I have a huge appetite for meaning.
It’s darn near insatiable.
Being a connoisseur of the commonplace, I observe and study things on a daily basis to extract whatever meaning I can to satisfy my spiritual yearnings and curiosities.
Without meaning, life is boring and bland. It’s not sweet; it’s not sour. It’s just flat.
Many people define spirituality as the search for meaning and purpose. For the most part, it is. But it’s also a very specific practice. And like any practice, it can be cultivated and applied. We do this through seeking and making meaning for ourselves.
But meaning isn’t ready-made. It doesn’t come in a gift-wrapped box or on a silver platter. We’ve got to work at finding it and creating it. We’ve got to embrace and delve into the experience of it.
The meaning is there, waiting to be uncovered like a precious gem.
And if we do it with active love, attention, and openness, we realize that this meaning is deeply personal and sacred only to us. The meaning that I discover or create from an experience or an encounter will not be the same for another, though they may be similar.
Meaning, and our spirituality, as I’ve come to understand it, is individualized and personalized, tailored specifically to our experiences. We grow toward it and into it. It becomes part of our sacred blueprint.
Our place in the bigger scheme of things may not be readily apparent, but as we find and create meaning, we eventually come to understand who we are and why we are here.
To everything there is a purpose.
That’s something to bite into.
Take in a movie or read a new book. Before viewing or reading it, say a blessing, and thank Spirit for the message or lesson you are about to receive that will contribute to your spiritual growth and understanding. Identify with the characters and see how their experiences compare with your own. Allow their experiences to act as a spiritual facilitator for you. Wrestle with it, write about it, discuss it with yourself or with someone who knows you intimately. Ask Spirit to show you how to apply this newfound meaning to your life.
One movie in particular that impacted me greatly was Pay It Forward. 11-year-old Trevor is challenged by his social studies teacher to think of a practical way to make the world a better place, and to put it into action. When he comes up with the idea of ‘Pay It Forward’ — doing a favor for three people in need, and asking them to pay the favor forward by doing favors for three other people — Trevor sparks a movement of good deeds, touching the lives of hundreds of people, if not more.
While this was not a Hollywood blockbuster, the theme of the movie struck a chord with many people, including me, who didn’t leave the lesson in the theater with their empty popcorn containers; instead, we put it into practice and began changing the lives of others through our random acts of kindness and unconditional love.
I recalled times when I received random generosity from strangers, and in some cases generosity that was nothing short of a miracle. I knew it was the Spirit at work, and I vowed then and there to pick up where the movie left off.
As human beings, we are all hungry for meaningful experiences in our lives. We want our lives to matter, to mean something to us and to others. That yearning for meaning stems from the sacredness within that wants to connect with us as much as we want to connect with it. Only when we actively love ourselves, others, nature, and the Universe will we discover meaning in our everyday experiences.
Introduction to 31 Days of Spiritual Growth – Here you will be able to link to each post in the series.