A BEACON OF HOPE

 

Marian @ Krysan

THE WELLBEING CONSULTANCY

Planting Golden Seeds in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, and Durham

__________________________

 

  If already I embrace and contain the world, why should I go on clutching at these insignificant little bits of it – these possessions which possess me rather than I them – so frantically? (Douglas Harding.)

 

 

 

12 April 2014

LETTER 1 of 4

Dear Friends

I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW ...

"According to the Law of Least Effort, grass doesn't try to grow, it just grows.  Fish don't try to swim, they just swim.  Flowers don't try to bloom, they just bloom.  Birds don't try to fly, they just fly.  And, so, if you observe nature at work, you will see that least effort is expended. 

"Consider, too, that the earth doesn't try to spin on its own axis, it is the nature of the earth to spin with dizzying speed and to hurtle through space.  Similarly, it is the nature of babies to be in bliss, the sun to shine, and the stars to glitter and sparkle."  DEEPAK CHOPRA

These words are true whether one is nursing a broken leg or a broken heart. To whoever this may concern, always remember the movement of life heals.  I include here the movement of thought and the movement of relationships.  Movement is the enemy of all fear.

And so it is that I invite you to join me in a dance of celebration - too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.  Let neither you nor I be one of them. I'm back as if from a long and arduous journey.  Despite all its twists and turns, I have survived and, indeed, report to anyone half-interested that I am recovered, inevitably changed, truly weller-than-well.  I can see clearly now.

Sincerely yours

Marian Moore (survivor)

 


 

13 April 2014

LETTER 2 of 4

Dear Friends

MOVING ON ...

When life reaches out with moments like this, it's a sin if you don't reach back - to shine a light in dark places.  Like many of you, I have (too often) lived in fear - indeed this was frequently my lot as a small child and years later as an adult. Here's a description of fear to which I can relate. It is from a story about remembering by dancer and author EMILIE CONRAD.  Emilie writes:

"I give the appearance of mobility and yet the fear waits inside, hidden behind protective walls ... Breath suspended ... movement quiet ... waiting ... waiting ... no breath.  No breath ... I must be safe. The wide eyes ... animal activity suspended ... hiding in the bushes fearing for its life.  And so with me, night after night (how I dreaded the night), the dangerous dark - creeping into my body, seizing me with its blank stares. What could happen in this dark that was so frightening?  I could be swallowed up, devoured, never seen again.  No sleep.  stay awake.  muscles taut, tightened with anxiety. Eyes bulging.  suspended.  waiting.  hovering.  don't move."  EMILIE CONRAD

i learn today that more than one in five children regularly hear voices in their heads.  I rather suspect that they all sleep with a light on. The last time I had my say on the subject of hearing voices (see ENCHANTED VOICES), I finished with this bit of advice from physicist, JOHN NASH,

"I've gotten used to ignoring them [the voices] and I think, as a result, they've kind of given up on me. I think that's what it's like with all our dreams and our nightmares, Martin, we've got to keep feeding them for them to stay alive."  JOHN NASH - A BEAUTIFUL MIND

I am here celebrating my recovery from the existential crisis that blighted my life over many years. I am, without a shadow of doubt, a grateful survivor intent on lighting a beacon of hope in others. I repeat again that too many people miss the silver lining because they are expecting gold. I will see you tomorrow, this time writing on the meaning of life via the work of another survivor, VIKTOR FRANKL.

Sincerely yours

Marian Moore (survivor)

 


 

14 April 2014

LETTER 3 of 4

Dear Friends

MAN'S SEARCH FOR MEANING ...

Man's Search for Meaning by VIKTOR FRANKL is seen as one of the great books of our time, being first and foremost a book about survival. Frankl, like so many other German and East European Jews, was cast into the Nazi network of concentration and extermination camps during World War II.  But, his account in this book is less about his travails - what he suffered and lost - than it is about the sources of his own strength to survive and what he observed in others. Several times in the course of the book, Frankl approvingly quotes the words of Nietzsche, "He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How." 

Frankl's experiences in Auschwitz reinforced what was already one of his key ideas: life is not primarily a quest for pleasure as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning.  Frankl saw three possible sources for meaning:

  • in work (doing something significant),
  • in love (caring for another person), and
  • in courage during difficult times.

His most enduring and helpful insight was that forces beyond our control can take away everything we possess except one thing, our freedom to choose how we respond to the situation.  Frankl saw that we cannot control what happens in our lives, but we can always control what we feel and do about what happens.  If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Frankl, a psychiatrist, saw suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death.  I quote:

"Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.

"The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity — even under the most difficult circumstances — to add a deeper meaning to his life. It may remain brave, dignified and unselfish. Or in the bitter fight for self-preservation, he may forget his human dignity and become no more than an animal.

"Here lies the chance for a man either to make use of or to forgo the opportunities of attaining the moral values that a difficult situation may afford him. And this decides whether he is worthy of his sufferings or not. … Such men are not only in concentration camps. Everywhere man is confronted with fate, with the chance of achieving something through his own suffering." VIKTOR FRANKL

Sincerely yours

Marian Moore (survivor)

 


 

15 April 2014

LETTER 4 of 4

Dear Friends

WELLER THAN WELL ...

So far, I have mentioned several philosophers/psychologists of note, even (in passing) one who had something important to say (in his time) on 'life's best survivors'.  His name was NIETZSCHE.  So, I went looking for a beacon of hope by searching Google on the key words, 'weller than well'.

This is just a smidgen of what I discovered re 'the survivor personality':

"The picture drawn from the long term study of people who are life's best survivors is similar to Nietzsche's description. Such persons are seen as deriving their flexibility, resiliency, and psychological strengths from the successful assimilation of many major paradoxes into their ways of thinking, feeling, and functioning. In addition, people with survivor personalities are above average in operating independently from external social forces, in successfully defending themselves against negative, judgmental reactions to their way of existing, and in resisting efforts by others to control or change them.

"The pattern of traits usually found in life's best survivors include: ...

Motives and personality characteristics.

  • Their endurance, persistence, resiliency in new and complex situations is primarily derived from having integrated major mental and emotional paradoxes into their ways of functioning. They act with a selfish unselfishness, approach challenges with an optimistic pessimism, have a sensitive toughness, engage in self-confident self-criticism. They have achieved an independent dependency, the list goes on and on. Each person's paradoxical make up is unique, however, because their response patterns are a function of the world they interact with.

  • A central motive emerging from self-managed learning is best described as a synergy motivation (Siebert, 1976, 1983, 1985a). They are good at making things work well, need to have things working well, expect to be able to make things work well, and are creative in coming up with unique solutions that work. They function well in ambiguous, confused situations because of their inner directed sense of direction. They feel motivated to change situations and conditions from low synergy to high synergy, this having many signs of being a neurologically based need.

  • Capacity for empathy for people, groups, things. They have pattern empathy, can "read" situations quickly with their eyes and feelings; can draw meaningful impressions from little data; have empathy (not sympathy) for enemies and attackers.

  • Consciously attuned to subliminal perceptions. They read their own bodies well, notice little physical clues that something is not right or that everything is OK. Will consider as valid hunches, intuitions, ESP experiences.

  • Defend themselves well. Anticipate danger and take avoidance or preventative action before it can happen. They can be highly resistant to threats, con jobs, pressure, and trickery. They can be deadly opponents if forced into that position.

Key Outcomes.

  • Life gets better and better for them as the decades go by. They get stronger and stronger from the various adversities, strains, and difficulties they encounter. The best survivors have usually been through the worst experiences. They match up with descriptions of people who are the small percentage of individuals who recover from cancer, alcoholism, or major medical conditions. (Siegal, 1986)

  • Function autonomously within society according to own personal values. They are responsible rebels, cooperative non-conformists. While they can't be controlled or made to be responsible citizens, they voluntarily participate in making things run well.

  • Exercise a talent for serendipity. They convert misfortune into good luck. Typically refer back to the worst things that ever happened to them as being the best thing that ever happened." AL SEIBERT, 1996

Weller than Well : A Beacon of Hope

At the heart of recovery “...is a set of values about a person’s right to build a meaningful life for themselves, with or without the continuing presence of mental health symptoms. Recovery is based on ideas of self-determination and self-management. It emphasises the importance of ‘hope’ in sustaining motivation and supporting expectations of an individually fulfilled life” (Shepherd et al., 2008). 

"There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved. It is God's finger on man's shoulder."  ~ CHARLES MORGAN

Sincerely yours 

Marian Moore, BA/BSc, CertEd

 


 

Your Reference for Letter  4

Material extracted from 'Weller than Well' website: look for article entitled 'Similarities Between Nietzsche's Uebermensch and The Survivor Personality' by Al Siebert, PhD (Revised May, 1996) 

 

 

When life reaches out with a moment like this, it's a sin if you don't reach back.” 

― Matthew Quick

 


 

Archive.

“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God . . . and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.”  It is a matter of belief and only by experience can we say, 'I truly know of these things'.

 


 

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