Finding Meaning

Every now and then I’m asked, “but what does that mean?” (and it’s got nothing to do with a tarot or numerology symbol). More often the question is indirect, part of the process to make the best use of circumstances.

Really, any time we’re attempting to make “sense” of what we’re in the midst of, we’re assigning meaning.

Meaning is (almost) totally subjective. A divorce, for example, can mean freedom for one ex-spouse, heartache and disillusion for the other, and confusion and upheaval for the kids.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

But the story doesn’t end there. Our feelings are not the meaning of the experience; they are part of the experience itself.

That’s the beauty of subjective meaning: we get to assign meaning to our lives. And we can use meaning to support ourselves in moving forward from difficulties.

We can do that at several levels. What does the experience bring us on a personal level? What does it allow us to bring into our community? How can it support our mission in life or help us discover a new one?

And, since we’re making up meaning for ourselves, we can tweak our stories to help us be more effective, whenever we want.

So, what meaning have you given to various aspects of your life? Is that meaning helping you? If not, what meaning can you find that will help?

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