Topic #9: On Fear, Pain & Transformation

In July 2022 I went on a unique trip to the Amazon River in Brazil to explore my relationships to fear and pain more deeply by daring to put my pinky finger in water populated with ferocious piranhas. The thought of doing it, reverberated in my mind and psyche for a couple of years. This is an invitation for you to explore and share how you have attended to physical pain and all kind of fears throughout your life and how it effected or transformed you. You do not need to match my extreme exchange with the piranha in the Amazon River. Just share your thoughts, feelings, ways of being in relationship to avoidace, encounter, or of seeking pain and/or fear and what have you learned or gain from engaging with danger. My 5 min video of my recent incredible life-changing experience with piranhas in the Amazon River are documented in my Piranha & Me video.

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See below for submissions

Fear, Pain & Transformation Stories

By Chance
Poem

— Iris Klein  

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Dead love lips

Finding my grandmothers still warm, dead body…..and following the crisis workers voice filling the room through the phone, directing me to place my mouth over her dead lips to start artificial respiration. Her toothless, sunken mouth was disgusting to me but it was pure love that kept my own mouth moving toward hers. I was only seconds away from feeling the meeting of our lips when I felt the strong hand of a peace officer on my shoulder pulling me back…her voice saying “let me take care of that.” It was only my mind, directed and fueled by a pure love that got me that close in the first place. 🙏

— Echo  

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Projection

"What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.
When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering."
Don Miguel Ruiz

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— CG & OZ  

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Facing life after death

Before and After

A time before and a time after:

Before, I fell into your loving arms.
Before, I was held by your charms.
Before, I conceived your sons.
Before, I became consumed by your needs.
Before, I grew up in your world.
Before, I gave up me to be loved by you.

After your death,
I faced my loss,
My pain,
My fears,
My aloneness,
My own emptiness,
The depth of my own unmet dreams.

After you,
Slowly, gently,
Emerged me.

— Charlyne Gelt  

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Turning 80 Years Old

I turned 80 in May.
Now, more than before,
Every day means one day more
Every day means one day less.

— J. Straus  

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Do Something About Your Fear
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The anxiety disorders listed in psychiatry’s Diagnostic & Statistical Manual can be summed up as each one being a “fear of (________).” Fill in the blank, you've got the diagnosis. One element they have in common is: avoidance. In one way or another, they avoid their fear...desperately. Because of this, they never experience the fact that panic naturally comes to an end. The result is that their fear controls them and limits their potential.

“Normal” people do this, too. Every day. All the time. Fear is supposed to keep us safe. But, when does “safe” become a problem? The truth is, to make a change in your life, if you want to make a difference, fear is the price of admission. It’s not just a question of facing your fear. You must *do* something about it...step forward and pass through it. Own your fear. Otherwise, it will own you. When you do this, though, typically someone will rise up to stop you. I mean really rise up and make "death threats." It might be another person or a group, or it might be you. Who knows what will happen if you do that? Don't be an idiot! Well, who does know? But, if you don’t do it, nothing will change in your life. You won’t change. No difference will be made. All that will be left is you and your fear, which you will desperately avoid.

Once again, we see that "normal" people and psychiatric patients really aren't all that different, after all. Stop fooling yourself on that point. And *do* something about your fear. It's entirely your choice.

— Jon Jackson, M.D.  

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Incest

Incest
Rootbound love
Love so small
You can die
A day at a time

— NN  

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Gone from the answering machine

I listened to the answering machine
message so many times
Just to hear your voice again
A single phrase repeated in my mind
Living in my soul
And then it was deleted, and so were you
Memories of baseball games and late night barbecues
Fade from vivid colors to charcoal gray
I now see your name printed on marble at a lonely cemetery
And your face delights, yet haunts, my dreams.

— Megan Pielmeier  

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Re-Visiting the Battle Experience
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During my visit to Israel in 2022 during memorial-day for the fallen soldiers I joined my best friend to his military units annual memorial-day ceremony on the Golan Hight where his small unit was surprised attacked in the 1973 war and found itself surrounded by hundreds of Syrian’s tanks and soldiers. I chose to walk into one of the dark underground tunnels in the old military base in an attempt to remember and re-live my battle experience in the 73 war in the Egyptian front across the Suez Canal. As expected, walking into the dark, long and narrow tunnel, I encountered strong bodily memories of tunnel fighting, of keeping the non-stop the intense fire upfront/ahead while stepping on enemy soldiers’ dead bodies. These memories were intense, fortunately they did not activated any of my PTSD, on which I ‘worked’ for many years, after I finally realizes the stupidity of the belief I was indoctrinated with, that “Israeli paratroopers do not get PTSD”

— Ofer Zur, Ph.D.  

https://www.drzur.com

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Hi from Tal

I was with my uncle, Ofer, (all the way) with his piranha's adventure

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— Tal  

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