Well, Spo-fans want to know what is the meaning of life……..

When I meet a new patient, I ask dozens of questions, each one helps me understand who and what they are, what risk factors they may have etc. What I don’t ask is “Does your life have meaning?” Most of the time I can hear the answer in their data, but not always. Meaning is the key point to Life. I sometimes joke “If you’re tired of tea then you’re tired of life!” but truthfully it is ‘If you have no meaning then you’re tired of life!”.

One of the remarkable things that makes us human is our creation of meaning.  Perhaps it is the essence of our lives: the need to create meaning in our lives.  We need to dedicate our lives to something or someone(s). The lack of meaning in one’s life is often expressed by my patients with depression. In my experience a life without meaning is the greatest risk factor for suicide.

Conversely, meaning in your life is correlated with wellness. When it comes to quality of life, “Meaning” wins over religion. What gives our lives meaning changes over time. And the need for such never ends. Even at the end we need meaning in the dying process.

When patients are confronted with death, they often ask for help in making sense of their lives. Palliative counseling helps them to accept their lives as it was. They also need help alleviating existential guilt and forgiving themselves for their faults.

So – Meaning turns out to be one of the the most subjective and personal thing we create. It continually evolves. It is not what someone or something tells us. Please don’t let anyone tell you your meaning.

I will be more concrete in the future and ask my patients straightway “What in your life has meaning for you?”

If they don’t have any meaning, work on it.

If they have meaning, well, it won’t hurt them to be more conscious of it.

 

May your Life’s Journey be full of meaning, to its very end.

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