Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Lessons of Easter Passover and springtime

Lessons of Easter Passover and springtime

0 comments

Is it coincidence that Easter Sunday, Passover, and springtime all come at the same time of the year? I'm guessing no. For the same reason it's no coincidence that all of them represent the same thing -- birth, rebirth, freedom from what has enslaved us. And speaking of freedom from whatever has enslaved us, I once read that only a small percentage of Jews followed Moses out of Egypt. In a way I can understand that. After all, here's a guy with a speech impediment saying that he is talking to God and not to worry, everybody would be okay. That will cause you to pause for a minute before making a decision. But the end result was a majority stayed back. And that is really not a surprise. The majority chose to settle for the enslavement of their lives knowing that it was at least predictable and that tomorrow would look pretty much the same as today. Those who talk the leap of faith, had no vision of their future just faith that it would be better one day.

I see exactly the same thing in my office every day. People suffer today based on what has happened in their childhoods, their marriages, the work place or their children's behavior. And the causes range from life-threatening illness to a rejected college application. But all of these sufferings have something in common and that is the stories we tell ourselves about what these things mean. And generally the stories are global and hopeless. More often than not, we suffer because of our stories. Mark Twain once said that he lived through a thousand tragedies in his life "and some of them actually happened"!

Those stories are hard to let go of. Because when we tell our stories over and over we reinforce our own truth. Our stories help us understand why we feel the way we do. Our stories give us some predictability in life just like the Jews in Egypt who chose slavery.

Our stories are just that. Stories. Our lives are our lives. A Sufi once said: "to experience is to live, to explain is to lie." So now that I've touched on Judaism, Christianity and Sufism, it might be time to wind up. So here's what I wish for all of us:

to experience more, to explain less, to tolerate our own confusion and to notice how each day in nature is a little different in the past giving birth to new possibilities that can only happen when we stop telling our stories and experience our lives.

Dan Gottlieb
0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
Dan Gottlieb is a psychologist and marital therapist and has been in practice nearly 40 years. His career started in community mental health and substance abuse until his accident in 1979 made him a quadriplegic.

Since that time, he has been in private practice. Since 1985, he has been hosting a radio show called "Voices in the Family" on WHYY FM, Philadelphia's NPR affiliate. He was a regular columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1994 until 2008. He is also the author of four books.

www.drdangottlieb.com

Voices In The Family on WHYY

philly.com

Dan Gottlieb
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected