An acquaintance referred to a man we were collaborating on to help as “a drug addict.” It was meant to be a catch-all for his problems. I understood in the moment what he was saying as “this man is unreliable, and of poor judgement.” He chose to diagnose this condition as “drug addict.”
I believe this not a useful usage of the term, and is even damaging and disrespectful.
One is not a drug addict, more accurately said one is hurt, scared, traumatized, and in difficult circumstances, and may use drugs ~ in dangerous, and irresponsible ways ~ to attempt to survive. I would rather refer to this person dealing with life like this as hurting, or overwhelmed.
To look at the strategy one uses to cope with life as the problem itself is disrespectful to the sufferer. It says I do not see you, but only what you do. I only care about how you effect ME. It is self centered and self protective. It refuses to employ empathy of the other, or to accept him. It says change and then I will see you, until then you are a drug addict.
It is similar to telling a child in pain “do not cry”, as a dentist recently told my daughter “you are a big girl, why are you crying?” She is crying because it hurts!
Please do cry, feel! I hope she can always cry when things are truly painful. I hope no one’s hearts ever again become sealed to feeling their pain.
When one shuts themselves to the pain inside themselves they shut themselves to all emotions. We only have one pipeline for emotion; the vibrantly joyful, and the awfully terrible feelings only have one heart. Do not crush the pipeline of emotion.
Of course it is incredibly vital to learn to act responsibly and usefully. To feel in full HD color, and to know how to live as well. This is the proper training we must give people. I was recently listening to an audiobook on negotiation technique, the author introduced the idea of labeling. Essentially label your partner’s feelings and they become more manageable. I used this with my son, when I brush his teeth he often cries, I now take a few moments while holding him and the toothbrush to label his fears “you are afraid it will hurt?” He does not respond, but afterwards he is much calmer.
This is just one simple tool from the toolbox of emotional intelligence available, and the truth is you are already an expert. I know you are an expert in emotional intelligence, because every child is an emotional intelligence genius. Children can cry fully, then laugh with their whole belly a moment later. They do not over process their negative feelings or attempt to control the positive ones.
I bless you and bless me too that our hearts be fully open to the vibrancy of life, and that we see others as whole people.
Rabbi Dovid Baars
The greater a person is the more simple he holds himself.
The paradox is that the higher a person reaches, and the more he knows the more he realizes his absolute smallness next to God.
In this process the greater he becomes the more he becomes comfortable with The World Of Being. This would be metaphorically similar to an adult returning to a child’s serenity, curiosity and joy. As the great man progresses he grows in simple joy and being.
How often have i been in a seminar and older men with incredible achievements came to the jarring, forceful knowledge that all the great they had been doing had not been accompanied by any simplicity, or Being! It is like getting to the top of the mountain and realizing you need to go back for something critically important. Something that is more important than the rest of the trip.
There are places in life when this relationship of Being to Doing becomes poignant: A son working for his father’s approval, a wife longing for her husband’s support more than his paycheck, an obedient or rebellious child wanting his mother’s acceptance and love.
When great people access this simplicity they are in a sense finding the Godly love of the universe which is unconditional. Similar to a child secure in his parents unconditional love.
A settled mind, quiet spirit, and peaceful soul are all one needs even in poverty, and all the treasures of the world would be pitifully aggravating without these accompanying them.
I bless you and please bless me to find on your level the utter simplicity of yourself. That in some small awfully truthful way you become just you with no achievements or prideful thoughts. That you be simple and truthful.
The power of having someone to talk to when you are down and confused cannot be underestimated. On ther other hand you must have a realtionship with your own inner wants and needs. You cannot be pulled off your path by friends or mentors’s advice.
The power of a friend is not that they will tell you what to do, but rather that they can settle your emotions and feelings and show you that you can be yourself.
When you talk to others the focus is on empowering them to have the courage to take the next step for themselves. Do not be tempted to become attached to an outcome for them. The other person seems to be asking your advice, but really he is asking you to believe in him. He needs to do the advice that fits his soul, and usually our advice is too tainted with our personal bias to be truth for them. Even if you had the right advice for your friend he often needs to come to it himself for it to be helpful. Be the rock for them to push off of.
Why is it important to give others guidance? We all have a part of ourselves that looks to others for help, not being available as a help yourself is an act of egoism, it seems to be saying I am not worthy of being your support, but really it is putting yourself higher than others. No one is looking for you to be something special, or exalted. Be a friend. Do not pretend that you need do not need that either, and do not pretend that you are not able to be that. By refusing to be a friend you are invalidating you’re need and theirs.
- We all need friends.
- You need to be there for others when they need it.
- You need others to be there for you sometimes.
- The focus of being there for someone is not that they should follow your advice, but rather that you give them the support they need in their journey.
How do you do this well for someone?
- Understand them.
- Repeat what they said in different words.
- Ask questions.
- Invite them to challenge their self made limitations.
- Explore options with them.
- Be the rock for them to push off of.
- Know the balance of being helped versus leading your own path.
- Be a friend.
A Class I gave at Yeshivat Shaarei Shalom in Jerusalem on Parshat Lech Lecha.
If you want for instance to have a higher income than you have now, think about why. What is the meaningful end you are trying to reach?
The money is not meaningful, the things that you could do are.
The reason that this is important is because you may miss the opportunity of attaining that meaningful goal if you are fixed on getting to it through your determined means.
If you really want a safe and reliable means to get to work and therefore you want money to buy a car do not pray only for the money, but also for the car.
This is obvious in a situation such as the car. It is less obvious when it is mixed with other needs which money would would all seem to be cured with a steady influx of cash.
Be open to salvation coming in ways unexpected. Unlock your heart and connect to the deepest desires you have around this need.
My friend shared a beautiful experience with me. He loves crafting unforgettably special Shabbat meals with many guests at his home, but felt he needed greater income to support his passion. He wanted a better job, but worried that a new job would jeapordize his other priorities such as community, family etc. In the end the community head approached him with a proposal that the community would pay him to host guests which others could not accommodate! Wham! The meaningful ends he so much wanted without the compromise he thought he would need to make.
Pray from the meaningful desire and you will be focused on that and radiating that. This is positive. Praying for different circumstances is not positive, it is a dead energy.
You will attract and network and find what you want when that is your focus. When you focus on the money you are instead creating an energy of lack and resentment.
So what is truly meaningful to you? What is dynamic and exciting for you? What is your reason for life?
Be filled with this and talk about it. Pray about it and be open to salvation coming in ways unexpected.
“Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small; Though with patience He stands waiting, with exactness grinds He all.”
― Henry Wadsworth Longellow
Exceedingly Exact – Be Wary Of Some Therapies
Your life may at times seem overly difficult, turbulent, chaotic, but there is always a purpose for the challenges we face. The process of our unfolding is one which is cosmically exact, and ultimately thorough.
Were any significant gain in your life to be come by with ease, or happenstance it would necesarily be a useless gain.
The journey of life is one of revealing the truth of yourself to yourself. Of experinecing consciously all you are.
Were you fully conscious as a child? no. You were pure, perfect, and unashamed, but conscious of your depest abilities and truths? no.
Sometimes I see others seeking out specific therapies, because they have one layer of block which they cannot reach and they believe this will help.
I disagree with this belief. We do not seek a means to be free of blocks, but rather employ the means of the moment to reveal the tuth from the darkness that is right now!
To explain: While the end will be an ultimate freedom from constrictive blocks, the blocks are not ‘negative’ ‘unwanted’ or ‘bad’. When working through an issue with your wife the end is frrdom from issues, bur the issue is not a problem, it is a tool to become closer. Your inner chaos is the tool for the expansion of your consciousness.
So… do not seek ultimate weapons, far-out therapies, or expensive modalities. Don’t miss the gains of the growth you could be having while waiting for the treatment. After all there is nothing to lose from trying. The only loss is not trying.
Embrace the challenge of the moment. Trust the process of your unfolding, it is exceedingly exact.