In the summer of 1984, I attended a lecture in Salt Lake City where the speaker said if he could recommend only one book it would be Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl. I was 15 at the time and loved to read, so I went right out and bought it. I still have this book and still read in it for inspiration. One of the main themes of Frankl is that Man is always free to take a stand against conditions even if he cannot change them, i.e., attitude is always freely chosen.
Here is a good example that applies to people with craniofacial conditions: Crouzon's Syndrome is the same physical condition, but the way in which people cope with having Crouzon's is very different. I really like this phrase and try to remember it each day ... Here it is again : Attitude is always freely chosen. This changes throughout life as well. Crouzon's for me as a child was much different than Crouzon's as an adult. Life experience has changed my view and feelings about having the syndrome.
My grandmother used to always say that one of the secrets to having a happy life is to always have something to look forward to. Frankl says that life is like a movie in that many of the pieces make themselves known later in life and therefore in order to know what "such and such" means we must wait for the outcome of our life. This gives me hope and a sense of anticipation as to what else will occur in my future which will help me to understand the overall meaning of my life.
Instilling meaning into life situations makes the difference as to whether or not life is bearable. Frankl quotes the philosopher, Nietchze, who says, "He who has a why can endure any how." One insight I have gained is that sometimes the meaning is hidden until something else in life comes along.