Yesterday I took my 14 yr daughter to the eye doctor to get her new contact lenses.
She has terrible vision and cannot see anything without her glasses.
She is getting older now and wants to get rid of her glasses.
I agreed with her that she was old enough to handle the responsibility of contacts.
She was excited all day, but her excitement quickly turned to regret.
At the Doctors office, it took her over 30 minutes to successfully put the contact into her eye.
Then it took her another several minutes to successfully take it back out again.
She was ready to cry before we even left the doctors office…
But to make matters worse, when we got home, the contact was bothering her eye, so she took it out to rinse it off, and dropped it. We tried UNSUCCESSFULLY to locate the contact.
At this point she burst into tears and said that she regretted ever wanting contacts, but that she really like the fact that she could see so much better with them.
She was torn between her traumatic experience and the clear vision the contacts had provided.
I held her in my arms and told her that we would talk about it tomorrow after she had some time to calm down and get her emotions back into focus.
About this time, her brand new step-dad came home from work.
She was unsure how he was going to react to her losing a $45.00 contact lens.
He hugged her too, and told her that there is not one single person on the planet who wears contacts who hasn’t lost at least one.
Her mood immediately began to improve once she realized that neither one of us were mad at her.
She came upstairs and had dinner with the family and even began to relax and laugh with the rest of us.
This whole experience made me start to think about the states of our minds.
What makes one person healthy and resilient, and another prone to depression and addictions?
I have been told several times that I have an extremely resilient personality.
So I began to ponder where my resilience came from.
I was born into a very loving and supportive family. So from the time I was a newborn infant, I have been loved and protected.
Even when life seemed determined to destroy me, my family was always there behind me, loving and supporting me, telling me I was going to be OK.
My best friend as a child was my maternal grandmother. She was everything to me. I think a lot of my strength comes from her too.
But what about people in general?
What is it exactly that separates the strong from the weak?
I honestly believe the roots of either mode come directly from our experiences in childhood.
Children form a trusting outlook of the world if their experience has been that people are generally caring, that the key people in their lives are attuned, and that they themselves are worthy of love.
Children who grew up in a home like I did, seem to just naturally form their core beliefs from a secure base.
This allows them to view life and relationships from a more positive outlook where they can then create a more calm and confident personality.
A calm and confident personality has the ability to somehow melt away the negative emotions that come after a traumatic event just like the sun can melt away the clouds.
I am not suggesting that the only people who are secure and healthy are the ones who had a perfect childhood, because a perfect childhood doesn’t exist…
I am merely suggesting that a stable beginning in life seems to give a person the extra ability to connect with the more healthy states and remain open-hearted during a trauma,
Still, there seems to be no “MAGIC BUTTON”
that I know of,
No surefire way,
To create some everlasting “COMFORT ZONE”.
There is no way to deny the harsh realities that many people face each and every day. (I, myself have lived a very painful and harsh life for the past 25 yrs.)
Some realities are extremely hard to bear.
Some pain NEEDS to be expressed, and calls out for loving support and care.
We each have our unique timing and ways of dealing with life’s hardships;
Grieving and loss have their very own natural rhythms.
The path through suffering is not always so clear. But we each need to find our own way in the face of our challenges and difficult situations that we will eventually face, and to learn how to care for ourselves, and others in whatever ways are needed.
So I guess, the thing that I believe makes one person resilient, and other prone to depression is the sense of security that allows us to feel protected and safe in the world regardless of the circumstances we may find ourselves in.
So is there a way to create a sense of security, if we have previously not had one?
I believe that ANYONE can learn to live their life from a secure foundation.
For me, that foundation is my faith in the Lord. I know that no matter who, or what may stand against me, I have God standing behind me. Keeping me safe and protected.
By finding a secure foundation upon which you can build your life, just like the wise man who built his house upon the rock, is one way I honestly believe that anyone can begin to create a base in positivity which can easy their suffering.
I am NOT suggesting that it is possible to keep suffering at bay.
Suffering is a part of life, and can be a great learning tool for growth.
But, I do feel strongly that a secure foundation will allow you to keep negative forces from becoming destructive when they do come.
” There is a crack in everything”
sings Leonard Cohen,
“That’s how the light gets in.”
The Dalai Lama teaches about depression and says,
“To prime the secure mode in hard times, we need to create helpful inner circumstances,” these are capacities one can cultivate, such as adaptability,
to mention a few.”
Those are all good places anyone can start from to begin right now creating a more secure foundation in their lives.
For my precious daughter, she just needed to know that her struggle with the new contact lenses was normal. That she was not in trouble for making a mistake, and that she was so much more important to Jeff and I than the small amount of money that the lose lens cost.
Once she knew for herself that she was still worthy of love, and that her struggle was normal, she was able to regain her composure and find joy in her day again.
I would love to hear your thoughts about today’s subject.
How have you been successful in creating a secure base in your life?