It’s really simple: if you stop giving meaning to events, your upsets and suffering will virtually disappear. I’ve explained how and why in great detail on many occasions.
Here’s my confusion: Once someone understands this, why doesn’t he or she make it a priority to learn how to automatically dissolve the meaning he or she gives events and stop suffering? What keeps people from stopping their suffering once they realize it is not inevitable?
Maybe it’s procrastination. Maybe some people are afraid of being responsible for their experience of life. Maybe there are some beliefs in the way. The thing I hear the most often is how the other person is really at fault in some way. The truth is, I’m stumped … and confused.
Daily I observe people who are dissolving meaning regularly and people who are not. The contrast in their moment-to-moment happiness and the quality of their lives is so striking I can’t help but be awed by it.
It works. Even at 90.
For example, my 90 year-old mother-in-law has been married for 71 years to my 93 year-old father-in-law. For the past 10-15 years he has been getting crankier and crankier, leading him to criticize almost everything she does. With annoyance: “Do this.” With exasperation: “Why did you do that?” With sarcasm: “I was just waiting for something to break.”
The meaning my mom has been giving these comments is “he thinks I’m stupid” and “there is something wrong with me.” That meaning results in her getting defensive, which, in turn, leads to her getting annoyed and yelling at him. That behavior leads him to getting even angrier with her.
And so the days and the years of their life have passed by. Underneath this constant bickering they really love each other, but their daily upset with each other has prevented them from experiencing it much of the time. (How many millions of couples would recognize this sad but totally unnecessary story?)
Then one day I convinced my mom to take the Lefkoe Freedom Course and learn how to dissolve meaning. She practiced once in a while but didn’t do all the assignments. As a result she stopped giving meaning to some events sometimes, but she never got to the point where she could dissolve meaning automatically. A year or so later I was able to convince her to review the course.
This time she did all the assignments every week. And every week she described new miracles in her life. The final result? My wife Shelly spent a week with them last month. Here is how she described their relationship now:
We were swimming in my niece’s pool and they were kissing. I don’t remember the last time I saw them kiss. He calls her “my darling” and she calls him “my sweetie.” I haven’t heard them talk like that to each other for many years. They have a new nightly ritual: milk and cookies. One night I walked out of the guest room where I had been watching a movie with my mom. Dad was just coming out of his bedroom. “Where’s mom?” he asked. “She’s sleeping,” I replied. He asked plaintively: “She’s not having milk and cookies with me? Then he added lovingly: “Is she covered good?” The energy in their house was peaceful for the first time in at least 20 years.
The interesting thing about this story is that when one person in a relationship stops giving meaning to what the other says and does, the nature of the entire relationship changes. You need two people to argue. If one person stops giving meaning to everything the other does and says, all arguments and upsets will stop. It has happened in my life and in the lives of others who have stopped giving meaning to events.
Stop your stress and protect your children
A woman who has learned how to dissolve meaning told me the following story:
My 11-year-old daughter was taken ill and rushed to the emergency room. After the first exam the doctor said he didn’t know what was wrong with her and he would have to give her a battery of tests.– (As you read this, imagine how you would feel in this same situation.) –I started to panic and realized the meaning I had automatically given the situation was that she was very sick and might die. I suddenly realized that the fact that she didn’t feel good and the doctor didn’t know why had no meaning. I didn’t know anything for sure about her condition. Suddenly a calm overcame me. As a result for the next four hours I was able to be relaxed and comforting with my daughter, which kept her from being frightened. After four hours the doctor came in and said, “she’s fine; you can take her home.” Being able to dissolve meaning in that situation was a miracle. Not only was I able to experience calm instead of terror during the four hours it took for the doctor to figure out that nothing was wrong, I was able to be with my daughter in a calm way—in a way that kept her from being scared.
That the daughter didn’t feel well and the doctor didn’t have a diagnosis at the moment was the event. That she had a serious illness or might die was the meaning the mother unconsciously and automatically added to the event. As soon as she made a clear distinction between the event and the meaning, the meaning dissolved. And when the meaning dissolved, her suffering stopped.
And the point isn’t that the daughter was ultimately okay. Being calm and not suffering for four hours when you don’t know if there really is anything to worry about is the point. And being able to be calm so your child doesn’t suffer is priceless.
And when we give meaning …
I don’t have to describe what life looks like when we unconsciously and automatically give meaning 20-50 times a day. Most of us just have to observe our own lives and the lives of almost everyone around us. Notice the victimization, dissatisfaction, annoyance, frustration, and unhappiness that most people experience during the course of a day. This experience is so common that it can easily seem like human nature. But it isn’t. Those feelings are not at all necessary.
You don’t need to buy anything to change your life
Yeah, I have a course that teaches you how to distinguish meaning from events and how to dissolve the meaning. The course is so good that I wish I could get you and the rest of the world to take it. It produces more powerful and positive results in people’s lives than anything I’ve created or have seen anyone else create. I can’t think of anything in the world that would do as much to stop upsets and suffering in people’s lives.
But this post is not about selling the course. There are a lot of free ways to start learning how to dissolve meaning. See especially several short instructional videos at http://lefkoefreedomcourse.com. If you aren’t interested in information about my course, ignore that material and just follow the instructions in the two videos. You won’t get all the subtleties and support the course offers, but you can start the process of learning how to dissolve meaning without spending a cent.
So why don’t YOU do it?
Which leads me back to the question I started with: If it is relatively easy to learn how to dissolve meaning—which will significantly improve your relationships and stop almost all the negative emotions (like anxiety, anger, grief, and sadness)—which lead to upset and suffering—why don’t more people do it? Specifically, why don’t YOU do it? (If you are one of the very, very few who does automatically dissolve most of the meaning you create all day long, congratulations. Please share your experience of living that way. And also share what you think got you to dissolve meaning on a regular basis.)
I’m looking forward to reading your answer.
Thanks for reading my blog. Please post your questions or comments about how dissolving meaning can stop your suffering and why people who know this don’t do it. Your comments will add value for thousands of readers. I read them all and respond to as many as I can.
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Copyright © 2013 Morty Lefkoe