‘Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it.’
Viktor E. Frankl – ‘Mans search for meaning.’ First published in 1946.
I just re-read Viktor Frankl’s book, ‘Mans search for meaning.’
Reading about the horror and inhumane suffering in the concentration camps is not easy to digest, however, Frankl’s strength and unwavering attitude to find purpose and meaning throughout his three years in hell, was nothing short of incredible and reveals the endurance of the human spirit.
Perhaps we fail to recognise our own indomitable spirit and ability to find meaning throughout life, because we always have a choice whether we face our challenges or suffering, or have a choice to question our daily habits and responses.
Either way, there is always an opportunity to find meaning and purpose in every experience we have.
I’ll leave you with a passage in the book that moved me deeply.
A young woman in the camps who was about to die, had her last conversation with Frankl.
Pointing to the tree through the window of the hut, she said, ‘This tree here is the only friend I have in my loneliness.’
Through the window she could see just one branch of a chestnut tree, and on the single branch was two blossoms.
‘I often talk to this tree,’ she said.
Anxiously I asked her if the tree replied. ‘Yes.’ she said.
‘What did it say?’ I asked.
She answered, ‘It said to me, I am here, I am here, I am life, eternal life.’