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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Finding peace amid suffering

Joyce Sasse - Maybe you feel despair because you can hardly pay the rent, or because you have been diagnosed with a horrible condition, or you are a caregiver whose physical and spiritual resources have been depleted.

Whatever your burden, or the burden of someone you love, insights shared by Viktor Frankl may be helpful. In Nazi death camps during WW II he clung to life and later shared his experience about how he kept going with the world.

“When we are no longer able to change a situation,” he wrote, “we are challenged to change ourselves.” Even to the very end, we have the freedom to look beyond our fear and despair to ask what we can do that is positive.

Survival with dignity depends on our attitude. Disappointment, anger and bitterness will weigh us down. But forgiveness, acceptance and love can lift us. We are blessed with an incredible capacity to carry on with grace.

What does it matter if we notice we are aging? or if we have made a huge mistake? Look with pride at life’s rich moments. Hold tight to humour. Laughter “gives us the ability to rise above any situation, even if only for a few seconds.” 

During the day, we may find distractions for our agonized thinking. But in the dark of night, when resentment and anger churn our thoughts, we have the freedom to release the negative and search for that which will help us move forward with dignity and grace. 

In the end, when we have fought the good fight, may we feel at peace as we prepare to meet our Maker.

Frankl wrote “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”

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