My journey of understand Purpose reflecting on Viktor Frankl book Man’s Search For Meaning.
Reading Time in Minutes
- Shedding the skins of our past live.
- Freeing ourselves to do so.
About Geraldine O'Brien
Interior Architect seeking new ways to use my experience. To find my purpose.
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By Geraldine O’Brien
I Am Just Human.
We do certain things or act in certain ways as a result of the ups and downs we have lived through.
These lived experiences can change the direction of our lives.
I found myself rereading the book Man’s Search For Meaning by Dr.Viktor Frankl, not realising how intimately personal I would find Viktor Frankl’s words. The book is about a tribute to hope from the Holcaust.
The journey of how Frankl had to come to terms with life after the camps and how he found a way to continue living and in doing so he understood his life’s purpose. Dr Frankl was both a practising neurologist and psychiatrist before the war. His background allowed him to review his camp experiences. Studying the behaviours and reactions of the camp commanders and guards gave him the courage, humility and forgiveness to consider them through a different lens. This understanding gave him a sense of purpose and peace for the remaining years of his life choosing to learn from this inhuman experience for the benefit of others. His occupational experience helped him come to terms with what happened to him during the Holocaust. It gave him tools to continue to live and understand his patients better, rather than allow his bitter death camp scars dictate his world. He lost his family and his whole world during World War II. He saw the full implications of what human nature is capable of in extreme circumstances, yet he used his suffering in developing Institutes of Logotherapy around the World.
Shedding the skins of past of our past live.
In trying to view my own life through the lens of Dr. Frankl’s words, I find commonalities and understanding of my own bitter scars. Writing about this is like starting to shed a protective layer of myself. Each piece I write is like shedding an old skin, adding to the discovery of a new layer of self understanding. This process of skin shedding seems to demand that I make peace with the many old skins I have carried with me for protection.
It’s better to hold on to something you understand than take a risk, jumping off the cliff or taking the leap. There are still many cliffs I need to face and mountains to climb.
Believing I could write a piece for Cong, was a huge revelation for me. As to do so it involved shedding old, mainly primary and secondary school beliefs and developing a new protective layer of skills.
Finding my voice again to speak in public, which entailed finding the right coach at the right time and enabling me to jump off another cliff.
Freeing ourselves to do so.
I seem aware of having a vague control over my life, having developed personal values with the help of a good therapist when I was young. These values have sustained me throughout my life, in both good and bad times. An understanding of all things will pass in time, perhaps has been my lens to view my life. A feeling of if I were to die before I expected to, I could be at peace.
Being able to fight for another day. A feeling of having done it before.
Dr. Frankl liked to quote Nietzche; “He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how”.
If you are looking for direction in your life start here, it is impossible not to find something worthwhile in his words.