MEANING AND EXISTENTIAL ANGST
What is the meaning of life? The ultimate question right? The greatest minds throughout the centuries have tried to answer this question, and yet there is no consensus. Most of us do not go around thinking about questions of existence on a daily basis, and yet so many of the seemingly complex difficulties in our lives can be traced back to some fundamental driving fears:
Death: Our physical existence is finite. We will all die at some point. How can we engage in living with death right around the corner? How can we come to come to terms with our own fragility or our deteriorating bodies?
Freedom: On a daily basis we are faced with an endless set of possible choices we can make. How do we know which ones are the right ones? Are we really responsible for and in control of what we choose to do, or is that control just an illusion?
Isolation: While there are moments we can feel connected to others, at the end of the day we can't truly know or be perfectly assured of anything about another person. Ultimately we are isolated and alone, cut off from each other's internal worlds with only occasional moments of connection through the seemingly inadequate mediums of language, sensing, and empathy.
Meaninglessness: What is the point? Even if you figure out how to live life well, make responsible choices that lead to your thriving, and have a sense of connection with others that is satisfying, why are you doing it? Is there some purpose for who you uniquely are in this world or is that sense just a facade to ward against an impersonal and uncaring reality?
I don't claim to have the definitive answers to these questions, but I do believe that facing these fears together, and unraveling how they are impacting our current situations in life, can release us to live the kind of life we hope for.
Our desire to connect to something other than ourselves goes beyond any particular religion or dogma. It is evident in the way we clamor to attach to early caregivers, and to search far and wide for ways to belong and find purpose later in life. We all want to be known, loved, and accepted, even if we have learned early on to bury these desires or deny them because they weren't experienced. Many of us want hope. A hope that we can change and find a way to live that feels like thriving and not like death. We turn to the spiritual when we discover that the material, physical, and relational encounters in our world do not satisfy these longings we have.
For some, spiritual communities have been sources of life and health, while others have experienced profound abandonment, exclusion, betrayal, and abuse within such communities. Having personally experienced both the pain and the healing that can come from being part of these communities , I would love to help you find healing if you have been hurt in your spiritual journey with others.
While I come from a Christian background and perspective, I believe that Truth comes to us all in individual ways. It would be my honor to bear witness to whatever way you have come to understand existence and how we are connected to something greater and each other.