Blog Post No. 168
By Dr Jim Byrne
15th July 2018 (Updated on 15th March 2020)
Dr Jim’s Blog: Literature, personal writing of fiction, and therapeutic healing of the heart and mind
Copyright (c) Jim Byrne, July 2018
Individual Life is a gift, bestowed by Collective Life, upon fragments of Living Stuff. Life is a rolling floor-show of life living itself!
We come into existence knowing nothing; and guessing what life might be about. We stumble through childhood, suffering the blows of negative treatment, and savouring the kiss of good fortune. We float into adolescence with the naiveté of a baby encountering its first crocodile! And, if we are fortunate, we encounter love in our late twenties, or our early thirties, and feel the full range of emotions: from ecstatic and sweet joy, to fearful and angry insecurity.
The Bamboo Paradox: The limits of human flexibility in a cruel world – and how to protect, defend and strengthen yourself
Finding the Golden Mean that leads to strength and viable flexibility, in order to be happy, healthy and realistically successful
By Dr Jim Byrne.
With contributed chapters by Renata Taylor-Byrne
The Institute for E-CENT Publications: 2020
Are human beings like bamboo? Are we designed to withstand unlimited pressure, stress and strain? Is our destiny to be sacrificed on the altar of ‘flexible working arrangements’?
We live in a world in which there are dark forces that wish us to forget that we are fleshy bodies, with physical and mental needs; and physical and mental limitations; and to be willing to function like mere cogs in the wheels of somebody else’s financial or technological empire.
Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) has played into this narrative, and given it philosophical support, by promoting a form of Extreme Stoicism in the name of therapy and wisdom, which it patently is not. (General Cognitive Behaviour Therapy [CBT] also supports this agenda, but to a lesser degree, or in a less obvious way! And some forms of Extreme Buddhism also advocate ‘detachment’ from material concerns, such as the need for a balanced life!)
In this book, I review the research that we have done on the limits of human endurance, and the determinants of that endurance – as well as identifying a viable philosophy of life – which will help you to optimize your strength and flexibility, while at the same time taking care of your health and happiness.
If you want to take good care of yourself in the modern mad-market, you could benefit from studying this book. It will provide you with both a compass and a suit of armour which will support you with the challenges and battles you will inevitably face.
Often, we need to encounter the possibility of love in more than one relationship before we can make sense of this ennobling and devastating emotion.
We seek words for our experiences of love and hate, joy and devastation, only to fall back again and again into the void of unknowing: the wordless pit of unconsciousness.
If we are fortunate, we will discover some aspects of the great literature of those who traversed these trackless voids of human beginnings and developments before us; and we may feel in our hearts and guts the pains and pleasures, the defeats and victories, that those who went before us felt and described.
How to Resolve Conflict and Unhappiness: Especially during Festive Celebrations:
Coping with and resolving frustrations, disappointments and interpersonal clashes at family celebrations like Christmas, Yuletide, Hanukkah, Eid, and Thanksgiving
Dr Jim Byrne (With Renata Taylor-Byrne)
Conflict can happen in families at any time of year. It jut so happens that the first Monday after the Christmas & New Year annual holidays is called ‘Divorce Day’, because that is when the highest number of divorce petitions is issued. And it seems most likely that the other major family holiday times are the runners up in the divorce stakes. However, what is hidden under these divorce statistics is the mountain of personal and social misery that precedes such drastic ‘solutions’ to repeated conflict, disappointments and interpersonal clashes.
But there is a better way to deal with these problems. Rather than letting the misery build up over time, you can take control of both your own mind, and the way you communicate within your family and society. You can insulate your social relationships from constant or repeated misery and unhappiness; and learn to have a wonderful life with your family and friends.
The solutions have been assembled by Dr Jim Byrne in this book about how to re-think/re-feel/re-frame your encounters with your significant others; how to communicate so they will listen; how to listen so they can communicate with you; and how to manage your lifestyle for optimum peace, happiness and success in all your relationships.
PAPERBACK AND eBOOK ON CONFLICT RESOLUTION…
Don’t let your relationships deteriorate. Get the solution today. Click this link for more.***
On being human
The highest calling of a human being is to make sense of our own life, as moral beings, and to share that understanding with those who follow along behind us, so that they might avoid – or traverse more smoothly – the swamps and volcanoes that we had to endure.
Whether we are born in the smallest village in Ireland, or the largest suburb of the largest city in the United States of America; or somewhere in South America; or South Asia, or Central Africa; there is nothing to say that we may not have the latest parable of human suffering and divine love on the tip of our tongues!
Metal Dog – Long road home, by Jim Byrne (Daniel O’Beeve)
I was born in the Year of the Dog, 1946 – during the summer; which makes me a Metal Dog. Metal Dogs are hardwired to promote justice and fairness, and to be loyal to others. They are offended by injustice and unfairness.
Because I was a Metal Dog, I would not settle for the rotten social position I was thrown into; and I would not accept the kind of loveless life that my parents had modelled for me. So I left home at the age of eighteen years, and began a kind of vagabond life (which looked okay from the outside), but I was just wandering from one unworkable situation to another. However, somehow, because I am a persistent “dog”, I kept knocking on the doors of life to try to find a way into a more enjoyable of life. By dint of effort, and some good luck, especially in finding a couple of women who were able to love me, and to teach me how to love, I found my way to a kind of unimaginable Nirvana! The Lotus Land…
The reading of good quality literature – from any and every era of the novel and the stage play – is emotionally educating, and healing of traumatic past experiences. You can recover from sadness and depression; anger towards the world; and defeatist timidity: Just by exposing your mind and heart to the stories of others who went before you.
The writing of semi-autobiographical stories – with some, little emotional distance from direct, personal experience – is a great way to indirectly digest past traumatic or difficult experiences.
A good semi-autobiographical story, built on fragments learned from the insights of generations of novelists and other authors, is a great way to pass on personal healing examples and therapeutic gifts. And that is what I have tried to do in my story about Daniel O’Beeve.***
I would like to encourage readers to begin to write short pieces, stories – in semi-autobiographical form – about their own difficulties in the past. It will help you enormously to grow your emotional literacy (or EQ).
Please take a look at my story if you need a template, or some guidance on how to fictionalise a life story. Link to Daniel O’Beeve’s story.***
PS: About an hour after I posted this blog, Daniel’s story became available on Amazon, here: Daniel O’Beeve’s story at Amazon.co.uk.***
For more links, please go here: https://abc-counselling.org/2018/07/15/reading-writing-literature-and-self-healing/
That’s all for the moment.
I hope you try this therapeutic writing approach, and gain enormously from using it!
Dr Jim Byrne