John Kreiser – Counsellor, B.S.W., R.S.W.
Life is difficult. Life is a series of problems. What makes life particularly difficult is that confronting and solving these problems is a painful process.
Yet in the process of meeting and facing life problems we create meaning in our life. Problems call forth our wisdom and courage and indeed create this wisdom and courage within us.
This human suffering enhances the strength of the human spirit and our human capacity to grow, as Benjamin Franklin stated “Those things that hurt, instruct.”
However most people are not so wise in understanding this concept and choose to avoid these life problems /pain through denial, blame and other defense mechanisms, alcohol / drugs, other addictions and compulsions etc.
In order to cope with life problems and pain we need to have a set of tools known as discipline. These tools include delay gratification, acceptance of responsibility, dedication to the truth/reality and balancing/flexibility (discipline itself has to be disciplined) and problem solving (including taking the time to learn how to solve a particular problem)
The feeling of being valuable is a cornerstone to self-discipline. If one feels valuable then one will look after oneself in all ways that are necessary. Self caring is self discipline.
Children learn this discipline through the consistency of the self discipline of their parents. Thus these children learn a deep sense of internal value and security. With a sense of self –worth, security and safety they are able to delay immediate gratification.
Much of what we have come to view as depression is really sadness connected to grieving and loss. Through the course of a life time we will lose many important attachments and connections. In fact life can be viewed as a continual grieving process. This grieving process is painful and thus is filled with much suffering. Facing this suffering is another important life lesson. Suffering is viewed in a general sense as “those things we cannot control.”
Finding meaning and thus creating some sense of meaning out of this suffering is another important aspect of discipline and more will be shared about this important truth in future articles.
With much grateful acknowledgement to M. Scott Peck – from the “The Road Less Travelled”.
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