Neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux says “When we feel anxiety, fear, or depression, we cannot force our emotional brain to stop them.” No amount of thought can convince the emotional brain that things are all right. Because life was so dangerous for millions of years, brains evolved to put fear first, ahead of love, pleasure, and rationality. Fear bosses us around for a reason.
The single most mind-blowing factoid I ever heard – the human body produces about 2.4 million new red blood cells (RBCs) every…..second. Day and night, second after second, 2.4 million new life forms. There is more going on in your body at this very moment than in all of downtown Tokyo at rush hour.
Yesterday on Facebook, near the top of my newsfeed, I saw a post from a page called Disarm the Police in America. It started “The following families will have an empty chair at their Christmas dinner.” I clicked on it and found a long series of pictures of victims of police shootings. Under each one, page host Rick Hill had written: “Our family will keep your family in our prayers.” In the comments under each post, a woman named Patricia had typed “JUSTICE for (the person pictured.”) In some cases, family members of victims had commented things like “Thanks everyone for your support.” “Still fighting for justice,” “It still hurts.”
On and on for at least 30 people whose cases Disarm the Police are following. I was sobbing after the first three, but I couldn’t stop reading. I’m crying about it now, just thinking about it. But that brings up the question, why was I reading it? Why couldn’t I stop? It’s not like reading their stories was doing the families any good. I wasn’t learning anything new. These were just 30 cases out of thousands in the USA and thousands more worldwide.
All I was getting out of it was sadness. So why look?
I think it’s fair to say my mother June was loved. With adoring children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, friends, lovers, and colleagues, it only took her 80 years to realize it. She started to pick up on others’ love only after my brother Daniel persuaded the whole family to tell her, “I love you” every chance we got. Even then it took years.
June at 87
There’s nothing unusual about June’s slow uptake. If you’re like most people, you have no idea how much you are loved. But you are, and I can prove it.
Posted in healing, Reasons to Live, Uncategorized
Tagged agape, Gary Chapman, gifts, Lori Deschene, love, phileo, service, sex, touch
Aisha and I were at Yerba Buena Gardens listening to the Dafnis Prieto sextet, a fabulous Cuban jazz group. The concert was on the lawn; the day was sunny and cool, my favorite weather. The band featured a trumpet, sax and trombone along with keyboard, bass, and Prieto on a huge drum and percussion set. They make a lot of sound, polyrhythmic and soaring.
“I feel lost,” Margaret told us. “My family acts like they don’t want to be bothered with me. It’s like I’m alone.” Her grief poured out in an increasing wave. She had started talking softly about her brother’s recent death, then others who had died. She looked at the floor; she talked faster and started to cry.
The first Inn by the Healing Path book is now available from all major e-book retailers including Smashwords and Kindle.
The Inn by the Healing Path: Stories on the Road to Wellness Book 1: Never Alone is short but powerful, with six healing stories plus discussion and self-help questions. Please sample the first 30% for free, buy ($2.99,) write a review, tell your friends, share on FaceBook and other media. See my author profile. Like my FB page for inspirational and challenging messages once or twice a week.
“Don’t cling to things. Consider your property something that the universe (whatever you conceive that to be) has bestowed on you temporarily. Keep in mind that it can recoup this (and more) in the blink of an eye.” Rolf Dobelli, The Art of Thinking Clearly
Dobelli was writing about an economic quirk called the Endowment Effect. We tend to value things more highly when we own them. We don’t want to part with them, which can lead to bad investment decisions. His saying also reflects a spiritual truth. The Sufis say, “You have many endowments which are yours only in trust. When you understand this, you can give them to the rightful owners.”
Learning this wisdom can change people’s lives, as it did for Bishop William Greg Valentine of San Francisco. Valentine is Senior Pastor of St. Paul’s Tabernacle Baptist Church in the Bayview District. Last month, a group of us from Jewish Voice for Peace joined the community in repairing the church after an attack by vandals, who had destroyed pews and carpets and spray painted walls with racist graffiti. While the work went on, Pastor Valentine told us a story.