I’ve been sleeping a lot lately. I’ve always been a sleeper, so when I say a LOT, I am talking 11+ hours here. Sure the hours are not usually slept consecutively, but sleep is sleep, and I’m definitely getting it.
However, I somehow still find myself exhausted… day after day. Initially, and probably still currently to an extent, I saw this exhaustion as frustrating and discouraging. Living a meaningful life is supposed to invigorate me and fill me with energy and vitality. So what the hell am I so tired for?
Well, I’ve started to shift my thinking and my energy, a practice I’ve been taught by my amazing aunt, Li, and I’ve been trying to shift into a posture in which I find hope in the truth that I’ve been working so. damn. hard. that I’m becoming emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted. Could that be something to take pride in? Working so hard that I need some rest?
So what are the implications of this if I do indeed buy into this shift in thinking? Well, if I’m honest with myself and the reality I’m experiencing, I might just have to accept that making and eventually living a meaningFULL life doesn’t exactly equate to happiness………. Wait, what?!
First of all, if a meaningFULL life isn’t just a happy life, than what the hell is it? Well, I guess that’s something I’m learning as I go along in this process, but I am discovering that a meaningFULL life is more about finding purpose than it is finding happiness. Happiness can certainly be a byproduct of finding meaning, but it’s not a constant nor is it a guarantee.
A meaningFULL life is a life that I’m looking to create, with no specific end product in mind. It’s not something I’ll ever be able to obtain or some destination I’ll eventually arrive at, but pursuing this kind of life is a shift in perspective and a shift in my way of living.
For the past decade, if not a little longer, I’ve been abusing my body, soul, and mind. I’ve been looking for meaning through my body, my eating, my exercise, my grades, and my happiness rather than through my faith and my wellbeing. So, what’s wrong with finding meaning through happiness? Well, first, what exactly is happiness? Being delighted, pleased, or glad over a particular thing. When I find meaning through happiness, I completely disregard long term consequences and implications. “What makes me happy in this moment?” Well, the answer to that question has, in the past, often been maladaptive or self destructive tendencies. Maybe skipping a meal delights me in the moment because of the hope for a sense of control, discipline, or body manipulation. Instead of pursuing a temporary, short term high, I have started to ask myself, “What can I do in this moment that will make me whole, content, and stronger in myself and my identity? What can I do that will contribute to my sense of purpose?”
Maybe I’m not going to be happy today. Maybe I’ll have to fight just to get my meals in or to stop myself from exercising excessively. Maybe I’ll have to fight to get out of bed because my depression is strong and I’m exhausted with no energy from the day before’s battle. Just because I might not be happy for that given day or moment, doesn’t mean that I’m not getting closer to a more meaningFULL life. To me, a meaningFULL life consists of ups, downs, highs, lows, the good, the bad, the ugly, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and faithfulness. It consists of loving my body and myself, and loving the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. It means traveling the world AND staying at home and letting myself have lazy days, moving my body AND letting it rest. It consists of choosing, one minute at a time, to better myself and honor not my impulses or disorders, but my heart, soul, mind, and body.
Today, I am tired. The fight is constant,the battle grueling, and the discomfort seemingly unbareable. But I am up, on my way to work, ready to fight, and prepared to fall more times than I’d like to. I will find meaning and fullness in the Lord and in my healing and recovery. So yes, I’ll probably need some extra rest, but I will fight until the battle is won. I will live for a life that’s meaningFULL. And I fully plan on kicking ass and taking names.
Follow me along on my journey of recovery and self discovery. Please be prepared for rawness, authenticity, honesty, and setbacks. I accept all forms of prayers and good vibes and would love to hear from you with any comments, questions, advice, or stories about your own experiences.
Until next time.