Victor Frankl; who labored in four different concentration camps, including Auschwitz; was able to find great meaning and purpose in the midst of great suffering.
Within his book, Man's Search for Meaning, he describes a morning when he was marching in line to his work site and found himself thinking about his beloved wife. He wondered whether she was better off at her own camp site and described the following scene:
"And as we stumbled up for miles, slipping on icy spots, supporting each other time and again, dragging one another up and onward, nothing was said, but we both knew; each of us was thinking of his wife. Occasionally I looked at the sky, where the stars were fading and the pink light of the morning was beginning to spread behind a dark bank of clouds. But my mind clung to my wife's image, imagining it with an uncanny acuteness. I heard her answering me, saw her smile, her frank and encouraging look. Real or not, her look was then more luminous than the sun which was beginning to rise."
Frankl then describes his realization for that which is usually described by great poets, and proceeds to add:
"Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart:
In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way -an honorable way- in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment."
The above words ring true to our lives and the fuel by which we are moved towards noble pursuits. We are made for love and our actions are rightfully propelled by this most profound virtue.
In a world filled with fast images and great stimulation, it is relevant to pause and reflect on our ability to fill our lives with authentic love; one that is artfully shaped into a more perfected version with the passing of time.
It was interesting to listen to the many thoughts and insights of many during the one day of the year devoted to the celebration of love. Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.; shared: "Saint Valentine, was imprisoned for an act of civil disobedience. He continued to marry couples, in spite of an injunction against marriages. The king had decreed that weddings were illegal, as he wanted young men to be unencumbered by families, so they could go fight his wars. Valentine believed in love and commitment. He continued to marry couples. And he paid the price.
His sainthood was about committed love — not just a simple romantic notion."
Sometimes we might get caught up in the ideal of romanticism and lose a perspective of a more meaningful and heroic love; one that constantly gives itself in the ordinary, and is able to thrive through the extraordinary.
I would like to include a selection of instagram bits shared in the name of love:
02 | A simple little note
04 | Another dance party
Finally, a little quote to reflect upon:
May your lives be filled with moments of deep and meaningful love.