At one point or another, we all ask the same question. How we phrase it might differ, but it comes down to this, “Why am I here?” Your question might be, “Why do get up every morning?” or “How come I don’t feel fulfilled?” or “Why can’t I just be happy with what I have?” Asking these questions doesn’t make you weak, it doesn’t make you egocentric, and it doesn’t make you vain. They are all natural questions on our walk through life, but they do lead to a question you need to answer before any of them… “Are you truly living your life – your best life?”
(Not) picture perfect
It is so easy to judge our lives by what we see from other people. They have wonderful relationships, great jobs, go on adventures (even if they just camp out in their back yard). We forget that what we see on Facebook and Instagram is not their whole life. They are only moments and often the best moments. People very seldom show the true effort that goes into making those moments – the weeks on end of deadlines that leave you exhausted and that, for a while, make you hate your job, the argument that lasted an entire week and made both parties cry but that led to a point where the relationship was stronger, the budget that can’t quite make it to the end of the month so camping out in the back yard is all they’ve got. Fact is, those moments, the ups and downs, is what life is all about. Sometimes we cry at night and smile during the day. We just keep aiming for the end of the tunnel because if we look around, we just might give up.
It’s not all bad all the time
Read that again… it’s not all bad all the time. Even on our worst days, there is something good. It might not seem so and here is the thing, we have to learn and practice to see it. We need to learn to find joy and gratitude in the big things and the small, or else we will only see the bad. If you get up this morning and the sun is shining… hey… the sun is shining! If you happen to look up during the day and there is a gorgeous sight of gold-tinged clouds and sun rays peaking through, then you saw it. So many people missed that moment, didn’t see that beauty, but you did. If you pass a stranger and they look you in the eye and give you an encouraging smile, acknowledge it and realise, we are all on different boats in the same stormy sea and we can support each other with just a smile.
These things seem so minutely small in the greater scheme of things, but it can be just enough to help you take a deep breath, square your shoulders and keep going. If you need more help, there is nothing wrong with that. Talk to a friend and if you need it, talk to a therapist. They are both there to help and support you just like you are there to help and support your friends and family.
Now, why am I here?
That is not a question one person can answer another… but let’s venture out and say that money, fame, and success is not what will make your life worth living. If you just work for a paycheck, getting up in the morning might not seem worth it. If you just work to get accolade on accolade on accolade, it probably won’t fulfil you. If you just want everyone to know your name, you probably won’t be happy. What do you do with your paycheck, your accolade, your good name? Are you using it to make the world a better place and improve the lives of those around you?
There needs to be a balance. Just like the cycles of bad times and good times, there will be times of just working your butt off to get things done but they need to be balanced with knowing why you are doing it and using what you’ve got to the benefit of yourself and others. If you can, take that holiday you’ve been saving for months or even years. Use your accolade and good name to maybe raise some funds for a good cause, to work at a fundraiser if you can’t contribute otherwise, to get someone you know a job or empower them to be more… the possibilities are endless.
And if you can’t do any of those right now, remember to keep counting your blessings whether they be friends, health, a home, love, faith, a job, etc. And smile at the stranger walking past you, they just might need some encouragement today.
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