I took an Existential Psychotherapy class last year, and our teacher quite bluntly asked on the first session: ‘why do you live?’ I was shocked because it was such a significant question. It is the very question I forget in the midst of frantic doing and running in the chaos of everyday life. It is the very question that I know I have the answers to, in the depths of my heart. It is the very question I avoid although I sense that I am off the track. It is the very question that will put me back on the road in a direction that I set for myself.

And so I answer today, to remind myself of my deep yearnings, my real values, my peak moments and my highest potential revealed in the mundane moments.

I live for those moments of genuine contact, where I feel one, spontaneous and alive. The warmth of the purring cat on my lap, a silent moment of ‘knowing’ with one shared look, a spontaneous laughter with a friend, a spark of a-ha where everything becomes clear, the moment my heart pounds to a beautiful music, the mixture of fear and excitement for a risk I am about to take, love that grows with mutual understanding, passion erupting from an embrace, expanding joy while playing with a child, the fresh breeze on my skin that reminds me the simple joy of being alive…

In these fleeting moments of contact, time is eternal. I expand and transcend myself. There is no longer me or him or it, we become a true ‘us’ and part of something much bigger. ‘I’ as I know it, gets swept away by the depth and strength in the moment. I feel a true sense of belonging, a sense of ‘We are all on the same boat. This is what it is’. And as this moment of contact is over, I am someone new, someone fresh, someone rich. Not only am I different, I have also made a difference. I touched someone’s life in a way I can’t grasp, calculate or control. My ripples are moving across boundaries, landscapes and time. I am beyond me.

On the other hand, I am frantically running for what I perceive as my obligations to achieve a better quality of life, my responsibilities for my close ones and my personal development. While wanting contact in the moment, I paradoxically orient myself towards a future destination. I say to myself “Meaning and fulfillment will come when I do this and that”. I forget to pay attention that meaning and fulfillment are already in the here and now.

And I ask myself what matters most: the destination or the road?

I answer: Both.

My life is the pendulum between the destination and the road; doing and being; now and then; me and others. It is the delicate balance between these polarities. And through the polarities, I flow.

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