Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Conditional Love

The relationship to father is quite different. Mother is the home we come from, she is nature, soil, the ocean; father does not represent any such natural home. He has little connection with the child in the first years of its life, and his importance for the child in this early period cannot be compared with that of mother. But while father does not represent the natural world, he represents the other pole of human existence; the world of thought, of man-made things, of law and order, of discipline, of travel and adventure. Father is the one who teaches the child, who shows him the road into the world.
Closely related to this function is one which is concerned with socio-economic development. When private property came into existence, and when private property could be inherited by one of the sons, father began to look for that son to whom he would leave his property. Naturally, that was the one whom father thought best fitted to become his successor: the son who was most like him, and consequently who he liked the most. Fatherly love is conditional love. Its principle is "I love you because you fulfill my expectations, because you do your duty, because you are like me." In conditional fatherly love we find, as with unconditional motherly love, a negative and a positive aspect. The negative aspect is the very fact that fatherly love has to be deserved, that it can be lost if one does not do what is expected. In the nature of fatherly love lies the fact that obedience becomes the main virtue, that disobedience is the main sin--and punishment the withdrawal of fatherly love. The positive side is equally important. Since his love is conditioned, I can do something to acquire it, I can work for it; his love is not outside of my control as motherly love is.
The mother's and the father's attitude toward the child correspond to the child's own needs. The infant needs mother's unconditional love and care physiologically and psychically. The child, after six, begins to need father's love, his authority and guidance. Mother has the function of making him secure in life, father has the function of teaching him, guiding him to cope with those problems with which the particular society the child has been born  into confronts him. In the ideal case, mother's love does not try to prevent the child from growing up, does not try to put a premium on helplessness. Mother should have faith in life, hence not the overanxious, and thus not infect the child with her anxiety. Part of her life should be the wish that the child become independent and eventually separate from her. Father's love should be guided by principles and expectations; it should be patient and tolerant, rather than threatening and authoritarian. It should give the growing child an increasing sense of competence and eventually permit him to become his own authority and to dispense with that of father.
Eventually, the mature person has come to the point where he is his own mother and his own father. He has, as it were, a motherly and a fatherly conscience. Motherly conscience says: "There is no misdeed, no crime which could deprive you of my love, of wish for your life and happiness." Fatherly conscience says: "You did wrong, you cannot avoid accepting certain consequences of your wrongdoing, and most of all you must change  your ways if I am to like you." The mature person has become free from the outside mother and father figure, and has built them up inside.
Excerpt From: Fromm, Erich. “The Art of Loving.” iBooks.
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I need to get out of this mess.
Start living a life far different from the rest.

There’s no good reason why my life should be over at 24.
That is of course unless I lack the courage to walk out the door.

Up until now, I may not have done everything exactly just right.
But let me assure you that my mind is still wrapped pretty tight.

No, I do not want to be a hipster, a gangster, or even a prankster.
I just want the respect that comes along when other people say thank you sir.

Just go ahead and tell me how I might actual get that?
Does it only become available to those who aspire to be a fat cat?

Maybe there’s a way for me to be even bolder.
Living a new life without having to look over my shoulder.

That would be neat, that would be sweet.
Can you imagine that day when I can finally get off the street?

Yeah, I want to get out of this mess.
Break free of all the duress.

So tell me, where do I go now to take the test?

Shimmering Hope - Words meant to inspire, 
Jonathan Dunnemann

Starting now, I intend to live my life as though it is an incredible treasure. By this I mean, that whatever remaining time is afforded me in this life will be managed as a divine gift. How well I make use of what time remains is going to depend upon whether I am capable of looking back at my life and honestly assessing and learning from the combination of my joys and sorrows, successes and failures, and my wounds and necessary healing. For me, there appears to be no better way to gain a true understanding of who I am, how I have become the person that I am today, and how I can best go about transforming myself into the person I choose to become with a newly found purpose, direction, commitment, and by consistently taking personal responsibility for all of my actions. What I am in pursuit of is a more balanced life.

On a professional level, more than one year ago, I left the banking industry after spending the last 15 years with the same company. I held the title of Vice President throughout my tenure. However, over the course of the last three to five years there, my performance unfortunately began to decline in a number of areas. By the time I came to recognize, accept responsibility, and commit to correcting the situation it had already led to a number of recurring problems negatively impacting my employer, colleagues, clients, and myself.

According to Baumeister and Tierney (2011), "...most major problems, personal and social, center on failure of self-control: compulsive spending and borrowing, impulsive violence, underachievement in school, procrastination at work, alcohol and drug abuse, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, chronic anxiety, explosive anger. Poor self-control correlates with just about every kind of individual trauma: losing friends, being fired, getting divorced, winding up in prison. It can cost you the U.S. Open, as Serena Williams' tantrum in 2009 demonstrated; it can destroy your career, as adulterous politicians keep discovering." (P.2)

It is too late for me to change the outcome in my last job. However, it is not too late for me to make the inward changes that will prevent me from succumbing to the same poor decisions, behaviors, and consequences going forward. That is what my present journey and this particular message to you is all about. You may be at risk of experiencing similar negative outcomes in some important area of your life right now.

If you are, then it is important for you to learn how to effectively resist unwelcome desires or momentary urges by remaining diligent, energized, focused, and productive in fulfilling your obligations. "Your body may have dutifully reported to work on time, but your mind can escape at any instant through the click of a mouse or a phone. You can put off any job by checking e-mail or Facebook, surfing gossip sites, or playing a video game." (P.2)

Warding off temptations starts by accepting personal responsibility for your actions. It does require "willpower". But you can do it. So practice, practice, and practice some more! And, don't be surprised as you begin to find yourself showing up more reliably for work and other activities that constitute your daily life.

Start Now: Accept Personal Responsibility
Jonathan Dunnemann