The importance of a Meaningful Life

I suffer from Schizophrenia.

Before I was able to accept the fact that I was suffering from a mental ailment I went through a period of denial when I refused to accept my condition.

This caused me an enormous amount of distress. I went through periods of black depression, mood swings, rage, irritability and more. I am not sure but I think that this is not uncommon. I went through a very long phase when I blamed everybody but myself for my condition, and especially my family. This was completely counterproductive as the people whose support you need the most in order to survive is your family. Psychiatrists, counsellors and doctors will come and go from your life but you need your family to be with you at all times.

So how do you get yourself to accept that you have a mental ailment and be calm and detached about it? How can you lead a meaningful life and why is it important to do so?

I found my solution in Philosophy and especially the teachings of eastern spirituality.

I would suggest strongly that you read the book, Man’s Search for Meaning by Dr Viktor Frankl. Dr Frankl was incarcerated in a concentration camp by the Nazis during the Second World War.He observed and experienced life in such terrible circumstances. The question arose – what separated the persons who were able to survive the incarceration from those who perished?

Viktor Frankl’s insight was that the people who survived were almost always those who had for themselves some purpose in life which they wanted to accomplish when they were released. The purpose varied from person to person. Some persons wanted to be reunited with their family and take care of them. In Dr Frankl’s case the purpose was that he had written an academic paper and he wanted to see it published after his release.

If people can survive such horrors as Dr Frankl did and survive then we should be able to do the same when our circumstances are much less negative. The central lesson is that you need to find for yourself some purpose for which you want to live.

What your purpose is will vary from person to person. Do some introspection and take the help of friends, family, relatives and a competent counsellor. For most persons the reason might be that you need to provide and care for your family.

I am a life long bachelor and I struggled with finding myself a purpose for that reason. But I found consolation and guidance from the teachings of Philosophy and Spirituality.

Ponder over the following quotes:

Observe carefully and you will see that everything that happens, happens for a purpose. I don’t just mean the active unfoldment of events in time, but the way these events carry meaning, as if some guiding hand was giving events its own significance – Marcus Aurelius

God works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform – The Bible

I will be explaining in the next chapter the reasoning which explains why our relying on these traditional teachings is justified. For the present just come to terms with the fact that you are suffering from an ailment that may be with you for the rest of your life. Live with the faith that God’s purpose for you will unfold and reveal itself. It will make it possible for you to accept the facts of life and also to deal with the distress and emotional turmoil that you are, quite likely, experiencing.

If you believe in rebirth and life after death then ponder over the words of the Dalai Lama:

The more we have made our lives meaningful, the less we will regret at the time of death. The way we feel when we come to die is thus very much dependent on the way we have lived.

I’ll end here. Please explore this blog for more articles on Politics, Spirituality and Self Help. If you liked this article then please share it on Facebook and Twitter and feel free to post your comments or contact me. Link to contact is below.

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