“While we’re here, let’s live fully. There are lots of things that masquerade as having the key to life — religion, culture. But ultimately we have to make decisions on our own. And we will make mistakes. And that’s OK, because we’re human. It’s a struggle to find meaning, but that struggle is the meaning.”
Alan Ball – creator of the HBO series “Six Feet Under.”
Creativity coach and therapist Eric Maisel, PhD (his books include Creativity for Life) emphasizes our need for meaning.
In his article A Recipe for Authentic Living: Making Meaning, he notes that one of the challenges in the pursuit “drops us squarely into the domain of psychology and personality. You decide to make meaning in a certain way, say by composing and playing music.
“What if you have performance anxiety? What if you have little internal permission to make the occasional mistake? In short, what if your psychological make-up does not aid you in your meaning-making efforts?
“We will call this the challenge of personality readiness, that is, the challenge to be the sort of person who can accurately choose and actually make the meaning he or she intends to make.”
Psychologist Robert Firestone (an author of the above book Creating a Life of Meaning and Compassion: The Wisdom of Psychotherapy) describes how therapy can facilitate a more meaningful life.
In a Salon.com interview (by Fred Branfman, Jan. 5, 2004) he says, “Rather than seeing themselves as their parents and/or society has defined them, clients learn to question their lives and come to feel for and value their own experience and insights.
“You’re not going to find the meaning of life hidden under a rock written by somebody else. You’ll only find it by giving meaning to life from inside yourself. And it requires an emotional struggle. It’s not easy to become free of harmful family and societal influences.”
He points out that a person feeling comfortable “does not preclude the possibility that they may be leading a limited or restricted life. There are serious disadvantages to certain behaviors that provide comfort.
“Compulsive work habits, excessive TV watching, addictive behaviors such as overeating, abusing alcohol and drugs, etc., are all ways of deadening ourselves. In my opinion, what most people call ‘comfort’ is usually achieved at the expense of limiting their life experience.”
Avoiding painful feelings can be another way we limit ourselves, Dr. Firestone says.
“If you seek to cut off from unhappy feelings, it’s inevitable that you’re also going to cut yourself off from joyful, loving, tender and compassionate ones. It drains energy to block out or repress emotions or experience, and you’re likely to feel less alive.
“It’s not fun doing hard work in therapy, particularly in the beginning. That’s why there’s resistance. But it’s exciting too. You can’t imagine how many doors it opens. You learn that emotional pain is bearable and you don’t have to be so afraid anymore. You don’t have to spend your life running away from or avoiding important issues.”
Robert Firestone (of The Glendon Association) is coathor, with Lisa A. Firestone and Joyce Cartlett, of the book Creating a Life of Meaning and Compassion: The Wisdom of Psychotherapy.
Writer and researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Creativity : Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention, notes, “Creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives… most of the things that are interesting, important and human are the results of creativity… when we are involved in it, we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life.”
Article publié pour la première fois le 08/07/2015