On Dreams and the Meaning of Life

On Dreams and the Meaning of Life
On Dreams and the Meaning of Life

We may often ponder about what the meaning of life is, especially when life overwhelms us and we suffer because of it, physically or mentally. I must admit that I have no knowledge of what the meaning of life is, but I sense that is must be different from one person to the next. We’re all different in minds, bodies and souls and so the meaning of each life must also (in my humble opinion) be different.

Some people are perhaps lucky enough to find their meaning of life early on, and so they go through life knowing exactly what they’re supposed to do and where they’re supposed to be. Some of these people are persistent enough and hardworking enough to create opportunities that allow them to get to where they’re meant to be and to do what they’re meant to do. They have what it takes or create what it takes to live out their dreams.

Others are not. They struggle day in and day out, and although they may have a clear vision of their dreams, they may never get there. Regardless of whether you’re there or not (or getting there), life should be considered a journey. Those that can fulfill their dreams and live out the meaning of their lives may soon discover new dreams that will lead them down unknown paths…and so the journey continues.

As for myself, I feel like I’m somewhat all over the place. In some senses I’m living parts of my dream together with the new ones that have emerged along the way. In other senses, I’m still struggling to get there. I’m still finding my way, which is hard. I know people like me who are also striving to live out their dreams and fulfilling their life’s meaning and hating every step of it, because the journey is tough and filled with deep valleys that never seem to rise and never allow them to enjoy the view from the top.

Wherever you may be, I think it’s important to remember that life’s a journey and maybe for this very reason you’re not meant to ever arrive at a certain destination. You’ll always be seeking something or other in places known and unknown.

There’s a quote by Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet that is worth remembering when the valleys become a little too deep…

You are so young, you have not even begun, and I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything that is unsolved in your heart and to try to cherish the questions themselves, like closed rooms and like books written in a very strange tongue. Do not search now for the answers which cannot be given you because you could not live them. It is a matter of living everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, one distant day live right into the answer. Perhaps indeed you carry within yourself the possibility of shaping and forming, as a particularly pure and blessed kind of life; train yourself for it – but take what comes in complete trust, if only it comes from your will, from some inner need of yours, take it to yourself and do not hate anything (p. 21).

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