I meet clients who can only offer the words of others to describe themselves. Or they do not know what their history means. Part of attachment therapy is to help clients come to terms with who they are now by understanding how they came to be. When their life makes sense to them, they own it. They control it. They can change it. When they make sense to themselves, then they will be able to make sense of the world around them and more fully participate in it.
There are lots of ways I attempt to make sense of my life. I understand where my family came from, how traumas affected my parents, and how they passed those on to me. I also seek to understand how I can prevent passing on those behaviors to my children – thus attempting to end a cycle that usually takes 7 generations to stop. Or maybe I am the 7th generation.
David Watson recently wrote something about how he makes sense of his life.
Here’s my final point: to say Scripture is authoritative is to say that this great story of salvation, and the commentary upon that story such as Psalms and Proverbs, is my story. This is the story that makes sense of my life. There are lots of other stories out there, but this is the one that tells me who I am. The church’s story–given to us in Scripture–is my story.
It begins with creation, it takes us through the fall. Then we begin to see how human beings struggle with God, alternating between faithfulness and sinfulness. But then there is redemption when God takes on flesh, shows us how to live, dies on the cross, and rises from the dead. And finally there is New Creation, when everything will be restored to the way God meant it to be….And when Jesus is the Lord of our lives, we come to understand that the biblical story is our story, too.
I cherish Scripture and the Tradition the Church has given us in understanding it. It is different for me, at times, with parts of Scripture highlighting various parts of my life at various times. For instance, Philippians 4 has become something important to me lately as I struggle with the change of career, the change of jobs, and indeed, the loss of one job.
I make sense of my life now by simply accepting that I do not know as much as I thought about God and His will. It is not always easy to do, but as I struggle with Scripture — with reason and faith — I find in many ways, this struggle makes more sense because of Scripture. In it, I find those who struggle as well.
How do you make sense of your life?