Meir Panim’s Tiberias Free Restaurant not only provides warm meals, but the opportunity to socialize as well.
The above example is but a relatively small issue. Stressful? Yes. Life altering? Probably not. What about the mother who sits at her child’s bedside in the hospital; the father who just lost his job for the third time; the single mother who struggles to raise her children on her own while feeling misplaced in the carpool lane; the child who lost her parents in a terrorist attack and grapples with nightmares.
I will not attempt to belittle these hardships with a simple answer. However, I’ve noticed that these experiences can become more bearable with the proper perspectives. Whether it’s “These experiences are shaping me into the sensitive and resilient person I am,” or “The relationships I’ve formed from this experience are deep and will carry me through my life,” or even, “I’ve been given the opportunity to experience more pleasure in the small things in life than I ever thought possible.”
Of course this will not make the person going through the difficult time, “happy” per se with the painful experience. However, when you are unable to change the situation, you are at least in the powerful position to give it an essence that is meaningful to you. This is a very personal process – remember the meaning you assign to your life’s experiences must come from you.
The Present Perspective
Avoid future tripping!
Not only is it helpful to focus on positive thoughts, it is also important to avoid making a bad situation worse. One surefire way to do this is to stop yourself from tripping on the possibilities of future hardships. Most of the time, when a situation is unbearably stressful it’s because you’re anticipating the grief it’ll cause in the future. You might be acting as if these horrible events will most certainly occur and begin to feel the stress in the present. It’s excruciating and quite frankly exhausting.
Typically a person interprets something as bad because of how he/she assumes it’ll turn out; how events will unfold because of today’s occurrences. But how are you to actually know what will happen? Unless you are a prophet and God has recently taken up personal conversations with you, you are clueless as to what tomorrow brings. This is quite a frightening yet liberating thought. If you are clueless and can’t be sure what the future will bring, the possibilities are endless – not just for the unpleasant but also for those amazing things that your heart desires.
Lost your job today? It’s painful, insulting, degrading and scary. Yet you only interpret this scenario as intrinsically bad because of how you imagine future events will unfold as a result. “I got laid off today, I won’t be able to get another job, I won’t have money to pay my children’s tuition or the mortgage; I’ll lose respect from my peers, I’ll be embarrassed, I’ll be at home all day every day and feel depressed….” Keep in mind though, that other scenarios are just as possible. Now that you’re not working, other great opportunities can come your way. Tomorrow you can be your own boss and do whatever you please. You can sleep in, go to a museum or spend more time with the children. Next week you just may meet someone at the grocery store in middle of the day (when you would typically be at the job you no longer have) and get the offer of a lifetime. You might even decide to change careers for something that is more fulfilling and with more success.
I’m sure some of you are reading this and rolling your eyes. I know this because I’d probably be doing the same. You may be thinking, “I know from experience there is a slim likelihood that these positive expectations will happen.” But, ask yourself, are you really 100% sure of that? Do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that tomorrow will bring you more angst and disappointment? No? Then for today I encourage you to live in the shadow of that doubt. Give yourself real hope and the incredible exhilaration that comes with it. Don’t you deserve at least that? And if tomorrow is indeed horrible, you’ll deal with it then. Today is difficult enough. You have plenty of problems on your hands to address; you don’t need to borrow more problems from tomorrow’s potential issues. Don’t trip on the possibility of some hardship in the future. It’s just not worth it.
About the Author: Shulamis Cheryl Mayerfeld is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker working with children, adults, and families. Her office is located in upper midtown, Manhattan. For further information, please contact her at: 347-415-5247 or visit http://www.shulamischerylmayerfeld.com/
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Brooklyn resident David Siller, currently studying in Israel at Yeshivat Yesodei HaTorah in Beit Shemesh, was awarded a trophy for finishing 3rd in his age group (14-18) in a 5-kilometer race for the benefit of the Benjamin Children’s Library of Beit Shemesh.
Today is day six without a phone.
Besides for feeling slightly isolated, it’s not too bad.
I’ve been doing things that I know I would not be doing if my phone was sitting next to me, shiny screen beckoning.
Is anyone else alarmed by the way extended warranties are sold on just about anything and everything? It means one of two things – either someone has found a great way of getting consumers to part with more of their hard earned dollars or manufacturers have no faith in their own products. Neither of those options is particularly heartwarming.
As I described Gaon in a review in June 2001 (“In Search of Ancestors, Sculpture by Simon Gaon” at Yeshiva University Museum), his Bukharian Jewish roots are deeply embedded on both sides of his family, echoed in his early yeshiva education.
Let me begin by congratulating my dear machatunim, Soraya and Jay Nimaroff, on being the recipients of the Community Service Award at the Sderot Hesder Institutions 18th annual anniversary dinner.
Think of your issues this way: due to those different backgrounds, you have a “shovel” to deal with difficulties while he has a “spoon”.
Do you remember the good old days when kids were kids and there was never anything to worry about? Those days never really existed, but today there are issues kids worry about that weren’t issues for some adults. They include fear of bullying, natural disasters, divorce, and violence.
In Part I talked about celebrating 30 years of Regesh Family and Child Services providing services to children, teens and families. I shared the agency’s origin and the many lessons I have learned through this journey. As I mentioned, it is my hope that my experiences will add to your toolbox of life skills.
Unfortunately, a map of the Middle East with no mention of Israel is nothing new… It is surprising however, that the world’s largest publisher of children’s literature, Scholastic Books, has joined in this trend.
About six months ago my parents and I started discussing ideas for a mitzvah project in honor of my bat mitzvah. I wanted to do something unique that would be meaningful to me and also do something that my friends could participate in. Immediately I thought of an organization called Sharsheret.
“I’m disappointed that the agreement reached with Iran leaves our unfulfilled our ultimate objective: a complete dismantling of Iran’s nuclear program and related activities.
Southern NCSY will be holding a leadership training Shabbaton at the Young Israel of Bal Harbour December 6 and December 7. Rabbi Steven Weil, executive vice president of the Orthodox Union, will be the special guest speaker.
Is there a beginning and an end to the universe? What role can medical breakthroughs play in conception or genetic engineering? Can science help us pinpoint the end of human life? Does the soul emanate from the brain or vice-versa?
We’ve all had those moments when we think we just can’t bear anymore. When it seems the walls are crashing down and we’re powerless to stop it. “What now?” we wonder, “What else can I do?” Surprisingly, in these exact moments we have a lot more power than it seems.
The new school year is just around the corner, and as the summer days wind down the air is filled with the anticipation of the approaching back-to-school season. During this time, students and their parents often feel the apprehension and worry of preparing for school. Of course, we’d rather take advantage of these final warm vacation days and really enjoy ourselves, but the nervousness of the new school year is palpable. The best cure for this anxiety is to help ease the fear of the unknown by preparing for school. Set your children up for success by helping them prepare for this transition smoothly. Here are some tips to help you and your children experience this season bump-free.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/the-power-of-positive-thinking/2013/08/01/
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