The Meaning of Life
I love it when my clients bring questions to counselling about the meaning of life.
These existential questions often arise during out most challenging times. This line of questioning can be dismantling and disorientating, and arrive with a whole other set of questions like “what’s wrong with me and why can’t I just get on with life like everyone else?”
So while this question often arrives into my counselling room with a fair bit of angst and despair, when I hear it, I light up! I light up because I believe this is one of the most important questions we can ask ourselves.
When we start asking questions about the meaning of life, it signifies the beginning of a shift from one paradigm to the next. A leaving behind of old ways of being in the world, and stepping into a new, different way of being.
But these question bring us into a place of transition. And transition is not always a comfortable place to be.
A midwife knows when a baby is about to be born when the birthing mother starts questioning her ability to keep going and is ready to give up. This sacred time is known as ‘transition’, and usually moments later, the mother enters the final stages of labour and can push (or breathe) her baby into the world.
And just like the birthing mother, the individual asking the question ‘what is this all about?’ is often in pain and wondering if there really is any point to existing at all.
At this point, when I’m sitting with someone who is questioning the world and their place in it, the temptation to dish up a cookie-cutter answer to the meaning of life is great. But to do so would not only be false (there isn’t one) and temporary (it wouldn’t satisfy the soul for the very long and the question would no doubt resurface again), but in doing so, it would rob the individual of their precious journey and personal teachings.
Because finding meaning in life is the meaning of life.
And there are many paths to enlightenment.
My personal journey in making meaning has taken me backpacking around the world, sitting with gurus in India, riding on the back of motorbikes in Bali, completing a doctorate degree in psychology, birthing babies, a long (and sometimes excruciating) process of meditative self enquiry, taking photographs of things I’m grateful for, blogging, learning to follow my bliss, listening to my body, establishing a daily yoga practice and just simply being with myself.
So what’s the meaning of life?
That’s for you to discover (go on, get out there and find out!).
Leave me a comment below about what you’ve discovered about the meaning of life for you. I’d so love to hear about your take on this oh-so-important question.
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