When we fall in love with meaning, we become like little kids again. We become curious again. Life seems more mysterious and fascinating to us. We want to know "why?" for every facet of our lives:
- Why do you like me and why not some others whom I like?
- Why did that happen to me and not something else?
- Why did I react that way and not in a better way?
- Why was I into that interest then and into this interest now?
- Why am I still doing this and not changing my routine?
- Why do my family members do what they do and not follow my example?
- Why do I continue to have that same old hangup and not outgrow it?
The world of meaning is highly subjective. We've left the world of "just the facts ma'am" where evidence must be taken objectively. We use many different lenses to look at the same thing. We come up with different interpretations, diagnoses or stories for the same situation. As we settle into this love affair, we can allow others to put their own spin on things as well. Everyone appears to selectively perceive and uniquely attribute meaning to their experiences. It sometimes seems we're off in our own little worlds. We're weaving our own tales of who we are, what happened to us and what's expected to happen next. While we're in love with meaning, there's so much to learn from others ways of tripping on everything differently than we do.
Meaning seems much more fluid and flexible than labels and definitions. We realize we can change the story of our lives to seem intrinsically satisfying to ourselves. We get grounded in our own meaning and detach from others' framing us to serve their own interests. Our life story becomes more coherent, sensible to us and capable of giving us a larger purpose. We add richness to our personal narrative which gives us back the feeling of our peak experiences and turning points.
The world of meaning lets us be far more creative. We begin to see "familiar things in unfamiliar ways and unfamiliar things in familiar ways". We can gain new insights by applying metaphors to things that seemed obvious before. We can play with what-if questions and imaginary scenarios to explore new possibilities. We can discern unfolding processes which invite us to play along and work with them. We can change the definition of the problem before we start trying to solve it. We can handle more complex appreciations of systems and cycles that overwhelmed us when we were exclusively objective.
All this adds up to a life of much deeper satisfaction. Thing happen for reasons that nurture our growth and challenge our preconceptions. Events seem more symbolic and dreamlike. Within the wagon wheel metaphor, we've moved closer to the hub along many different spokes. We've become detached from spinning on the outer rim. We're no longer entangled in the drama with no choices for how to take what happens. We wonder with fascination and choose a way to see it that works for us. We're in love with the meaning of life.