Creating Meaning in Your Life When Facing a Chronic Or Life-Threatening Illness

Support groups are a terrific resource when facing a chronic or life-threatening illness. If you’ve ever attended a support group you have heard more than once the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason” referencing the individuals illness diagnosis. There are times when you hear it so often that you would think group members have it tattooed to their forehead before ever entering the group.

It’s important to go beyond the words and come to understand what the participant is saying.

Overwhelmingly what the individual is doing is trying to create meaning out of the experience. It’s too easy to take a cliché and try and apply it to your life. How many times have you heard, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?” It’s easy to understand the desire, the need, even the inner ache of trying to create meaning from a traumatic experience.

When Harold Kushner came out with his famous book, When Bad Things Happen to Good People, many were looking for the magic bullet that would answer this big life question. The conclusion was that “because it does”. Do you run the risk of creating a life of judgment if you begin to adhere a self-induced meaning to your tragedies or challenges? Why do you need to make sense of the challenge instead of looking inside to discover, acknowledge, validate, and explore the tools you’ve acquired over the course of your life? Does a toddler who gets sick need to make meaning from the experience? It’s the parents who begin that process and maybe it goes on for years, but the reality is the trauma happened.

It’s too easy and wastes a lot of time to create explanation of the Universe. Can you really decipher the code that explains “why me?” Having the capacity to create personal understanding of your inner needs, desires, and mission will direct you toward meaning; not an explanation. The trauma shouldn’t be the experience that creates meaning in your life although it can work as a catalyst. Go deeper and begin to explore how you create meaning in your life, is it dependent on your illness? You’ll be surprised to learn that you are the meaning maker and you will continue to add to your repertoire over time. Find meaning in health instead of illness and you’ll propel yourself faster and farther down the road to health and healing.

Want to learn how to create meaning in your life? Get your FREE copy of the special report “The 5 Pillars of Health and Healing”. As a bonus I’d like to offer you the multimedia program “Instilling Hope for Health”. Want to benefit from my experience with illness and twenty years of working with clients who have been diagnosed? Get your FREE report and multimedia program at Watch weekly inspiring health and healing videos at

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