Introspection, to gain a better understanding of the self, translated…
Could it Be, that When We’re, Caught Up Too Deeply in Pain, We Forgot, that there ARE, Some Missions in Life Waiting for Us, to Complete………
My Youth Was Spent, in Going to and from, in and out of Ningbo W. Street, Nanchang Street, Guling Street~~~Yin Di “The Days When the Tides Were Full”.
I received an old high school classmate’s call early in the morning, told me of how his father may have caught depression in his elderly years, wanted to ask me about how he should go about getting his father diagnosed, and what he needed to, watch out for. As we got into conversation, we’d started, sighing, how our lives had, arrived at the stage of needing to cherish the time we have left with our elders. On the subject of our fathers, coincidentally, that very day, I’d gone to the city’s elementary school, which was the very first school my father had gone to (it was called the “elementary school of the female teacher’s colleges” back then).
After I’d finished the work at my father’s alma mater, I’d followed the Nanchang Street, wanting to find some food, as I’d strolled, I’d passed through Ningbo W. Street. And all of a sudden, it’d, dawned on me, that my father passed through this path every single day as he went to work, my thoughts took me back, to the stories he’d shared with me, of his younger years. I’d looked left and right, found a shop that’s been there a long time, ordered a Huzhou sticky rice wrapped up in leaves, and a bowl of wonton soup, with a plate of baked bean curd as a side dish. As I put the foods into my mouth, my taste buds took me back to my childhood days: the usual at suppertime, grandma’s backside as she cooked in the kitchen, my aunts making the wonton with their hands, these scenes, started, surfacing, into my mind.
Actually, the coming of age of my father’s generation was nothing easy. More than once, dad had told me, that during his younger years, he’d felt, he was, rummaging for food all day long. He’d written in his book: “That, was the era of hardship, the years when we’d worshipped the western world, and very rustic too, the Big World Theatre was opposite of White Light Shaved Ice, with youths in numbers gathering, like the fast-food chain restaurants are now, with these two images, colliding, with a river call time separating the two.”
After I’d finished eating, I’d felt, healed without any reason at all. I couldn’t help, but ask: how come what my father’s generations felt as trials, became this strength that is carrying me now? Could it be, that the conversation I’d had with my high school classmate, had led me across, this river of time, and I’d, bumped into, my father when he was, younger (The psychologist, Jung would NOT call this a coincidence!)?
At the Moment of Trial, We’d Become, Speechless
In his speech to the graduates at Stanford, Jobs said, “Only in looking back to today in your futures, will you understand, how everything is connected. So, you must believe, that everything that’s happening right now, will all be, connected together in the future somehow.”
Actually, to hold this sort of a faith constantly, it’s nothing easy. Especially as I accompanied my client through the moment of “fractures of life”, even though I’d been through countless number of instances, there’s, no sense of “connection” to be made from me!
“you know what, the two of us, went through all the trials, to bring this new life into our lives, and yet, in not even seven months, he’d left us, so suddenly!”, every time I’d had a grief counsel session, I’d felt, overcome with grief myself.
“I’d known you for a decade, and the eight years of marriage you already had, thinking back, it’s all, pointless! I’d, wasted away this part of my life that I’d, shared with you!”, sometimes, as I do couples counseling, I’d hear shocking words such as these.
“I’d taken care of my elderly father, and yet, I’m so afraid, to gaze into those, hollow eyes of his. When he threw a temper tantrum, it’d made me, so angry.” Those, were the most familiar words, as I led the group of “Caretaker Support for Dementia”, the family would go back and forth on how hard it was, to care for their demented elderly, and blamed oneself, for not fulfilling the filial piety responsibilities.
But gladly, from time to time, I’d read about classics that will keep me going.
Live in Meaning
Only through passing through the drastic changes in life, will we understand: nobody has the right, to TEACH the person going through the changes how to be, or how to feel, or what to do. And, if you’re still, wanting to give her/him advice, this is due to the compulsions of wanting to do something for the person.
“If we’re still, a while away from death, are there things, that we need to, completely in the now?”, sometimes, I would use the “meaning therapy” methods, to allow some time, for my clients, to contemplate on life.
In fact, the longer I worked in counseling, I’d gotten a clearer understanding of how small I am. Normally, as I was, digesting what my last client was telling me, before everything is completely, sorted through, I’d had to, put it on hold, because my next client had, arrived.
“Anything else you want to do with your life?”, I’d needed to, allot myself the time, to face these moments in my own life.
I’d decided, that I’ll, take my father to Guling Street, to that shop with his favorite curry rice.
Oh, and to call up my high school classmate, tell him, “Other than getting medical treatments for depression in the elderly years, maybe, we can think on what else there are, that your father had wanted to accomplish but didn’t get a chance to yet, and, help him do that.”
So, this, is on a review over one’s lifetime, maybe, you’re still too young, to feel, that you need to, worry about such things, but this, is all an introspective process, and, if you don’t get into the habit of introspection regularly, then, how can you, become better, and, be the person you need to be???