Yesterday on the plane to London I read a brilliant book by Viktor Frankl, a holocaust survivor, called “Man’s search for meaning”. In it he examines that inner resources that differentiated between those who survived and those who didn’t. He developed a therapeutic model from it called Logotherapy.
One of the questions he likes to ask is “What stops you committing suicide”
It may appear a little harsh but it’s a pretty direct route into what the meaning is in our lives.
I have been pondering on what my meaning is.
If I would have asked myself Viktor’s question I do not have an answer.
All through my life I held the thought of suicide as a possibility that made living achievable. Knowing I always had an escape plan. When I went to university at 18 my plan was to kill myself. But I didn’t. I had every chance to but didn’t take it. Why?
When I left Uni I moved in with my future-hubby and became successful at work. There wasn’t a day went by where I didn’t dream of killing myself. But I never did. Why?
And then in recent years I changed things. I got help. The help transformed my life and has brought me to this amazing place. Why did I take action when I valued myself so little? Why did I get myself help?
I really have no idea. But I’d like to know.
So now as I look to the future at the cusp of the culmination of this transformation and I wonder what is important to me now I am no longer fighting to just stay alive each day.
Now I can truly live my life what does that mean. And there are some important questions that form part of that.
- What role does my weight play in how I feel about myself? After my latest change I’ve been revelling in the freedom of enjoying food without an emotional connection. Appreciating tastes and the feeling of food in my stomach without it meaning anything. Before each thing I ate was an act of rebellion against being deprived as a child “no one can stop me eating this”. But now I don’t need to fight. So I’ve been allowing myself that time to just be normal in my relationship to food. I even asked myself “does it matter if I am overweight” and pondered that for a while. No it doesn’t matter in the way it used to but now I am choosing to lose weight because of the way I want to look. The way I want to wear clothes I like not just clothes that fit. This will happen when I’m ready.
- What is the purpose of this change? I am at a point now that I can calmly look back on where I’ve come from. So what? How can I use this. What is my reason for being in life? Given that I don’t know why I have constantly pushed forward this one is trickier. Becoming a Cognitive Hypnotherapist and being in a position to help people has been a huge step in the right direction. It gives meaning to my experiences and allows me to do something worthwhile. But somehow that doesn’t feel like the end game to me. There is something more. I am starting to form an idea of what that might be and it involves reaching as many people as possible.
So this is where I am. It is a place of freedom of choice. Unconstrained by emotional hang-ups and triggers I can now think about tomorrow and what it means. I can choose what I do.
Imagine if you had the freedom to do anything you wanted to do what would you do?