seen it, but I have it pinned to my wall and this made me think of it…

    “…so that perhaps we will gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day… into the answers.”

    If we knew, there’d be no choice, and nothing to learn. How boring would that be? It’s all about the journey. As for death, I’m with Peter Pan: That will be quite an adventure.

    You have beautiful musings, Melissa.

    • The quote is fantastic and the Peter Pan thing has totally captivated me. I’ve always been so incredibly scared. This tips it on its head. Thank you xx

  7. I agree with Kendra! You’re amazing! Posts like this remind me what life is supposed to be about – living. When stuck in the ‘crap,’ I forget about the simple but incredibly blatant truths.

    Keep it up!

    • Thank you. I forget too. I figure the more I write about it, the more I’ll remember. And I think that the “crap”, however hard and demoralising, has made me appreciate the beauty even more – so hang in there. xx

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