Energy healing for our world
Sanación energética para nuestro mundo

Finding Meaning in our Life

Charlie Holles

Sunday, May 15, 2016


The Iguazu Falls here in Argentina are the one of the world’s most spectacular sights, rivalling Victoria and Niagara Falls. I saw them last December. I went with considerable anticipation having been told by many local people what an amazing sight they are. Well I’m certainly glad I made the visit and I have some marvellous photos to show friends. Yet I also experienced something of a feeling of anticlimax when I was there. Perhaps the experience was diminished by the fact that the only way to see them is in the company of masses of other people and I have always preferred to go solo when travelling.

But I think there was more going on for me than just the crowds there. I’ve always been an inveterate traveller and I have seen some pretty spectacular sights and interesting places. Yet recently I have found myself more often left with an unsatisfied feeling when visiting either recommended sights or even just smaller places of beauty that I wanted to see. I don’t believe that I am just getting jaded in my later years but rather that I see things from a different perspective.

I used to use the Rough Guide when exploring, mainly to get an idea of places to stay and possibly to eat. I find it increasingly superficial in the way it covers places and what it suggests travellers should do and see. Everything is based on squeezing out ‘experiences’ – feeding the senses with as much stimulus as possible.

Retired people are encouraged to make a bucket list – to do as many things as they can before they become too decrepit. Folk facing a life-threatening illness will often make such a list, if they are still fit enough to get around. I have visions of someone standing atop Machu Pichu, barely noticing the beautiful surroundings, checking off their list and looking at what is their next destination; completely failing to be in the moment.

Fulfillment or finding meaning in life will not come through racking up experiences. I’m certainly not disparaging travel. I’ve done a lot. It is a great way to meet people, widen your horizons and can lead to greater understanding and tolerance between diverse people in the world. But if we think that we will be fulfilled and find deeper meaning in our life then this is not the way to go.

To find meaning in life is to find the meaning in the present moment. The gift that life gives us is simply exactly what is happening in the present moment. We have to accept that to find peace. That does not mean that we become passive, allowing ourselves to crushed by circumstances and not trying to make changes if they are needed. When we can first truly accept what is and find peace in the present, then, if changes are needed, we can set about making them from a place of being grounded and sure.

In the course of my travels over many years I have met some wonderful, simple folk who had never gone far from where they were born and were living. I’m sure not all of them were deeply satisfied with life but many were. Yet westerners often try and encourage everyone to adopt something of their high-tech life style; despite often envying these ‘simpler’ folk at the same time. The noble savage is a myth and not everyone living a simple (and maybe deprived lifestyle) is always happy. But equally there are few deeply satisfied people in the developed countries, where moving (desperately) from one experience to the next is the way they are encouraged to live.

Finding meaning and fulfillment is an internal journey. What is outside will affect us but will not fundamentally change whether we can find satisfaction. If we think that accumulating experiences and endlessly feeding the senses is going to bring deep and lasting fulfillment in our lives then we will be constantly left feeling unsatisfied and needing to chase yet more experiences.  

Do leave a comment and let me know what you think.