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 Blooming Stars

Human Situations – 1

            I am going to write here about some human situations arising out of counseling and psychotherapy, spiritual guidance, and relationship and friendship settings. These situations not uncommon in day-to-day life can help us learn more about humanity. They can help us cope with life better, and enjoy life more fully.

            Situation 1: I listened intently and empathically over an hour to a person who considered him to be one of the best husbands and fathers in the entire word. He always treated his wife with deference and gave her the best his money could buy. He always made sure his wife was well-dressed in public. He made many sacrifices so his two daughters could have the best education and best careers in the world. He even went beyond his means to make his wife and daughters happy. When his wife and daughters ganged-up on him, and abandoned him completely, ungratefully, and cruelly, the bottom of his world fell down. He was utterly devastated. His life was his family, and he attained the goals set for them. That the thought of his wife and daughters leaving him would not leave his mind disturbed him immensely, and made him very restless. He did not think he would want to receive them back into his life as things would never be right again. He could not understand why they did what they did to him as he was nearing his retirement age, and eagerly looking forward to enjoying time with them. Nobody including God gave him an answer. That there was no answer was the only answer. The only comfort I could give him was my attentive and empathic listening intended to afford understanding of his very painful situation.

            As he could see no reason for what happened, I gently tried to explore his plight with him psychologically and spiritually. Did he enlist their cooperation sufficiently to achieve his goals even though these material goals were for their own good? Did they feel respected in their own freedom of choices all along the way to the goals? Was he over-motivated in achieving their goals in such a way that they got stifled? Would there not achieving the best careers in the world have kept their family intact? Did he treat them as subjects or objects? Did he exclusively focus on their worldly goals and material well-being to the detriment of their spiritual and emotional growth? How did his drinking affect is family? Was he faithful to his wife? He definitely loved them; but did they experience him as loving them? We have no answers especially since his family wants to do nothing with him. Yet he has to keep on living. It is important that he finds the message contained in what happened to him.

            He may never get the answer or the message he is looking for. His getting the answer or the message he looks for may not make him happy either? Yet he is getting very loud and clear message contained in their total rejection of him. Besides, it is not necessary that we have answers to all our questions in order to live a happy and purposeful life. He needs to find his own purpose in life independent of his wife and daughters. His wife and children are there solely to help him achieve his purpose in life as he is there to help them achieve their purpose in life. I suggested that he forgive them even if it is only for his own enlightened self-interest. I also impressed on him that their thought of betrayal in leaving him needs not necessarily make him unhappy and emotionally unhealthy. The unwanted thought would leave him at its own good time. What he would do if they came back to him can be left safely for the future as he has enough to do presently. It is going to be very difficult to pick up his life and move on when all his earthly dreams were shattered. He can live only if he has a purpose in life.

            In this context it is relevant to inquire as to what is his purpose in life? Also, what is our purpose in life? Is our purpose in life dependent on someone else's purpose in life? If we let our purpose depends on someone else's, no matter how dear that someone may be, we are condemned to misery and psychological and spiritual turmoil and wasteland as thinking and aware persons.


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