Excellence Reporter: Dr. D’Eramo, what is the meaning of life?
Dr. Kim D’Eramo: The meaning of life is: there is no meaning of life. Life is whatever you make it mean. We are here not to learn something, have a certain experience, grow, improve, or heal. We are simply here to create whatever it is we choose to create, and give Life whatever meaning we choose to live.
When I see patients with chronic illness that’s not getting better, they have fatigue, anxiety, pain… They are looking for a way out. They may want medicine or a quick fix, or they may have insight that the pain is a reflection of something larger that they’re ready to change. They give the experience all of the meaning it has.
If they think they’re being punished, or that Life is not on their side, they will experience continued challenge, frustration, despair, and powerlessness. They will keep fighting the disease. If they think they need to grow and learn, they will delve into the mind and try hard to figure out what’s wrong and how to fix it. They may grow and change, but they will continue to work at life.
If they think this situation means they’re being invited into a new way of living, that Life is on their side, and that they can let go and allow healing to happen, they will surrender, stop struggling, and receive healing. This last example is aligned with our true nature.
The nature of what we are is Pure Love. We are infinite. When we connect with our infinite nature, possibilities are endless. We may see things as limited, and therefore experience limitation. However, when we let go of our own conclusions about things, we expand into new possibilities and can receive miraculous change.
The meaning a person gives to Life, to illness, or to any challenge has everything to do with how easily they heal. As a physician, I’ve seen this first hand with my patients in witnessing what allows them to heal. Even when other doctors insist that we are limited, broken, or diseased, I’ve seen hundreds of times the power in the body to transcend any illness.
What works to allow freedom and healing — and it’s consistent — is to look at what you’re making things mean, then be willing to change that, even before your outside circumstances change. This guides your body, your cells, your every action into a new expression. You alone have the power to do that. It changes everything. This is the reason I love assisting people in healing. It’s infinitely simple and easy; we make it complex by giving away our power.
So when you try to figure out the meaning of life, rather than actually look at the meaning you are already giving everything, that’s when you forget your power. I used to think the meaning of life was to grow and improve. If that’s fun for you, keep buying into that meaning. For me it was a lot of work. I used to try to improve myself, be more loving, more forgiving, more giving. Those are great things, but what that did was bring me many situations that challenged me to be “more.” It was never enough and I was exhausted. Eventually I stopped making life mean improvement!
Another thing I hear people say is that the meaning of life is awakening or enlightenment. What can be more enlightening than the realization that you, yourself are the one giving meaning to everything? That’s ultimate empowerment!
~Dr. Kim D’Eramo is a physician, speaker, #1 bestselling author of “The MindBody Tool Kit,” and founder of The American Institute of MindBody Medicine. She is board-certified in Emergency Medicine, and attended residency at Emory University in Atlanta. After healing herself from a chronic illness using MindBody tools, she now empowers millions to use the same tools to immediately shift their body chemistry and brain activity to create health and wellbeing.
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