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One of the great things about the long evolutionary and developmental journey that brought our species to where we are today is that we have encountered pretty well every problem known to mankind.

That’s not to say that ‘new’ problems can’t arise, they can, but if you look at the underlying patterns there’ll be something in history, or someone, that gives clues about haw any problem can be dealt with. In an odd way it can be reassuring to know that others have trodden the same path and, for the most part, survived.

This is particularly true when we are in a personal crisis because it provides perspective, and possibly even answers. For me, another major factor in considering this is that people’s lives and histories can provide balance. For every one of us who claims our problems are due to some unlucky event, difficult childhood, quirk of fate or what have you, there are dozens more who suffered the same setbacks, but didn’t allow the events to define them. On the contrary, they used the them as a propellant.

While for some, misfortune can be seen as an explanation for our troubles, for others the same adversity will act as a springboard to achievement.

2 Responses to “Find a Guide”

  1. This is so true Barry. Many years ago while struggling with an adult alcohol daughter, I opened up to friends and sometimes even strangers. A few seemed to feel embarrassed for me but most brought me hope and their own experiences helped teach me how to cope. Because my mind couldn’t understand not being able to end an addiction when your very life was in danger and I was given so much knowledge by folk who had lived with this – the many books really didn’t help, nor the words of therapists who hadn’t lived with this. 19 years later I am proud to say I now understand more, my beautiful daughter has been 19 years sober (20 years ago, after 5 suicide attempts we didn’t think she’d live another year) and she now works with NA consoling women in prison. I am immensely proud of her and know that because of my opening up to others I too was able to heal. As always, thank you for your insightful thoughts.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story, apposite as always. I hope others who could find this useful will find their way to it and read it.

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