Buildings That Give Hope – and Buildings That Condemn Us
A rarely remarked upon feature of buildings is that they tell us something about themselves and its broader view of the world.
The Mauritshuis, a museum in the Hague completed in the classical style in the early nineteenth century, tells us that its dignified and stately, calm and rational, but also a place for tenderness. It reminds us that we are a tiny moment in a long history.
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Some of our most despondent moods are caused by failures of the imagination. Imagination here is the power to envision alternatives. When we're sad, we can't imagine fi...
As grown-ups, we have choices. We are not small children where we have to depend on our parents for everything.
We could work as a bus conductor or retrain as a psychotherapist. We could volunteer in an emergency shelter. We can throw ourselves into learning a new language or take a university degree. We can look up old and trusted friends or make new friends.
To increase our chances of fulfillment, we need to feed our imagination and provide them with endless examples of alternative narratives, so they are more able to come up with plan Bs. We should practice to picture better ways to be.
As part of creative classes, adolescents should be asked to produce narratives like: If I lost everything and had to start up again, I will... They should be asked to make a list of 20 things that currently make life meaningful, then have to cross them all off and find ten more.
Sigmund Freud discovered that there is a remarkable difference between what people will tell you when they are sitting up and looking at you in the eye, and what they will say to you when they ...
We perhaps don't realise that seeing another person's face can discourage us from speaking the truth. We may hold back and edit our presentation in the light of their reactions.
With Sigmund Freud's example in mind, we should find our own forms of horizontal conversation. After dinner, we might suggest that we all go and lie down somewhere and become newly conscious of voices and nuances when we don't have to look at others' expressions.
Trauma is a distressing experience that affects our mental and physical well-being. It is the unresolved emotional response to a frightening event that occurred.
Trauma shows up in our body in many different ways. It causes us to think illogically whenever we feel scared.
It may show up as:
As individuals we have the responsibility of holding ourselves accountable as to how we respond to traumatic experiences, how we heal, and grow out of trauma.
Healing from trauma is not easy work but it allows us to face our fears headstrong. We will also be able to provide our own needs instead of relying on other people to soothe us when distressed.