So very often clients ask what is the meaning of life - why am I here - what is the purpose of it all. Its such an important question and one that has been asked a million times in a million different ways. As soon as the human brain started evolving the question of meaning, purpose and the why questions started hounding humans.
I say hounding because its a question that can cause such pain, anguish and suffering. I've seen people riddled with so much anxiety about the meaning of life that they stop participating in life. So afraid that they are just wasting their time in school, work or socializing that they start to isolate and become paralyzingly depressed.
Sometimes when things are challenging or I've had some major set backs I notice that I start asking myself - whats the point - am I making any difference - why bother when life can seem so difficult and filled with loss.
Recently I had a client say "I'm not sure I deserve happiness" and it just really struck me that its such a human thing to ask or ponder. We have 2 cats in our home. They certainly don't ask if they deserve happiness or what their purpose is - they just are and do. They enjoy the sunshine, eat their food, wonder around the neighborhood exploring and sit around bringing us lots of joy and happiness (sometimes sitting in places they don't even belong in). The beautiful tree in our front yard never asks any question it just reaches toward the sun, allows the rain to nurture its roots, and brings beauty and shade to our yard.
Maybe this is too simplistic but to get caught up in the questions of why and meaning and purpose just complicates things. Maybe its OK to stay on the side of knowing that life is really brief and precious and its not about doing things perfectly its just about doing them. Try differnt things if you enjoy them keep doing them, if you don't enjoy them stop and move on to something else.
Stay in tune with what feels right to you - focus on what brings you contentment - not just pleasure in the moment but full blown contentment. I once read that eating chocolate cake is tasty but is a passing pleasure whereas staying focused on a major goal like running a marathon brings us a sense of accomplishment and lasting pleasure. We can't think our way to the purpose or the meaning of life but we can find our purpose and meaning through our actions.
So I don't know if any of us deserve happiness and I certainly can't answer the purpose question. - but I do know is that joy and happiness are there for the taking. Life is short - to wait till we feel like we deserve happiness keeps us waiting a long time - go do something today that makes you happy. Go for a walk along the river, do some volunteer work, try something that your afraid to do - go challenge yourself and I'll go do the same!