“Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.”
“Thus far we have shown that the meaning of life always changes, but that it never ceases to be. According to logotherapy, we can discover this meaning in life in three different ways: 1) by creating a work or doing a deed; 2) by experiencing something or encountering someone; and 3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering. The first, the way of achievement or accomplishment, is quite obvious. The second and third need further elaboration.
The second way of finding a meaning in life is by experiencing something – such as goodness, truth, and beauty – by experiencing nature and culture or, last but not least, by experiencing another human being in his very uniqueness – by loving him.”
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
For a few years I have seen friends, mostly on Facebook, go through economic hardships. There have been a few who have shared with me that they were losing faith and even hope. One in particular, a man about my age, had been unemployed for close to a year and worried about losing his house and having to move his family to live at his father’s home.
I asked through email conversations, what he did to pass the time when he wasn’t searching for work. He shared that he spent time with his daughters. He also volunteered as a coach in their sports. I wrote to him a few times suggesting that maybe the Universe was “gifting” this time to him, both for him and his family. What a gift, for daughters to grow up with a father very involved in their lives!
I think it was another six months before he found work. They did not lose their home. I would say with confidence that their “home” probably increased in value. Of course, that depends how you define home.
“Bliss is a constant state of mind, undisturbed by gain or loss.” –Yogi Tea wisdom
Sometimes we need to shift the perspective of our situation to find hope and meaning. In his case, I think he realized the importance of spending time with his family, thus satisfied “doing a deed.” He also was experiencing something – love of his family. Lastly, it was knowing this and perhaps realizing that he was able to do what his own father could not, might have helped him change his attitude toward during that time.
So here I am, once again unemployed, wondering how to find meaning in my own life. I’ve had weeks to concentrate on that, wondering where should I be? What should I do? Who am I? What’s my mission? As I read more and more of this book, I realize some of those answers are right in front of my face. I’ve also heard them from my friends and spiritual practitioners.
“Right now, you are here to live in joy, Kristy. By living this, you are showing others how to do the same. Let go of the pain of the past. Do what feels “light” and let go of everything else” That’s what my counselor told me recently.
“Share with people how you live and are able and have been able to put anger BENEATH painful situations and not ABOVE them.” My spiritual practitioner has been guiding me to share and write about this, that it will help others.
“I will fill myself up with love and send it out to the world. How others treat me is their path, how I react is mine.” -Dr. Wayne Dyer
Through words and images I share my world and how I find joy in life. It must be working because I am asked almost daily what I do for a living and/or why I am so happy. People also tell me they wish they had my life. I remind them that I am unemployed, have possessions “down to a car load,” and no longer have a house.
I will continue my journey of joy, which centers around visiting coffee shops in communities near and far – wherever work leads me. On “My Road to Zion” I try to enjoy a few simple pleasures such as conversations over a good cup of coffee, molasses cookies (the best are the Ginger Molasses at Sweet River Bakery), cooking with friends, listening to musicians, people watching, and reading good a good book written by a friend.
I also just like to play – laugh, giggle, eat candy, and take photos. I take a lot of photos.