For a couple of months now, I suspect sticking to exercise is a part of the ritual. If anyone asks me why I exercise, I give them the reasons they expect to hear (And partially true!) “Oh, it helps cure my office syndrome almost completely. I feel amazing with no shoulder pain after I started weight training.” “It gives me strength.” “I feel more energized” Or anything along those lines.
If we are close enough and I presume that you will not look at me like I’m a mad woman, if the conversation flows allowed it, I might admit that there’s some other underlying motive, that I can stick to this exercise routine because, in one way or another, it helps dealing with existential crisis.
“I exercise to escape the existential dread.”
Think I’m crazy yet? Maybe, just maybe, I might write another blog post on this, some day.
(Or maybe never).
Exercise helps with the body. But I want to write about something else that I found working for the mind.
Simple enough, I don’t need to look any further. It’s what I already enjoy doing anyway.
Reading good books really helps. Like this one.
The book speaks to me, as if it can clarify something I have been questioning for so long. There is nothing like it; the feeling of words and sentences of paragraphs after paragraphs smacks you in the face, like it can search deep down in your soul and read your mind (Spooky). Friends are great for support, in a way that they also have struggles of their own, comforting me that “We are all in this together.” It is perfectly normal to feel messed up, to feel like a failure sometimes, even though your life is great and there is nothing wrong with it.
But no one can give me the answers. What makes me feel this way. What causes it. Why I feel the way I do. What is the purpose? What is the point of this, all of this? *Motioning hand in circle*
Psychology and philosophy help. All of this psychoanalysis seems to be exactly what I need. One example that felt poignant to me was when I read the line “One of the most basic human needs is to connect to someone” And then it elaborates on why; the history of humankind, since we were cavemen, the influence of motherly and fatherly love, tribal community and more.
OH, so THAT is the human need? THAT is our nature? Then accept it. Stop feeling like you are some weak creature, or worst guilty, when deep down there are moments you want to connect and be understood and reach out to another human being. You can’t change nature, can you?
If anything, it does help make peace with yourself. Because I see some sort of evidence, some sort of history and theory and explanation unfolding in front of my eyes. Crystallization process. It makes me understand. It gives me knowledge and gets rid of confusion. Knowledge is the power, they say?
Eye-opening. That’s how I’d call it.
I wish to find more good, “life-changing” (Ugh, I always cringe when I hear this word. But this will do for now.) books. It’s truly great for the mind. AND for the soul.
(On another note, I do want to write or summarize some key takeaways from The Art of Loving. Extraordinary book, indeed. Hopefully I’ll get around to it. It’s the kind of book that you should go back and read every year anyway.)
Will have to excuse myself for a more light-hearted book I’m currently reading now, on How to be a person in the world – modern existential advice column that is promised to be really good by a friend who lent me. Because, you know, sometimes you just want to read something real and messed up about other people’s life, not only heavily filtered “amazing” life on your Facebook feed.