Our “Expert Articles” section will feature articles, research, and opinions from industry leaders worldwide, including our advisory board members. We hope these articles will provide you with new insights and ideas from some of the best thought leaders in the industry. Please feel free to give us your feedback.
Although we are all born with the ability to care for others the circumstances of life often prevent us from doing so. Many of us have suppressed our innate goodness due to the setbacks we suffered in the course of our lives. When our hearts are broken, goodness is often lost in the rubble. We are reticent to open up to others for fear of being hurt again. Then our traumas become permanent negative inclinations that define our character and with it our destiny. The good news is that we can work on our past hurts and experience goodness breakthroughs that allow us to recover what we thought we had lost forever. Call it an insight or an epiphany, a goodness breakthrough happens when we realize that goodness is the most important thing in life and our lives change accordingly. Goodness breakthroughs remove the obstacles to the proper functioning of our innate positive inclinations.
When I was studying at a psychoanalytic institute many years ago I heard the saying “we all marry parts of our mother and father”. At the time being a single man I thought this idea was a bit extreme. Now after 30 years of treating couples and from my own personal experience I can say it is not so farfetched. Of course it stands to reason that we are attracted to what is familiar, particularly familiar behavior. People often wonder why they pick people to love who ultimately present them with the same conflictual issues they experienced in their families. It seems paradoxical but in fact it makes good sense. We return to the scene of the crime whenever we have not resolved old issues, whenever we don’t understand how our emotions regarding love developed.
Not long ago a patient of mine pleaded with me to find time to see her son in consultation. Marie is a single mom raising two boys, ages 19 and 16. She has been divorced for several years, her alcoholic husband hit her one too many times and she left him when the boys were quite young.
We all encounter people who are irrational. We are all irrational due to life circumstances on occasion. If you lose a night’s sleep due to the flu, having to get up in the middle of the night to soothe a crying child, or work too many hours you can feel depleted and your tolerance is low. This kind of irrationality is common and shouldn’t be taken very seriously.
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