The Meaning of Life
The meaning of life and the purpose of life are not the same thing. Here I will talk about the meaning of life. To read about the purpose of life, CLICK HERE.
Life is difficult. There are moments of joy and there are moments of struggle and sometimes suffering, that often feel like they will never end. And the more involved you become in the world - whether it is having children, making a career, having your heart broken, or simply being young and entering the world on your own, for the first time - this becomes self evident.
Does money bring happiness? It can, but not lasting happiness. Want is an endless pit and every shiny thing that money can buy you will one day be rusty, scratched or lose it's appeal.
What about accomplishment? Yes, that can bring satisfaction for sure. But there exists no shortage of highly accomplished people who are or were miserable. They were missing something absolutely necessary for their life to have meaning and that is love.
In practical terms, finding a spouse whom you can share unconditional love with, you will have good days and bad days, but you will also have someone to love you through the journey of all of life's uncertainties.
Nothing penetrates the soul and makes the heart rich like love. The love of your family, your friends, lovers, your children. And loving yourself is absolutely essential.
Human Beings seek meaning. That's what we do. We are meaning-making machines. And when life has no meaning, we enter a "Dark Night of the Soul". Anyone who has been there, or is there now, knows exactly what I mean. We require meaning in order to survive. Love gives life meaning.
But let's take this a step further, beyond the practical and into the Spiritual...
What happens when we love people who are not able to do anything for us? When we are not recognized, don't get a tax deduction or are honored at a banquet or win an award? What happens when love someone who cannot further our career or tell others how wonderful we are? What happens when we love, simply because we can?
Having walked a spiritual path for nearly 50 years, I can tell you that we can only love if we have love to give. But when you do have love to give, even a small gesture, or a big sacrifice if you are able, loving for the sake of loving does two things. It makes the world a better place. But it also makes you feel good. You feel better. So, maybe this isn't just spiritual, but it is practical as well. Giving love, for the sake of simply being a loving person, gives life meaning - deep meaning.
So, follow your dreams and your ambitions and your career and everything that gives life meaning. But know that the greatest meaning we find in life is love. So, love like your life depends on it... because it does!
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