At the risk of appearing to take your heart-ripping pain lightly, I want to share two tools that helped me in my own healing journey, and continue to inspire me every day. I hope you can trust that I’m not being glib in sharing them, but rather I don’t want to omit a tool that has the power to help you as much as it helped me. So please hear my heart as you read the following.
As a teen I discovered Victor Frankel and his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, in my school library. How I admired this man who had lost almost everything, yet found reason to go on living by finding a new dream. He became one of my hero’s. A man who had endured nakedness, hunger, freezing cold, abuse, and the loss of almost his entire family, including his wife. Only a sister survived the Nazi death camps. I want to share with you a quote I found online that highlights why this book so powerfully inspires hope and fosters healing. As partners of sex addicts, we too are in need of hope and healing.
Though the agony Frankel survived, and went on to thrive, is on a different level than our pain and loss, it does hold the ability to enable us to see our hurt and loss from a different perspective, so we can survive – and go on to thrive – as Frankel did. He’s what one who knew him said:
Even in the degradation and abject misery of a concentration camp, Frankel was able to exercise the most important freedom of all – the freedom to determine one’s own attitude and spiritual well-being. No sadistic Nazi assassin guard was able to take that away from him or control the inner life of Frankel’s soul. One of the ways he found the strength to fight to stay alive and not lose hope was to think of his wife. Frankel clearly saw that it was those who had nothing to live for who died quickest in the concentration camp.
Though in the end, Victor Frankel learned his wife had died at the hands of the Nazi’s, he knew and held to the concept that “this too shall pass,) and life extended beyond his existence in the camp. So if you find that you feel like giving up on life, as I did in the early days of my journey, I encourage you to read Man’s Search for Meaning. And in addition, I want to share a one-page document written by Charles Swindoll years ago. Though many years have passed since I first discovered this page, I’ve kept it where I could see it because it always provides a healthier perspective when I struggle. I hope you find it helpful too.