Today, life feels futile. It’s an honest journal entry. Should I let everyone peek? Some would say yes. Some would say no. Others would say we should vote on it. I rest my case. Today life feels futile.
Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to work I go.
Oh, that’s right. Bills to pay, family to support, dreams to try and manifest, right? I must work harder to get ahead. Right?
What if I just quit right now?
What would happen if I just walked through those doors and gave them my resignation?
So I could finally be free. Free to be me; my higher self, my best self, my everything I’ve always dreamed of being, self.
So I can feel the way I want to feel.
Ok…before sounding too depressive here, and run the risk of losing you, stay with me just a bit longer.
Have you ever really stopped and asked yourself why you do what you do? Or why you want what you want? After contemplating all of the possible answers, have you ever reached the conclusion, if but for a moment, that life can feel, at times, futile?
What do you do when life feels futile?
I was listening to a motivational speaker the other day talking about “purposelessness.” (Kind of ironic I thought.) Purposelessness is a concept the Chinese embrace.
When we talk about something having no purpose in Western culture, it’s a let down. There’s no future in it so why do it. If there is not a prize, something to gain, a tally mark at least for participation, why bother?
Why give effort to something that offers nothing in return?
When the Chinese hear the word purposelessness, it’s a compliment. While most of us are trying to engineer a reason for everything, even nature, the Chinese embrace the ideology that the simple existence of something is its purpose.
…pause and think on that…
When everything always has to have a finish line, we expend all of our life’s energy just to get there. And then as soon as we arrive, there, we are driven to get to the next there, and the next, and so on.
Some people spend their entire lives trying to find purpose and die without ever finding it. What was the purpose of that?
What if you spend your entire life trying to figure it all out and never do?
Well, you could say, “At least I tried,” right?
You might say, “At least I didn’t sit idly by and watch as life passed me by,” right?
Who decided anyway that having a purpose was required for living an exceptional life? What if we held competitions to see who could be the best at doing nothing at all?
Who decided, anyway, that having a purpose was required for living an exceptional life?
What has happened in our culture to cause such demand and drive? To expect such ambition? Who determined that effort and accomplishment were the only measurements for true success?
To say you did it?
Even the most significant becomes insiginificant with the passing of time.
It seems futile to spend your life trying to figure out what may never be able to be figured out to begin with. AND even if you did figure something out, even if you did discover “it,” what is “it” all for?
Everyone is trying so hard to figure out the purpose of life but what if there is no purpose?
What if the purpose of life is purposelessness?
What if the pursuit of purpose is actually what makes life feel futile?
What if it’s the incessant pursuit that leaves us, at times, so unfulfilled?
I can’t speak for you, friend, but I can speak for myself. My entire life has being trying to figure out why. I’m just now opening my heart and mind to entertain the idea that maybe why is not mine to figure out.
As a Hospice Grief and Crisis Counselor, I used evaluated my effectiveness on how many people I could help discover some sense of meaning or purpose for their life before they die. Now I just sit with them silently as they die; trusting that one day we’ll all know why.
What if the purpose of life is to simply be alive? If you do something great, great. If not, great too. If you leave a legacy, awesome! If not, awesome too.
Maybe existence IS our greatest accomplishment.
Who would you be if you weren’t trying so hard to figure out who you were supposed to be?
What if, friend, just what if…life is made better by not trying so hard to make it out to be anything at all?
Originally published at medium.com