Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Finding Meaning In a Difficult Life


“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult—once we truly understand and accept it—then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”
—M. Scott Peck MD
When we understand and accept life’s difficult base,
And we acknowledge the need for meaning to bear,
Suddenly we respond to life in ways to embrace,
That which facilitates our tried and tested care.
Or, another way put:
When we accept life’s confusingly hard,
Yet we find meaning within it to endure,
Suddenly our heart has capacity to guard,
Because we have found the eternal cure.
***
Meaning making is the goal of life in the midst of struggle.
If we can find meaning in our difficulties, torments and losses we can grow through them. If we find no meaning we enter the sinkhole. We either get ahead or we fall behind. Besides the fact this takes time, it really is as simple as that.
But much of the time we are floating in the flux of the meaning within our lives. Rarely does everything make sense at the same time. And only in rare instances do all the planets of our psyches align.
The grating nature of life is an important signpost. Because life doesn’t seem to make sense it is all the more crucial that we can make sense of it. But making sense of life, if it’s to go to our advantage, relies upon us coming to the right meaning; a hope-filled meaning.
Making Sense of the All Aspects of Life
Our lives only make sense when all aspects have meaning—from the personal to the interpersonal to the global. But so much of this is informed by our conceptions of ourselves.
When we have a concretised view of ourselves and life, as stable and safe and reliable within, all the other realms within our lives tend to be in sync.
Yet, when our lives are shaken, especially when we suffer in grief—for change beyond our control, or loss—the poles our internal worlds spin on temporarily shift our identities off their axes. We yearn for meaning again. For a time we are wrought for sense from what has occurred. But eventually, for most of us, we re-rail our view of ourselves within the changes that have taken place.
The goal of life can be seen as one where we assimilate the difficulties and convert them into meaning.
***
Difficulties exist to provide us meaning for life. The purpose of difficulties is the meaning we are to derive from them. When the meaning of difficulties becomes personalised we have transcended the pain in our problems. Our difficulties, therefore, are pivotal in forcing us to engage with our meaning for life. Difficulties are good.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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