All our lives, we’re taught that the meaning of life is the pursuit of happiness. Emily Esfahani Smith, the author of The Power of Meaning, participated in a TedTalk in which she mentions – in chasing happiness – people have become hopeless, depressed, and lonely.
We spend our lives trying to be perfect: the perfect job, the perfect family, the perfect home. When we are unable to fulfill one of those portions of perfection, we lack the purpose of meaning in our life. How can we have meaning when our lives are not perfect? How can we be happy without perfection?
There is a difference between happiness and your meaning in life. Instead of seeking happiness directly, seeking meaning in life leads to people doing better in their jobs and living longer. Emily Esfahani Smith establishes the 4 pillars of meaning: Belonging, Purpose, Transcendence, and Storytelling.
In Circle 4 Parents, we strive to end the hopelessness, depression, and loneliness that parents feel when they are struggling to find that happiness. We seek to help parents find meaning in their life by following the same four pillars established by Emily Esfahani Smith, reminding them of who they truly are.
Belonging is feeling value intrinsically and valuing others. Certain groups where we try to seek belonging sometimes do not fulfill that innate need. We are accepted for the things we believe in or the things we hate, but we are not accepted for who we are. The way we feel belonging is through love.
At Circle 4 Parents, we create a community that parents feel they belong to. Through our sessions, we create relationships between parents that struggle through the same needs. By the connections they form with parents in the same similar situations, they value one another for their shared needs and begin to find value within themselves.
Feeling purpose is less about what you want and more about using your strengths to serve others. We tend to find our purpose within work, while there are other ways we can find it through groups or clubs that serve others. Your purpose gives you a why: why do you keep going?
Circle 4 Parents helps to remind parents of their purpose as parents and individuals. With all of our different sessions that we offer, from parenting help to individual growth, our parents are reminded why they keep going: for their kids and for themselves.
The feeling of transcendence is a moment when you are lifted above the hustle and connect to a different reality. Some people feel it when they go to church, some while they paint, and others while they write.
In Circle 4 Parents, we create those transcending moments through our sessions. By removing themselves from the hustle and bustle of their daily life, by putting down their phones, parents are able to talk with other parents. They are able to connect to their true being and have moments of elation through the discussions and connections with other parents.
The story you tell others about yourself can equally affect your level of happiness and the meaning you’ve found in your life. It’s your narrative of how you became you. It isn’t a list of the struggles you’ve faced or the monumental moments – you can edit and retell the events how you feel. Finding meaning allows you to tell your story, changing what used to be bad into something good.
Allowing parents to share their stories with one another, Circle 4 Parents helps parents find their meaning and tell their story better as they take care of themselves. We turn what they used to see as a negative or downfall in their life, and transform it into their redemption story. While they may have struggled, Circle 4 Parents helps parents edit their stories to help them find their meaning in life again.