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I have been looking into these two viewpoints for a while now. Obviously, I along with the rest of the human race, is prone to ask the "Why me?" questions. I have also looked into people's approaches when the put forth the "Why NOT me?" questions, and adopted it into my viewpoint.

 

The "Why NOT me?" questions seem, as I have been doing my query, to be rooted in a "Imperfect planet, imperfect people" model. One where there is disease and accidents and atrocities happen to those we love and to ourselves due to the imperfect nature of things. They will often contrast it to the "Why me?" being underpinned by the notion of a good planet and good people who function well.

 

Most of the time I can get onboard with the "Imperfect planet, imperfect people" model. Where I most get tripped up are the people you encounter who have had a charmed life, to whom little hardship has visited.

 

How do you work this out in your thoughts, emotions and life? I would love to hear from you.

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I am starting to lean towards the idea that we pre plan our lives ahead of time.  I am not totally convinced but reading Robert Schwartz's book on the subject is slowly convincing me.  If that is the case we plan alot of what we are going through.  The why of it?  To learn....Of course I still don't understand why it happened to me.  My belief is that when I die I will see Jim again. That still doesn't take away the hurt I feel or make me miss him any less.  Losing my husband was the worst thing that ever happened to me.  When I lost my mother 31 years ago I thought that was the worst thing but losing Jim was far worse. My heart was smashed into a million pieces and I will never be the same.

My Brian believed that we sign on for the tasks we face in life - a pre-birth agreement. We used to argue over this, mostly because I had worked in settings that exposed me to the history of the Holocaust and the atrocities in Rwanda, the Haitian need for relief work and so forth... and if I were to accept that we sign on for our own heartache I could not accept that these people made some covenant to suffer in this way. To me, it felt that it removed the guilt from people's hands, that it was some version of a caste system.

 

Help me understand this viewpoint better... if you have time and you would be so kind?

In the first few months I wandered around my own home, lost ... saying, "Why you?  Why you?  Why you?" out loud.

 

Then I read this book:  A Grace Disguised - How the Soul Grows through Loss

 

and it completely changed my view point, even if it didn't lessen the pain, it did give me some peace.

 

It taught me how random death is.  No pattern.  How we in the Western World expect to be rewarded for good behaviour and how shocked we are when we are not.  That in the Third World, there is so much death, all the time, that they don't expect to be rewarded.

 

Humbling to say the least ...

Ah, I shall look for this book. This has changed the trajectory of your grief in some way? It offered peace, but does that peace make you view your situation differently? How so?
Try reading Robert Schwartz's book.  Mine is called Courageous Souls but it's printed under another name too.  It explains why we choose certain illnesses and like i said it's quite interesting.  I suppose we could plan our lives ahead.  Not completly sure.
well, in a nutshell, it made me think ..."why NOT you?"   It was a different spin.  More realistic and grounded.  But the pain was the same.  What it did was stop a lot of the endless "internal debates" I was having :-)
Boo - I'm finishing reading this book right now and he has some great perspectives on the "why not me" philosophy!  Just as we wonder 'why me' when our husbands and wives chosed to pick us to love and marry!

Good topic.

Personally, I can't believe that we sign on to go through certain things in life. I don't accept the pre-ordained way of life - because this is my life - and he was the one who was taken from it. I can't believe that he signed up to die tragically at 34. I can't believe that my 1 year old son (at the time) signed up to not have a wonderful father in his life.

Nope. Not at all.

Instead, what is important is what we do with the things that happen in our lives.

Free will.

Well nobody really knows do we?  It makes sense to me but I don't know if it's true...the book did say we agree to these things but would not remember them in life.  It certainly was an interesting read that's for sure.....guess I will find out when I die if it's true or not.....sorry if I upset you.

I do not sense that Vertical is upset - as much as stating her objections.

 

I come from a higher ed background where people can debate viewpoints and not take it personally - I hope we can do that within this thread.

 

My reply on February 26 was where I shared why I have problems with this line of thinking. I am not certain that this viewpoint won't eventually end up manifesting things that I do not prefer - It is one thing to say that this is true for you, but when you apply it to communities and nations then people are getting what they signed on for and no one is responsible for the hardship that others around them experience. The caste system and reincarnation works this way in India, and the effects are a travesty. The bankers and mortgage lenders can say that they are not responsible for the crisis. We signed on to lose our homes and jobs and so forth...

 

Cleodoggie, I would love to know how this thought process is manifesting in your life. To see how it is bearing fruit for you. I, for one, would welcome more comments from you on this.

It sounds to me that you may be the one who is upset by what I said. As A&M stated - people can debate viewpoints and not take it personally and I certainly did not take your viewpoint personally and hope you read mine as only a viewpoint - not a personal attack.

Okay - enough of that.

It would be interesting to find out how this line of thinking and belief is manifesting itself in your life. I personally can not believe in this way of thinking because it does seem to take away responsibility from people and in the wrong hands - this can manifest itself into very negative things.

 

A&M - I hadn't connected the caste system and reincarnation to this. That is interesting and quite true huh? However, I was reading some passages in some book that I can't remember the name of - and I also can not remember if it was a Deepak Chopra book or if it was out of the Buddhism teaching book I have - anyhow - the gist of what they were saying was that with reincarnation, many westerners have misconceptions...that the thought that if you live a bad life you'll come back as a cockroach isn't true. But that reincarnation is there to bring you back to this life in order for you to learn things or complete things that you did not complete in this lifetime. Going one step further, it spoke of young people taken suddenly from this life and that these people may have been here only to teach us things - that they then moved on to a higher plane - that they will not be reincarnated but they have 'graduated' to a higher spiritual plane of existence. I have always liked that thought and hold some sense of belief in it - but then - it get's too close to the pre-ordained existence train of thought for me.

 

But really - back to the Why me/Why not me? - If I really take a good look at myself in the mirror I can say that yes - I am a better person to handle all of this than say, my best friend. I can see that I am a better person to handle this than my mother-in-law, who is also a widow. Why me? Because it has always been me. I've survived many things, this being the worst to date. I too get tripped up on days when I see those people that seem to completely live a charmed life. Then I scream "Why ME?" and answer myself completely different. However, I don't believe that anyone lives a charmed life. My trials and tribulations may be a cakewalk to someone else looking in. Someone else's hardships may pale in comparison to mine - from my perspective - but they may be absolutely devastating to them. That is why I still hold true to the mantra of 'what matters is what you do with it'. Maybe the look of a charmed life is due to hardships they had earlier in life - because they made positive contributions to their life through whatever it was they went through.

For those that really do lead a charmed life...well, I'd like for them to rub up against me or go jump off a bridge (depending on my attitude that day ;))

That's often how I feel, why not me?  I am probably one of the most emotionally and supportively equipped people I know to handle this.  My MIL, my late husband's mother, became a widow a few years before Kevin died.  For her, she handles it by completely not discussing any of the past 1/2 dozen losses she's had in the past few years.  I'm not that way.  I probably over-discuss everything, but I feel that through that, I'm processing it.

 

So why me?  Because I could handle it, and I know a lot of other people who couldn't.  Maybe that's conceited, but I don't think so.

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