Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What Gives Your Life Meaning?

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 

There is in each of us a need, indeed a longing, to express who we are. We need to be heard, connect with our world and know that we're not alone. Our life needs to matter in some way. We're all born with a gift, our own unique voice that speaks to the world like no other. Some of us respond to this inner voice and consciously find meaning in our life, some do this without realizing it, and others miss this calling and never know fulfillment. Every life is a gift to be explored and made meaningful.

Meaningful self-expression can manifest in many ways, and can be so subtle that it may seem to go unnoticed. But everything is energy, and our inner thoughts as well as our outside actions create meaning. According to Victor Frankl in his book, Man's Search For Meaning, suggests that we create this meaning through good deeds, experiencing a value and, yes, through suffering.

Good Deeds: Good deeds don't necessarily have to be on a grand scale. We find acts of kindness and serving others in daily living and doing. I have a friend who shares her baked goods with neighbors, because she enjoys seeing them smile; one of my neighbors goes up and down the street mowing lawns for people, because it makes them happy; many help others through volunteer work in schools, hospitals and anywhere they're needed. These people answer the voice within, and their lives are meaningful.

Experiencing a Value: We humans hold a myriad of values. Pursuing a passion involves values, and we create meaning by honoring these values. This may be work we love, growing a garden, writing poetry, preserving nature, or simply by expressing love in our life. Our spiritual life expresses values in many ways.

Suffering: It would seem that suffering is meaningless, but much can be gained through our suffering. Much depends upon our attitude toward it and our ability to deal with it, and we need to know that ultimately there is some meaning in our suffering. Have there been painful times in your life when you thought you could not survive, but you found inner strength and did it? Have you ever shouldered some kind of pain to protect another person? Has some kind of suffering led you to a positive change in your life you would not have found otherwise? Suffering can bring blessings, spiritual enlightenment, self-discovery, and unimagined miracles. And it can have profound positive meaning.

No matter what is happening in your life, when you allow your gift to bring you joy and touch others, even with your suffering, your life has meaning. You may see it. You may not. But know this, and smile at the wonder that is you.

I wish you a peaceful heart and a happy life.


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