The meaning of life  

AstirRelicLatah 65M
1288 posts
8/9/2006 4:42 am

Last Read:
8/18/2006 3:16 pm

The meaning of life

My mother was an extraordinary person. She left us 23 years ago when she was 55 years old. Way too young…but what an imprint she left on everyone who knew her.

I’ve been having a wonderful email conversation and relationship with someone who has asked me three times what makes me hopeful. I’m not sure what the question is but I think I might finally have the answer. What makes me hopeful is the life my mother lived. She had such a positive influence over everyone she came in contact with. I’m hopeful that I also have a little of that in me.

A couple of weeks ago I happened to listen to a John Denver album. Then, last night I watched one of those PBS pledge specials on John Denver’s life. During the entire show, my mother was in my minds eye. For some reason, she and the music of John Denver are linked. The things he sings about are the things she personified.

When I listen to his music or spend time in Aspen she comes back and joins me. I like this….she was such a positive influence on my life…probably the only person I’ve experienced completely non-judgmental love from.

Occasionally I’ll be doing an activity and she decides to join. The first time this happened was during a fire walk in Aspen. (yea, I’m one of those who does all sorts of new age junk) At any rate, I was doing a relatively long, 40 foot walk and she just came and walked with me. It was one of the most peaceful experiences in my life….one that comes back from time to time.

Back to the meaning of life….I think my mother personified the statement in how she lived. She was a no nonsense person that had such a capacity to love and care for others. She taught me about listening with my heart and not my mind….She taught me about trusting an instinct and letting the world come to me, not continually chasing….She taught me about the capacity for loving others and what that brings back to me.

I’ve been missing my Mom a lot lately. That happens when I’m going through a period of personal growth. She was the best to talk about growth issues with. She always understood. I’m so lucky to have had her for my mother….Others were lucky to know her, but I had her everyday….I still do.

If you asked my mother what the meaning of life was she would say to love and be loved. I think I agree….At the end of the day that’s what we all want….or at least that’s what I want.

What does life mean for you? Are you a generally positive or negative person? Who in your life helps define life’s meaning for you?

Thanks for reading.

rm_songbird5419 63F
305 posts
8/9/2006 6:24 am

Life is constantly changing for me. I think I've grown more in the last 3-1/2 years than I did the previous 48. Sometimes, I'm quite astounded to look at the distance I've traveled in that time and the growth I've experienced. I find myself opening up to new people and new experiences more than any other time of my life. Maybe I just never allowed myself the freedom to let that newness in until now, but I'm sure glad I finally saw the light!

I'm often accused of wearing rose-colored glasses to a degree that I ignore the ugliness that some folks seem to travel with. That's probably true, but I kinda like looking at the world that way. Yeah, I have to take those pretty glasses off now and then, but for the most part, they make life quite pleasant indeed! I even keep spare ones around for my less optimistic friends to borrow when they need 'em!!

My paternal grandmother was my best friend. She's been gone for about 25 years now, but I still talk with her pretty frequently. I was always able to talk to her about anything and know that it would go no farther. She listened and counseled and was my friend as well as my grandmother. She was also the best gin rummy player in the world...try as I might, I was NEVER able to beat that woman!!!!

If you are strong and push through the pain and the fear, you often find that happiness is waiting for you on the other side.

AstirRelicLatah replies on 8/9/2006 8:50 am:
I like rose colored glasses. The world is prettier with them. I like your comments, they make me feel warm. Thanks.

angelofmercy5 60F
17881 posts
8/9/2006 7:01 am

What a wonderful post. I only hope that my children will remember me in a similar way.....and that I can walk with them in their heart even when I'm gone. Life to me???? Priceless.

AstirRelicLatah replies on 8/9/2006 8:52 am:
Thanks, I felt really good while writing it....hopeful and peaceful. For me it's more than having my mother in my heart, it's having her presence at important times in my life. Subtle difference I think.

rm_shannee2006 53F
3355 posts
8/9/2006 9:48 am

A fire, my. You are full of surprises.

It seems that your mom definitely showed you where to find hope in your life. In the dark she your source or is there another I wonder?

What does life mean to me?

Mindfulness. Contained in a single moment...the present one, is all the lover, all the pleasure, all the pain, all the wonder if I only allow myself to fully experience. Life is being present and letting everything unfold while holding my intention.

I am almost always cheerful, hopeful and excited about life.

And my teachers help to reveal meaning for me...that's a vague answer, but some days that person is a little child with an expression that touches me deeply. Other days it is a wise spiritual person with great wisdom to share if I stop and listen. Still other days it is simply an experience that makes me pause....and regardless, it is my own soul and intellect which defines what's meaningful for me.

Yup...this juiciness is from me....


AstirRelicLatah replies on 8/9/2006 8:52 pm:
Thanks for the beautiful response. I feel hope and peace in you. What a wonderful thing.

rm_aWench4U 62M/62F
741 posts
8/9/2006 10:53 am

Some pretty deep thinking going on here, but that's a good thing.

I believe life is precious and the time we have been given should be used to to give back. What giving back looks like will be different for each person, which is good as that way more areas are covered. I have two main ways to give back.

First is through my profession as a teacher. I don't mean to sound trite, but I have been given the privilege of shaping the future through what and how I teach my students. In addition to the academic curriculum, I teach character qualities, whether explicitly or by example. It is humbling knowing I have that responsibility and I better not screw up!

The other way I give back is through my passion for the environment. I'm not exactly a "tree hugging hippie" as my kids have accused me of being, but they're not too far off. I won't leave them much of a financial legacy, so I am doing what I can to leave them a good earth to inhabit.

My mother was probably the single most influential person in helping me to define the meaning of life. She was an environmentalist before it was chic to be one. She modeled giving back through her many volunteer causes. And as Monty Python sang, she taught me to "always look on the bright side of life." I can still hear her saying, "This too shall pass. It's just a minor setback, a test of your determination, of how bad you want your goal. You can do it. After all... tomorrow is another day." (The last line is quoting Scarlett O'Hara from Gone With the Wind.) Damn I miss her!

Remember the past but do not dwell there.
Face the future where all our hopes stand.


AstirRelicLatah replies on 8/9/2006 8:55 pm:
Mothers are wonderful things. It sounds like your Mom gave you a way to view the world that serves you well. I'm wondering if the environment also includes the thoughts that we put out in the world....It just crossed my mind and I was curious. Thanks for participating.

catkit13 67F

8/9/2006 5:17 pm

what a way-cool woman your mom must have been - you're very lucky! i've been blessed with an incredible support system, both men and women, family and friends, who have supported and encouraged me in every way possible, even when i was doing my best to drive them away from me
aren't we the lucky ones?

AstirRelicLatah replies on 8/9/2006 8:56 pm:
There is no question we are the lucky ones. I'm so thankful that my Mother stuck in there with me....It would have been pretty easy to walk away for a period of time. Thanks for picking this up.

JuicyBBW1001 55F

8/9/2006 5:50 pm

Life to me is a journey not a destination to me to borrow from a famous quote.

I am a mutt when it comes to being positive or negative I guess it depends on my preception of the events that are happening around me.

Right now my daughter is the one who defines life's meaning for me. She is my everything and my reason for waking up everyday.

You know there is a book called Balcony People by Joyce Landroff Heatherly I think you might like check it out sometime.


AstirRelicLatah replies on 8/9/2006 8:58 pm:
I'll add the book to my list. I'm hoping you get to the point where you feel it's safe for you to define your reason for living....It's great to have someone to live for. I feel that I get stronger feelings for others when I'm also living for myself....I hope you get to experience that soon, or probably more accurately allow yourself to experience it soon....Thanks for your comments. I appreciate it.

ShyWhisper2006 54F
15175 posts
8/15/2006 6:25 pm

I miss mother..its been a couple months and I don't feel her. Wonderful post ..thank you.

AstirRelicLatah replies on 8/15/2006 8:07 pm:
I hope you're able to make a connection...I feel that you would like to do so...sometimes it takes more than a couple of months.

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