Dark Nights, the Human Condition(s), and Lenten Seasons

One of the most personally defeating feelings is not exactly a sense of failure, but a sense of meaninglessness. Even in the midst of plans and assignments and future hopes and goals, I have recently begun to feel like my march towards graduation has, while maintaining pace, changed from a march to a painful trudge. Personally created existential tensions, seasonally-caused exhaustion, a withdrawal from social supports, habitually-created restless nights, week-long illnesses, and spiritual burnout has led me towards a state of unbalance in the midst of a time when I feel, or at least sense, I should be happy and driven.

But, it takes courage to keep trudging, to take a breath every morning and conclude that the stories we tell matter, our stories matter, the work we are doing matters to at least ourselves. Further, there are reasons why we value our values, and why we do the work we do. Ideally, it makes us come alive. And overall, our actions can impact those around us. It has the potential to matter to more than just ourselves. Our work has the potential to matter to somebody. And arguably, the impact on others should matter, because those around us matter. I am not the only one who breathes, who cries, who laughs, who thinks, who cares, who loves, who fears, who tries, and who has doubts and convictions. Others do that, too.

Our stories, ideas, and personal actions have the ability to impact the human condition(s).

So, my only conclusion as to a course of action in the midst of a darker, gloomier personal season such as the one I am in now, is to clutch closely to my personally meaningful stories – and know that these stories include people who felt this way before over millennia – and to hold onto those close individuals in my life, pushing my personal boundaries against personal withdrawal. This is because while interacting with my close friends and communities scares me, my communities balance me. Finally, perhaps my trudge needs a slight change of pace and my nights can use a little more rest, and a little less technology. While I have the assignments I need to complete, I am sure resting might actually improve my abilities to effectively complete them.

And again, I can assure myself that I’ve been here before, people before me have been here before, and my God is found in the deaths of God and of Meaning, for it is within the season of Lent that Easter springs out.

One Comment

neyas posted on June 22, 2023 at 4:36 am

You have a good opinion…
“It is our actions that affect others”

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