Existential Crisis and "Lightness"

By Cathy H - 4:46 PM

I've been pondering about of existentialism related questions lately, and well this probably an existential crisis.

I actually expected this to come sooner or later after settling back in Canada. Being someone that always has to be doing something, to explore somewhere new, to make new connections, to essentially run away from things I did not want to face, being stagnant in my worst enemy. I think everything I've done until this point of living has been to desperately fill the "void".  As my friend has told me, an existential crisis comes after having all basic needs met and than pondering what else there is to do with life. For example, a poor fisherman in Cambodia cannot ever have an existential crisis because they don't even know if they will be able to guarantee 3 meals everyday for their family. Their next goal is for tomorrow, there is no goal of self actualization because they haven't even fulfilled the needs at the bottom of triangle yet. There is certainly no room for depression, because:

1. people in developing countries grow up understanding that life is essentially unfair, that suffering is the underlying basis of living. That life is full of struggles. However, people in developed countries believe they generally deserve good things and a nice life so when something bad happens or they do not get something they want, they may fall in a state of depression.

2. Their needs are survival based, and not existential based.

I understand that in order to have an existential crisis, one must be in a privileged position to have met their basic needs which enables them to search for a higher purpose. This is what I detest when people do not understand that it has nothing to be with "being thankful" or "think of the poor children in Africa" because they do not know this is the ultimate paradox. To have a "nice life" but not knowing the purpose of existing. Anyway, now I know what to do about it. 

Just by taking small steps in getting somewhere, continuously exploring options, doing hobbies, gaining knowledge, being grateful for privilege, things like this. There is no getting out of the "void" so I've accepted it as a part of me. That in 20-40 years I won't exist in this world anymore, and if I struggled everyday with feeling inadequate, confused, and lost my whole life would be pretty futile. Life is still good but I've already accepted the fact that there will NEVER be a day when I will say "I've made it, look at my life. I have everything I want".  Boyfriends, vacations, experiences however refreshing and absolute they may seen will never give me permanent happiness. I think many people fool themselves into believing a "forever" because we are just as lost and confused as the next person, looking for any type of stability in transience. However, it is only an illusion. I guess I am content living with the imperfect nature of life, and escape the delusion that there is a final point in my life. 

Therefore, I've tentatively decided one of my ultimate life goals is to be lighter. Like a transparent wall ultimately, whatever bad or good happenings are enjoyed while passing through. To transcend these heavy, negative emotions and expectations placed on others from a place of insecurity, blame, and egotistic desires.  To be lighter by the year, not reacting so hard but accepting my life situation as it is, not what I want it to be.  Eckhart Tolle said if peace was the top priority in life, than you would really make everything else secondary.

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