One way or another, many of us dedicate our lives to something other than our own self-interest.
It might be a spouse, a child, a career or anything else; whatever it might be, it’s the thing that makes you get up in the morning, fight off the sleep and start a new day.
It’s the reason to live, the fire in your soul, and without it you would have no idea what to do with yourself.
And one day, that might actually happen. You lose the one thing you devoted your life to, and immediately, everything starts to fall apart.
The excitement for the next day, the eagerness to make that next step: gone.
The pain can tear you apart. It can turn your life around and make you feel meaningless.
The only thing you can do is try to get through it, a feat which some people barely survive, even with the help of their family and friends.
Here are four 4 reasons to keep on living when your passion for life has died.
1. Life is always moving forward and changing
But after that period of grief and suffering, your companions stop being gentle with you. Instead they begin to push you, saying things like, “You need to get back on your feet” and “When are you going to move on?”
Your reaction might be violent and visceral: how can they imagine that you could move on after the loss you experienced? They obviously just don’t understand the gravity of your pain.
But the truth is this: they’re right. Your situation isn’t as dire as you might think, and there has to come a time where you have to move on.
You simply can’t see this rational reasoning because you are blinded by your emotions: the mental and emotional strain makes it impossible to understand why you are so broken by this loss.
The reason is much more than the loss of your loved one, or your career, or whatever it was you buried the meaning of your life.
The reason is the realization that the relationship you built with that other person, career, or thing was the sole reason you were living.
Knowing that you lived for love, and nothing more. You feel trapped, lost and confused, because you realize that there is nothing else in your life for you to stand on.
It’s as if both of your legs have stopped working and there’s nothing to grab onto as you fall. But here’s what you have to understand:
2. Your reason to live depends entirely on you
It might not seem like it right now, but the purpose of your life didn’t depend on that person, career, or thing.
Just because it was the meaning of your life for so long doesn’t mean that it has to remain that way for the rest of your life.
Just as you assigned the meaning of your life to that person or thing, you can also reassign it to something else.
The meaning of your life and the reason why you want to keep going isn’t just an idea. It’s like another living entity that exists within you.
It’s a part of who you are, your body and soul, and it coordinates with the things you think and feel. It’s a deep part of you that you are not even aware of most of the time.
3. You control your purpose in life
Too often I have seen people become lost in their search for their one true purpose. They try dozens of careers, hundreds of potential partners, only to end up disappointed and frustrated every time because it didn’t “feel” like it was what they were born to do or be with.
Eventually, they give up and surrender—they give up on the idea that they were meant to do anything or be with anyone special, and they just end up feeling worse.
But that’s exactly what they need to do: surrender. They need to surrender to the idea that there’s a purpose they have to find.
It’s not something that you find; it’s something that exists within you which you assign. You control the purpose of your life.
When you learn to be an unedited and authentic version of who you are, you can access that living part inside of you, and better communicate with who you really want to be.
The purpose of your life will come out and you will figure out exactly who or where your energy should be invested in. One step at a time, you can rebuild and find a new reason to live.
4. You can find your purpose by starting with kindness
It begins with kindness. Kindness to the self and to those around you. Small and simple acts that remind you that you respect and love yourself.
Things like healthy daily rituals that you always take the time to do, listening to your needs and wants, and getting away from bad habits.
Ask yourself at the start of every day: How can I give myself kindness this day?