Counselor's Corner: As the years continue

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On Sunday, October 13, my wife and I celebrated our 46th wedding anniversary. It has been 46 years filled with joy, struggles, love and commitment. Life continues. The years go on. As I look at younger people, I realize that they too will get older. After 46 years of marriage and 47 years of being in practice as a psychologist and marriage counselor, I feel very grateful. Looking at life from this viewpoint, I can see more clearly what is most important in life.

As the years continue, I appreciate my wife even more as I observe how well she listens to our adult children and young grandchildren and the many insights she gives in such a humorous and profound manner. Her ability to listen is inspiring and helpful to observe and experience.

As the years continue, I realize more and more the importance of having a spiritual life. Taking quiet time daily with God becomes profoundly grounding. As the years continue, I realize that marriage is about accepting one another and loving one another as they are, not as I think they should be. As the years continue, I am convinced of the importance of being grateful for my wife, my children and grandchildren and for every moment of life. As the years continue, I am grateful for my brother, Ralph, and his wife DeDe, my nephews, all my cousins, and for friends that have been with me on this journey of life. I am grateful for experiencing my own struggles and my own joys. As the years continue, I am grateful for being able to enter into the emotional pain of many people and the emotional joy of many people.

As the years continue, I am grateful for long lunches with old friends with whom I can share deeply on a spiritual level like the lunch I had with my friend, Fr. Bernie Owens S.J. this last Friday. It is inspiring and energizing to have friends in life with whom I can share on a deep level. As the years continue, I realize more and more how important it is to have people with whom I can share my inner life with on a consistent basis.
As the years continue, I become even more grateful to have friends in my profession with whom I can consult with and share ideas and viewpoints, who can empathically understand and bring more insight into my life like Dr. Stephen Fabick, a psychologist with a very humble and kind heart, whose words of wisdom have helped me in my profession over many years. People who have been around for many years and are open to sharing their thoughts and feelings with me are gifts of humility and love.

As the years continue, I appreciate having friends who were in our wedding 46 years ago and are still around and with whom I can share conversations and experience their love and compassion.

As the years continue, I can appreciate even more the positive influence that my 18 years with the Capuchin-Franciscans had upon me. The friends I made there were positive and lasting.

As the years continue, I appreciate the importance of having an attitude of gratitude about life and the importance of having an attitude of love and compassion toward everyone.

As the years continue, I become even more grateful for realizing the importance of having a spiritual life and being able to have a Faith that is always loving and compassionate and never judgmental and condemning.
As the years continue, I am much more grateful for my profession as a psychologist, marriage counselor and spiritual director. It has been a gift to have people come to me and share their inner life with me. I have learned so much from my clients. What a privilege to be in this profession.

As the years continue, I am realizing the importance of living in the NOW and not in the past or the future. I may not have many years ahead of me but I do have NOW and that is most importance because it is in the NOW that I experience God, Love, People and the Presence of God in everything and everyone.

As the years continue, I realize that eternal joy and happiness begins at this very moment and I must keep my heart and mind open to being quiet with God, to always be loving and compassionate toward others, and I am not here to fix the world but I am here to bring more and love and compassion into the world.

As the years continue, I can now realize that people will remember me not for what I have said but will remember the love and compassion I have brought to others in what I have said. People will not so much remember what I might have said or written as much as how lovingly and kindly I have treated them.

As the years continue, I hope I will be remembered as someone who lived these words:  “God is love, and he who lives in love, lives in God and God lives in him.”

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Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage counselor and psychologist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center, a consultant for the Detroit Medical Center, and conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Southeast Michigan. His column in the Legal News runs every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 248-362-3340. His e-mail address is: Fredcavi@yahoo.com and his website is fredthecounselor.com.

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