Posted by: Aletta | 2005/06/08

Meaning of life....

Hope you had some positive feedback on the arm - funny how we find out just how important our limbs are when we lose use of them, not so?
I want to lob one of life's Big Questions at you, because as usual I think you will provide a new take on the subject: WHY ARE WE HERE??
I have close to everything life has to offer - useful degrees, the exec job, the big house and car (all of which I did myself, and should get some satisfaction from that......only not!), the wonderful husband , the nice family and friends, the lot!
But lately it has all become completely meaningless to me. Having lost my only child a couple of years ago probably has a lot to do with how I am feeling. Being a mom has a very real purpose to it, and that is gone now.
This is also probably a very real mid-life crisis, but I have lost all interest in my day-to-day activities. Why should I go out and earn megabucks, who needs all these trappings of luxury?? Not me, of that I am very sure!
Do we need to contribute to life, the earth, our fellow human beings in order to find meaning, or is this all there is? To live (successfully, according to what everybody thinks) and then die and leave absolutely no trace of ever being here, and not making any difference at all??
I feel extremely guilty to complain about my life, but this is not what I want, and I am VERY confused at this stage. I have no idea where to go, or what to do with what is left of my future.
Any helpful thoughts??
Regards and best wishes for your recovery!

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Our expert says:
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You may find it useful to track down and read some of the books by an old friend of mine, now deceased, Prof. Viktor Frankl, whose special interest, having escaped the concentration camps, was the issue of Meaning in life. And he writes simply, not in the hifalutin style with which some authors try to hide the fact that they're not actually saying anything.
Isn't one of the traps, especially when we start out by having very little, that life seems to be about accumulating STUFF, and its only when you have a pile of it you might start asking "What's all this stuff FOR ?" I'm sorry to hear of the tragedy of losing your child. Isn't one of the meanings of that loss and your response to it, that one of the things you felt you were here for, was for others, for helping, growing, nurturing someone or someones else ?
And you raise the other aspect of that in your closing paragraphs --- isn't it about leaving good traces, some ways, however small in the grand scheme of things, in which the world is a slightly better place because you were here ?
COunselling can, if one can find a rare good counsellor, help one clarify such issues in the context of the details of our life. Accidents like mine, which remind one of how hugely all your plans and your entire way of life can be changed, so quickly, and by circumstances beyond your control, are sobering.

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