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Friday, October 9, 2015

The Universe is Chaos

 
I hear about my clients' trauma and misfortune all the time, from abuse, neglect and betrayal to accidents, illnesses and loss of parents and children.  There is so much suffering in this world, and I admit I sometimes get overwhelmed by it.

As I alluded to a few days ago, the past few weeks have been particularly tough because along with clients presenting with horrific experiences that break my heart, a guy I went to highschool with lost his 18 month old son.  He died in his sleep.  For no known reason.  WTF?

Tales of horror in the media too, from the 3 siblings and their grandfather killed by a drunk driver in the area on a Sunday afternoon, to gun massacres in the U.S. and the ongoing refugee crisis overseas. 

In the middle of my short spin session last Saturday, alone, in the dark with just a dim flashlight, I suddenly burst into tears.  Thoughts of all these victims - particularly my highschool friend and his family - whirled through my head and it just all seemed too unfair.

And that's it isn't it? Life is unfair.  And there is often nothing we can do about it.  And that totally sucks. Like sucks in a really big way.

Many of my clients ask, "Why me?" as do most of us when something horrific occurs. 

My perspective is that there is no reason.  Virtually everything that happens is random. Chance. That's it.

If you believe in a higher power than I am sure you will disagree with me, and that's okay.  This is just my opinion.  I do not believe everything happens for a reason. Not at all.  So don't ever say that to me if I'm upset about something that happened, okay? 
 
Besides, even if there is a reason, it isn't likely you'll ever know what it is.  I think what can actually be helpful is to find meaning in the experience.  Lots of people do this, of course, like parents who lose a child and then find the strength to devote themselves to raising money for the disease that their child had.  Or someone who gets a DUI realizing the seriousness of their mistake and speaking out against drunk driving.

I do see how believing in a higher power can bring comfort.  Some of my religious clients will accept misfortune as "God's will."  But for others, crises simply test their faith because they cannot fathom why a higher power would deliver to them such a terrible fate.

The thing about the everything happens for a reason theory is that it often leads to feelings of low self-worth, shame and self-blame.  I see it with my clients all the time.  They believe they are being punished for something or sent a message that they are __________________ . No, not so, in my opinion.  I butterfly may have just flapped its wings...

It was rather cathartic to have a little cry but now I am feeling better.  The secret to not getting pulled down into the muck is to acknowledge the suffering and use it as a reminder to be grateful.  And boy, do I have a lot to be grateful for, which is rather timely since its Canadian Thanksgiving on Monday!

So have a wonderful weekend, I am grateful to you for stopping by and I'll be back on Tuesday.

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