Excellence Reporter: Dr. Zeine, what is the meaning of life?
Foojan Zeine: Sages and philosophers have searched for millennia to uncover life’s meaning. Personally, I believe that the meaning of life is different for each person—and potentially that unique!
When we’re born, our family teaches us about how they find meaning in their lives. As we grow and change, we embrace new thoughts and emotions, which start to define who we are and what is important to us. As we take action in the world, and experience both hardships and successes, we learn more about what gives our life meaning.
I have chosen to make my life about love and personal growth. During my day, I experiment by giving and receiving love, intentionally. As I create meaningful connections with others, I’m often surprised by my ability to manifest my intentions.
Of course not all days are good days. Some are filled with loss and disappointment. But even in the midst of the pain—which we all experience when we lose someone we love or when life throws an obstacle in our path—we can still find meaning and find comfort in that meaning.
For example, when I go through something difficult I can find meaning by accepting that my difficult thoughts and emotions, which came up during the challenging experience, present an opportunity for personal growth. Because personal growth gives meaning to my life, even the worst days have value.
If you are looking to live in accordance with what is meaningful to you, adopt this simple practice. Start each morning with an intention. For me, that is to create space for love and growth. Then, before bed, review how many people you were able to touch. Finally, notice and feel or express gratitude for the ways in which others have brought meaning into your life.
~Foojan Zeine, PsyD, LMFT, is a licensed psychotherapist, international speaker, and author of LIFE RESET (Rowman & Littlefield). From her private practice in Los Angeles, California, she treats a multi-cultural and multi-lingual population, and specializes in intimate relations, addictive behaviors, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and domestic violence.
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