Saturday, 17 October 2020

Do I regularly turn to drugs and alcohol to alter my mood?

We should say: Accepting boundaries would mean accepting to lose all the good things that are in others and we think cannot be in ourselves. The consequences of this choice are easily imaginable: giving up boundaries means above all offering others the ability to enter within us to manipulate us; Another remarkably thing about the loss of boundaries is that in the codependent relationship we feel responsible about the emotions of others. Somehow it is recognized that the emotions of one leave the body where they have been generated and they migrate to the bodies of others creating a breakdown. This is visible in the sentences addressed to children: If you are not a good boy, you will make your mother cry. If you do not do your homework, you'll see how dad gets angry. You must do your homework to create happiness in one, or not to create sadness or anger in another. The examples would be hundreds of them: if you do this someone will be proud, if you do not do it someone will feel ashamed, if you behave like this someone will be worried. In the end, you act in a reality where all the emotions and feelings of one depend on what others do or do not, say or do not say, hear, or do not hear. It's being able to touch somebody's life. Creative acts that positively affect our society happen all the time, everywhere--from Rosa Parks, who stood for what she believed in by sitting down on a bus, to Osceola McCarty, a cleaning woman who, over the course of her lifetime, saved and eventually donated $150,000 to the University of Mississippi for a scholarship program. Miss McCarty, who left school in sixth grade, said, I want to help somebody's child go to college. Her act of kindness touched the hearts of people all over the world and inspired others to give. Genesio Mortacci left $2. He had a passion for education and tending his roses and tomatoes. He was quoted as saying, If you don't need it, you shouldn't buy it. He thought kids needed an education, though, because his gift has purchased it for many for many years. The American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, is a treasure that celebrates and educates its visitors on the power of the creative spirit. The museum's founder and director, Rebecca Hoffberger (a visionary in her own right), has created an entire wing to showcase people whose creative acts of social justice have touched many lives.

In 2007, researcher Michelle Shiota and her colleagues Dacher Keltner and Amanda Mossman published some of the very first empirical studies to examine how awe affects our sense of self. They recruited 50 undergraduates for an experiment. When the students arrived, rather than attempting the nearly impossible feat of awaking wonderment in the fluorescent glow of their sterile psych lab, the researchers guided the participants to a different building on Berkeley's campus. An awe-inspiring sight awaited them there: in the main hall of the Valley Life Sciences Building was an enormous replica of a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton. The replica was overwhelming. It was 25 feet long and 12 feet high, and it weighed about 5,000 pounds. In the presence of the massive skeleton, the students were instructed to respond to the question Who am I? When they analyzed the statements, the psychologists found that they fell into four broad categories. There were physical responses, like I am tall or I am thin. There were character trait responses, like I am funny or I am smart. In other words, peace filled the moments between finishing chasing a fear and the coming of the next fear. As I continued the experiment, in these no-fear, no-mind moments, I happily was. I didn't do anything in particular. I felt free. It may have seemed like I was waiting, and in a way I suppose I was. However, this kind of waiting came from a calm stillness, a serene and complete patience. I was simply present, joyfully expectant for the next fear to arise. Many minutes passed. As no fears came, I looked down at myself and took a casual inventory. I was pretty scraped up and dirty, but I was good with it.

In the most dangerous cases, the link between our emotions and those of others can also be created in a truly abusive way, capable of questioning even the dignity of a feeling or a thought. Questioning the dignity of any person's feeling or thought means taking the risk of condemning them to consider themselves unworthy persons both in their own eyes and in the eyes of others. When somebody introduces the concept that others have the right (if not the duty) to judge if your emotions are worthy or not, that person is stating that you must ask someone for permission before feeling happy, or sad, or proud, or excited. Once stated that your happiness could have the sadness of another as a counterpart, you should give up your happiness. Or vice versa: in some way you should ask authorization for feeling sad. An example: You feel sad because you would like to start a professional activity that makes you independent. You need to invest on your training to be more skilled and appealing in the labor market. But you do not have the economic resources to do it yet. Then, you try to find support within your network of parents, partner, best friends, family and so on. That building is named after James Rouse, whose visionary ideas helped to flame renewal and development of cities across the country. His philosophy is expressed clearly in this quote: For many years, I have lived uncomfortably with the belief that most planning and architectural design suffers for lack of real and basic purpose. The ultimate purpose, it seems to me, must be the improvement of mankind. He's gone now, but his visionary approach to urban development helped to plant the seeds of change, and the ideas that our cities and towns ought to be places where people can grow. The museum displays works by people who have no formal training in the arts, but have an innate desire to express and to share their unique perception of the world. Ester Nisenthal Krinitz, at the age of fifty, began creating thirty-six magnificent needlework and fabric collages depicting how she survived the Holocaust. Meticulously stitched, these works of art narrate a young girl's terrifying experience and her will to live. Ester never dreamed they would be exhibited, having only created them for her two daughters. Gerald Hawke created magnificent sculptures by gluing thousands of single matchsticks together. Gerald believed that each person is like one matchstick--capable of providing light--but that when people work together, their light becomes most powerful, bright, and brilliant.

There were relationship descriptions, like I am dating John or I am a brother. And finally, there were responses that belonged to an oceanic universal category. In these responses, people defined themselves in terms of something far larger than themselves. They wrote statements like I am part of the universe and I am part of humanity. It turns out that people in the awe condition saw themselves very differently from their peers in a control condition. In an earlier study, the researchers had found that awe-inspired subjects were far more likely to say that they felt small or insignificant and unaware of my day-to-day concerns, and that they experienced the presence of something greater than myself. In the dinosaur experiment, the participants' decreased self-focus translated into a feeling of connection with the broader world and all of those in it. This is the paradox of transcendence. It simultaneously makes individuals feel insignificant and yet connected to something massive and meaningful. How can this paradox be explained? There were hundreds of bug bites on my arms and legs. There were many small thorns and branches poking into my shoes and socks from when I had tromped through some tall brambles and tumbleweeds. Considering how peaceful I felt, it all seemed minor. I walked back up to the top of the mesa and stood just outside the tiny and beautifully simple cabin room. Prickly Pear B. The dude-ranch-style rustic room was an upgrade I had been given from the even more modest outdoor camping location for which I had originally signed up. In grateful silence, I stood on the small cement landing just outside the entry and began to detach the thorns and stickers from my socks and shoes. As I cleaned up, a meek little squeak of a fear arrived. It said, I am afraid to die. The mind had a distinctly unique tone when it said this fear.

In a healthy situation, the person who could help you can give you tips and tools to find the money or those resources that allow you to achieve your goals, or could help you providing part of the required money, or simply he or she could listen to you with affection and do nothing more. In a codependent relationship, the reaction of the person you ask for support, will be the one who questions your sadness. A simple need, like the will of independency, can activate the dynamic of abandonment in the other one, and the reaction is usually more or less an explicit aggression. A first common reaction is to make you feel guilty for your extravagant sadness, or to diminish the validity of your need. It would not be rare to face sentences like: Training for a professional activity? You have never worked, and you want to start now, why? To go away? Putting our finance in trouble for your crazy ideas? Are you not comfortable now? You have everything you need! Stories, images, and art fill the interior and the exterior of this museum with the power of the human spirit. It is not a static holding place for objects, but a living museum that encourages creativity, self-expression, and action. Over the past several years, the museum has hosted a mentoring program with kids from the local high school. The students worked with a master ceramicist and mosaic artist to completely cover the outside of the museum in beautiful cobalt-blue glass pieces, shards of discarded pottery, and broken mirrors. The walls symbolize the beauty that can be seen in all things, even discarded, broken objects. The lesson is reflected on the walls for all to see: when we value potential in things and in people, they will come to value it in themselves. The educational goals of the American Visionary Art Museum are a call for creative action that each of us can apply to our own lives. Expand the definition of a worthwhile life. Engender respect for and delight in the gifts of others. Increase awareness of the wide variety of choices available for all, particularly students.

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