Do You Ever Ask, Is Life Meaningless?
When you ask yourself hard questions about life, do you ever arrive at depressing conclusions? Can life sometimes seem empty, pointless, and devoid of meaning?
When we ask ourselves hard questions, our minds can easily turn toward nihilism—the belief that there’s nothing underlying existence, like values, meaning, purpose, or knowledge. This may not be your regular experience, but I’m sure, at some point in your life, you felt a deep sense of despair that caused you to ask, what’s the point of all of this?
Maybe you felt this way when you broke up with a long-time partner, or when a family member died, or when you didn’t get that promotion or into that university you were aiming for.
At times like these, it can feel like we have nothing to hold onto and no power to make it better.
What do you do in these moments? How do you pull yourself out of this existential pit of misery when the questions you ask yourself seem to have no hopeful answers?
One way you can pull yourself out is by ceasing to fight your negative answers. There’s likely some truth to them and there’s no sense in denying what’s true. The question is, is it the whole truth?
When life seems meaningless, I think the answer you’re seeking comes in the form of a contradiction. When you acknowledge and accept this contradiction — this paradox — it helps you be at peace with life in a way that can otherwise seem impossible.
The paradox of a meaningful life
At some point in our lives, we’ve all wondered, what the hell am I doing here? What am I meant to do? Does anything matter at all?
When we ask these questions, some of us are inevitably pulled toward meaninglessness. After all, when we look at life from a certain dark perspective, it can seem trivial, can’t it?
So, what can you do when you feel this way? I’d suggest looking honestly at both sides of that coin.
Maybe life is meaningless, ultimately. Maybe the universe doesn’t care about you or the pain and hardships you’ve endured. Maybe there is no grand plan or design. Maybe your life…