Creating Meaning

I’ve been listening to a set of CDs a friend of mine loaned me. It’s a recording of Bill Harris from Centerpointe Research Institute presenting information at a retreat. Harris is the developer of Holosync® audio meditation technology—a system that promises to have you “meditating like a Zen monk” in no time at all. The technology works by delivering two different sound frequencies, one through each ear, as the listener relaxes while wearing headphones. The “binaural” signal stimulates the brain to create meditational levels of brainwaves—alpha and delta. I haven’t used the Holosync® CDs, so I cannot vouch for their effectiveness, but I am finding that Bill Harris has some very interesting and profound things to say.

While taking my morning walk earlier this week, I was listening to the Harris CDs when I suddenly heard him saying that “nothing that happens in our lives has any inherent meaning.” That really annoyed me, and for a moment I wanted to argue that if nothing has any meaning, then what’s the point? It had been a very crucial part of my healing process after my son Cameron died to search for the meaning in his life and his death and our often troubled relationship. Finding some meaning in all of that seemed to be the only way for me to make peace with my loss. If he just lived and died and there was no meaning in that, then why did he have to suffer so much in his life and why did I have to suffer so much in my relationship with him? For me, the only satisfying answers to those huge WHY questions involve meaning. I have to believe there is meaning.

Just as I was getting mentally worked up about this, in the span of just a second or two, he then said, “and so we get to create the meaning.” I had one of those “Aha!” moments. Through all my ups and downs, through all the journaling and soul searching, through all the amazing experiences I was drawn toward and into and through in the years after Cameron’s death, I had thought I was searching for meaning, but I was really creating meaning. And somehow, that’s even more powerful because there’s so much more freedom in that. If we create the meaning behind and around the things that happen in our lives, then it is our choice what meaning to create.

As I mulled that over I realized that’s exactly what I had done and exactly what my book, The Deep Water Leaf Society, is about. We often have no choice at all about the things that happen in our lives. Shit happens and we have to deal with it. But how we deal with it defines who we become. And there is always a choice in how we deal with it.

I actually think that’s the great gift in traumatic loss: we get to decide what it means; we get to decide who we are in the face of it; we get to choose whether to become a victim to loss or claim our personal power and freedom from it; we get to choose between pain and peace. We get to choose.

As always, I welcome your comments, here on the blog or via email. Please visit my website, often and watch for news on the release of the book.

Wishing you peace on the journey…

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