Reacting To Osama Bin Laden

May 4, 2011 by  
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Much has been discussed about the explosive commemorations that broke out in different parts of our country.  Defenders say it was and it is a natural response to ten years of pent up anger and despair. Others say it brought a sense of completion; “Mission accomplished.” While others suggest patriotism is the core reason.

I understand all of it, but think happiness and excitement might be misguided reactions as a response to death.  By doing so we miss out on the significance of closure and death.  I am by no means saying this man shouldn’t have been hunted down.  But what the death of Osama Bin Laden brings home is how human beings can be filled with so much hatred and destruction that causes others to have to destroy them.

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Finding Beauty In Our Own Lives

March 12, 2011 by  
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I have many friends who live with a physical disability.

I’ve always had great empathy for others, but since my late husband’ illness and passing, I have added knowledge to my empathy.  That may explain a great new number of people that have come into my life suffering some form of loss.

Every day I learn from one of my friends what it is to live with a disability.  The struggle doesn’t end with the acceptance of the loss.  There is self-esteem, reinventing a life, and there is the constant health struggle.

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Beyond Feelings Of Wrongdoing And Rightdoing

February 26, 2011 by  
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Photo by Angie Rubin

The great poet and theologian Rumi, said “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”

That’s the gist of Anne Naylor’s post.  To find ourselves at an evolutionary point where feelings are neither good nor bad; they just are.

Having feelings and emotions is part of being human.  Being dominated and controlled by them is neurosis.  We cannot stop feeling and we cannot become different people.  But we can allow the emotions and thoughts to exist without bowing down to them.

If we don’t underline and hang on to the negative emotions we actually have the possibility to turn pain and discomfort into something more fulfilling.  Grief, the ultimately negative experience, if allowed to exist can teach us about empathy, compassion and letting go.

When I lost my husband I kept thinking that pain and loss could not be all that was left of him.  As I allowed my grief all the space it needed without clamming to it and berating myself, I found the wisdom of acceptance.

Loving acceptance of our vulnerability and insecurities bring us emotional freedom.  And with that compassion for others.

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Can We Be Emotionally Free?

By Anne Naylor

What would life be like without emotional burdens like anxiety, depression, guilt, rage, self-doubt and shame? What does it mean to be “emotionally free”? Is it possible? Is it even desirable?

Part of the tool kit with which we human beings are born are our emotions. They must serve a purpose, or we would not have them. So far, so obvious. What would life be like without love, passion, enthusiasm, joy, excitement, exuberance, compassion, empathy or frustration, anger, resentment, envy, jealousy, greed and fear? Positive emotions serve to move us forward and expand our horizons. Negative emotions can trap us in a miserable downward spiral of hopelessness and despair…Continued

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Having A Social Experience For Real

August 5, 2010 by  
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My sister and nieces are visiting from Italy.  My nieces, twins, are fifteen and hooked up on all the gadgets teens love.

I had dinner with them at their rented apartment tonight.  But after dinner as if we all had rehearsed this many times we all went to our computers.  I stayed on for another hour and then said goodbye.  The girls were surprised I was leaving so early but I pointed out we all had been on our computers.

Driving home I thought of my dad always complaining that when we are all visiting him we spend a lot of time on our computers. He and my mom make a point to interrupt me.  They feel we are not connecting.

When I got home, a friend had sent me an article he had seen on a site, http://charactercounts.org/chron/2010/06/16/the-empathy-deficit/ he thought I would enjoy reading.

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Dealing With Changes and The Past

July 3, 2010 by  
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I have always been a person who has had a talent for adapting to new circumstances.   I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, lived in NYC and now live in Los Angeles.

I have left my family behind (when I moved to NYC), a bad relationship (when I left NY) and now in Los Angeles I live as a widow.

When I was growing up, I was an outstanding student and everyone thought I would get to do something that involved mathematics and physics but I ended up getting involved with the arts.

As I struggled through the years to make a living, I often heard how I had wasted my talents in a life that to outsiders seemed to be very hard and without the chances of bringing the success they were sure I would have had if I had followed the scientific path.

I must confess, I too, when life got really hard, thought I had made a mistake and wished I could have gone back in time and done things differently.

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Sometimes Humans Are Not The Best Kind

August 9, 2009 by  
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I don’t want to get into politics here but what kind of people kidnap and torture children in the name of their god and/or their beliefs?

I’m referring to a story on CNN.com http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/08/07/iraq.kidnapped.boy/index.html, about a six year old boy, the son of a policeman, kidnapped in Fallujah and tortured for two years by Al Qaeda operatives to pressure the father into releasing a number of prisoners.

So again I ask what kind of men can inflict pain on another human.  I know in order to do that they need to objectify the human in front of them.  It is as if that human is made of cardboard. That’s the same process rapists get to rape. 

I’m not a psychologist, therapist, or anything like that, so I don’t know the exact process and the reason there are a large number of people that have the ability to objectify others in order to commit their crimes but I am a victim of a sexual assault.  I have been on the other side and have experience this objectification and it is tremendous.  All of a sudden everything that you are, all your experiences, your essence as a person become meaningless in the eyes of someone else.  

You become a nothing.

In order to survive you disassociate and you experience the crime being perpetrated against you as if it was happening to someone else.  When it’s over and you return to your body you go through a process of shock and then depression, guilt, sadness and hopefully one day of acceptance.

We humans have the capacity of love and hate and our minds make those choices at every moment.  We choose between to love and respect or to ignore and objectify.  We do that even in the smallest of things; like cutting in line in front of someone else in line without thinking of the needs of the other person.

I hope this little boy has the ability to live with what was done to him as the scars on his soul are deeper than the ones in his body.  As for myself the shame, guilt and sadness have been dealt with and now are part of my life experience and allow me to feel more empathy for others that are victims of violent acts.

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