Jesus: Master of Love and Master Psychologist
A Brazilian psychiatrist explains how Jesus' teachings help people break free of destructive and love-killing patterns.
Jesus told parables that made people face their pride and rigidity by stimulating their spirit to break out of their intellectual prison. Not intellectual in the sense of what they knew academically, but intellectual in the way their mind processed thoughts and described their world. Jesus responded to their questions with more questions. Whenever he did give a response, he would always expand the person's horizon of thought. He was truly a great educator.
The people who actually walked with Jesus were constantly having their worldviews shattered. His mannerisms and behavior surprised even his disciples who, little by little, ended up refining their old behaviors. When we surprise people, we want to light a fire in their hearts, not stonewall them with negative emotions.
I'm reminded of a patient I once had who was entirely capable professionally and intellectually, but was stressed out and had serious problems with one of his daughters. They lived in perpetual argument. I told him that if he wanted to change the nature of his relationship with his daughter, he would have to rewrite the painful images that both of them have constructed about each other in their unconscious memories. The struggle would be to re-edit this emotional message in the psyche, even though it would be impossible to simply delete it as you would with an old word-processing file on your laptop. Moreover, for his daughter to re-edit the negative thoughts she had of her father, he would have to surprise her with unsuspected gestures.
One day, he asked his daughter if she could buy a bouquet of flowers for the wife of a friend who was having a birthday. As usual, she refused, saying she was too busy for him. Normally, this rejection would ignite a bomb called a memory trigger; it would open a window in his mind that contained hurtful, negative images of his daughter. So he would react on autopilot in response to those negative memories. He'd remind her that it is because of him that she has a roof over her head, goes to college for free, and has gas in her car. He'd shout that she does not even remotely respect him as a father. They'd leave the room, angry once more.
Instead, he did something different because he was learning how to administer his thoughts and manage his emotions. He remained silent and went to the florist by himself, buying a single rose to bring home for his girl.