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Reflection: The Ongoing Search

Recently, when feeling nostalgic, I dug out and read a book of poems that I wrote a decade ago, when I was a sixth former. One poem, ‘Finding  a Meaning’, struck a genuine chord with me, especially with regard to my current outlook on life, which is shaped by a limited income, hair loss, the lack of a partner, still living at home and  the feeling of having failed in life compared with my peers. My present situation has left me feeling angry, fearful, unfulfilled and worried.

I am not looking for sympathy, and I know that only I can change my personal circumstances. However, what struck me when I re-read ‘Finding a Meaning’, written as it was a decade ago, is that the personal search for what makes us happy and contented is genuinely ongoing in nature. I guess that, during the past few years, which have left me feeling stuck in a rut, I have romanticised my time as a school pupil, student, and the period during which I was living and working in another part of the country, to the point that I have forgotten that, although I was largely happy, I was subject to internalised fears and uncertainties. These were as significant an issue a decade ago as they are for me today. Without wanting to reduce what I or anyone feels to a sound byte, when it comes to finding happiness or fulfilment, the search is genuinely ongoing.

Finding a Meaning

Why do I worry?

Why do I fear?

What gives me anger?

For me, what is fulfilment?

What will lead me to happiness?

For what do I hope?


It is vital to have hope

To save us from worry

And to ensure happiness

And to counter our fear

To help us find fulfilment

And to end our anger


From what do we draw our anger?

Is it from a lack of hope?

Or from not finding fulfilment?

Or is it a result of our worry?


It is a wonderful thing, happiness

It helps to take away our anger

That is, until it becomes threatened by fear

Can it be kept alive by hope?

It can help to stave off worry

And lead to a sense of fulfilment


It helps us live, fulfilment

And helps us find happiness

But, it can be damaged by worry

And eroded by anger

It can only lead to more hope

Or can be thrown out by anger


It is a horrible thing, the idea of fear

It limits our fulfilment

It makes us want to give up hope

And will stop our happiness

It controls our emotions like anger

And only leads to further worry


When we worry, all we have left is hope

When we seek fulfilment, we can be stopped by fear

When we feel anger, we can’t find happiness.

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