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Search for meaning in suffering

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Are you familiar with the book, Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl? This author was a renowned psychologist who was a Holocaust survivor. This man was able to utilize his beliefs and his “psychological training” to grasp even the slightest strand of hope under the most horrific circumstances. His testimony is both unsettling and awe-inspiring.

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This “Search for Meaning” that Viktor discusses is, what he believed to be the “why needed” in order to persevere as a survivor over any circumstance. Much in line with Viktor’s premise, the goal to counseling, as I am learning, is empowering the client to embrace an installation of hope.

When you look inward to yourself and outward in observing those whom surround you, does hope prevail?

If you are having difficulty finding the “why” you need in order to live, it is essential you reach out for help. What is the meaning of your suffering? What is this experience teaching you? As Viktor shares, once you are able to look at your suffering with this clarity (by finding a meaning and holding onto a ray of light beyond the darkness), your suffering will no longer steal your power. By changing your perspective, you are empowered.

For me, anytime I am suffering hardship, I lean on my faith and hold onto an affirmation of sort, words from the Bible, “He restoreth my soul.” This small phrase helps me to take back my power. It is from the King James Version Bible, 23:1 A Psalm of David.

These are a few words from several verses and although I do not have all of the words memorized, I am able to embrace an installation of hope from this short passage. While I work diligently to align my soul work with my physical world, once I've done all I can, I repeat the verse, “I surrender all.” I have accepted the purpose in my life is being of service to those suffering, helping him or her through life healing art efforts. The meaning of my suffering is to learn so I can be more compassionate to others who are suffering. Perhaps this sounds trite to you, but it is so very empowering to me.

My challenge for you today is to understand where your installation of hope comes from and to, perhaps, assess your loved ones to understand theirs or the lack thereof and assist him or her and you in gaining this essential meaning.

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