So you ask, “What do you mean by ‘making meaning, making soul’?” I’ll start with the “making meaning”.
I mean making the attempt to see our personal daily experiences as part of a much larger picture, as part of the political, social, and spiritual landscapes of our times. Who we are and what we experience are made not only by our own choices, but by the particular matrix of our familial, cultural, ethnic, religious, educational, racial, political and economic conditions in which we find ourselves. I want to make some of those pieces of the matrix visible in my life, and explore what is under my control to change or make better.
While I can only speak from my own voice and experience, I want to use my particular challenges as entry points to understand those others with ongoing challenges. I believe that we can make ourselves larger and see ourselves in a much larger picture of life by stepping into those entrances to see, to enquire, and hopefully, to understand not only my own self, but whoever and whatever is other. This making meaning is a first step toward having a life of depth and purpose, of contentment and joy. What does it mean to live a more or less middle class life, with chronic illness, in Canada at the beginning of the 21st century? As a woman with invisible challenges? What can I do with this? How free am I? How free are you? And what are you making of your one wild and precious life (to paraphrase the poet Mary Oliver)?
These questions help me transform the chaos of unfair suffering into a carefully woven web of connectivity and belonging. It helps me know and walk together with all those walking in the same direction, towards compassion for self, for others, for all. Join me.
With warmth and care,