Wednesday, June 20, 2012

DENTIST´S WAITING ROOM,, the Louis Vuitton shoe,,,,and what does it take to be a survivor

True Courage

There are many forms of courage: Have the courage to ask people for help when you need it. Have the courage to say, "I don't know." Have the courage to ask questions when you don't understand something. Have the courage to push forward even if you might make mistakes. Have the courage to do the will of our Creator.

Love Yehuda Lave

 What does it take to survive? Like many mothers and fathers in our community, mine were survivors of the Nazi killing machine. What does it take to be a survivor – of any kind? Surviving oppression; surviving seeming financial ruin; surviving a close relationship breakdown; surviving addiction.


Growing up in a survivor family, plus the experience of years gained since, I am better equipped to identify some of these survival qualities and skills. All the more timely as we find ourselves in a world of unrelenting confluence of political, economic, social and psychological challenge. May I share with you some personal conclusions:

Belief: Life and world are mysteries. Our finite minds can never logically or scientifically understand the enigma of life's puzzle.  Yet the human being possesses an indefinable aptitude to reach beyond the limits of mind and emotion to  access an 'inner knowing' within the soul. The erudite psychiatrist and holocaust survivor, Victor Frankl, punctuates his conclusions, noting that the essential survival features are strong belief and strength of loving relationships. Since we now know, through mind/body medicine, the ability of positive attitude in the face of adversity to translate down to the cellular level of the body, belief and faith are clearly important ingredients promoting health and integrity of body and mind, and of hope.

Strategic Thinking: In the moment of major challenge, the mind may go into a spin.  The overwhelming fears that arise drive thoughts into catastrophic thinking, further exacerbating mind's illogicality. The survivor needs to draw on inner strength to guide the mind to process information with clarity, searchingly and coolly. A powerful  teaching notes that no challenge is placed in our path that we don't have the capacity to overcome. Imbedding this axiom deeply in the mind injects confidence, a strategic beginning point for structured analysis.

Emotional Intelligence: When fear dominates, the mind suffers confusion and even mental shut-down. The unyielding waves of emotion drown the weak mind, coaxing it to conjure up worst-case scenarios. Fear breeds more fear. Another  teaching  instructs: the mind must tame and guide the heart. This doesn't necessitate the withdrawal or suppression of emotions.  It does require a disciplined mind to do its part and provide a compass-bearing for intelligent emotions to drive strategic thinking.

These cardinal three principles I learned from my parents' response to, and survival of, the tribulations of the holocaust.
These same principles are applicable to any challenge of any magnitude, major or minor. Are you facing a challenge?  Apply these life skills. You possess amazing resilience, and can create a quantum leap of inner calm, leading to the far greater probability of finding solutions to problems.
The greater the challenge, the greater the person's capacity to survive. You, too, can be a survivor.



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                                                                                                                                                              בחדר ההמתנה  


Making the Louis Vuitton Shoe



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