Have you ever felt restless, stuck, and stranded? Are you craving for “more,” like something is missing within you and you are questioning your being—why do things happen the way they do, what am I really meant to do with my life, and what will genuinely make me happy?
These questions in your mind are actually starting points to what is called “soul searching,” as you are in pursuit of the truth of life by questioning your very own existence—your thoughts, habits, and motivations.
But above all these, you are actually embarking on a quest for the spiritual path that will lead you back to the center of your being. Read on as My Pope helps you continue with this spiritual journey
Spend some time alone.
Heal your soul by listening to it— understand what values, motivations, or passions are missing from your life. But how does one listen?
First off, mute all the external pressures that tend to deafen you and spend some time alone with yourself. In this digital era where everyone seems to be connected with one another, day and night, getting away from the noise from time to time is imperative to one’s well-being.
Oftentimes, people would reject the idea of being alone as they falsely equate it with unhappiness. But truth be told, each and every one of us needs some time with ourselves to reconnect with our inner thoughts and values. Allow yourself to disconnect from the digital world and live in the moment. It can bring you back to your core and help you reassess what really matters to you.
Meet new people.
A reader once shared with us his story of how a chance encounter with a stranger changed his life. In his letter, he shared how he felt like life had no purpose—and at one point, he even wanted to end it.
Luckily for him, he chanced upon a random stranger one fateful night when he suddenly decided to go out and grab some snacks. Noticing how spiritless he was, the stranger approached him and started a conversation with him. Ultimately, he was able to express his thoughts, gain a new perspective about his situation, and have a renewed sense of being.
Sometimes, we get too immersed in our own world, we almost drown in it. Meeting new people allows us to hear varied opinions and gain different perspectives on life. While exchanging ideas with those whom you’ve known for so long can also be inspiring and productive, a conversation with a stranger who is not from your circle and has different experiences and values from you could still be more energizing, eye-opening, and even motivating.
It’s actually amazing, the wisdom that everyone has in them. Tap into it. Meet more people.
Do what makes you happy.
Have you always wanted to do something out of your daily routine but the hustle and bustle of life just won’t allow it? Sometimes, it is the hobbies or interests that we do outside of our work that bring us a genuine sense of happiness. Try out that yoga class you’ve been eyeing for months and see how it renews your energy to go about your daily life, or join that poetry group, which your friends have been inviting you to, and observe how it stirs new interest within you.
As Pope Francis says, “People who work must take the time to relax… to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, play a sport.” These hobbies and interests, no matter how “lame” you might think they are, can change your perspective 180 degrees. So go and make time for them—you’ll be surprised by how it can start a positive ripple in all aspects of your life.
Take in the sounds and sights of nature.
One possible reason why most people feel purposeless is that they are disconnected from life itself. As stewards of the Earth, we are entrusted by God to keep a healthy relationship with nature—not only because it is us who have the capacity to sustain it, but also because we are dependent on it.
Studies have found that one of the most effective ways for humans to get a renewed sense of energy is by being one with nature. Getting out, breathing the fresh air, appreciating the clear blue skies. These little things actually improve our overall state and well-being. So put down your phones and go for a quick stroll in the park to boost your motivation and focus, take a dip in the waters to let go of mental exhaustion, or simply place a potted plant in your room to lower feelings of aggression. Don’t hesitate to bring yourself back to nature—it is your best go-to when you need that sudden boost, after all.
Let go of what doesn’t serve you.
In Tibet and Northern India, Buddhist monks are known for their unique and traditional art called sand mandala—a geometric masterpiece that is meticulously created with colored sand.
The process of making the art is very intricate, as it usually takes a week and several Buddhist monks to finish. However, what’s more enticing is what they do with this multicolored masterpiece once it’s done. After days of painstakingly arranging the sand, the monks boldly sweep away their work and peacefully dump it in a nearby creek, leaving onlookers with baffled looks on their faces.
To the Tibetan Buddhists, the sand mandala is a mindset. It is a visual representation of how everything in this world is impermanent—all come and go, no matter how much time, love, and effort we invest in them. Through the sand mandala, we are reminded of the superficiality of “attachment,” as holding on to things that do not really matter can only lead us to suffering.
Like the mindset behind the sand mandala, we must learn to let go of those that no longer serve us to make room for better ones that are coming. Think of it as if you are decluttering your own room that is your life. You can start by taking an inventory of your current thoughts, emotions, possessions, and relationships. Then, name which of these cause you to feel unhappy and unfulfilled. One by one, let go of these inventories in order to welcome new ones into your life.