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"A revelation of insight into the foundations of human suffering & transcendence. It not only lays out essential steps for inner freedom and joy but illuminates the way to true human potential." Paul Rademacher, author: A Spiritual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe

"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre

"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world and practical. The implications are profound." Peter Shepherd, author: Daring To Be Yourself

Monday, December 2, 2019

The Adrenaline Rush of Relationship Drama


There never seems to be a short supply of articles telling us about toxic relationships, trauma bonding, or just plain dysfunctional behaviour in our interaction with others. Why are we hooked and beguiled into these situations with such seeming ease and why do they appear to occur with such frequency in most demographics? The young, the old, the rich, the poor, the educated, and the less educated, business people, spiritual people, homemakers, and shift workers – individuals from all of these groups and more and from most global societies may fall into the sticky mire of the adrenaline rush of relationship drama. Clearly, what defines any one particular group does not necessarily ‘save’ you from stepping into that muddy psycho-emotional bog.

So what is it that takes us there? What keeps us there? Why do we go back for more?

Carl Gustav Jung referred to the infinite wisdom of the psyche that causes us to be attracted to those people who – once the initial honeymoon period is over, are precisely the people through whom we could learn, evolve, and transform ourselves. Why? Because the people we are attracted to in that fashion carry something within their psyche that resonates with something in our own, and that connects with as yet unresolved aspects of ourselves – as well as similar aspects in them. Therefore, when that initial honeymoon period is over and when some degree of frustration, strife, and more begins to emerge in the relationship, we have the opportunity – if we stick to the relationship for the time being – to resolve that as yet unresolved issue through our interaction with the other.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? The first problem, however, is that the majority of us don’t have the benefit of the information just presented in the last paragraph. Without that information, we will, in most likelihood, give the relationship a shot, but if things go from bad to worse, we throw in the towel and therefore neglect to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity that a relationship presents to our potential evolution. As so often, knowledge is power but without that knowledge we may simply give up and eventually find ourselves in another, fairly similar relationship. The second issue is that we are most certainly - generally - not self-aware enough, that even if we did have the benefit of this information, to be able to carry on in such a fraught relationship. In other words, our knee-jerk reactions to moments of having our buttons pushed would make things even worse, because we would be incapable of standing back and observing what was happening, and even asking ourselves could this possibly have anything to do with me? Not from a blaming ourselves point of view, but rather, from the point of view of what can I learn about myself here, so that this type of thing no longer has the power to bother me?

There are specific relationship issues that create adrenaline in one or both partners. There is emotional drama, sexual drama, psychological drama – and it is this drama that creates the adrenaline in one or both. It is also this drama that is – even when the relationship is rife with difficult problems – that causes one or both parties to continue seeking the other out, despite having – perhaps more than once – already called an end to things.

So the question that this article is attempting to clarify is why is a person attracted to the adrenaline rush of relationship drama? Part of the answer lies in the infinite wisdom of the psyche to which Jung referred. Something in the self recognizes on subliminal levels that this relationship that may appear to be quite dysfunctional contains the seed to the resolution of an issue that remains unsolved in the psyche. And although you may not be aware of this at all, you feel compelled to seek out that person again. And again. And yet again.

Clearly, at this point I can hear some of my readers insisting that such a person needs to be told to stay away from the ‘nefarious’ partner once and for all, for his or her own sake. And of course I fully agree – except for one thing. If you stay away by forcing yourself to, and still feeling the rush that pulls you to the other person, you may not succeed in the long run. Or – you may be at the beginning of a perpetuation of this particular relationship pattern with other partners. If, however, you go back once or twice, and work on becoming more aware each time you do so with respect to the fact that you are attracted to that adrenaline rush for a reason that goes beyond chemistry or emotions - which is probably connected to your childhood - then you are at the potential beginning of the resolution of the issue and will soon be able to walk away from the drama without having to force yourself to do so.

Imagine, for example, that your childhood issue has to do with poor boundaries. You somehow learned to allow others to step all over you in order to maintain peace. Therefore, when faced with a partner who trespasses your boundaries, you may feel this adrenaline rush and drama even before any boundaries have been crossed because of this ‘infinite wisdom of the psyche’ referred to earlier. The psyche picks up on the fact that this particular person will expose you to situations that may help you resolve your issue through your interaction with this specific partner. Then, when the boundaries start getting crossed, you try to avoid thinking about them, because all you are noticing is the adrenaline rush amid the drama. Eventually you may leave. And then return, and the cycle begins anew.

At this point it is crucial to have some knowledge at hand. Knowledge about what all of this means. And how it ties in to your own issues. And what you can do about it by being more and more aware. By observing – not only the other, but also yourself interacting with the other, as well as your body reacting to the other’s dysfunctional behaviour (do you notice a tightening in your solar plexus, for example, when your boundaries are being crossed?), in your gut, your heart, and your mind. In this observation of all of these factors, you notice yourself saying or thinking: this is not how I wish to be treated. Or: this isn’t the kind of relationship I want.

In this fashion, you slowly bring yourself to the point where you are capable of walking away because you have put the care of yourself on a higher pedestal than the adrenaline rush that attracts you to the mirage of a relationship that doesn’t really exist the way your mind has imagined it, and never truly was the way you had believed it to be. By growing in awareness like this, you realize that this kind of adrenaline rush that is based on drama that ties in to previously unresolved issues on your part, simply no longer attracts you. And now, that infinite wisdom of the psyche I’ve referred to so often in this piece, alerts you as you meet new people in your life, to those who still dwell on that level. And so you walk away.

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VIDEO COURSES IN ENGLISH


See the preview (click the title below) to my online video course:




Now Available

"Fatherless Women & Motherless Men"

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See the preview (click on the title below) to my online video course:





"Freedom From the Torture of Your Thoughts"


**************************************************

See the preview (click on the title below) to my online video course  





  *****************************

CHARLAS EN ESPAÑOL EN YOUTUBE


Vampiros energéticos: Su efecto destructivo en tu vida



En YouTube aquí


****************************


BOOKS - LIBROS - BÜCHER


Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books (also in Spanish & German). My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.


Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (English). Available globally in paperback or Kindle e-book versions


Bücher von Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Deutsch) ... JETZT bei Amazon (Taschenbuch oder E-Book) erhältlich 
DEINE SEELE UND DU
  

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du, jetzt weltweit erhältlich als Taschenbuch oder Kindle E-Book (Blog hier), werden auch meine anderen Bücher in Zukunft auf Deutsch bei Amazon erhältlich sein.

Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... ahora en todo el mundo en Amazon en versión bolsillo y Kindle



Note: Also see my other other blog The Tao of Spiritual Partnership, so named for another one of my books. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed. 

My blog posts are also featured on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest & you can find me on Instagram 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Friendship: Its Mundane, Growth-Enhancing & Sacred Nature


How do you number your friends? Is it the followers you can count on social media? Is it the people you could easily invite to a dinner party? Is it the number of people that call you frequently? Or is it the people who, in the words of Proust, make you grateful, because they contribute to your happiness; because “they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom”?

The early course of my rather variegated life - that began in the dark ages before inexpensive transatlantic phone calls, FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp, or other easy mechanisms of communication - depended on much letter writing. I knew from the age of eight - since I was the one who always moved away - that if the friendship was to survive, I had to grab the bull by the horns, and write those letters. And sometimes no answer came back. Lessons were learned. But some of those missives were honoured, and a month or two later, I received that long yearned-for reply. And the friendship prospered on tissue-thin, transparent paper, sent across the waves, sometimes – joyfully - lasting for all the decades of my life – well into the age of instant email - showing the quilted mosaic of our growth together over the years, even if we only saw each other rarely.

At an even earlier age when I was merely four, I learned the astoundingly harsh lesson that just because I had given a treasured item to a friend, she might not necessarily continue to be my friend, and might even ‘betray’ me by running to another person who had made it clear I was not be part of her circle.  Ultimately, my erstwhile friend, gift held tightly in her clutched fist, might even join that other person in laughing at me - laughter that resonated painfully in my ears.

As time went by, I learned to understand C.S. Lewis’ wondrous words: “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” It made even more sense when I read Jim Henson’s rather marvellous quote “There’s not a word yet for old friends who’ve just met.” Those rare friendships, that nevertheless thankfully may enter our lives more than just once or twice, in successive chapters of our progress down the road of self-knowledge, are the stuff of which dreams are made. Perhaps not the dreams of the young girl seeking her knight in shining armour, but the dreams of those whose souls recognize the depth of meaning and intimate complicity that is possible in sublime friendship.

As I carried on in life, I recognized I also had what I termed butterfly friends, who warmed my heart, and occasionally my spirit, but not my intellect. Conversation beyond the mundane was – often - so important to me and without it - without what I considered depth on so many different levels - I felt unable to spend any length of time with someone. Sometimes it caused me profound guilt. Oscar Wilde put it so well: “Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation”, although perhaps he neglected – as I did for a time – to take into consideration that other bond at the level of the spirit, even when the intellect is not satisfied.

I was also blessed to have had throughout the years another kind of friendship, which showed me the true meaning of Jung’s words: “The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed”. Those friendships were not always easy, but I loved those friends deeply. The friendship itself, in each case, fascinated me, as it was such a mirror to my soul, as indeed, I hoped it was a mirror to the soul of each respective friend. Our conversations could sometimes be gateways into the sacred, the numinous, and yet, on the very mundane and down-to-earth level, we could annoy each other greatly, and then I would remember those other words I had read from Jung’s writings in my 20’s: “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves”. Evidently, this does not only apply to our friends, but also to anyone in our lives. Remembering to be aware of this at all times, can be of great assistance when we are on the verge of blaming the other for how we feel. In this regard, I love Rumi’s words: “Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond”. Looking at the characters that populate your life in this fashion frees you to become more of what you can be, in that Jungian process of individuation.

Friendship & Grief

In my view there are three distinct ways in which friendship can create great grief:
  • the physical death of a friend
  • the loss of a friendship due to a major disagreement or misunderstanding (despite what David Whyte so aptly states: “all friendships of any length are based on a continued, mutual forgiveness”)
  • the transformation of a friendship that leads to its end due to one of the two changing in ways that the other no longer tolerates.
How can you react? How can you deal with the pain? Again, in my view, much has to do with recognizing the potential jewel in any of these situations. A jewel that arises like the phoenix from the ashes as you slowly become aware of another cycle of growth in your life by working your way through the fire.

None of this is easy, but it is also part of the process of becoming about which so many of the great writers, philosophers, and masters write. If you do not, as Rumi writes: “Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames,” you would miss out on some of life’s greatest adventures – some of its greatest significance. Thoreau said “The language of friendship is not words but meaning”.


***************


VIDEO COURSES IN ENGLISH


See the preview (click the title below) to my online video course:




Now Available

"Fatherless Women & Motherless Men"

Click HERE


***************

See the preview (click on the title below) to my online video course:



Now Available

"Freedom From the Torture of Your Thoughts"

Click HERE

**************************************************

See the preview (click on the title below) to my online video course  





  *****************************

CHARLAS EN ESPAÑOL EN YOUTUBE


Vampiros energéticos: Su efecto destructivo en tu vida



En YouTube aquí


****************************


BOOKS - LIBROS - BÜCHER


Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books (also in Spanish & German). My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.


Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (English). Available globally in paperback or Kindle e-book versions


Bücher von Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Deutsch) ... JETZT bei Amazon (Taschenbuch oder E-Book) erhältlich 
DEINE SEELE UND DU
  

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du, jetzt weltweit erhältlich als Taschenbuch oder Kindle E-Book (Blog hier), werden auch meine anderen Bücher in Zukunft auf Deutsch bei Amazon erhältlich sein.

Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... ahora en todo el mundo en Amazon en versión bolsillo y Kindle



Note: Also see my other other blog The Tao of Spiritual Partnership, so named for another one of my books. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed. 

My blog posts are also featured on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest & you can find me on Instagram 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Using Every Tool Within Reach to Grow


For anyone who is consciously following a path that leads to greater growth, understanding, and wisdom, it could be said that the small details of daily life are what can most irritate, stress, anger, bewilder, or simply defeat us – albeit momentarily. Yet, in these small details, we are offered the gift of tools that can serve us well in our quest for growth, just as a hammer can help us drive a nail into wood, or a screwdriver can remove a rusted screw and help replace it with a shiny, new one.

If the cashier at the supermarket is alarmingly slow, you have a tool to learn patience. If a negligent or texting driver cuts you off in a way that could have caused an accident, you have a tool to become mindfully aware of yourself – in order to learn how to process yourself back towards a state of inner calm. If a noise from the street threatens to irritate you, there is the tool to become mindfully aware (again), in order to learn how to choose to ignore that which disturbs your inner calm. If a customer service agent for your electricity provider is rude, you have a tool to learn how to maintain healthy boundaries while also maintaining your inner calm. If the news presented on television every day is heart-breaking or horrifying, you have a tool to learn the difference between pain and empathy or compassion (also see Empathy vs Altruistic Love and Compassion).

You can probably come up with dozens of other examples of those little things that so irritate us. Jung said: “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”, and while I’ve written about this in the past, I believe the truly important growth principle is this: are you willing to also look at yourself in the midst of thinking something negative about another? Not because you are necessarily at fault about anything at all, but to understand exactly why you are so irritated, annoyed, angry, etc. Because in examining your own negative emotion that arises due to another, you are setting off on yet another path to growth. Perhaps it is bringing up triggers from your past that have nothing to do with the person you are facing, but if you choose to focus on what you perceive as their failing; their badness; their fault for making you feel like that, you will never learn to understand yourself and grow from it. Every bit of affect (emotion), as Jung stated, can teach you something about yourself – especially the negative affect.

Another important tool for growth has to do with your worries. Whatever causes you to worry is a place where you can grow. The growth might be to become more mindful in order that you deal with the worry differently rather than just continually ruminating about that which – for the time being – you are unable to change. The growth might also be to decide to move in a new, unproven direction that implies some risk in order to ease the problem that is causing you this worry. Who knows, you might even solve it! The growth might come from taking on a new perspective about the worry – one that means that you think differently about it - and hence possibly worry less, and thus are able to proactively move towards a solution.

And then, of course, there’s the really big stuff that symbolizes an enormously fertile tool for growth. Terminal disease, chronic pain, loss of financial security, heart-rending and agonizing rifts in families between parents and adult children, or between siblings, grandparents who are kept from their grandchildren, a marriage or love relationship gone awry, the death of a spouse, a parent, a sibling, a child, or another kind of bereavement that comes from the loss of friendship, addiction on the part of a loved one, suicide, and so much more. Life serves up an endless panoply of variations on the theme of pain. Unless we are able to look at the ones that appear and acknowledge the fact that there is something to learn here, we may sag, become brittle, and break, especially if some of these greater blows come later in life. That is, if we have not bothered learning from lesser problems earlier on (as Thomas Moore writes in his marvellous The Ageless Soul), which would provide us with some muscle power, we may not only fail to grow from the situation, but we may wither under its onslaught. (Also see: Pain & Joy: The Balancing Act of Your Inner Life).

I have no words or easy formulas to help you begin to live this way. But I do know this: by consciously deciding each and every time something upsets you - whether it is as simple as an irritation about someone on the periphery of your life, or as complex as facing a terminal diagnosis – that you will find something to learn from the situation; something that will help you grow, then it does become easier. This means that the process gradually becomes part of your life; simply part of what is (as Tolle puts it), or, in words by Krishnamurti that initially most of us find very hard to grasp: my happiness comes from not minding what happens. This is not apathy. Rather, it is inner peace that comes from wisdom.
***************


VIDEO COURSES IN ENGLISH


See the preview (click the title below) to my online video course:




Now Available

"Fatherless Women & Motherless Men"

Click HERE


***************

See the preview (click on the title below) to my online video course:



Now Available

"Freedom From the Torture of Your Thoughts"

Click HERE

**************************************************

See the preview (click on the title below) to my online video course  





  *****************************

CHARLAS EN ESPAÑOL EN YOUTUBE


Vampiros energéticos: Su efecto destructivo en tu vida



En YouTube aquí


****************************


BOOKS - LIBROS - BÜCHER


Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books (also in Spanish & German). My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.


Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (English). Available globally in paperback or Kindle e-book versions


Bücher von Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Deutsch) ... JETZT bei Amazon (Taschenbuch oder E-Book) erhältlich 
DEINE SEELE UND DU
  

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du, jetzt weltweit erhältlich als Taschenbuch oder Kindle E-Book (Blog hier), werden auch meine anderen Bücher in Zukunft auf Deutsch bei Amazon erhältlich sein.

Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... ahora en todo el mundo en Amazon en versión bolsillo y Kindle



Note: Also see my other other blog The Tao of Spiritual Partnership, so named for another one of my books. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed. 

My blog posts are also featured on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest & you can find me on Instagram