Letting Go with Guy Finley

In his inspiring book Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl describes his experiences as a prisoner in a Nazi death camp. While many became embittered and hardened in their captivity, some were able to transcend even their horrifying circumstances to develop a relationship with a higher power. No longer tied to the meanness and cruelty of the world in which they found themselves physically, they achieved a spiritual understanding that lifted their lives—and others around them in the same dark situation—far beyond the reach of man’s inhumanity to man. Such transformation is largely incomprehensible to those who believe their anger at some injustice makes their hatred righteous. The spiritually blind suffer only themselves but always “see” others as being responsible for why they feel the pain and sorrow that they do.

To be able to see any life event—good or bad—as a vehicle to help transport us from our present level of understanding to a higher one requires that we develop a new relationship with these unwanted events in our lives. Instead of trying to protect ourselves from them, we must become willing to see what they are revealing to us about ourselves in that same moment. The difference between these two paths and their attending possibilities cannot be overstated. The latter leads to a revelation that the Divine already has a higher purpose for our life—one that includes all the powers we need to transcend any painful situation—while the former path ensures the fear and suffering that are inseparable from trying to protect the false images we have of ourselves, along with their imagined false purposes.

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