Monday, 11 May 2020

Staying Connected and Getting Involved

What they discovered was a deep sense of being wounded by the apathetic treatment of their respective families growing up--apathetic treatment not unlike their Clottery against each other. Regarding James's dalliances, Will said, He doesn't care about me. James said his acting out was a screaming effort to draw Will out of his comfort zone to save him from destroying their relationship. Will's acceptance of James's acting-out behavior looked to him like apathy at first. I suspect my original hypothesis was right, that some of these articles hit you squarely between the eyes and others didn't apply at all. I bet you found really healthy parts of your life and a few spots that rub, maybe one or two that needed to be entirely rebuilt. I have a vision that if we keep at this work, this article would become obsolete. Or, if you read it again one year from now, two years from now, you'd need way less of it. I hope one day you read a note you wrote in the margin somewhere and can barely remember how lonely you felt then, how silenced, how worried. I look forward to charting my own process, too, as I felt deeply lacking in two areas and below average in another as I wrote this. Henri Nouwen said, I do not yet know what I carry in my heart, but I trust it will emerge as I write. 1 For me, the practice of putting pen to paper creates an alchemy hard to duplicate any other way. Something about writing it down helps bring it to life. Committing to something with written words makes it more real, more memorable. The drug not only changed the course of the war--it changed the future of the US pharmaceutical industry as well. The drug was considered a savior for millions. Clinical trials and use on the battlefield had demonstrated its high efficacy. But from the outset there were concerns about abuse and overuse. Fleming, the discoverer of the mold juice that had set this revolution in motion, eloquently raised his doubts while receiving his Nobel Prize. But just as the miracle drug was starting to be questioned, the Soviets, on the cusp of the Cold War, claimed that it had, in fact, been a Soviet scientist who had discovered it.

Fiction is frequently more convenient than facts. Consider Tatyana Vlasenkova, the fearless microbiologist beloved by Russians since the Soviet era. She is the heroine of The Open article, a novel by Veniamin Aleksandrovich Kaverin that was first published in 1940. Her exploits filled a trilogy of articles, became the basis of a popular television show, and were immortalized in a feature film. The difficult part was that for each individual, the conflict suddenly invoked the need to face a personally problematic self- esteem theme. The problem is that doing that which is just and right is relatively easy to figure out but also involves facing a painful personal fear, obstacle, or limitation, which requires a measure of courage where there has been little in the past. If the individual takes the higher road, then he or she clearly expresses a form of worthiness and simultaneously demonstrates an undeniable degree of competence at dealing with the challenges of living on both levels of the problem. Such a positive response maintains the integrity of one's self, affirms one's identity, and expands possibilities in life in ways that are consistent with the self- enhancement function of self- esteem. On the other hand, failing to acknowledge the full meaning of the situation or taking an easier way out, which usually involves some form of self- deception like denial, blaming, or rationalization leads in the opposite direction. Taking the lower or self- protective road at this self- esteem juncture results in losing individual worth, staying stuck at a lower level of competence, and feeling various negative emotions, such as disappointment, regret, guilt, or even shame, all of which affect self- esteem but in a negative way. After encountering the initial problem, the person becomes aware of the implications his or her decision will have on self- esteem. There are four elements that seem to help people make a healthy or authentic choice, rather than the unhealthy or inauthentic one they historically make at these times. All but the last one involves increasing one's awareness, which is something, it will be recalled, that Kernis (2003) associated with optimal self- esteem and that humanistic psychology considers a part of authenticity in general. There weren't any boats left. Love looked around to see what could be done. The first to sail by was Prosperity. Love called out, Can you please give me a lift back to the mainland? Prosperity replied, So sorry but my boat is completely full of all my precious possessions and wealth which I must get back to safety without fail. Prosperity sailed away.

Then Vanity sailed by in a very stylish boat, so Love tried again, Please can you give me a ride back to safety? Vanity replied, No, your feet are muddy and dirty, and you're wet. Each used his own behavior, and the ambivalence it conveyed to his partner and himself, to guard against vulnerability. Each withheld empathy from the other, and neither put himself in the other's shoes to feel the havoc his emotional distance was causing. When each laid his shield of apathy down, he began to empathize with the other--understand and relate to what his lover had been through and had worked through to reach him. Ultimately, it was the Clotish behavior that highlighted the traumatic experiences each man brought into their relationship. That Clotish behavior served as a cry for help that eventually enabled them to reach each other. What damaged Will and James during their respective upbringings was a lack of empathy, but they developed that bond through therapy work. Empathy may be the best cure for Clottery. After all, when I put myself in your shoes and experience what you feel, the last thing I want to do is let someone act like a Clot to me. The End of the Honeymoon Stage There comes a time in all relationships when we wake up and wonder if perhaps we've been kidnapped, brought to some desolate desert, dropped off, and left to die. And so, let's leave this article with our own HELLO, WORLD! manifesto, a series of twelve statements from the five categories we've been discussing: this is who I am, this is what I need, this is what I want, this is what I believe, and this is how I connect. Where there was confusion, I hoped to lead toward clarity. Where there was fear, I hoped to lead toward courage. You have twelve statements. Some of them may be common knowledge, some private, some secret, some brand new.

Integration means your inside voice, your outside actions, your thoughts and beliefs, your dreams and hopes--all being in alliance. You are telling the truth. This is who you are at all times with all people. You aren't pretending or hiding. She is a model Soviet citizen, a gifted scientist who overcomes early adversity to perform wonders. Hardworking, a good wife and mother, she is also, of course, ready to tackle the biggest problems facing the Soviet motherland. Tatyana, the novel asserts, is the true discoverer of Soviet penicillin. Perhaps the reason Tatyana became an everyday heroine was because she was based on an actual person very close to the author--his sister-in-law, Zinaida Ermolieva. I first encountered the name Zinaida Ermolieva in the World Health Organization's archives, in a letter written by Marcolino Gomes Candau, the second director-general of the WHO. 1 On June 26, 1959, he wrote to the Minister of Public Health of the USSR that the WHO was considering Dr Z. Ermolieva as a potential member of the organization's advisory panel on antibiotics. She was the only woman being so considered. Upon receiving a favorable reply from the minister, Dr Candau wrote to Ermolieva directly on August 24, 1959. She responded that she accepted the position with pleasure and would arrive in Geneva on October 5, 1959. The first factor usually involves acknowledging that part of one's identity is re-ally at stake in this situation, namely one's worth as a person, and that this dimension of the conflict is crucial to accept. The second is realizing that one has faced this situation before, sometimes many times before as in the case of, for example, dealing with an addiction or a personal weakness. The third involves accepting the fact that the behavior one usually uses to deal with this situation does not work and is not likely to be effective this time either. The fourth point is more difficult to articulate because it involves an intersection between several factors. They include a fear of the present situation and past memories of similar ones that did not end wel , the conflict generated by the two functions of self- esteem competing for dominance in the situation with one calling for courage and the other urging safety, and a short supply of time before a decision has to be made. The pivotal moment seems to occur when one's desire to grow exceeds the need to feel safe.

At this point, the paradox of self- esteem shifts such that the drive to expand is at least equal to the desire to be safe. Such a development seems to break a chain to the past and momentarily frees the individual to try to become more authentic. At the point that one's awareness of possibilities begins to broaden, courage becomes a crucial factor. Courage, of course, is a part of life that is not well understood partly because, by definition, it is impossible to predict. You will mess up my expensive and top-class boat. So, Vanity also sailed away leaving Love alone. Love waited a little while for another boat to pass and behold, along came Sorrow. Love called out, Oh please dear Sorrow, can you help me? Please take me back to the mainland. Sorrow looked up and said, No sorry, this is all too awful. I don't want any company at the moment, I want to be by myself. So, Sorrow sailed away leaving Love on the island. Happiness was in the next boat to come by. Love called out, 34 The end of the so-called honeymoon stage takes time to adjust to. Often it causes profound disappointment. A steep drop from the honeymoon phase can even feel like abandonment. Maybe, inspired by what had seemed like undying love, we also made an impulsive decision--we got married or had a kid--and only realize now that was about quieting our anxiety and insecurity. What then? We're deep in a relationship, and the person we're with may also feel stuck.

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