THEODOR AND US
ON THE GIFTS
To summarize, when it comes to creating a good quality of life for ourselves, we must first evaluate what goals do we have, what abilities do we have leading in that direction, take ownership of these strengths, be grateful for them, exercise them and strive to progress in magnifying them, until we reach these goals. <br>
Similarly, when it comes to the obstacles within (thoughts, feelings, health) and outside ourselves (words, actions, modifying, or maintaining our environment, interpreting other people’s words and actions towards us) and without ourselves (things in control of others, which affect our lives, such as laws, or generally speaking, past events), we need to: observe them; change how we look at them if we cannot change them; accept them if it’s beyond our control (as a fact, not as a willing participant in them); let go of them (forgive); and move on.
Our daily progress in life has to be done from the paradigm of good communication, trust and respect, with regards to ourselves and others. If none of these are possible or deserved, in relations to self or to others, we have to employ compassion to understand an absurd situation, from a healing rather than a hurtful perspective.
This harmonious fluctuating of events/and the interpretation of events in our lives, comes down to breaking our wishes in what constitute desires, abilities and needs. With regard to the needs, we also want to be clear as to whether we consider them as such, based on objective (functional) meanings (such as oxygen, water, food, shelter for the sustenance of our lives) or subjective levels (specific kinds of the above).
Personal reflection is like a mirror. As with any mirror, we have to double check its accuracy in the exterior (to make sure whether it is a carnival mirror which makes us look gigantic or like a dwarf), as we have to check the accuracy of our interior “mirror” (our beliefs about ourselves and the world). Based on these long-term into the making, often habitual internal beliefs, we perceive the world a certain way and with it, we generate certain positive or negative feelings which then make us talk and act in a certain way. These in turn will generate consequences for us, be they positive or negative, internal or external, which then reinforce our beliefs to begin with (accurate or skewed from reality as they are).
When we cannot validate somebody’s ideas, but we see her enthusiasm regarding them, we should credit her passion, while voicing our reservations for the thoughts generating them. For example, if somebody has passion in hating, we can validate his intensity of feelings, while suggesting that he use it for loving, instead of hating, creating, instead of destroying and so on.
Emotions are like little children and as such they need boundaries, with one exception: love. We have to make a great distinction between attachment and love. This is because attachment is about possession, while love is about letting go. When I love somebody, to use a drastic example, I would rather see her go and be with a person who makes her happy, rather than seducing or coercing that person to stay with me for my sake and seeing her being miserable.
Reinforcements, including from our loved ones, are more powerfully compulsive, when they happen intermittently, rather than if they happen consistently. This is because in the former case, they are triggered by fear and uncertainty, while in the latter case they are triggered by dedication, security, trust and love.
Consistency, when appreciated, instead of being taken for granted, means stability, reliance and safety. It is at that point when people are most likely to become and remain authentic. Authenticity is defined as matching how we are on the inside, with how we are on the outside. When we integrate and reflect to each side the other one, as a genuine reflection, we integrate harmoniously ourselves to the world and the world to ourselves.
Ego and love are at odds and if juxtaposed in our goals, can create impossible wishful goals. This is because the first tenet of ego is ‘separation from others,’ while the first tenet of love is ‘being part of’ somebody/something else.
Feeling separated means ‘not belonging’ and not belonging equals with isolation and depression. It’s being lonely, not because one is alone, but because one is separated from others. The painful experience of not being accepted, because of not being ‘part of’ something greater than us, butts heads with the idea of wanting to be separated and special from others. So one has to decide which ones of these goals are more important to him, for the time being and move in that respective direction with full passion and dedication.
Finding love is not about juxtaposing these two desires, but joining them ecumenically, from the perspective of seeking, finding and appreciating similarities, while preserving one’s own identity. This is best described in the very self-definition of God.
When Moses asked God who He is, the answer was: “I Am That I Am” (Exodus 3:14). In this statement, in fact, we see all the developmental processes of the self, as being separate and of the self as being part of others: I (sensing the material self); I Am (sensing the conscious self); I Am That (sensing the material commonalities with others); I Am That I (sensing the conscious self’s projection in others); I Am That I Am (sensing both the individuality and the commonalities of the self with others). This is a microscopic radiography of the human beings’ psychological, emotional and physical developments, from infancy (if not from the fetal stages), to childhood, to adolescence and to adulthood.
There is a difference between healthy and unhealthy coping strategies. The unhealthy coping strategies are used to help us feeling better, by numbing mental, emotional, or physical pains. While they help in the short term, the numbing stops us from addressing what causes the pain and in the process, it stops us from actually becoming and being happy, by eliminating the very triggering source of our pains. It’s this avoidance from solving the causes of our problems and seeking immediate pain-numbing devices, which, paradoxically keep causing the pain (via ignoring and addressing its causes) and which we are trying to numb again, as soon as the effect of our numbing evaporates from our system.
Our healing in treatment is a two-step process: learn to listen; and listen to learn. We can extend these principles to: learn to observe; and observe to learn. It is based on this knowledge and practices then, that we can take informed actions towards the betterment of our health.
As stated in the beginning of this book, it is our intentions, thoughts and feelings which influence matter, rather than the other way around. In the least, this can be manifested in the meaning we give to matter in our lives and in the world. This is where we can choose to use our free choice for healing, joyful and constructive purposes, regardless of the cards we are dealt in life.
This concept was illustrated with the following poem, by an anonymous writer: “Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds; you can grow flowers, or you can grow weeds.”
This choice is our Theodor (Zeul Dor, or Zeul Odor), of the Daco-Romanian Thracians or the Longing for God or the Gift of God which is within us for as long as we are alive. Let us allow for this true essence of our being-ness shine every day, through every fiber of our cells.
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