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What Makes You Significant?

Can you answer that question? What makes you significant? Can you identify something that makes you distinct from the rest of mankind, as unique as your fingerprint, irreplaceable and unrepeatable? I ask you because I…could not.

I’ll never forget that moment. After going on in my coaching session about how my husband’s response was hurtful because it made me feel so insignificant. Erin Ingold asked me,

“What makes you significant, Nora? What about YOU is significant?”

I couldn’t answer her question. I had no words, but I became determined to find them. That question became my mission, a mission of seeking to know and embrace my identity.

I started small, listing things I could say that I was: woman, daughter, mother, wife. I wanted to get to the root – something that I had no part in becoming, so I started with daughter, and I used the tool Erin taught me that has changed my life and has given the world so much more depth and meaning…I looked up the definition and the etymology of the some words, starting with daughter and then I took that to prayer.

Daughter (definition) – “the female offspring of human parents”

Daughter (etymology) – “anything regarded as feminine with regard to its source”

The definition was pretty clear, but the etymology intrigued me. What is my source? God, of course, but what does “source” mean?

Source (definition) – “a place, person, or thing from which something comes or can be obtained.”

Source (etymology) – “first cause”, “to lead, rule”

First cause…the uncaused cause, the unmoved mover. He is my Source. The Thing from which I came and the one by whom my life can be led and ruled by. I liked this.

In another coaching session when I was struggling with this theme again, Erin described the significance of my existence in the most beautiful way. She said that the Lord remembers me into existence in every single moment. To remember someone is to bring them to mind. It is an active choice of the will to remember something or someone. That means I exist as a choice, that I exist on purpose. I exist for a reason, whether I know that reason or not.

In meditating upon this idea, my thoughts took it a step further with the visual of God continually breathing me into existence. I realized that I think I choose to initiate a breath, but in a spiritual sense (and perhaps a physical one too), I am breathing in, in a rhythmic response with the Lord’s breathing out. My inhale is cued by his exhale. In this sense, every inhale and exhale of mine is a response to God…that is prayer!

The Catechism says that we are constantly being pursued by God, and when we remember to pray, it is simply a response of the beloved to the

Lover. The Lover of my soul continuously remembers me into existence meaning every breath I take is significant…powerful.

The next word I looked up was the word significance, defined as, “when the meaning of something has reached a value beyond itself.”

Meaning, defined as, “a definition that explains something to be understood,” essentially, what it is vs. Significance which indicates its worth.

So, essentially, significance could be seen as, “when I am more valuable than what I am.”

I am a human being, a daughter of other human beings, but what makes me MORE than that is what in me is of God, my source.

If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, all-good and eternal, then I decided that it was what in me has the capacity for eternity that must be of God, and the short answer to that is my soul. We’ve all been taught that our souls never die, however, there was an additional nuance to this that further developed my understanding.

Something else I have learned in the Metanoia Catholic Academy is that my Intellect and my Will – my ability to reason and choose – are actually powers of my soul. The same thing that the Almighty does: think (omniscient) and choose(omnipotent), I can do also, albeit in a more limited way.

Finally, I looked up the etymology of the word significance. From the latin significantia – “meaning, force, energy…importance.”

Force and energy, that’s power. My Will is the most powerful tool at my disposal, but it is informed by my Intellect. Trying to piece this together, I determined that I must know my identity because it gives meaning and importance to my existence. From this, I can use the power of my Will well. Utilizing both powers of the soul allows me to live in the reality of my significance.

When I am able to rest in my identity, significance is something that simply exists in me because of who I am in God’s eyes. It has nothing to do with what I do, but can affect everything I choose to do from that place. When I act from that place through the use of my Will, I am honoring the significance I know I have in me.

The last thing I want to point out is that because my Intellect and Will are of God, they long to return to God. So, when they are aligned with Him in knowing the Good and choosing the Good, they ultimately allow me to aim my life so that it reunites my soul with its source in that eternal place. You see, the reason for which I was made by love, for love, in love and through love was ultimately to return to Love, to God Himself.

In short, I was made to be a saint. Now that is pretty darn significant!