Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Irvin Yalom is a renowned therapist who shares his expertise and experiences with the world through his writings. In The Gift of Therapy, Yalom encourages his fellow therapists to utilize empathy in counseling...and in life. Below is an excerpt from his chapter on "Looking out the patient's window". It's a story and life lesson that will always stay with me.
It's strange how certain phrases or events lodge in one's mind and offer ongoing guidance or comfort. Decades ago I saw a patient with breast cancer, who had, throughout adolescence been locked in a long, bitter struggle with her naysaying father. Yearningfor some form of reconcilation, for a new, fresh beginning to their relationship, she looked forward to her father's driving her to college-a time when she would be alone with him for several hours. But the long anticipated trip proved a disaster: her father behaved true to form by grousing at length about the ugly, garbage-littered creek by the side of the road. She, on the other hand, saw no litter whatsoever in the beautiful, rustic unspoiled stream. She could find no way to respond and eventually, lapsing into silence, they spent the remainder of the trip looking away from one another.
Later, she made the same trip alone and was astounded to note that there were two streams-one on each side of the road. "This time I was the driver," she said sadly, "and the stream I saw through my window on the driver's side was just as ugly and polluted as my father had described it." But by the time she had learned to look out her father's window, it was too late-her father was dead and buried...
I. El amor no tiene lista de males….
El amor no tiene lista de males….
I. Love Does Not Keep Lists
If you feel that things are unfair because you're not getting enough help, appreciation, consideration, praise, reward, or affection, you're in the grips of resentful living. Resentment builds under the radar in all relationships, because they cannot be fair all the time. The trouble comes when resentment:
1. Blocks natural compassion for loved ones and justifies disregarding their feelings
2. Forms a self-linking chain of events that makes you look for things to resent
3. Creates revenge motives in loved ones
4. Starts a downward spiral of bickering, irritability, cold shoulders, emotional shutdown, angry outbursts, and, eventually, emotional abuse
Here are the early signs that resentment is building to danger levels. Either you or your partner is:
- Irritated by things you used to think were cute - facial expressions, laughter, tone of voice, manner of dress, etc.
- Losing interest in most forms of intimacy - talking, touch, hugging, sharing, sex
- The following are advanced signs that resentment is becoming dangerous. Either you or your partner is:
- Judgmental about the other's perspective without being curious to learn more about it
- Irritated by how the other feels
- Intolerant of differences - you should see things my way
The RED ZONE:
- Your partner seems bent on making you feel bad, irritating you, hurting you, or pushing your buttons.- It feels like you're sleeping with the enemy.
Someone once said that holding resentment toward another person is like drinking arsenic and hoping the person you are resenting dies.
Another way: “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.
Medical studies have proven that long-held anger and resentment damage our physical and emotional well-being, eating away at our minds, bodies and relationships.
I know of an actual case where an elder in a certain church was having problems. The pastor, in an effort to help the situation, took the elder to a meeting of the deacons and elders. He said, "Obviously you are having problems. Would you like to tell us about it?" The man had been waiting for this opportunity. Believe it or not, he took out of his pocket a black book. He turned to the front page and said, "This is my problem. On December 4, 19__, so-and-so said so-and-so to me and they have never apologized." And he went on, "January 6, 19__, etc."
Can you believe this? This man was in his 60’s, and he had kept a ledger over the years of everyone that had hurt him, everyone that had said a word against him in the church. And he said, "Finally the time has come that I am going to get even."
Love keeps no record of wrongs for love is too busy healing and mending. Wrongs are not important to love because love is always consumed with making things right as time moves forward. In love, there is no time for keeping records of past mistakes. Love has no memory of wrongs for love is making plans and building for the future. Love is too creative to be concerned with what happened yesterday. Love focuses on the expression of progress in the name and image of God. A record of wrongs stops love so love is not concerned about the past. Love is always full of hope, grandeur, and glory as it forever moves into the future while overfilling the present.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
"Well, the power of being able to think systems and realize that we are all part of the system. So I kept trying to change my mother, and really, I was trying to get her to change her relationship with her mother who she had hated before. I stopped... I learned that you can't change the person. You can only change yourself. And so to change how I was in relation to her and also to change other relationships in the family... to just change."
Monday, November 2, 2009
Family Therapist Virginia Satir writes,
“Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible - the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family”