Out of Pandora’s Box…
This year I replaced the iPod I used to play
music during psychotherapy sessions
with music streamed through Pandora on my
computer…and I love it! Now I stream a mix of
new age, Celtic, and classical music all day long.
Like Pandora’s box, once I opened it,
I didn’t know what was going to come flying out.
Synchronicity and A New Riff
Hardly anyone notices there is music in my
office, and that’s fine…it shouldn’t really be what
stands out. But this morning, just as my client was
discussing how she was attempting to deal with
a very traumatic event in her life, not only did she
notice it, she recognized it was the theme from
Schindler’s List…and that began a new riff.
Our obligation is to give meaning to life and in
doing so to overcome the passive, indifferent life.
From an early age, I knew quite a bit about the
Holocaust. My Hungarian father, my aunts and
grandmother were concentration camp survivors.
As I grew up, I heard stories and saw the effects on
real human beings of inhuman trauma and tragedies,
of things that no one should ever have to experience.
My family history made me aware there was real evil in the world.
But it also taught me that there was the chance to overcome it.
We have to go into the despair and go beyond it,
by working and doing for somebody else,
by using it for something else.
Back to this morning’s therapy session.
A conversation began about how remembering
something as terrible as the Holocaust could
provide perspective on whatever a person
was dealing with or coping with in the moment.
You might see that whatever you are facing
is probably nowhere near as bad as the
circumstances of the actual Holocaust.
And that could give you some relief.
Or you might relate, instead, to the pain and
suffering of those who endured great trials.
Hope is like peace. It is not a gift from God.
It is a gift only we can give one another.
Thinking of what others have gone through
in truly horrific circumstances is not meant
to be an exercise to minimize your own pain.
Pain is pain, it is all legitimate and real,
and there are horrific circumstances
enough to go around, unfortunately,
no matter what the cause.
But thinking of what others have gone through
CAN provide an awareness that you belong
to the “tribe of humans” who know how you feel.
Because you belong to that group of human
beings who also have suffered and struggled.
And remembering what others have survived
can remind you that you can also survive your
own traumas and tragedies…you can gain hope
and courage from the triumph of the spirit of
others who also have been dearly challenged.
There are victories of the soul and spirit.
Sometimes, even if you lose, you win.
No matter what you may be challenged with today
in your life, remember that you are not alone.
There are others who have gone before you into
very dark places, met with evil incarnate, and
suffered and struggled and done the best they
could do in their awful circumstances.
You are not alone today in attempting to meet
whatever is your personal challenge.
And what is most important is that you fight
the good fight and that you never, ever give up.