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It really is absurd. Similarly, patience can help your clients move beyond their own immediate desires, and instead, carefully consider and wait for a desired outcome. Virtues can also provide meaning by serving a motivational function. They can orient your clients' lives around an intention or purpose. A prime example of a motivational virtue is hope. Because people have difficulty finding purpose while suffering--and even more have trouble extracting purpose from their suffering, if there is even any to find at all--motivational virtues, such as hope, can help restore a sense of meaning by organizing their lives around an intention or purpose that is not yet realized. Expressions of Virtue in Suffering Virtues are powerful responses to suffering and may also be cultivated as a result of suffering. For instance, one longitudinal study sampled more than 1,200 college students two months apart. Researchers asked participants to report on their lifetime trauma exposure; Results revealed that both lifetime trauma and experiencing a trauma during the two months of the study were associated with engaging in more prosocial behavior; It's a lesson that I continually have to learn which is why I want to hammer it home - you do not have to learn this lesson more than once. Don't let your feelings shape your thoughts and don't let those thoughts shape your day. Let your schedule define what you get done today, then do it. Without my schedule, I'd be lost, pulled and pushed by every desire, none of which is in line with the life I want to lead. I don't think this battle ever ends, either. While I've only relatively recently begun to win it with some semblance of consistency, I can see that it will always exist. I'll always struggle to focus. I'll struggle with thoughts that I deserve what I have not yet earned. That's life.

It's a battle. What the hell am I doing challenging the experts' diagnoses and worrying so much about what everyone else feels is a figment of my imagination? I mean, it's laughable, it really is. Or it would be if I weren't spending so much time and money, my own money, on this thing. I know it's an obsession. I really do doubt my own worry. I can look on at what I'm doing and think to myself, This guy is mad. But the symptoms are real enough, though probably nonspecific. And the worry is there; I can't get rid of it. Sometimes--I can tell you this but could never tell my doctors or they would throw me out of the office--I am amazed at how upset I get and how seriously they take my worry. Critically, some of the prosocial behaviors the participants engaged in were precisely because of the trauma, such as volunteering in Mothers Against Drunk Driving as a result of having a loved one badly hurt by a drunk driver. In this way, virtues help transform the participants' suffering and contribute to existential resilience by offering clients a sense of purpose. It also connected them with other people who had similar experiences and may understand and validate their identity. Indeed, virtues (the hands) and relationships (the heart) are symbiotic, often connecting people together. The virtues described in the text that follows, though not exhaustive, are particularly relevant for your clients as they develop existential resilience to better cope with their trauma or suffering. Humility is expressed by an honest awareness of one's strengths and weaknesses, a lack of superiority, and a prosocial orientation focused on the well-being of others. Intellectual humility is the awareness that one's beliefs (including religious beliefs) have limitations, an openness to new ideas and critical feedback, and nondefensively expressing ideas in ways that are not arrogant or demeaning. Clients who honestly assess their beliefs, acknowledge their limitations, and are open to criticism are able to revise their beliefs to better reflect their new reality. Previous work has identified a possible intervention designed to cultivate humility.

Have your client: Accepting that it's a battle is a necessity. Ignoring that it's a battle and instead thinking that it should be easy and fruitful without too much effort is a cancerous line of thought. Winning these battles isn't a matter of willpower but of planning and commitment. Don't pit desires in the moment against what you've set out to accomplish. Give yourself only one option. Going through every day having to choose between comfort and rest and work and pain, we're likely to choose the easy path more often than the difficult one. It's our nature to choose ease. All over the world, and especially in the West, people are choosing to follow their immediate desires at the expense of what they think they want for their lives. We do this daily. We choose to spend instead of saving and investing. Other times I feel like I have to convince them or they won't believe me. What an absurd position to be in. I doubt them when they tell me, There is nothing to worry about, you are OK, and I doubt them when they tell me there may be something the matter and they need to do more tests. After all, the exposure to X-rays is dangerous; After I get through convincing them to do something, then I worry that I may be creating problems by what I convince them to do. I really know there is a good reason I'm here talking to you. Arnie Springer has been hypochondriacal for a long time. Ten years ago persistent headaches led him to believe he had a brain tumor. After three years he came to accept his physician's diagnosis of chronic tension headaches.

After that, he developed a fear that he had skin cancer. FORGIVENESS. Forgiveness is when your clients replace the negative emotions they have toward someone who hurt them with positive, other-oriented emotions, such as love and compassion. Put simply, the fact that forgiveness is even needed recognizes an injustice has occurred. It is an intrapersonal process that takes place within the victim, with or without reconciliation. In some cases, reconciliation (which is the active repair and restoration of the relationship) is not desirable, such as in situations of abuse. Forgiveness is especially valuable in repairing those relationships that your client highly values and where risk for future exploitation is low. Like humility, forgiveness can be cultivated. Ev Worthington, an international forgiveness expert, proposed a five-step model for forgiveness, called the REACH model. They should think about the specific details of what happened and how it made them feel. The more vivid their description, the better. We craft an image based on what we think will make others envious instead of building real wealth. We rest when we should work. We cheat on our spouses and our diets, miss workouts, accept handouts, choose TV over reading, and so on. We consistently choose to move away from our biggest goals and toward a life of failure, weakness and dependency. Again, we do this by choice, though the effects of said choices aren't fully realized until years later. We actively choose momentary pleasure over wealth, success, and happiness. But we do so incrementally, not giving these seemingly insignificant daily, even hourly choices that we make incorrectly, the weight they deserve. Slowly we become the opposite of who we want to be. Too many people think that they're a victim to their circumstances.

They wake up one day and realize that they're failing, that the path they're heading down isn't a good one. Inasmuch as he has many nevae (moles), Arnie went through repeated skin biopsies to rule out melanoma--all of them were normal--and even consulted a plastic surgeon about the possibility of extensive skin grafting. He recalls being fearful even as a child that he might be suffering a hidden disorder. That's the thing, Dr Kleinman, the feeling I have is that this thing is hidden and we have got to find it. It's lurking there in the dark. It's a scary feeling, kind of like when you were a kid and afraid of the dark at the top of the stairs. I'm a systems analyst, you know, and I am always trying to organize things, make them better ordered. I guess you could say I don't like disorder, not even professionally. The metaphor of the hidden disorder is pervasive in his complaints. I feel a vague, cramping, queasy sensation, like pressure in my small intestine, you know the part of the bowel that's hidden, can't be seen too well by the GI [gastrointestinal] specialist, that part could have a hidden growth, a cancer. And almost always it is associated with the idea of cancer as a hidden killer. This can be very difficult. Ask them to imagine what their offender was thinking or feeling when they hurt your client. What was their offender's perspective? Can your client imagine that despite the pain that their transgressor caused them, it is possible that their offender really was sincerely trying their best, or may have been under stress or strain? When clients can take the perspective of their offender, it helps them move past bitterness and anger toward grace and benevolence. Only your clients can grant their forgiveness, and it truly is a self-sacrificial gift. Some clients will tell their offenders in person that they forgive them. Others write a letter. For others, communicating that forgiveness is not safe nor wise, so some clients may write in a personal journal that they have forgiven, and they can reference that as a tangible symbol in the future.