There is only one meaning of life: the act of living itself.
— Erich Fromm
In today’s lesson (A Course in Miracles, Lesson 2; Check out the miracles tab for my intro to this blog series and all other posts), the guide asks us to look around the room, rest our eyes on various objects, and say: “I have given everything I see in this room all the meaning that it has for me.”
Try to apply the exercise with equal ease to a body or a button, a fly or a floor, an arm or an apple. The sole criterion for applying the idea to anything is merely that your eyes have lighted on it. Make no attempt to include anything particular, but be sure that nothing is specifically excluded.
Similar to Lesson 1, this seemingly simple exercise is another important step in our process of reorienting our thinking process and disciplining our mind to reverse all the previous conditioning we’ve done. As we reorient our thinking, our spirit shifts, our mindset changes and how we approach life — sex, family, diet, weight loss, exercise, nutrition, work, friendships — changes accordingly.
I love today’s simple lesson because the underlying idea is so infinitely powerful. It teaches us that we are the ones with the power to assign meaning to everything around us.
Did you get that? It is you, and just you, that has the power to reorient meaning. This is setting us up to realize that the final outcome is all up to us!
We’ll explore more and more about what this means in the future.
Just know this: If the outcome depends on us, then we can let go of the idea that our destiny lies in the hands of someone else. We are our own salvation. This is your spiritual path. This is your self-actualization and growth. This is your happiness. This is your fitness journey. This is your health.
If you are your own salvation, what does life look like?
Today’s action steps:
- Look around you at the things, relationships, situations and people that you have previously felt dictated your happiness, joy, peace and success. Slowly recognize that it’s you that gives meaning and power to these things. With that recognition, what would you change?
- Check in with yourself, specifically about the standards of beauty or strength that you feel dictate your health. Say to yourself, “I have given this beauty or fitness standard all the meaning that it has for me.” That means not Hollywood. Not the other people in the gym. Not the ever-changing fashion trends of New York or Milan. You have the power to give these things meaning. So, what meaning would you like to give it?