The journalist, psychologist and writer Irene Villa has participated this Friday as a lecturer in a networking meeting organized by the Marbella Entrepreneurs Network (REM), where he has given the conference ‘Los eightomiles de mi vida’, the title of his latest book, with which he teaches face the challenges that arise in life after being the victim of a terrorist attack by the ETA gang at the age of 12.
– What is the main challenge you have faced in your life?
–In this last book I tell ‘different eight thousand’ that I have faced as the loss of my best friend or my fourth baby when I was in the first trimester of pregnancy. Also my divorce, things that I have had to face and transform myself, because in the end the person who has to be transformed is oneself with the different unexpected abrupt changes. You have to change, grow and face what comes. In this book I tell many positive psychology tools and things that have helped me. It is a practical book because we all have to go through those ‘eight thousand’ sooner or later and do it in the most constructive, beneficial and productive way for ourselves, it is the smartest thing to do.
–What tools do human beings have to overcome adversity?
–In the book I talk about many tools and it is difficult to condense it because in the end it is a tool book for Covid-19, for a bacterium in the operating room, a health problem or the loss of someone you love the mostIn sports, self-discipline, effort … In the end, they are human strengths that are what make us overcome anything and are what make the human being resilient and emerge gracefully from the most adverse situations transforming and emerging empowered. I really like this word and here we are with women entrepreneurs from Marbella, I think female empowerment has done us a lot of good and that is also what this book is about.e empower ourselves to give ourselves the confidence that we can handle anything.
–You suffered an attack as a child, what memories do you have of the recovery process and what have you learned?
-That has been decisive in my life, although it has not marked my destiny because I have never felt a victim, yes it has empowered me. When you learn to forgive and live in gratitude, I believe that there is nothing that comes your way. Having this so clear since I was 12 years old, as it happened to me and that process that was so hard, life was telling me: Here you have come to grow, to learn! Nobody is going to give you anything, they may even trip you up, but learning that for me is much more important and enriching than giving children everything they ask for because then we make them completely frustrated, intolerant, almost narcissistic and dictators. So hopefully Let’s all go through that tunnel of pain, that in the end what it gives you is humility and gratitude.
–The psychological and social consequences of the pandemic are discussed. How should society deal with this ‘starting over’?
–Beginner’s mind, mind to learn, to erase what does not serve us, unlearning many times also what limits us, fears, that is what has given me the most pain of this whole pandemic. Of course, the losses are the most terrible thing, human life, and that does not recover, but it has given me a pity how sometimes even the media have fostered that fear. It is a fear that is not healthy, that does not help, I remember a year ago that we were afraid of the eyes, and that I think is more harmful than a virus.
– Given this scenario of political tension that Spain is currently experiencing, what message would you send to politicians?
-As my life is very on the fringes of politics, I would love to common sense, human rights, freedom, democracy and consensus. For me it would be idyllic that everyone rowed in the same direction, that would be the most wonderful thing.
– What is the formula against hatred?
-The antidote to fear and hatred is love, who can and does everything.