Looking for guarantees

Sometimes it can feel as if we have no control over our lives. Bad things happen to good people. Most of us don’t like feeling out of control, so we do all that we can to avoid that feeling. Eating disorders, postnatal depression, and anxiety disorders all have an element of wanting to remain in control. The trouble is, we can’t completely control what happens to us, or more frighteningly, to our children. But that doesn’t stop our attempts to find the magic formula.

When a friend’s partner suddenly leaves, we want to believe that there was a good reason for them leaving. We are more comfortable with the idea that our good friend did something wrong than we are with the notion that their partner just fell out of love. Why? Because if our friend’s partner left impulsively, that might mean that our own partner might also leave.

When a young child is seriously ill or injured, we want to believe that the parents could have prevented it. Not because we want those parents to be punished or even to feel guilty, but because we cannot live with the idea that our child might meet the same fate.

We want life to make sense. We want to remain in control. But by searching for guarantees, we fail to lend support to those who are struggling and we fail to appreciate what we have today. There are no guarantees. We just need to cherish what we have, do all that we can to protect our loved ones, and then cross our fingers.

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