It is possible to transition from suffering to a life of meaning.
Unpacked thoughts and Personal Story:
Ten years ago I was suffering. My internal and external pain felt unbearable. I lived through four months of my son Finn’s life. His first month, I changed jobs. His second two months, he was very sick. His last month was spent in the ICU. The pain and trauma of my son’s life and death is beyond what my words can explain.
Spending the first 4 months in a new job (3 months with him sick and 1 month to put life back together) put me in a very scary situation. My family could not survive financially if I didn’t work. I was barely capable of working mentally or physically. I also didn’t want this job.
You see, not all of Finn’s life was dark. He brought joy and beauty. His fighting spirit to live and his smiles despite suffering changed me. For the first time, I had clarity that life did have meaning. Life was about living. If you are sick, fighting to live. If you are well, fight for the well being of others.
This energy of purpose didn’t serve me at this time. It brought pain and suffering because it made me feel even more trapped in a job that didn’t directly lead to the purpose I was seaking. This combination of not wanting my current job and being mentally and physically sick was far worse than I knew. It led to immense suffering. I worked on healing with counseling, therapy, and medical attention but I also found every distraction legally available. I was in immense pain. Not a very good father. An awful spouse. I was very sick and in a painful dark place.
Fast forward to today. The fundamental pieces of my life are the same as ten years ago. I have the same family. I work for the same company in the same field doing roughly the same work. What is different now is that: I love life. I am healthy. I love my work. I have purpose.
What changed? This is my motivation behind cubicleMonks. I wish to serve others suffering in their job. Those who feel their job is blocking a life of meaning. The content and inspiration of cubicleMonks is my tricks, tips, tools, and stories that lead me from immense suffering to a life of meaning and joy.
As I wrote this post, I looked back at the product I was helping to build at work 10 years ago. While suffering, I helped build a product that is now helping fight covid. I didn’t want to be there but I can now see that this work is helping people. Looking back, I was living a life of meaning but I just didn’t know it. A meaningful life was buried under the suffering.