The Search for Understanding

Sometimes we can’t find an answer to our questions. It may be that they are existential in nature, or perhaps the person we need to gain understanding from is not capable or willing to answer. It is a theme that is often repeated in therapy – from a mother who wrestles with understanding the loss of her child, to a young woman who fails to comprehend how, despite her effort, her mother chooses to remain distant, to a young man who wants to understand why his girlfriend treats him with such casual indifference.

Often, in our quest to understand the Why? we default into carrying the weight of its answer. The grief feels heavier and we lean into wondering what is wrong with us to have deserved such circumstances. It is a natural response to want to own what is happening, as it allows us to temporarily believe that we have control.

And yet we don’t. At least not over the circumstances, or the behaviours or choices of others. What we do have control over is our response and our eventual decision that perhaps acceptance is the healthiest option. Acceptance doesn’t make what happened okay; we can accept and still feel the unfairness of the situation. Acceptance allows us to set aside the Why? and lean into the reality of the situation.

By moving to acceptance, we place greater emphasis on movement and process. We become compelled to strive for experiences that are meaningful and purpose driven; we lean into the grace of healing.

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