Author Topic: Thanks DR.G & Resistance Builds Strength  (Read 2821 times)


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Thanks DR.G & Resistance Builds Strength
« on: February 11, 2004, 10:05:44 PM »

Firstly be warned, this is a long one. Before I launch off into my experience, I want to say thank you Dr Grossman for making it possible for others (and me) to express their pain, thoughts, confusions, mistakes, dreams and hopes in this specific medium, which is an excellent use of the WWW. Cyber-therapy provides anonimity & safety & a freedom of expression that I hadn't realised was possible or available. I truly thankyou.

I'm currently studying Tibetan Buddhism, and have read most of the Dalai Lama's writings, plus books written about anger theories, its cause & effect.

I'm an insatiable reader, and over the years I've read a lot about the science of the mind and the effect of anger on the brain and body, which is also an area of interest to the Dalai Lama. I was also once in love with Socrates, Plato & Aristotle all at the same time. My journey led me to people like Baruch Spinoza, Rene Descartes, Moses Mendelhhson, Martin Luther, and many more, who I've learned so much from and appreciated deeply. And many of these were possibly Narcissists. Plus the Christian Bible as well has been a source of inspiration. But one simple truth that I've learned I feel has personally empowered me and wanted to share it here in this forum. It has helped me to learn to with confidence in a world which I must accept I share with N People.  It's from Buddhism and as the Subject heading says "Resistance Builds Strength".

This partiular thought had such a profound effect on my thinking, attitudes and reactions, that I meditiated on it for weeks. I will attempt to reconstruct what I read. It was about 8 months ago I was reading a book by the Dalai Lama. Unfortunately, I didn't underline it or mark it  in the book, which I usually do so I can't provide title or page, and I have too many books for me to find it now. I hope I can do what he said justice.

(Background) The Dalai Lama was explaining patience. That we (humans) are generally impatient, and the west has a super 'I want it now, fast-everything mentality'. Fast food, fast cars, faster internet service etc. We demand everything be faster. And we are becoming more impatient. Plus, everything has to be perfect, and we avoid unpleasant people & things. This is our survival instinct.

Anyway, he was describing what happens if we never come in contact with people who rub us the wrong way, or if we have to wait.

He used this analogy.

That people become weak if they don't exercise. Exercise is the process of lifting, pushing , pulling and straining, resisting etc. It is the resistance that the body experiences whilst exercising that builds muscle, therefore strength. To create dense muscle it requires persistent exercise, constantly challenging the body to resist even greater weight, pulling, pushing etc.

Also, we do not automatically know what our physical strength is till we have it tested. So we go along to the gym and have our strength measured, along with heart rate/ pulse reading cardio-equipment etc. We can then receive a report telling us our strength level.

He said it's the same for our character. For example, we will never know how patient we are until we are in a situation which challenges our patience. Then we can see how patient we really are. If we constantly avoid situations which test our patience, we can never exercise our patience.  Thereby building it up, and learning about ourselves and our weaknesses. He said if we are only ever around people we like or who we feel comfortable with, we will never grow. He said if we constantly avoid people because we feel they will take advantage of us, we are not learning to grow/develop a healthy consciousness . That if we only ever avoid such people, we run the risk of moving in ever decreasing circles, because such people are everywhere, and have as much right to be here as we do.

He went on to say that Buddhism sees so called 'annoying/hurtful people' & 'annoying/hurtful situations' as barometers, and so oppportunities for reflection & character building & change. This turning the coin over, and creating a new paradigm, is one of the interesting/fascinating things I've enjoyed about Buddhist philosophy.

(I'm of Jewish origin, a practising Christian, who agrees with most Buddhist philosophy so far).  

The realisation is obvious, that so called 'negative experiences' can actually be turned over and viewed as positive experiences in our lives. The experience itself is still negative, but when we can use it to grow & learn it becomes positive. I's all been said before, Dale Carnegie, Napolean Hill, Norman Vincent Peale, 'Life throws you a lemon - make lemonade'.

But I took it into the realm of N's. In learning to deal with the N's in my life, armed with this reality I discovered I no longer feel the need to avoid them. I feel the need to work on strengthening myself so that I am no longer the 'victim', and don't have any cause to fear them. I choose to learn my strengths/weaknesses, stand my ground and be in control of my own life. In resisting the N's attempt to manipulate, control, deride or even deceive, I'm becoming responsible, healthier, stronger, and feel I am able to make assessments about how far I've come. I don't feel afraid to discover where I fouled up in the past or what I need to strengthen in future. I no longer get into self-reproach, such as, "How could I have been such an idiot, and fallen for that again." My internal conversation, particularly when meditating later about a perceived trampling goes more like this. "Okay, I can see why that happened", (once I can see what happened, of course. This is where your forum comes in so handy, You get such good feedback!). "I must be more watchful in future in that type of situation." I try to journal these things, and go back over it occasionally to see how I'm going. Of course, I trip up regularly, but I'm not concerned about or afraid of contact with N's anymore. Every encounter I have with the N's around me, NHusband, Nfriend, I feel more in control of myself, and if necessary do an inventory.

One thing I've noticed is that N's don't hang around too long, if you are consciously, deliberately, silently resisitng their N-manouvers. They lose interest and go for easier pickings, and unfortunately they're out there.

I ceased hating my MMother for the havoc she caused. You know the story of the frog & the scorpion, the scorpion wanted to cross the river and asked the frog to take him. At first the frog declined, then the scorpion promised he wouldn't bite him. Half way across the scorpion bit the frog, and as the frog was dying and the scorpion was drowning, the frog asked "Why did you bite me?" The scorpion answered, "Because I'm a scorpion, that's what I do."

My mother could never have been any other type of mother. She was made that way by tremendous abuse and neglect as a child. She had no voice at all as a child. She could only ever be the beast she was. But I no longer hate her, and that's good. And I learned to resist her and haven't heard from her or seen her for 7 years. And that's good, and it's her choice.
And once again thanks so much for making this service available, such brilliant use of the WWW.