By Raphael Awen
I’m awoken this morning recalling the famous saying by Holocaust Survivor, and Psychotherapist, Victor Frankl, from his book: ‘Man’s Search For Meaning’, that goes something like this: ‘between stimulus and response, there is a gap in which we get to choose our response’, his words being made so poignant by the great suffering he endured under the third Reich’s oppression.
He went on to teach that happiness isn’t something that we can effectively pursue as a thing of its own, as a thing we are entitled to, but happiness can only be a thing that ‘ensues’, that arises without being the focus of a search. He felt that if we lived from our deepest sense of meaning and purpose, this is the ground from which happiness naturally arises.
I feel a Metasoul connection with him and his passion to really live, to really experience life, that isn’t based in circumstance – the external stance of that which encircles you, but rather the meaning you bring to that which happens to you.
When I feel it more, I feel this Metasoul whose ache is for meaning, deeper meaning, and with that meaning, to serve from it more and more. There’s an inherent angst though here too.
The stock in trade of someone who serves others therapeutically, or emotionally, or spiritually is helping those others find meaning in their lives, ‘aha moments’ that shift the course of life from a place of autopilot navigation to a place of deeper awareness that now pervades all choices and actions. I’m also aware how selfish this desire is as one can only serve this to others to the degree one first knows it themselves. I must be the first one to dine, the first beneficiary of the goods in order to serve others.
This search for meaning can be a ruthless one for so many and even a bit of a torture for those now awoken to how meaningless their life feels. Prior to being awoken to these feelings, there was a bliss of its own in knowing fulfillment with lesser things.
As I feel my own version of this, I feel how a space holder or therapist can be close to the edge of their own sanity while claiming to be able to help others. Victor Frankl himself was a psychotherapist who felt many of his colleagues were themselves lunatics, or at the edge of crazy, running away from their own madness by trying to help others.
Which brings me to a slight revision of focus to Victor’s great discovery, that I feel is timely for myself and the collective. His great gift to humanity was the realization and personal demonstration that regardless of what comes your way in life, you have a power to choose your own response that no one or no thing can take from you. This realization alone can take all of us to new stratas of feeling and living life. However, it still leaves a part of us focused on the quality of its own attitude. It requires the will and nobility of a part of us to enact, or achieve. For the part of us, needing a great game, with the noblest of intentions, I can think of no higher or greater game. But, again, it leaves a part of us independently, yet valiantly striving in an arena, without an us there to relate to this part.
The part of you in search for meaning is coming from a part of you. You actually are not in want of any meaning, but a part of you is.
Can you feel this difference?
This feels relieving to my insides to feel this awareness.
Without this distinction between me and the parts of me who make up my this life and other lifetime realities, I am left fused to their realities. There’s no one home ultimately to help anyone out of the ditch, even the ditch of an endless noble search for meaning and impulse to serve others. Only now can we feel the edges of our own sanity, immersed in infinity, wrestling with such great opportunity, bouncing around in the desires and needs of parts of ourselves and in our Metasoul connections.
A new reality emerges from the merge, a reality of relationship, where something transacts that couldn’t shift or bridge up till now.
‘Between stimulus and response, there is a choice to feel the part of ourselves who’s feeling the reaction, even the disciplined reaction to focus on his or her attitude, and relate to that part of us, open heartedly.’
This approach hasn’t yet hit the newsstands of Psychology Today in a big way, but it is hitting the ground running as people like you and I, on a quantum level, serve this into the collective, by being the first beneficiaries, the first guinea pigs and the first Guinness World Record holders of what it means to come home to ourselves, to see ourselves as more than a ‘functional’ and single personality, to see ourselves as on a journey to more and more integration of the parts of ourselves along with their realities.
We get to be crazy, we get to be needy, we get to strive for what we really want, and in it all, we get to come home to all our selves.
Raphael Awen is co-creator, teacher, and facilitator of the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life. Visit www.soulfullheartwayoflife.com for more information about Weekly Sessions, Live Streams, Videos, and Community.