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To Find Meaning In Suffering

To find meaning and purpose in your life and your suffering may be one of the only things that can give a person real direction in healing from the wounds of trauma and pain.

The struggle of adversity, loss and grief that many have had to endure can be a truly difficult process to deal with. Without seeing any value or purpose in this suffering, one can be left with a life time of haunting memories and painful mental disturbances.
It is not to say that we are thrust upon testing times because we are being forced to find a reason for it. However, many people have had to endure acts of violence and suffering that seems too brutal to be real. And it is these very same people who went on to positively influence those around them.

Again, I believe that no one should have to experience traumatic hardship, but the reality is that it does happen and there is no way to say if it will ever come to an end. The purpose of this article is to (hopefully) assist readers with some sort of way out of the lasting impact that such trauma can leave behind. For survivors of tragic circumstances, life must (and does) move on. It doesn't wait for anyone, nor does it take pity on individual circumstances. The arms on the clock keep dancing away as if everything is alright.

Tragic Events Can Create Heroes

We don't have to search far to find average people who were able to rise above difficult circumstances and help make a positive influence on the world. Many sufferers of cancer and many who have lost loved ones due to cancer, have gone on to do great things to raise awareness and assist sufferers of the disease.
Rape victims are often compelled to assist other rape victims, create support groups and raise awareness of such tragedies.
Survivors of genocides are often the very people who work side-by-side with governments and peace-keeping agencies to prevent further massacres from taking place and assist survivors of these horrific events.

Alison Botha - Rape Survivor

On the night of December 18 1994, Alison Botha was abducted from her home by two men. She was brutally raped, stabbed more than 30 times, had her neck slit and was left for dead. Once the attackers fled, she crawled to the nearest road where she was rescued by a passer-by.

After many operations and a prolonged stay in hospital, she was able to leave and then made it her life's work to shed light on the horrors of rape and to assist rape victims with support in recovering from such acts and guiding them through the legal processes to put the perpetrators away. She has helped and continues to help many women who's lives have been affected by rape.

I highly encourage you to read her book called: I Have Life - Alison's Journey.


Victor E.Frankl - Concentration Camp Survivor

When a tragic event occurs, the sufferer will often have little to no warning of the events that are about to unfold and are then flung into their own personal nightmare, of which there seems no hope and no reprieve from the drama. It can be a very slippery slope down into an endless journey of anger, frustration, despair, self-pity and heart-ache.

Victor E.Frankl was a psychiatrist during the 2nd world war. He was captured by the Nazi's and forced to live in absolutely appalling conditions in the concentration camps. His camp days were filled with beatings, death, illness and much suffering. Yet, he realized that it was possible to hold on to hope when all seemed hopeless. He thought daily of his wife and imagined the simple pleasures they used to share together. He inspired those around him to hold onto their meaning of life, which was often either to one day re-connect with loved ones or to accomplish great & unfinished works. Whatever worked to keep the person alive for another day.
It was encouraged among the prisoners to endure the suffering and never give up. If not for the individuals sake, but for the very sake of the other camp inmates. Even in such terrible conditions there were signs of hope, care, dignity and honour.
When the war finally came to an end, Victor Frankl went on to revolutionize modern psychology and change the lives of millions. His suffering had meaning and he used that meaning to help many people who had also suffered.
I highly encourage you to read his book called: Man's Search For Meaning.


Phan Thi Kim Phúc - Vietnam War Survivor

Referred to informally as the napalm girl, Kim Phúc is best known as the nine-year-old child depicted in the Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph taken during the Vietnam War on June 8, 1972. The photo shows her at nine years of age running naked on a road after being severely burned on her back by a South Vietnamese napalm attack. That photo has been become iconic in its depiction of the brutality and suffering of not only the Vietnam war, but of the consequences faced by innocent by-standers who find themselves caught up in such events.
Kim Phúc was burnt so severely that it was thought that she would not survive, yet after a 14-month hospital stay and 17 surgical procedures including skin transplantations, she was able to return home.
Now grown up Kim Phúc has created a foundation who's aim is to provide medical and psychological assistance to child victims of war. She a public speaker and works to raise awareness of the devastating impact that war has on innocent victims like women and children.

The Right To Move On

Recovery of painful and traumatic events can takes years and leave a person with many emotional and often physical scars. The memories will never go away and they will become part of your life story. Moving forward with life does not mean to simply pretend that nothing happened, but instead to give strength to yourself and maybe even others who have endured similar tragedies. People do not choose to be hurt, however, when the time is right and enough healing has taken place, it is the Absolute Right of the person to try to re-build their lives with (hopefully) more meaning, love and compassion.


May the events in our lives create light for us to find those who need our assistance.
May our life stories be the catalysts of positive change in this world.
May we one day be free from suffering and harm.
May our hearts be open so that peace will find us.


Thanks for reading,
Donovan

References:

Wikipedia - Phan Thi Kim Phuc

On October 19, 2016 0 56

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