Existential philosophy – Relevance to our lives?
How can existential philosophy be of relevance in how you choose to live your life? What are oyur choices and how can you live with the anxeity of challenging the status quo or questioning the rightness of your decisions? You have to live in the social world, consider others and the rules that enable you to realise our choices. The issue is not one of rejecting all that is expected of you – the issue that you DO have a chocie. It’s about challenging the unquestioned assumptions, expanding your choices and living with the anxiety that meaningful living entails.
The validity of our choices is often questioned when we become disillusioned with our lives, despite achieving many of the things we dreamed of. We long to have it all but find it increasingly difficult to juggle jobs, children, homes and sanity! We believe that if only a balance could be struck between the different areas of our lives, we could relax. Invariably, this balance is never achieved and we become observers in our own lives, wishing for the day when it would all improve.
Bombarded with choices about how to live and be happy, what do we really want to do with our lives? Society’s myths often result in us choosing from a limited array of available options – it is assumed that ‘having it all but in balance’ is the way forward. Maybe not. Maybe the parts that make up the balance have never been questioned. Maybe we have never taken time out of our busy schedules to examine the full range of options facing us. We choose from a narrow range of choices on offer and never stop to thnk ‘outside the square’ and create the life we want.
As a psychotherapist, I passionately believe you are each the best judge of what is right for you. By examining the role of Myths in your lives, you can expand our options, reconnet with your choices and judge the rightness of them. Existential philosophy offers an opportunity to develop a vision of what your ideal life would be like, a yardstick against which you choose – the question, ‘Does this contribute to realising my vision?’ will keep you on track.
However, accepting anxiety is an inevitable part of committing to our choices is an existential realtiy. Rollo May (1975:21) says, ‘Commitment is the healthiest when it is not without doubt, but in spite of doubt. To believe fully and at the same time to have doubts is not at all a contradiction: it presupposes a greater respect for the truth, an awareness that truth always goes beyond anything that can be said or done at any given moment’.