Like most articles, this is the scourge of thoughts that have derived from recent discussions, personal experiences and observations.
This issue is one of my longstanding queries and I am happy to write about the truth that I have realised up until now.
I have mentioned in previous articles that we form relationships for a variety of reasons eg. insecurity, need for companionship, family creation, elimination of loneliness etc.
A relationship is the constant contact between two people in a context both internal (within the relationship) and external as each relationship occurs in a particular social context that has its own relational rules. For example, the expectation of expressing tenderness and acceptance of a straight couple and a gay couple varies from one society to another and this of course has some effect on the couple themselves.
When two people create a relationship they create that web of rules and expectations (within the general social context) about what is or is not allowed, about everyone's roles in the relationship, about each person's needs and desires and, also, the 'goals' (common vision) of the relationship.
As long as there is agreement and understanding on the above, then there is satisfaction that the relationship fulfils the expectations of its members. If there is a disagreement, then the members are being called to renegotiate all or some of the terms of the original agreement, with the possibility of not being able to reach an agreement and decide to fulfil their wishes separately in another relationship.
This 'technical' description of a relationship reflects one of the basic ways that a free person operates on in the same way that he would decide to change jobs by choosing one that would provide him with more money and greater overall satisfaction.
But how much understanding and freedom does a person have when their desires contradict the prevailing expectations of society?
How much understanding and freedom, for example, did someone have 70 years ago when they wanted to break up from a marriage, a woman who didn't want to marry and have children, a lesbian couple who wanted to have a child?
In different periods each society has got its own regularities (norms) that provides homogeneity ans a sense of security and continuity. It certainly has its benefits in knowing that one must follow a particular path in the society she lives in order to be loved and to enjoy its privileges.
We all learn these norms and expectations in childhood as they constitute our main models of societal roles. This is what we saw our father and mother, uncle and aunt, cousin and cousin doing. As we follow these rules we feel loved, if we stop following them then we risk of losing that love.
If one's wishes do not live up to society's expectations, then he has two options, either to support his wishes at any cost or to be oppressed by playing the role society demands of him to play. Imagine what people have done in the examples above: The person who wanted to split up either remained unhappy in the marriage or got divorced with a social outcry, the woman who didn't want to marry and have children, either eventually had children or she was marginalised and was derogatory features by the community and the lesbian couple either they remained best girlfriends or they broke up in order to become mothers.
Gradually some societies changed because more people claimed their wants beyond the norms and at any cost (see trans history etc.).
Every relationship is to a certain extent a representation of society as all the unconsciously learned rules seek to be re-applied to a new form (relationship). The material and dynamics of the members of this new relationship are slowly called within the relationship to deal with these rules. At this point the question of companionship or slavery arises.
If each member prioritises the rules he has learned against his own will, then he ends up in slavery, a replica of other relationships.
Otherwise the members negotiate their wishes against the existing (internal) rules, reject the ones that do not suit them and come up with a synthesis that satisfies them.
There is no right and wrong and all options have their benefits and costs!
In the latter case there is no 'knowing'. Alone or in a relationship someone decides to create a new path of freedom, where he can set up his own rules and live exactly as he wants without the expectations of others even if he has to lose from his life some people that he loves.
Creating such a relationship of freedom where its members can set their own rules and freely satisfy
their wishes is not an easy task. They both need to be genuinely vulnerable by expressing their wishes, expectations, and insecurities that have so far been covered by existing societal rules. It can also include a lot of fear of the unknown, fear of the possibility of abandonment, anxiety about being accepted by the other and so many more difficulties.
Choosing such a position is, after all, an ever-evolving but pure life stance where our primary relationship, that is to say with ourselves, is not based on lying, hiding, security at all costs and fear but on love, honesty, care, freedom, and courage that are needed to surrender to the truth and the process of exploring one's self.
After all, a relationship (with oneself and significant others) can be that safe and loving space where all parties can explore the wide spectrum of their existence as well as all the possibilities of being with, helping and deeply loving another human being without giving up their own freedom.
As always the choice and responsibility is a personal matter ...
I am currently reading about the anatomy of the body and I cannot help but comment on the perfection of this system. Together with this thought I had several others about the operation of systems and their individual parts based on recent events in Greek society.
The body is an organism consisting of liquids and solids (and gases) of different dimensions, shapes, capacities and functions that work together every moment to keep the organism alive. At the same time, it cooperates with its external environment, with the air that surrounds it (breathing), the bacteria, the food it it needs to continue living, etc.
At any time anything from this well-organised chain can stop working or start operating in a different way. Many of the diseases that occur in a body have exactly this cause and we strive in every way to bring it back to its 'normal' or smooth function. The evolution of man allowed a specific science, medicine, to create and administer drugs, to operate, to replace parts of our body and to try on the basis of what he knows to restore the system to a good functional state.
It is truly miraculous how much we have evolved to be able to intervene in nature and prolong life.
We could extend this reasoning to other aspects of human life. For example, human society (whether it is a village, a city, a country or humanity as a whole) is a system and every person is a member of that system. The system was formed evolutionary as it was better for its members to survive. Every man undertakes a function within the society that serves, simultaneously, his own survival and the survival of his society as a whole.
Of course, over the years societies became more and more complex and from only hunting, cooking and protecting the new members the collective tasks expanded into technical works of materials, law, accounting, education, psychology and so many others that daily ensure not only the survival of the system but its prosperity and wealth, how it expands its activity and thus its existence. The proper functioning of such a complex system requires rules and a mechanism that will be responsible for their implementation, that is law and the judicial system.
In this process of expansion we are witnessing today two seemingly opposite things.
First, man through studying the world finds that as a planet and species we are part of a larger system (galaxy, universe) and at the same time within the planet man distinguishes himself from other people, he has created subsystems.
We have the system of organism (body) and outside the environment (including other people), we have larger systems such as family, close people, like-minded people, religion and ethnic comrades and so on.
Every system is selfish, it aims first and foremost towards its survival and for this reason it will do everything to defend its members and its own self when it feels threatened, including murdering someone, just as our ancestors did when the were threatened by wild animals.
In this light, it is easily explainable (but not acceptable) that people continue today to kill other people because they are not the same as them, because they do not agree with them. because they do not do the same things with them, because they experience them as a threat to their system or, worse, as not worthy to live, otherwise they would have no reason to eliminate their presence.
Any man who turns against another man by attempting to eliminate him in any form (physical, emotional, spiritual) is the same thing as a cell in an organism that decides to work against other cells and against the organism that it lives in.
The 'medicine' of behaviour, justice (or better penitentiary), as well as the medicine of the body, have corrective functions where a symptom has been shown already.
Who has the role, therefore, the responsibility to operate precautionary in favour of health and against illness within a system?
Where can we hide the causes of a pathogenicity where a part of a whole is directed against another part of the same whole and how does the whole respond this pathogenicity?
Will we ever be able to live in conscious harmony with ourselves and with our broader environment just as our body does on its own every day in order to continue living?
We are in summer period that includes a little rest and respite from the chores of the everyday life.
Doing the same myself recently, I realised how necessary it is to distance someone even a little from his daily life.
This distance, if it is done consciously, can help one to decompress and reassess some part of her life, its organisation, how happy she feels with the choices she has made, how she experiences it, etc.
In these moments we have the opportunity to get rid of the pressure of daily tasks and to pay more attention to how we feel with what is happening in our lives, how we manage things, the results they may have, etc.
I assume here that when we are in constant motion in our lives, our attention and all our energy are directed towards fulfilling any obligations whether it is called career building, raising children, caring for a family member or the completion of studies etc.
In this continuous pursuit of any goals we have set, surely our intention is to produce and create something for which we will be proud, happy and full, as the energy we have given will have been transformed into something that we consider Important and worthwhile. Consequently, we pour passion, we make small and big sacrifices, we devote ourselves to some degree anticipating the best possible result.
It is normal to feel disappointed when what we are waiting for fails or when difficulties arise that require extra attention and energy from our existing low stocks. During the year, all of this energy spending leaves someone weary and exhausted, perhaps to the extent that the appeal and beauty of the original goal are not clearly visible on the horizon anymore.
Respectively, I am writing this article instead of doing some other work because I consider it important, perhaps waiting for it to be read and for people to relate to it and some of them may choose to give me feedback.
I imagine we have all been in that position where the question arises whether a target we have set is worth all the energy we give to it. It is healthy and important for a person to be able to review his choices given the energy and commitment they require.
This is because, regardless of whether someone wants to change them or not, one allows oneself the space of enquiry that may lead to approval but also an admittance that something from the original plan may need to change-towards the same or another direction-. Admittedly, flexibility and the willingness to adapt were the things that enabled and allowed humans to become the 'superior' animal.
I have always been interested in people's intentions and surprised to observe the various motives on which they shape, literally building or tearing down their lives. I was saying 'this is life, both creation and destruction'. It was also always reassuring and important to me the self-knowledge, when people themselves were recognising their motives, not as a compulsion but as part of a true and free way of living.
Lately, I notice enough (the observation always indicates something about the observer) that while we have created so many potential goals (and means to achieve them) for mankind, it is as if we feel that nothing is enough. Like the desire for creation, pleasure, completion, fulfilment can never be fulfilled with anything. So we 'consume' images and desires, moments and feelings, dreams and nightmares.
From a different point of view we create, enjoy and complete something daily towards or close to a goal that we directly or indirectly have set for ourselves. We are present (primarily with our breath) every moment at the occurrence of life that sometimes is a feast and sometimes a funeral. We are present daily in each other's lives carrying- like ants preparing for their survival in winter-, information about life that may be useful to others (a smile, some news, an update, our experience etc.)
Growing up I discover, in my turn, that there is no perfect moment, perfect condition, perfect relationship, perfect people, that is not the point, but how sitting on the boat of my 'separated ego', I carry and utilise with respect, awe, love and gratitude in the ocean life that happens by itself some of its meaning and potential.
Each one creates for himself his window and its view (and its potentialities) that sees and experiences life from, one time identifying with the window and another with the view.
I think I have touched on the subject of 'change' in various articles but it seems that it is one of those issues that needs to be discussed from different angles, if we are to understand it as best we can. At the same time, I am pondering on the results of the recent elections with the rise of the far right in Europe.
We already know that life is constantly changing. We are constantly in progress and evolving. Every morning we wake up somehow different to who we were the night before, physically, psychologically and mentally. We are in a permanent state of change and data processing consciously or unconsciously.
A big change occurs in two ways, internally or externally.
When something changes externally, we are called to redefine our relationship with that and take the same or a different position that will maintain our survival, safety and prosperity as we understand them every time. For example, if an earthquake happens and a man's house is destroyed, he will have to find another home to stay and continue his life.
In external changes, seemingly external at least, we have no involvement in the fact that they happened as they were not caused by us.
Internal changes are probably a little different story. A person is called to listen to his inner, deep voice calling him to make a change from within. Some people find it easier to deal with changes and others find it it difficult.
Internal change, even if it concerns ones health, encompasses the choice as well as the responsibility of the person himself.
For example, if someone is diagnosed with an illness and a serious medical advice suggests to him to change dietary and other habits in order to improve his health, they have the choice not to follow it and continue to live as before, thereby taking the responsibility for any consequences.
An internal change may often bring to the surface information from he past that we did not want to confront and incorporate in our lives. For example, the reasons why we had made specific choices in the past or how we had behaved towards ourselves and others. If we are not prepared to deconstruct ourselves in order to better understanding him, then any change will be based on non-solid foundations.
This is often the case when we make hasty decisions in order to find a solution to a problem and, thus, stop to understand that there is a problem, the reasons why it exists and what could be the ways to effectively resolve it.
In the above example with the illness, a quick and easy solution could be the intake of drugs without making any change in diet and various other stressors that may affect the overall health of the individual. Therefore, restoring health will be partial, if at all successful.
This could also be the viewpoint of the results of the European elections, particularly of Greece.
Of course we are talking about a deeply complex subject, but for me the parameters for exploring it are the same.
Europe and Greece in particular, by encountering and being part of the economic crisis and its consequences, was called upon to reconsider the foundations and values on which it leads its life.
It is like waking up in the morning with a serious cold.
There are systemic problems both at European level and at the level of the countries where solutions were sought and created that do not consider and solve the problems effectively, but provide a temporary relief, as the aspirin in the cold, whose real cause was that the person was not warm enough the previous day.
Any thorough analysis and understanding of a problem, leads at least to some solutions and some lessons. My understanding of the Greek results (perhaps for the whole of Europe) is that people are quickly and easily looking for someone who will promise them hope, solution, relief and a better future. They vote, that is, with the sentiment, with the raw emotion a person has just before he drowns, grabbing the first, seemingly strong hand that is found in front of him in order to be saved.
This moment of 'despair' for me hides something more problematic, the transfer of responsibility.
It is easier for a society to vote for a man with special needs than to take care of his needs in the every day life.
It's easier to punish someone as a liar, when people are lying every day without consequences.
It is easier to ask for a political honesty and credibility when the same people had been having bad relations with those values for years.
It's easier to trust someone we looks and behaves like oneself someone rather than someone who is a little different and somehow provokes us to change.
It is almost impossible to expect different results when we continue to do the same thing.
It has been a while since I last wrote an article and this is because sometimes it takes time and silence to really listen to what is happening within and around us and to wholeheartedly connect with it.
My attention at this time-and perhaps no accident that coincides with the European elections-is particularly attracted by the coherence, the connection and the continuity of life.
Perhaps only when we grow old enough and the life before us is equal or shorter than the life behind us, we begin to look back on our lives underlining what has been important to us, what things were difficult or easy in our lives, how we were making the decisions about our lives and in general what are the main themes of our lives and what gives it its meaning.
As a psychotherapist I often encounter these questions with the people I am working work and it is almost impossible not to observe, reflect and study them.
Personally, these questions accompanied me, or rather, always guided me in my life, especially with regards to the criteria with which I needed to make decisions about my life that would eventually form what we call a life path.
I imagine that many people at some point or periods in our lives have felt the burden and perhaps the fear that goes with responsibility whether we have made or will make are the right choices, whether they will make us happy and work for our own good, whatever we think that is.
I have seen people 'staying still' for years when faced with a decision or a dilemma by ignoring it indefinitely and thus leaving a part of their self and life static.
I find that every man at any given time does what he can and knows best given his self-knowledge, knowledge and perception of him and of life in general. Any person, that is, makes a choice (and non-choice is a choice) each time in the light of the hiring and what is important to him, i.e., uses some-consciously or unconsciously-criteria.
These criteria or the reasons whether we created them, whether we learned them from others, are part of who we are or who we think we are.
As we become more self-aware, then those grounds on which we have made a choice are sufficient to support any result, even if this is unpleasant.
By understanding and accepting these reasons and also taking into account the factors that we do not have control over, we feel a silence within ourselves and not tension, because we acknowledge that we did the best we could and learned the lessons on what we might want to do differently in the future based on what is important to us.
I understand that what I am describing may sound quite general, so it requires an example.
When I decided to create this blog and start writing, I was confronted with the obstacle of what is called the 'guard of security'. I have been writing my thoughts in some form since I was little, but publishing them on my own web site initially seemed terrifying. 'Have you got anything to say?', 'You will receive many negative comments', 'People might not be interested in them' were just some of the critical suggestions that this guard was making to me .
At the same time, I strongly felt that I wanted to express things, especially when they could potentially become stimulating thoughts for other people.
I made the final decision with the thought that even if one person takes something out of or benefits in any way from what I write, for me it was worth the effort. Someone might consider this selfish and that would be another point of view. For me, however, this signifies the quintessential of life, that all forms of life are inextricably linked and constantly influenced by each other.
In the same way that we would not exist if there were no plants to provide us with oxygen, in the same way we impact each other continuously in ways that we may not yet fully understand. But the fact that life is a huge interconnected web is undeniable.
A smile can make someone's day, a piece of information can be helpful to someone else, a little honesty and understanding can raise awareness and open a communication channel with a another person. Of course it might also not.
From our experiences we constantly learn things about ourselves, about the world and about life. This knowledge of ours, the information that actually forms our individual path that we have created, could perhaps, if we share it, become useful to someone else and thereby ensure the continuity of our existence and coexistence.
When we recognise or remember that we belong to this magical web of life and that we are just a part of it (as individual consciousness) then our personal path can only be constantly connected and ending up as a drop with a special contribution to one big sea.
In this article I want to discuss some observations about how everyone sees, experiences and relates to themselves and the world around them.
Each one of us is unique and special and the soul that is essentially the essence of our existence, consists of distinct qualities, experiences and lessons that it has acquired in one or more incarnations (if one believes in them).
In this life a soul enters a body and temporarily takes the form of a character that is born in a particular place, in a particular family, at a particular time to learn specific lessons. Something like the role that an actor embodies in a performance. This does not mean that the actor is exhausted in this role and that the role describes the whole of who she is or her potential.
One's character is shaped according to the experiences that the person has in combination with the qualities of his soul, two people who have been exposed to the same situations growing up are not affected or react in the same way. Every experience leaves an imprint on a person's soul, the form of which depends both on the experience itself and on the type of response of the person on which the experience remains. This is also the field, the prism we would say, through which one starts to see and live himself and his life.
Growing up, one might realise that she is not only the product of her original experiences (and those imprints) but that she has got a greater range of possibilities for herself and, consequently, on how to create the life based on who discovers herself to be.
For example, a person growing up in a family that owns a family business can be expected to take it over as an adult, but also he can choose to pursue another interest of his, missing on one hand the certainty of the ready-to-run business, gaining, on the other, the joy of exploring his new interest.
The criteria based on which one person makes one or the other choice constitute the prism, the glasses, the values of the soul that sees the world through.
Similarly, on a psychological level, if someone has felt guilty about something in their lives as a child (the imprint), then they may continue to live their lives with guilt for many things and at the same time expect others to feel the same way, twist various information in order to fit to this pattern. In a similar way when someone wears glasses, he sees well, whilst pictures that are not covered by the lens are seen as blurry etc.
The lesson of such a person in this life could be the integration of new information into his soul, may be self-forgiveness, love and respect for himself, acceptance of his innocence, etc.
Like any lesson, they need the repetitive practice, and if they are not assimilated again and again until they become the new imprint, then they will come back again in circumstances, reflecting the already existing imprint.
Similarly, when a lesson has been assimilated, it becomes the new prism through which someone sees, experiences and connects with the world and, thus, behaves towards the others.
If, for example, someone values honesty, understanding, respect and love, then they will apply them to themselves and to the encounter with others.
We are all in a continuous journey of learning from one another and there is no right or wrong way of living.
The subject of this article seems to me to be particularly important as it lays behind many other issues I have previously discussed.
The emotion of fear, its management, confrontation, understanding and resolution is particularly current especially with the rise of fascism but also in the world of self-improvement where fear is the 'bad' feeling that one has to overcome to be free in order to create the life she wants.
Although part of this sentence may not be wrong, the obsession with which some may defend it may cover other things.
In mental health field, feelings are seen as information about how we relate to ourselves and our environment. For example, we are happy when something is very pleasant and we feel sad when we experience something as very unpleasant.
Fear serves to alert us of the presence of danger in order to act in such a way as to maintain ourselves in a state of security. If we did not feel afraid, then it is likely that we would get killed when passing a road with cars or by being hit by various objects we would meet in front of us.
To some extent, therefore, fear contributes an ally to our survival and development playing an important role.
The degree and the way each human organism activates or uses this feeling varies and is shaped as such for various reasons.
As a psychotherapist, it is impossible not to refer to the early years of a person's life where he learns from the environment what is dangerous, what to be careful of and what to trust. We are taught how to use a knife, an electric cooker, how to protect ourselves from an animal etc.
Like all other emotions, fear is created based on our past experiences and the information we have about the world. For example, if a mother is afraid of dogs (because maybe a dog once bite her) then she can teach her child that all dogs are dangerous and he is going the be afraid of them too. However, as the child is getting older she may have different experiences of dogs and decide to approach them with curiosity by learning if or how they can be dangerous for her.
Another cause of fear may be the encounter with the unknown, that is, when we live an unprecedented experience, our minds may employ whatever information they have in order to calculate and prevent any 'damage' or 'loss' to our system, e.g. feeling pain, etc. The mind fills, that is, any empty space of information (or processing of new information) with whatever information (scenarios) it already has and can create in order to prepare our system as a mapped field for what may happen in order to take the most advantageous action.
The intensity of the experience of a feeling is, therefore, a correlation of the experiences, knowledge, (memories), the information that a person has stored for the particular thing, and the means he believes he possesses to deal with it. For example, if a dog attempts to attack a person, then the availability and use of a wood stick can be a protective and deterrent factor to the attack. Another possibility would be that the person does not see or do not know how to use the wood stick and, thus, he will continue to feel defenceless against the imminent attack.
Depending on the presence of the factors of this correlation, the organism almost automatically chooses the best possible solution to manage and resolve the situation in order for the organism to remain safe (and therefore alive).
When it concerns dangers of non materialistic nature, things become more complicated. The fear of an illness, for example, may be related to the fear of death, the fear of learned helplessness, the fear of loneliness, and so on. Regardless of the opinion, information or personal experience we personally hold for a person' s situation, when someone feels something, fear for example, for him this feeling is real and we must respond to it as such, if we want to be of any help to this person.
Possible ways of dealing with fear can be to 'fight', 'flight', or 'freeze' by being paralysed and result in prolonged inactivity as the person may feel unable to manage and survive the feeling of fear, so he decides not to confront it. In addition to courage, dealing with a fear presupposes that the person feels that she will benefit more by doing something than doing nothing and also that the person believes that she has got the resources to cope with it (strength, support, etc.).
And that's where we return like the snake bites its tail, to where we started from, what we have learned to fear, to trust, and ultimately what life scenario we are living.
Admitting of feeling fearful by itself is considered by some an act of cowardice, weakness, disturbance as if a person chooses consciously not to want to resolve an internal conflict that keeps him 'stuck' in the same position.
However, seeing fear from the point of view of knowledge and evolution, then we understand that the person who is afraid is in distress because he feels that a part of him is in danger and that he needs something to feel safe in order to be able to resolve the fear and incorporate the new experience (the same one who is afraid of).
This can be acquiring more information, receive support, acknowledgement, appreciation and confidence in the strengths and qualities of oneself, gaining trust in others, etc.
If we all learn to recognise, express and accept everything we feel including what we are afraid of, then we will see how many things we have in common rather than separate us as people and also what resources (help, etc.) we need from ourselves and others to move from an unstable position to really live a free movement life.
It is Holy Week here in Orthodox Greece and these days call many people for peace and reflection.
Believing in Christianity or not, we cannot help but acknowledge that for those who believe this week it is a series of rituals with many important messages. I therefore wanted to refer to one of these messages that I consider to be more present and important because of its humane nature.
For me every religion is about humanity, it is an existential 'proposition' about how a person can live his life, what is the meaning of it, what is there after the earthly life and so on.
At the risk of sounding like a priest, the message I keep from Easter is the direction of attention to the resurrection.
Whatever kind of life one has chosen to live, it has her worries, anxieties, reflections, difficulties, joys, achievements, sorrows etc, that is the complex wave of life. In this constant busyness and alternation we may not have the time or energy to locate (i.e. find the space) for other things that are not obvious at first glance and be present at the forefront.
The intention of this article is to draw the attention, albeit briefly, on these things that exist and we do not often look at. It may be a desire that we want to fulfil but we never find time and energy for it, it can be a conversation with ourselves that we avoid, it can be a behaviour we repeat and we do not know exactly why, and whatever else that might be.
Everything we feel, think, desire acquires the importance we give to it. If we do not pay attention to it then either is being resolved as not important (having fulfilled its role) or it remains dormant, inactive, dead. In the second case, we end up continue living- with more or less consciousness of- with something dead in us, which can with its decay touch and other previously 'healthy' parts.
In this very resurrection I refer to...
To the one that we realise that something within us is dead and we have the choice of either let it be removed from our organism, or bringing it back to life by activating it, giving it meaning even for the first time, doing something about it in the same way we give food to our bodies in order to remain alive.
Everything in order to stay alive and healthy or to revive require some kind of 'food' which might be showing care, express feelings, show attention, acts of love, interest etc. Often by simply acknowledging what is happening to us or why we are doing something, it may be enough to feel some relief and continue the flow of energy within us.
Nature teaches us every year through the cyclic process of seasons how birth, blossom, death and rebirth are part of the cycle of life.
Always seeking the completion and the expansion of consciousness, days like this I cannot not recover the forgotten and significant, the unspeakable, the things that exist in the room and somehow need to be arranged in the space. By giving them the meaning we want to give them we can maximum the space that is available to us and have all our parts active and ready to be used. This might not be easy and may require acceptance, forgiveness and change within.
For all these things that are waiting to become alive again or to be lived for the first time, like children who want to play freely after school with only an open heart.
This article stems from my recent observations, findings and experiences that I wanted to share as such and less as thought provoking reflections (as if there should be a distinction between the two).
In theory we know that each one of us is special, who consists of combinations of different genes, thoughts, emotions, behaviours, experiences etc. In practice, however, we tend to put people into categories, to say such a group behaves in a certain way and another group in a different way; to a certain extent it has proved useful, in order to somehow understand people and the world. Moreover, it has been useful in science to understand that what happens in one's body occurs in others' too, so the impact of a particular surgery will be the same in more than one patient. But maybe the result will not be the same.
Based on my experience in learning about mental health drugs, while common effects are observed, the overall effects vary from person to person. So no matter how much we try to simulate an average person, he will always be relative and escape the absolute definition.
When we say that each one of us is special and unique means that each person exists or experiences something completely unique at any given moment in terms of kind, quality and intensity that cannot be compared to anything else that ever existed or will ever be again. There will clearly be similarities with other experiences, but two occurrences, for example, of the same surgery can never be identified as the same.
Staying with such a realisation everyone will have their own thoughts, senses, worries, reflections etc. By staying with this thought we may realise a great deal about our lives, e.g. how worthy we all are as a mixture of matter, energy, life, God, how reasonable it is to feel alone when others do not exactly understand us or how much we need to explain our experience for someone else to understand us.
I personally do not think it is one of the easy discoveries that someone can make and assimilate, but it is still purely personal.
Many times writing these articles and indirectly describing something I have experienced myself or noticed or want to express, I realise that other people may have experienced or noticed the same, opposites or different things.
So I often wonder how much we actually allow ourselves to hear something outside of ourselves and how much we think we know or understand others. If, for example, while listening to someone describing one of their experiences, it reminds us of a similar experience then it is highly probable that we will not hear that piece of information shared by the other that will not be in line with our own respective experience.
What ςe know of ourselves (as research from the field of consciousness informs us) derives from our memories, as our present moment is a continuous invention of ourselves.
Obviously speaking from a specific position and experience that of a psychotherapist (and of a person with the interest and temperament to become one ), I frequently have the honour of being a witness and a participant in the hidden and profound worlds of people. Of the things they fear, those that they have never been revealed before, those that were never recognised as desires, meanings and dreams, those who seek to be resolved by the entanglement that have been wrapped around over the years.
Every time I am amazed at the uniqueness with which life is expressed through each person.
When a person simply narrates, describes, expresses, communicates with sincerity and truth the complexity of all that she feels, experiences, thinks, lives there there is no ugliness but only beauty and art, there is no judgement of good and evil but only love, there is no right and wrong but only understanding.
It's like someone is watching a rainbow and consciously trying to forget that it's not related to the rain that just preceded it.
How one becomes aware, connected and manages the uniqueness of himself and others, is yet another personal question...
This article rather arises from a deeper need to understand and express what is related to heart and love.
Perhaps everyone to some extent has experienced a deep enthusiasm, falling in love with a person (or maybe with one thing, activity etc). We see in that person something that interests us and we want to get in touch with him and to a degree to make it our own. We recognise in him qualities that we appreciate and we fall blindly in a game of revenge, risk, connection, effort, battle, naivety in the new unknown territory that attracts us.
Of course, like anything else in our lives we do not choose it randomly. We may not be fully aware of the reasons why we chose it, but there are always reasons.It's like going to school, if we knew how to write, we wouldn't have to go to school. So we live things, precisely because we have to learn from them about ourselves, about others, the world and life.
Just like at school, there are lessons that we follow and learn from them with more pleasure than others depending on our temperament and interests.
From my own experience in life, the biggest lessons (mainly those concerning our own existence) are learned with a lot of pain and the reason is simple. When someone's going through a surgery to fix something in his organs, he needs anaesthesia so it doesn't hurt. The exact same thing is when someone 'grows' emotionally or spiritually, he passes through the respective 'surgery' procedure where something is being removed, something is added and incorporated in order for the person to incorporate the lesson, this new information. Thus, it acquires what I call 'new (emotional) body)' or ' shell', until the next time it breaks again.
This is the perpetual movement, change and evolution of life.
I am among those people who believe that the canvas of our lives consists of lessons that we learn through experiences.Everything we do we do it because we want to feel good, to fulfil a need, to feel in a certain way, etc.
So when we fall in love with a human being, we are voluntarily willing to experience ourselves differently in our lives, in a way that we are not accustomed to being and doing. While we wore a certain costume and played a few specific roles, all of a sudden we can change costumes, scenery and play various roles together with someone else. Like in a free fall, we become a perpetual stranger along with someone else whose adrenaline derives from the experience of self flexibility.
Like all things in life (pleasant and not) they end some time and there begins the question whether the 'game' will continue or not. For some people the answer is automatically 'no' because they continuously want to have this intense adrenaline rush. So they're going to orient themselves to finding the next partner for the experience.
Other people may perceive this experience as random and unexplained and let it perish as mysteriously as it came struggling to find a balance between their sanity and logic and this frantic feeling.
Other people may feel that these experiences do not happen to them very often and want to continue the contact and emotion with the person for whom they felt them.
It's not an easy thing to accept, but a characteristic of falling in love is that we like the other's desire for us and the effect we have on him. If a relationship remains in this aspect which is the bait,the stickiness of the honey, then it will not be able to sustain itself in this form for a long time, because at some point the person who is falling will meet the ground.
If people want more than this adrenaline, then falling in love can be transformed into love. And that's where most relationships end because we expect them to be maintained on the same terms. To love someone does not have the goal to make the other who we want them to be and vice versa. Loving someone means being free as adults to love one another for who they are, to ask for what we want and to have the option to accept or refuse and vice versa, to continue to evolve in parallel with the other and to deeply share the lessons and journeys of our lives.
Love calls for much more vulnerability, maturity, enquiry, honesty, dedication than the party of excitement of falling in love.This is why it is much more difficult to achieve. Love calls for continuous voluntary surgeries to cure and evolve ourselves within the safe environment of a trusting relationship.
But Let's not misunderstand love with flattery.
Love does not keep anyone free and limited, does not judge and criticise anyone for his past, present and future, it does not condemn anyone for his choices and actions in moments of strength and weakness. Love appreciates, understands, forgives and embraces seeing beauty in everything because it knows that perfection and imperfection are two sides of the same coin, that of existence.
The heart as the vehicle of love does not make mistakes and always chooses someone that it can learn from.
I am wondering how often do we let ourselves listen to and follow our hearts?