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Focal Point (for publishing—04/05/10)

Accepting Our Lot in Life – Karma or Calmer?

In observing the world today, I see a lot of angst and a need to get things right, and now, and a blue murder scream if we don’t get it. ‘Governments, councils, bosses, school councils etc, should be doing more’. ‘We are owed more’. When things don’t go right, it’s someone else’s fault. I struggle when I see blatant self-abuse on TV because I ask, who is going to pick up the tab for the irresponsibility. They should get their act together (There I go now myself). Recently in my counselling I am finding more and more people experiencing ever-increasing difficulty accepting where they are in life and what is happening to them. It appears to them that they are facing a bleak future. Whether they are experiencing a loss of a relationship, the death of a spouse, a child to the drug scene or a lost job, they find that acceptance of the situation is too big for them to carry at the time because it seems to negate hope and future. In a sudden loss or death of a family member the news is often so big we can’t even hear it. We go into a protection mode in the early stages of the loss by using denial and disbelief. With this in mind I have come up with a softer path that I call ‘Interim Acceptance’. That is, acceptance of the now, of what is happening now, of where I am now. This interim acceptance helps me acknowledge the now, but doesn’t negate a hopeful future. Of course this is not easy for people in some situations. I spoke recently at a retired men’s luncheon and featured my work at Marysville. I talked of the different ways the men were dealing with their losses. I talked of the secondary losses that people experience too. For example those like me who have owned property at one time, had family homes, kids who have gone to the schools and even those who have had significant holidays including a honeymoon. With the men’s group I then went on to talk about acceptance of older age. The lessening ability to do what they used to be able to do, and a prospect of the curve not turning up much more in the future.
KARMA: Many people believe in this and use it without having much evidence for its true existence, but they use it to accept their lot and extract a hope of justice and or retribution against the person who has harmed them or caused their loss. “He will get his ‘come-uppance’ in time”. It is my opinion that they also have a blind, poorly based hope that their perseverance during this trial will be rewarded by???
CALMER: One of my heroes, the biblical character, the great Apostle Paul, said once that he was now able to be happy or accept whatever came his way in life, good or bad. “I have learned to be content ----”. Recently in our men’s group we were talking as we often do about the measure of manhood. We noted that in Australia, the more beautiful the body (Kouta – Adonis like), or the more successful in sport or in business, the better the man. However we also noted that in many Asian cultures it was not like that. Size and good looks didn’t matter as much as the ability to show self control and restraint and manage his family well. Calmer, calmer, clearer thinking and good sound judgment based on a wise position, will take us through the storms. Of course the Apostle Paul was also known to base the source of his peace in his relationship with his God through Jesus. Accept where you are now but leave the door open for an unexpected future.

Graeme Dawson B.Min. Grad.Dip.CC.
Co-ordinator Focal Point & Clinical Counsellor
Valley Care Counselling Service 0409 517273


Focal Point Yarra Valley 2009