For a woman he would never know,
For a woman he could never have,
he should change the world forever.” (Petrarch)
Adlerian Lewis Way could have been writing about the medieval Langue d’Oc troubadours as a spiritual force when he wrote: “It is difficult to believe that the feeling of natural sympathy for life which is apparent in the work of great artists and mystics is not a more comprehensive form of the same feeling as expressed by the lover.” Through composing lyric love poems, they offered a “service of love” to a married Lady of the feudal nobility with the goal of feeling this natural sympathy for life themselves. And like all young, aspiring artists desiring growth and self-transcendence, these Langue d’Oc troubadours experienced trauma; they were humanists and the creative artists of their time. Through “acting as if” they had already succeeded and espousing what they saw as a noble cause, the Langue d’Oc troubadours overcame their difficulties. They left their mark on Western literature and on the status of women. They give historical support to modern research that post-traumatic growth can have lasting social as well as personal benefits.