How Can I Find Meaning In My Life?

I feel like there is so much! I have been angry for the past decade. Partly because my life is not where I want it to be and because I feel unfulfilled. I feel that I have no purpose and am just floundering around day to day with no direction. I have been married for a few months shy of 10 years and now my wife wants to leave me, I am close to 50 years old and still living paycheck to paycheck at a job that only makes $14/hr. I don't own anything and I just don't feel like a 'man'. I have never particularly liked myself and have learned to distrust my judgment on everything. I don't have any hobbies or anything that I like to do. I feel inadequate around other people...like they have their stuff together more than I do. Even though I know that this is not true, I just feel like everyone is ahead of me in life. Not sure where to turn or who to even talk to at this point but I feel like if I continue like this, I am going to explode! I only want to be happy, but I am not sure of who I even am.
Asked by Xenophilius
Answered
12/05/2021

Unfortunately, your questions is one that has no simple answers.  Philosophers, Scholars and Religions have attempted to answer this question through the ages.  Meaning in life is a struggle that can vary in intensity depending our circumstances, environment, and history.  To your point, you seem to be making a lot of negative comparisons to people around you.  Although you may not realize that you are doing it, you are expressing that your life just isn't measuring up.  

To be honest, there are plenty of people in much worse circumstances in life that would likely feel more comfortable walking in your shoes.  I'm sure that doesn't provide you with much comfort, but it might if you take a minute to think about it or act on it.  As cliched as it sounds, meaning in life is often directly linked to the people that share our lives.  Happiness is not often found by acquiring possessions, completing some career goal, or achieving some milestone.  True happiness is finding a way to feel comfortable in your own skin, helping and loving others, and being content with the things you have...not the things you want.  

You mentioned in your post that you are not sure who you really are, so I think you might start there and explore that question more fully.  Was there a time in your life that you could answer this question easily?  If so, why?  If not, why not?  Self-awareness is one of the greatest feelings a person can achieve.  Sometimes it happens all on its own, but sometimes we need a little help to get there.  

Helping others also provides a lot of people with a feeling of happiness, so maybe that might do the trick.  Often this works because it allows you to experience the joy of helping someone that is experiencing difficulty and make a difference in their lives.  Volunteer, be a mentor to a child in need, call an old friend and reconnect, or find something that makes you feel valued by another person.

I hope that this reply can provide you with some thoughts to ponder, but mostly, I hope that you might feel better about all that you have done....not what you haven't done.  I wish you well.  

(LCSW)