Is life something that just "happens" to you, or do you feel you have an active role in how it unfolds? Your answer to this question is crucial to how your life manifests – and ultimately, to how much you enjoy it.
Life is comprised of a series of stories, actually, and we're the ones telling them – to ourselves. In fact, we are all continually making meaning out of inherently "meaningless" events.
Finding Power in "Emptiness"
The Buddhist concept of emptiness puts forth that there is nothing in the world of form that has any inherent meaning. It takes an observer to come along and assign meaning to what are actually just patterns of energy. For example, a celebrity's life might seem very appealing to someone loathing their own modest circumstances, but the celebrity himself may abhor the spotlight and long for privacy and a more grounded life.
Our most foundational stories are rooted in basic survival needs and often created in early childhood. Entire lives are lived based upon the meaning that our young selves (usually under age five) gave to events that felt threatening to our physical or emotional safety at the time. These interpretations gave rise to self-assessments and ideas about the world that may or may not have relevance today.
Flipping the Script for Happiness
Is a painful incident that happened when you were a child still defining you today? What meaning did you make of the event at that time? Are you sure you were correct? What are some other possible, more positive and self-loving interpretations?
It's never too late to rewrite the script of your life, or to start writing current and future stories about yourself in a more empowered manner.
Our perceptions and beliefs about what happens to us create our stories. How might you change the way you interpret events for a more positive, fulfilling and enjoyable life story?