STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE US

January 12, 2015

By Terence T. Gorski
Author
The Books of Terence T. Gorski

People who truly think and share their thoughts verbally and in writing cannot be silenced, even in death. This is because the ideas that they express that will live on. Ideas take on a live of their own and move contagiously from mind to mind. The ideas expressed are part of something bigger, a long tradition of like-minded thinkers.

We all stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us. And those who come after us, will stand upon our shoulders.

So isn’t right for each of us to train hard so we can be strong in body, mind, and spirit? So we can have strong shoulders for future generations to stand upon.

This is an important job — perhaps the only job of any consequence. It is up to each of us to provide a strong set of shoulders for those who will come after us. This is our sacred obligation to all of humanity.

Those coming after us must stand on our shoulders, for they have no other choice. They need to have a strong platform upon which to stand — a platform that is worthy of them and of us all.

The Books of Terence T. Gorski


Getting Love Right – Learning The Choices Of Healthy Intimacy

January 5, 2014
Unknown

We Can Learn The Choices
Of Healthy Intimacy

By Terence T. Gorski, Author
September 10, 2003

Men, Women and the Search For Wholeness

According to ancient Greek mythology, human beings were originally created with each individual have both sexes, male and female, combined in one person.  They were whole and complete within themselves and lived in a fulfilled state of perfect union.  All human beings were able to meet their own needs without the help of anyone else.

Then humanity angered the gods.  The gods punished humanity by cutting each person in half. One-half became male and the other half became female.  The gods then cursed human beings for the rest of their existence to try to become whole again by putting themselves back together .

On a fundamental level, relationships represent a search for that wholeness, a search for completeness and the ability to feel as one with another human being.  In many ways, this striving for unity with another person is a fool’s game.  Ultimately, it is impossible to merge and stay merged with another human being.  At best, we can find moments of completion, moments of closeness and oneness.  But then what happens?  We always come back to the reality that I am me and you are you–that we are two separate individuals.

Yet, like all myths, there is a measure of truth to this one, too.  When we get love right, the me and the you together become us, an entity that makes the two of us together stronger than we ever could be alone.  The me and the you still remain as separate entities, however, side by side with us.

The Three Players In Intimate Relationships – Me, You, and Us

So the question becomes, given the reality that I am me and you are you, how can we come together and build a relationship that creates this better us?  How do we go about developing relationships that can meet our needs for wholeness and fulfillment?  It is not simple, but it can be done.  We can learn to share our life with another person in a way that enhances rather than diminishes who we are.  It is possible to get love right.

This book will demonstrate the step-by-step process involved in building and maintaining a healthy relationship.  It will enable you to understand the origins of your relationship patterns, show you how to analyze them and identify alternative behaviors so you can replace dysfunctional patterns with healthy patterns.

If you are single, Getting Love Right will help you learn how to develop into the kind of person who is capable of a healthy relationship; how to select an appropriate partner who can meet your needs; and how to guide your relationship through different levels and stages.

If you are currently in a relationship, Getting Love Right will teach you how to transform that relationship.  It will provide information and assessment tools that will enable you to evaluate your present relationship and identify areas for growth. It will give you the techniques to problem solve in a productive way and undertake a fundamental relationship renegotiation with your partner.

Deciding on Healthy Love

Many people experience problems in relationships because they hold mistaken beliefs about the fundamental nature of love. We have been taught since childhood to believe that love is a mysterious phenomenon beyond our control.  Just look at the way we talk about it.  We “fall” in love, sometimes “head-over-heels.”  We say she “stole his heart,” or “he lost his heart” to her.  Cupid shoots his arrow and we are powerless to resist.  All these are ways in which love and relationships have traditionally been mythologized.  These myths tell us that love comes into our lives suddenly through little or no choice of our own.  No wonder we are confused about how to achieve a lasting, fulfilling relationship.

Love is a decision we make
based on essential choices about
ourselves, our partner, and
our relationship.

        Healthy love is not an accident.  Nor is it a temporary feeling that comes and goes.  Love is a decision we make based on essential choices about ourselves, our partner, and our relationship.  While healthy love is often profound and passionate, we can build it into our lives step by step, one choice at a time.

To get love right, therefore, we need to revise our concept of love as some romanticized ideal and understand a relationship for what it is:  an agreement between two people to meet each other’s needs and to have their own needs met in return.

Three Relationship Errors

1.  Expecting too much from a relationship

2.  Expecting too little from a relationship

3.  Expecting a relationship to remain unchanged

Some people expect too much from a relationship.  They hold onto the belief that the right partner or the right relationship can magically fix them and free them from taking responsibility for their lives.  They expect a partner to have the ability to instantly make them feel better on demand.  As a result, they are constantly disappointed.  They experience cycles of intense highs, when the relationship seems to be going well, and intense lows, when it fails to meet their unrealistic expectations.

Other people expect too little from a relationship. They are so sure they can never feel whole and complete with another human being that they never give themselves the chance to have their needs for love and intimacy met.  They equate intimacy with pain and do everything they can to insulate and protect themselves from it.  They do not know that there are two kinds of pain: pathological pain that comes from dysfunctional, unsafe relationships and the healthy pain of growth in normal intimate relationships.

Still others may have found a satisfying relationship, but then make the mistake of expecting it to stay the same year after year.  They don’t realize that relationships are not a one-time event, but an ongoing process.  As time goes on, both partners need to continue to talk and problem solve together, and, when necessary, renegotiate the terms of the relationship so that it stays current with their needs.

Healthy Relationships:  Passion and Safety

Healthy relationships meet our needs for both passion and safety.  Dysfunctional relationships, by contrast, represent extremes in which only one or the other exists.  People who expect too much from relationships seek passion.  Unfortunately, they almost always give up safety in the process and end up being hurt.  People who expect too little from relationships choose safety over passion.  They often lose the chance to have their needs for intimacy and passion met.

Healthy partners know that passion and safety can coexist in healthy relationships, because these relationships are rational, flexible, and safe.

Healthy relationships
Are rational, flexible, and safe.

Healthy relationships are rational because you choose them. You choose the type of relationship you’re ready for.  Then you choose to become a person capable of being in a healthy relationship.  You select your partner on the basis of a variety of characteristics and choose the rate at which the relationship develops.  Ultimately, you and your partner choose whether to continue the relationship or to end it.

Built in this way, a relationship becomes a series of choices, all of which have logical consequences.  If you choose as a partner someone who is incapable of meeting your needs, the logical consequence is that your partner and the relationship will not give you what you want.  If you choose a dangerous partner, you can expect to have a dangerous relationship.  If you choose a healthy, compatible partner who is capable and willing to meet your needs, it is logical to expect that you will have a compatible relationship in which your needs are met.

Healthy relationships are also flexible.  They operate on a variety of levels, depending upon the needs of the partners. Sometimes they may be very exciting and intense.  Other times they will be very relaxed and comfortable, even boring.  Such relationships allow each partner to be flexible:  You can be together as a couple or alone as individuals, according to the situation and your preference.  You are not forced to be strong all the time; you are not forbidden to be strong.  The flows of give and take enables you to be both strong and weak, to be yourself.  This flexibility means you can be accepted as a fallible person who will make mistakes and who, in turn, is willing to accept the mistakes of your partner.

Finally, healthy relationships are safe.  No matter how committed you are to the relationship, no matter how much you love your partner, you do not abandon who you are and your partner does not abandon who he/she is.  You don’t lose yourself in your partner or in the relationship.  To stay in the relationship, you may make compromises if necessary, but not at the expense of your own safety or well-being.  Healthy partners do not tolerate abuse and will do whatever is necessary for their own safety, even at the expense of the relationship.

Many people prize spontaneity in their relationships.  They fear that by becoming conscious of the choices they make, going through a rational decision-making process, they will lose the spontaneity and passion that make love exciting.  Fortunately, that is not true.  Choosing safety and making sound choices allow you even greater freedom in your relationships.  Once you know your partner is safe, you are free to give in to your passion and spontaneous desires.  When you are able to communicate openly and honestly about who you are without fear of guilt or retribution, you don’t have to hide from your partner or pretend to be something you are not.  You are free to be yourself and know deep down that your partner will love and accept you.

Becoming a Choice Maker

Once you understand what healthy relationships are, you can work to create them in your life by becoming a choice maker.  If you come from a dysfunctional family, you may have been taught that choices are all or nothing, yes or no, black or white.  As a result, you may not have learned basic decision-making skills, which include thinking through a number of options and selecting the best on the basis of what you want.  If so, you may find it useful to think of decision-making as a three-step process, outlined in the following questions.

1.         What choices do I have?  First, you need to identify the options you have to choose from and the likely consequences of each.  This will help you see that, in most cases, your choices are not black and white, but include a range of options. In examining the likely consequences of a particular option, you may discover that what feels good now may not, in the long run, be in your best interest.

2.         What do I need/want?  You need to know yourself well enough to assess your particular needs and wants at this time in your life.  It includes knowing what you’re thinking, what you’re feeling, and what is motivating you to think, feel, and act that way.

3.         Which option is best for me right now?  On the basis of your answers to the first two questions, you can select the option that promises to best meet your unique needs and wants at the present time, knowing that these needs and wants may change over time.

The more you practice this three-step process the more experience you will gain as a choice maker.  The more you apply it to your relationship choices, the more able you will be to get love right.

Decision Making Questions
1.   What choices do I have?
2.  What do I need/want?
3.   Which option is best for me right now?

             In each chapter I’ve identified the principal choices to be considered in that particular area of relationship preparation, building or development.  Chapter discussions will identify various options and give you the information about each to help you choose among them.  As you consider the options available to you, keep in mind the following:

 Most choices are not perfect.  We can rarely get 100% of what we want.  Many times we are afraid to make a decision because we fear making the wrong choice or having to give up one thing for another.  It is important to remember that choices typically involve a tradeoff.  All we can do is strive to make the best choice among the options we have, based on what we know or believe to be true.

Mistakes are unavoidable.  As fallible human beings, we can’t always choose the best option.  Once you accept the fact that you will make mistakes, you can choose to learn from them to make better and better decisions in the future.

Choices are not forever.  Choice making is an ongoing process.  The best option one day may be very different the next. We change, and our needs and wants change, too.  We need to be prepared to reevaluate and, when necessary, renegotiate and alter our decisions.

If you have had relationship problems in the past, healthy change is possible.  It may be, however, that before you can begin to make healthy choices, you need to alter some fundamental aspects of the way in which you go about your relationships. Change is not easy, especially when it requires us to alter deeply ingrained patterns learned in childhood from our parents.

Facts about Relationships
1. Most choices are not perfect
2. Mistakes are unavoidable
3. Choices are not forever

            This book is designed to help you make those changes by giving you the tools you need to alter the way you conduct your relationships and to become a person capable of healthy love. The chapters in this book are designed to give you the concepts and models you need to answer the question, “What are my choices?” 

You can then apply this information to your situation and relationship goals by completing the self-assessment questionnaires in each chapter.  As you evaluate your relationships and the patterns you’ve followed in the past, you can decide what you want to do differently.  The assessments are not designed to tell you what to do, but rather to serve as a mirror to help you understand what is going on in your relationships.  They will give you the information to implement the changes you want on the basis of your options and preferences.  They will help you answer the question:  what do I need and want?

In understanding what this book can do to help you get love right, it is important to discuss what it will not do.  This book will not teach you how to have a perfect relationship.  It will not teach you how to find Mr. or Ms. Right who is going to magically fix you and make all your pain and problems go away. It is not going to teach you how to transform your present relationship into some romanticized soap-opera ideal of love–because ideal love does not exist.  This book is not going to give you an effective relationship overnight–because healthy love is achieved by slow stages.

What it can show you are the processes and the steps involved in finding a healthy partner and building a healthy relationship capable of meeting your realistic needs and wants. It will act as a road map to show you the choice points and options you have that can take you where you want.

Another thing this book will not do is to save you from the responsibility of thinking for yourself or making up your own mind.  You need to decide what kind of relationship you should have to be happy.  There are many choices available.  All this book can do is to show you the skills involved in becoming a healthy choice maker and point out some of the options available, along with the logical consequences that some of those options may have.

This book will not teach you how to have a problem-free relationship, because relationships have problems.  Partners are fallible human beings, and, no matter how much they love one another, they will encounter problems.  What this book can do is to demonstrate concrete skills so that you can effectively practice problem solving with your partner.

Finally, this book will not save you from the pain of loving another human being.  Being in love means you’re going to be hurt.  If you don’t want to get bruised, you don’t want to play football; if you don’t want to fall down, you don’t want to ski. The same is true for relationships:  If you don’t want to get emotionally hurt, you don’t want to be in love.  Why?  Because you’re going to love another fallible human being who is going to make mistakes, who is going to have faults, and who is going to inadvertently hurt you.  You, too, are a fallible human being and you’re going to make mistakes.  You are going to do things that hurt your partner, even if you don’t want or mean to.

What this book can do is to show you how to build a relationship in which pain and disappointment are the exception, not the rule.  It can show you how you can build relationships in which support, love, and mutual respect are the everyday reality, not just the dream.

Healthy relationships are possible.  Through knowing the processes and steps involved in relationship building, learning to make choices, solving problems with your partner, you can replace painful, dysfunctional relationships with healthy relationships in which both passion and safety coexist.  You can learn how to get love right.

 

Getting Love Right By Terence T. Gorski

LIVE SOBER – BE RESPONSIBLE – LIVE FREE

GORSKI BOOKS  – GORSKI TRAINING/CONSULTATION


Change and the The New Year

January 2, 2014

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By Terence T. Gorski, Author
January 2, 2014

It is now January 2, 2014 and the world is pretty much as it was in 2013, about 48 hours ago. As I write this, the noise of breaking New Year’s resolutions is deafening. Just turning the page of a calendar changes nothing. It takes a lot more than a superficial commitment to change your life.

My daughter, Nika Gorski, drives this point home to me every time I watch her play soccer.

– She is committed to the game, trains hard, listens to her coach.

– She gets in “the zone” by concentrating on the game and blocking out distractions.

– She supports her team and does her best to play whatever position she is assigned.

– If she falls down, she gets back up.

– She expects to get some bruises and doesn’t whine and complain when she does.

– If she gets injured she takes time to heal.

– She thoroughly enjoys the challenge of the game and uses it to keep becoming a better person.

As I watched her play, I realized that soccer, and most other team sports, are really a metaphors for both life and recovery. There are no New Year’s Resolutions in soccer, in life, or in recovery. Just making a New Year’s resolution is a half-measure that never works out in the long run.

You don’t become a good athlete by making a superficial commitment to play when you feel like it. Athletes play whether they feel like it or not. Staying sober when it feels good is easy. It takes people with strong recovery programs to stay sober when the cravings hit.

Being a good athlete requires an ongoing and well-developed plan that unfolds, one day at a time, over years. It requires conditioning your mind and body. It means consistent training and practice. It means doing what you need to do even if it’s not easy and even if at that moment you don’t want to do it.

To accomplish anything worthwhile in life requires people to develop a plan, and then work the plan over a long period of time. There seems to be a general formula for success. This formula applies to succeeding at soccer or sobriety. Here is a brief sketch of what it takes:

1. Getting involved with a team or group of people committed to working collaboratively toward a common goal;

2. Choosing the right goals to produce the desired change;

3. Considering the consequences on all involved before setting out on the road to regrets;

4. Developing the best plan possible, working the plan; and making mid-course adjustments as needed.

5. Persisting one day at a time;

6. Bouncing back from adversity and temporary set-backs; and

7. Maintaining the changes once the goal is accomplished.

Good athletes train year around. They don’t let their conditioning go in the off-season. When it comes to living a sober and responsible life, there is no off-season.

There is no magic formula for making good things happen in life. It takes consistent work over time to change. Even then, there are no guarantees that it will last.

People who are persistent and resilient stay committed to growth and change. They dig in and work the plan even though there is no guarantee of success and they do it everyday, especially when they don’t feel like it. This is what the combination of faith and courage is all about.

We can have what we build. We can keep what we maintain and protect. Don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Build a sober and responsible life every day.

LIVE SOBER – BE RESPONSIBLE – LIVE FREE

Understand How To Build A Plan For Recovery
Straight Talk About Addiction By Terence T. Gorski

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Intelligence and Kindness – A Good Combination

December 31, 2013
Black_or _White_Thinking

Let’s be reasonable and do it my way!”

By Terence T. Gorski, Author
December 31, 2013

The best people are both intelligence and kind.

I read a poster that said: “Sometimes it is better to be kind than to be right. We do not need an intelligent mind that speaks. but a patient heart that listens.” I agree with the first sentence. I strongly disagree with the second.

The need to be right is a never-ending journey. The truth is difficult to find and as we learn, more, new levels of the truth are always emerging to be discovered. We also, as human beings, have the infinite capacity for self-deception. We are also capable of sophisticated lies.  So being right is not my goal. THE PROCESS OF SEEKING THE TRUTH is my journey.

Intelligent minds that listen and respond and are embodied in people with kind hearts represents the best of all worlds. They are both intelligent and kind. Their knowledge is tempered with compassion. They encourage freedom of thought and expression. They don’t stifle it.

We should not settle for the false idea that we must trash intelligence in favor of emotion or the other way around. This is irrational thinking of the “black/white either/or thinking” variety. This way of thinking can harm us. We can do better than support it.

Kindness without intelligence is can be easily exploited and leads to ruin. Intelligence without kindness tends to divide, isolate, and dehumanize. Kindness plus intelligence must survive the test of time if we are to build a better future.

Here is an example. It takes thought to put on your own oxygen mask first in order to survive to help others. It is counter-intuitive, but it is the right thing to do. People with kind hearts need to make a commitment to rational thinking. This maximizes their chances of staying alive and of being able to help others.

Being compassionate takes thought. It is not as simple as just letting yourself feel. Don’t take my word on it. Read about Compassion-Focused Therapy By. Dr. John Gilbert. Dr. Gilbert believes that it takes rational thinking to figure out how to be truly compassionate .While on your quest for compassionate feelings, check out Rational Emotive Therapy f the Alcoholic by Albert Ellis, and see what he has to say on the subject of thoughts, feelings ,and addiction.

If you want to learn how to manage black-or-white thinking and
other forms of irrationality that can lead to relapse check out
Smart Recovery.

Think Rationally and Be Compassionate! 

LIVE SOBER – BE RESPONSIBLE – LIVE FREE 

GORSKI BOOKSGORSKI RAINING/CONSULTING


Rising Above The Consumer Christmas – Giving Your Presence

December 25, 2013
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The gift of your sober and loving presence Is the best gift you can give.
Your sober and responsible PRESENCE will be remembered more than any of the PRESENTS that you give.

By Terence T. Gorski, Author
December 25, 2013

Most of us have been turned into good little consumers by our commercial culture. We are conditioned to see our self-worth in terms of the gifts we can afford to give or the value of the gifts we receive.

The giving of our love and caring – the sharing of our lives – does not seem to be of any value. The giving of ourselves seems worthless when compared to expensive gifts piled up high under the tree. We can get so depressed that we can’t afford those gifts they we withdraw and take away the truly valuable gift we have to give to another – ourselves.

It is the human commitment we share with others, especially during the hard times of life, that is the greatest gift we have to give. The size or value of the gifts we give are pale in comparison to sharing our love and just being there with those that we love.

Being clean, sober, and responsible is the gift we give to ourselves. Being present with those we love is the gift we give to the world. For those who are affected by the addiction of another the greatest gift we have is reclaiming ourselves, detaching with love, and telling our addicted loved ones the truth with love and tenderness.

I have never heard a child at the funeral of a parent say: “I wish he/she had given me better presents at Christmas.” I have heard many say: “I wish I had gotten to know them better. I wish we could have been closer and had more time together.”

Be present with those you love at Christmas. If you can give the gift of your loving presence, then you have the most precious of all gifts. Give of your time and attention. That is the greatest gift of all.

The present is a moment or period in time that lives as between past and future.

Your Presence is being available to those you love in the moment – showing up in that small slice of reality that lives between what happened and what will come.

The greatest gift we give to ourselves is being clean, sober, and responsible. The greatest gift we can give to those we love is being present as a sober and responsible human being.

GIVE THE GIFT OF YOUR SOBER AND RESPONSIBLE PRESENCE.

This blog on being poor during the Holidays touched my heart.

LIVE SOBER – BE RESPONSIBLE – LIVE FREE


A Cop’s Christmas Eve

December 16, 2013

By Terence T. Gorski
December 16, 2013

police_xmasThere is one thing you can be sure of, Cops work more than their share of holidays and weekends. This is a great sacrifice. It is, however, part of the job. Most cops don’t complain. They just suck-it-up and do the job. On Holidays like Christmas Eve, the crimes and criminals they deal with can burn into their memories. No only are they away from family and friends, they are dealing with the difficult people and situations no one else wants to deal with. They often take it in stride for decades. With age and retirement, most police officers, like all people, begin taking stock. They remember the holidays they lost with friends and family. It is only normal to wonder at times, was it worth it?

I have had the privilege of working for and with police officers for many years. I have found the overwhelming majority of officers to be people of good will, trying to make a difference, while carrying a huge burden.

My brother, Sgt. Tony Gorski of the West Dundee Police, sent me this link entitled A Cop’s Christmas. It is beautiful example of the men and women that I know who wear the uniform.

I am proud of my brother and the good he has done. He has made the world a little bit safer. I wonder, however, will he be with his family for the Christmas Holidays.

A Cop’s Christmas

police-christmas_01

Preferred Duty On Christmas Eve


The Wolf and the Lamb

December 13, 2013

Terence T. Gorski, Author
A Personal comment and passing on
the Aesop Fable and The Moral of the Story

Wolf_and_Lamb_01

The Wolf and the Lamb
When Hunger Drives Conflict
Who Wins?

“A tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny. So it is useless for the innocent to seek justice through reasoning when the oppressor intends to be unjust.” ~ Aesop

The Wolf and the Lamb is the fable that Illustrates this moral. It was written by Aesop and used to educate millions of children into the realities of life. The popularity of Aesop Fables faded as political correctness began replacing reality with the art of lying about the nature of life to avoid offending others.

Jesus taught in the New Testament that the day would come when the world and the world and the lamb can lie down in peace together. I wish that were true. I must simply say perhaps some day, but not in this lifetime. When both the wolf and sheep start getting hungry and all that is left for food is each other – that’s when the trouble starts. In this battle, who do you think will win?

We were created by a loving God.  We we were cast into a world where life must feed upon life in order to survive.  We are told by God Incarnate or the prophets of God to love one another. All of these original messengers were violently and horrible killed by the political  wolves of their day. So my humble message, which may be wrong, is love one another and beware of the big bad wolf. Trust God and lock your car.

I do acknowledge that when wolves and dogs are well fed they can be peaceful. When hunger laws at their bellies they form into packs and go searching for food. That’s canine version of a human mob. They hunt and kill relentlessly and without mercy. So I guess my revised opinion, which also may be wrong, is this: we need to beware the big bad wolf and also beware the human mobs.

I really want George or wells vision of tyranny toe be wrong. I just know that in a battle between a wold and lamb, the world usually wins. There is no reasoning with a hungry monster when they come to visit. Out core survival responses urge to fight, run, or freeze and hide.

THE WOLF AND THE LAMB

An Aesop Fable

While lapping water at the head of a running brook, a wolf noticed a stray lamb some distance down the stream. Once he made up his mind to attack her, he began thinking of a plausible excuse for making her his prey.

“Scoundrel!”, he cried, running up to her. “How dare you muddle the water that I am drinking!”

“Please forgive me,” replied the lamb meekly, “but I don’t see how I could have done anything to the water since it runs from you to me, not from me to you.”

“Be that as it may,” the wolf retorted, “but you know it was only a year ago that you called me many bad names behind my back.”

“Oh, sir,” said the lamb, “I wasn’t even born a year ago.”

“Well,” the wolf asserted, “if it wasn’t you, it was your mother, and that’s all the same to me. Anyway, it’s no use trying to argue me out of my supper.”

And without another word, he fell upon the poor helpless lamb and tore her to pieces.

THE MORAL OF THIS STORY IS:
“A tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny. So it is useless for the innocent to seek justice through reasoning when the oppressor intends to be unjust.” ~ Aesop


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