As I get older, I hope I get a little wiser and also a little more tolerant of my own inadequacies. And one of the snippets of wisdom this year has taught me is contained in a mantra I now say to myself, “We can only cope with what we can cope with”. It’s no good our being cross at ourselves or at others for doing things which, at the time or with the benefit of hindsight, we know are not wise things to do or to have done. It is difficult enough working our way through the stresses life presents us with without adding to them the weight of too much guilt when we feel that our actions have been misguided. I think it is therefore good to get used to telling ourselves that that is all we could have done at the time.
It is a particularly useful lesson for me as a five element acupuncturist, because understanding what any particular patient can cope with is another one of the subtle ways of tracing the imprint of an element. When we realise, for example, that Metal cannot cope with the sort of things Fire can, or Wood with what Earth can, we are on our way to understanding a little better what makes the different elements tick.