Today, I can tell you that the pain I was experiencing and the day in the big, white space were all for a reason. Without that pain, I would not have discovered that I had a calling to help other people and I would not have gone on to spend close to twenty years coaching and counseling others. All of the pain I had experienced had invited growth—and more pain and more growth. And while it’s not over yet, the cycle has become less intense over the years.
As a life coach and now, more recently, as an interfaith minister as well, people call on me to help them heal their lives. “Let me understand my place. That will bring me peace,” is something I hear often. I know the longing that comes with those thoughts. There is pain in not seeing a clear path set out before us to follow. There is pain in not feeling valuable or knowing how we are to leave our mark. We want to know we matter. We struggle when we are not recognized or we feel there is nothing particularly outstanding about us. We have egos and we need validation. We need to be witnessed. Like the little kid about to jump off the diving board at the pool saying: “Mom, look at me, look at me!” we never quite outgrow that. We demand evidence of our existence and feel better when we have it.
So what is this mysterious thing called Meaning? Well, it can come in many shapes and sizes, but one thing is for sure: it’s something we humans all want. And in today’s world our desire for it has taken on a new intensity.