“All existing things are born for no reason, continue for no reason, continue through weakness and die by accident… It Is meaning that we are born; it is meaningless that we die.” – Victor Frankl
It has been a classical existential crisis to derive an answer to the question, “What is the meaning of life?” It is a long forth dilemma imprinted in our being. Yet, no definite answer has been standardized because meaning is in its nature, indefinite.
As I lay back with my head comfortably laid upon the one-sided arm of our sofa, I suddenly felt a seemingly extra-mundane dissociation from myself. I started to question myself, “What makes me as me?”, “What is inside of me aside from my physical anatomy?”, “Why do I have a being as such?”…”What is this life that flows through me and why it has chosen me to live?” The more I ponder about it, the more agonize my being feels so as I can’t answer my own existential questions to myself.
Some people believe that our life has been pre-destined by a Deity even at the time of our existence in the world. As if we are programmed to follow through it as we get intimate with the Creator. Others choose to follow a life out of the bounds of God. Is being lost in life just secluded in our disbelief in an Almighty Deity? Or is it that we just force ourselves to believe in a God who is powerful, supernatural, perfect – the total opposite of our imperfect humanity because we want to escape existential truths of how life is, and instead, live in a delusion in an image of a Savior?
Regardless of our beliefs, creating meaning is subjective. Frankl is claiming two things: First, humans have a will to meaning. Second, meaning does exist in the world and it is up to us to find it.The productivity and destruction of our lives depends on our hands. This means that, despite of how we think our lives turned out to be a mess, we are still accountable on how we give meaning to our relevant experiences in life even if they are the worst ones.
Experiences are inevitable but creating meaning is a choice. Embracing existential truths about meaninglessness means, you don’t have to point fingers at someone on how your life turned out to be. We are accountable for our own lives on how we create meaning even during the times when we feel that we are in the rock bottom. Knowing that meaning comes along with the pace of our existence, all that we have to do is to pick the most appropriate fruit that will give life to our being and the point here is to be selfless. Existentialism may seem to be a narcissistic philosophy but it goes way more than discovering self-centered purpose.
The primary problem for many people is not about pursuing the meaning they intend to follow through but rather how to find meaning that will suit them. Irvin Yalom and Victor Frankl derived some ways on how people will be able to deal with their existential neurosis that could give path and meaning to their ever searching soul such as through helping others in need, dedicating one’s self for a certain cause, becoming creative with one’s given abilities, being optimistic through adversaries, believing in God/adopting a religion that will pull yourself out of selfish goals, living your life to the fullest that could involve embracing sufferings and lastly, self -actualization.
Having meaning in one’s life is not just an automatic urge nor will it fall from the sky. Creating meaning is just like writing a story on a blank paper – only then you give meaning to the paper itself. You justify its purpose by creating words that will make it beautiful for someone to read. Same should be for our life. Our beings are empty vessels and it is up to us on what to fill it.
Even in the most meaningless points of our lives, meaning lies somewhere. Creativity has no bounds and it includes creating meaning even to the most painful moments of our lives. We don’t stop living. Not until we accept meaninglessness.
So, reflect on your life. Introspect. Look back on how you have used your being to something that matters that made you feel the life in you by the way you created something out of nothing. Think about how you can give meaning to your present life and turn the table of your situation by becoming creative like how you mold a seemingly formless clay to a beautiful sculpture. Look forward to a selfless you that will eventually put meaning into others’ life by the way you embrace the meaning you have chosen.
Base on your perspective, pick the most appropriate suffix in this sentence .
“My life is meaning(ful/less).”
Done? Now, take time to reflect on your life on why you have chosen such.
Life does not start on how you make it.
Rather, life is how you thought about it. Life starts within the bounds of your mind and then, you make life happen.