Permit me to delve into a little philosophy today! It seems to me that people have a need to feel that they are living a meaningful life. Many people believe the quest for it makes their lives meaningful. The question of whether human life is meaningful is itself meaningless. Meaning helps us make sense of life and deal with our struggles and problems. I know it may be hard to believe, but the meaning of life is determined by the meaning “you” give it.
“All meaning is self-created.” ~ Virginia Satir
Life only has the meaning that you give it! You alone give life meaning.
When someone says, “I hate you!” What does that mean? What would you like it to mean? Use your imagination. Only YOU know the answer. Why? Because depending upon how your day is going, you can make it mean anything you want it to.
Love only has the meaning that you give it! Same reason. The only real meaning something has is the meaning you give it.
It’s all about interpretation and choice and imagination! This notion of choice implies that we must accept the consequences of our choices. It has no other meaning besides what we give it. How about interpretation? For example, experiencing failure is based on the meaning one gives it. Failure to one person could be considered as feedback and an opportunity to adjust focus for greater success for another.
Why are you here?
Viktor Frankl was one such person who asked that question. He was a victim of the Nazi regime and spent several years in the Auschwitz concentration camp while his entire family and both parents passed away. As his body was slowly whittling away and as thousands of people died around him he was deeply pondering the state of his life.
His mémoire, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” is interesting to me for one main reason: because one can watch his mind deliberate as it searches for a meaning in all the death, suffering, and apparent meaninglessness that was going on around him.
“Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning. The greatest task for any person is to find meaning in his or her own life.”
“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.” ~ Joseph Campbell
Know that your life in civilization is a construct, not a law of nature. Our lives and the way we live them are human constructs of what we think is the best way to live. If you want to change the meaning of what you experience in life from this point forward, all you have to do is question yourself. Do this whenever you don’t like the meaning you have assigned to it.
“There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.” ~ Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934
To ask why only brings up the many answers that you already know. Perhaps we should stop asking why and focus on our imagination to begin to think of things in a different way; a way that is the way that we believe that life is – for real. You can live a reimagined life. Change is the fuel for your personal growth. Each moment in life can be an opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive. You live only once so make the best of it while you are here.
There is nothing more meaningful than having loving relationships where there is emotional intimacy and connection. We all need relationships to help us grow and develop. Relationships provide a context for much of what we do and are an important factor for making decisions.
It isn’t the things that are happening to us that cause us to suffer, it’s what we say to ourselves about the things that are happening to us.
“The truth you believe and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new.” ~ Pema Chodron
Copyright © 2013 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.
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