Monday, October 18, 2010

Finding Meaning in Pain--Doh!

Let me sum up:
This awesome bit from Simpsons episode "And Maggie Makes Three."

Let me splain:

So if you're a heathen and haven't seen the starts with Lisa asking why there are no photos of Maggie in the family photo albums. In a series of flashbacks, we learn that after Bart and Lisa were born, Marge and Homer got their finances under control and Homer quit his job at the power plant to take up his dream job of working at a bowling alley. However, celebratory snuggles led to Maggie's conception. Homer had to beg for his job back. Mr. Burns complies, but places a demoralizing "DON'T FORGET YOU'RE HERE FOREVER" plaque above in Homer's work station. In the final shot we learn that Homer used Maggie's photos to transform the plaque.

I described this scene last week during a seminar I'm taking on Logotherapy--I barely got through the punch line. Logotherapy was devised by Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl, and focuses on the human ability to seek meaning in life, even in suffering. Taking a page from the books of Logotherapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, kicking it about values is a major part of what I try to do with clients. Values tend to be tricky because they go hand in hand with pain--typically you aren't hurting unless there's something in the picture you really care about. And the things we care about give us all the reason we need to walk through hell. Or Mr. Burns' yard. Release the hounds.

~Geek out

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