You will also break some hearts. Try not to hate yourself for it. You will learn later on that leaving is sometimes all you can do. Leaving is sometimes the only way to save yourself.
Spend time with older people, spend time with people who are living a life you want, spend time with people who are doing things no one else is doing. These are the people who will inspire you and probably change your life. Don’t be afraid to approach them and ask them to have lunch with you. Literally, one conversation can change your life.
You find yourself in very toxic relationships, or “almost” relationships, or undefined relationships, or unrequited love.
When you are not sure about who you are or what you want, you search for instant gratification and tend to pick partners who are just good for the moment, over time, you realize that they don’t treat you well or respect you.
They ignore you or make fun of you or just think of you as someone to pass time with and you would be surprised how you will enable that kind of behavior because when you feel like a mess, everything messy is appealing.
It is easy to feel stupid and be hard on yourself when you look back at these choices, but the truth is crisis or not; anyone is prone to making wrong love choices, it takes a few wrong ones to appreciate the right one, and it takes a few lessons to finally get it right. As long as you keep loving yourself as you go through this crisis, as long as you do not define yourself by how your love interests treated you, as long as you don’t generalize these experiences and think everyone will break your heart, you will understand that this is also a normal part of the human experience.
Especially when it comes to the matters of the heart, things can be a little bit wobbly and it does not require crisis management, it just requires time, patience and self-awareness.
It is hard not to get sucked in, it is hard to be content, it is hard to be stable when you feel that something better might be out there, or that you are capable of doing much more. But it is not a crisis.
It is not a crisis to fail and try again, or love and get hurt, or grow old and not grow up.
It is not a crisis that your life is not great by your late twenties, it is not a crisis to fall behind, or fall short or mess up sometimes.
The manual of life doesn’t really embrace all kinds of people. As long as you can still smile when you are hurting, or support a friend when they are down, or take care of a dog, or help out a stranger, or help an old lady crossing the street then you are not going through a crisis. As long as you keep trying to love yourself, and trying to manifest your talents, and trying to evolve into your authentic self, you are not going through a crisis. It is not called a crisis, it is called life.
“Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning.” —Viktor E. Frankl
Man’s Search for Meaning by psychiatrist and neurologist Viktor E. Frankl is listed as one of America’s ten most influential books.
It narrates Frankl’s experiences as an Auschwitz concentration camp inmate during World War II, in which he describes his psychotherapeutic method to cope in desperate circumstances and situations of great despair—and most importantly, why certain prisoners survived and fought thoughts of suicide while others didn’t.
He found that we can never avoid suffering; we can only decide how we respond to it and how we can move forward. The book insists that life is meaningful despite our circumstances and it motivates us to find meaning in hopeless times.
Using Viktor E. Frankl’s pearls of wisdom, I will attempt to walk you through the journey of finding meaning to your life when everything seems hopeless.
Finding meaning to our lives is not a smooth process.
“To be sure, man’s search for meaning may arouse inner tension rather than inner equilibrium. However, precisely such tension is an indispensable prerequisite of mental health. There is nothing in the world, I venture to say, that would so effectively help one to survive even the worst conditions as the knowledge that there is a meaning in one’s life. There is much wisdom in the words of Nietzsche: ‘He who has a why to live for can bear almost anyhow.’.”
Society can blur the meaning of life.
“But today’s society is characterized by achievement orientation, and consequently it adores people who are successful and happy and, in particular, it adores the young. It virtually ignores the value of all those who are otherwise, and in so doing blurs the decisive difference between being valuable in the sense of dignity and being valuable in the sense of usefulness. If one is not cognizant of this difference and holds that an individual’s value stems only from his present usefulness, then, believe me, one owes it only to personal inconsistency not to plead for euthanasia along the lines of Hitler’s program, that is to say, ‘mercy’ killing of all those who have lost their social usefulness, be it because of old age, incurable illness, mental deterioration, or whatever handicap they may suffer. Confounding the dignity of man with mere usefulness arises from conceptual confusion that in turn may be traced back to the contemporary nihilism transmitted on many an academic campus and many an analytical couch.”