Life brings us many adventures as we journey. Some are seemingly good and others not so much. Just like when we start out in a new game, our character collects the first few quests and marches on to accomplish the simple tasks. As we develop, life gets complicated and so do the quests that we accept.
Over the past few years, I have been struggling with the quests I accepted. It was difficult for me watching a few adventures end. So much so, I could not see the new adventures beginning. Depression sank in as I lost my way, my purpose – that thing that kept me moving forward faded away with the ending of those adventures.
Recently, I was deeply thinking and wondering how I can get myself unstuck. I am not happy where I am in life at the moment. My grandfather used to say, “If you don’t like the ground you are standing on, move to new ground.” He was not talking about literally moving. He simply meant, change it if you do not like it.
As we pass through the different stages in life, where the quests we accept are different, more difficult and longer, sometimes we lose our way and sink into depression. It has been no secret among my family and friends that I have struggled with depression over the last few years.
I truly believed that my depression was the result of the ending of the adventures. The loss of a job of over 15 years due to the corporation selling and empty nesting at the same time. A quiet house without the knock on my bedroom door of a teen expecting to be able to sit on my bed and have a two hour conversation about everything made me cry daily. In fact, I still have a difficult time being in the house due to all those memories over the years.
I had an epiphany this past week. The depression is in part the result of the ending of those adventures, but it is also due to the loss of purpose. I was transitioning into a new phase of my life, a new adventure to take on. This adventure requires me to look deep within and understand myself. This time there are no distractions. No job that I can toss all of me into and avoid the internal conversation and no family around that I can distract myself with or adopt their adventures in lieu of my own.
This time, the adventure calls out to all of me to define & understand my purpose by examining my value system. This deep depression has been hanging around as I avoided doing the internal work. My values have changed. In fact, some of the values I had adopted were not my own, but those of the company I worked for and the family I cherish.
Here are the values that I chose after doing some intense soul searching. This adventure continues and the value proposition line of quests has begun.
Creativity - The ability to allow oneself to create, express and birth ideas that have worth, utility or importance.
Freedom - The power or ability to think, act and speak without restraint or hindrance and the understanding of the responsibility it requires.
Authenticity - Consistency in words, actions and beliefs. Communicating honestly, openly and directly. Living up to a set of moral principles as defined by ones self.
Consistency - Persistently trying to live up to or conform to your values and beliefs.
Being - The natural essence of one self. Existing, living and being okay with you, yourself.
Understanding - The ability to have insight and good judgment; Being aware of other's feelings.
Doing - The act of performing or executing an activity, task or thought.