Monday, March 1, 2010

love the pain of what you do not have

Being a oprhan with parents, I remember the pain of hanging out with freinds who had intact homes. I walk in, a nice house, organized, a little bit too organized to my taste. and I am getting all anxious. The pain of why I do not have it was unbearable.

Result. One forget what good and nice is. It is different from sour grapes. Because here one does not think his situation is good. He simply cannot bear the pain of seeing the goods he does not have.

Result. One get even more distant from what he addmited is good.

Choosing my company has suffered from a similar problem. I met today a person I consider a real person. a strong person. a person that aside from being strong and sounding smart, knows how to experinece life.

While talking, I spoke theoretically about one of my weakness without eluding to myself. She offered that this level of stupidity ois not worth talking about.

It was so painful to hear. I almost thought that I am not smart talking to her.
It took some hours to realize that I want to be around people whose ideas and perceptions are great and balanced, even if there is pain of experiencing my misdeeds.

I want to be influenced by the smart and happy. EVEN if it reminds me on my sufferings and stupidity. You want to be affected from the best.

PS. It involves pain. But this is yet another expertise to bear pain without getting lost, or escaping at any price.


Anonymous said...

Be open mind is effortful, thanks, nice story zilber.......Mexico.

i.c.hir said...

I don't get your post completely:
I'm not really comfortable with cherishing pain as a "normal" indicator of importance, preciousness, ... (maybe I should love that pain, if I understand you - but I won't)

I'm all in favor of accepting pain as a first-order indicator that something is wrong / important - which then should / could trigger a decision if one should do something about it (or if it's not relevant enough). Part of the "doing something" should imply to find "nicer" indicators rather than pain.

In any way, then (after the first ping) the "pain" should go away - otherwise it gets sort of second order with a big risk of getting into loops and getting lost into a completely changed reality dominated by pain (- or fame: that's just a rhyme - "fear" works similarly).

Yechezkel Zilber said...

It is exactly this second order loops that I have trouble with.

I accept the reality of loops and the rationality of avoiding them. But hte trick is to find ways to not let loops build in (if realistic...). Otherwise, the very possibilituy of loops becomes an arresting force.

The problem with running out of pain and loops is that it strongly reinforces the status qou.

The example is illuminating.

I am poor. I am stupid. I do not know to enjoy.
Shouyld I hang around happy and smart and rich peoople?

In terms of pain avoidance I am adviced to stay in my hole.

In another sense, it is better to hang around those who have, and learn how they have, how they have the exoerience I do not know to have. I may learn in the process.

This is the poorly rational stand.

There are two problems. Short term pain as a cost. This must be considered against the positive side of learning and ultimately experienceing (actually there is also experieince by contamination).

Secondo, the pain can be overwhelimng. (1) I may get in traumatic state and get unable to even breth, let alone learn to enjoy. Indeed, this is a reality limit, that one got to learn how to handle. Without learning to bear the pain it may indeed be useless. (2) I may enter out the the pain into all kinds of loops. Again, this is a reality barrier, that one is well adviced to learn to overcome.

Got me?

i.c. said...

yeah, Y.: ...much clearer

I agree with you that just avoiding pain is another loop: my "favorite" (bad) example is talking with someone - if you are focussed on avoiding pain for the other, you end up in all kinds of severe communication problems; so it'd be much better if any one can take responsibility for one's (short term pain)

the more serious problem is the one you mention: how to distinguish between pain indicating a necessary change + the possibility of learning from pain indicating to stay away (and prefer the status quo)
- quite tough

and, of course, it is easier said than done "avoiding the looping pain": the tricks probably have to be learned while you don't have pain / or in "irrelevant" situations (like sports) and even there they don't work always.
But one can get far ... with simple, small changes

Yechezkel Zilber said...

RIght, it is easier to learn in relatively "safe" situations.

Once you get emotionally "hot" etc. it is not eay to do it right.

OTOH, John Gottman says that what you learn in a "cold" emotional state does not transfer to a "hot state. i..e. in emotional things you got to learn in an emotionally similar situation as the one where you wnat to apply. it. (he talks about therapists allowing ptients to get in the state in questions and exactly then guiding them. No idea how to do out of therapy setting, but tricks there must be.

i.c. said...

one of my experiences of "hot" learning "without much relvance" is sports: one of the reasons I play badminton competitions is learning about myself, and I learned how my fear (of winning / or loosing) can block me enough to not be able to raise the arm...

and it teaches different loops and different failures and I believe one can take it into other situations (who cares about "life" and "people" compared to loosing a badminton game)

Chanoch Silber said...

you are right about one point
which lets you learn how to avoid pain in the first place
i think that when a person has company, friends, that do have happiness it's much a easy process
to help your sadness but the problem is that if you won't learn how to avoid sadness without having friends you'll always be in trouble cause you'll always need to have company which will help you overcome the situation
and two problems are coming up
1: friends wont be happy if they felt they are being used to unload your pain
2: if one day you wont have anyone to talk with you'll go nuts
so definitely a person has to learn how to deal with pain
thanks my dear brother i liked what you wrote
you're so smart never thought of you that nice before

Yechezkel Zilber said...

Thanks for the kind words, my brother.

Interesting thoughts, actually.