It's been a while since I last wrote an article and that's because a lot of things were and still are 'in the air' and it's often difficult to decide on a specific topic for discussion.
As I've written before there's often a lot going on in our lives and it's hard to put things in order or organise it in a satisfactory way. We may have anxiety, stress, fear and agony about what will happen, especially in times like the current one, where extraordinary circumstances have destabilise many of our activities so far, but also our beliefs.
My message this time also is about love.
I will again borrow parts from my reading of 'Greek psychology' to discuss how repressed emotions and behaviors associated with them, form entrenched social behaviors, beliefs and dynamics.
Greek society, like any society, operates largely on the basis of specific role models. The specific behaviours expected from a man and from a woman, the habits, the emotional reactions and expectations. Someone adapting to them brings about reward, love, peace and acceptance somewhat as the owner rewards his dog with a delicacy when exhibits the desired behaviour.
Somehow we become programmed to be good or bad, emotional or strong, courageous or fearful, lonely or sociable, dative or selfish, anxious or calm, adequate or inadequate and so on. All these signs become day by day and unconsciously our identity, our character, who we are. And it is always in the form of dipole, one or the other.
What child does not want the love of his parents and the security that comes from being rewarded and accepted by them?!
But what if the child's desires or needs do not agree with the expectations and dictates of the parents'? Then two things happen: either the child finds the strength to disagree and argue with their parents risking losing their love and support or they are silent and find solutions that are the compromise between their own desires and needs and those of their parents. In this way the child is oppressed and 'separated' from various parts of themselves, but continues to have the support and love of their parents for what they show them to be and need.
This creates a persona, a different character from the true one, a new person. This second strategy is, based on my observation, the prevailing one in Greece. From parents who dare not to argue with their own parents in order not to 'spoil' their relationships, from homo and bisexuals who live double lives in order not to upset the 'balances', from women who are not happy in their marriages and do not claim their desires, but also do not leave their marriages, from homosexuals who obsessively have sex with other partners because commitment, contact and acceptance are unknown words etc.
These are some examples of behaviors that for me denote not only individual but also collective morbidity. Omerta, the silence of oppression, unfreedom and Lies continues from generation to generation until a family member becomes physically or even mentally ill, someone loses their life, someone begins therapy, someone attempts to break the vicious circle of unhappiness etc.
Perhaps we all agree with the widely said: 'life is a gift'!
But what kind of gift? A gift immersed in insecurity and lies, lack of freedom and hidden desires, consolidation and absence of evolution, lack of love for oneself and others?
The paradox is that both those who decide to 'conform to stereotypical projects, but also those who rebel, they both 'boil in their own juices', because their behaviours to a degree are identified by and become a response to the opposite position.
'I want to say it's enough now, but then what will they say about me or who will I be next?'.
'I want to make my life the way I want it, but I also want everyone to accept me as I am.'
Each option has a certain cost, whatever option it is. This is the whole lesson of life in physical form, that all the time there are certain limitations. So we are called to transcend the mundane and look deeper into our being and this always concerns others. We are all one in this together!
The age we live in is a transitional one, whether we want to admit it or not.
The transition has to do precisely with the death of perceptions on a personal and collective level. Especially in Greece, historically, we have lived and still living with 'the virus of division' for many years. The main cause is this very one, that we have never left sufficient room for the 'other opinion,' for the other way, for the other person who does not resemble us, who is different, who feels and wants to live otherwise. And that's because we, the same ones who reproach each other for being different, have not dared to make our revolution in the face of any shackles. We did not argue with our parents, we did not risk, we did not dare to live as we want, so how dare anyone else do it?! We have also never dared to make our personal transcendences, to really find the meaning for us and not to follow the already given path of creating family and children, that largely reassures the existential questions inherent in more or less everyone.
In the aftermath, a rhetoric and feelings of hatred are born and maintained that keep a society captive and static to stampede. Simply because all the energy goes either to war against someone or to defend oneself or to avoid both at all cost (drink, sex, extramarital affairs etc). Like two kids who are constantly fighting and there is no adult in the room to try not necessarily to reconcile them because this is the result of choice and work, but to show a peaceful way of coexistence. that they can coexist as different without abusing each other.
A simple everyday example is the way the majority of Greeks drive: while there are laws and rules, very often some people violate them, either by defying signs, or by parking illegally putting themselves and others at risk, but also by exercising a kind of violence on their fellow citizens since they do not take into account the other and the rules they have both agreed to abide by law.
At the same time, there is no 'adult policing' to enforce the agreed law and, thus, to maintain the normality of society. Situation that brings about second-level trauma, because not only is violence exercised, but also, because it is not punished, it continues to exist like a nightmare that it will continue to be constantly exercised.
I do not claim to have all the answers and solutions.
But what I know for sure, and I see it constantly working with people in depth, is that when we open up to the truth of our souls as difficult and painful as it may be, then we find peace, serenity, understanding, freedom and love in us both for ourselves and for others.
This is the whole journey of self-awareness described by therapists to doctors, coaches and gurus, the exploration and release the soul from its bonds.
Societies being in a war of whatever form, and by extension in lack of prosperity, it is not due to their temperament or temperament, but because they are constantly living with the 'virus of threat and disrespect', they have not found the way and strength for their citizens, internally and externally, to recognise, express, hear, feel, forgive, understand and love all their parts.
In this sense the enemy will always live firstly within and then outside of us!