Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Add Meaning

I was thinking last Sunday about how meaningless everything used to seem to me. Now that I know life is made up of lots of important, meaningful interactions, occurrences, failures, achievements and lessons, it is a challenge to remember exactly what I couldn't see in the past.
But, quite simply, I could see nothing. I explained away any trace of what could be called meaning from any activity put before me, whether it was a big occasion or an everyday task. I became quite skilled at this.

It didn't matter whether or not I went for a walk, for example. I could go or not. One walk wasn't going to make that much difference to my fitness level or muscle tone. No one who might see me on the road would have their lives changed even an iota by meeting me en route to wherever they were heading. My breathing wouldn't be changed significantly by half an hour of fresh air and my vitamin D levels couldn't possibly be affected either to any great extent.
So I didn't go.
And it didn't matter.

It didn't matter whether or not I got the bus into town to meet a friend for coffee. One chat wasn't going to make that much difference to our friendship in the grand scheme of things. She was probably very busy and only fitting me into her schedule out of kindness anyway. I didn't want her pity.
So I cancelled it.
And it didn't matter.

It didn't matter whether or not I agreed to be my eldest sister's bridesmaid. She was going to get married anyway.
So I made myself as small and insignificant on the day as was humanly possible and I stayed away from all cameras, except the one photograph I couldn't get out of - that of the whole family.
It didn't matter. It wouldn't have mattered if I hadn't gone at all.

It didn't matter whether or not I got up from the seat in which I was sitting and played with my niece and nephew. I could talk to and encourage them from my seat and it was the same thing as playing with them on the ground really.
So I stayed in my seat and watched.
And it didn't matter.

The list goes on. Some of the people whom were patient and kind to stick around in spite of my constant rejection of the world around me told me I should try and "find meaning" in life. I began searching. I began finding.

But that was only enough to help me remember to hold on. There was no real control or self-empowerment in that.
And then, literally one day after a session with a very helpful and kind therapist, I decided I was going to say "yes" to life.

It was no easy undertaking, after years and years of automatically saying "no" to everything from attending parties to whether I would like a cup of tea. But I worked on it. At first, I didn't get the balance right at all. I ended up accepting invitations and obligations to do things I didn't actually want to attend or do. But after years of not knowing what I wanted, at least I was finding out what I didn't enjoy!

With the changes that came about as a result of my saying "yes" to life, I realised I possessed a very useful and positive power. This power was greater than the greatest superheroes in any comic or film. I had the power to ADD meaning to the experiences that filled my days.

I could decide that it DID matter whether or not I went for a walk, for example. I could go or not and one walk wasn't going to make that much difference to my fitness level or muscle tone but someone who might see me on the road could have their day improved even just an iota by meeting me en route to wherever they were heading, and by my greeting them with a smile. My breathing wouldn't be changed significantly by half an hour of fresh air and my vitamin D levels couldn't be affected either to any great extent, but with each walk I could acknowledge that my health was improved just a little by the time outdoors and that cumulatively, all the walks I chose to go on could make me feel happier and more energetic.
So I went.
And it did matter. And, better still, I realised that I felt I mattered more for the meaning I added to it.

It DID matter whether or not I got the bus into town to meet a friend for coffee. Friendships are made of all the little chats and the small efforts we make to find time for nurturing relationships, despite busy schedules.
So I made plans and kept them.
And it did matter. And, better still, I realised that I felt I mattered more for the meaning I added to it.

It DID matter whether or not I agreed to be my brother's bridesmaid. He was going to get married anyway but he loves me enough to ask me to be a part of his special day.
I made myself as  recognise how significant I was on the day and I smiled for the cameras, accepting my rightful place in one photograph I wouldn't want to be left out of - that of the whole family.
And it did matter. And, better still, I realised that I felt I mattered more for the meaning I added to it.

It DID matter whether or not I got up from the seat in which I was sitting and played with my niece and nephew. I could talk to and encourage them from my seat but playing with them on the ground was infinitely more enjoyable for us all. My relationships with them and with my three other, new nieces are more important to me than any distorted beliefs I may still harbour about my lack of relevance. These thoughts, in themselves, are irrelevant.
So I get out of my seat and I dance and I mess and I wrestle and I run around.
And it did matter. And, better still, I realised that I felt I mattered more for the meaning I added to it.

The list goes on.

And it's a far better list than the first one, I think.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely brilliant yes we do matter no matter how big or small a contribution to life we make, we all matter.

    ReplyDelete

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