What is the meaning of life? What do we live for? Who brought us here? Where do humans come from? These are some questions that all of us have asked at one time or another. The answers are not easy. After all, people have been trying to answer them for thousands of years. And they’re still looking for it. What the right answer is, I don’t know. But I know what the right answer is for me. I also know how to find the right answer for oneself. I will also say that there is no magic wand that shows this answer, only the path to the soul, which takes time.
Is the question eternal?
The truth is that as soon as people developed thought they began to wonder about the meaning of life. In the beginning, answers were given through religion mainly, such as animism. For animism, everything has spirit in it and life, even stones. Mythology all over the world has tried to explain why the world was created and what its meaning is through archetypal figures and heroic persons, such as the gods of Olympus. Later, with the development of civilization, the first philosophical currents appeared. They were all trying to explain existence.
In the beginning is the Word or Chaos? Everything was created by one God, by many, or everything is Matter. Is the Body separate from the Soul or not. And what is the Soul? So many schools were created, like Plato’s and Aristotle’s. Hippocrates, on the other hand, accepted the Whole of existence and that everything has to do with balance, including disease.
Theories of meaning
Since then, as many theories as there have been attempts to answer the meaning of existence, and as many religions. Materialism, idealism, idealism, hedonism, cynicism, positivism, empiricism, realism, surrealism, utopianism, nihilism, and how many others in -ism. Interestingly, the current of existentialism focused on the uniqueness of each being, which is shaped through its actions. As well as all the theories of psychology and psychotherapy: from behaviourism and Freudianism to Gestalt and person-centred theory. And the list goes on. But each time with each new theory we are closer to the truth. Yes, a universal answer has not been found. But now the ways are known to find one’s personal path to the answer or even one’s personal answer.
After all, what is the meaning of life?
The meaning of life is what you give it. To get to this point you need to have made a journey of self-discovery. Find out what is important to you. And often the answers involve external factors, such as money, reputation, work, power. Other times it’s other people, like love, children. The deepest and most meaningful answer lies at the core of the soul. Where the answers are one-word but complex. Like my love, health, well-being, joy, kindness, goodness, service, conscience, ethics, principles.
And the answer comes with living, letting go with confidence in life and working with yourself/yourself. Take care of traumas and inner wounds so that they do not shape the meaning of your life. But the clear choice comes from the knowledge, emotion, and motivation that drives you to do what you have done so far in your life. And what is this life ultimately like if it has love or conscience at its centre? Love for you, for what you do, for the people you spend your time with. Maybe then at the end of each day you will smile with satisfaction and pleasure.
Yes, you do not know the meaning of life for humanity, but you do know it for yourself and that is precious.
Irvin Yalom’s book “When Nietzsche cried” was the book that made me want to become a psychologist. At one point Yalom describes Nietzsche’s words: ”It is not the truth that is sacred, it is the search for the truth of each of us! Can there be a more sacred act than self-seeking? My philosophical work, some say, is built on sand: my views are constantly changing. But one of my constant and defining phrases is: Be who you are! ”Which only through self-knowledge will you learn!
If you want to follow your own path of self-awareness, if you are struggling to find what it is that makes you smile with pleasure at the end of each day, if you are struggling to find your meaning I suggest we work on it together through the individual positive psychology sessions.