When the universe shakes our lives, what gifts are left in the rubble?

Many of us are left reeling when seismic changes erupt  in our daily lives.

Renovictions from long-time apartments; delays to graduation when funding suddenly changes; a scary diagnosis a loved one receives: difficulties can overwhelm us until we accept we have no control and simply have to live through them.

When we come out the other side, we are forced to confront how we cope with sudden and intense life changes. Living through difficult times burnishes us. It changes how we view the world, those close to us and ourselves.

Psychotherapy helps us become more conscious of how these events have changed us.  It can help us put to rest some of the grief and anger many of us are desperate to escape with alcohol, drugs, sex or food. When enough time passes, when we process our pain and loss, it is possible to see how these experiences were in fact a gift.

Sound impossible? This week saw the release of a moving interview with Stephen Colbert, whose father and two older brothers died in a plane crash when he was 10 years old. His conception of viewing punishments as gifts from god came from a quote from Tolkien.  Here is a man that life has burnished. Stephen Colbert interviewed by Anderson Cooper 

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