Wednesday, 20 July 2022 22:42

Meaning Revisited

Written by

I’ve written on the topic of finding meaning in things that seem hopeless before, but I wanted to revisit with some more of my own thoughts, insights, and realizations that I have discovered over the last few months.

Hamlet asked the question, “To be or not to be,” but these days, our question can be summed up in one small but powerful word: “Why?” We can’t stop asking it.

Why do people die before we think they should?

Why couldn’t my marriage survive?

Why did I get cancer?

We ask why when we encounter any of the things that interfere with our plan, our health, and our dreams for our future.

That’s where faith, hope, and sometimes religion comes in. We need hope for better things to get through the rough times, the sad times, the confusing times, and the painful times. I believe that without hope, people can lose their will to live. But hope is just one part of the “Why” equation.

When something unplanned happens and it changes us, not only physically but emotionally and mentally, we start looking for the answers. It’s natural for human beings to try and find meaning and answers in everything that happens to us.

I’ll be honest. I have lost a lot of my hope recently. I don’t see a lot of good things going on right now. I write this when the gas prices are exorbitant, inflation has taken over food, clothing, and any product that we as consumers want, and more people are moving back with their parents because they can’t afford a home of their own. I struggle to see meaning in these situations. I ask why it’s happening and then seek possibilities.

Maybe it is to teach people that there are more important things than the latest phones or the fancy new cars on the lot. Maybe this is a turning point for the country and there is a new “normal” on the horizon, which might be good, but it might not. Maybe it’s just a natural ebb and flow of the energy the world is putting out now.

Questions that still plague me include those about losing important people in my life, whether to death, disease, or divorce. I have attempted to find meaning.

Maybe my mother died to bring me closer to my grandparents and to show me that I can get through the tough times.

Maybe my best friend died because she is supposed to serve as an example about how fleeting life is and be an inspiration to others struggling.

Maybe my marriage ended to provide me with a way to stop seeking validation and love from others and learn to see it within myself.

There are a lot of “maybes” and not one of the above can be proven, yet I found some small fractions of hope in each of them. Though maybe not enough to ease all the pain, finding some sort of redemptive quality for bad things helps, even just a little.

Do you know how Victor Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning, survived the Holocaust, after he watched everyone around him suffer and die, and after he discovered he lost his entire family? He chose to have hope. He chose to not let all the terrible things get him down. He chose to find meaning for everything he went through. It helped him survive the most atrocious ordeal of his life.

Hope. Reasons. Answers. Lessons. They are the why humans can endure so much if only they can find it for themselves.

I have found new meanings for the things that happen to me. Much of what happens is a consequence of a choice I made, and therefore, I have the conscious choice to learn the lesson, or continue to make the same mistake again.

I have been playing “victim” all my life: My mom died. Pity me. Poor me. Bad things happen to me. But after my husband’s betrayal, I didn’t want to play victim anymore. Instead, I wanted to use what happened to me to be an inspiration to others who have gone through similar things. I also wanted to leave a legacy behind, one with a message of hope. But it goes even further.

I want to memorialize my mother in my memoir. I want her to be remembered for who she was and what she went through, but also for the beauty and kindness that she put forth into the world.

That is the meaning I have made out of her death. That is what helps me to understand and accept the “why” behind the “what.” That is enough for me. 

logo footer

Heart of Healing
Jacksonville, Florida

Copyright © 2022 • All Rights Reserved
Designed By Ocean Web Design