Marty Nemko, a career coach, author and radio talk-show host in the San Francisco area, who has very practical career and educational advice that I highly recommend, wrote a very personal article titled “What the Hell is the Meaning of Life”. This article is the sixth (here is the first) of a seven part series in response to Marty’s question. In this article I’ll address relationships from a spiritual perspective.

Marty wrote,

“Many people find the meaning of life through relationships. While I have a decent marriage, I’m not sure the meaning of life, at least for me, fully resides there. And my only child, who is an ardent employee of The Diversity Industry, refuses to talk to me, in large measure because of my views on reverse discrimination. So, I won’t, as so many parents do, find life’s meaning through his children.”

Relationships, like work, are another prime way for us to express our inner divinity and are therefore a major part of the meaning of life. From a limited perspective, relationships are seen as self-serving leading one to ask, “what am I getting out of this relationship?”, “how is it benefiting me?”. Further these people feel that if they are not “getting anything” out of the relationship that it’s always the other person’s fault due to what they are or aren’t doing. From a broader perspective, relationships are opportunities for us to be “other focused”. They are ways for us to contribute to each other’s growth and express peace, goodwill, love and wisdom. Each of us are part of the body of humanity and we are all connected at the spiritual level. We should identifying with this connection and treat other with the respect and compassion due children of God.

When relationships hit a “rocky road”, a higher perspective is truly needed. For example, regarding your specific issue with your daughter, if your problem really is about your views on reverse discrimination I would suggest that you ease up on this issue with her. Assuming you’re right, and I think you are as discussed in Part 5, look at this from a higher perspective and realize that it will all work out in the end. It’s all a part of a divine plan that will work out as it always has and always will. Whatever is, is right. I’m not suggesting that you stop trying to correct this “diversity problem” through your work, I’m just suggesting that you don’t have to convert your daughter or anyone of your personal relationships. But if you’re already following this advise, you’re not trying to convert her, and she’s putting up the resistance because you address this issue in your work, realize that she’s an adult who’s learning and growing. As much as you may want to simply impart your wisdom on her to ease her path through life, the enlightened approach is to allow her to realize lessons on her own. These are the types of lessons that last and deeply enrich a person. Finally, if you can’t reconcile, know that there’s no spiritual requirement that a parent-child relationship stay intact physically, but the emotional, mental and spiritual bonds can never be broken.

Next is the issue of religious faith but more particularly the question of how can an all-powerful, all-loving , all-knowing God allow evil and all the tragedies of our lives to occur? Marty wrote,

“Many other people find the meaning of life in religious faith. But I can’t find meaning in a God that would, for example, allow thousands of babies to be born every year with horrifically painful diseases and then die months later leaving bereft parents.”

This is what I call the “Ultimate Spiritual Hang Up” and it’s so common a belief that I’ve addressed it more thoroughly in a separate article called, The Ultimate Spiritual Hang Up”.

Next time – the conclusion to Marty’s question “What the hell’s the meaning of life?”

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