opinion

MEDICINE FOR HEART AND SOUL

September 21, 2021

In Pandemic times , music helps me to overcome many daily hurdles. I learned from a psycholigian friend that music, because of its deep connections with the brain, is intrinsically meaningful to humanity as a race. We thrive off it. It drives our actions and emotions, and its influence on our brains creates a sense of unity with music that few other art forms can provide.   We are beginning to understand our own love of music not only as a cognitive reflex, but as a true art form. Because of being too busy in the past, I neglected this special love. And the relation between religion and music too.    The relationship between religion and music can be coined as the “spirit” of the “sound.” Both provide a means of transcending human existence.   Music has the ability to deepen the meaning of words that accompany it, both in a religious context or even on your local pop radio station you listen to on the way to work. As described by St. Augustine in Weiss and Taruskin’s Music of the Western World, St. Augustine reflects on his baptism, “The tears flowed from me when I heard your hymns and canticles, for the sweet singing of your church moved me deeply…The music surged in my ears, truth seeped into my heart, and my feelings of devotion overflowed…   Yes, music has a way of filling in the gaps in thought, feeling, and emotion that words cannot do justice, which can be incredibly powerful when accompanied by a spiritual belief. Using music for religious reasons also gave early humans the ability to experience and explore the tantalizing effects of music without committing a sin. In the present day, music is used much more widely and for purposes other than worship, which has allowed religious music to grow and expand into many types of praise that have a wider impact on many people. Music is a nearly universal part of religion because it appeals to and heightens human senses in a pleasurable way which, in turn, allows humans to praise through a medium that makes worship more enjoyable.   A life without music? I wouldn't survive!   +++   Email: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter or visit my www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com  or www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com .    

READ MORE
SLEEPLESS NIGHTS AND UNFULFILLED DREAMS

September 18, 2021

Very often - sometimes too often! - the thought is back! If we wake up in the morning (or even many times in the middle of the night), the thought is back. Sometimes, the thought will not let us sleep. The "act of thinking". the "reflection", the "opinion" or the "serious consideration", no matter how we describe it - our memory and conscience is always with us as a permanent companion.   Especially in times of this pandemic, some people struggle to get to sleep no matter how tired they are. Others wake up in the middle of the night and lie awake for hours, anxiously watching the clock.   Yes, we brood over unsettled problems. Sometimes we bear unfair treatments, arrogance, ignorance, incompetent know-it-all-betters, and unbearable oddballs, who inexorable love to make our life a hell while living themselves a disorderly life. We would not like to be distracted, but we're toying with some good ideas how we could throw overboard all that "human garbage". What will come next is a matter of conjecture. Of course, we've got my ideas, but we're not mind readers. Too many trains of thought make us thoughtless and absent-minded especially in difficult and important daily life situations. Does waiting and/or sleeping solve our problems? Or is it just again in time? Our life's central idea should not be that while waiting, time solves all our problems. Thoughts should intensify, condense and deepen plans followed by actions. It's good and helpful to carry thoughts in us all the time. Incomprehensible, or better unfinished and un-matured thoughts, no matter whether positive or negative, should be slept on, before tiredness outstrips us with supersonic speed. Sometimes we feel that our thoughts and ideas can't be fulfilled with life. Where the heart is willing, it will find a thousand ways; but where the heart is weak, it will find a thousand excuses. If doubts begin to take roots, we should rouse from pink-tinted idealism or wear down and annihilate nightmares and erase and wipe out such thoughts and ideas. If our thoughts are good and have the chance to be fulfilled in action, especially if "the other side" is prepared and willing to step on to such a bridge of life, we might get support and words of encouragement. And, if not? No action? Maybe it is God's will to keep and protect us from a careless, rash, disadvantageous and uneasy action. Every new day gives us new inexhaustible possibilities to survive, to bear trials and to start a new beginning. We overlook and fail to notice many chances to lie through our sluggishness and laziness while thinking and dreaming of unequaled and unfulfilled ideas. Long time ago,Pope John XXIII said, " Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do".   +++ Email: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter or visit www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com.    

READ MORE
LOVE, MARRIAGE AND MORE

September 14, 2021

I am old-fashioned. For many decades, I have loved collecting old magazine and newspaper clippings. Can you imagine what my two offices look like? Anyway, in a very old issue of PHILADELPHIA NEWS from 1999,  then columnist Larry Fields confessed: "I lead a life of wine, women and song (by the way, a wonderful waltz of the Austrian Johann Strauss!) - it's cheaper than petrol, food and rent!" Is LOVE just an expression? Or love and marriage? Some marriages are made in heaven. You know some? I do. The best of the rest is just simply down-to-earth. Maybe also yours? I am blessed and happy to celebrate my 39th wedding anniversary very soon... . Maybe, my dear readers, you remember this, "Then the prince swept the lovely young maiden into his arms and carried her home to his castle. And they live happily ever after!" Indeed, they did. Meanwhile, I met several couples, who would say: happily never after! What I would like to see is an autonomous in home affairs study of all these titles of nobility bearers seven years after their happily-ever-after marriages. Or even earlier, because the so-called darned and tricky seventh marriage year could be even the first one already. The truth is that life isn't made up of the continual highs found in the initial stages of courtship. Of course, flirting is fun and a wide groove exists. But after a while our system needs a rest. Unanimously, we're in the second stage sooner or later and our marriage life badly needs a new outside coating. All of a sudden, the partner prefers day and night watching all the sports channels, falls asleep while you're revealing your innermost secrets and even forgets the anniversary for the first or even second time . Just bear in mind: You've won each other's acceptance  and sometimes even feel terribly gloomy. This acceptance shouldn't be undervalued. Even we see a house that has to be cleaned, many other things have to be organized, and the partner, who looks as fatigued and bored as you feel. Logical question: "That's it? That WAS it?" And suddenly, we experienced the third stage and learned why it's worth the ups and downs. Maybe we men don't mention any more, how incredible she looks, but we enjoy bleating and grousing at her spending innumerable hours putting her together. But then, suddenly, we men unload the garbage without being asked for it. Although no marriage is continually blissful - it can be pretty good most of the time. When we last through arguments, money worries, and kid's problems or slowly but surely coming up mid-life crises, we should face reality that our relationship is not always a big day celebration. It's because the fundamental  reason for a marriage has outlasted the craziness of day-to-day living: we love each other. That's MY idea of "Happily ever after, indeed!" Valentine's Day is not around the corner. No guys, don't worry! And by the way, this one and only day  should not be a reason or a sad excuse to bring flowers for our partner and invite her to an amazing lunch or hotel overnight stay. As I said, I am very much old fashioned.   +++ Email: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter or visit www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com .

READ MORE
BREAKING POINT

September 10, 2021

I got my first breaking point as a German expatriate in the Philippines as a result of culture shocks. This was a long time ago and very much different from today's situation.  Meanwhile I have been living here smooth and sound for several years.    Time changed. We all continue to suffer from the previous pandemic and the restrictions in our daily lives. Many friends, colleagues and neighbors I talked with are reaching the breaking point.   They are  experiencing mood changes. Indeed, the emotional effects of stress can have a serious impact on your day-to-day mood and mental health. Firstly, you may find that you’re feeling more irritated or pessimistic than usual. This mood change can then begin to affect your motivation to work, socialise with your loved ones or complete the things on your to-do list. If left unchecked, these feelings can threaten to completely overwhelm you, leaving you feeling apathetic, depressed, frustrated, panicky or trapped. Many are having trouble sleeping. If you’re going through a stressful period in your life, you may have noticed just how difficult it can be to maintain a regular sleeping pattern. For instance, you may find it hard to fall or stay asleep at night. You may also have trouble getting up in the morning. A lack of proper sleep can leave you exhausted during the day which often leads to increased caffeine consumption which further exacerbates the issue. If left unmanaged, you may start feeling like you never have the energy for anything and soon reach an emotional breaking point. A lot of people around me can’t seem to focus or concentrate properly. If you’re battling to concentrate, keep focused or remember certain things, this is a good indication that you’re feeling the effects of anxiety. These changes in thinking and memory (also known as “brain fog”) can occur when you’re trying to manage several stressful situations at once, which can make you confused and forgetful. These situations may include demanding jobs or emotionally-taxing tasks. Unregulated emotional exhaustion can really impact your attention, executive functioning (organising and planning), and memory.   A lot of people are expressing  difficulty with personal relationships. You’ll often notice emotional exhaustion from prolonged stress manifesting in your relationship and your capacity to connect with your family on a meaningful emotional level. You may find yourself picking fights over small things, feeling angry at or unsatisfied with your partner or being overly judgemental. Tension in your close relationships can cause you to feel anxious, detached, and withdrawn which can make it difficult to ask for emotional support when you need it or be there for those you love. A low self-esteem is being reported a lot these days. If lately you’ve found your mind overwhelmed with negative thoughts, you’ve probably also noticed their impact on how you view yourself. Perhaps you’re feeling more cynical and hopeless than usual? Or maybe you’ve lacked confidence in situations where you would normally speak up. At times, you may even have found yourself wondering if what you’re doing even matters anymore. It is important to recognise these changes. If left unchecked, these feelings may progress into symptoms of depression.   To stay in balance you need to turn these behaviors around. The smallest changes make a difference, but pay attention to changes that aren't so small, like getting enough sleep (without drugs), dealing with your anger and anxiety before they erupt, moving around during the day, making time to play, eating sensibly and simply being with yourself. Especially during the pandemic, I learned that prevention is the best medicine. Reaching your breaking point means that you've crossed into the red zone, from which it's hard to return. You won't get to your red zone if you apply the habits of self-care I've just listed. The choice is really yours. Medical research has abundantly validated that being in balance is the healthiest way to live. Spend the next two weeks getting back into balance. You'll be amazed and pleased with the results. I adopted a certain "Bahala-na"-emotion especially when it comes to "bad news". I enjoy playing my piano and listening to wonderful relaxing music. I enjoy staying together with my family. I talked to God... .   +++   Email:doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin or visit my www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com .  

READ MORE
INNER STRUGGLES

September 4, 2021

Let's not fool ourselves: The pandemic has completely turned our entire lives upside down. Private, social and in  business. Inner struggles for many of us are the bitter result. An inner struggle reflects an unresolved emotional conflict, an inner knot that has been cystic and that must be clarified in order to have peace and well-being. What is the result of an internal struggle? Frustration, frequent changes in mood and psychological fatigue (it is tiring to load with a frequent question) and anger. But it is also a stimulus to deepen the knowledge of oneself.   In essence, an internal fight shows an internal opposition, an opposition of contrary forces that steal the inner tranquility, serenity and peace. Therefore, in a situation like this it is very important to hear those sentiments to put ideas in order.   A person may also experience an inner struggle when there is an internal debate between duty and the crave order. How many times, you want to give up? Ask yourself?  Similarly, it is also possible to experience this internal struggle into an existential crisis.   There are personal disagreements in the daily routine, as shown by the difficulties of coexistence: partner discussions, differences in criteria with friends, anger of family... . However, it is important to point out that the relationship that a person has with others, part of the bond that has with itself beyond individuality. Every human being establishes a constant relationship with their own identity. In this way, a process of self-knowledge is established. The inner world of a human being is very complex, marked by duality and constant struggles. In other words, a person can feel an inner struggle between reason and heart.   Inner conflicts typically begin with statements such as "I am sick of, I always or I am so tired of" and it is not unusual for them to be accompanied by some jaw clenching, an occasional rant or stomp of the foot.  Everyone has a unique problem of their own, an issue that follows them throughout life and never goes away. You discover it early and go on to struggle with it for the rest of your life, almost until it eventually becomes an old enemy that you lose the will to fight or hate anymore.   There are environments that are especially suitable to reflect calmly on oneself. For example, take a stroll through a green area and walk. Or, I talk with family members. They are experiencing the same struggles - young and old. Or, I  pray and talk to God.    Fortunately analysis is not the only way to resolve inner conflicts. Life itself still remains a very effective therapist. Allow me to quote  F. Scott Fitzgerald:  "I hope you live a life you're proud of, and, if you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start over!" Yes, hopefully the struggle we're in today is developing the strength we need for tomorrow. Stay safe and healthy everyone.    +++   Email: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter or visit my www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com .    

READ MORE
The "Great Resignation"

August 28, 2021

Unless you’re walking into a glossy, new, upgraded role, leaving a job to head in a different direction can be hard, upsetting and even leave people feeling like a failure. Faced with the prospect of quitting, Denver, Colorado-based organisational psychologist Melissa Doman, MA, says, “typically speaking, people still self-criticise. For many people, their job is heavily tied to their identity and their self-efficacy”.   When I blink back after almost 50 years of work, I've quit my job several times. Yes, quitting – particularly without a job to go to – can be emotionally challenging and carry stigma - as writer Joanna York got it to the point. Most of my colleagues  thought that I was rushing into a bad decision. I was already anxious about having quit and their remarks put more doubt in my head.   Still, despite these factors, indications are that many people want to leave their jobs. In fact, 41% of all workers are thinking about handing in their notice, according to a recent global survey by Microsoft. In the US, a record number of workers quit their jobs in April 2021, and similar waves are anticipated in nations including the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. There’s even a name for it: the Great Resignation.   Joanna York describes it like this: There are multiple reasons for this trend, from people re-evaluating what they want from their careers during the pandemic, to the stress of juggling home and work life, or even discontent with employers. Whatever the motivator, many who choose to leave their current roles will find the process emotionally challenging. ‘Quitting’ often comes with negative connotations, both from the people around us and from ourselves, even if we have good cause. But the upheaval caused by the pandemic – and the sheer number of potential quitters – could help us remove the stigma around resignation, and reframe it as a more positive choice.  The negative feelings the brain can cycle through after quitting can be significant, with shame, guilt, fear and a sense of failure all common reactions.   Also important is asking for advice from the right people at the right time. When I moved to the Philippines for good in 1999, I got the right people at the right time at my side. I tried to temper the fear and the uncertainty. The fact that I made the decision that's right for my life and my career was a privilege. And an opportunity. Or even many opportunities... .   +++   Email: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter or visit my www.germanexpatinthephilippines,blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com .

READ MORE

Subscribe Now!

Receive email updates from Mindanao Daily News.