Thoughts on the power of HOPE

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Thoughts on the power of HOPE

Postby Loobie » Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:29 am

In reading "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl, I'm taken aback with the profundity of this book. It is about how people in the concentration camps survived and how 'overridingly' important hope is, to the exclusion of about everything else in it's significance. Just a couple of thoughts that have really, really hit me and made me think a whole bunch.

"He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How" he describes how those prisoners who gave up on life, who had lost all hope for a future, were inevitably the first to die. They died less from lack of food or medicine than from lack of hope, lack of something to live for. (The quote is from by Nietzche)

Suffering in and of itself is meaningless; we give our suffering meaning by the way in which we respond to it.

And there is one over riding thought that is sticking with me from this text. It is as follows:

Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.

So in my quest to discover why I feel that hope is so important to me, and also how I express my gratitude, this book has become somewhat of a primer. It's not a religious book at all, although there are many references to faith and its' power in here, rather it's a book about doing what you have to to find hope. It makes me feel much better about cleaning out my life's savings to pay for the procedure that gives me one thing: HOPE.
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Postby Sharon » Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:37 am

Thanks Loobie for the post - sounds like a book I might enjoy reading.

Are you having to pay for everything out of pocket? -- no insurance?

Sharon
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Postby Loobie » Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:40 am

In true Lyon fashion, I'll reply to my own post with something I wanted to put in the original but was having problems finding. This is a direct quote from the book.

"I have known people who rose to the challenge of enduring the most terrible afflictions and situations as long as they believed there was a point to their suffering. (Here's the good part ala CCSVI) Whether it was a family milestone they wanted to live long enough to share or the prospect of doctors finding a cure by studying their illness, having a Why to live for enabled them to bear the How."
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Postby Loobie » Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:44 am

I have insurance Sharon, but it looks like it's only paying 60% which leaves me still paying some pretty hefty jackson since it's out of network. Our insurance is great locally. My wife is a nurse in a pretty large network and everything is $0 if you use one of their docs or clinics or pharmacies (of which there are many around here; I'm not complaining). But since this is obviously not in network, it's major medical and I'll be paying almost half. I'll have to see though how the deductible plays into something this far out of network. If that's the case, I'll end up only paying about $1,500 or $3,000, I can't remember which. Although I think it's the deductible plus the 40%. Not sure, but at this point, I'm doing it anyway.
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Postby cheerleader » Fri Jun 12, 2009 7:21 am

Really glad you found Frankl, Lew. His whole message was about how the mental/spiritual life is more real than what we call "reality." Because we may not have any control over our "reality"...but we have complete control over our mental landscape. And hope and sense of purpose can take the most horrible situations (like surviving in a concentration camp and seeing those you love murdered- in Frankl's case) and give the pain a beauty...by finding meaning in meaningless and heartless suffering. Frankl helped others in the camps survive, and this gave him a purpose, and hope.
Thanks for sharing, Lew...

trying to find a silver lining in the $ situation...you'll have some honking tax deductions on your schedule A for medical expenses in '09! Refund!
xox,
cheer
Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com
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Postby Loobie » Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:54 am

cheerleader wrote:trying to find a silver lining in the $ situation...you'll have some honking tax deductions on your schedule A for medical expenses in '09! Refund!
xox,
cheer


I hadn't thought of that and am glad you pointed it out! Like I said, I don't know that I'd put this off even if I didn't have it, but it will put a major dent in my net worth. But what the hell, it's already been dented big tme by the economic downturn, so what's a little more denting if I can potentially achieve a higher quality of life? This book is REALLY good. I started it at about 6:00am and I'm over halfway through it. It's really, really good. I just can't imagine what they had to endure. MS sucks bad, but life in those camps was something that we can only empathize with but never, ever really understand.

One of the profound lessons in this book is what was stated earlier; things beyond my control are stripping away things I possess, but those things cannot have my freedom to control my response to it all. This is good stuff. I can't believe I haven't read this book yet, but there's no time like the present!
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Postby Sharon » Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:11 am

Loobie -

Earlier this morning I had read your first post - then it was off to my strength training class. I was a little concerned about going today, 'cause I still am not feeling really good. I get to class and the others are so interested in the experience, so I am trying to summarize everything in a few minutes. One of the ladies said, "you, know I am reading a book called the Man's Search for Meaning". She went on to talk about the book a little, and then gave me a hug and said "thank you". you are giving hope to so many. Talk about a tear in the corner of my eye - WOW! Obviously I will be at the bookstore this afternoon to buy the book. And, on a another note - my trainer had me on lower weights and intervals for the class ----I am glad that I went --I feel so much better.

Sharon
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Postby akaheather » Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:28 am

It makes me feel much better about cleaning out my life's savings to pay for the procedure that gives me one thing: HOPE.


Rudy, you are an inspiration.

H
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Postby Loobie » Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:53 pm

Thanks H!

Sharon,

It's a quick read. I'll be done by this afternoon, but as I said, wow is it good. That's pretty cosmic someone talking to you about that specific book after you commented on it. Crazy!
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Postby Sharon » Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:39 pm

Just back from the bookstore - I'm getting some ice tea and going out on the deck to read.
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