Friday, May 15, 2015

a post script to "crying strong"...

"Every time one has a thought, there is a biological reaction in the brain -- you make a chemical."
                                                                                                                                         Joe Despenza

Since I consider myself relatively stress-free, the "pill and pharmacist" situation (in my last writing) twigged my curiosity. What function do tears play in stressful situations? There were periods in my past, in my childhood that contained long-term stress. Most children have some and adulthood can offer it's own variety.

Recent readings have not only offered me wisdom but have confirmed the way I work with life-woundings (mine and others) which come in all sorts of packages. The study of neuroscience is now telling us that every time we have a negative thought-stress-experience, there is a biological reaction in the brain that releases a chemical cocktail of toxins called neuropeptides.* These are responsible for our feelings.* If I think negative, I feel negative, if I think fear, I feel fear. Said another way, thoughts are things that leave us feeling bad or neutral when not identified.

Yet, stress can be creative. If chased by a tiger we need to get the adrenalin up, fast. However, for this post script, in repetitive, hurtful situations the stress button can get stuck on* robbing us of life-energy; then instead of relief, one is wounded further.  The situation with the pills, instantly, without me consciously knowing it, had me re-living in flesh and tears a repetitive stressful situation in my earlier years that had nothing to do with the present. A friend calls it a memory-magnet where the old experience overshadows and superimposes itself on the present in vivid, emotionally unwanted- technicolor.

Yet the "biochemist William Fry points out that stress-induced tears actually remove toxins from our body that build up courtesy of stress. They are like a natural therapy."** Also neuroscience has proven we can change our brains -- old neuron connections can be pruned and new networks of neurons can be forged.*  In other words, with intention and practice, we can change our thoughts, beliefs, feelings and live a larger story, be a larger person and give off a chemical cocktail that leaves us living in light and a joyous freedom. Thus, as "book-friend" Joe Despenze observes, "You have to think larger than the circumstance of your life (and) to change is to be greater than your environment." He added, "Ghandi never allowed the conditions in his environment to control his way of being."*

So I hang on the clothes-line (in my mind) only one thought I want to change. Now, there it is soaking up the sunshine, swaying-breathing in the fresh-salted tang blowing off the Atlantic. And hopefully, it is in the process of transforming my psychic leaving the "pill-pharmacist" experience stress-free next time.

*Resource: Dr. Joe Despenze's book, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself.  He was also a researcher interviewed in the film, "What the Bleep Do We Know." He works in the fields of neuroscience and brain chemistry.

**Resource: Therese J. Borchard

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