The presence of meaning making

Life is meaningless without us. We are the ones who ascribe meaning to events, people, places, objects, and memories. We are not always in control of the meaning that gets attached nor can we be assured that any two people will hold the same meaning for the same event, place, person, object, or memory.

Christmas holds possibly the greatest expectations of meaning and the day itself is probably left baffled by our frenzied activity. After shopping for gifts for her family, my 11-year-old granddaughter asked me: “How did this whole Santa Claus thing get started anyway?” I know the folklore, but how the holiday evolved into a money-making scheme loaded with emotional meaning that nearly crushes us is beyond me.

We’ve written about Christmas and its meaning at Loyola’s Meaning Making blog and invite you to relax into those words for a few moments. We have no expectations of you.

Like many others, I want my life to have meaning. Whether I want to or not, I am making meaning in all my moments when I encounter another person. I wish for the presence of mind to ask myself: am I in this moment with this person being the best I can be? The solution, I believe, is to think of myself as an angel. I wrote about being an angel-in-training a few weeks back on Loyola’s blog. I think that if we all search to find the angel living in each of us, we would perform mighty and kind deeds.

I believe we all were/are angels and were sent by God to be messengers of love, caring, and kindness. Our task is to listen and provide for people when they cannot provide for themselves. To learn how to give, we must also learn how to receive and we can’t do this if we only give. We are human, too, and so we must receive.

Being an angel does not come easy for me. I tend to be a little cynical and highly opinionated. My mouth is often engaged far ahead of the censor in my brain. I rise from my human defensiveness remembering God often only as an afterthought. My gift to myself today is to remember that when I am in the presence of another human being who is testing my patience, I am yet being given another opportunity to help that angel receive love, caring, and kindness.

©2012 by Barbara L. Kass

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6 Responses to “The presence of meaning making”

  1. Ann Marquette Says:

    Beautiful post Barbara. I love it, “angel in the making.” :-)
    I have been trying to do the same.

  2. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    Barbara – “I think that if we all search to find the abel living in each of us, we would perform mighty and kind deeds.”

    I love your way of thinking. I often ask myself, “What’s it like to be on the receiving end of me?” I like your mindset (heartset) much better!

    Happy Holidays to You and Yours. May your New Year be filled with health and joy!

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      I like your question, Laurie, and need to keep that one in my front pocket constantly, especially when I got an attitude on. Happy New Year to you and your family and am so looking forward to your book!

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