April 2, 2008

Wow, I am crabby. I'm not crabby. I'm waiting. I'm not waiting. I'm being. I am loaded for bear and half cocked. I swear on a pile of piffle. Argh.

Learning From the Heart, I promised a review. The book starts stronger than it ends. Still there were three key ideas that moved me, either for their newness or the eloquence with which they were expressed, and all for their truth and the way they further healthy relationships:

1) Unfelt emotions carry almost as much weight as felt ones/You can obscure your own voice from yourself.
2) As a human, you are at your most accessible when you are openly vulnerable.
3) Anxiety is profoundly human. Hear it and it will get better.

"His own voice-the one inside-had been silenced. He had never listened to it, and now he didn't know where it was. And that's what happens: over time, if we don't hear ourselves, our own quiet voice gets silenced... If we want to hear our children, we need to take time first to listen to ourselves. Only then we can listen to them."

"In the face of unexpected tragedy, humans have lots of different reactions. And those reactions get dealt with in many ways. When humans around me were anxious, I was anxious. When they were open and nurturing, I felt safe. And when they felt vulnerable, I was nurturing, and we both felt better. In those first few days, I was beginning to learn that emotions are contagious. Even unfelt emotions."

Make use of The Well Spouse Foundation if someone you care for is very ill. "But there is another source of care for caregivers. And it can be life sustaining. If you are taking care of me and you love me, ask me what its like for me to be ill and to be taken care of. And then just listen. And then-this part is very important-tell me what all of this is like for you. What are your losses and fears? Tell me about all of your mixed feelings and hopefully I'll be able to listen, hold your hand, smile, and feel deeply about your life. That will help you. That will help me... If we wear kid gloves when interacting with one another, we will never get to make genuine contact with the people we love and need the most."

Oh, and THIS ONE: "The answer is simple and terribly difficult," I said. "You must fix your life. It is an act of love to your children to find meaning, joy, and contentment in your own life."

"We didn't try to cure illness. We tried to pursue happiness."

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for mentioning the Well Spouse Foundation. While communication between spouses is paramont, having other people to discuss the hard times with can be of help! The person who can understand what you are going thru best is the one who has already been there. (Please note that our name has been changed to the Well Spouse Association.)Thank you again. Sincerely, Johanna Karr, WSA

Mommylion said...

"The answer is simple and terribly difficult," I said. "You must fix your life. It is an act of love to your children to find meaning, joy, and contentment in your own life."

"We didn't try to cure illness. We tried to pursue happiness."

Awesome quotes.