The Pursuit of Happiness vs Search of Meaning.

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When I started to look for my purpose, I was recovering from occupational burn out, and PTSD ( except I didn’t understand it ). My doctor played a mentor’s role in the story and he pushed me to my life questioning. Before that, I was completely unaware and in so-called hamster wheel.

In february 2016, I lost a camerade, at work, for a stroke, at 7 am. He was, apparently, quarelling with his manager when he fell down on the ground.  They brought him to the hospital by a first aid helicopter, but it was too late. A stroke requires fast help, and perhaps, unhappily, it was not the case. When I arrived in the morning, I passed by the direction office, and heard the executive director preparing his speech for the team talk.

He was calling, on the phone, for all the team staff and occupational doctor, in order to announce that R. my brit camerade, aged 43, was lying in a hospital bed, waiting to cut his hoxygene off. They were just waiting for his parents to come from the UK. He left 4 children and a wife. Sure, you first wonder how it would be like if you were at his place. The fact is that in the early morning, at wake up, 6h45 am, I did my routine mindfulness meditation, and I remember addressing my Self to “above” to submit my service into something bigger than my ego, and my own will. If you see what I mean. We often ask and beg for what we want for us and we never put our selves in a humbling position.

Don’t ask what your Life can do for you, but what you can do for your Life“.

As soon as I stepped into the corridor of the management office, I had the gut feeling that I got my answer or, at least, for just that day. No more excuses, I needed to talk.

So, for the very first time, fearless, I crossed over the door of my executive director, in order to speak out loud and we finally had a powerful, understanding, conversation.  He was in dispair, it was his third loss in a few months, and right after the november attacks, which had such an impact on our workplace, and our spirit. To minimize, my manager tried to tell me that all of us have personal situations which put our health in danger. Work issues wasn’t concerned. Invisible wounds and stress disorders cannot be taken seriously – at a work environement – as a proof of stroke, heart attack or any other health disease, because if you survive, there is a clause of confidentiality. They keep it as a secret. You’d better not talk about. That’s how people get depressive and suicidal, what the hell.

“They say that your purpose is what you struggle with.”

So, the promise I have made to my Self, in that dark upsetting morning, was precisely to take responsability for Me and My own Life. To be honest, from 2015 to 2017, I’ve been writing a memoir in my mother language, that I have tried to get published, but no one showed up unless ahaha! some editing publisher from Rome who complimented me and, as offer, asked me 1500 euros to get my work published. Never mind. What’s the main purpose of all this writing, I wondered, if not healing and sharing? 

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In her book “The Power of Meaning,” Emily Esfahani Smith rounds up the latest research — and the stories of fascinating people she interviewed — to argue that the search for meaning is far more fulfilling than the pursuit of personal happiness.

 

Our culture is obsessed with happiness. Even though we devote vast amounts of time and resources trying to be happier, many of us feel aimless and alienated nonetheless. With depression and loneliness trending upward for decades and the suicide rate rising around the world — recently reaching a 30-year high in the United States — it’s clear that something is wrong. In recent years, social scientists have been trying to understand what exactly the problem is. What they’ve found is striking. What predicts the rising tide of despair sweeping across society is not a lack of happiness. It’s a lack of something else — a lack of having meaning in life. In fact, chasing and valuing happiness, the way our culture encourages us to do, can actually make people unhappy.

This set Smith on a journey to understand what constitutes a meaningful life. After extensive research and reporting, she came to see that there are four pillars of a meaningful life — and she lays them out in her TED Talk. Ultimately, she discovered that the search for meaning is far more fulfilling than the pursuit of personal happiness — and we all have the power to build more meaning in our lives.

With courtesy of Ted Talk’s Ideas worth spreading

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Soldier’s woundwort, if Achille suffered from PTSD, anyone can do.

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Greek Mythology never end to amaze me. Not only because it’s psychology in disguise, but further more because it’s so modern, that you could use it to explain today’s society to your children (like Fulvio Terzani, Tiziano’s son, says in his conference about Ultra Marathon).

To say it all, this article was supposed to start with a gengitivis, yes, I wanted to put an example of trauma in our body. The last time I have been at the dentist, he told me that my gums were not infected, but they kept the memory of an ancient gum disease. Oh my gosh, I admit that teeth brushing wasn’t my fave sport until quite late, and that I have been neglecting this must-have habit for too long.

So, how can I send the message to my gums that it’s okay, war is over… or is it? No, it is not. My self defense system is prepared to striking news, at any moment of the day. Consider that, on 13th november, Paris terror attack I was watching Star Wars on streaming. The day after I went to work, as I usually do, by train, and I was taught about the situation (8 attacks, 13 kamikaze, hundred wounded and dead, doctors called back from strike to help with rescue operations) only once over there. Yes, terrorists won their cause, with my brain cells. For me, the real fight starts now, with goals like regaining confidence, trusting other people, and building hope for the future by taking actions (and moving forward from freezing).

Before I go to the topic “14th november” (the awake after attacks), in another article, I would like to finish what I started. Gum disease, I said. Ok, let’s go.

Yarrow-cultivar

Yarrow is commonly called nosebleed or soldier’s woundwort because the juice of its leaves and stem can stop bleeding. Many North American tribes chew the leaves as a remedy for a toothache as well as a number of other ailments. The anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic, effects of yarrow can help with receding gums at any stage.

Sorry, if I skip the part where you are suggested to chew on the leaves and stems or gargling. If you don’t want to mess with the herb, you can use the essential oil of yarrow. This blue-colored oil is very potent, so mix in a few drops of coconut oil or another carrier oil before using it as a gum paint.

If you don’t know where to buy essentiel oils, please, contact me, and I will be happy to give you some ideas, for free.

Yarrow’s latin name, like a thunder lighting, sounded too familiar. Achillea Millefolium… go away. No kidding. Because I am already used to another powerful plant, which helped me with bipolar disease, mood swings, St. Johns Wort, Hypericum perforatum, I am very eager to test this plant on my gums.

Hypericum is worth a full other article, but if you have any questions, don’t miss and go to contact, or leave a comment. Hypericum leaves have got deep wound-healing potential, as anti-depressant, especially in seasonal change.

My Spirit-Self is a being of pure Light.
A shield of radiant light protects me as I travel in Starry worlds.
I learn to trust my own inner Light.
The Sun is shining in my Soul.

crociato-ferito

Now, back to our greek warriors, and PTSD

“Beyond the universal soldier: combat trauma in classical antiquity”, have now retrospectively diagnosed ancient Greek fighters as “traumatised by their experiences of war”.

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American infantrymen grew up in a society based on “Christianised norms and values, stressing peace, mercy and the sanctity of human life”. They largely “served in military units comprised of complete strangers” and often had to fight round the clock for extended periods. They could do little more than “seek safety in cover and concealment” on battlefields “traversed by red-hot, razor-sharp shrapnel and high-velocity gunfire”. Sleep deprivation, lack of social support, enforced passivity in the face of lethal danger and a sense of going against their underlying values all combined to make war deeply traumatic.

None of this, Dr Crowley’s paper goes on, applied to Athenian hoplites. They lived in a “profoundly pugnacious” society that “venerated war”, and where “battlefield bravery” was “considered an unqualified social good”. Soldiers “mobilised, deployed and fought alongside” those from their local communities in “a close-order formation predicated on mutual protection and tactical interdependency”. “Largely protected against progressive exhaustion and sleep deprivation”, they faced a limited range of threats from “warriors armed with muscle-powered weapons”.

All these factors, Dr Crowley’s paper concludes, protected ancient soldiers against the dangers of PTSD. The whole idea of feeling bad after harming an enemy is totally alien to Greek culture,” says Dr Crowley. “Grave markers include tallies of the numbers a soldier has killed, something very hard to imagine today.”

With courtesy of Battle scars: Did Achille suffered from PTSD?