Life is full of challenges. There has never been anyone who could say that they did not suffer or experience setbacks. We struggle to move forward but sometimes experience more retrograde motion. What makes some people able to cope and overcome the vicissitudes of their existence and others to crumble beneath them is still somewhat of a mystery for psychology. May was dedicated to increasing awareness of mental health issues, and though this post is not quite in time technically, it is still a good opportunity to reflect more on the challenges that we all experience in life, and grow in appreciation for those who suffer psychologically.
Grief is a reality that touches so many of us along our voyage. Loss is inevitable, and all losses touch us in a deep way that leaves us changed for the rest of our lives. My and Amy’s experience of losing Gianna Rose certainly matches that description. If you’ve followed Amy’s writings on this blog you certainly have a sense of the earth- shattering effects of losing an infant. We were just watching a TV show that depicts a prisoner who has been given hope of receiving a crucial medication she had been deprived of, only to have that hope dashed. It was a good example of psychological torture – building up an artificial hope just to smash it to pieces. The end result is worse than never having had the hope in the first place. That is a shadow of what it was like to experience Gianna getting bigger, bonding with her as she developed throughout the 10 months of pregnancy, only to have her stolen from us when she was a mere 4 days old.
We all have a picture of ourselves in our mind. It’s a complex one, involving our strengths, weaknesses, virtues and flaws, how we see humanity and God, good and evil, and whole host of other things that are woven into a single tapestry that is what we call our identity. You look in the mirror and you see one image staring back at you. Sure, we all have incongruities and disintegrated parts: that is the work of personal growth that always lies ahead of us. But we see ourselves as one and it makes sense to us most of the time. This sense of who we are informs much of our behavior and provides us with a sense of stability that supports what we do in our day-to-day lives. We aren’t usually aware of the role that our sense of self plays, and it can certainly be taken for granted. [Read more…]