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Today we return to the focus of our 2015 journal: Exploring Meaning. (If you are also keeping a journal as we go, focus questions can be found at the close of this post.)
When not center stage, questions about life purpose and life meaning still seem to hover in the background, don’t they? Unbidden, they come into sharper focus during major transitions, or when decisions press for resolution. Sometimes during moments of crisis, tragedy, or loss these questions burn with renewed vigor. We want to figure it out … once and for all. We want to “know” … for sure.
The power is in you. The answer is in you.
And you are the answer to all your searches: you are the goal.
You are the answer. It’s never outside.
— Eckhart Tolle
But perhaps we focus our search externally, when it is more of an internal quest. Like the body of water above, we can’t expect to find meaning and purpose by skating along the surface in the winter. We have to dive in … explore our inner world: its true depth.
For some reason though, we often choose to externalize our search — making it about “everything else” that is part of our life (or only in the distant horizon). Then, of course, meaning and purpose shift and sway without pause.
If we really want a single, compelling answer to our question, maybe turning within is a good place to start.
No man should go through life without once experiencing healthy,
even bored solitude in the wilderness, finding himself depending
solely on himself and thereby learning his true and hidden strength.
— Jack Kerouac
Unfortunately, because of all the hype that seems to surround these questions, we worry endlessly about doing something that has deep meaning. Or a grand purpose.
But how do we focus the lens in the right direction in the first place?
Why does indecision (or frustration) about such matters take on such importance?
Why do we think purpose must be something we can frame and point to in a special kind of way? < end: journal entry 3 >
Journal Focus Question:
Review your life history, when did it feel like you had a strong purpose …
when did you feel like you were lost or floundering? Or apathetic?
Can you map this out in some detail? Any surprises, revelations … ?
Thanks so much for being here; see you again Friday, January 23rd, as our journal continues.
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