Saturday, December 9, 2017

Anti-Slavery Campaign Interview Series. Isaac Okello

Okello Isaac was born on 02nd Feb, 1992. He is an Etesot by tribe and He originates from Teso sub region in eastern Uganda and particularly Amuria bordering northern part of Uganda. He is currently pursuing his bachelors in philosophy at Queen of Apostles Philosophy Center Jinja and He is a final year student. He was inspired by the Camillian charism of serving Christ in the sick and the poor and this finally made him to join the order of St. Camillus or ministers of the infirm where  he is undergoing his religious formation. It is his pleasure to share his life in connection to his experience in the courses of conflict transformation, power, identity and trauma.




Yago: Could you share with us the relevance of the course Conflict Transformation in the context of religious and missionary formation?

Isaac: The knowledge of conflict transformation is very important in religious context because in the first case conflict is part of us and indeed flows in and away from us, people often think the religious are exempted from conflicts but that is not true. Obviously a religious is an instrument of healing, hope restoration, peace, happiness and above it all to make God’s love visible to all he serves but all these aspects are counteracted by the reality of conflict. A pastor, in his service encounters personal conflicts or even people who are overwhelmed by conflict. Human life is very complex to the extent that we are not aware of what goes inside of us, some conflicts in our lives are not visible and we thus remain slaves of our own conflicts. Conflict transformation brings a religious into awareness of the conflicts within himself and within others, helps him to analyze their causes, frame a plan of how to manage and resolve the conflicts that he encounters or those presented to him. Management and resolution does not mean the conflict is transformed. This knowledge helps him to see beyond and devise necessary tools to deal with conflict in a transformative way and indeed design a constructive change initiative to change attitudes and behaviors that influence and fuel conflict. Lastly, it makes a religious view conflict as positive and as a factor of change. the ability to transform his own, and other conflicts helps the religious to influence positive thinking, change the outlook of life, change negativity into positivity among those he serves and thus his mission becomes fruitful and the love of God becomes visible and is shared to all.

Conflict Transformation class exercise

Yago: You were also engaged in another course where we deepened on key areas of Conflict Transformation such as Power, Trauma and Identity, could you share with us how relevant are these three areas in the context of religious formation (explain one by one)?

Isaac: Well power, trauma and identity like conflict are realities that we live and witness throughout our lives. Power being ability to influence outcomes is very important. All of others are gifted in some areas. But what matters is for us to discover our own abilities and strive to excel in them. This development depends on others as well. A religious needs others to strengthen his weaknesses and encourage his strengths. Some people think they are powerless and others powerful and this influences their interpretation of power. A religious should have the capacity to empower those who think they are powerless and make their vulnerabilities icons of positivity towards life. A religious needs to know the dimensions of power and as a pastoral agent, he should use that knowledge to correct the abusive dimensions of power and speak for the oppressed so that human dignity is at all costs preserved. Identity is very much important in defining who we are and is thus relevant to a religious. It helps him to know ways of helping those he serves to construct positive identities and thus help those who identify themselves as victims, less important and are nobodies. In my understanding, trauma is a response to an overwhelming event. Some traumas occur when we are still in our wombs, some witnessed, others are caused by policies that are unjust, and historical and cultural variations. In fact trauma is a wound in a life of a person. People often carry past traumas in their lives without knowing and indeed even among the religious. These traumas need to be dealt with to ensure a balanced personality. Trauma that is not resolved leads to violence and this is very visible in the aggressor’s cycle in form of acting in and acting out. Trauma is psychological and it can affect our psychic. A religious who is traumatized should be helped to heal out of it and as a result he becomes a wounded healer. He will be in position to use his wounds to heal others. Many of the problems we hold today are as a result of what happened to us in the past. the knowledge about trauma in a nut shell is important in the religious context in that it helps them to reconcile with their past or those he serves   with their past, gives them the power to live the present and embrace the future with hope and joy, helps the religious to heal others. A religious should have the capacity to listen to people’s problems, feel their situation and help them overcome it through empowerment.

Yago: Could you share with us how these two courses have contributed to a better awareness of yourself?

Isaac: Well and good my personality is so complex in that I didn’t know much about it but these two courses have helped me to connect with myself. In the first case, I no longer view conflict as something negative but part of life and I have learnt that what brings happiness in life is not to look at the dark side of the conflict but to face it with hope. Conflict is there to challenge not to destroy us, it brings in new changes in life. What matters is how you view and approach the conflict other than running away from it or avoiding it. Power, identity and trauma have helped me to connect with my past and change its negative part into positivity in order to change my outlook of life. What now matters for me is empathy rather than pity or sympathy when I encounter those traumatized. I use my past wounds to help others, encourage and empower them. For example my past experience with the invasion of LRA rebels is a basis for my healing to others. I now look at power as an instrument of service and empowerment to others. I make sure I don’t use my power to oppress but to relieve those who feel they have no place in the world. We are all unique and power should not be used to abuse the dignity of others.

Yago: How meaningful are these courses for a better understanding of our religious community life?

Isaac: Well obviously they are very meaningful because they portray exactly what goes on in the community. We are not islands to live in isolation each of us are born in society with the family as its smallest unity. In the community we have differences and these often lead us to conflict. We have a multiplicity of cultures and each person comes to religious life together with his past traumas. Others can misuse power to project what they suffered in the past. Conflict transformation helps us respect personal ideologies, respect other people’s cultures and work towards inculturation. The community provides avenues of healing from our past traumas and influences us to view life positively as we use our past as stepping stones to better living. With this knowledge of power, those in power will view leadership as a service rather than superiority and this brings unity and transparency and thus our identity becomes concrete as we see others as brothers and sisters, there will be a sense of belonging and thus the community becomes a source of joy to its members.

Yago: You are a candidate of the Camilian congregation. How relevant has these courses been towards a deeper understanding of the Camilian charism? 

Isaac: It is a wonderful occasion to share the Camillian charism. The Camillian charism is to serve the sick even at the risk of your own life. This charism goes beyond the medical dimension and indeed encompasses all other needs of human life. There are those who are spiritually sick, psychologically, emotionally, intellectually, and physically. All these affect a person’s life in one way or another and that is what we seek to heal. Conflict can lead to any kind of illness or deviant behavior whatsoever and a Camillian should have the capacity to transform any conflict and bring healing that leads to peaceful living. Trauma which is not resolved can lead to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem among others that may have an impact in our spiritual, psychic, and emotional dimensions. The knowledge of these courses will make a Camillian effective in bring healing to these dimensions. Ignorance contributes to part of our problems. A Camillian with this knowledge can sensitize others on how to use their power, help people define their identities and indeed live life to the fullest.


Trauma, Power and Identity class picture

Yago: You have been introduced and gone through the experience of Trauma Releasing Exercises. How would you evaluate the experience? 

Isaac: Hahaaaa it is amazing to share this. the theory on trauma releasing exercises made me wonder what goes on in it really not until I had the practical part of it. It was my first experience and I wondered how magnificent our bodies are. It is true trauma is physiological and is often stored in our bodies. Our bodies have a lot to communicate to us but we often don’t give the attention needed nor do we understand its language. When I began the exercise I could not feel anything but as the process went on, I was able to listen to my own body, how the blood moves, the patterns of breathe, and I found myself abandon other thoughts. It was like I was a sleep but very much awake to the body. It was followed by a serious trembling all over the body that was neither willed nor forced but came without my consciousness with much of it in the waist, pelvic and thighs. At the end of the session, I found myself light, fresh and that day I had a soft sleep.  I kept on doing it and is now part of my activities. Being a student, sometimes we develop a certain anxiety in exam period but I make sure I do this exercise one hour before an exam and find easy writing my exams. It is a wonderful experience try it and discover its beauty.

Yago with the Camilian student's community after the TRE exercise. Isaac is second from left.
Yago: Did the exercises contribute to a new awareness of the wisdom carried on your body?
 
Isaac: Oh yes. Our bodies are created with mechanisms towards self-preservation. It often has something to communicate all is needed is to be in tune to it. Whenever we respond to a traumatic situation, the body generates its defense mechanisms and a lot of energy is generated in this response and afterwards the residues of this energy are stored in the body. This energy needs to be discharged because it is useless in the body. It is very important to know that trauma is physiological and our bodies have the ability to deal with it. This I witnessed in the trembling.
  
Yago: Thanks Isaac for your wonderful work and commitment on those courses.

Isaac: Thanks to you Isaac. You have indeed contributed much.  


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Le secret des arbres


                       


Ils communiquent, s'entraident, se défendent, ils bougent même ! Les arbres sont dotés d'une véritable forme d'intelligence. Et c’est désormais une certitude scientifique. Les arbres occupent près d'un tiers de notre territoire et des terres émergées de la planète. Indispensables à notre survie, ils sont aussi nos meilleurs alliés face au réchauffement climatique. Pourtant, nous ignorons presque tout d’eux. Loin d’être figés dans leur monde végétal, les arbres ont en fait une vie bien plus riche qu’il n’y paraît. C'est la thèse défendue par un forestier allemand dont le livre, La Vie secrète des arbres (éd. Les Arènes) est devenu un succès planétaire, traduit en 32 langues. Des forêts de hêtres millénaires d’Allemagne jusqu’aux centres de thérapie forestière du Japon, en passant par les laboratoires de l’INRA qui étudient la sensibilité végétale, voyage au cœur de l’univers secret et fascinant des arbres.

Un reportage de Raphaële Schapira et Vincent Barral diffusé dans "Envoyé spécial" le 26 octobre.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Entretien avec Boris Cyrulnik autour de la résilience dans l’art (extrait)

«LA REPRESENTATION PERMET DE METAMORPHOSER EN PRODUCTION ARTISTIQUE UNE BLESSURE QUI A ETE REELLE.»

Il est l’un des plus grands psychiatres de ces dernières décennies. À partir de sa propre histoire, celle d’un enfant juif orphelin témoin de la déportation de ses parents pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, Boris Cyrulnik a approfondi et vulgarisé le concept de résilience (renaître de sa souffrance). L’art, à travers la construction d’un récit mettant à distance le réel, est selon lui l’une des voies essentielles de la (re)construction de soi.

Entretien réalisé en avril 2015 par Éric Fourreau. Illustration : Vangug.

NECTART : Votre nom est désormais associé à la notion de « résilience ». Vous arrive-t-il d’extraire cette notion du champ de la psychologie et de la psychiatrie pour l’appliquer à d’autres domaines, comme par exemple celui de l’art et de la culture ?

BORIS CYRULNIK : La résilience est une métaphore mécanique, très fréquente en psychologie : la feuille blanche, la cire vierge, la bile noire ou, pour remonter à Freud qui en a lui-même produit de nombreuses, la thermodynamique, le quantum d’énergie, la sublimation... La résilience part d’une métaphore, mais il existe aussi une définition métallurgique, selon laquelle la barre de fer qui a reçu un coup garde une trace, qui est différente si la barre est située dans l’eau ou dans l’air. Or, si une barre de fer subit la pression du milieu, que dire du monde intime de la psychologie quand on sait à quel point le cerveau est sculpté par le milieu dans lequel il évolue ? Cette définition de la résilience qui la place dans une dynamique évolutive explique les causes de la trace du coup mais ne doit pas négliger que nous avons, nous les humains, la liberté de remanier non pas le coup en lui-même mais sa représentation, l’idée que notre cerveau se fait du coup qu’on a reçu. Et le mot « représentation », je le propose au sens théâtral du terme. La personne qui produit un récit intime de ce qui lui est arrivé livre une représentation d’images et de mots. Quand ce récit est partagé avec quelqu’un, quand il est adressé à quelqu’un, il est structuré en fonction de la personne à qui on l’adresse pour en faire une pièce de théâtre, un roman, un film, un essai psychologique ou philosophique. Cette représentation d’images et de mots aide à exprimer le coup reçu dans le réel physique (une blessure physique, un accident), le réel psychologique (une agression sexuelle) ou le réel social (un génocide, une guerre, une précarité sociale). Mais certaines personnes ne remanient jamais la représentation du coup et restent prisonnières du passé. C’est ce qu’on appelle les syndromes psychotraumatiques. Elles ruminent sans cesse le malheur qui leur est arrivé, y pensent à longueur de temps dans la journée, et ça leur revient la nuit sous forme de cauchemar. Alors que ceux qui tentent et parviennent à remanier la représentation du coup par l’écriture, une mise en scène, un jeu théâtral, une élaboration psychologique, philosophique ou politique, s’entraînent à appréhender ce qui leur est arrivé d’une autre manière, se constituent un espace de liberté et mettent à distance le réel. La représentation permet de métamorphoser en production artistique une blessure qui a été réelle.

Ce mode de récit ou de représentation ne procède-t-il pas en fait d’un processus de création ?

À ceci près que ce n’est pas une création coupée du réel, mais alimentée par le réel. C’est pour cela que je vous propose le mot de « remaniement ».


Vous avez l’habitude de rappeler les fonctions du théâtre grec, celles d’interroger les questions existentielles que la représentation se chargerait de mettre à distance de l’affect des spectateurs. Le théâtre répondrait donc à la nécessité de mettre à distance sa propre histoire ?


Oui, dès qu’on travaille une représentation, nous procédons à une mise à distance. Mais les syndromes psychotraumatiques ne mettent pas à distance. C’est toujours la même image, la même horreur qui s’imposent à ceux qui ont subi le traumatisme. Leur mémoire est fixe, elle n’évolue pas, au contraire de la mémoire saine qui est forcément évolutive par le simple fait de vivre, de travailler, d’aimer... C’est pourquoi il est nécessaire de retravailler la représentation de ce malheur en en faisant un récit, une image. Une image peut être sémantisée. Le Radeau de la Méduse est un récit mis en image. Les métaphores sont des images sémantisées. Guernica, autre image sémantisée, est un récit qui a été mis en style par Picasso. L’autobiographie, même si on cherche à ne pas mentir, est un remaniement de la représentation de sa propre histoire. De même qu’un essai psychologique, philosophique et même scientifique.

Selon vous, ça peut donc prendre indifféremment toutes les formes artistiques, l’écriture, la conception d’images, la composition musicale...


Chacun s’exprime dans ce qu’il sait faire et dans ce que son contexte culturel lui permet de faire. Pendant la guerre de 14-18, un médecin militaire avait eu l’idée de demander aux soldats d’écrire la façon dont ils voyaient les choses évoluer et d’adresser une lettre imaginaire à quelqu’un. Cela s’est exprimé de différentes manières, une lettre, une réflexion, une fiction. Mais nous avons constaté que ceux qui avaient écrit avaient vu une population avec moins de troubles psychiques que ceux qui n’avaient pas écrit, parce que le simple fait d’écrire, la veille du combat, avait déjà provoqué un début de remaniement de l’horreur qui allait se passer.


Le mode d’expression n’importe pas. Aujourd’hui, le théâtre est souvent utilisé, par exemple, pour des expériences dans des quartiers sensibles, où des pièces de théâtre sont montées avec des artistes, à l’aide d’éducateurs, parfois alimentées par les événements survenus dans le quartier. Ce travail artistique permet le plus souvent aux enfants et aux jeunes d’apprendre à se dé-soumettre, à se libérer des stéréotypes auxquels ils sont soumis. (...)


Après la tragédie des actes terroristes en janvier dernier, vous avez dit la nécessité d’une action artistique et culturelle avec les jeunes populations tentées par ces actes. Quel poids peut avoir cette action face aux stratégies d’endoctrinement extrêmement efficaces ?

Les jeunes qui se laissent endoctriner sont parfois issus de familles structurées, de bons élèves, ce qu’on appelle les « bien partis » dans l’existence. À la stupéfaction de tous, on les retrouve djihadistes, candidats au martyre, prêts à mourir pour une cause dont ils ignorent tout. N’oublions pas en effet que les jeunes s’engagent d’abord et ne reçoivent qu’ensuite une formation au Coran. Le phénomène est comparable à ce qu’a connu l’Allemagne dans les années d’après la Première Guerre mondiale, où l’humiliation ressentie après le traité de Versailles et le marasme économique dû aux fortes indemnités versées à la France et à l’Angleterre ont empêché les Allemands de se reconstruire une culture et un pays avec ses écoles, ses théâtres et ses infrastructures. Quand le chaos social, économique et culturel touche un pays, je l’ai encore vu récemment au Congo, toutes les sectes se précipitent pour faire leur marché. Dans l’Allemagne des années 1920, les sectes ont profité de la destruction du pays et deux groupes ont pris le pouvoir, les Pionniers communistes et les Jeunesses hitlériennes. De nombreuses personnes ayant appartenu aux Jeunesses hitlériennes ont témoigné du bonheur qu’elles avaient éprouvé à en faire partie parce qu’elles profitaient d’une structure, d’un cadre, elles pouvaient danser, chanter. On leur disait qu’elles allaient militer pour mille ans de bonheur, que les filles étaient belles comme des déesses  grecques, on apprenait le combat aux petits garçons, on leur donnait des fusils en bois. C’était pour eux un enchantement constant. De la même façon, d’autres jeunes s’engageaient chez les Pionniers communistes pour l’utopie généreuse que ce mouvement véhiculait. Ces gamins, ces adolescents, ne connaissaient ni la théorie communiste ni la théorie nazie, et pouvaient d’ailleurs passer d’un camp à l’autre. Ils trouvaient un cadre affectif et ludique qui leur permettait de donner sens à leur vie, d’avoir une représentation théâtrale de la guerre. Le nazisme a été une doctrine incroyablement misogyne, méprisante envers les femmes. Cela n’a pas empêché un grand nombre d’entre elles de voter ou de militer pour le nazisme. Aujourd’hui, les djihadistes ne connaissent pas plus le Coran mais ils éprouvent tout autant le besoin d’engagement. Or, l’on sait que l’engagement sexuel et social est la caractéristique de l’adolescence. Si la société ne propose rien de cet ordre-là, les sectes, elles, ne s’en privent pas. Pour lutter contre ces intégrismes, la démocratie n’a pas d’autres moyens que d’éclairer la vision de ces jeunes, de leur faire lire des livres, de leur faire connaître toutes les religions, de leur montrer ou de leur faire faire du théâtre ou du cinéma. Je pense par exemple à cette petite merveille de film qu’est Timbuktu. Il pose de manière pudique la question de l’infiltration insidieuse d’un langage totalitaire. Le djihadisme n’est pas le nazisme mais c’est aussi un totalitarisme, avec son langage totalitaire. (...)

Entretien réalisé par Éric Fourreau en avril 2015
(remerciements à Élise Griot pour la transcription). 

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Including Everything (Richard Rohr)


The True Self is always humble. It knows that we didn’t do it right and that it isn’t even about doing it right; it's just about doing it. Our True Self knows that everything belongs. That means holding together the good and the bad, the dark and the light, the sinner and the saint—which are two parts of me and two parts of everything. It is our participation in divinity which allows us to be this large.
Only God, it seems, is spacious enough to include everything. Humans need to expel, exclude, deny, and avoid. We just can't hold very much by our private selves. Only God in me, only me in God, can hold the contraries. Forgiveness could almost be God’s very name and identity.
Our first forgiveness is not toward a particular sin or offense. Our first forgiveness, it seems to me, is toward reality itself: to forgive it for being so broken, a mixture of good and bad. First that paradox has to be overcome inside of us. Then, when we allow God to hold together the opposites within us, it becomes possible to do it over there in our neighbor and even our enemy. Finally, our worldview and politics change. We can no longer project our evil onto another country, religion, minority group, race, or political party.
Only the false self easily takes offense. The false self can't live a self-generated life of immediate contact with God. It defines itself by the past, which is to live in un-forgiveness. Forgiveness is the only way to free ourselves from the entrapment of the past. We're in need not only of individual forgiveness; we need it on a national, global, and cosmic scale. Old hurts linger long in our memories and are hard to let go. We must each learn how to define ourselves by the present moment—which is all we really have. I will not define myself by what went wrong yesterday when I can draw upon Life and Love right now. Life and Love are what’s real. This Infinite Love is both in us and yet it is more than us.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Witnessing Conflict Transformation in Religious Formation

Wilbrod Wamboza was born on 1st December 1990. He is a Mugishu by tribe which is found in Mbale district in the Eastern part of Uganda. He has managed to finish senior 4, senior 6, a certificate in photography and video editing and lastly he is in his 3rd year of philosophy studying for a degree in philosophy at Philosophy Centre Jinja (PCJ) which is a branch of the Uganda Martyrs University Nkozi (UMU). He is in the order of the Ministers of the Infirm commonly known as the Camillians discerning his call to priesthood. He followed last year the course: Conflict Transformation, and Power, Identity and Trauma. In this interview he shares the   relevance of both courses in his religious formation.





Question: Could you share with us the relevance of the course Conflict Transformation in the context of religious and missionary formation?

Wilbrod: I will first define a conflict as a disagreement between interdependent people. With this course, one will come to know that life is all about conflicts and without them, then that particular person would be masking. To the religious context, personally, I learnt to transform the conflicts I have with my brothers in the community because there is no any community without a conflict. In relation to formation for missionary activity, the issue of how to deal with conflicts is paramount. As a missionary, one is often put into cultural situations much different to that of one's own background and thus the potential for inadvertent conflict is great. Therefore, a good missionary must count the charism of conflict transformation and reconciliation as a fundamental aspect of his/her vocation.

Question: You were also engaged in another course where we deepened on key areas of Conflict Transformation such as Power, Trauma and Identity, could you share with us how relevant are these three areas in the context of religious formation (explain one by one)?

Wilbrod: I will first of all define power according to Don Freeman (Lancaster Theological Seminary), who suggests power as the ability to get things done or to influence outcomes. According to Freeman, power is the ability to affect and be affected by the feelings, attitudes, beliefs, opinions and behaviour of others. Jesus has much to teach us regarding power relations, like in the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians 4:13 says; I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. With that verse, Paul means that Christ is our leader and has power of which we also shar and then pass it to the neighbours to improve our relations. 

For me, the relevance to power in religious formation stands out with great clarity. A central component of any religious formation program is personal development. To develop the well rounded and compassionate persona required of a religious priest or brother, one must be highly cognisant of how they use any power at their disposal.

Personally, I have been inspired by my formation program to always seek out the opinions of people in peripheral or powerless situations, for example, a patient or their family member. All too often a patient’s personality and spirituality can be treated in a passive or even neglectful manner by medical professionals in pursuit of a successful clinical outcome. In my experience, the smallest gesture towards the humanity of the patient, for example, making time for conversation, can reap massive rewards in terms of the patient’s feeling of empowerment. Our founder St. Camillus taught his earliest confreres that if they wanted to know how to treat the sick then they should ask the sick.

Trauma: As I am in formation for the Order of St. Camillus, the theme of trauma is of particular relevance. The Camillian Charism is one of practical and intelligent care for people who are experiencing medical traumas. Of course, patients who present themselves for medical treatment do not only suffer from physical wounds. My formation program has alerted me to the ever present need for awareness of any psychological or spiritual traumas that a patient may have suffered over the course of their life. 

Identity: The concept of identity is a foremost principle in religious formation. A person’s identity radiates into their thoughts, words and actions. Conversely, how we think, live and interact with others, shapes our identity profoundly. Constructing the identity of the religious brother or priest, which we ultimately hope to embody, is a long term project. Like all great feats of engineering, building a strong and purposeful religious identity requires a stable foundation. 

Since first becoming a candidate for the Order of St. Camillus, I have laid down the building blocks of personal prayer, celebration of the sacraments and regular good works. Of course, I have benefited greatly in these efforts from the input of my formators and my fellow confreres. Therefore, highlighting one of the most important foundation stones of identity; community life. By its nature, community life causes a candidate to encounter a variety of vastly disparate identities. Thus, holding a mirror up to our own identity. He who can relate well to those in his religious community during formation, by accommodating other identities, can be confident that the building blocks of a solid Christian identity are already firmly in place in himself.

Question: Could you share with us how these two courses have contributed to a better awareness of yourself?

Wilbrod: As a future religious I feel I have really benefited so much from these two courses. For trauma, power and identity, they have helped me to know how best to deal with people who have suffered trauma, because before doing trauma whenever I met people affected by trauma I could think they were pretending but after deep analysis of these course I am able to understand, tolerate and accept them the way they are. I also discovered that I had unhealed trauma during a special session of the trauma releasing exercises which at last I discovered and I became so light.

As for conflict transformation, it has helped me to learn how to transform the conflicts in the community. It has helped me to always look beyond the mere conflict as in to search the root cause of the conflict before transforming it. Also not to forget that conflict is part of life and life brings us conflict. Conflicts are opportunities which helps one to be creative to search for means of transforming. I have also come to realise that it is profound to envision and respond to whatever conflict comes along my way.

Question: How meaningful are these courses for a better understanding of community life in our religious context?

Wilbrod: For a community to live harmoniously, it should not take these courses for granted. They provide a candidate with the best understanding of him/herself. In religious life, one should be open. Such courses help the candidates to reflect on their lives and also they teach us to respect the dignity of each human being. 

Question: You are a candidate of the Camilian congregation. How relevant has these courses been towards a deeper understanding of the CAMILLIAN charism? 

Wilbrod: Much has been already written in the above answers but still I can share with you another point. These courses in a special way helped me to understand the Charism of the Camillians which is; to take care of the sick. This helped me to understand that sickness is not only physical but also psychological. It has taught me to counsel well the sick I find in my ministry and also to understand that trauma can be healed. And that we can all become wounded healers. 

Question: You have been introduced and gone through the experience of Trauma Releasing Exercises. How would you evaluate the experience?

Wilbrod during the TRE
Wilbrod: The process is really wonderful. Such exercises should be encouraged in the different communities because they help one to relax his muscles and mind. As I was doing the exercise, I allowed my muscles to be free, this gave chance to start trembling. The part which trembled much was my right leg, I really did not know why but later on, when processing the exercise, I recalled an injury I got in form three when playing football. I was advised never to play football again because the cap of the knee had a crack. Since that time, I used to feel this right leg being heavier than the left one. During the trauma releasing exercise, this knee released all the energy which was stocked for over 10 years. I felt much relieved and so light in my right leg. This is why I always do the Trauma Releasing Exercises whenever I feel my muscles are paining. Now they have kept me fit up to now. 

Question: Did the trauma releasing exercises contribute to a new awareness of the wisdom of your body? How?

Wilbrod: I came to know that most times I do not give  chance to my body to relax, that is why I could feel heavy most times. Doing the exercises has helped me to become light and flexible. I give thanks for the practicality of both courses.