The quest to find a life rich in meaning and purpose has become very popular. After all, who wants a meaningless life? Caroline Myss gets to the to heart of the question.
This topic has certainly come up at my workshops on numerous occasions, and the same questions are always asked: How do I find meaning and purpose in my life? Where do I look? How do I begin such a grand search?
I always wonder why people think the lives they have are so meaningless. What have you decided is missing from your life? If you are really looking for the love of your life, then don't tell yourself you're on a quest for purpose and meaning, because you'll only increase your frustration. Name the quest you're on accurately: love, job, purpose and meaning. But don't mix them up, because you'll only drive yourself nuts and you'll only continue to be disappointed.
But if you really have reached that juncture in life that calls you to evaluate the quality of choices you make each day and how you are investing your life force, then you are feeling the pull of the quest to go inward and examine this question: What really gives my life purpose and meaning?
That is a depth charge of a question. In fact, asked in certain settings such as your own sanctuary, it could be considered a prayer. The words "purpose" and "meaning" are subjective. Each of us fills them in according to our own life experience, but there are some special types of experiences that are especially suited to these two words. Think of something in your life, for example, that has meaning to you. That could be anything from a family holiday or birthday tradition to a sentimental gift a cherished friend gave you. Or perhaps you have brought a friend home for the holidays, as I have, and you've had to introduce them to all the many traditions that the family follows that make the holiday "the way we've always done it." The Christmas and Easter traditions in my family, for example, include everything from having to eat a certain meal to singing certain songs and so on. These traditions are meaningful to my family, but no matter how enthusiastically we introduce our guests to them, we cannot animate their souls with the sense of meaning that is shared by my family.
Find your purpose and meaning without searching for it