Dr. William K. Larkin
How do we make meaning?
Ways in which we make meaning are different at different times in our lives, and unique to each one of us.
The developmental stages of the brain tell the story.
The brain is always changing and unfolding, if we allow it to happen. What often happens is that we become rigid and fixed in our ideas and refuse to move through the transitions of knowing and making-meaning that are demanded of us.
How we make meaning in our lives changes developmentally as we grow a more NeuroPositive brain.
We are most addicted to how we think and make meaning at a given stage in life, and life always demands new stages of knowing and meaning-making. When we refuse to move forward through life’s transitions, and resist and become fixed, we become ill in one way or another.
When we look at mentally ill people, when we look at people who are in neurosis and especially people who are in psychosis, when we look at people who are addicted to negativity and negative emotion, which is our most basic addiction, what we’re looking at very often times are people without a plan.
We’re looking at people who have no plan, no sense of destiny, who are expressing “lostness,” lack of a sense of personal significance and no meaning-making plan in their lives.
Things unfold, this unfolding that we love so much. Life unfolds because there is always a plan.
Now that plan may not be experienced or known just as consciously as it could be.
But there’s always a plan, and those things that unfold, unfold because whether we know it or not, there is a meaning making system in place.
When your meaning making scheme isn’t there, that unfolding doesn’t happen in a positive, coherent way. That unfolding is experienced, even if it is healthy novelty, as chaos. It’s experienced as everything that’s going wrong, it’s experienced as one more day of everything coming at me that I can’t control, and I can’t put into any meaning-making or sense of my personal significance.
That in itself should tell us something.
You may not even be in touch with all of the ways in which you make meaning in your life, unless you have done some serious work on knowing what you want, what your goals are, and given some consideration to what the vision is that drives your life.
That’s why we attract into our lives what we attract into our lives.
It is altogether possible that your meaning-making system is changing, that your meaning-making is in a transition. There are stages of making meaning in life, stages of the way we think and reason, and there are transitions between these stages.
It is these transitions that usually get most of our attention.
They can shake up our world, if we are holding on too tightly to where we have been, rather than where we need to be developing.
More than any other time in life, transitions are the times to ask the deeper questions about what we are wanting.