Beyond Feelings Of Wrongdoing And Rightdoing

February 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured

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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Love Lessons From Erich Fromm

January 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog

“Love is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever. A feeling comes and it may go. How can I judge that it will stay forever, when my act does not involve judgment and decision.”

We are first attracted to someone because of a chemical compatibility.  We want to be with them and can’t get enough of their touch.  It is passion and it is an all burning sensation.

As time goes, passion starts to fizzle and either turns into love or the relationship ends.  When we decide to be with someone we are also making the decision that as we get into life’s routines we will remember and honor the decision made.  That is why a healthy long lasting relationship, requires respect, friendship and commitment.  Because without a doubt there will be many occasions we will feel like throwing everything out for the chance to experience the cycle all over again. Deciding to be with someone and loving them should be based on friendship and admiration for the other person’s values, growth and struggles.

“Love is not primarily a relationship to a specific person; it is an attitude, an ordination of character which determines the relatedness of the person to the whole world as a whole, not toward one object of love”

We all have love within us.  It is up to us to connect and embrace this life energy source that is at our disposal.  It isn’t true that we can’t feel love unless we are in love with someone else.  Feeling love is a state of mind and heart that each one of us can apply to our lives and the world.

“Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says ‘I need you because I love you.”

If we really want to have a healthy and intimate relationship with another person, we must first acknowledge the love already exists and permeates our lives.   We must know we don’t need to be in an intimate relationship to be in a state of love. We must know no one outside of our selves can turn us whole.  We are whole to begin with.

“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.”

To be creative, to tap into our most original thinking and dreaming; we must let go of the notion of certainty.  Creativity means exploration.  It means enjoying the process without demand for a specific outcome.

“It is naively assumed that the fact that the majority of people share certain ideas and feelings proves the validity of these ideas and feelings. Nothing could be further from the truth. Consensual validation as such has no bearing on reason or mental health.”

On our search for well-being we are always confronting ideas that are accepted as “normal” by a majority but go against a truth we are in the process of unveiling.  The result can be 1 – feeling outside the norms of society and therefore alone 2 – feeling less than as we are not fighting for the same goals but somehow allow our lives to be measured by those values which we no longer adhere to 3 – feeling like we give more than receive as we become more aware of other people’s needs and rights.

It is important that we continue to remind ourselves that our well-being and mental health is our own journey and the reward is a life well lived. Conforming to a consensual validation goes against finding our own truth.

Erich Seligmann[1] Fromm (March 23, 1900 – March 18, 1980) was a German-American Jewish social psychologist, psychoanalyst, humanistic philosopher, and democratic socialist.

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