Many people search for a meaning in their life and some give up on that search. I sometimes wonder if we misunderstand what it means to search. We see it as having figured out what will make us happy and working hard to get there.
But the search for meaning is not a process we take step by step. We won’t find it by connecting the dots or filling of a jug. Meaning or purpose are not the end product of something. Our life is not a production line. We were born to be great, but our greatness wasn’t pre selected. What I mean by that is that we were not fatalistically born to be one thing or another, but instead we are given some time to play in order to discover who we want to be.
We have this image in our minds of God and his gate keeper Peter at the pearly gate. Notice the colour of the gate. It is a pearly gate. Notice the rarity of the gate that keeps you out, or after careful summation allows you to walk in.
Is this really how Heaven is and the answer is important because from our vision of Heaven we generate a vision of our life. If up there it is very difficult to get in. If God is an all knowing chartered accountant, than we don’t stand much chance being something new, we are best to settle to simply do what has already done, to be fearful of mistakes, and hedge our bets on a better after life than life itself.
What came first Heaven or our version of Heaven and why do we get our wings when we get there? Why would you all of a sudden after learning what it means to be truly human, stop being human and transform into an angelic being. This smacks of thinking that humanity is a curse, that what we do here on earth is nothing more than a test, and that real life, real joy, and real happiness is something we can only experience somewhere else.
No wonder we cannot find meaning in our lives. How can we, when the beauty of life is defined by other people, and our search hampered by so many rules and not to’s. I am not saying that the answers to the mysteries lie inside of us. No, we are important but part of a whole.
In order to discover what truly matters, we have to push back and be pulled back by life. We have to fail in order to succeed. It’s what you say and answer when you’re asked about the search for meaning.
You either think life owes you something, or you think that people have stolen what God intended you to have, or perhaps you are humble enough to admit that you are a powerful and magnificent being. Lets start there. You are beautiful and an irreparable work of art. But you don’t exist on your own. There are millions and millions and billions of pieces of art that exist for you to interact with.
It’s what you say.
You need to ask what life is asking from you, not because you can’t deliver but because you know that you can.
What does life want from you? What is it that you can do and be? Those are the important questions. Those are the questions that will lead you to meaningful answers. How you answer them will make all the difference in the world.
It’s what you say.
It’s how you answer.
It’s weather or not you understand how great you are that matters.
Cover photo generously provided by photographer Nikola Knezevic.