The crisis of meaning

With all the things that have happened since 2020 begin from the beginning of the pandemic to election issues and challenges with democracy, to job creation, gas prices, police shootings and the war in Ukraine, it’s befitting that some folks would start questioning everything and having doubts about who they are, the meaning of life and overall purpose. If you are serious about life, maturity will bring you to this point where you begin to wonder whether or not you have the correct understanding of things or that you really believe what you were told growing up.

This feeling is difficult. It’s where you begin to search for what life really means to you. This can even be dangerous at times because for some the thought process spirals out of control to the point where they actually believe in their heart that the world would be a better place without them. Some begin to suffer severe depression based on their new found discoveries about life or themselves. This is the time when reality becomes real.

It seems that tragedy brings about these thoughts. It normally happens when you feel the world around you is closing in on you. Things begin the change around you too fast and for a long time you have not been happy. There is a word for this. It is called an existential crisis.

Formally, in psychology and psychotherapy, existential crises are inner conflicts characterized by the impression that life lacks meaning. These conflicts will keep you up at night. They will also make you cry, feel depressed and even betrayed.

The year is halfway over and depending how 2022 has treated you, you might find yourself dealing with this now. If you are I want to give you some tips to make it through successfully. The first thing is you need someone who you trust. This is a person who will keep your confidence and is a good listener. You DO NOT need someone to tell you want to do or what to think — this was probably the problem in the beginning. You need a guide. This would be someone who you believe is living the life you hope to have. It’s an experienced person so they wouldn’t necessarily be in your age range. Look to the immediate generation ahead of you.

You also must be honest about your feelings. I had a client that discovered that she had quite a few relatives who were racist and that she hated those views but was conflicted because these were family members she loved. Their views were not her views but since they had the same DNA she felt that she must be racist too. It took us some time but she discovered she could pick and choose the parts of her family she loved and hated and for her to remain balanced, she had to speak out against the behavior she hated and embrace the person with love.

The final stage is to take your time. The process could take months or years to complete. You will make progress along the way but it should not be rushed and the purpose of it all is for you to become a better you!