Thursday, March 30, 2023

Things happen to, by us or through us

After reflecting on a number of cases this week, I have noticed the following pattern.

When we were in early childhood, things simply “happen to us”, so it’s normal to adopt the belief that “things happen TO us”. Some of our patients have kept this mindset and powerlessness may be the risk here. They may have a strong tendency to blame the external world for their struggles.

As we move into adulthood and gain our independence and autonomy, some of us acquire the belief that “things happen BY us”. This may give us more empowerment and a perception of control but risk self blame when things do not work out.

Both blaming others and blaming self can be destructive unfortunately.

The question is, is it worthwhile integrating the two by adopting the belief that “things happen THROUGH us”?

We accept and hold space for what is IS and move forward with what we can control, and what is of value to us and others.

I wonder if we can notice the above patterns in ourselves.

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