Tag Archives: kindness

Thoughtful Thursday #250 – Ghost Stories of the Past

Standard

I like ghost stories on TV and in books. They are kind of scary and kind of silly.

I don’t like flashbacks of shadowy ghost stories and past violations and the need to look over my shoulder.

Even those days are long gone there is a part of me that still holds those ghost stories, They are actually the traumatized part of me that have not been updated to the present safe moments.

In trauma there are many subtle, under my consciousness beliefs that manage to slip into my daily behavior. Even though I am quite aware of this behavior I don’t always see these trauma beliefs being acted out until it’s too late.

To get past my personal ghost stories I write a lot to get those hidden ghost stories out into the open. From there I can examine the belief and set the past free and update my beliefs to a more modern and current conclusion.

Afterwards I feel refreshed, grounded and content.

 

 

Thoughtful Thursday – #244 – Stream of Consciousness Writing

Standard

I usually write with stream of consciousness because it’s easy and therapeutic. Here’s an article about several writers who use this method very effectively. From Quiklit.com.

10 WRITERS WHO USE STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS BETTER THAN ANYBODY ELSE

By May Huang

A narrative technique that has perplexed and fascinated readers for centuries, the stream of consciousness technique has been used by many writers to trace the seamless (and oft erratic) musings of characters such as Mrs. Dalloway and Stephen Dedalus. Below are 10 writers whose works – ranked amongst the finest in English literature – feature the stream of consciousness technique.

Okay, but what is Stream of Consciousness?

Stream of Consciousness is a type of writing that originated with the works of psychologist William James (Brother of Novelist Emeritus Henry James). Basically, its purpose is to emulate the passage of thought through your mind without any inhibitors. For that reason, sentences become longer, less organized and more sporadic in style. Its lack of structure is not for everybody, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any order. Stream of consciousness permits deeper patterns of order to emerge, ones based on the genuine movement of information in your brain. It also permits writers to simulate different forms of consciousness, such as dreams, comas, drug use and hallucinatory seances.

  1. Dorothy Richardson

Considered the pioneer of the stream-of-consciousness technique, 20th century British author Dorothy Richardson was the first author to publish a full length stream-of-consciousness novel: Pointed Roofs. In fact, it was in reviewing Pointed Roofs that British author May Sinclaire first coined the term ‘stream-of-consciousness’ in April 1918.

On one side was the little grey river, on the other long wet grass repelling and depressing. Not far ahead was the roadway which led, she supposed to the farm where they were to drink new milk. She would have to walk with someone when they came to the road, and talk. She wondered whether this early morning walk would come, now, every day. Her heart sank at the thought.” from Pointed Roofs

  1. William Faulkner

Recipient of both the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, American author William Faulkner used the stream of consciousness technique to great effect in The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying, exploring the depths of different characters’ inner conflict through disjointed, unpunctuated narrative. In one short paragraph, the reader is at once exposed to different smells, sounds and movement:

“Nonsense you look like a girl you are lots younger than Candace color in your cheeks like a girl A face reproachful tearful an odor of camphor and of tears a voice weeping steadily and softly beyond the twilit door the twilight-colored smell of honey suckle. Bringing empty trunks down the attic stairs they sounded like coffins […]” – from As I Lay Dying

  1. James Joyce

Dublin born writer James Joyce employed the stream-of-consciousness style in all of his novels, including Finnegans WakeA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and – of course – the 1000-page, 265,000-word long Ulysses. It is easy to get lost in any paragraph in the novel, as the protagonist Stephen Dedalus guides us quickly – and disjointedly – through his thoughts and surroundings. One moment he is asking himself, “Would you go back to then?” and the next he is on Grafton street, pondering whether to buy a pincushion while the “jingle of harnesses” sounds in his ears. Then, out of the blue, he answers himself and concludes that it would be “useless to go back.” Next thing you know, he’s moved on to Duke Street and we’re not quite sure how he – or we – got there.

  1. Virginia Woolf

 

Recognized as the most important feminist writer (and perhaps one of the most important writers in general) of all time, Virginia Woolf used the stream-of-consciousness technique to great significance in her work. Paying scrupulous attention to detail and describing even “the footman’s hand,” “parcels and umbrellas.” Woolf takes readers through different minds, perspectives and surroundings in Mrs. Dalloway. She makes us wonder who is speaking – and about what.

  1. Marcel Proust

French writer Marcel Proust also used the stream-of-consciousness style in his works, notably in the seven-volume long Remembrance of Things Past, in which even the simple childhood memory of eating a petite madeleine plunges one into the “vast structure of recollection.” Reading Proust, one is caught up in the taste and smell of the pastry, “the water-lilies on the Vivonne” and “Sunday mornings at Combray” – all of which are memories that converge in the narrator’s stream of consciousness.

  1. Jack Kerouac

American writer Jack Kerouac’s On the Road is now remembered as one of the defining novels of the Beat Generation – as well as a modern example of stream-of-consciousness writing. Originally written over a course of 3 weeks on one scroll of paper (deemed the ‘original scroll’),On the Road is based on Kerouac’s road trip across America, a journey at times vividly recounted in continuous stream-of-consciousness prose, fusing both description of land and memory:

The brown hills led off towards Nevada; to the South was my legendary Hollywood; to the North the mysterious Shasta country. Down below was everything: the barracks where we stole our tiny box of condiments, where Dostioffski’s tiny face had glared at us […]” from On the Road

  1. José Saramago

Portuguese Nobel Prize Laureate Jose Saramago, like Woolf, also liked to alternative between narratives and use stream-of-consciousness in his writing. In Blindness, Saramago uses long sentences and eschews quotation marks to enhance the seamlessness of his prose, allowing the stream-of-consciousness to run free of interruption:

The very air in the ward seemed to have become heavier, emitting strong lingering odours, with sudden wafts that were simply nauseating, What will this place be like within a week, he asked himself, and it horrified him to think that in a week’s time, they would still be confined here, Assuming there won’t be any problems with food supplies, and who can be sure there isn’t already a shortage, I doubt, for example, whether those outside have any idea from one minute to the next…” – from Blindness

  1. Samuel Backett

The second French writer on this list, Samuel Beckett used the stream of consciousness technique in his Three Novels (Molloy, Malone Dies and the Unnamable) to deliver a stream of observations and musings on time and existence. In fact, Molloy defies conventional grammar and tense rules in order to emphasize the continuity of the narrator’s non-stop train of thought:

What shall I do? What shall I do? now low, a murmur, now precise as the headwaiter’s And to follow? and often rising to a scream. And in the end, or almost, to be abroad alone, by unknown ways, in the gathering night, with a stick.” – from Molloy

  1. Fyodor Dostoevsky

Although Crime and Punishment is Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s best-known work, his 1864 novella Notes from Underground also sits amongst the classics of Russian literature. Throughout the novel, the ‘Underground Man’ expresses his continuous train of thought through long, comma-filled sentences (even in brackets).

If you take, for instance, the antithesis of the normal man, that is, the man of acute consciousness, who has come, of course, not out of the lap of nature but out of a retort (this is almost mysticism, gentlemen, but I suspect this, too), this retort-made man is sometimes so nonplussed in the presence of his antithesis that with all his exaggerated consciousness he genuinely thinks of himself as a mouse and not a man. It may be an acutely conscious mouse, yet it is a mouse, while the other is a man, and therefore, et caetera, et caetera.” – from Notes from Underground

  1. Toni Morrison

83 year old African American author Toni Morrison published several books on slavery, the most compelling of which is undoubtedly Beloved. The story of a ‘ghost baby’ who returns to her family in the form of a grown woman, Beloved is both a harrowing tale about the horrors of slavery as it is a testament to the unrelenting power of memory. Morrison uses stream of consciousness in one of the final chapters to reveal the intermingling of three characters’ thoughts:

Beloved

You are my sister

You are my daughter

You are my face; you are me

I have found you again; you have come back to me

You are my Beloved

You are mine

You are mine

You are mine

I have your milk

I have your smile

I will take care of you

You are my face; I am you. Why did you leave me

who am you?” – from Beloved

 

 

Thoughtful Thursday – #225 Forgiveness And Healing

Standard

Whether you have chosen through your intellect to forgive or had a spiritual experience and spontaneously forgiven there is one element still at play.

Healing……………….Just because you forgive does not mean you have healed from the injustice inflicted on you. Healing takes time.

Don’t forgive to speed up healing. It doesn’t work that way. Healing is on a different level, more on a physical level along with intellectual level. We hold the things that need forgiving in our body and mind. Healing is an ongoing process and perhaps so is forgiveness.

There is no right or wrong way to forgive or heal. It’s your journey to find what fits for you.

 

Thoughtful Thursday #217 – Bullying

Standard

No one wants to be bullied and as we know the objective is to oppress, torment, intimidate and browbeat someone into submission.

Bullying is easily recognized if we are observing it in real-time. But do we recognize bullying when we do it to ourselves? Probably not, here are some signals you are bullying yourself.

  1. your inner critic has a field day beating you up by noticing everything that you do wrong.
  2. your inner critic says unkind, mean things to you.
  3. some believe that the inner critic is a motivator to do better, this is completely false.
  4. anxiety, image issues, social anxiety can be the inner critic hounding you with negativity.
  5. watching TV shows that are violent and traumatize you with fear. (I binge watch crime shows.)

You can’t completely get rid of the inner critic however you can arrest its relentlessness and power with a these few tips.

  1. pay attention to your thoughts.
  2. don’t beat yourself up about these thoughts.
  3. notice what your triggers are.
  4. respond to yourself with kindness.
  5. speak to yourself with compassion.
  6. turn off your TV for a while and limit the shows that are violent. (I’m watching more happy programs.)
  7. redirect your thoughts and actions to something happy.

Being mindful, kind and compassionate to yourself is an important skill to learn and takes some time.

Instead, you want caring, reassuring, encouraging and supportive words and actions towards yourself.

You are so worth the time and effort.

Here’s the Reason People Grow Up Idealizing Their Childhood and Parents

Standard

An unexamined life is a gray life. You miss the explosions of insight and groundedness of maturity. Here is a wonderful article by Darius Cikanavicius of the Facebook page: Self Archaeology. He explains the realities of the survival skills children need to survive in precarious situations.

Why People Grow Up Idealizing Their Parents and Upbringing

“With nothing and no one to judge them against, we assume them to be perfect parents. As our world broadens beyond our crib, we develop a need to maintain this image of perfection as a defense against the great unknowns we increasingly encounter. As long as we believe our parents are perfect, we feel protected.”
— Susan Forward, Toxic Parents
Babies and small children are new to the world and their brains and minds are still developing. The biggest influence on a child’s development is their primary caregivers and their immediate environment. That’s where we get our understanding of concepts like love, care, empathy, trust, healthiness, goodness, worth, value, and so on.

Inherently, children believe and trust their caregivers. A child’s parents, other family members, teachers, and similar authority figures shape the child’s beliefs about the world and about themselves. This is how a child learns about self-worth and self-esteem, and about estimating others.The problem is that children have no objective ability to evaluate what they are taught.

As I write in my book Human Development and Trauma: How Childhood Shapes Us into Who We Are as Adults, “Children do not have a healthy frame of reference regarding their family environment and their treatment by their caregivers. Children have only experienced what they have experienced and have nothing to compare it to.” And so the smaller the children, the more likely they are to accept the teachings of their caregivers without questioning. This includes explicit teaching and implicit or non-verbal messages. Since children see their parents as all-knowing, all-powerful, and infallible, they also tend to blame themselves for how they are treated. Often they actually are blamed – and actively or passively punished – for disagreeing, being disobedient, or “acting badly.”

The truth behind this is children need their caregivers to survive. The child will die without their caregiver. Therefore, children are extremely sensitive to rejection and have no other choice but to ultimately be as their primary caregivers want them to be. So idealizing them is vital for their survival.

This dependency on a caregiver for survival follows people long into their adulthood. It manifests in different irrational beliefs, emotions, and behaviors. People grow up with a lot of accumulated pain and chronic psychological trauma. For the most part, even as adults most people remain psychologically dependent on their primary caregivers, unable to feel free and happy.

The beliefs people developed and internalized growing up haunt them throughout their lives. Most people idealize their parents even as adults because they have never truly examined their childhood and their early relationships and resolved the root issues, or at least not to the degree where they would feel safe and secure enough to let go of all their illusions and fantasies about an ever-loving parent.

It is extremely difficult to accept that perhaps how you were treated as a child was not normal even when you are a self-sufficient adult; it is impossible to accept when you’re a child. It is so hard because, for most people, it is unbearable to even contemplate risking their bond with their caregiver, no matter how toxic or downright abusive that dynamic may be.

Healing from all of it and growing is a long and complicated process. It often involves feeling emotional pain and discomfort. But it is necessary in order to finally set yourself free and live a happy and authentic life.


For more on these and other topics, check out the author’s books: Human Development and Trauma: How Childhood Shapes Us into Who We Are as Adults and Self-Work Starter Kit.

Darius Cikanavicius

Darius is the founder of Self-Archeology. He is a writer, educator, mental health advocate, and traveler. Darius has worked professionally with people from all over the world as a psychological consultant and a certified life coach. His main areas of expertise and interest are inner work, childhood trauma, social anxiety, self-esteem, self-care, perfectionism, emotional well-being, narcissism, belief systems, and relationships.

Darius is an author of two books: Human Development and Trauma: How Childhood Shapes Us into Who We Are as Adults and Self-Work Starter Kit.

For more information about Darius and his work, please visit selfarcheology.com. If you consider Darius for online consulting/coaching, you can find his contact information here or email him.

 

Resistance

Standard

Resistance is something I live with every day. It’s like a chronic illness. For me resistance keeps me from doing the things that I really want to do. The things I know are really good for me. I have created an inner barrier that sabotages my own efforts. Why does this happen?

There are many reasons all of us live with resistance here are a few.

Fear, maybe be don’t want to know the truth or are fearful of become uncomfortable with self-knowledge. Fear of the unknown, not realizing the need for a change, maintaining an old habit. Those are just a few reasons.

Resistance is part of the human condition. No one really likes change or makes changes quickly.

Rather, resistance to change can disappear in a very natural way.  Examining ourselves is a deep way will cause change to happen painlessly, automatically, organically. Uncovering, unblending, undoing what we have always done is the catalyst for positive, dramatic change in tiny steps.

Take the time to objectively look at your own beliefs and actions. Why are you believing those beliefs, why are you taking those actions. Are these beliefs learned somewhere along your life or are they your own? Are the actions you are taking in your comfort zone, why?

Ask these questions in a non judgmental way so your inner life trusts you to reveal the information you need.

Examining resistance is a life long self-care action. You are meant to progress not stand still.

Abandonment

Standard

Here’s a list of what abandonment is from Susan Anderson’s book “The Journey from Abandonment to Healing” Pages 5 and 6. Susan Anderson has a blog with tons of information on the serious subject of “Abandonment”.

What is abandonment?

A feeling

A feeling of isolation within a relationship

An intense feeling of devastation when a relationship ends.

A primal fear – the raw element that makes going through heartbreak, divorce, separation or bereavement cut so deep

An aloneness not by choice

An experience from childhood

A baby left on a doorstep

A divorce

A woman left by her husband of twenty years for another woman

A man being left by his fiancée for some “more successful”

A mother leaving her children

A father leaving his children

A friend feeling deserted by a friend

A child whose pet dies

A little girl grieving over the death of her mother

A little boy wanting his mommy to come pick him up from nursery school

A child who feels replaced by the birth of another sibling

A child feeling restless because of his parents emotional unavailability

A boy realizing that he is gay and anticipating the reaction of his parents

A teenager feeling that her heart is actually broken

A teenage boy afraid to approach the girl he loves

A woman who has raised now grown children feeling empty as if she has been deserted

A child stricken with a serious illness watching his friends play while he must use a wheelchair or remain in bed

A woman who has lost her job and with it her professional identity, financial security and status

A man who has been put out to pasture by his company as if he is obsolete

A dying woman who fears being abandoned by loved one as much as or more that she fears pain and death

Abandonment is all of this and more. It’s wound is at the heart of human experience.

*******************************************************************************************************************

You could add to the list but I think you get the message, the important thing here is to name what the feeling is.

Abandonment is so very painful, it is a feeling we have all experienced at one time or another. There is a PTSD component to abandonment which leaves it victims with shame, low self-esteem, and fear just to name a few of abandonment influences.

There is hope for survival and recovery, it will not be easy, you will have to do the important work of reaching deep within yourself and uncover the pain that is just below the surface of your awareness. Most of the time this work is not done alone. Counseling, or writing or exercising, read books on the subject, mindfulness and finding some way of getting to  the trauma that abandonment left behind.

You have to help yourself just enough to lift you. You are worth the effort. Don’t give up.

Symptoms of Depression

Standard

To be clinically depressed one would have at least two symptoms almost every day for at least two weeks.

Very sad mood.

Loss of joy and interest in activities that used to be enjoyable.

Lack of energy and tiredness.

Feeling worthless and guilty for no good reason.

Wishing to be dead and thinking about it often.

Can’t concentrate and making decisions.

Unsettled and restless, sometimes too slow sometimes agitated.

Sleep difficulties.

Changes in eating habits.

This list is not all-inclusive and not everyone will exhibit all of these symptoms. Symptoms of depression affection emotion, thoughts, behavior and physical well-being.

The causes of depression are varied. A break up or living in conflict, poverty, unemployment, disability, victimization, victim of a crime, long-term illness, death of an important person, side effects of certain medication, stress of having another mental disorder like schizophrenia, withdrawal from substances, hormonal, there is also bipolar disorder depression, depression following childbirth, seasonal depression.

It is ideal to have early intervention but that is not always possible.

If you are suffering with any of these issues reach out to mental health care providers and if you are involved with someone who needs help remember the Mental Health First Aid Action Plan: ALGEE – Assess the risk of suicide or harm. L – Listen non judgmental. G-Give reassurance and information E-Encourage professional help. E-Encourage self-help and support strategies.

And of course if the situation is dangerous call 911.

Helpful Resources:

http://www.depression-screening.org

http://www.moodgym.anu.edu.au

American Psychiatric Association Answer Center _ 1-888-357-7924

Thoughtful Thursday #206 – Futility

Standard

Futility=Pointlessness and uselessness.

We can recognize futility by an emptiness, hollowness, inside your body. Maybe an action seems meaningless. Sometimes on certain days we may even feel ineffective and worthless.

Wow, that really sounds painful. That is surely true, that is what futility does, makes you feel really hopeless. No one wants to feel that way.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully feeling futile lasts only for a short time. Here are a few suggestions to lighten you up.

  1. These feelings are not permanent.
  2. What is the message futility is telling you, maybe you are feeling suppressed.
  3. Get some rest.
  4. Take some alone time to get back into alignment.
  5. It’s OK to feel sad and frustrated.
  6. Get professional help if you need it.

The more we learn about how we feel the better our lives will be. Take good care of yourself first.

Thoughtful Thursday #205 – Progress

Standard

We all have something we want to progress toward. A small thing or a large thing it doesn’t matter.

Progress is not all at once. Rather progress comes in bits and pieces, fits and starts, ups and downs, forward and backward.

That is OK and in a way that is how change happens, especially if the change is going to be permanent.

So in your frustration, when your progress is not fast enough,  please remember that progress is not linear, it never will be. Going with the flow and being patient, putting one foot in front of the other will get you where you need to go, in soon enough time.