Akbar. “Optimum Effort without Love is Self-Destructive.” My name is Akbar Prawira Helmi Natadireja. I would like to share my thoughts about Embodied Peacemaking Process (EPP) on 16th February and 8th March. To be honest, at first, I was skeptical. Before we started the online meeting with Paul Linden and friends we were given a digital handbook. After some reading, I thought to myself. “Is it true? That harsh and cruel words can affect our body that much?”
In the past, my family’s work made our family move from place to place. Because of that, I needed to learned how to socialize and adapt to my new environment over and over again. At some point, I was bullied, physically and verbally. That experience made me distrust and be reluctant to interact with other people. Moreover, I was driven to be the best because I thought that’s the way to be respected and not be harassed by other people. Living with this mindset over the years makes me feel stressed and exhausted. Sometimes, when I can’t manage to do something up to my standard, I berate and blame myself. My excuses are “I don’t try hard enough,” “I’m not good enough,” “this happens because I don’t give my all to it.”
Living with this mindset is harmful because of the consequences. I often got sick, I often blame other people and myself for my failure. I withdraw from society because I feel societal standards are too hard for me to fulfill. Nowadays, due to some of my friends and professional mental health, I managed to lower my standards and quite blaming myself and other people for hardships that happened in my life. But some bad habits still remain. I still force myself to do things 100% and it harms me and burns me out without me realizing.
On 16th February, on the online meeting, we discussed how we rarely include softness in our daily life, always trying power through every obstacle in life and it makes us weary. It exhausts us, at least, that’s what I thought. I was surprised at how a few kind words and softness in our movement makes wonder changes in our body. I felt stable. I felt strong. I never knew there was that kind of way of living. And so I finished the workshop with the conclusion that treating ourselves with kindness and softness makes us more appreciative of ourselves and gives us courage to face our hardships.
8th March came and once again I attended the workshop. On 8th March, we learned how to present ourselves with power and softness. We learned the practical side of incorporating power with softness. The results were astounding. I noticed even with little to no power, I can make myself more stable, more relaxed, and more aware about my surroundings. I learned that to resist power with power not only makes me more exhausted and weaker, but it harm the body. The crux of my conclusion is on the exercise where we pushed our partner’s palm. I realized that even with little, gradual power, we managed to pushed our partner’s hand and not hurt ourselves.
The workshop finished and we said goodbye to each other. After the workshop was done, I was thinking. How often that I give it my all to finish a task or a job yet I’m not satisfied and berate myself? How often I harm myself physically or mentally because I push my limits for everyday task? I realized that going through our lives doing everything without treating ourselves with love, care and softness can break us down, and we can hurt ourselves. I learned that incorporating kindness, love, and softness into our daily life can benefit us greatly. I learned that optimum effort without love, can be self-destructive. I would like to thank Paul Linden and friends for the lessons that were imparted. I hope I could learn much more about life. Thank you for teaching me and thank you for the opportunity to meet each other. Have a good life. Cheers.