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  • Dr. Ted Klontz

Random Thoughts - June

I have a suspicion that the wars that we wage (declared or not) against others are nothing more than distorted, magnified, scaled manifestations of the relentless war that we are waging against ourselves.

It strikes me as very odd that there are those who spend an hour or so cleaning their house before their housecleaners arrive (I am one of those directed to do so, and I meekly comply). Why do we do that? Why don’t I do the same thing when I go to get my car washed? Or my pet groomed?

When I learned I had ear cancer, I went for a walk with it and asked what it wanted to tell me. I got an answer; it was “listen to yourself more.” I did.

As science predicts, I am losing my visual acuity. I was imagining what the consequences of that might be. Less ability to focus. Not more. Which allows me to see the bigger picture rather than focus on the smaller. It allows me to see the context rather than fixate on a particular spot. I’ve learned that our brain does exactly the same thing.

My experience of the last half-dozen years ripped from me the illusion of human progress that I had believed was a part of our species’ evolution. The values of decency, kindness, justice, equality, fairness, and acceptance that I have lived my life believing we were growing towards has been revealed as a cruel fantasy. Nothing was created, but who we can be as humans was exposed and revealed. I wonder what kind of damage I have created by seeing what I hope and hoped for, rather than what was and is.

I was thinking this morning that I’ve been taught that to avoid pain I should detach – have no expectations. I wonder about the wisdom of that because I’m not sure if the goal should be to avoid pain or chase pleasure. It seems as if a better goal would be to embrace, integrate and experience it all, somehow.

I love to learn and discover the secrets and mysteries of others and my world; I wonder if it is an effort (noble or miss-directed) to discover my own.

I was remembering my personal foray into “Reality TV,” as being a participant in a reality TV series. Remembering that what happened wasn’t actually reality but was significantly “staged.” Just to be clear, I wasn’t personally aware of the “staging” at the time, I thought it was real. It seems that reality is reserved for documentaries. Reality TV is to reality, as artificial sweetener is to sugar. Entertaining, but artificial. The same can be said of various National news programs I have been a part of.

I invented a term last night, “technology trauma.” I had spent hours recording class sessions, found that they didn’t convert, and I had to do them again. Always the explanation “you did everything right; we don’t know what happened.” I was angrily thinking of it as a curse. This morning I thought perhaps it is just a modern reminder of the unpredictability and serendipity of life. I’m imagining that my great grandfather had similar experiences with his team of horses or his wife with a loaf of bread. You can do everything just the way you are told, and it still doesn’t work out the way it is supposed to. My experience has been that the best the experts come up with when explaining what happened is an “I can’t tell you, we just need you to do it again.” Another way that I (unknowingly) keep looking for perfection and predictability if I do what I am instructed to do. So much like life, eh?

A client taught me this term. Relationship Hygiene. It is a term for those moments where we, together, spend time cleaning, flossing, getting rid of the gunk in our relationship. I love the term and the implication of doing this with each of my relationships. Fair warning, it is about as pleasant a thought and an experience as going to the dentist for a checkup. The process isn’t fun, but the feeling afterwards is awesome.

One of the regrets I have is not asking questions of my ancestors about their lives. I had one uncle who also had hemophilia. I never asked him of his experiences with it. He died of the complications of that condition. Like me, he moved away, far away from the family he was raised in, while his siblings stayed close by. I wonder if he moved away for the same reasons I did. One of which was to no longer be a bother to my family. My advice, to anyone who wants it, would be to ask for every bit of information your elders possess. There used to be a forum and role, an important one, for them to do exactly that. Passing down whatever wisdom that they had gathered over all their years. In some cultures, it was considered essential for the health and well-being of the community of people they were a part of. It probably still is.


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