Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Search for Meaning


"I don't see any reason to live. I better disappear," said Charles in one of our sessions. In front of his sobbing wife, he was expressing what he felt.

This may look absurd to you. Charles is CEO of a world class company. He is well known and respected in the business community. He is loved by his wife and children.

Still, he could not find meaning in his life.

Often, psychiatrist Dr. Victor Frankl, Nazi camp survivor and author of the worldwide bestseller book "Man's Search for Meaning," got asked this question by media:

"Dr. Frankl, your book has become a true best seller, how do you feel about such a success?"

To that, Dr. Frankl would always respond:

"I do not at all see in the best seller status of my book an achievement on my part, but rather an expression of the misery of our time."

He went on to add:

"If hundreds of thousands of people reach out for a book whose very title promises to deal with the question of a meaning to life, it must be a question that burns under their fingernails."

I found the same thing in my psychotherapy practice. Misery does abound around us. Suicides, depression, addiction, and corruptions are at an all-time high.

We have a global "meaning crisis." No doubt about it.

Shallowness runs rampant in our culture. In a world of technology/material advancements, education, and connectivity, countless people still lack depth. Lack of depth leads to lack of meaning in life.

If I could only share then one thing with you or anyone who see me in my sessions, it's this: depth leads to meaning. Meaning needs depth.

That's a recurring mission point of my therapy hour.