I have experiences in my own life that, sometimes, I need to write about. I guess it falls under that rule of, "write what you know". (Although I do believe that rule can be broken.)
A story usually begins with an idea, and that idea transcends into an outline, and that outline serves as a template for a first draft. But quite often, I find myself asking: "That's great. It's a story, but what does it mean?" Yes, I am faced with the task of developing some sort of allegorical purpose behind my story. Every piece of literary fiction has to have a philosophical theme, does it not?
I have read the arguments in articles and blogs that there is no reason why a story, shouldn't just be a story. As long as it embraces us with a convincing plot, dynamic characters, and honest entertainment then what's to lose?
And on that I completely agree.
We read to be entertained. And as a writer, I read to learn as well. As I write my story, layered with a facade of fiction over something that occurred in my life, I learn and find something possibly more profound than when it actually happened. Something that might've not been there before. I often begin writing, and dread that there is no real theme behind it. But as I re-read what I've written, not only does the story make sense, but this life experience could serve as an admonition or a slice-of-life reconciliation.
This is why I write. Writing is my way of re-creating life through the lens of rationality, even though the lens can sometimes lack coherent visibility from the absurd, and the surreal.
Readers aren't dumb, and often they're smarter than the writer. Let them develop the true meaning behind your story, and maybe their own interpretation will help them seek an answer or overcome a hardship in their life.