March 29th, 2014 · finding purpose in life
Finding purpose in life is a key element of living well, and depth psychotherapy can help the individual to find vitality and meaning in life through self understanding and self acceptance.
But how do I do that?
The Importance of Finding Purpose in Life
For Jungian therapy, finding meaning or finding purpose in life is an essential part of the process of individuation, the process by which we become our truly unique and individual selves. True, authentic meaning is closely connected with our own most fundamental identity. And the drive to find meaning is fundamentally connected with what it means to be human.
C.G. Jung went even further, stating that
“a neurosis must ultimately be understood as the suffering of a soul which has not discovered its meaning.”
To feel that one’s life is purposeless or meaningless is a great source of human suffering, and is one of the besetting problems of the contemporary world. To find a sense of meaning is often an experience of genuine healing.
Purpose is Very Individual
In the earlier life, goals and strivings are often more collective, more mass oriented. As our life moves along, and approaches the middle years, concern for individual purpose and meaning often grows. I see that what makes life meaningful to my neighbour or my co-workers may not necessarily do the same for me. My need is to find those things in life that are specifically meaningful to me.
When the need for individual meaning gets activated, the symbol of a diamond or precious stone might start to appear in a person’s dreams. The diamond is the symbol of something that is well-nigh indestructible and lasting. Lasting meaning may be the indestructible “inner diamond” of a person’s life.
Self Awareness and Self Acceptance
To find individual meaning, I must see and accept my own individual nature — my wholeness. I need to find ways to accept and have compassion and respect for parts of myself that may disturb my conscious ego. The “shadow self” despised or hidden by the ego often holds the key to meaning.
My Own Purpose in Life
Depth psychotherapy work is often about finding meaning and purpose in life through greater awareness of an individual’s real, fundamental identity. It’s a journey to the deepest values in an individual’s life.
Brian Collinson, Psychotherapist & Jungian Analyst
Oakville, Burlington & Mississauga Ontario
PHOTO: © Attribution License JMacPherson ; Blue Diamond Photography
© 2013 Brian Collinson, 2238 Constance Drive, Oakville, Ontario (near Mississauga)