Have you ever awoken to find that you've been lying on your arm and that it's still asleep? As you move your arm you feel the tingling sensation — what is often described as pins and needles. And if you've been sleeping on your arm for quite some time, the sensation can be unpleasant, even painful.
And it's a bit like how it feels to awaken to your own 'crisis of meaning'…multiplied 10 to 100 times over and stir in a good dose of emotional and mental anguish as well.
According to Danah Zohar, author of "SQ – Spiritual Intelligence, The Ultimate Intelligence," a major issue on people's minds today is meaning, or really the lack of meaning and purpose in their lives.
But here's the 'sneaky part.' Many times we don't recognize that what's going on is a 'crisis of meaning,' because it's often disguised as problems… often BIG problems like:
You’ve found yourself caught up in the frenetic pace of an overwhelmingly full life — You’re doing more and more and enjoying it less and less. Your entire day is filled with things that everyone else expect from you — obligations that feel heavy and unfulfilling. Running errands for your family, taking the kids to an endless array of activities, keeping the house and yard in some semblance of order, trying to keep the bills paid while the credit card balance keeps climbing.
DRIFTING THROUGH LIFE
Or you’re life is on automatic — you’re just going through the motions as you’re buffeted by the currents of circumstances — first one problem than another. Perhaps you're beginning to realize how easy it is for a routine to turn into a rut. No surprise the two words seem so similar. But, how do you get out of it, when there always seems to be the next problem to deal with first?
TRAPPED IN YOUR WORK
Or you're trapped in a job or career that’s stifling your soul and spirit. It’s become clear to you that the only reason you go to work is for the paycheck, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to look yourself in the mirror because you know you’ve sold your soul out to your employer.
Or your in a relationship that isn’t going anywhere, or you’ve given up on ever having a warm and intimate relationship with another human being. After all, your past informs you that such relationships are too hard and take too much work for the slight return on the time and energy invested.
Why Focusing on the Problem Usually Doesn't Work in the Long Run
Of course, these are BIG problems so it's not surprising that they often mask what's really going on. In other words, the problems are really the effect not the cause.
So we often end up focusing on trying to solve the problem. Makes sense, right? Got a problem, especially a big problem, then that calls for a solution. And perhaps, the situation even gets better for a time, but often it's only temporary or transitory because the real issue isn't being addressed.
The real issue that's often underlying these big problems is a 'crisis of meaning.' You've lost sight of the bigger picture of why you're alive and on planet Earth.
Two points to consider:
1. Life isn't meant to be just about solving one problem after another. The larger possibility that so many people have forgotten is that we're here as spiritual beings to CREATE (or co-create) a life filled with purpose and meaning.
But as the old saying goes, "It's easy to forget your intention was the drain the swamp when you're up to your ass in alligators (meaning big problems).
2. It's not that your life is devoid of meaning. As 'meaning-making creatures,' we can't help but make meaning from our life. The real issue is that much of meaning is based in fear and lack, resulting in a lot of unnecessary struggle.
Awakening to the Crisis — An Important First Step
What if you're ready to awaken to a larger possibility for life? What if you're ready to move beyond your own personal 'crisis of meaning?'
Well, it can take quite a bit of work to awaken.
Many people manage to stay asleep and suffer needlessly…in some cases for years, even decades. I know I did, as I traveled the downward spiral while pursuing the "Great American Dream" which, like many others I eventually realized was the nightmare from which I needed to awaken. Yes, it can be painful to awaken to how badly we've trashed our lives, but the good news… the important news to hear is that this is the first step towards putting your life back on track and on purpose.
You, yes, I mean you…if you feel disheartened, in pain, or bored out of your gourd…you can arise from the ashes of your own life like the mythological phoenix and awaken to a life filled with purpose and meaning. In fact, you don't have to hit rock bottom first to do this, although many of us do, especially us 'hard-headed' guys. <G>
The Next Step Along the Purposeful Path
OK, so what's next after waking up and realizing that life has much more to offer than just a perpetual line of problems to solve?
Well, one possible next step is to know, like really know, that there is a purpose to your life. You don't need to know what it is, not just yet. Just know that one of the purposes to your life on planet Earth is the = to become clear about your purpose. I know…sounds a bit paradoxical and it is…but it's true.
Not only do you have a true purpose for being alive, but consider further that it's "Divinely Inspired." What I mean by that is that you are an integral part of this incredible Cosmos and who you are matters, and the clearer you can become about the 'true, Divinely Inspired you' the more power it will have in shaping your actions and ultimately your results.
So, sit with that notion this week — purposefully ponder, pray, and play with the idea. See where it leads.