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Scott Seigel

HCS

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How has enduring some extreme hardship profoundly impacted your life?

Twenty years ago, the death of my best friend allowed me to cry after the Army had "trained" it out of me. Recently marital separation has caused me to evaluate and refocus my life on deeper, more valuable things than pleasure, power, status and wealth. Voluntarily living to serve and care for others transcends logic and selfishness. It's benefits far surpass self-serving forms of love. Whether you are "paying it forward," "doing as you'd want others to do for you," or "creating good karma," personally making the world a better place probably benefits the doer most of all. Furthermore, the more you're willing to endure and suffer, the better the result.

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    May 6 2012: wow,...I can relate,...i bagged on of my best friends,..and the others I watched them be put on a chopper in bag's,...I know i am hard,..but i also know the time will come when it will come back,.....I guess it as effected me by becoming emotionlly numb,....but i think that comes with the job...........I hope i touched on your topic.....
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      May 7 2012: Abel,

      A very extreme situation..war time I gather...

      I think possibly it is much harder to witness the suffering of others..or the unbelievable mutiliations and ravages of war or accident than it is to encounter accept and overcome our own suffering.

      What you have witnessed is much harder I think than one's own suffering.
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      May 7 2012: My wife's 15 months in Iraq definitely changed her. I believe the end result will be great inner growth, but I think it may have destroyed some very precious things about her as well. Nietzsche said, "'What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." I think the point at which hope disappears (even a little) is where hardships begins to "destroy" us.
      • May 9 2012: Scott, the precious things about your wife have been buried, they cannot be destroyed. With time, patience and nurturing they will surface again. If I may be so bold to say I think a common link in all of the stories here, and this held true for me, is a missing element: feeling love for oneself. As I continue my learning/teaching adventure of life I see this to be true in every patient I work with. A core belief in our culture is it is selfish to put your own happiness first.

        Yet loving yourself and being happy, being SELF-ish is not the same as being egotistical. It is a way to fill your tank so you have plenty to give and the ability to receive.

        Pick up a mirror and look deeply into your eyes until you look back at yourself with love. It is a powerful step in healing all areas of life.

        I hope I haven't stepped off topic here.
        Cheers.
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        May 10 2012: Scott and Jenni,
        My experience is in line with Nietzsche's quote..."What does not destroy me, makes me stronger."
        I also agree with your insightful statement Scott..."the point at which hope disappears (even a little) is where hardships begins to "destroy" us". Although the hardship cannot destroy us, our perception of the hardship certainly can lead us to feel like we may be "destroyed".

        I agree Jenni, that some precious things may become buried, and with patience, nurturing and unconditional love of ourselves, can surface again. I also agree that it is common to believe that we should not give to ourselves. It is the practice of looking at one "self" honestly, with love, caring, patience, compassion and empathy, that we allow deep feelings to surface again.

        We may be trying to bury some of the feelings that emerge, and may not like what we see. However, with the feelings we may not like to experience again, will be the feelings that we are trying to uncover.

        When we bury feeelings, we bury ALL feelings. When we put up protective walls, masks, defense mechanisms, it prevents us from feeling. It's important to "peel back the onion", and when we do so, it takes courage because some of what we experience may not be desirable. However, that is the only way to get back to the core, and truly look at our "self" with love.

        We cannot give to others something we do not have in ourselves, so to rediscover all parts of our "self"...'Know thyself" ....is on the path to turning challenges into experiences from which we can learn, grow and evolve as loving human beings. As you insightfully say Jenni..."It is a way to fill your tank so you have plenty to give and the ability to receive"...well said:>)
        • May 10 2012: Dear Colleen,
          Any type of healing comes in layers.. When buried emotions or memories are ready to be released they surface and it may seem as if we are regressing, and it can be a very difficult time leading us to bury the emotion again.

          When the "peel back the onion" concept is understood, one can say okay, "I'm peeling off this layer" and let yourself feel and release. It is also important to understand that at the same time the good feelings, happiness, joy, peace, are around us. They may be buried by the layer being peeled off.

          Use this knowledge to make a choice. Example: You feel depressed. (a) You can immerse yourself in the depression to the point you can't do anything but feel depressed.( b) You can understand it is a layer being released and flow through it, choosing to feel the depression for a few minutes at a time and then remember memory that brings up joy and choose to stay there. (c) Or for the more advanced, bring the happier you over to hold the depressed you as you would a hurting child and comfort yourself.
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        May 10 2012: I agree Jenni, that healing comes in layers, and when buried emotions or memories are ready to be released, they surface, and it may seem as if we are regressing. I believe that is what keeps people from exploring painful emotions and memories. When we can get past the pain sometimes, it takes us to a new level of understanding, courage and strength in ourselves.

        The more we do it, the more we realize the benefits...don't you think? I agree Jenni that we can make choices regarding what we allow ourselves to feel at any given time. Once we know that, the exploration is not so difficult or frightening, and in fact, enjoyable, in my perception. I know now how much joy and gratitude I experience once on the other side of another layer:>)

        When we have compassion, empathy, and unconditional love, we can indeed give strength to the part of us that is not doing so well. Well said Jennie:>)
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      May 10 2012: Dear Abel,
      There are times when we become "emotionally numb" to protect ourselves...to prevent our experiences from destroying us. You seem like a very insightful person, because you also recognize that it may be part of the job, and the most important and insightful part of your comment, is this...."but i also know the time will come when it will come back".

      I totally agree Abel... feelings that you wish to return, will come back. I hope you are talking with a trusted person, and I also sincerely hope that you have patience, compassion, empathy and unconditional love for yourself. My thoughts and love are with you my friend.

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