Being a therapist means people naturally seek out my guidance on hard things of life. That’s okay; it’s a huge part of who I am. And isn’t that what community and life with others is all about? Helping those in times of need? But the truth is, I don’t have all the answers, and I’ll never pretend to.
Over the last few weeks there have been multiple situations–unexpected situations–that brought light, once again, to the fact that sometimes life throws hard things our way, and there are moments we simply don’t understand.
Recently, I had two spots removed, received precancerous results that require a quick surgery in November, dealt with boundary issues that forced some hard lines to be drawn with communication and social media as an author (history of having a stalker), and then anxiously waited on results because there was concern that my oldest child had scoliosis.
Just hours after finding out her results were nothing short of grace, and her little spine was perfect, I received a text that some of our dearest friends had tragically lost their dad.
Brokenness. Confusion. Relief. Joy. Excitement. Tragedy. Anxiety. I can go on and on. The roller coaster of life.
And in all of this, I decided to begin a weekly blog post to help answer all the questions coming in. This would be a way for me to connect with my readers while prioritizing my marriage and children during this season of life. I’m not practicing therapy at this time; my life just doesn’t allow it. But I can still answer some questions on a public platform.
So here’s where we will begin!
The QUESTION I receive more than any:
“How will [insert character/person] react to [insert difficult situation]?”
People want to ensure a realistic reaction, realistic emotions, to hard situations. Research is wise and important. But what I’ve learned through my years in the mental health field is something very important to grasp hold of in your writing, in your thinking, and in the way you interact with others.
People are NOT cookie-cutter. Situations are NOT cookie-cutter. Reactions are NOT cookie-cutter. Life is WAY more complicated, way more complex than this.
What is their worldview? What is their belief system? What was/is their upbringing like? Do they have a community, a support system? What cultural influences exist? Do they have hope?
I believe the truest form of an individual is seen in the midst of brokenness, in the midst of difficult things. The way someone will react to the hard situations in life isn’t always known until it happens, but I guarantee you, the answers to the above questions will have so much to do with their situational behaviors.
I’ll dig into more specific situations that you send in, but for now, I challenge you to see the big picture. See how complex our world is. Ask everything you can!
And I leave you, readers and writers, with the same questions as above.
What is your worldview? What is your belief system? Do you have community? Do you have hope, and if so, what is it anchored in and why?
These are hard questions to ask sometimes, but they challenge us toward growth. And when life throws something hard our way it’s easier to stand firm through the storm when we are anchored, when we know who we are and what we believe in.
This is an opportunity for people of all races and religions to interact and discuss (with respect) these hard questions of life. I’d love to hear your answers. Just comment below!
I hope your day is filled with grace and joy no matter the circumstances!