I’m writing to say I hear you and see you. I can tell you’re struggling.
I’d like to tell you a little story about a man called Victor Frankl. He was born a long time ago, and became a psychiatrist. When he 37 years old he was sent to various Nazi concentration camp for three years. During this time he lost his parents, his wife, and his brother.
Frankl later wrote a book called Man’s Search For Meaning. He had noticed that some people in concentration camps survived whereas others became extremely depressed, despondent, and subsequently died. The difference was a sense of purpose and meaning, and with that, hope.
There are some lovely quotes from his book:
“But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer”.
“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”
(I just wish Frankl had not referred to “man” so exclusively in his book, but I guess it was written in the 1940s!)
We’re hardly living through the horrors of a concentration camp, nor through the ravages of war, but it sure does sometimes feel like we’re in a warlike zone. We live in fear and anxiety, there is a common enemy, we win some battles and we lose some, there is widespread unemployment, and we have to shelter in our houses. And we don’t know when this war will end. It's a very comfy war for most of us, but still.
Finding meaning in the midst of our loss, grief, and uncertainty probably seems almost impossible right now. But Frankl teaches us that we have a choice. So we could try.
What meaning might you find from what’s happening to us now?
Could it be sheltering in place to keep the vulnerable people in our population safe?
Could it be finding something kind to do to help someone in need? Finding new opportunities? Could it be as simple as re-evaluating priorities and redesigning our post-COVID life?
And when all else fails, sometimes the meaning in the moment is accepting help from others. Letting others take care of us. This is actually a gift to others – it’s not something to be ashamed of at all. So if you’re in this situation, please do let others help you.
You keep staying safe X
Follower of Made to Create