Having encountered Dr Viktor Frankl in studying the Introductory course in Logotherapy at the University of South Africa, (UNISA), in 2012 and meeting Dr Teria Shantall at the workshop, I discovered my own vehicle to unfolding my meaning. At the time I was not sure how this would unfold. I really wanted to become a Logotherapist, but was not in the financial position to continue with the other courses offered at UNISA. In the time since then I have been in the process of paring down, which began with the letting out of my home. I moved in with my sister and then into a tiny “cupboard” as I put my house on the market, sold it and waited for my funds to come through. During this time of waiting and paring down, I worked on a fictional short story: Belongings in the Sand: The Tale of the Red Heeled Shoes, which I learnt how to publish as an eBook through Amazon, together with an audio version.
As I struggled with the confines of the small space and many disruptions and lack of peace and quiet while living in my “cupboard”, I came to the idea to do a PHD to work with sufferers of trauma and PTSD. The underlying inspiration for this came from my relationship with Brett P, who suffered so from depression and what I feel was PTSD. Finally and tragically he committed suicide. The idea also is deeply inspired by Logotherapy and Viktor Frankl. I really feel that trauma sufferers experience an existential crisis, their world no longer makes sense, they have no language to speak this senselessness, this schism in their very being and at the heart of their lives. My journey has taken me across the country to the Western Cape, which has the highest trauma statistics in the country. I have been accepted to do this PHD through UNISA and the Psychology Department. My proposal has been accepted and approved and I am staying in the moment, being positive and looking forward to new opportunities. A new life, a revealing and unfolding, the time is now.
During this time I also partnered with Avanoo and created the 30-day online program called Calming the Storm, to help those going through difficult times and to guide them to discover their own meaning and purpose.
“I GO TO SEEK A GREAT PERHAPS”
This quote resonates with me and the words are said to be the last words of Franciois Rabelais, although there is some controversy about this. My journey in all ways is towards uncovering/discovering the “great perhaps”. My wish especially for those who really need it, who are suffering or in pain in some way, is for them to discover their “great perhaps”, which in the words of Viktor Frankl is unique to you:
“… meaning must be found and cannot be given.” (1975, p. 112).
In this way, step by step and with ongoing steps, I move into the future, looking forward to what might be. I am taking things a day at a time, yet feeling positive and hopeful.
Frankl, V. E. (1975). The Unconscious God: Psychotherapy and Theology. New York: Simon and Schuster. (Originally published in 1948 as Der unbewusste Gott. Republished in 1997 as Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning.)