All the urging to be yourself has a dangerous side. Yourself is many selves and the one you choose matters and requires thought particularly when in pain.
Sullivan was the author of a biography of Beethoven. Beethoven was born in 1770. His music, which is generally split into three periods; each one related to the gradual decline in his hearing. He wrote his First and Second Symphonies while he mostly had adequate hearing.
He started having hearing problems in 1796. During this period he wrote among other things the Moonlight sonata, the opera Fidelio, and six more symphonies.
The Late Period starts just before 1820 when he was close to being fully deaf or nearly so. During this time, his music switched back to including more high notes which had not been used in his middle period compositions. Loss of those notes is a sign of deafness. Many speculate the return of the high notes meant he had accepted his deafness and was listening with his inner ear. This period included what most consider his greatest composition – the Ninth Symphony; he began working on this in 1822 and it was first performed in 1824.
His struggle with deafness followed the path most need to follow in order to heal: denial which often involves efforts to change or control what is hurting you, then a period of strong feeling, which for some is anger, others pain and most often is an alternating between those and other strong feelings including guilt and shame..
The final stage is what Marsha Linehan calls Radical Acceptance: seeing what is and not wasting energy denying or trying to change what you cannot change. “It is what it is.”
Dealing with pain? Hopefully in time you might also come to the point Sullivan felt Beethoven had reached. You accept what is, accept you are suffering and then do what ever healthy things you can do to get through to a better state or to ease the pain of the moment if that is possible.
You might be lucky enough to find a lesson in the pain or find a new path to relief. I suspect for Beethoven, finding a way to create music despite his suffering brought him great relief from the pain.
A recent Facebook friend suggested when praying about suffering, yours or another’s using the words “Make it count.” A wise motto to add to your selftalk whether you pray or not.
Words of warning: All suffering is personal and subjective. That means you are the one who knows the depth of yours. Your suffering may seem trivial by most people’s rating, to you it might be as immense or traumatic as Beethoven’s loss of his hearing.
Pain, no matter whether great or small, is dealt with mainly in three ways. The healthiest way to deal with it is to make it count for good.One way?
Giving up in one way – the most extreme being suicide. Not healthy.
Another way? Getting angry and holding onto the anger in order to not feel the pain. Anger is a powerful cover-up for pain, but if you look deeply at all anger, you will find it started with a hurt, the hurt could be a physical blow or an emotional blow.
Much of the anger taking to the streets starts with the pain felt when a victim or injustice. Jerome Kagan and the other cognitive theorists note that uncertainty about the self-worth is a major source of psychological pain and is often dealt with by getting angry at those you think are causing you to feel valueless. Think of racial or religious hatreds. Not healthy.
The third way is to acknowledging the hurt, look for a lesson, check the lesson for anger and hatred and let go of those by practicing kindness when you can.
Emotional Fitness Tip for being the best you: When suffering remember hatred and anger only breed more hurt, more hatred and we all know hate and anger, they are part of out worse selves. Practicing kindness lets you access your good self and makes your life, the lives of those around you, and the world a better place.
IMPROVE YOUR THINKING SKILLS NOW
How? Answer this DAILY PROMPT Sliced Bread: Most of us have heard the saying, “That’s the best thing since sliced bread!” What do you think is actually the best thing since sliced bread? Thanks for the great idea, crazydotcom!
My thoughts: Sliced bread is a good way to think about our many selves. Seeing that you have an emotional self, a thinking self, a good self, and what the rabbis call an evilly inclined self, a bored self, a sad self, a mad self helps you stay emotionally strong and gives you more options than being just one of these things.
Even the mad self has value as long as it seeks to right wrongs without acting on the evil inclination self hurt and anger can arouse.
Strengthen your child’s ability to deal with pain by acknowledging hurts, teaching the rating of pain, teaching self soothing skills, what matters, and practicing kindness. Go to my parenting blog for more tips.
LINKS OF INTEREST
- When Intuition Fails (apa.org)
- Logical Reasoning (en.wikipedia.org)
- Twisted Thinking (psychologycentral.com))
- Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)
- The EFTI Store (eftistore.com)
- Word Press Daily Prompt (wordpress.com)
Don’t think you can afford a life coach? Like a life coach, EFTI’s poster coaches inspire, teach, motivate, and reinforce thinking about what matters. To use, print up in color and post there it will be seen often. Poster Coaches can also be used at Family Meetings to start a discussion about what matters.
THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO
Keep working to stay strong, I work hard to do the same . As noted above, I am not perfect, no one is and this week;s post will be all about praising imperfection.
Remember’s sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness is to share this post if you found it helpful. Thank you.