Love Comes Out of Bad Because in Any Circumstance, Good or Bad, Love Comes

Victor Hugo-Bridge

Image via Wikipedia

Ten years ago, what were you doing in life.  Did you think you would be “here?”  Were you thinking past September 11?

My daughter asked me the other day what I meant when I said that good can come out of bad.  You know me.  I cocked my guns and started happily blazing.  Good coming out of bad has nothing to do with the badness of events.  It has everything to do with the goodness.  It has everything to do with what is stronger.  The love.  Love is stronger than anything.

Victor Hugo described La Esmerelda‘s beauty with this kind of quality around her peers.

As, however, they all possessed nearly the same degree of beauty, 

they fought with equal weapons, and each might cherish a hope of 

victory. The coming of the Bohemian suddenly destroyed this

equilibrium. Her beauty was so surpassing, that at the moment 

when she appeared at the entrance of the room, she seemed to shed 

over it a sort of light peculiar to herself. In this close 

apartment, over-shadowed by hangings and carvings, she appeared 

incomparably more beautiful and radiant than in the public place 

like a torch which is carried out of the broad day-light into 

the dark. In spite of themselves, the young ladies were dazzled. 

Each felt wounded, as it were, in her beauty.

Love, or call it goodness, has a victory to offer us.  In the presence of bad or not bad, Love is.  And because it is, the turning of bad into good happens.  In consequence to its goodness and nothing else.

...like a torch which is carried out of the broad 
day-light into the dark.

September 11, ten years ago, the streets of Boston were filled with parked cars.  The taxis were not going anywhere.  Their drivers were dazed, their radios blasting the news of smoke and buried bodies.  I was weeping with them and sat on the curb, cold with the early night, listening to their radios.  I don’t know why I didn’t go home to watch the news.  I wanted to be with these people I think.  The people.  We needed each other.  What could love bring out of this ten years later?  What would light do in this darkness?

I don’t know what your story is but I believe that Love is.  And because of what it is, in our darkness, good can come.  It has everything to do with what Love is and is all the more lovely because of the bad company.

Here is one mother’s story.  Please tell us yours.  Keep on.

Self-Care Tip – When bad is there, remember that Love is.

Love Another Man To See The Face Of God

Hello friends. Missed you yesterday. We are on our way home from the anniversary weekend plus a few other significant dates wrapped in there.

The Marriott hotel we stayed at was sold out so getting two adjoining rooms (who wants to get arrested for child abandonment on their anniversary?) took extra maneuvering by Marriott’s good staff along with my husband’s gentle ways. We landed in an upgraded suite the size of a small country for the same previous price. I’ve never been in something like that and we all felt like superstars.
(This is sounding newsy.)

Anywho, the next day we joined my brother and his family at a matinée showing of Les Miserables at the Ahmanson Theater – we’ve planned this for a year. There we were; a few adults and a long string of children all polished and shiny. We had bought feathered masquerade masks to play it up and were dressed to the nines. The house was sold out.

We had prepared ourselves with the soundtrack, Victor Hugo‘s unabridged printed English translation (didn’t finish that yet this time around – hoping still), the 25th Anniversary recording at the The O2 and lots of chat. The kids were happy to go with their cousins and you can imagine that all should have gone well.
What to say.  Some things we must prepare for in other ways.

Sitting there, my son on my lap and just the slightest sound of tearing chocolate bar wrapper, and the head in front of us turned into a face with a mouth,

Be quiet!  

Some minutes later, my son was drinking from his water bottle,

For G–‘s sake!  Put that away!

There was more from our theater-head and after three otherwise beautiful hours, Les Miserables was over.  A lady a few chairs away from the theater-head whom I think was in his party said,

Next time choose to take them to a Disney Production, would you?  

Later in the car, my girls were wondering about the, “super mean people in front of us,” and I remembered the words still fresh in my thoughts,

To love another man is to see the face of God.

How to love?  By starting with loving me.  Who knows about those people?  I don’t.  I don’t know anything about them at all.  I can just work my junk over and grow my own bank.  Then I can love even people who are mean to my beautiful kids.  I can think about their possible frontal lobe dementia, disinhibition and medication non-compliance and empathize.  I can think about their torn families and children who’ve abandoned them and come home only on Christmas.  I can think about their missed opportunities to claim their freedom to self-care.  By starting with me, I can enter into their hurt and see that through their eyes, they see an angry unsafe world and they are suffering.  That is something of what Victor Hugo may have talked about.

When I was younger, a one o’clock Sunday matinée was when kids came but maybe not any more.  Ah well.  I saw the face of God.

Self-Care Tip – Love another man to see the face of God.

Starting With Your Own Answers to The Big Questions Leads to Reducing Stigma In Others

Alexander Ostuzhev as Quasimodo, 1925.

Image via Wikipedia

Question:  How do you see the paradigm of spirituality intersecting with the paradigm of biology?

As a psychiatrist who blogs that behaviors come from the brain and not a theater script we voluntarily revise to perform, this is a good question.  As readers, and perhaps subscribers to this same belief, this is a good question.

In church, Bible study, or circle of any kind, there are fewer things that goad me more than listening to descriptions of the moral value in emotions and behaviors.  I have found myself visiting the lady’s room more often, carousing the fellowship hall-kitchen and fridge, or thrusting myself on a poor unsuspecting soul loitering by the door with my fervent uncomplimentary words.  I do this before I stand up and pull rank on the speaker.

(I know.  The words “pull rank” sound just as arrogant, and probably are, but they were said in the heat of the moment.  Please understand that the emotion behind them and including the words came from my brain.)

It wasn’t so long ago that suicides were thought to be the ultimate separation from God.  Oh wait.  That’s still happening isn’t it?  It wasn’t so long ago that anger and sadness were thought to be from separation from God.  Oh wait, they still are.  Ok.  I’ll stop.  This is childish.

The hunched figure of Notre Dame comes to me now, ringing his bell, gazing at Esmerelda – pure heaven in flesh.  He offers up his humble life force, begging to be near her despite his biology.  He is ugly.  He is different.  He is separated by his own beliefs that he is forgotten by God.  His answer to our question is his own isolation.

This pithy topic has no boundaries across the world but yet I reduce it down to Me, one apparently arrogant psychiatrist, kicking up dirt where I stand.  I realize that the best way to protect us from stigma, to help you (again arrogant me swaggers in), is to start with my answer to this marvelous question.  I have to answer it for myself.  I have to start with self-care, spiritual care, relationship care, physical care – I have to start right here with Me.

These kinds of imposed opinions have never been reduced quickly.  We can’t take care of everyone before we take care of ourselves.  We must be patient.  We have the privilege to answer thoughtfully.  It is our freedom.  It is our right.

Self-Care Tip #193 – Answer the big questions in life for yourself, deliberately, and see that a secondary benefit is that it will protect you from the prejudice of others as well as reduce their prejudice.