How to live?

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How to live with pedophilic feelings in your inner self?
Or in the other people's?
How might society live with them?

Styles of living 
Parents and care-givers 
Society 
The four principles 
You are a part of society 

Styles of living

How to live with a strong longing for speed in your inner self?
Go and ride, but respect the rules and don't cause accidents. Search to why you have this strong desire.

How to live with a strong longing for more and more possession?
Buy and gather, but respect society's rules and do not steal from others. Search for what you really are longing for. 

How to live with a strong longing for sweet food
Eat, but keep within bounds. ask yourself what you really are longing for or lacking.

How to live with a strong longing for tension haunting in your mind?
Look to films and matches, become a fireman, policeman or soldier, but don't hurt innocent people, rather help them. Search for the sources of this strong desire.

How to live with strong heterosexual longings haunting through your body and heart? 
Find a partner or partners and start a relationship. care for the other and  don't do harm.

 

The answer to the question how to live with pedophilic feelings is not different. 
Go about with children if you like that, but respect society's rules, don't cause harm and avoid risks. In practice this means: avoid sexual contacts.

A crucial point is not to deny these feelings, not to suppress them, not to project them into others, instead to acknowledge them. Have an eye for them, talk about them, try to accept them as a part of yourself. It appeared to be impossible to make vanish these feelings, once they are conscious. Try to find out the roots, the meaning, the background, and how to live with them.


Within our culture, problems are often seen as tricky and undesirable. However, I have come to the insight that they bring to light the most valuable characteristics of ourselves, as long as we really dare to have an eye for them.

Ton v.d. Kroon, 1996, p.152
.

In other words, take a honest look to the mirror. Try to discover your shadow. I don't say that that shadow is, by definition, the pedophilic desire. Initially, the shadow is unconscious, while you are already conscious of these feelings. The point is to discover what is hiding under these tricky feelings, maybe other feelings you are projecting. One never knows.


The shadow must, one way or another, one moment or another, on one place or another, get its legitimate expression.
By having an eye for it, we are able to chose when, hoe and where we give room to its wish to express itself in a constructive context.
[...]
As long as we 'correctly' look to the other side, we don't have that possibility. Then the shadow, left alone with itself, will go on the run with us in a destructive and dangerous way.
In that case, it only happens to us. It will be embarrassing because we don't know what is going on, and so we are not able to do anything to soften the effects.
[...]
According to Jung, the shadow contains for 90% pure gold. What has been suppressed, has a lot of energy in it with a great positive potential. The shadow, tricky as it may be, is not intrinsically bad.
[...]
Owning yourself your shadow is in the long term not so destructing as denying it.

Zweig & Abrams 1996, pp 51, 55 & 56.
.

 

OK, but how?

I may refer to the 21 styles of living who are in seven languages at the JON web site. Have a look to it and especially chose style number 21.

One of the possible choices is caring for children, a kind of task well known to me. In this field are a lot of people who love and sense for children. You like to give them warmth and intimacy? They ask for it!

Newspaper strip: The judge
"Another youth gang..." "This makes my job so nice..." "... often working with children."

In 1983, I have written the next text and I have repeated it later again in a lecture:

So the point is:

Not to be afraid to give warmth physically as a child care worker; not to give way to the fear of "what people might think of me".

To create and to preserve within the residential group such a climate, that there is room for personal and physical warmth between people intimately, but not in a "naughty" atmosphere.

To create within the team such a climate that as a house parent you can talk about all the feelings of tenderness or love also the feelings you have about your work, the irritations, being crazy about something. Bronfenbrenner wrote "Every child needs at least one person who is crazy about him or her". (Cited by Maier in The core of care, 1979)

If all this is going to work, it must depended on the way of thought of house parents, staff members and supervisors. And on their willingness to pay genuine attention to the experiences of the house parents, and to deal with them in such a way that the house parents can fully realize their feelings.

 

All this is extremely difficult: our culture, our education, certain theories about child and education, and our language seem to obstruct us. We are swimming against the current. For the children who need our warmth so much, we will perhaps be strong nad courageous enough to swim against that current; cautiously, but vigorously.

(Gieles, Frans,  Warmth and intimacy, how about them? Published and reprinted since 1983 in Dutch magazine and book.)

Parents and care-givers 

What always strikes me in news items, is that the beloved child always is busy with a lot of things, but that its parents often have not any notion of what she or he is busy with. The last time that me stroke this was at reading the news item about the boy who flew against a building with an air plane. His parents had not any idea about the activities of their son.

 

< Conflict & Contact,
< p. 71

p. 73 ↓

"Go to school! That's all!"

"That #$@!& teacher has  !*&^$# on me!"

The crucial point is to make and maintain contact with the inner world of the children, including their shadow side, i.e. the awful and undesirable side, the questions, fears and shame. Try to acknowledge, to recognize and to accept the child's feelings. Then, the child will less be intended to hide things. The child will less be in need of a Vitalis because it is not alone. Crying babies need this kind of contact, up to far in adolescence.

 

If the child finds a Vitalis, and so has the chance for a supplying contact figure, with a good contact with your child you may trust its discernment. If the child has doubts, it will tell them to you, as long there is a good contact.

Society 

Society can make rules in communication with concerned people, just as this happens [in the Netherlands] with truck drivers and farmers. Rules that do not destroy traffic by way or farms, rules with the lowest chance for accidents and enough chances for the well-being of humans and animals.

With pedophilic desires and relationships, it may be the same. [The Dutch authors] Roelofs, Van Ree and Palmen have recently made proposals for this. These proposals, four principles and a "P.S.", are, among others, made by me in groups of NVSH and others. I mention them in full in the background article of my lecture in Paris and Sweden. Here, I give them in short 

[I may also refer to my most recent article about this subject: Gieles, Frans, Ethics and human rights in intergenerational relationships ; ‘First, do no harm’]

The four principles

1. Self-determination:
Children must always have it in his or her own power to regulate their own sexuality, their relationships with others and their own lives.

2. Initiative:
Even in a later stage of the relationship, it is always the children who make the choice to have sex.

3. Freedom:
At any moment within the relationship with an adult, children must have the freedom to withdraw from the relationship. (Dependency in sexual relationships limits their freedom). Love and dedication must be unconditional. Sex is never allowed to be a bargaining tool.

4. Openness:
The child should not have to carry unreasonable secrets. One has to take into consideration how the child lives with its own sexuality. This openness depends a great deal on the quality of the relationship, and the support from the adult(s).

P.S. 
The local mores and customs also play a role, as openness about children's sex lives is not always appreciated. Children often have to be sexual in secret. Homosexuality is for many youngsters a big taboo. This can bring many problems and insecurity. If the sub-culture in which they live is relaxed and strong enough, then children can find support in that environment.

 

I notice that as an adult one can realize the first three principles, Self-determination, Initiative and Freedom. However, I have to come to the conclusion that the fourth principle of Openness can as the result of the present moral pressures not be realized any longer.

You are a part of society

There must change something: the scapegoating must stop. This process is going on in full nowadays. We have discussed this as the demonizing process. We have seen to which absurdities is has lead in other countries. Here, [in the Netherlands], we might still be able to stop this process.

It might be good to start more objective research. Research on this subject has set its teeth into models which do no longer ask open questions, and which reduce the human being to a deterministically pinned down behavioral machine, who must be forced to reach other thoughts and behavior.

Not every reader may be a minister or a researcher, but everyone is part of society. Each might her- or himself stop to point to scapegoats and to discriminate them. Each might be open of ones own inner self, the inner world of our children and the inner self of fellow adults. By doing so, you will know 'what has got into these people'.

Most important is to find out what has got into yourself. This holds for both concerned parties. Have an eye to what you blame the other for and then take a honest look to the mirror to find out what you really might project into the other.

At any rate, I have given openness by telling what has got into me. At least this I could do, so I have done it. It might lead to understanding and, in the case of controversy, to respectful response in the quality of reasonable arguments.

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