The meaning of life has long been sought after by many a philosopher over the centuries. To my knowledge, a solid definition of the meaning of life has yet to be determined. I don’t see any such definition ever being established, because the meaning of life is an individual experience.
As long as I can remember, I knew that everything happened for a reason. I was just born with that knowledge. As a frustrated teenager, I understood I had to endure much heartache and pain for a reason. I just couldn’t figure out the lessons. The older I got the better I got at understand painful lessons of life. It made it much more tolerable to endure lessons knowing I was going to take away a piece of useful knowledge for the future. I found great peace in my suffering by using my life lessons to help others in need.
Recently, I had the pleasure of having dinner with friend of many years. We had been through much together. Our college experience, weddings, births, deaths and now even a divorce all appeared in a 27 year long friendship. Our experiences in life share endless similarities, right down to having to deal with loved ones suffering from bi-polar disease. As we sat for hours, reflecting on the difficulties of our lives she recounted a particular incidence that was the turning pointing her marriage ending. In that moment, she explain she believe, the situation occurred to save her ex-husband from a terrible mistake. Now she realizes that the awful incident took place so she didn’t make a horrible mistake. I found it very interesting that she had changed her view of her personal life lesson in that situation. It struck me that maybe the lesson was twofold, one for her and one for her ex husband. I have always paid attention to what I need to learn in relationship. I have never much thought about what other souls are up to in a given situation. I only get caught up in that if I am having a low moment and begin to feel like a victim. But it makes sense, a lesson could have more than one objective. It could even have objectives that have nothing to do with me and are meant for the other person.
I am happy to report that my friend is thriving in life. In spite of being left as a single, working mother of three children she is peaceful. I can see that she has forgiven her ex husband, but more importantly she has grown into a beautiful soul. She is a loving soul committed to teaching her children how to live a happy life. I admire her. Her life has not been easy. Mostly, I am overjoyed, because for the first time in five years, I see that her hope of finding love again exists.
It seems really appropriate to be middle aged and having these discussions with her. After all we met when we were 18 years old, entering college, and searching to find our way in the world. I am sure she and I are both shocked at the outcome of our lives. No one is prepared for such painful lessons. In searching to find our way in the world or the meaning of life, no one definition is going to apply to every soul. My purpose here varies greatly from my friends, family or strangers on the street. It is only important to remember to keep your eyes open for the messages you are meant to receive, the lessons you are meant to learn and figure out how to turn those experiences into positives. There is always a positive in the darkest of nights. Believe me, I know, first hand.