Recently, I was going through a gentle exercise routine that I do every few days. I used to work out almost daily but lack of time and proximity to a gym changed that. So, here I was on the floor after some stretching when in crept the thought, "I never get any time to relax!"
I read somewhere, perhaps when I was studying psychology during my undergrad, that our feelings are attached to our thoughts and that our emotions are triggered by our thought-lives. We don't feel unless we think first.
For me, that single thought grew like a weed in my mind and has caused me to doubt my value, worth and purpose. That single negative thought gradually and silently invaded my peace of mind. But now that I know that, why is it I can't ignore the thought - or the sense of uselessness? What's going on in my head now?
Well first, over the time of this past week, I've managed to shove the thinking to the back of my mind and get on with life without feelings of despair or confusion. But when I pause to reflect, I have to admit that my deepest dread is that twenty years of diligence and perfecting one craft, then another, will all boil down to the past twenty years of my professional life equating to having explored a hobby, rather than a pursuit of worthwhile purpose. I hate that notion! It removes an element of self respect. And I'm not sure what to do with that.
On the one hand, I'm sure that ruminations are worthwhile. According to my own philosophy, self-reflection is good... I will eventually come to a new place in my head, and I'll benefit from having learned and grown in this process called life. But I have to say that right now, I'm questioning the value of living a life of 'process'. I'm noticing that it never seems to end, and so I'm wondering if maybe it's self-indulgent and, frankly, pointless.
Now I've unveiled the heart of my mid life crisis: Is what I've been doing for the last 20 years worth doing? Or has it simply been a terrible waste of time, resources and energy?
I'm blessed with a brilliant family that I do seem to inspire. It helps me to think of them and to put the rest into perspective. But I had hoped I would make a greater contribution to the world. I confess that I do need a sense of purpose, a sense of contributing to the greater good, and if I'm not doing that - or haven't been doing that - then perhaps I've deluded myself and it's time to face facts, get a 'real' job and live a mundane but practically purposeful life.
'No pain, no gain' is an adage I've always endorsed. I've had my share of painful disappointments as has anyone, and that's all a part of living. But if I'm on the cusp of discovering I've wasted the last twenty years of my professional life and have little to show for it, if that is reality, that is a more bitter pill to swallow than I ever expected to taste. What do I do with that, if it is true? Where do I go from here?
On the positive side, the past isn't as important as what I do in the future. But that doesn't change the fact that I still I want to make a difference in the world and if how I've been going about it is fruitless, then what do I do now?
After last week's post I'm thankful for your fabulous feedback. Some commented, others emailed privately. I'm grateful to know people are reading, are interested and that they care. I also want to assure readers that, if I were really in a bad state, I'd not be willing - perhaps not even able - to write about it. So, dear readers, read on and if I say anything that strikes a chord with you then I've accomplished something. And if not, well then, at least I've tried.
I will look forward to next Thursday, and hope many good moments will pass between now and then, for us all. I'm stuck but I'm not dying! Maybe this inertia or the growing frustration will force a change in my circumstances, like a damn experiencing such immense pressure that, at last, it has no recourse but to give way and in so doing, a flood of fresh water will come gushing forth to cleanse and purify the old, dried riverbed.
Until next week...
Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:
END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.
My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
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