Old Town Crier

Do You Want to Know the Meaning of Life?

By Peggie Arvidson

Do You Want to Know the Meaning of Life?

 

I’m pretty sure the meaning of life is love. To be love. To pray love. Just love. This isn’t about romantic love, or even a parent’s love for their children. The way I see it, it’s a state of being that we strive for with each moment.

So why are so many people looking for the meaning of life?

The search seems to be for something to DO. When people hire me to help them find their “purpose” what they’re really looking for is an idea of what they’re supposed to DO with their life. This is the conundrum of showing up on Earth. Bodies need something to do to feel fulfilled. Soul’s don’t.

What we’re here for is to find that sweet spot where our doing is in alignment being love.

The good news is that you can be on purpose no matter what you do for a living. Isn’t that a relief?

The difficulty is when we try to define love or “do” it. In this instance, love is like gravity. You don’t have to wake up and think, “I wonder if my feet will stay on the ground today.” Nope you wake up and go about your business because gravity is working. It’s not something you have to fret about or get in alignment before you can drive your car, make your meals or get to the office. You wouldn’t say, “I need to leave my job because there’s not enough gravity there.” The same is true for love.

Love is you. You are love. It doesn’t get any more basic than that. Why does it seem so hard to accept it then?

Because we’re mirrors and we’re looking outside ourselves to define love. Instead of accepting it as a state of being, as the key to existence, we try to find love. We decide that we can only be loving if someone else is loving to us. We “withhold” love from those we believe are undeserving and we lavish love on those whom we have deemed worthy.

This is the verb love and it’s incredibly narrow in it’s meaning and application.

If you think there has to be a “bigger” or “better” or “deeper” meaning to life than love, you’re missing the point. Love doesn’t need to be earned. Love does not require reciprocation. Love is.

I get it, this is a pretty deep topic for your casual reading on the metro, in the coffee shop or while waiting for the kids to get out of swim practice. Stick with me though. When you focus on being love and seeing everyone around you as love, life gets easier. You no longer need to be judge and jury about your neighbors or the guy who is talking so loudly on his phone. You don’t need to control every situation. You are no longer called to be the CEO of the world – keeping everyone in line and anticipating every need and wish. You can simply focus on being you, which is, ultimately love.

Are you relieved or confused?

Do I do this every day? Nope. I still try to control my environment and to a large extent the people in my world. The difference that comes from knowing the true meaning of life is that when my jaw is clenched or I’m ready to give the “idiot” who cut me off the finger, I can make a different choice. Not for him, but for me.

The thing about being love is that it always feels better for me when I choose to see the other person as love too. Still, if there’s a moment when I’m mad at the world and want to yell, I do. Then I laugh at myself and remember the truth and go on about my day.

Ask yourself how you feel about that grudge you’ve been holding – whether it’s frustration about the person who stole your parking spot, or resentment about the way your parents treated you when you were ten. Dig into that feeling for just a second and observe where you feel it in your body. Is your stomach in knots? Do your joints ache? Is your head starting to pound?

Now take a few breaths – the deep kind – where you feel that air in your belly. Breathe in again and ask yourself how that grudge would be different if you just loved it. Don’t try to change it, don’t try to bury it or make it something it’s not. Just be love and sit with it.

Take a few minutes and then do a scan of how you’re feeling. Is the knot in your gut starting to unravel? Are you joints feeling a little less stiff? Maybe the pounding of your head is dissipating? Your world may not change in 10 minutes (it might) but over time, the reminder that the meaning of life is LOVE, can change your life for the better.