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Thread: Purpose and Meaning in Life

  1. #11
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    I also spend a lot of time feeling like I just don't get it. Religion just doesn't work for me. I've tried and tried.

    I struggle with finding peace with all of this. I have so much to be thankful for but just don't understand what it is I'm supposed to be accomplishing. I get very restless with daily routines. I'm always feeling like there is something else out there and that I'm wasting precious time repeating what I did yesterday.

    This is a very strong longing that I work hard at dealing with. Why am I here? What purpose am I supposed to fufill? Why is everyone else here too?

    If its all a big cosmic coincidence I wish someone would let me know. I would live much more recklessly and fully. No rules except to find as much pleasure as possible. I'd stop being so darned responsible.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Mrs. Hermit's Avatar
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    That's a question I'm dancing with right now as I move toward the empty(ier) nest years. Not the overarching question of what am I here for (I am not good at answering the BIG QUESTIONS!), but the more ground level question of what I am here for NOW.
    Mrs. Hermit

  3. #13
    Senior Member Gardenarian's Avatar
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    My purpose in life is to create more positive energy in the universe.
    Well, that's what I tell myself!

  4. #14
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    I have been struggling with this question for the past couple of years. I am now 55, work fulltime and still have lots of leftover time on my hands. It has occurred to me that since the girls are older, 24 and 30, I have no interests and do not even remember what my hobbies were before motherhood. I really need some frugal hobbies.....will be thinking more on your question.

  5. #15
    Low Tech grunt iris lily's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bke View Post
    I also spend a lot of time feeling like I just don't get it. Religion just doesn't work for me. I've tried and tried.

    I struggle with finding peace with all of this. I have so much to be thankful for but just don't understand what it is I'm supposed to be accomplishing. I get very restless with daily routines. I'm always feeling like there is something else out there and that I'm wasting precious time repeating what I did yesterday.

    This is a very strong longing that I work hard at dealing with. Why am I here? What purpose am I supposed to fufill? Why is everyone else here too?

    If its all a big cosmic coincidence I wish someone would let me know. I would live much more recklessly and fully. No rules except to find as much pleasure as possible. I'd stop being so darned responsible.

    Two things struck me about your post:

    The first thing, why keep "trying" religion if it's not for you? If that's what you mean by being "responsible" (the second thing) then no wonder you are bored with your life. You are living your life according to the voice of someone else talking in your own head telling you what you "should" do.

    It's a false dichotomy you've raised, being "responsible" or "reckless." Why in the world do you think leading a "responsible" life isn't inherently satisfying? If you haven't found the path that fulfills you, that's your own fault. If you've set up false limits for yourself based on those "rules" you mention, I have to wonder: why?

    You are responsible for your own happiness and direction in life, take charge, seize the day. Good luck!

    And hey, it IS all a cosmic coincidence, haha. Well, I think so anyway.
    Last edited by iris lily; 7-1-11 at 12:11am.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Polliwog's Avatar
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    Wow! I love reading all of your responses to my "big" questions. It seems to be part of the human condition that we struggle or, at least, ponder the meaning and purpose of our lives. Your responses have been so thoughtful and really helpful to me. What I am getting from many of you is that it is okay to just "be" and live my life the best I can, do no harm, and love other people. That makes a lot of sense to me. It also lets me breathe a lot easier because it takes the pressure off. I can be the best person I can be, but it doesn't mean I have to accomplish something great to have a lasting impact on the world, whether it's my little world around me, or something bigger. Like some of you said, just being good and loving to my children and grandchildren, and smiling at strangers, is a wonderful thing.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    I think the purpose in live is to be happy and to serve. As I recall the Scott and Helen Nearing model, a third of the day spent earning a living, a third spent bettering the self through meditation, excersize, reading , music, etc. and a third serving others. I've never come close t that, but have kept it in mind as an ideal. It seems like such a good balance. Polliwog, I too have some sort of guilt or pressue to go off and accomplish big things, but I think it's just as meaningful to do smaller things in grand ways, if that makes any sense.

    As to the meaning of life, it's think it's one great mystery that we will never know of for sure, but should enjoy the journey of trying to unravel it.

  8. #18
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    The only meaning life has to me is the meaning I bring to the party. That's what gets me up in the morning. I am, like a moth to a flame, drawn towards those "big deal" splashes in the pool of life. Lately, I just sit back and watch other bugs fly into the bug zapper. But, I know myself and things change. I love Albert Camus' story The Myth of Sysiphus... finding meaning in the absurd toil of life. It's liberating. Kinsey studied bugs for years before he studied human sexuality. Today's load of dirty laundry could be tomorrow's social enlightenment, or not. I'm going to make laundry as fun as I can.
    This Rock I Found - Enjoy my judiciously fictitious personal anecdotes in slow motion with some drawn butter on the side.

  9. #19
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattj View Post
    The only meaning life has to me is the meaning I bring to the party. That's what gets me up in the morning. I am, like a moth to a flame, drawn towards those "big deal" splashes in the pool of life. Lately, I just sit back and watch other bugs fly into the bug zapper. But, I know myself and things change. I love Albert Camus' story The Myth of Sysiphus... finding meaning in the absurd toil of life. It's liberating. Kinsey studied bugs for years before he studied human sexuality. Today's load of dirty laundry could be tomorrow's social enlightenment, or not. I'm going to make laundry as fun as I can.
    The Myth of Sisyphus was one of the things that motivated me to quit my corporate job--that's exactly how I felt, pushing that boulder up to the top of the hill, only to have it roll back down again. I think when you really try to figure out how to make sense of the fact that that we don't know what the meaning of life is you can go the route of existentialism or you can go the route of accepting that we just don't know whether life is absurd or not.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  10. #20
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    For me, the purpose/meaning of life is to swallow it whole.

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