I am beginning this post from a place of intellectual curiosity and spiritual thirst. I’ve searched here many times before. So, it’s familiar, rarely satisfying and always relentless in its pursuit of my attention. But, I’m thinking that my strategy to find answers to the centuries old question of how to live a meaningful life is flawed. I used to think that I knew! Meaning was uniquely individual. Obviously, meaning is escorted into our life by fortitude and drive – the courage to see our predefined goals and achieve them even in the face of great adversity. Sounds good! I have the opportunity to be the heroine in a theatrical production that is produced in my own mind and directed by my own prescribed edicts. A meaningful life is assured when we write, produce, edit and direct our meaningful desires. All a person needs is vision, drive, strength of character and an impeccable ethic. Maybe a little sprinkle of humility to insure that we are never seen as arrogant; or, God forbid, entitled to the privileges we seek.
This methodology places us at the helm of our life boat. All is guided by the turning of the navigational sphere grasped firmly in our self-directed hands. After all, we are the drivers of our own destiny, right? Those who have not experienced success are clearly weak of character and have poor insight.
So, what happens when a storm blows out to sea and an external force throws us off course at best; reroutes our life boat without our consent, or tosses us out of our life boat and into a raging sea? Suddenly, everything we believed that we knew about ourselves is under attack. This is where we find the answers to meaning and spirituality. If we cannot wait out the storm, maintain trust in something greater than ourselves, and experience true humility in the face of our diminutive nature, we will lose the opportunity to see ourselves as an integral part of a spiritual whole that has no need for individuality or theatre. And in this larger view, we can face our limitations and be content in our shortcomings. We never did have control. Can we still feel meaningful in the insecurity of a storm?