Dr. William K. Larkin
You don’t shower because it’s unplanned. You don’t brush your teeth because it’s unplanned. You don’t take care of yourself because it’s unplanned.
These are all plans we make. And well-being and life satisfaction, ultimate living in life, does not happen unless it is planned or intentioned.
When I look at mentally ill people, when I look at people who are in neurosis and especially people who are in psychosis, when I look at people who are addicted to negativity and negative emotion, which is our most basic addiction, what you’re looking at very often times are people without a plan. You’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.
That in itself should tell us something.
Things unfold, this unfolding that we love so much, those things unfold 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 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.
There’s always a unique and very personal way that we make meaning, except that in the DownSpiral, the characteristic, typical experience with meaning-making is that it doesn’t work, that it doesn’t fit.
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.
Our goals and vision can either be at the whim of the unconscious or under the direction of the conscious mind/brain intentionality to evolve towards greater well-being and unique self-expression.
It is altogether possible that people’s 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 the most of our attention because 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.
We like to talk about holding on and letting go. Letting go and “going with the flow” can be an excuse for not really defining what we want.
It is easy to put our power outside ourselves so we don’t have to come to grips with ourselves. Most people in transition fight to “hold on” to what “is” in the face of uncertainty. Going through a transition is one way of making meaning out of life, and moving into another stage of making meaning can seem very bleak, frightening, and dark.
Most people try to make sense out of life by holding on for dear life to what they know.
Others choose to just “let go” and see how things unfold.
Superficial ideas of “letting go” have led us to believe that we are passive receivers of a “plan for our lives,” rather than the active determiners of the life we want to lead.
More than any other time in life, transitions are the times to ask the deeper questions about what we are wanting.