We often deceive ourselves by making up rational--but incorrect-- narratives to explain people, things, actions and problems that trouble us. Why the deception?
Human beings need predictability, consistency: We need to create order. As a result, we will make up stories to give meaning (often incorrect) to people, things, actions, and problems in our efforts to avoid confrontation with meaninglessness--a life without meaning.
This is why taking full responsibility for what we think, feel, want, and do is a basic concept of the Choice-Cube® Method. A person, thing, action, or problem may indeed trigger certain reactions. However, our reactions are always due to the meaning (correct or otherwise) given to a person, thing, action, or problem.
Self-deception is often a fight against meaninglessness, and though important for self-understanding, fear of meaninglessness is seldom addressed in psychology. In contrast, creating meaning is of first importance for most philosophies and religions.
For example, Existential philosophy gave up trying to bring order out of chaos. Paradoxically, they found meaning in accepting “meaningless” as THE structure of reality. The result was that both life and death lost their meaning and direction. Thus for many existentialists, the answer to life and death issues in a world devoid of meaning was suicide.
Generally, religion gives a more positive structure and meaning to both life and death. Christianity in particular, gives a positive meaning to both. Christianity suggests that life is a challenge to overcome difficulties and to remain positive in all circumstances. Death in fact, is the “last enemy to be overcome, destroyed, done away with.” (1 Corinthians 15:26)
The following scripture from Philippians sums up this perspective quite nicely.
“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice… Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God… And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things… Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content… I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me… But I have all, and abound: I am full... my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-19).
Research shows that this approach to life brings life with it. Those who manage to be genuine overcomers of themselves and life’s problems live longer and with greater joy and purpose.
What about you? Are you an overcomer finding meaning in your faith? Or are you aware of blockages in your life keeping you stuck, failing to overcome obstacles and struggling with meaninglessness? You might consider looking at how the 4 Scriptural Steps of the Choice-Cube® Method help you take responsibility for your reactions, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, find meaning in your daily in the light of God’s Word and will.