Tag Archives: resistance

Thoughtful Thursday #276 – Compassion vs Empathy

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Compassion = being open to receive information and hearing distress without feeling it yourself. Compassionate listening allows you to be of help and feel for the person. There is emotional distance here.

Empathy = empathy is where you find some personal experience in you that resonates like a broken heart or tragedy. With empathy you feel the others feelings and become enmeshed with the person’s feelings. There is emotional involvement and hard to escape.

Both empathy and compassion are valuable. But empathy is emotional draining at times, compassion is  about mindfulness and loving kindness without bias.

Whichever you choose I hope it is for yourself first. You of all people deserve empathy and compassion.

This is one of the most loving and kind action you can do for yourself.

 

Thoughtful Thursday #274 – Mass Murder and Mental Health

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There are many Mass Murderers in recent history who murder lots of innocent people. Their methods of murder vary.

These actions are typical of a walking wounded adult child. This behavior may have be a last ditch effort to ease the psychological pain the person endured their entire life. Or perhaps their mind is so twisted from the ongoing dysfunction of a pathological household they actually enjoy hurting as many people as possible, or maybe they are not in touch with their own humanity and feel justified in this heinous actions.These actions are caused from poor mental health.

I am sure there are red flags in this type of self absorbed behavior for a very long time. However no one came forward to report concerns to the authorities.

Normal people don’t go around destroying others, it’s a simple fact.

Mental health is the number one concern next to physical health to live in this fast moving world.  the The need for mental health information and practical resources must come into the public view more readily to end these useless acts of violence.

I will certainly keep writing about ending senseless violence on all levels by reminding everyone to take their mental health seriously.

Let’s talk about it. Let’s talk about mental health, we will all be so much happier.

Thoughtful Thursday #267 – Resistance

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In psychology resistance is the push me pull me effect of dealing with uncomfortable and sometimes buried fears of change.

This can happen as a reaction to the therapeutic process or irritating situation that we just don’t want to deal with.

Resistance can show up in many forms, inner oppression, focusing on outside events, over eating, too much social media, self criticism, social withdrawal, trying to be perfect, you can add to the list.

A common reason for resistance is shame, that burning feeling of humiliation, of being wrong, or like a fool, regret, self hate.

“Family secrets can go back for generations. They can be about suicides, homicides, incest, abortions, addictions, public loss of face, financial disaster, etc. All the secrets get acted out. This is the power of toxic shame. The pain and suffering of shame generate automatic and unconscious defenses. Freud called these defenses by various names: denial, idealization of parents, repression of emotions and dissociation from emotions. What is important to note is that we can’t know what we don’t know. Denial, idealization, repression and dissociation are unconscious survival mechanisms. Because they are unconscious, we lose touch with the shame, hurt and pain they cover up. We cannot heal what we cannot feel. So without recovery, our toxic shame gets carried for generations.”
― John Bradshaw, Healing the Shame that Binds You

John Bradshaw sums it up, “all secrets get acted out”, and “we cannot heal what we cannot feel”, it is in your best interest to get into some kind of recovery program. You owe it to your wonderful self. You are deserving of every good thing in life, you are important and are strong enough to heal.

Start now, go in baby steps, read books about good mental health, go to therapy, join support groups, start your own support group, start a diary and write everything you think down on paper to give your feelings life and validity.

Don’t give up, there is massive healing possible, just keep trying. I know you can do it.

 

 

Thoughtful Thursday #264 – What Do You Believe.

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“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” — C.G. Jung

We must become conscious of our beliefs and feelings going on in our minds or we cannot change or transform ourselves and our lives. If something said is repeated over and over it becomes real, but in many cases what was said is either outdated at this point.

If we want to live with meaning and purpose we must make a list of these beliefs and feelings and examine them and tear them apart and eliminate those that don’t resonate with our values.

When we act from outmoded beliefs and feelings we stay stuck and can’t do the necessary letting go so we can move on.

In my case, both my caregivers were mentally ill so I had many bizarre beliefs and feelings that did not make sense even at a young age, I was not self-aware for a long time until I was much older and could be a bit objective about those beliefs and worked with therapists.

Many beliefs we pick up during our lives are dysfunctional. They make us limited.

On a regular basis we must update our beliefs, what was true in the past may not apply now. We must find those very deep beliefs that are not very conscious and rip them out by the roots. This is not easy, it requires, courage, sticking with a therapist, and a commitment to your own self-care.

This uncovering is all about finding the truth, your truth, so you can live the best life that is unique to you. We want to be whole, we want our inner parts integrated, we want to be happy.

None is possible unless we care deeply for ourselves on a regular basis. You are so worth the effort and with this loving effort for yourself the transformation of your life is permanent.

Thoughtful thursday #251 – Thoughts And Actions

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There are two things that we have complete control over. Our thoughts and actions. That is pretty much it.

Things that go on outside of us are uncontrollable. We may have a chance to use our own actions to influence the event. That is still controlling our actions. We can take an action that will influence our own lives or someone else’s in a positive way.

We can’t stop our thoughts, that is the purpose of our mind is to think but we can stop useless thoughts by practicing redirecting our thoughts. For example, if someone is talking bad about you or someone else you can choose to stop those negative thoughts that put you down the rabbit hole of despair and change the subject to something positive.

Take note: This kind of mindfulness is not easy, when you start and you can expect your mind to resist change. This is good because resistance will show you where you need look at your own issues. Be kind to yourself as you make these positive changes, if you become distracted, redirect when you can. You are worth the effort.

Thoughtful Thursday – #244 – Stream of Consciousness Writing

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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 #237 – Bad News Good News

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Bad News : trauma recovery work never ends. Trauma stays in your DNA, in your subconscious, in your dreams, in your worries, in your decision-making, in your choices. Trauma is embedded in your cells.

Good News : trauma recovery is indeed possible, trauma recovery is uncomfortable and our defenses will throw many distractions at us because they think it’s dangerous to feel. When we are ready and can sit with being uncomfortable without running away something happens. We become healed, because we didn’t run away, we allowed and trusted the organic process of feeling what we have avoided for so long and allowed the experience to fade away. Is recovery a simple linear process, not at all. The results are worth the effort.

Thoughtful Thursday #228 – The Perfect Sin

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Complicit silence means to remain silent and complicit of a questionable act.

Complicit means involved in some wrongdoing.

Willful ignorance means refusing to be informed in bad faith otherwise known as ignoring the facts.

This amounts to a perfect sin, the sinner is perfectly lazy in not making effort to check facts, rethink their beliefs and opinions, being afraid of being wrong and knowing on some level they are actually wrong or actually getting involved in knowing truth in any significant way and staying close minded and blindly following along as if nothing is wrong.

These sinners are witness to domestic violence, child abuse, animal cruelty, bullying, turning away instead of helping, cheering wrongdoing because they are too passive to be a fighter and a sundry of crimes against our fellow-man.

Complicit silence and willful ignorance are mutual pals, can’t have one without the other. Both are incredibly harmful.

If you feel you can’t get involved and are a  witness to an injustice then say a prayer to your favorite deity for a positive outcome.

Send good wishes and pure feeling to the offended party.

And…………. you can call the appropriate authorities anonymously, talk to a mental health professional for advice, take an active part in getting involved to help save someone’s life by getting informed. If the offended is a child talk to their teacher. It’s OK to be courageous even if you are scared.

None of this is easy, but to remain in complicit silence and willful ignorance is so very harmful to all involved.

If you are a recipient of complicit silence and willful ignorance don’t remain quiet, fight back, find a way to get out of there, don’t give up. You are worth the effort. And you deserve the best life.

 

The Universe Doesn’t Like You

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Both writer Steven Pressfield and Professor of Psychology Steven Pinker have stated in their writings that there is a quality of life that really doesn’t care about us. Namely the Universe at large.

Steven Pressfield calls it “Resistance” in his book The War of Art. Resistance is always there and never goes away and completely impersonal and out to get you.

In the interview with Steven Pinker on Think Big ” Is Human Nature Evil” says the Universe leans toward destruction and chaos rather than out to help you.

I believe both of them.  Both also give an antidote for the unknown, chaos and unpredictability of outcomes in our lives.

  1. Don’t live isolated lives, disorder and chaos automatically increase unless we use our energy to get the information we need to create a purposeful life.
  2. We must use our own intelligence and energy and effort to make things work out.
  3. Expect that things will go wrong and keep persisting in your path.
  4. Life is an uphill battle.

It’s hard to not feel victimized by some of the dumb stuff that hurts you deeply. However, these statements are some of the hard realities in front of us.

Most people will do anything not to look at some of the harsher realities but in my opinion the hard realities are easier to take in very small doses.

So be gentle with yourself and take a step back. You will succeed in creating a wonderful life.

 

 

 

Grounding And Unsettled Thinking

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To ground oneself in an effort to gain healthy mental health is very necessary. It’s not easy because we get caught up stuck in our heads, thinking too much.

Grounding helps us to calm down our minds so we can get clarity. Grounding facilitates that emotional release we need to heal ourselves.

We can’t heal ourselves from unsettled thinking through a cerebral process. It doesn’t work that way. Our unexpressed emotions and unexpressed truths will consume us until they are looked at and this is where grounding comes in.

Here are a few examples of grounding that worked for me:

  1. focusing on the breath gradually working up to about 2 minutes.
  2. paying attention to what you are thinking and write it down.
  3. coming back to the present moment, what are you doing at that moment.
  4. meditation, quiet time, reflection.
  5. do artwork, draw, paint, doodle, sew, knit, woodwork any kind of crafts.
  6. write, even if it is a word, or sentence, write what you hear, write from the heart.
  7. listen to music, any music that you like.
  8. take a walk, breath in deep, look at nature, go to the ocean.
  9. take a different action, redirect your actions.
  10. exercise, any exercise is better than none.

Grounding is an important part of getting in touch with your body where a lot of negativity, hidden memories, and confusion  is stored.

Our mind needs grounding for clarity and our bodies need grounding to get rid of stored negativity, hidden memories and confusion that it holds.

By practicing grounding on a regular basis, even once a week reaps great benefit and help change your thinking by changing your emotional life for the better.