At some time or another, often many times over the course of a life, we all ask or wonder about the purpose of life. And at different stages of our own lives, we’ll answer that question in different ways.
Whether the reason for that is seasonal (we see the world and ourselves much differently at 20 than at 30 or 40 or 50) or predicated on experiences and exposure to different thoughts and philosophies and beliefs probably all has a lot to do with those changes. But there are other things that factor in, too.
in 1997, my mother died. She’d lived me with and my family for nine years–since my dad’s death. To say my mom and I were close is such a gross understatement of the way things were between us. Little between us ever actually had to be said. We just knew.
When she died, I wasn’t unfamiliar with death. I’d already lost my grandparents, my father, my brothers, far too many other relatives and a number of friends. Death and grief were not strangers to me. And yet her death impacted me in countless and profound ways I couldn’t have expected.
About eight months after she died, I was standing at the door to my then office, looking out over the deck at the trees and everything seemed so futile. I well remember thinking that if this is all there is to life, then why bother? You’re born, you grow and laugh a little, cry a little and then you die. Surely, I’m missing something. Surely there’s more to life than this cycle.
So more than quizzing myself on my life’s purpose, I was quizzing myself on the purpose of life as I see it. At that moment, I truly couldn’t see the merit in it.
Now some would say that was depression. It wasn’t. This was an opportunity. A launching pad for delving, seeking, looking for meaning on a grand scale. Something, anything, that would make the process of life make sense–and seem worthy. MORE…