My latest book (probably not quite the best choice to read in my current state of mind...) is Viktor Frankls "Man's Search for Meaning." I have used his lessons in some of my presentations and have decided I need to actually read the book to get a better understanding when I bring him up in the presentations. I was not prepared for the emotional journey of this book...
First of all, just a tiny back story: He is a very renowned psychiatrist, who also happened to be a Jew in Austria in WWII (can you see where this is going?). He was taken, along with his entire family, to the concentration camps where he was the sole survivor of all of his loved ones.
I have always been fascinated by WWII, and by the Holocaust, reading many books on the topic (if you want some good 'historical fiction recommendations of this time period, I have some great ones for you!), but for some reason, this book has struck a cord that has made it difficult for me to plow through - I have to actually put it down at times to come to terms with the fact that these events actually occurred to him, personally.
For some reason, he was able to pull himself out of the subjective part of the whole ordeal and analyze different aspects of the experiences from a psychologically objective point of view, and then discusses these in context with any and all types of suffering which we go through in life.
Today one line really struck me - it was a time when he discovered the art of 'day-dreaming' about his wife. He could picture her and have conversations with her during his countless hours of brutal labor in horrific conditions. He made the statement when he first started picturing her... (I'll just quote the statement, I can't do it justice on my own...)
"A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth - that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human through and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved."
... maybe it's the fact that we are coming up on 10 years of marriage, and I have been doing a lot of thinking about the past decade. We truly have been through a bunch (I can't say "it all," though it does feel like it... I know there are many people out there who would laugh as they tell me we have only just begun to 'go through it all'!!) - we have seen good, bad, and even some very ugly times together - yet somehow we seem to come through, still intact and still together after all of the ins and outs of this crazy ride called marriage.
...When it comes right down to it, all that really matters - all that truly endures, is love. Love for my husband and for my children is what truly inspires me each and every day. The thought of being separated from them in such horrible conditions as endured by Viktor Frankl actually makes me sick to my stomach to contemplate, and I have been more thankful then ever at this time that I have been so abundantly blessed with so many incredible souls with whom I get to share my life, and from whom I receive daily inspiration.
Who would have guessed that 10 years ago, as I was madly making last minute wedding plans, all that we would go through and experience during the following decade? Man, it has definitely been a wild ride... and there truly is no person that I would rather have by my side on this journey of life than my life love, Jerry. Thanks honey, for everything. I love you! You truly are my moment of bliss in the chaos and craziness! Happy (almost) 10 years!