I once reflected after a lengthy discussion of divergent views with people: It is only in being questioned that we come up with the best answers!
In this regard a colleague recently quoted something she had learned from Rebbetzin Tzipora Heller. There are so many causes in the world. How do we know what we should be doing? A teaching of the rabbis says this: “A mitzvah (divine directive) that comes to you – do not let it sour.” In other words take the opportunities that life brings you. If it comes to you, it’s for you to do. Don’t go trying to do a million things. This is such an apt statement reflecting logotherapy. We find meaning in responding with our conscience to situations, taking up the challenge, saying “yes” to life.
At the same time, meaning is not only found in response to what comes to you but in accessing what comes from within you. For me, this is the greater challenge. How can I draw that meaning from within myself?
I’m on vacation. Now that my schedule is not entirely filled up and nothing at all seems to be calling me, I need to hear that still small voice within. In this situation I experience a strong sense of restlessness. This is what Frankl also described. I’m looking for something and can’t identify what it is. In this state of mind I’m unable to focus. When I don’t try to force myself to focus but instead go for a walk or play music or do something that will take me beyond the rational, often some kind of answer eventually comes.
Therefore here is a question to accompany Aryeh’s reflection on the shivers as a physical manifestation of being in touch with meaning (June 10, “Shivers”): What helps bring you to a place of inner listening? (by Batya Yaniger)