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What Is Your Meaning of Life?

Updated on May 30, 2013
Photographer Jason Rogers
Photographer Jason Rogers | Source

Is There Still A Demand for Life's Meaning?

Of course there is. It’s historical with scientific, philosophical, psychological and religious perspectives. The results are products of much thinking.

When I was growing up, I was never influenced or forced to go to church on Sundays, nor was I educated with any of the stories from the Bible from home. The only teaching tools of biblical messages were reran old movies on television based on biblical stories and figures, or what I learned about God when I was 15 from two young girls I babysat. I have always possessed a particular insight, a strong intuition, a love for nature, and a spiritual awareness, all of which indicated there must be a universal power. Regardless of the source of this power, the root stems from passion and compassion for people. Now, some 40 years later, I define this universal power as all the effects branching off of what we define as love and other virtues.

If you involve yourself with self-assessment and you’re not afraid to be alone with your thoughts, you will come to realize who you are as a person. I firmly believe if you don’t know who you are, then it’s difficult to know if you like yourself.

live laugh love by Emily Grace Photography
live laugh love by Emily Grace Photography | Source

We All Want to Be Accepted for Who We Are

We all want to love and be loved and we all look for a shepherd to steer us, provide advice, to listen, and add comfort to challenging situations. This is redundant, but redundancy is a reinforcing method to arouse consideration. If you have a question about anything in your life, the answer is in front of you. You have to reach for it and want it badly enough. Your purpose might be defined by family or friends, your office or church, and it might even be defined by yourself. Your purpose involves action stemming off of your innate abilities, goals you reach for and choice.

Peace, like love, is also available in different forms. If we cannot realistically achieve peace on earth, then we should hope we can at least have a sense of peace in our minds. The quest for such can become so stagnated when societal pressures are imposed on us to always want to reach for something better, some “thing” that holds no true value in comparison to a life experience that teaches. People who are defined by their ordinariness, their simplistic minds, or their want for nothing but a productive backyard garden will have a better chance at finding that peace of mind than those of us who pursue something daily in a chaotic environment. It’s hard to have a peace of mind when we read and hear everyday about events that are very unpleasant or disturbing. The balance we must strike, however, is the one between having to live within certain turmoil and the one that strives to act out against the turmoil.

Self-Responsibility of Happiness

How many times has a person said, “I just want to be happy,” without realizing it’s a self-imposed state of mind? How many times have people blamed others for their unhappiness? What happened to self-responsibility? Is the direct search for happiness polluted? Too many people have the misconception that being happy is a place to be reached, rather than a state of mind to achieve. Within any given moment in time, one is either happy, or not. Sometimes it’s a choice, and sometimes it’s a struggle. It is a tone or tune within our minds. We think that if we buy everything we ever want in life, then we’ll be happy. We think that if we could only win the lottery, then we would indeed be truly happy. In our solitude, we might memorialize certain life events that aroused us to become happy individuals. We have temporary marriages because of temporary fixations, the “newness” wears off, so we want to move on to experience that unusual feeling again, notwithstanding the fact that little consideration (seriously) do couples render towards it as being biologically chemically related, or, we don’t learn to define the qualities that balance sustainable relationships (ah, mutuality is really the key).

How we overcome traumatic situations in our life can be based upon how we are structured internally, which includes our overall attitude generally--is it predominantly positive or negative? If we do not have a root of central and inherently fixed states of well-being, any fruition will become distasteful. Physical beauty and large bank accounts provide temporary moments of gratification--they are not long-lasting if we don’t possess other necessary attributes.

One farmer might have a plow which is more modernized and another farmer might possess envy for that very reason, but the latter farmer might realize the only true value in what he still has is a useful tool of machinery, so he realizes this as a blessing. Money, in itself, can bring about an immeasurable amount of goodness to a lot of lives, but the storing of same in bank accounts is not the sole equivalence involved in owning a good life.

If a person steps out of “self” just for a moment to serve a greater purpose, a cause that is believed in earnestly, and most things will become second to the cause. People want to believe that someone else needs them, whether that is a friend, family member, or employer. They want to know their lives hold meaning. They want to know they are important. If a person finds a cause or purpose, then that person is living with some meaningfulness. If we concentrate too heavily upon ourselves, on all our problems, on attributes we feel have slighted us physically, we will never know how to literally relish life. To know our cause or purpose regardless of its value or level of importance in the big picture is better than not having or knowing any cause or purpose at all. And if you want to step out of “self,” then you have to be able to see everything from another’s perspective, then you need to learn how to remove your own emotional reflections.

Remember, we create our degree of happiness and likewise, we can easily create our own degree of unhappiness. Both states are derived from us internally. I am a natural giver, so for myself, I naturally focus attention on other people as opposed to wanting to create attention directed upon myself and as such, I routinely practice the habit of stepping out of myself. An individual who is attuned to who he or she is can bring about a healthy state of well-being, but such attunement also needs a direction, not just a lot of phraseology.


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    stessily 5 years ago

    ytsenoh, Natashalh's comments extract the essence of your hub. A search for meaning is always premised on a desire for peace and happiness through some kind of resolution of apparent contradictions and confusions. As you point out, happiness and peace come from within; they represent choices, not destinations.

    Looking forward to Part 2!

    Up + UABI + sharing.

    Kind regards, Stessily

  • ytsenoh profile image

    Cathy 5 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

    Natashalh, thanks for your comment. I couldn't have said it better. Hope you have a great weekend.

  • Natashalh profile image

    Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

    I think your last paragraph states one of the most true things about life - we really do create our own happiness and unhappiness! If you're willing to give it a little effort, you can find something to be happy about because beauty and happiness are all around us, they're just waiting to be discovered.