Friday, January 5, 2024

Inner Heaven by Berjik Kurkjian, Articles No. 30-37


Art by Melody Khachikian

No 30  Anger

Last week, I talked about conflict management and how to talk to people when we feel hurt by their behavior.  We analyze the problem, see who caused the problem, and deal with it politely.

There are times when we do not handle the conflict assertively. Reacting with anger is harmful and destructive.  Later, we feel remorse for behaving angrily.  It is like a calm pool that is stirred up when somebody throws a pebble in it. The residue comes to the surface and needs time to settle.  During the process of self-awareness, we deal with stirring up old pain and bringing it up to the surface. It is healthy to do that.

It is difficult to change old habits.  We just need to practice and be committed to change.  Remind yourself, “One rainy day in summer is not a sign of winter.” Don’t give up when you feel frustrated.  

We need to continue the process of self-awareness and self-help to become better persons. If everybody tries this, we could have a better society.  We can be aware of pain but not allow it to control us.  We can feel in control, focus on the positive, and enjoy life fully. We will transfer our positive attitude to our kids, the future generation.

February 7, 1988

* Analyzing Pain is translated to Conflict Management.

No. 3  Curiosity

Curiosity is a valuable and vital feeling.  It is also known as the inner eye.  Curiosity helps us to distinguish between good and bad and have perspectives that form our personality.  

Children have a sense of curiosity before they can talk.  They touch things in their environment to learn what surrounds them.  Parents can encourage this sense of curiosity.  They can talk to their kids as they feed or bathe them.  Kids can hear the sentences even though they don’t understand every word and cannot yet talk.  The tone of voice is essential.  They can hear kindness in their parents’ voices.  Positive words will enter their psyche. Kids will learn to repeat positive words and a pleasant tone of voice.

When kids get a little older and ask many questions, parents need to answer them with kindness and child-friendly language.  If parents don’t know the answer to some of their children’s questions, they can say, “Let me find out, and I will get back to you,” or, “Let’s find out the answer together.”  Also, if the question is about a subject they don’t feel comfortable talking about, they can say, “I will talk to you about it later when you are older.”

Curiosity should be encouraged.  That leads to a sense of satisfaction, peace of mind, and happiness.  Our anxieties, restlessness, and anger are the result of a lack of knowledge about our inner world, not a lack of material goods.  We need to continue to improve ourselves by self-awareness and self-help. Then we can have a peaceful world.

February 14, 1988

No. 32  Negative Curiosity, Pessimism

Last week, I talked about the importance of curiosity.  I want to look at its negative aspects.  As I have written before, we have two inner channels, Positive and Negative.  In religion, they are known as heaven and hell, angel and devil.

We get emotional energy from the inner world of these channels.  Half of our energy comes from our emotions and thoughts, and the other half from food.  We need both to survive and live. 

Historically, we have learned to use the Negative Channels more than we know how to use the positive ones.   Some people get so tangled up with negativity and pessimism that they feel trapped.  Sometimes, it leads to depression and suicide.

When kids ask questions, many parents tell them not to be nosey.  “Mind your own business” is a typical answer to kids’ curiosity.  Their positive curiosity is suppressed, which creates negative and insecure people.  Pessimistic people see the negative in everything.  Everything is measured by its financial value rather than spiritual ones.  If they become writers or scientists, they only create destructive things.  Some create bombs and mass destruction tools. 

It is essential to distinguish between the Positive and Negative Channels.  People who compare themselves to others feel frustrated.  The inner contradiction is harmful.

 Fortunately, I was able to pull myself out of depression and despair with self-help.  I look at my difficulties as life lessons.  I wish inner peace for everybody.


33  Resistance and Endurance

Our emotions and talents are intertwined and create our emotional resistance, which is essential for survival.  There are two emotions that are the foundation of all others: the sense of gratitude and hope.

We need to appreciate God's blessings on our bodies and natural resources.  Only when we lose our health do we then appreciate it.  If you think about the price of losing a body part, then you realize you can put a price on your health.

We need to have healthy conversations and dialogue about our blessings and learn to appreciate them.  Don’t take them for granted.  We will feel happy and become optimistic. 

By improving our sense of appreciation and hopefulness, we learn to endure life’s difficulties with ease.  We will become healthy individuals instead of living creatures who carry bags of problems and pain.  I hope we all can accomplish our goals and live fulfilling lives.

March 6, 1988

No. 34  Spiritual and Emotional Food

We exist physically and psychologically with our outer bodies and inner selves.   Our bodies need food and water to survive.  Our emotions need food, too. They need to learn and grow.  We need to read texts that are about our inner world, psychology, self-help, and self-awareness.

Self-awareness is an essential tool for knowing ourselves better.  Financial security brings comfort but not inner peace.  We need physical and psychological peace.

In the same way that we cannot stay physically hungry and thirsty, we need to satisfy our hunger for knowledge.  If we don’t deal with our difficulties in a constructive way, the pressures will pile up and eventually cause more trouble. 

We need to take care of our bodies physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

  April 3, 1988

No. 35  Justice

Living justly and honoring the rights of others is an essential skill that we need to learn.  I start with this quotation, “Treat others as you want to be treated.”  Our lives are journeys that leave good and bad memories behind.  To leave behind beautiful memories, we need to live with good values and norms, honoring life’s principles.  Life goes on, and we need to adjust.  We come and go.  Life and existence continue.

The foundation of life’s continuation is the union between men and women, the family life.  This foundation needs to be strong. The kids growing up in healthy and robust families will be healthy adults, physically and mentally.

When a man and a woman unite to make a family, they need to honor certain principles.  They need to respect each other’s rights, and fundamental natural rights.  They need to communicate openly and honestly.  If there is a problem, they should discuss it with respect.  It is crucial to deal with the issues immediately to prevent build-up and pressure.  They need to treat each other with justice and fairness.

Some might say, “It’s too much work. Who has time for all of this?”  I would answer, “If you want a happy and fulfilling life, then you need to respect others’ rights and feelings.”

April 10, 1988

No. 36   Don’t Be Afraid of Saying No

Iranian culture has taught us cooperation and collaboration.  It is a beautiful character trait.  Cooperation is excellent, but we need to consider our situation, time, location, and conditions.

We can learn to be assertive and say no nicely.  Instead of creating excuses and coming up with all sorts of blame and questions, we can honestly express our situation. When we are not honest in refusing an invitation or request for help, we can cause pain.  Then that person might want to get back at you.  When you need them, they might refuse to help.  In turn, we would feel hurt.  These kinds of unnecessary pains will add up, create pressure, and drain our emotional energy.

Using negative sentences such as “I don’t feel like it” or “I am busy.” creates a bad habit.  We use these draining sentences; they become our reality, and we feel tired.

When we say no just because we don’t feel like doing something, we may later feel remorse and guilt.  It’s better to be assertive and learn the correct way of saying no.

We are social beings.  We feel happier and complete when we say We, not I. If we each learn how to be kind, helpful, and happy, then we can have better relationships with friends and family members.  We will have healthy social lives without conflict.

When a friend asks you for help, first, consider your abilities and time and decide if you can help.  If you cannot do it, talk to that person honestly and offer to help on another day and time.  If you need time to think about your decision, then do not answer right away.  Say, “I will get back to you. I need to check my calendar.”

We can use simple and positive sentences without coming up with justifications and excuses.  This manner of approaching helping others and saying no will save us and others time and energy.  Our mental energy is precious.

April 17, 1988

No. 37  Science Without Execution Is Worthless

During daily conversations and discussions, we express our opinions.  These dialogues are healthy and good if we can implement what we learn.  To have a healthy society, we can start by having healthy individuals, by self-help and self-improvement.

Ignore the pessimistic view. We cannot have spring with one flower; I think that one match can light several candles. It’s never too late to learn something new and improve what you already know.  It is beautiful to volunteer for good causes and help others. Small deeds go a long way.  Helping others has a moral value.

Negative people can ruin our enthusiasm.  We might get affected by their negativity, and our goals become words, not actions.  We need to be assertive and politely tell them, “I am a human being, and I enjoy working, helping others, and being a productive person.”  You can invite them to join you by showing how much you enjoy a full life.

We need to be strong to fight pessimism.  We need to fight negativity knowingly.  We can ask God to make us experienced in kindness and inexperienced in being mean.  The desire to be a good person will make us succeed.  We can accomplish being helpful with a sense of strength and self-confidence.

May 1, 1988

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