Beliefnet
The Celebrity Therapist

 

It’s a funny thing we do to ourselves when we become convinced that, by
and large, our lives should flow rather seamlessly. We should be happy the
majority of the time and things should generally work out well for us.

 

Then reality slaps us upside the head and says, “Who gave you that
stupid idea?” This is a disconcerting moment. But, if we’re honest, it
happens to be true. Some of the nicest, most caring people in the world
experience genuine heartache and tragedy every day. Trying to make sense of
this has led us to such debates as “why do bad things happen to good
people?”

 

A good question, except that it doesn’t really point in you in any
direction that is going to be particularly satisfying once you reach the end of
the conversation. Maybe life was never really supposed to be a walk a park. 
‘Maybe it is meant to be challenging and painful at times. But all of that is
meant to produce something much bigger and more fulfilling in each of us as
individuals.” says Meridith Watkins from Recovery View.  It comes down to the existential search for meaning in life,
something far deeper than most of us care to delve into. But it is important,
nonetheless, that we do.

 

In the midst of perhaps the worst human tragedy in recent history, the
Holocaust of WWII, Victor Frankl survived his days in the most lethal
of concentrations camps, Auschwitz and Dachau, being curious about how
these unthinkable circumstances affected his humanity and those of the men
around him.

  

He writes, “We who lived in concentration camps can remember the
men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece
of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof
that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human
freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to
choose one’s own way…

  

[I]n the final analysis it becomes clear that the sort of person the
prisoner became was the result of an inner decision, and not the result of camp
influences alone. Fundamentally, therefore, any man can, even under such
circumstances, decide what shall become of him — mentally and spiritually… It
is this spiritual freedom — which cannot be taken away — that makes life
meaningful and purposeful.”

 

To see this hope and resolve emerge from one of the worst human
tragedies in history is beyond remarkable. And yet it also provides hope for
each of us, no matter what hardship or personal pain we currently find
ourselves neck-deep in. We have a choice, a decision to make: what will we do
with it?

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, is a Licensed Psychotherapist and Life and Recovery Coach in Agoura Hills, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Malibu, Calabasas and on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.  Contact Sherry at sherry@sgabatherapy.com to learn more about her book signings, workshops, coaching packages, and teleseminars.  www.thelawofsobriety.com  www.sgabatherapy.com.

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