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Marriage 911 09/11/17

Are You Looking for Purpose and Meaning?

Reflective man

Life changes. We go through seasons of life. Friends come and go and people enter and leave our lives. Our children grow up and leave the nest.

Each change brings loss and sadness as well as a certain amount of confusion. Why is this happening to me? Actually, most losses and change are a natural part of life. Geographical moves, job advances, marriage woes, and job losses and other change brings a questioning. How do these changes impact the life direction I’ve chosen thus far?

Our brains like predictability and stability. Our brains seek patterns and attempt to ‘make sense’ out of any chaos. It is no wonder that a lack of stability and predictability can really throw us into a crisis. Sometimes these crises impact what we might have thought was our purpose in life. Sometimes these crises only amplify our lack of purpose.

To get help from Dr. Hawkins and his qualified staff, please visit The Marriage Recovery Center website or call 206-219-0145.

I was sitting with a friend recently. He is 60-something and asking himself what I think is one of the biggest questions any of us face: ‘Why am I here and what is my purpose?’ The question was causing him significant distress. He didn’t feel particularly fulfilled in his job and wondered if he was meant to make more of an impact on others. His distress was noticeable and his concern quite apparent.

While I didn’t try to answer that for him, and won’t for you either, I will give you some things to think about as you wrestle with the question.

1. It is perfectly natural to seek meaning in your life.

All of us face times when we step back from the daily hustle and bustle of life and wonder what is the meaning of it all. We wonder if there is more to life than what we do every day. We want to make a difference and use our gifts in some way that transcends ourselves. Am I making a larger difference than simply what I am doing for a job? Solomon said, “He has also set eternity in the human heart.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

2. Meaning and purpose may change over your life.

Whatever you decide, you may ask that question again and again at different stages of life. What make sense for you to do for a job as a young parent may not make as much sense in mid-life and may cause even more questioning in later life.

It may be that you found meaning in your family and career at one stage of life only to find that meaning evaporate as you get older. Be prepared for things to change. Little in life remains the same.

3. We find meaning through our personality, preferences and gifting.

While our preferences and inclinations may change over time, our personality remains relatively stable. Studies have shown that personality changes very little over time. Our personality is something we can count on and utilize to discover what might be meaningful to us. Consider your personality, preferences, giftings, opportunities, and what has meaning for you at this stage of life. Look around and listen to what is stirring in your heart.

4. Be prepared to search for meaning.

If you find your life lacking in meaning, consider what might be missing. What would you rather be doing with your time? Whose life appears more meaningful than yours and why? What is stirring in your heart? Begin a search for meaning. What is appealing to you and why?

5. God speaks to us in the circumstances of our lives.

Reflect on the various aspects of your life. What do you like about your life and what would you like to change? What doors are opening for you and which ones are closing? Use your daydreams as a launching pad for even more creative dreaming. Ask God to speak to you through prayer and the Bible and journal about what you find.

Ponder this: "'For I know the plans I have for you' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" (Jeremiah 29:11)

What do you see in your future? What are your dreams? How does it all affect your relationships/current life? If you would like more direction, we are here to help. Share your feedback below or send us a confidential note and read more about The Marriage Recovery Center on my website www.marriagerecoverycenter.com. You’ll find videos and podcasts on saving a troubled marriage, our special Marriage Intensives, codependency and affair-proofing your marriage.

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