Adapting. Reshaping. Discovering Who We Are.

Notes on the Sunday address by Dr Francis Macnab, 14 August 2016. By John Abbate.


The task of adapting to the realities of life can produce great anxiety, great resentment. “What have I done to deserve this?”

Dr Machab: “Life does not come with a guarantee that it will makes sense. Meaning is not built into it. Somehow, we have to build our meaning into it.”

In the journey of adaptation, in the aftermath of ghastly events, sometimes we discover something new about ourselves. “Something good, or something bad; losing our way, or finding a new way,” said Dr Macnab.

What is a successful adaption? Sometimes adapting requires us to find strength to survive and endure. What strengths are relevant and available? Dr Macnab lists several:

  • Strength from within
  • Strength from the support of others
  • Strength from from a larger view of life
  • Strength from other resources within life, “to help our mood, to change our belief in ourselves… strengths that will help us grow”— books, art, poetry, music, film and more.

At one level, adaptation is about “absorbing the reality and getting on with life, and reshaping our life; discovering who we really are and what we can overcome.” This means looking into the depths of the personality, to look again, and to discover what we really need.

Adapting means no longer hurting so much, being less anxious, finding a way to cope, and getting stronger in ourselves, to stop blaming others or ourselves. Adapting “means becoming part of something bigger that helps us reshape our life and rediscover a different self,” said Dr Macnab.

Adaptation also means having reminders to reshape life each day, to remember things worth remembering, while letting other memories go. Being serious about wanting to adapt to life’s difficulties means letting go and following “the pointing finger.”

Everything is possible if you have faith, said Jesus. He was pointing to a different way of being, a different way of life, a different conception of ourselves; he pointed to the strengths given to us, “to good memories, good hopes, a good and productive faith.”


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