How does one go deeper than the emptiness of life?
1st Aug 2017
We tend to take the easy way out. We tend to follow the crowd. Even though most of the people in the crowd aren't truly living the best they can live.
How many people around us are truly living the most meaningful life they can live? how many people are following their heart in each moment, expressing themselves as authentically as they can and doing the thing that their heart truly desires in each moment? Not many.
How many people around us are truly enjoying the life they live as opposed to being lost in their and the world's problems? And by enjoying life I don't mean not having any problems that need to be dealt with - I mean being able to handle the problems life throws at you without undue stress and anxiety. How many people live without stress, anxiety and worry for the future? Not many.
And beyond all of this is the emptiness of life, i.e. that a lot of what we do just isn't meaningful at the deepest level. Consumerism is empty. Tinder dating is empty. Jumping on idea bandwagons, partisan arguments, seeing others as an opposing teams or enemies - these are all empty. Even the things we do which bring us true joy are empty, because the joy never lasts.
More meaningful things help us grow into better, happier human beings. Natural scenery, love, music. Inspired ideas, words and actions. Pursuing our heart's deepest desires. Overcoming our fears. Getting things off our chests and speaking the truth.
But living a meaningful life isn't just about doing things which feel more meaningful. It is also about understanding ourselves. Understanding the nature of life itself. Things come and go. Things go our way one day and don't the next. Because if we don't understand life itself then we're only going to get frustrated, no matter what we do to try and rectify our feeling of emptiness.
We must be fearless. Fearless in asking ourselves what our deepest desires are. Fearless in opening ourselves to be loving towards someone and to be loved by someone. Fearless in pursuing what we really want in life, knowing that we may fail to achieve it. And fearless in asking tough questions of ourselves and being honest with ourselves about how life is really going. For without asking these questions, we may live our lives blissfully ignorant of the emptiness which surrounds us at every turn.
And then we take action. We must seek out and forge meaningful relationships and be willing to be vulnerable. We must try to grow in all areas of our lives, both internal and external. In how we think, how we feel, how we relate to others. And how we work, how we create, how we contribute to the world. We must be willing to make mistakes, to be embarrassed, to be shamed even.
To make any progress with this we must be disciplined. Very disciplined. We have to be willing to forego short-term pleasures for long-term gain. But this cannot be masochistic. We have to learn to love ourselves and have compassion for ourselves. For we're not simply trying to get by, we're trying to live the best life we can possibly live, and this is necessarily a hard thing to do at times.
If we do this and keep investigating within ourselves who we are and what we want with honesty and sincerity then we will soon reach a more meaningful existence within ourselves. And this will be a true source of joy.