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The role of meaning in life

Nov 19, 2014 - 4 comments

Ultimately, how you feel about your life has nothing to do with the events in it or with your financial condition or what has (or hasn't) happened to you. The quality of your life is controlled by the meaning you give these things.

Most of the time you may be unaware of the effect of your unconscious mind in assigning meaning to life’s events.

When something happens that disrupts your life (a car accident, a health issue, a job loss), do you tend to think that this is the end or the beginning? Your life takes on whatever meaning you give it. With each meaning comes a unique feeling or emotion and the quality of your life involves where you live emotionally.

No matter how much a person drugs himself, if he constantly focuses on what he can’t control in life and what’s missing, he won't find it hard to despair. Yet if that same person can arrive at a new meaning, a reason to live or a belief that all this was meant to be, then he will be stronger than anything that ever happened to him.

Always remember: Meaning equals emotion and emotion equals life. Choose consciously and wisely. Find an empowering meaning in any event, and wealth in its deepest sense will be yours.

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by weaver71, Nov 19, 2014
I ask myself all the time, "What is more important than feeling good." The answer I found, "Being good." I have been engulfed in studies of  philosophy, modern linguistics, and Ionian physics. We often think in words, our words often shape our thoughts. For example, I have been replacing the word stress with motivation. As time is passing, I keep finding that I usually have the power to change or accept the causes of my stress, when it first hits. I was perceiving stress as bad, and would feel negative and unmotivated as stress came along. The stress un-responded to leads to distress, un-responded to distress leads to chronic depression. The stress wasn't what needed fixing, it was me, once again. The perception of the world and situations as growing and being built up makes my experience completely different, in the exact same situations. The world is not out to destroy anyone, it is inspiring them to participate, change and improve The Great Construction Project we call life.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy tells us that every feeling must have a thought to stimulate the brain to make chemicals that create feelings. It is simple logic and physiology. Good thoughts make good feelings, bad thoughts make bad feelings. My grandmother sat in the place where she was dying and waiting to go out dancing again, told me how her broken hip was a blessing and she just loved seeing all the visitors and family. The purpose of the broken hip, in her mind, was to motivate meaningful visits with friends and family. She could have thought up a whole different experience in her last days, but I am so glad she didn't. That is my personal example of thoughts and perceptions defining our reality.

I love this journal. Purpose and meaning are my motivators of choice, MOC, I guess. I also find I can't place too much attachment even to those high intended thoughts. I must avoid disappointment motivated by expectations. When a positive train of thought doesn't pan out, I must reset myself in that moment and redefine the purpose and meaning of my efforts, not be discouraged by new stress or uncontrollable circumstance. Like you said, focus on what one is for, rather than what one is against, what one has at any moment, not what is missing. Those perimeters change from moment to moment, so mental elasticity is needed to maintain a straight path down a positive track.

Okay, I went off. I should probably finish my thoughts on my own journal. As you can tell, I have thought about this idea a little. Thanks for sharing, and thinking positive.

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by spider6, Nov 19, 2014
Hello, I love you Ben.  Lol,....I needed to read this exactly now.  I asked spirit to give me a sign for the query I had posed earlier.  Amazing where you find your answers,...always, eyes wide open. Thanks.

And there's my favorite man of philosophy, insight and cosmic curiosity.  Tony, you are just you...AMAZEBALLS!
Uber peace, light and lightheartedness...xo

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by Ben727, Nov 20, 2014
Yes Tony, I've found that elasticity and flexibility are critical. I think the best meanings to attach to events aren't even dependent upon an outcome or a set of circumstances. I personally think the happiest I can be is when I'm "amazed by the wonders" all around me. When I see a "wonder" and it has ceased to amaze me, I know that I need to change my thinking, which requires flexibility. When I'm at my best, I am delighted by the simplest of things. There is a particular type of mechanical pencil, the Pentel P205, that I am convinced is the finest writing instrument ever made by humans. It is not fancy or expensive, but I can look at one, work its mechanisms, and be delighted! What a marvel of efficiency! Of design! There is no expected outcome or result that needs to be tested. The only meaning of it is that I am delighted by something that I can appreciate in a unique way. I find this delight will scale up into more complex, but related activities all by itself. It's when I lose that sense of delight in the small things that I have to examine the meanings I'm attaching to things.

I also think that the efforts you describe are key. Even when it doesn't work, when life's parameters are too much to strategically manage, when a positive thought doesn't pan out, it's the effort to find a new one that will create the new one, regardless of what it is.

Spider, I'm glad this journal was something positive for you. It's amazing that motor activity from my hands become electrons arranged in a particular order of ones and zeros that are interpreted in a way can result in glyphs on a screen that become a positive thought in someone else's mind!

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by weaver71, Nov 20, 2014
Even attachment to meaning of any kind can be tricky. I use Jesus being crucified as an example. It seemed like the end of a movement, yet today most Christians believe was an unfortunate, good thing that he was crucified. That event exploded Jesus' message and made it a hinge in history. Just because I don't see the positive, doesn't mean it isn't there. My idea of what is positive may be totally destructive or a fantasy. A little faith is required, IMO. Belief that there is something positive to find or do makes a desire to be in the future we are creating. Even if right now feels troublesome, we still have tricks up our sleeve. There is an overall meaning of things that never goes away, in sickness or health. Religion, science, society, we all want to believe in something and feel inspired by it. Inspiration is the purest form of positive thinking, or the best I've found.

Now I will transmit my molecular activity in this brain, send it across a stream of electrons and stimulate the molecular structure of your brain and trigger hormones that motivate your neural path ways. This really is amazing!

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