"I thought my situation unique and supposed I was falling apart in an idiosyncratic way.
In one sense, I was.
My particular life exhausted and depleted me.
But I now realize my experience of a crisis was common.
For their own reasons, many people politely fall apart at some point in their lives.
How they regroup and move on determines what their future will be.
Growth is the only cure for great sorrow or an identity crisis.
Recovery requires the building of a roomier container in which to hold our experiences.
It helps to put our suffering in context and to see our lives as part of a larger whole.
All experience can be redemptive if we ask,
"What did I learn from this?"
"Seeking Peace: Chronicles of the Worst Buddhist in the World" by Mary Pipher
Wow. Isn't that wonderful? All of it. Of course the content. How a traumatic experience and what follows is unique to each person and at the same time universal to all of us. How each in our own way, and yet also in a universal way, fall apart, break open, and lose something important and foundational to who we are and what we believe about life. And then how we regroup, get up again, and move forward. And I really resonate with the phrase, "building a roomier container". That captures so much, doesn't it? We make room for the experience, to find a way for it to make sense in the larger scope of who we are and how we live. Ties in so nicely with the previous post about resilience.
Something else that really caught my attention was not just what she said, but the way she said what she said.
As I've mentioned before, I love to read. It's been one of my favorite things to do since I was a kid. What I realize after reading this passage is that I usually focus on the content of what I read, the story, does it interest me, am I invested in the story, the characters? I spend much less attention on how something is written. Here with this passage, I am so taken with both, content and prose. By the way, read more Mary Pipher. Such a gentle, thoughtful, authentic voice.
How about you? Does this passage please you? Do you have parts of books that do that for you?
My name is Carol J. Tadeusik. I am a licensed psychologist in Durham, North Carolina. I invite you to read my blog and get to know me and a bit about how I think. And by the way, I love comments!
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