Category Archives: anger management

Disruption, Are You Rigid?

According to my dear friend Marilyn there are two kinds of people, those who prefer towers and the others which prefer caves, the former observers and the latter shelterers I would add that neither of these can hold off the ‘inconvenience’ of disruption.

The result of our cumulative experiences makes each of us shelter in uniquely different ways. Despite our protests we all have finely defined boxes, sometimes our boxes include massively built walls, which make us comfortable and ‘safe’. Entrenched in our comfort we grow ever less capable of being expansive. Our self-imposed exile of stability restricts our movement as surely as shackles might. Disruption is going to happen so I think it is prudent to recall Dr. Wayne Dyer’s words:

karma jpegBrainyQuotes image.

When we close ourselves off from disruption can be as small as the cap left off the toothpaste, or the toilet seat left up by a new lover, a guest in our home slicing a lemon differently or being a fresh air fanatic living in our homes with the windows thrown open (my hand is raised high here). Disruption after all is unsettling, upsetting, annoying and it is an enormous opportunity for growth.  The irony is, that if asked, those who are the most thoroughly entrenched truly believe that they are functioning in a state of expansive love, generosity and kindness – the truth is only on their terms.

Rigidity is not my friend, or yours. In the two years I spent as a digital nomad I have had ample opportunity to serve as ‘the disruptive force’, and I do mean “serve” in the truest sense of that word.

Lots is made of ‘being agile’ whether an organisation or an individual, embracing change, rather than fighting it, allows the best possible outcome to manifest. And yes, I really do believe that on our spiritual path in attaining at-one-ment with The Universe, or God, having our comfort zone pushed and pulled out of its normal shape is very good for us, necessary even. Disruption forces us to confront what we fear and let it lead us forward, or we can beat a hasty retreat from it returning to what makes us comfortable.

Recently I made a choice to help someone spend more quality time with their elderly parents prior to their departure on a rather long trip, but I needed to establish boundaries around my offer. Those parameters would allow me to be generous with my time and culinary talents but ensure that I didn’t bear an undue financial burden. We are always free to choose, but we are not free from the consequences of our choices. The response to my words came with consequences, disruption to the stability of my life and a hefty financial cost for the individual. Here is where personal responsibility kicks in, but it could be something ‘more’. I fully accept the karma of my choice but I have to wonder if The Universe was really using me as an instrument, or somehow protecting me (yet again). What if my words were meant to as an opportunity to help move this person dramatically away from the entrenched rigidity of their life? (my perception). Their subsequent choice denies their pets my love and companionship and their home security, and they will subsequently incur a cost of €50 a day for eight months while I am denied a measure of stability to write and conduct business. Quel domage.

Rigidity or resilience, how do you deal with disruption?

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and then, please do share the blog with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

 

No, Your Hate Won’t Break Our Love

It is unexpressed emotions harboring latent demands for redress which cause violent disruption to society. The seemingly extremes of heinous actions and vitriolic words each casting blame, instead of assuming responsibility and moving positively forward, actually feed eachother to ever escalating destruction. It is in the never ending cycles of human history rife with the absence of hope which manifest anger and discontent and, in some, a call for ‘retribution’. A politician stands up and speaks ‘on behalf of a nation’ with words that only serve to inflame those who hate, and exacerbate the fear amongst the panicked flock who demand a response to their collective fear with demands of isolation, xenophobia, and more brutality.

As Eve Ensler, poet, so perfectly and simply wrote:

“Bullets are hardened tears”.

We must unharden. We must stop the tears and the subsequent bullets and bombs. We must find a way forward between the madness and genius and that fraction of capability to cope with inequities tipping the balance to terrorist actions.

Anger can be a gift that keeps us sane; anger will make us sit-in, go on strike (hunger, walk off our jobs), meditate, light candles, and engage in activism we never imagined embracing fostering beautiful life affirming change. And, just like hundreds of thousands of cherry blossom petals ‘we’, coming together, cast a pink glow over our hurting world.

In various locations in Stockholm statues of St. George figure prominately – in the 12th and 13th centuries his legend came to include the story of a battle with, and victory over, a voracious dragon. In its purest form St. George’s tale is one of good vs. evil, light vs. darkness, life vs. death. Stockholm, Homs, Paris, Zliten, Baghdad, Nice, Kabul, Brussels, Boston, London, New York, Orlando, and sadly many other cities share a pain created in the absence of love. Our responses in each of the tragedies we have borne has been resilience and community.

“Absence is to love what wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small, it inflames the great.” ~ Roger de Rabutin de Bussy

I believe that within us we are both a cherry blossom petal and St. George and the dragon we must slay is hatred, ignorance and fear. We must be kinder, more compassionate, empower not condescend, find a way to ensure hope remains a constant and together build a great reserve of universal love which cannot be extinguished in the name of any God.

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via livelikeadog@gmail.com through PayPal, and do share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiPlease click here to order my book, thank you! 

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Forgive them; for they know not what they do

I am sitting at my computer spilling tears. Normally that is a good thing, often it’s even a great thing, because I feel deeply and am unembarrassed to express the depth of my emotions as I connect to the ephemeral, the sublime, the ethereal and the exquisite and take incredible joy in my observations – these tears, are not those tears.

Last week a gun rights person, with whom I have no acquaintance, in an attempt to insult me called me Ms. Kumbaya. As a child of the ’60s (born in 1961) the Summer of Love and all the resulting 1969activism that sprung forth from it (from which a great many of have benefited) could be traced to Khumbaya My Lord (try this version from the Soweto Gospel Choir), as well as Peter, Paul and Mary singing Blowing in the Wind, Simon & Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence – and countless others – quite frankly she couldn’t have directed a higher compliment toward me.  Over the course of the last couple of weeks, across the globe, some truly heinous things have been committed and most of them done in the name of God – and, so this woman’s comments were surreal against the scope of my tears this week.  With every betrayal of common sense, logic, and of humanity witnessed I have experienced the five stages of grief as defined by the Kübler-Ross model. (And yes, it would have been so much easier had there been a solid life force of a partner to physically lean on but my garden, once again, came through with a respite from these pains and offered all its green solace to heal my breaking heart.)

In addition to all those tears, as a result of epic disbelief and the resulting anger, I have expressed un-imagined words on Twitter and Facebook this week That’s really saying something, as close friends will confirm that my authenticity can be painful if you harbor the least bit of personal doubt or any insecurity because – and I will own this fully – if I have one fatal flaw it is seeing the world and people I love “in fullness” of their greatest potential rather than quietly living in the status quo. So while it’s not just ‘one thing’ but many that are bothering me, let me start with this meme, and the words that accompanied it on Facebook:

religion

“While every American has a right to free exercise, I believe two initiatives of the U.S. government…have perpetuated a very asymmetrical view of religious freedom. This view too often privileges the right of missionaries to proselytize at the expense of everyone else’s right to practice their religion without intrusion, or in the case of many Ugandans, simply live and love whomever they choose, regardless of gender. This too is America’s right hand.”

-Co-founder of the Hindu American Foundation

The problem is that most people view the world through the lens that is most comfortable to them, taking a very literal view, measuring it against “their truth” and pronouncing failure upon anyone else who disagrees and deny others the right to express themselves.  How many times in human history have we heard “Kill the Infidels” “Kill the Saracens” “Kill the Non-Believers” or “Beware of false Prophets…”? Do we even recognise the irony of all this against the actual scriptures from Bible and Qu’ran alike? Our societies are becoming ever more segmented along individual truths and polarizing rhetoric drives us further apart at a time in human history when we really need to come together to solve our greatest problems.  We are pushing each other into corners of hate, suspicion and fear because we are terribly afraid; we should be hugging not judging.  There is no question in my mind that we are witnessing bullying on a massive scale! As emotionally appealing as “an eye for an eye” might be, the accompanying truth as so eloquently phrased by Mahatma Gandhi “…will only make the whole world blind.” keeps me from embracing the model put forth by The Rude Pundit.  The hypocrisy of found at the base of the United States Supreme ABORTIONCourt ruling in favour of Hobby Lobby was a huge contributor to my round of tears (of anger and frustration) this week, especially as it came on denying women the same barrier of safety which the Supreme Court judges and the employees of their court enjoy.  When a woman cannot freely manage her own health privately and without running a gauntlet of abuse from those whose religious convictions would allow them to humiliate another in Christ’s name there is something very wrong with the version of Christ’s teaching you adhere to (please do not contort his messages of compassion for this). mary magdalene

We prostitute ourselves and the truth for the illusion of “security” and we are dead as a result.  If you want to hold up a banner in God’s name then it should read:

Micah 7:18-19
“Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”

Each of us arrive at the culmination of our lives (if we don’t question this each day) answering to our conscious and to God (should we so believe). I prefer to believe that Christ’s last words had real meaning for all of those doing horrible things in His name “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”  

For myself, I walk outside of religion but keep a deep binding faith that the tears I shed for humanity are not in vain.

If you enjoy my blog please share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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When we are done mourning – a lesson in impermanence & truth

It’s been said, very likely hundreds of thousands of times, in philosophic as well as brutal business speak – your problems always follow you. Yes, but –

“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.”
~ Buddha

Everything is impermanent. The truth is sometimes the emotional strength necessary to extricate ourselves is found in circumstances beyond our control, a final wake-up call dawnwhere the universe provides the mechanism for a karmic smackdown which demands that we actually MOVE or be forever stuck in a place that is filled with angst.

I have an ugly anniversary coming up.  An anniversary that still niggles at my being, catches me off guard and can reduce me to tears – sometimes it is ‘just’ my throat constricting and catching, sometimes sobs or tears of the kind that well up and spill over like the water at the edge of a mill pond race, thankfully, less frequently now, tears that I can’t seem to stop no matter how much I might wish to control them – even more than a decade later.  Anything can set me off, seeing a ‘normal family’ circumstance over-flowing in tenderness, reading gorgeous words from an anonymous father to his daughter, picking up on the tension in the air between people clearly part of a familial unit who I don’t know as well as those that I sometimes do, snark-y words expressed – all can serve as a catalyst for my ‘going to ground’; my emotional response isn’t one of anger or jealousy or longing but it is a difficult pain to process, escape from proximity is my only recourse as neither wretched vulnerability nor confrontation are within my comfort zone.

Nice people don’t trash talk about other people, let alone their own family. Really nice people iron-lock-old-wooden-door-portraitwouldn’t dream of expanding the cosmic contamination of negative energy by mentioning ‘from personal experience’ in a passing conversation – it’s bad karma; I am a really nice person.  But my threshold of silence is slipping away from me, even as I have tried to slam home the iron pin in the stone doorway to the house of beauty I try to live in each day.

Oh gosh, I know that my position is far from unique and better than that of a lot of people.  By most standards it was a normal childhood in the middle class America of the 1960s and 1970s. I wasn’t physically abused or sexually molested and while it took me until I was 39 to realise that my parents drank far more alcohol than anyone I knew as an adult living in Boston, I had known for years and years that I was the outsider to the dynamic triangulation formed by my (younger) brother and my parents.  I distinctly recall the epiphany I had in the Thorold, Ontario, Canada ice rink (age 11) where my brother was playing hockey – they shared some huge karmic drama which didn’t include me.  Though I confess it has made me less receptive to letting people truly ‘in’ than intended my karma has clearly been to learn self-reliance (in all things) and to leave the room lighter than it was when I came into it.

Tacitly verboten in my childhood home was not sharing – a ‘what’s said in this room, stays in this room’ philosophy that I am grateful for learning because I keep the confidences of others like a sacred trust.  It is so much more polite to smile nicely and discretely change the subject then it is to admit to being from an environment of dysfunction of any kind. Besides, who really wants to hear such melodrama? 2002, in the weeks following Thanksgiving and leading up to New Year’s Day, I fell out with my parents, eventually severing all ties with them, no text, emails, or words spoken since.  I tried for the first couple of years to send greeting cards on the appropriate days, to no avail. What’s lost sometimes should not be found again.

I speak of it infrequently and I try not to dwell on it, I didn’t even include a reference to it in my book (written three years ago) much to the surprise of many who knew my circumstances.  Finally, pushed to the absolute limits of being treated like a second class citizen, denied, ignored and ridiculed because I was born out of some archaic preferred sequence of letting goprimogeniture my father held dear and with far too many ideas and opinions and too much independence for ‘a girl’ I stood up and said enough.  The final straw coming as my father cornered me in his garage, raised his fist threatening to hit me and said, “Someone should have put you in your place a long time ago you little bitch.” My last words included dropping my first and only F-bomb at him and promising to have him arrested for assault on New Year’s Day if he hit me.

My ‘white lighter’ friends know that I am a receptor and try to keep my energy safe but if I haven’t figured out how to protect myself from such haunting memories how can even a small army of capable loving people bathe me in sheltering light? I think that it’s really enough to have held this inside me for so long and in doing so, not give myself the liberty to be free of the shackles and chains that cut into my soul like a huge bleeding abscess. The debris of all this is that real intimacy is hard won for me, harder still to accept because I have this deeply embedded belief that if my blood relatives could be so indifferent what could possibly make anyone I let into my life really wish to ‘stay’.  I know people who collect people, in some cases tens of thousands of them through social media outlets, I am not one of them; on one hand can be counted the people I trust implicitly.  If I let you in and in time I sever all ties it is because I recognise that the role that my presence played in your life has been fulfilled – people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  Equally so, I have established inviolable boundaries around mutual respect – to quote Jane Austen’s Lizzie from Pride & Prejudice, “My good opinion once lost is lost forever.”

It can be embarrassing for me to be in the midst of really happy family dynamics because I know, ripping across my soul is a searing pain that should be apparent to everyone breathing, that I am an outlier to their experience of civility (even in the face of stress) and more so to their very genuine warmth. It fills me with a beautiful ache to bear witness to such love. As a child we always think no one can see what we are experiencing, that we are so very good at hiding the truth by being bright as a penny in the sunlight.  In the last couple of years childhood friends, friends of my parents who no longer speak to them, even my ex-husband have shared their perspective on my family with transparency that stilled my breath.  Their words were like falling through ice into shockingly cold water – perhaps more painful for the idea that I had gone through it alone, yet they all saw.

My reality is that I have stayed in this emotionally bereft place too long – it is largely because I am the eternal optimist that I haven’t wrest myself loose and unstuck myself.  I hoped, against all odds, logic, and years of experience that somehow I would be included in the lives of my niece and nephew, but it’s patently clear it’s never going to happen in the way I would like it to.

A man I met on the ski lift wrote a magnificent poem about me and sent it along weeks after our shared day of white powder:

[…]

sadness already cuts in so many ways

soar to the top and speak with the sun

frolic in life – leave nothing undone

eyes with laughter and soul with a song

the essence of living so warm and so strong

[…]

My New Year’s 2014 resolution was not to run away, but toward ‘leaving nothing undone’ and finally put all the pain of being born into the wrong family on the other side of a vast ocean. Here now at the end of 2014 I am in Croatia, cleansing my soul and body in the healing waters of the Adriatic. To own my truth and not only start ‘the walk’ but finish it.  Distance doesn’t provide a guarantee of being emotionally safe but inaccessibility does offer me a brilliant excuse for not subjecting myself to the harm of longing for something normal with my blood relations.

If you enjoy my blog please consider sending me the price of a cup of tea in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and do share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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The Ill Wind of Human Dysfunction

Learning to ‘go with’ the wind gets you out of harms way a bit faster!

Teresa Fritschi, Commarglo Managing Director

ImageWe learn to embrace the wind at the tenderest of ages, where a single piece of 8 ½ by 11 white paper magically folded seven times, once cast with the flick of a wrist, will imprint our brains with the rudimentary theories of aerodynamics and physics, give us metaphorical wings to fly, and make us ponder ‘what’s up there, and who’s out there’.  And, when our paper airplane comes back down to Earth from cutting a graceful arc through the cerulean, have us come to recognise the impermanence of all experiences and the rationale behind neurons feeding our brains electro-chemical impulses which force us (in the best and worst possible way) to capture memory.  It should, also, impart resilience.

Those trees which survive the gale force of thunderstorm, tornado, tropical depression or hurricane are not sturdy oaks or mighty chestnuts but saplings, bamboo and willow, their inherent nature is of…

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The Ill Wind of Human Dysfunction

ImageWe learn to embrace the wind at the tenderest of ages, where a single piece of 8 ½ by 11 white paper magically folded seven times, once cast with the flick of a wrist, will imprint our brains with the rudimentary theories of aerodynamics and physics, give us metaphorical wings to fly, and make us ponder ‘what’s up there, and who’s out there’.  And, when our paper airplane comes back down to Earth from cutting a graceful arc through the cerulean, have us come to recognise the impermanence of all experiences and the rationale behind neurons feeding our brains electro-chemical impulses which force us (in the best and worst possible way) to capture memory.  It should, also, impart resilience.

Those trees which survive the gale force of thunderstorm, tornado, tropical depression or hurricane are not sturdy oaks or mighty chestnuts but saplings, bamboo and willow, their inherent nature is of flexibility to bend with the wind instead of standing rigidly against it.  For thousands of years the martial arts have taught this – flowing through the obstacle instead of ‘fighting it’; harnessing Chi (or Qi) much the way the folds of the paper airplane allow it to ride the air currents.  Physicists and various scientific disciplines are peeling away the layers of the ‘weight’ of positive versus negative thought with more refined versions of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRIs). If you have yet to hear/read, negative thoughts have considerably MORE weight from the perspective of physics and thus, the reason a growing number of us, why the state of our planet ‘feels’ like the dissonance which can be found in a piece of Shostakovich.

I recently experienced for the second time in my life (and a decade passing between) an atom bomb of human emotion directed at me complete with threats of physical violence, repeated use expletives and shouting (and yes, shrapnel spitting landing on my face) over my verbally ‘protecting’ an earthworm from incineration by this man’s son on the hot BBQ a group of us had just finished using. (All of which turns out to be multiple misdemeanor offenses of harassment.) My initial reaction was to block the energy and stand rigid, but that stance and the shift in my accompanying energy building within me felt inauthentic to my nature.  I then tried to walk away, and I was physically blocked.  I lowered my voice to a whisper (which was right for me but still failed to stem the anger being directed at me) and took deep breaths – none of it worked. The witnesses to the three episodes involved ‘didn’t want to be in the middle of it’. This is precisely how abuse and terrors of all kinds take place right next door, in front of us, and on the other side of the world. Ultimately I chose not to file a police report, I take my chances on future episodes but my life lesson now includes CALL THE POLICE!  On the way to that decision, I consumed several dry gin martinis – somehow it’s okay to want a drink but not need a drink; I am not proud of embracing this crutch.  What proved more successful was ‘re-tuning’ my being to the Gregorian chant of Hildegard von Bingen; within can be found both resonance and dissonance – necessary to create harmony – the Ying and Yang, darkness and light, of music.

I ache over the loss of five years of friendship, am thoroughly confused over ‘my child can do no wrong’ mindset, of people who praise God with one breath and dishonor their respective Prophet with the next, and whose anger management skills are non-existent.  As our connected energy (“one being with the Father” as well as atomic-ly speaking) bears down on us I am acutely aware that only mindfulness will foster a shift, and that resilience is built into our ever dynamic a path.  I will return to my version of normal sooner as a result.

If you enjoy my blog please share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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