In this week’s blog I have been given permission by
Barbara & Terry Tebo who live on the Gold Coast. They are counsellors and personal development teachers.
They write a free weekly blog you can access at: peaceinsights.wordpress.com
I was very much taken by their blog – “Meaning of Life” – a shortened version is as follows:
“Sally is doing the quarterly accounts for her and her husband John’s small
business. As she reads through the credit card statements she notices three
payments to the ‘Corporate Extras Club’ made by John. “That’s odd”, she
thinks. She rings directory inquiries for the telephone number of ‘Corporate
Extras’. When she rings this establishment she discovers that the Corporate
Extras Club is a brothel.
Before she even puts the phone down her body is shaking. Sally is filled with
feelings of anger, sadness, betrayal and broken trust. She has no doubt that her nine- year marriage to John is over. She rings John at his work and he admits his mistakes and says he is so very sorry. Loyalty and honesty are very important to Sally and she cannot forgive her husband. Soon they are separated and then divorced even though John does not want the marriage to end. With the help of her mother, Sally struggles on with her three small children.
Let’s look at a second hypothetical story the same as the one above. In this
second scenario, Sally number two has the same emotional reaction as Sally number one when she discovers her husband’s unfaithfulness, but she decides to take a different course of action. She tells her husband (John number two) how hurt
and shattered she is by his actions. She asks John why he did what he did? At
first, John is lost for words because he doesn’t really know why. They cry the
night away and the next morning they decide to seek help by going to a
During the counselling session it becomes obvious to both that they have put
their marriage on hold for the past four years because of John spending so much time at work and Sally giving most of her emotional energy to the children. They realise they have not been looking after their own needs and the state of
their marriage. They both agree to recommit to their relationship and spend
more quality and loving time with each other. Six months later they looked
back on this incident and began to see it as a gift that helped them grow closer
together. And of course, that’s what a ‘crisis’ is, a ‘dangerous opportunity’.
What are the main differences between story one and story two above? Is
Sally number two more mature than Sally number one? Maybe, maybe not.
Certainly Sally number two didn’t totally blame her husband. She realised that what
happened had something to do with her as well. Sally number one locked
herself into a belief system of what she believed is right and what is wrong.
The main difference in these two stories is that Sally one and Sally two gave
different ‘meanings’ to the experience of their husband’s unfaithfulness. What
then followed from these meanings? A ruined marriage along with bitterness
and hurt in the first story and a new marriage with more love, sharing and
intimacy in the second story.
What we are saying in this essay is that THE MEANING OF LIFE IS THE
MEANING WE GIVE IT! The meaning of life, your life, has no meaning
whatsoever until you give it one! You create your life with your mind. When
you understand that it is you who is doing the creating, two things happen.
One, you free yourself from the tyranny of certain ‘views’ of yourself; and two,
you see that you have more than one choice. Sally number one believed the
only choice she had was to end her marriage. She was living under the
tyranny that she had imposed upon herself by believing there was only one possible
meaning to her husband’s actions. She returned again and again to her husband’s breach of trust and it grew larger and larger. The extent to which any event controls
our life depends on the amount of energy we put into it. Our Thoughts are Powerful
When we choose a meaning that we give to a life experience, we build a
picture of ourself and create our own reality day-by-day, thought-by-thought, word-by- word. Some people can lose their job and see moving on as an opportunity, while others take a gun and end their life. This is the most basic step towards
If you don’t like the picture of your life, why not change it? Awakening to
who we are involves the realisation that we create our view of ourself and
the meaning of our life. Once we understand this, we are in a position of power. If you don’t want to be resentful, make another choice. If you do want to be resentful, make sure that you know that you are choosing resentment. It
doesn’t matter what you choose, but that you choose, and that you know you are choosing. If you only learn one thing in this lifetime, let it be this: You are
responsible for your own happiness. And you make this happen by
changing your response (the meaning) that you give to the events that
you experience in your life.
The first step to freedom is to Make Choices That Better Your Own Life. The
next step is to Make Choices That Better Other Peoples’ Lives. This is the
realm of spiritual teachers, servants and lovers of life. They know and experience the unity of life, that WE ARE ALL ONE.
One way to begin is to enlarge the picture you have of yourself by saying this affirmation several times every day:
Everything Is God. Everything Is Love. Everything I See, Feel And
Experience Is God (Not Just Trees And Flowers, Children And Dolphins) “