We all have potentially 7 stages of meaning-making in our lives that represent significant changes in the way we see ourselves, others, and the world. These are big, big changes in us potentially.
The movement into higher stages of more complex reasoning is resisted by those who have a greater tendency to turn what represents potentially safer, higher ground in life, to threat.
It represents the fear of letting go of something that needs to be left behind.
The meaning making myth is blowing energy into something that you believe holds meaning for you, but in fact, does not.
You keep holding on to something or someone because of the belief that things will change, when it is you who needs to change and move on with your life.
Your sense of meaning is where your desire, belief, and open mind (or closed) are derived.
Hold on or let go?
“Holding on” is often motivated by the threat of loss. If you do not play the “game” as others expect, you risk begin seen by others as someone who’s inexplicably changed for the worse, in ways they tell you they can’t fathom.
But you feel threatened by what would happen if you don’t comply with what others want from you and be like you “used to be.”
They are like playground bullies arriving uninvited to take up residence in your mind.
How easy it is to drop the ball of keeping our eye on what it is that gives us meaning, the meaning where we ought to spend our precious psychic energy.
The real ball that has been dropped is your sense of meaning, from the threat of what would happen if you don’t comply with the habits, beliefs, and expectations of others.
It has such a force that it keeps you from even getting close to asking, “What do I really want? What would give meaning to my life?”
The meaning making myth is what sustains your blind momentum through it all, at the cost of your inner peace and your own desire.
So here is how you start to change course.
You ask questions like these: How meaningful are these relationships for you? What real relatedness do they create? Where are the real, true connections that happen because of them? What do you want?
Given the effort you put out, what is the return? What is the real, authentic meaning you wish they would give and how does that measure up to your relief that they will soon be over?
.How much of it is holding together a patchwork of ideas of what is important, that is really a myth, simply not true, and no longer working?
How much precious psychic energy are you burning in efforts that leave you feeling empty, more tired that you should feel, and vaguely discontent in an eerie way?
Your comeback might be that you do this for others. Is it that, or are you threatened that these “others” will be disappointed in you that you have not played your role to assure their happiness?
You do not assure anyone’s happiness.
If you are in a position where you believe it is your job to make someone else happy, you are ignoring the myth of your own meaning making, that puts you in a DownSpiral and opens the road to depression.
© Dr. William K. Larkin