Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Mom's Search for Meaning

I just finished listening to “A Man’s Search for Meaning” by Victor E. Frankl as an audio book. I had read it when I was getting my MFA.

My psychiatrist had recommended I read it again. He’s been pushing me to find deeper meaning for my life, to transcend my self and self-actualize.

I think a big part of me fights the idea that my deeper meaning and transcendence should come from some inherent joy I should receive from being a mother, a wife, because I always feel like those things aren’t “important” enough in some way.

I understand it though. If I base my happiness and meaning on outer rewards like writing a successful and popular book, then I’m just being goal-oriented.


If I can find deeper meaning and fulfillment from my lot in life right now, then I have a greater chance of feeling full rather than depressed. But I also know that I don’t feel personally satisfied or complete with being “just” a mom. Perhaps I have some deeply ingrained ideas that being a mother isn’t really important or honored in the world. Perhaps I don’t see being a mom as important.

I am very happy to be a mother. I want to embrace this role as much as possible, but I also have to be true to those deeper rumblings, which tell me I need to dance or sing or perform or write or whatever.

I need these activities, these pursuits, for me.

I will make room for me in my life. I will say that what I desire is important.

Side note. Isn’t it interesting that after watching my video from today that I feel the need to defend my belly? I had to keep telling myself to look away from the belly while watching. I know, now that I’ve drawn attention to it, you won’t be able to look away either.

But why do I feel the need to defend it? All my thoughts flying through my brain: I wish that I had not worn a short top that exposed my belly. I should have realized my belly would look wobbly and been more thoughtful to my viewers and covered it up. But I’ve had three babies and I haven’t been working out. Will people be disappointed in me for not having abs of steel? Will be people be disappointed in me for caring I don’t have abs of steel?

Why must I judge myself even when I’m having fun?

It’s interesting. And I’m proud of myself for seeing my issue that way. As something interesting to note and wonder about.

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