Observations of human perceptions ring true through the ages

Last week I had the pleasure of attending Opera Atelier’s presentation of the Mozart opera Idomeneo. Like so many of the classic works, the underlying messages ring true throughout the ages.

I was particularly struck by the quartet in Act III featuring all 4 of the major characters.  Each character is lamenting the impact of a terrible situation on each of them individually, from their own self-centered perspective.

To suffer more is impossible.
Such great grief
is worse than death.
No one ever suffered
a harsher fate
or greater punishment.

Everyone on the stage believes no one else can possibly be suffering nearly the extent he/ she is suffering.

We all may feel this from time to time but we can’t hold onto these feelings.
In reality, even in our darkest time we can breathe, pause, and refocus our
attention to something that is working.

Finding the good in our lives not only gets us out of the competition of out
“misery-ing” our colleagues and friends, but also helps us gain a useful perspective. Everyone
has some good in their lives, people who care about them, and the opportunity to
move through the present problem.  There is always an element of hope and a better future.

The practice of gratitude: finding the good and reflecting on it is a wonderful way of helping us reduce the negative impacts of stress from all sources. This also gets us using our rational brain, the part that is needed to look at options and a way out of our current predicament.

For the 3 of the 4 characters in the opera who persevered and focused on love and gratitude, there was a happy ending. Only for the one character, bent on seeking revenge and holding on to anger, did the opera end in tragedy for her alone.

Community Healthcare Consulting is now offering free 30 minute consultations to organizations in Ontario wanting to improve workplace wellness. To find out more, email us here.

We will have a booth at the Barrie Chamber of Commerce Living Well Expo April 26 and 27 at Georgian Downs.  We will also be presenting a workshop on Managing Caregiver Stress at 5 pm on the Friday.  For more information on the Living Well Expo, click here.

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