Of all the statements of the sixties and seventies that I use
practically everyday, one is the title of Gerald Jampolski’s book,
“Love is Letting Go of Fear.” The other day on seeing a patient, I
used that phrase for the umpteenth time; and thought to myself:
‘What is fear?.’ It is an emotional experience, not unlike love, and
as difficult to wrap one’s mind around as love. I realized that I
needed a word to help me understand fear in a practical way. That
night ‘fear’ became my meditation.
In the silence of meditating on ‘fear,’ the word ‘loss’ came to mind.
Could fear simply be a result of loss of life, a loved one, finances,
control, the known, peace, certainty, freedom, all those things that
can never be guaranteed? The ego revolves around ownership. To
a significant degree, the ego represents what we have
obtained— knowledge, position, wealth, power, status— all of which
can be taken away from an individual.
When we are born we are given the gift of life, having nothing and
without fear. What if ownership as ego is an illusion? Then it
makes sense what Buddha stated: “The three marks of existence
are impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and non-selfhood.” If Love
is indeed letting go of fear of loss, would we then live in love with
far less suffering and ego? If we could accept that all of life is
simply a gift of love, and that our existence is service to eternal
life; would we be happier? Would this stop our ‘warring,’ our
insanity to have or be anything more then who we are? Could we be
even more accepting that death is part of life?
Perhaps the greatest gift that we can offer another is the love that we
discover within ourselves. Self-love has a beginning, but no end. One of
the many games of life is to learn alchemy: the transmutation of
emotional pain into love. Physical pain, on the other hand, is meant to
be remembered. It tells us where to tread lightly. Physical pain is a
form of love, telling us where not to go.
However, our gift to life is found within our childhood emotional pain. It
is within childhood discomfort that we can find the ideal substrate of love
to be transmuted. Emotional pain, the emotional unmet needs, are the
‘stuff’ that is within us, initiated from outside of ourselves; projected
onto us by the trans-generational past (epigenetically). Ancestral
emotional pain dwells in our unconscious; only to arise periodically into
conscious emotional pain, in the form of feelings of abandon,
abusiveness, or both. It is here that emotional pain masks the truth of
who we are: Love Made Visible.
This aspect of the game of life is to uncover our true nature by meeting
our own unmet emotional needs. This is how Self-love is realized. Self-
love imbues others with that same love of self. We each carry different
aspects of love. We cannot give another what does not dwell within
ourselves. We are here to make our unique form of love visible…for self
and other. Imbue all whom you touch with love, asking nothing in return.
The acknowledgment of ‘that other,’ those we observe to be different
from ourselves, is the origin of all of our problems: disconnection,
loneliness, judgment, comparison and more. What if the purpose of ‘that
other’ is simply to see ourselves, outside ourselves; in another form with
acceptance. How would life be different if we could accept ‘that other’
as a part of ourselves?
‘Other,’ the creator of tribalism, is born of fear of difference. Oh, how
we create separation. Oh, how we learn from our deep, dark past that
difference cannot be trusted. Oh, how we totally misunderstand that
beauty cannot exist without difference, and is the source of joy. Silly us,
believing beauty and safety are found in ‘sameness.’ Go figure!
Dr. Brenner would like to share a video he really enjoyed:
“This is a great video for us to share. I wish I was as erudite. The best piece on Epigenetics ever. I love, love Gabor.” ~Dr. Brenner
Dr. Gabor Mate speaks about childhood trauma, addiction, the mind body link, early development, attachment, and the importance of human connection.
Illness is the mind/body’s need for change. It is definitely not the time for self-judgement. Life abhors constancy, stagnation. I’m suggesting that life is in charge, and we are no more than passengers on its journey. Illness is often a station we stop at and have the choice to get off, continue, reevaluate our situation, self medicate, do nothing, or seek help. Whatever our choice, it and the outcome are perfect. Life is a game of choice and as such, you can never be wrong because the outcome is where your supposed to be. I.e.: here, now, with whatever happens.
There are so many forces that shape our lives, from genetic inheritance to emotional responses, the environment, chance, roads taken and those bypassed. Yet there is one constant in all of it…You. Yes, you’re ‘It!’ It is for this reason that, when the going gets tough, the only one who can save you is you.
So, when in distress, review your journey through life up to the present moment of concern. Find the recurrent situations and themes that have brought you to your present state. Have you been here before? Is this a ‘play it again’ moment? How did you manage the situation before, and
was it effective? What if you were to handle the situation entirely different; since your old solutions are probably as ineffective in the present as they were in the past.
Life demands newness. Life has just offered you a chance to change.
Change, movement and creativity are some of the keys to Life.
Check out Dr. Brenner’s new website, MyActuality.org.
Self-awareness is more important than you may realize.
Register and explore the process of MyActuality to learn more the inherent patterns of emotion and thought that influence so many factors of your life.
Over a number of years I have had clients who demonstrate the curse of being told in childhood, how special they are. Special comes with a dark side: anxiety, pressure to succeed, perfectionism, isolation and failure to meet expectations; and in time may lead to illness. “The gifted” may either burnout or self-sabotage to prove their family or teacher were wrong or to validate to themselves how they truly feel about themselves.
The beauty in life is found in its imperfections, the source of difference and ordinariness. The expectations placed on the special child are not only unrealistic, but impossible to achieve. Post childhood, these children find out that they are not alone. There are other individuals who are just as intelligent, just as successful, just as intelligent, just as athletic, just as creative……..more proficient.
The now adults becomes filled with a sense of failure, and they tend to sabotage themselves. Too often they may have illnesses that are difficult to diagnose and often associated with their gastrointestinal tract. Most recently, the gastrointestinal tract is referred to as the “second brain”. The gut produces the same bio-chemical substances in response to stress, fear and pain, as does the brain.
In parenting, we don’t need to do anything other then love our children and realize they, like all children, are love made visible. We should teach them to accept their ordinariness and follow their dreams. We should teach them that there is no such thing as perfection. We should teach them that there is no such thing as “the perfect job” or “permanent success”. We should teach them to mimic life by living in the present and embracing uncertainty, for the only constant in life is change and the beauty that can only be found in
Paul Brenner, M.D., PhD
A special post from Dr. Brenner:
Over the past few days, I’ve realized that I’m totally saturated by America’s fear of Death. Fear of not eating the right life extending diet or not doing the latest exercise to assure that I can live into my 90’s. And yes, those ridiculous Pharmaceutical Companies, filling T.V., while proffering cures while unashamedly create other illnesses. “Science” recently reported that 65% of all cancers are “simply bad luck,” the chance of DNA mutations, while the remaining 1/3 are due to diet and lifestyle. Oh, and yes, longevity is diminishing for the first time since “Modern medicine.” Ya mean the promise in science and technology to continue extending our lives is no more than a hoax? And Ya mean, I didn’t have to go to Medical School and take that Cancer Fellowship?
Along these lines, I could only ponder, maybe the sole purpose of Life, is to prepare for death. And the only way to prepare for Death is to live Life fully. And the only way to live Life fully is to be willing to die each day.
Dr. Brenner recently came across this fantastic article, which he would like to share with his friends (that’s you!)
Please click on the link or image below to check it out!
Dr. Brenner recently came across this inspiring story and has, himself, asked us to share it in lieu of his blog posts for this month! This wonderful story appears to be written in the words of a cancer survivor, who is the subject of this story, along with his miraculous animal friend , as you can see in the photo below.
This is the kind of story you need when it seems like the world is spiraling out of control.
Freedom and Jeff
“Freedom and I have been together 11 years this summer.
She came in as a baby in 1998 with two broken wings.
Her left wing doesn’t open all the way even after surgery, it was broken in 4 places. She’s my baby.
When Freedom came in, she could not stand and both wings were broken. She was emaciated and covered in lice.
We made the decision to give her a chance at life, so I took her to the vet’s office. From then on, I was always around her.
We had her in a huge dog carrier with the top off, and it was loaded up with shredded newspaper for her to lay in. I used to sit and talk to her, urging her to live, to fight; and she would lay there looking at me with those big brown eyes. We also had to tube feed her for weeks.
This went on for 4-6 weeks, and by then she still couldn’t stand. It got to the point where the decision was made to euthanize her if she couldn’t stand in a week.
You know you don’t want to cross that line between torture and rehab, and it looked like death was winning.
She was going to be put down that Friday, and I was supposed to come in on that Thursday afternoon. I didn’t want to go to the center that Thursday, because I couldn’t bear the thought of her being euthanized; but I went anyway, and when I walked in everyone was grinning from ear to ear.
I went immediately back to her cage; and there she was, standing on her own, a big beautiful eagle. She was ready to live. I was just about in tears by then. That was a very good day. We knew she could never fly, so the director asked me to glove train her.
I got her used to the glove, and then to jesses, and we started doing education programs for schools in western Washington.
We wound up in the newspapers, radio (believe it or not) and some TV. Miracle Pets even did a show about us.
In the spring of 2000, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I had stage 3, which is not good (one major organ plus everywhere), so I wound up doing 8 months of chemo. Lost the hair – the whole bit. I missed a lot of work.
When I felt good enough, I would go to Sarvey and take Freedom out for walks. Freedom would also come to me in my dreams and help me fight the cancer. This happened time and time again.
Fast forward to November 2000. The day after Thanksgiving, I went in for my last checkup. I was told that if the cancer was not all gone after 8 rounds of chemo, then my last option was a stem cell transplant.
Anyway, they did the tests; and I had to come back Monday for the results. I went in Monday, and I was told that all the cancer was gone.
So the first thing I did was get up to Sarvey and take the big girl out for a walk. It was misty and cold. I went to her flight and jessed her up, and we went out front to the top of the hill.
I hadn’t said a word to Freedom, but somehow she knew. She looked at me and wrapped both her wings around me to where I could feel them pressing in on my back (I was engulfed in eagle wings), and she touched my nose with her beak and stared into my eyes, and we just stood there like that for I don’t know how long.
That was a magic moment. We have been soul mates ever since she came in. This is a very special bird.
On a side note: I have had people who were sick come up to us when we are out, and Freedom has some kind of hold on them.
I once had a guy who was terminal come up to us and I let him hold her. His knees just about buckled and he swore he could feel her power course through his body. I have so many stories like that.
I never forget the honor I have of being so close to such a magnificent spirit as Freedom!! Hope you enjoyed this!”
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