How you respond!

by Rod Smith

“It’s not what happens to you but how you respond to what happens to you that really makes the difference,” has become somewhat of a cliche.  

The axiom holds some truth. 

Like all bumper stickers and one-liners it doesn’t quite capture the whole truth or the complexity of the human experience. 

To the suffering it can be heard as judgment, as condemnation.

Some things that happen to people are so devastating, so vile, so out of left field, so horrible and unpredictable, that they need considerable space to grieve, to reorient themselves, to find their feet, let alone get back on their feet. 

People hit with heartbreak or significant loss or an act of violence need time, lots of it, to figure out who they are in their new reality and they may indeed not have the energy or the strength to know how to respond to what has happened to them. 

In the wake of devastating events people yearn for shoulders to cry on, arms to hug them, ears to hear them for as long as they deem necessary. How we respond to what happens to us may make all the difference in the world but the response itself may take years.

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