Existential questions; Rianne couldn’t find the answers to them in psychiatry. Even though within the psychiatric sector, many people struggle with those type of questions, like: ‘Why am I alive?’, ‘why am I here?’, ‘Are there any good answers?’ I am certain there is a Creator.
Questions I struggled with as a teenager, and I didn’t find the answers to. Questions that troubled me and weighed me down. Only later when I was older, I found ‘my answers’. I am consciously describing it like this, because I believe that everyone can find their own answers. How does something (a creation) arise out of nothing? Everything that is created in the world, like art for example, is made by an artist or a creator. So how can an ingenious, complex work like the universe not have a Creator?
If there is a creator
then why would He have created Earth and mankind? I couldn’t find any logic in the theory of evolution, because if there were a bang, then what was the ‘something’ that caused that bang? And where did that ‘something’ come from? Certain animals may have evolved. I do believe in the capacity to mutate and develop as a result of environment. But why did some animals develop wings? For example, a tiny butterfly can’t actually fly, only in the final stages of development it can fly properly. It doesn’t make sense. Why would tiny butterflies mutate, if the animal can’t do anything with these mutations?
Some people can easily live without knowing the purpose of life
they don’t have any problem with it. They just exist, and that is enough for them. Like footballers chasing a ball during the game. But I am on the sidelines watching, deciding what kind of game this is. Personally, I have trouble not knowing the purpose of life, because why would I live if there’s so much suffering in that life? What would I want to live for? And I also wonder; what is the purpose of suffering? Over time, I have found my answers.
I recently read the book ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’, written by the Auschwitz-surviving psychologist Victor Frankl. I thought he worded it beautifully. ‘The question isn’t; What do I expect from life? But the question is; What does life expect from me?’ Or, as I would word it differently, not the question ‘Why am I here, living this life?’ but the question ‘I am here, I am alive, what does life want from me?’Frankl wrote ‘life expects us to take responsibility and find the right solutions to our problems in life.’ I think this is a beautiful sentence, because every person will experience some sort of suffering in life; loss, violence, illness, hunger, natural disaster, you name it. Everyone’s suffering is unique, and everyone’s ability to carry their suffering is unique. What may be a solution to one person, may not be one to another. The purpose of life, is that you are going to find the solutions to enable carry your suffering.
I have suffered quite a bit, and psychiatry didn’t offer me any answers to my suffering or traumas. But eventually I found an insight to myself in conversations, and I found recognition for myself.
I am certain there is a Creator
because large pieces of art aren’t created by coincidence. But the image I have of the Creator is more like a timeless energy, a comprehensive, all-knowing, consciousness that is looking for connection. If this comprehensiveness is everything, and the start of everything, I use God for an easy way out. If at first, there was nothing but a God, then God was everything, but nothing at the same time, because in the comprehensiveness God was all there was. Maybe He created the world so there was something that could give Him some recognition.
And I think that this holds the key to our existence. Because in this life’s journey, we are also looking for somebody ‘wanting’ us, somebody ‘loving’ us and ‘protecting’ us. These are the basic needs of a child, the basic needs to achieve self-development through connection. Through my life’s journey, I have been lucky enough to learn to ‘accept myself, including all of my baggage, dark thoughts, and emotions, and to ‘love myself’ and to ‘look after/protect myself.’
I have learned to find myself, and to not look for myself outside of my body. For me, the purpose of life is to find recognition for myself and for Life, the Divine essence, and the highest love.
Victor Frankl wrote ‘Love is the ultimate purpose’
From love, we create different paths than from anger, revenge, or sadness. But I believe that choosing love isn’t always easy. It is far easier to give in to revenge survival strategies that lead us away from the pain of our suffering. It took me a fair bit of effort to achieve love myself, but when I managed to achieve it (which isn’t a destination but a process I will follow till the day I die) it contained a divine love for everything and everyone. The feeling of being able to see something beautiful in everything and everyone. To dare to go to the absolute core of myself…Maybe this sounds like gibberish, but I hope you will start looking for your own answers and solutions, because it is a wonderful journey.
Rumi wrote this beautifully: ‘Beyond right and wrong, there’s a field where I’ll meet you’.
Beyond the layer of right and wrong, the layer of blame, shame, hate, and regret, there’s a field where the Life, the Divine essence, and the love wants to meet you. This field exists within you as well as outside of you. I sincerely hope you’ll reach it.