The roles and goals of fear & intuition. How problems with fear and intuition affect bipolar disorder.

 

On team THRIVE, we began a conversation to explore the differences between fear and intuition.

 

Here are some of my ideas.  They are simply ideas.  They are NOT “the truth” or right or wrong. They are simply ideas to try on and see if they fit and make sense.

 

 

 

The role and goals of FEAR

 

 

Survival. Fear exists to ensure our survival.

 

 

The challenge is that with intelligence as human beings we make so much meaning of the fear that it may cause things like anxiety, depression, mania, panic etc.

 

 

Warning Sign. A red flag that says, “This is dangerous to me. It could hurt me.”

 

 

Role in Memory. We remember things that we have a strong emotional response to (good and bad emotional responses).

 

When we have an experience with a strong negative emotional response the fear centers in our brain create a strong memory. Therefore, when a similar experience happens in our lives we know to be cautious or to avoid or escape from the experience that may be dangerous to us.

 

 

 

The Big Problem With Fear

 

 

Our fear remembers things from our imagination that cause us to have a strong emotional response.

 

Therefore, fear will respond to our imagination as though an experience is real…even though it is not something that we have experienced. This causes multiple forms of anxiety disorders and causes us to become fearful in ways that have a strong negative impact in our lives.

The role and goals of INTUITION

 

 

Determine our next best response or action.

The role of intuition is to take our beliefs about life — our hope, faith, spirituality and natural instincts — and everything we have learned through experience and knowledge throughout life and apply them to make the best decisions we can possibly make without having the gifts of hindsight.

 

Intuition will not always be correct, but it is the best we can do with the resources and knowledge we have to make a decision about what is best for us.

 

Help us to determine what is right or best for us.

Intuition often kicks in simply to let us know that something “just feels right”.  Intuition lets us know, “This feels safe or good to me.”

 

 

Problems with Intuition

 

 

I someone is raised in an unhealthy environment — an environment of abuse or neglect — they grow to feel comfortable with abuse and neglect to the point that even intuition says, “This is comfortable for me.” “This is best for me.”  “This is safe for me.”

This causes environments and relationships that are NOT abusive and neglectful to feel uncomfortable, not good and unsafe.

So many people living with bipolar disorder struggle with the way fear and intuition function in their daily lives.

Awareness is a step towards developing fear and intuition in ways that work best for you.

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“Let me tell you a story about a guy named Truth” Adapted Folklore

A wise man was asked, “Why do parables (a simple story to illustrate a lesson) have such persuasive power over people?

 

The wise man said, “Let me tell you as story.”….

 

 

It happened once that Truth walked the streets naked as the day his mother bore him. Truth had nothing to hide and was very comfortable in his own skin.

 

However, seeing Truth completely naked made people uncomfortable. Truth was different from what people were familiar with. People felt ashamed for looking at Truth. People didn’t know how to respond to Truth. People didn’t want other people to catch them admiring Truth’s “private parts”. Then what made it even worse is that seeing Truth made people self-conscious…seeing Truth’s nakedness made people compare themselves to Truth and feel vulnerable as though they were naked as well.

 

No one wanted to know Truth or even be close to him. People avoided Truth at all costs. People were so frightened of Truth that they ran away.

 

So Truth wandered the streets lonely and miserable. Truth was unable to understand why people disliked him so much.

 

One day Truth met Parable. Parable had a smile on his face, was friendly and welcoming. Parable was decked out in fine clothes and was a sight to see.

 

Parable said to Truth, “What’s your purpose of walking around naked looking so miserable?”

 

Truth shook his head sadly and replied, “No one wants anything to do with me. I do and say the right thing, but no one cares. I’ve gotten so old and decrepit that people think I’m worthless and don’t even want to look at me, let alone be around me.”

 

“What you’re saying makes no sense.” said Parable. “People don’t dislike you because you’re old. Take me for instance, I’m about the same age as you. Nonetheless, the older I get the more attractive I become to people. Here’s a secret about people. They don’t like things that are plain and bare, they like things dressed up, pretty looking and a little artificial. I’ll help you out. I’ll lend you some fine clothes like mine and you’ll soon see a huge difference in how people treat you.

 

Truth took his advice and decked himself out in some beautiful clothes. Truth was astonished! People no longer shunned him and welcomed him with open arms.

 

Since that time Truth and Parable became inseparable friends and both were esteemed and loved by all.

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The Essay that got me into Graduate School to become a psychotherapist. Robin Mohilner’s actual graduate school application essay.

The following essay was written in 2003 in order for me to be accepted into Graduate School.

I began Graduate School January of  2004 and completed August of 2006.    I practiced as a “Marriage & Family Therapist Intern” from 2006 until 2011 earning 3,000 hours of experience as a therapist in diverse settings.

 

 

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The Goals Statement is an important part of Phillips’ application process. You are required to submit a three- to seven-

page, double-spaced, typed essay outlining the following:

A. AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Describe in an autobiographical essay your personal, professional, and educational history, specifying how these

elements interrelate with your chosen field of study and career objectives. This section will give the Admissions

Committee:

•Insight into who you are and what history has brought you to this point in your life

•A sense of your capacity for introspection, reflection, and critical thinking

•An indication of your understanding of commitment to serious master’s or doctoral level work

PLEASE NOTE: Merely submitting a resume, curriculum vitae, or one-page synopsis will not be regarded as an

adequate autobiographical essay.

B. CURRENT PERSONAL, INTELLECTUAL AND PROFESSIONAL INTERESTS

Describe your current personal, intellectual and professional interests and activities, giving particular attention to the

nature of your work, studies and current reading, areas of special interest, and career plans. Indicate your reasons for

seeking a degree from Phillips Graduate Institute. This section will help the Admissions Committee understand:

•The nature of your life now and how master’s or doctoral level study will be integrated into it

•Why you want to obtain a master’s or doctoral degree, and why you feel you are prepared to study at the master’s

or doctoral level

•How you came to know about and why you chose Phillips Graduate Institute

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I chose question A.  It gave birth to this essay.  This essay combined with a good grade point average from UC Berkeley got me an interview to go to Graduate School to become a psychotherapist and art therapist.

This is not be the final version.  I could not find the final version …it is longer and addresses why I choose to be a therapist.  This is good enough…

____________________________

 

I can remember the whisper of the words, “Robin! I don’t want you to go to hell!”; that came from the voice of my best friend when I was seven.  That moment shaped my identity as a Jew.  Her father was standing behind her and with conviction assured me of my fate if I did not choose to change.  I struggled with how to handle this because he was like a second father to me. I respected and trusted his beliefs and values.  I also desired to be accepted and loved in his home.  Doing so meant that I would have to accept Jesus as God.  In the moment of making the sign of the cross on my chest, I realized that I had betrayed my ancestors.

I could feel myself being torn from the roots of my own family.  My self defense mechanisms protected me from the pain.  A burning rage grew within me.  I distanced myself from my best friend.  I struggled with my relationship with God and my duty to my ancestors.  In doing so, I realized that I wanted to go to heaven, but not if the price was to deny who I am and live in shame.

As the years passed and I faced more Anti-Semitism, I felt an intense sense of duty to live for my ancestors.  I knew that I had to celebrate their life in a way that did not manifest as the hate that ended it.  I realized that I could love them most by loving others, that I could give to them by giving of myself, and that I could be their voice by taking a stand for others who may not have the ability or resources to be heard. And so I live.

I experienced my greatest loss and pivotal change between the years of twelve and thirteen.  When I entered middle school, I felt confident in my childhood friendships and was excited to welcome new people into my life, but then in one day it was gone. I had suddenly been banished to become an outcast.

In the beginning of my banishment, I sat alone at lunch and cried. I felt abandoned, weak and powerless.  I begged for their friendship. However, the more I cried the deeper they dug their knife into my heart. They knew that they could hurt me and my tears fed them fuel. Like clock-work, they would trash my locker.

The days turned to weeks, and the weeks turned to months and I could no longer cry. I was emotionally numb. One Friday, I happened to be going to my locker and I caught the person who I once considered my best friend destroying my belongings. For the first time, I walked right up to her, looked her in the eyes, grabbed a book out of my own locker, ripped off its cover, threw it on the ground and walked away. With this action, it was as if I’d said, “Fine! Do it! You can’t hurt me any more!”

What I learned from this experience is how to stand up for myself, and make my actions heard when no one is willing to listen to words.   I developed issues with trust.

Age 13

As I grew up, there were three women after whom I modeled myself: my sister, my mom, and my  grandma. They defined the kind of person I wanted to be.

I hoped to be just like my older sister. I saw her as being cool, intelligent, and fun. She was popular and I wasn’t, so I tried to be like her. Attempting to take on my sister’s identity caused her to push me away because she needed to be unique. Therefore, by the time I was thirteen, my sister and I no longer had a relationship; I had become insignificant to her. In order to get her attention and approval, I started competing with her for her identity. I copied the way she dressed, the way she spoke, her mannerisms, her favorite music, and did anything to be like her. I also tried to win over her friends so they would make my sister pay attention to me.

The other two powerful women in my life influenced my core values, belief systems, standards, and principles.  They gave me emotional support and strength. These women, my mother and my matrilineal grandmother, were my rocks and my heart. When I was thirteen, I needed their support more than ever, but the tables had turned and they suddenly needed me to be the support.

My mother could no longer be the woman of strength that brought stability in my life. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She had to face her own battle, which weakened her spirit and caused her tremendous pain. Around the time of my mother’s diagnosis, my grandma moved in with us because she had a minor stroke. As my mom faced cancer and my grandma’s health deteriorated, I was determined to be strong. I didn’t show my pain or struggle, not wanting to add to their’ own.

Grandma stayed in my room, which placed me on the couch. As the time passed, I grew to resent her being there because I no longer had the privacy to grieve. Then, in the peak of my resentment, my grandma died. I felt so guilty because I loved her with all that I am, but I didn’t show it to her until it was too late. Furthermore, I felt great shame because I could not be there for my mom to mourn my grandma and I could not handle her suffering.  I was unable to cry. The only thing I knew how to do was to emotionally run away.  So I entered a depression that resulted in significant weight gain. Over time, I grew afraid to come home. In order to stay strong, I often stayed at my friend’s house whose family took me in and became my only escape.

This experience allowed many challenges to manifest in my life. Within me, I had created so many emotional walls that I was unable to cry for three years and deeply afraid to be weak and vulnerable. I felt abandoned and insignificant in the eyes of my sister which created extreme resentment and anger towards her that manifested a few years later. At the same time, my mother became a fragile human being in my eyes. I was in therapy throughout this time period, but the deeper issues did not manifest until three years later.

I wasn’t aware that I experienced the world differently than most people until I was sixteen and was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.  I felt out of control in my own mind and body. The anger that I had carried with me throughout series of betrayal and Anti-Semitism manifested as rage. The pain that I ran from for three years caused by my mom’s cancer and my grandma’s death exploded out of me in uncontrollable grief. I was like a sealed glass jar filled with marbles that had been put over a flame and exploded out all at once.

Being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder did not change who I am. I had been living with it my entire life. However, it changed how I perceived myself. I believed that the label meant that I am different, crazy, and inferior. I feared that I would not be accepted and would not have a productive role in society. It caused me to fear myself and fear the potential of what I could become. I stopped believing in myself as being someone who could reach their goals and make a difference. My expectations changed from my vision of who I am to fulfilling the expectations of my new label.

Once I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself, I chose to define what being Bipolar meant to me which changed my entire perspective and attitude. Bipolar disorder came to mean to me that I have the ability to experience the world with an intensity that enables me to have a great deal of compassion and empathy because I feel so deeply. I saw strengths in how it affects my imagination and creativity as well as critical thinking abilities. Most of all, the experiences I had allowed me to give myself permission to be weak and vulnerable enabling me to cry again and trust that people would be there for me. Being diagnosed gave me the ability to educate and understand myself because over the years I’ve been able to recognize the difference between genuine emotions and emotions due to a chemical imbalance. Through therapy, I was able to face the pain that I had held within me and strengthen my relationships with the people I loved.

Once I accepted that being Bipolar is a part of who I am, I was empowered. I developed a sense of conviction that I was going to overcome every obstacle and limitation that being Bipolar presented. I was told that I wouldn’t be able to handle stress, so I learned my boundaries of intensity that I could handle and recognized when I’m stepping over them and I chose to do something that very few people in the world ever do, graduate from UC Berkeley. I achieved my goal in December of 2003 without losing control of my mind-body. I was told that due to my Lithium I would not be able to lose weight, I am continuing to prove that theory wrong as I shed the emotional baggage that my body has held on to for far too long through a healthy diet and exercise. Here I stand today, I have proven to myself that I have what it takes and now I feel that it is my duty to continue to grow and give back. I think I have a unique position from which to give back. I can identify with many different problems that others face and I hope to use this unique ability for good in this world.

 

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Being too close to God: Knowledge to prevent accidental suicide for people with bipolar disorder

 

 

It is not uncommon during full-blown mania for a person to experience themselves as being incredibly close to God.

 

In fact, many people experience being too close to God and as a result they die.

 

What does this mean???

People experience feelings of omnipotence and they act on them. They truly believe with everything they are that they are omnipotent and attempt to do things that an omnipotent being could do…such as walk on water, fly, time travel, not have to follow any rules (drive the wrong way on the freeway and obey speed limits etc)…the awareness of limits disappears.

Omnipotence is having unlimited power; able to do anything; have ultimate power and influence.

 

People experiencing full-blown mania do die this way, but it is called suicide and it is rarely talked about.

 

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This article does not suggest that everyone who experiences full-blown mania has a God experience or experiences themselves as close to God.

This article is not suggesting that mental illness is caused by God.

There is historical evidence that many biblical figures had prophetic experiences that would be currently labeled and diagnosed as mental illness.

There is a historical record of this type of experience in many cultures that goes back thousands of years.

By no means is am I saying that mental illness is a “God experience”; however, some people who have experienced severe mental illness have reported to experience God during the episode of mental illness.

I SHARE THIS STORY WITH THE HOPE THAT THIS KNOWLEDGE WILL PREVENT ACCIDENTAL DEATH THAT FREQUENTLY OCCURS FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER DUE TO OMNIPOTENCE.

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When I turned sixteen years old, full-blown mania came into my life.

Being too close to God


Everything about life, life forces, the universe and how all living things are interconnected as one made complete sense to me. I understood balance in life.  I understood peace.  Most of all I understood the highest compassion.  The compassion that is experienced from being a part of all life and all life being apart of myself.

I’m not talking about the dictionary definition of compassion (ie. pity or sorrow).  I’m talking about the deepest level of care, inspiration, hope and acceptance that I have ever felt in my life.  It was the highest form of unconditional love and connection that I could have with all of life.

Experiencing this connection to all life gave me the deepest possible compassion to the point that I truly believed with everything that I am that I was omnipotent.

I didn’t believe I could fly, but I did feel I was invincible as if God was protecting me and nothing bad could happen to me…and as a result I truly believed i was limitless.

 

I did do some really risky things and didn’t even realize I was doing it. I had no idea that I was putting myself in tremendous danger. I was not aware of limits.

 

This was all before the mania peaked…before the explosion when I completely lost control.

 

I can’t speak for other people and their experiences…but I am definitely not the only person to have this experience. It may not be very common, but it has been documented in history for thousands of years.

 

During that time, I stayed up all night studying the Torah in an “Inductive Study Bible”.  (The Torah is the Old Testament also known as the Five Books of Moses).  I studied mostly Genesis and Proverbs.  I took four highlighters and created a code using colors and covered the sides of the page with ideas.

When I look at it now, none of it makes sense…well, I can’t make sense of it the way I did when I was in mania.  I no longer have access to the perspective and ability to think as I did in full-blown mania.

 

During this time, I went to school all day…but I wasn’t really there…I did intricate drawings all day in school. I wasn’t able to pay attention in class.

 

Then I stayed up all night studying Torah and quantum physics.

Unfortunately, I don’t know what happened to all of my drawings or even the books I studied quantum physics from. They were real. They do exist. However, I believe that as the mania exacerbated and fear kicked in, I believe I grew paranoid and hid everything to the extent that I don’t know where to find it.

During this time of mania I felt so close to God that I did not know where God ended and I began or where I ended and God began.  I truly believed I was ONE with God.

This caused me to feel omnipotent and invincible.  I believed with all that I am that I was all powerful, limitless and capable of doing and being anything I choose to be.  As a result I was not at all aware of limits.

I was not aware of speed, let alone speed limits, so I drove down neighborhood streets at 80+ miles per hour not even noticing that I was traveling fast.   I took risks without any awareness of danger.  I truly believed and trusted with all that I am that I am protected by God.

The Sling-Shot Experience

Then suddenly…literally overnight…my closeness to God was taken from me.

It was a tremendous loss and incredibly painful for me. I went from being ALL POWERFUL to completely powerless.

I was completely consumed by fear and painful emotions.  I was so incredibly afraid.

 

As mania progressed it was as though I was put in a sling-shot and shot as far from God as possible.

 

This is when all of my emotion and fear began exploding out of me and I lost complete control.

But it didn’t happen as smoothly as it sounds.  There were times when I felt omnipotent and possessed by fear and times when I felt powerless…this was expressed in explosions of emotion, erratic and violent behavior and visions of violation.

This power struggle between omnipotence and powerlessness was expressed in the form of what the fields of medicine and psychology call delusions and hallucinations.

When the power struggle ended, I was left in complete powerlessness and complete darkness…incapable of thinking, feeling and barely able to hold up my head, let alone move.

This experience that I had was diagnosed as full-blown mania and bipolar disorder.

 

 

Fear of my own potential

 

For the last 15 years, I have been afraid of full-blown mania. 

 

I never want to experience being so incredibly close to God…possibly, even too close…then feeling the complete absence of God.

I never want to be put in a sling-shot and shot as far away from God as possible again.

Being too close to God kills people.  Omnipotence kills people.  And being as far away from God as possible welcomes suicide.

If I were to allow myself to experience this level of full-blown mania again, I do not trust that I would survive it.  Many people do not survive it, but it is not talked about.

 

Dying due to omnipotence is called suicide and dying due to the absence of God is called suicide and suicide is taboo to talk about.  We simply make people promise not to do it and put people on so many medications that they can’t think clearly enough to take their own lives.

 

 

 

…I choose stability instead.

 

This experience called “full-blown mania” shaped my beliefs.  I took what I learned from it and use it to become a better person.

“Full-Blown Mania” caused me to truly believe that EVERYONE truly is connected…we are truly all ONE. We are all made of the same stuff water, carbon etc…we are all a part of life…we are all interdependent on each other for our lives…we all are truly ONE.

 

EVERYTHING that is living serves its own unique function and purpose in life…sometimes it is just hard to figure out what it is when you are a being that is human.

 

I came to understand God as “everything that is, was and will be”…”God is all life, all life is God”

 

I came to believe that what religion refers to as the messianic age will come when all life is working together…all living things come together as one.

During my mania I also came to believe and trust that the messiah will be born when all people come together as ONE…that all people coming together as ONE is the Messiah.

 

In talking with a few Rabbi’s about this…I’ve learned that Judaism agrees with me. By no means am I the first person to have this realization.

 

 

 

 

 

Am I special?

 

An arm is not of greater value or more special than a leg. A foot is not of more value or more special than a hand. A brain is not of greater value or more special than a heart (or any other organ)…each part of the human body serves it’s own function and has it’s own purpose. No part is more special or of greater value than any other part.

 

I am not of greater value than anyone else. My function may be unique…my purpose may be unique…but I am not more special or of greater value than anyone else.

 

I truly believe that we all are interdependent on each other…we all need each other in order to function as human beings and as a part of life.

 

When I originally wrote these thoughts, I shared “I’m not special. I just had a unique experience.”…but then I remember what my Rabbi said…

 

When I said that to my Rabbi recently, he disagreed with me.

 

He said, “Robin, you are special. You are close to God.”

 

My response to him was, “Hmm…but Rabbi, aren’t we all a part of God? Wouldn’t that mean that we are all close to God?”

 

He smiled and before he could respond, I cut him off and said, “Ahhh…I get it. I remember your lesson.”

 

Rabbi Maller taught me about closeness to God when I was a kid. That when we choose to do acts of kindness and goodness and have gratitude for all life…we are close to God.

 

 

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5 Pillars of Creating a Stable Circadian Rhythm: Structure & Routine (vital for people with bipolar disorder)

Everything in life and in being human has a rhythm.

Our hearts have their rhythm and if the rhythm becomes irregular we have problems.

Every part of our body plays a role in circadian rhythm. When circadian rhythm becomes irregular we have problems.

All of life has a balance and rhythm and when it is out of balance in life (which it is) there are problems (which there are).

Many of they rhythms that affect our lives we have absolutely no control over…for instance we have no control over WHAT HAPPENS TO US.

In this article we will focus on the rhythms that we do have the ability to INFLUENCE.

 

We may not be able to control these rhythms, but we can influence their STABILITY.

Sleep

 

We cannot easily influence the QUALITY of sleep, especially when we have stressors in our life.

Living with bipolar disorder affects our ability to sleep.  Mania prevents us from having the ability to sleep.

We have complete influence of WHEN we sleep.

We influence our sleep by what time we go to bed and what time we wake up.

If we go to bed consistently at the same time and wake up at the same time when we are rested, our body is in rhythm and we can best function.

Sleep is SOOOO important because this is when our bodies do some of the most important things for our survival:

1.) Repair what has been damaged.
2.) Create memory.
3.) Learn.
4.) Grow.
5.) Rejuvenate.
6.) Collective Unconscious (Dream).
7.) Heal emotional wounds.

Sleep is vital as a human being.  Without it we cannot survive.

 


 

Eating

What we eat, when we eat and how much we eat.

 

We have full control of what we give our body as nourishment and fuel.

 

What we choose to eat plays a large role in our bodies abilities to do what it needs to do to best function.

 

If we feed ourselves crap…we will probably get crap from our bodies.

 

If we don’t eat often enough…we spend a lot of our time being hungry and not being able to function.

 

If we eat too much we affect our bodies health and ability to function…we make it significantly harder to function.


 

Exercise

What we do with our bodies.

 

Frankly, if you don’t use it you lose it.

 

To have a strong body, we have to do what builds strength and if we don’t do it…we won’t be strong and our bodies will not be able to endure much.


Learning

 

We have complete influence over:

 

– What we learn.

– The time we spend learning.

– How committed we are to learning.

 

We cannot control HOW we learn.

 

We cannot control our ACCESS to tools for learning.

 

However, there are libraries that make knowledge VERY accessible so there are no excuses.

 

Each person has a different learning style.

 

But we have complete control and responsibility for LEARNING.

 

If we choose NOT to learn, ignorance is our fault.

 


 

Connection with Others

As human beings our survival relies on connection with others.
Without a relationship with others, we would not have food, shelter, clothing or any form of physical, mental or emotional security.

Relationships have a rhythm to them.

 

Relationships are a huge part of being human.

 

We can’t control what happens in relationships, EVER.

 

But we can control whether or not we are CONNECTED with people (mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, sexually etc)

 

 

When all of these rhythms are a part of our daily life…we have balance, we have structure and we are more likely to have routine.

This empowers us to be able to be productive, to work hard, to be effective and efficient in what we do.

When these rhythms are missing, lacking or are out of balanced in our lives episodes are far more likely to occur for people living with mental illness and the absence of these rhythms may invite mental illness into someone’s life.

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Purpose in Struggle: The story of the helpful man and a butterfly (An educational story to help people thrive with bipolar disorder)

A man was walking through a forest when he came upon a butterfly freeing itself from it’s cocoon.

The man watched the butterfly struggle and fight to get it’s entire body through a small hole in the cocoon.


The butterfly struggled and struggled, the man watched in fascination.

Then the butterfly stopped struggling.

The man grew concerned. After waiting awhile with no movement from the butterfly, the man got out his pocket knife and cut the hole in the cocoon making it bigger.

The butterfly slid out of the cocoon onto the ground.

What the man didn’t know is….

In order for a butterfly to have strong wings and a solid body it needs to struggle and fight it’s way out of the cocoon.

It needs to slowly and gradually squeeze through the small hole in the cocoon because that process TRANSFORMS it’s body.

Squeezing through the hole in the cocoon squeezes all the fluids from the body into the wings making them solid and strong and creates a strong body.

But something wasn’t right with the butterfly. It’s wings were limp and it’s body was mushy and weak.

The butterfly spent the rest of it’s life crawling. It never was able to fly.

When I or anyone fights someone’s struggle for them, thinking we are helping them…we may actually cripple them.

Out of concern, we may keep people from flying.

My goal and hope is to not do this to anyone.

My goal is to help people develop their own tools so that they can use them to struggle and fight their way out of the cocoon.

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“Love…with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.” by Rabbi Allen Maller (My favorite story of all)

“Love…with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.”

 

 

By Rabbi Allen Maller

To learn more about Rabbi Allen S. Maller click here

One day a young man stood in a town square proclaiming that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley. A large crowd gathered and all admired his heart, for it was perfect. There was not a mark or a flaw in it. Yes, they agreed it truly was the most beautiful heart they had ever seen. It was an ideal heart. As beautiful as a Greek stature of an ideal youth. The young man said that his perfect, beautiful heart, was due to his philosophy of following a path of self realization, calmness and detachment.

 

Then a Rabbi named after Martin Buber appeared at the front of the crowd and said, “Why your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine.” The crowd and the young man looked at the Rabbi’s heart. It was beating strongly, but it was full of scars. It had places where pieces had been removed and other pieces put in, but they didn’t fit quite right and there were several jagged edges. In fact, in some places there were deep gouges where whole pieces were missing. The people stared. How could Martin Buber say his heart was more beautiful than the heart of the ideal youth?

 

The young man looked at the older man’s heart and laughed. “You must be joking,” he said. “Compare your heart with mine, mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears.”

 

“Yes,” said Rabbi Buber, “yours is perfect looking but I would never trade with you. You see, every scar represents a person to whom I have given my love. I tear out a piece of my heart and give it to people, and often they give me a piece of their heart, which fits into an empty place in my heart. But because the pieces aren’t exactly equal I have some rough edges, which I cherish, because they remind me of the love we shared. Sometimes I give pieces of my heart away, and the other person doesn’t return a piece of his or her heart to me. These are the empty gouges…giving love is taking a chance. And then there are places where my heart is broken, reminding me of the love I have had, and lost. I say Kaddish then to praise God for the pains of living a life of loving and caring; for it is better to love and lose than never to love at all.”

 

The young man stood silently with tears running down his cheeks. He walked up to the older man, reached into his perfect, young and beautiful heart and ripped a piece out. He offered it to the old man with trembling hands. The Rabbi took the young man’s offering, placed it in his heart and then took a piece from his old scarred heart and placed it in the wound in the young man’s heart.

 

It fit, but not perfectly, as there were some jagged edges. The young man looked at his heart, not perfect anymore but more beautiful than ever, since love from Rabbi Buber’s heart now flowed into his. They embraced and walked away side by side.

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“A Pair of Pears” By Rabbi Allen Maller

A PAIR OF PEARS

 

By Rabbi Allen Maller

To learn more about Rabbi Allen S. Maller click here

There was a king who had a daughter who was very ill. The doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with her. She just seemed miserable and cried often.

 

 

One night the princess dreamed that if she ate a pair of very special pears she would get well. In order to learn what would make the pears so special, she would have to meet with each person who brought pears to her. Her mother the queen, decreed that whoever brought in the very special pears that healed the princess, would have the opportunity to marry the princess, if she wanted to marry him.

 

 

Hundreds of young men brought baskets of pears to the princess. She talked for a long time to each of the young men, and ate their pears, but none of them made her feel better.

 

 

One farmer who had very sweet and juicy pears as well as three sons told his eldest son, the most handsome of the three, to take a basket of pears to the princess. On the way to the princess the handsome son met a dwarf who related how hungry he was. The dwarf saw the basket and said, “You must be taking pears to heal the princess. Please give me a few pears so I will not starve.”

 

 

The handsome son didn’t want to give away even one pear, especially to a dwarf. He was afraid that any pear given away might turn out to be the special one of the pair that would heal the princess. Then he would lose the chance to marry her.

 

 

So he said to the hungry man, “The only pears I have in this basket are pairs of pig’s feet.” The hungry man, who was really the prophet Elijah in disguise, replied, “Amen! So shall it be.” Then he walked away.

 

 

When the handsome son was brought to the princess, he opened his basket to show her his pears, and it was filled with pairs of pig’s feet. The princess fainted. The king ordered the eldest son to be thrown out into the street.

 

 

When the handsome son returned home he didn’t want to tell anybody what had happened so he just said that the pears didn’t work. The farmer then decided to send his middle son, the one who was tall, strong and had lovely blond hair, to bring the farmer’s best pears to the princess.

 

 

On the road to the castle the tall blond son also met Elijah, who was disguised this time as a poor beggar who was deaf in one ear. The blond son also didn’t want to help the beggar, even though he seemed very hungry.

 

 

The tall blond son said, “I can’t help you. The only pears I have in this basket are pairs of pig’s ears.” “Amen!” said Elijah, “so shall it be.”

 

 

When the tall blond son was brought to the princess he opened his basket and it was filled to the top with pairs of pig’s ears. The princess became nauseous and threw up. The king had the blond son thrown out the window into the street. When the middle son returned home he also didn’t tell anybody what happened.

 

 

The youngest son wasn’t very handsome, and he wasn’t tall or blond, but he was very kind and considerate. He begged his father to let him go because he wanted to help the princess, although he didn’t think she would want to marry him. On the road to the princess he also met Elijah disguised as a beggar with ugly sores and scabs all over his face and arms.

 

 

He felt sorry for the ugly beggar, and even before the beggar asked, he offered half of the pears in the basket to the man saying, “I pray these pears are good for you.” Elijah took them and replied, “Amen! So shall it be good for you.”

 

 

When the youngest son opened his basket before the princess she asked why it was only half filled with pears. He told her about offering half the basket of pears to the beggar who was covered with sores and scabs. The princess began to cry. The youngest son apologized for making her cry, but to his surprise she suddenly hugged him. They spent the whole day talking and the princess felt better and better. By the next day she was feeling great. A month later she told the youngest son she wanted to marry him, and that is what she did.

 

 

The boy’s father could never figure out what was special about the pears that the youngest son brought to the princess.

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“I’m sick with myself” by team member, Achtland

I’m having a really sucky time tolerating with my emotions.

I dont really want to do it.

Im sick of pain, I dont wanna feel disappointed anymore.

Im sick of promises.

Im sick of believing in things that aren’t real.

Im sick of having high hopes.

Im sick of chasing things that I am never going to reach.

Im sick of being personally alone.

Im sick of not working.

Im sick of not being able to trust people.

Im sick of my family not allowing me to feel.

Im sick of my talents that are wasted.

Im sick of being nervious.

Im sick of being afraid.

Im sick of crying.

Im sick of put downs.

Im sick of being quiet.

Im sick of being told what to do all the time.

Im sick of being NICE.

Im sick of being beautiful.

IM sick of LOVE.

Im sick of trying,

Im sick of noise.

Im sick with myself.

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“I think team Thrive is something AWESOME” shared by team member – Achtland

I think team Thrive is something AWESOME.

All of you on team Thrive are the only ones I have in my life that I come too, when I am losing it.

I know people do think of any kind of therapy as a rip off. But its NOT! people whom say that, dont understand the value in it, they fear it. They have never needed it maybe or felt they have. See it as a place of weak minded people who should be ashamed a business that sucks those people dry. But its NOT!

I know team thrive isnt therapy, but it sits in the same category.

I mean I needed therapy when I was abused but didnt want it. I needed therapy when I left HS and GOT farther into my depression. Because of it I got a JOB again and I began LIVING again, because I was able to see I wanted to live and not die.

I had to learn How to be comfortable around people to work. I had to face my fears and therapy helped me do that.

 

Right NOW I need therapy, because I wanted to do better in school and in life. Tired of the self helplessness I felt, and now I know Im bipolar. ANd now I am ABLE to LIVE again… I am now older and don’t have a support group within my life who can understand and or wants to. SO I have Team Thrive!!!

 

And you do need money, its is not wrong to ask for it. You have a real Job you have a real and useful education, that you worked hard on. This is your dream, just keep being proud of it. Do not let these people who say this to you get you down. You are on the right track to living your DREAMs. So only cry for the moment. And pitty them. Also there will be people who get mad and leave. Do not see this as a failure on your part.

 

I know when I get angry I do not think straight and when I get offended i leave. WE all walk away from different things for different reason. Some of us stronger then others. So it is okay to not always win against the battle. It is okay to not be able to get someone else to understand or see your views. Or even agree with you. WE are human, and there is no mistake in it.

 

Someone told me once that EVERYONE is rooting for you to fail. Because it is so easy to fail. But when you don’t you surpass their expectations. People will be there for you to tell you have failed and people will be there to tell you you have made it. But no one will be as sad or happier then you. why should anything matter more then what you want.

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