Note: This post is dedicated in gratitude to those beautiful, adventurous soul friends who traveled with me…some for a short while, some longer, all who taught me what it means to be alive.
What is the meaning of life? Isn’t that the existential question that many of us ask?
One of my favorite quotes on this topic is:
“It is not so much the meaning of life we seek but our aliveness. When we have that, the meaning of life is obvious.” ~ Anodea Judith
To know our aliveness. Yes. To live life fully alive, engaged, pouring oneself forth with reckless abandon. To know the excitement of showing up, fully present in the moment, without the luxury of certainty, safety, or the promise that everything will turn out according to our desires. Yet still willing to show up authentically with open hearts, just for the sake of the journey. To have the courage to let go of whatever stands in the way of ourselves and our deepest longing. In the absence of those guarantees against rejection, disappointment, and failure, there is clarity, passion, truth, and grace. When we are willing to dive into truth and love, we find abundant life, here and now.
Do you know what that is like? Did you possibly know at one time, and have forgotten?
Can you recall a time in your life when you knew what it felt like to be vibrantly alive?
I think of a special time in my life when I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt.
A group of friends and I had begun to meet weekly for coffee and conversation. At first it was just a few adventurous souls, and our gathering was birthed organically, drawn by that mysterious force that brings together those who have consented to living the important questions until they find themselves in the midst of the answers. The energy was electric, and soon our group attracted others and grew in size. Some longtime friends, some relative strangers, all connected by the willingness to live life on the cutting edge. Sitting at an outdoor cafe on a warm summer’s evening, we all knew we were participating in something special. We shared our deepest fears and hopes, asked our most vulnerable questions, laughed and cried and delighted in our discoveries. It was a magical time when we knew anything was possible, everything was open to exploration, and most certainly we were connected on a soul level. We didn’t question the meaning of life; we were alive, and meaning was in every moment of our interaction, in every fiber of our being.
Eventually, the group dissipated just as mysteriously as it had been created. It lasted several years, but over time as each individual had received what they had come to discover, they came less frequently and then not at all. Just like the tides of the ocean, people and situations flow in and out of our lives, and that is okay. We must be willing to let them come and go as they please if we are to keep the magic alive. We are not in control. We cannot catch the wave and hold it forever. But we can flow with the tide, allowing it to take us to lands of unimaginable beauty and unexpected sorrow, each teaching us what it has to offer, and filling us with deep peace and exquisite meaning along the way.
What does it mean for you to be alive?
When we drop our masks, our pretenses, our defenses, and bring the truth of who we are right now to every moment, life overflows with meaning.
It’s waiting for you now…won’t you jump in naked and swim?
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