When I was in Nashville last week, I attended a conference hosted by Donald Miller. During one of the conference sessions, we spent time talking about negative turns in our life stories, and specifically, in that context, the work of Viktor Frankl.
Frankl was a psychotherapist with a background of success in helping individuals on suicide watch move away from their desire for self-harm. But he is most famous for his work Man’s Search for Meaning, which was based on his experiences and those of his fellow prisoners in the concentration camps of World War II. Specifically, the book shares his observations on the nature of suffering, how it affects our humanity, and the importance of meaning-making in the midst of it.
I’ve not yet read the book, but I’ve just placed a copy on hold at our local used bookstore and look forward to learning from it and sharing any insights gained from it here.
But what struck me most about what we learned of Frankl at the conference was his incredible conviction about all this — about man’s search for meaning — by believing it is meaning that fuels hope and life, even in the midst of horrific suffering and even death.
Does this resonate with you?
Is the search for meaning important in your own experience of suffering?