6/28/2016: Meaning

A reminder that we get to decide what has meaning to us and what does not. $25 giclee print available at the Made Vibrant Art Shop.

I just started the book “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi and I’m already enthralled with Paul’s beautiful curiosity for life’s biggest philosophical questions. The book has me focused lately on this idea of “meaning,” and — to be quite meta with it — the meaning of meaning itself. I don’t know what conclusions he comes to about life and death and time and love (I’m only about a quarter of the way through), but I do know that I believe we, as individuals, get to decide what has meaning to us and what does not.

For instance, the act of getting married carries deep meaning for some, but not for others.

Legacy matters to some, while making the most of what we have while we’re here, for however long we’re here, carries meaning for others.

For some people, making an impact on a global scale brings meaning to their life. For others, it’s making an impact in the tiniest interactions with the humans directly around them that means the most.

I guess my point here is that each of us gets to decide one way or another. There is no objective truth when it comes to the meaning of our lives, at least not in my eyes.

If we’re intent on searching for meaning, whatever that is to us, I think we serve ourselves best by understanding that it can’t be found by holding ourselves up to any standard that exists beyond our own. We find it when we choose it, when we feel it.

And sometimes we actually find it simply in the act of searching for it. I don’t find meaning in how many countries I’ve visited or how many people visit my website or if I ever manage to master any particular skill (though I can certainly see why someone else might find meaning in those things.) I find meaning whenever I experience the bliss of feeling 100% my truest self (which is easier said than done.) I find it when I share my ideas and perspectives with the world. I find it when I feel the layers of love deepening in my relationships.

So now my only question for today is: What does meaning mean to you?