Tag Archives: emotional needs

¿Truths? Part 11

Dave’s ¿Truths?

As noted with ¿Truths? Part 1, I am choosing to offer these thoughts simply to encourage growth. I submit them simply for self-study as an example of one person’s searching — such self-study is a very powerful way to come to know yourself. The list of these truths is long and I will submit it over a number of blogs, 25-30 brief statements per posting.

As previously noted, a comment on language: I am not an advocate of scientific materialism, the philosophic ontology that only science can address truth, and that energy-matter is the only domain of experience in the universe. I value scientific methodology highly, but the overall terminology of scientific materialism has many hidden presuppositions. As much as possible, I will identify them in these posts.

(278 — Continuing from previous) What gets my attention gets me!

 (279) Society has the potential to offer much in the way of authentic living—affection, validation, contribution (participation), and earnings.

Often this does not occur.

Is it fair? (What is the agreement that I have with society?)

(280) In general, this society does not validate authentic living—authentic living is unpredictable.

Authentic living is usually a risk against the cultural model! It is judged stupid or inappropriate (the crab trap). We lack ways of safe expression (of all emotions, but especially rage), Our current ways of handling/denying rage frequently contribute to the violation of one person by another.

As a society, we need new ways of being human.

(281) I want to live authentically, getting what I say I want. How?

Am I starting from the optimal place?

(282) For me, the best definition for happiness is ‘wanting what I get’—note the differences from ‘getting what I want.’

(283) I get trapped in my emotions when I experience them in ways that leave me powerless — shame, despair, raging amongst others.

All emotion has a positive intent for me — when I determine and validate that positive intent (security, searching, caring), I am empowered.

(284) Anger and rage are for me paradoxical—they are both the most dangerous, and the most cleansing, of emotions. Dangerous when denied, and most cleansing when used effectively.

I am angry when my boundaries are invaded without my permission — and as a human being, I have very complex boundaries. I am enraged when I am simultaneously powerless and my fundamental beliefs of identity and spirit are denied.

(285) To be safe means to be free from damage ¾ danger, or injury, or the risk of damage. To be secure means to be free from apprehension.

Safety does not mean security! Security does not mean safety!

(286) To be safe with my anger/rage means that I am responsible for consequences, and that I am committed to safety.

(287) I have three rules for my anger/rage, summarized in the acronym ‘No SAD!’ When in anger/rage:

    • I will not intentionally scare (S) another human being.
    • I will not attack (A), physically or emotionally, another biological creature.
    • I will not destroy (D) in anger that which I would not destroy in peace.

(288) I do not give myself, nor do I give others, permission to ignore these rules, unless life is being threatened.

I will not violate others intentionally, unless it is very clear that I am being violated in a life-threatening manner.

(289) The second fundamental of safety is “STOP”.

Saying “STOP” means that someone, usually the person saying “stop,” does not feel secure, and is requesting that all threatening action cease until both safety and security are re-established.

It is essential that this be honored¾the overlap between safety and security is unclear at this time.

(290) When I am in internal conflict, I frequently experience this as external conflict in relationship.

The more I am willing to sort and integrate my internal conflicts, finishing what is unfinished, the more I open myself to love and play.

(291) When I point my finger at you, when I blame you, I am powerless.

A powerful metaphor is present in this process—with my finger pointing at you, my thumb stands up, and three fingers point at me! The thumb represents the issue—it needs to be handled, and it is as much part of me as it is of you. My three fingers remind me that

    • what I critique in you is also true of me, often more so,
    • it is easier for me to blame you than to examine myself, and
    • if I change and act more effectively, the issue will also change, and you might also change too!

(292) An effective leader is one who demonstrates the least blame (thereby avoiding focus on the third limb).

(293) My society is a society of violence and alienation.

I have no major issue with violence—life is violent.

My society is frequently a society of violation—I do not condone violation.

Violation occurs when freedom is restricted without permission. For me, this is only permissible in the interests of public safety—this is generally called ‘law.’

(294) My society is misogynist and sex-negative.

Growth however leads to vibrant sexuality, and is both time-consuming and demanding of authenticity.

(295) My society is child-negative.

Children are our resources, both for the future, and for many of the skills we have lost. They have their own wisdom.

(296) My society promotes knowledge and understanding.

I have no quarrel with knowledge—wisdom necessitates knowledge, accuracy of map to territory. Yet as a society, we are trapped by too much information, too much knowledge, too many options.

I also have no quarrel with understanding—authentic understanding means “to stand under,” to experience self as part of something bigger.

(297) As a society, we value “overstanding” (attempting to dominate) more than “understanding,” and “information” more than “knowledge.”

(298) My society has made major errors, especially as to the nature of power.

Fundamentally there are two choices:

    • becoming willful: domination, or
    • becoming willing: cooperation

(299) Through domination, I can be willful, developing a culture based on power and technology, on empire and slave (with many subtle euphemisms to hide what is actually happening).

Actions do however speak louder than words. Using domination, I gain significant mastery of life, with major advantages. The cost is loss of humanity, loss of relationship with the universe. Much of post-European society has followed this track.

(300) The other way is by being willing, to observe and track life, with little intervention or technology. My relatedness increases. I am at risk of starvation! Other cultures, notably the original North American native, have followed this track. Major consequences occurred during the interplay of cultures!

(301) Somehow there is a balance. (!!!???) Not easy, but then life is not designed to be easy. Life is!

Given that we overall have chosen domination, the task now is to develop power over power, to learn to use power for the purpose of cooperation. Given the self-righteous greed of domination, this will be a difficult path.

(302) I am a part of society. Am I part of the solution, or part of the problem?

(303) I am not a machine. I have inherent variability, within myself (including illness) and outside myself (compared to you).

I am programmable, especially during early childhood when my brain is developing (this is also perhaps when my mind is developing, at least the inter-relatedness between my mind and my brain).

Is the program appropriate?

(304) Part of the program includes my learning of terror and trust.

To be continued.

¿Truths? Part 10

Dave’s ¿Truths?

CogDiss01As noted with ¿Truths? Part 1, I am choosing to offer these thoughts simply to encourage growth. I submit them simply for self-study as an example of one person’s searching — such self-study is a very powerful way to come to know yourself. The list of these truths is long and I will submit it over a number of blogs, 25-30 brief statements per posting.

As previously noted, a comment on language: I am not an advocate of scientific materialism, the philosophic ontology that only science can address truth, and that energy-matter is the only domain of experience in the universe. I value scientific methodology highly, but the overall terminology of scientific materialism has many hidden presuppositions. As much as possible, I will identify them in these posts.

(247 — Continuing from previous) When I attempt to change the third limb, I am both willful and stuck, generally without love or play!

(248) Unhealthy functioning manifests as chronic anxiety within the system. Symptoms of such a system include:

  • lack of well-differentiated leadership,
  • herding (togetherness in competition with individuality),
  • displacement of blame (decreasing personal responsibility),
  • reactivity (deregulation), not available to experience and insight,
  • sabotage proportional to poor leadership,
  • hostility proportional to lack of self-regulations, and
  • a quick-fix mentality.

(249) My reassurance is a way of telling the other that I have not heard them.

The other is likely telling me of their struggle with a human issue. How can I possibly predict the future outcome that will be experienced, especially by the other, let alone by myself?

(250) My stuckness is a measure of my trust: the more stuck, the less trust!

(251) Sulking and resenting are major forms of being willful and stuck!

(252) A useful summary that says much of how we create pain is:

Don’t bitch; don’t blame; Don’t panic; don’t shame.

(253) Every behavior has an appropriate context, a time and place when it is effective, or at least useful.

(254) A major part of the journey is dealing with the unfinished business of what I have been given in life: my natural talents, my family of origin, and the consequences of my past choices.

Especially, these impact my major relationships, my friendships and my marriage(s).

(255) The family is the fundamental context for the individual, for health and disease and growth.

It is from my family that I learn my cultural models and my unique intergenerational mythology, my modeling and imprinting of who I should be (and against which I define myself).

(256) Who taught you how to be in a family?

The obvious answer is the nuclear and extended family. Yet how healthy were they in their own lives?

And most of the learning seems to occur in the first few months or years of life, long before we have any choice as to what we learn.

(257) Given this, if the nuclear and extended family are unhealthy (witness the current divorce rate and the extent of family violations), how can the system be impacted so that children are exposed to healthy lessons.

I don’t know! The unhealthy aspects of our culture are so interconnected.

(258) I grow. My most obvious growth took place as a child, in the emotional field of my family of origin.

It is however a life-long process, one of becoming an individual, able to stand alone yet interdependent on others, living the rules that work for me, and rejecting those that do not.

(259) The child grows and learns many skills.

(260) The covert skills are:

  • how to be crazy (learned by modeling the behavior of caretakers),
  • how to avoid the pain of the craziness of others (learned by modeling the behavior of caretakers), and
  • new ways of avoiding pain (learned from his/her coping with the pain of all this)!

(261) Growth requires that I risk change! Change is often painful!

(262) Life is painful, and we avoid pain.

Until we truly learn that pain is inevitable, and life is to be lived!

Then it doesn’t matter that life is painful.

(263) Life is not always, or even generally, painful, nor do we avoid pain always.

Life is in balance—however, in large measure, we attempt to grasp the positives, and avoid the negatives.

At least, until such time as we grow in maturity.

(264) Substance abuse (alcohol, drugs, caffeine, work, any avoidance) is just another avoidance.

Complicated, though, by the dangers and consequences of the substance itself!

(265) The primary role of the family is nurture and re-creation.

(266) Parenting is the process of giving a child roots (nurture and rules) and wings (risks and the re-creation of the next cycle of life).

It is impossible to parent correctly or perfectly. As the child grows, the rules must be tested, and frequently rejected. Life must be risked!

(267) The best parenting occurs when the parent does not violate the child, and yet the parent lives his or her own truth!

And allows the rules to be known and spoken — and broken so as to allow learning.

(268) Very few of us have had perfect parents, and very few of us have identified our own truths.

In our current society, most of us have been violated in some way, and we continue the cycle by violating others, especially our children.

(269) I want to end this cycle.

I believe that this is best done by identifying and living my own truths. And being honest about my mis-takes.

(270) I need to love my children for who they are, not who I think they should be!

And I have a responsibility to them to provide an adequate model for them, a mirror for them to seek their own growth.

(271) Children have a right to be heard; adults (especially parents) have a responsibility to be clear! and generally consistent!

However, the family is not a democracy. Although children have a right to be heard, their wants and desires must be evaluated within the parameters of safety and equitable distribution of resources.

(272) If I will listen, I will learn that children have an incredible wisdom; they are not yet stuck with the cultural models, especially the ‘shoulds’!

(273) Good health (emotional and physical) is an interactive process of living my truths within my emotional network.

When I define myself, and choose to live my truths, others are also able to do so.

(274) Despite genetic anomalies and biological predisposition and genuine accidents, most of us, most of the time, create the health and disease that we experience.

(275) To say “yes” to life means that I am authentically emotional (angry, sad, sexually excited, joyous, scared-excited), and authentically in action.

I need also hold rage, aloneness, ecstasy, and terror without being trapped.

(276) My emotions are the way in which my body experiences and expresses my beliefs—the outcome of the delay loop that is my mind.

When my beliefs do not match what life is presenting, my “negative” emotions surface. Some part of me has been lost, and I hurt.

Especially when my core beliefs are challenged, my emotions are very volatile! and very powerful!

This is simply information—often very unpleasant though!

(277) Some of my core beliefs are quite infantile!

These beliefs arose from how I experienced life in my family, when I was 1-2-3 years old! Frequently these beliefs are inconsistent and quite impractical to adult living.

Learning what these beliefs are, and making better choices, is a major task of living.

(278) What gets my attention gets me!

Focusing on others, blaming others, gets me pain.

Focusing on my own process of living, of making better choices, frequently gets me completeness.

To be continued.

¿Truths? Part 9

Dave’s ¿Truths?

Truth3As noted with ¿Truths? Part 1, I am choosing to offer these thoughts simply to encourage growth. I submit them simply for self-study as an example of one person’s searching — such self-study is a very powerful way to come to know yourself. The list of these truths is long and I will submit it over a number of blogs, 25-30 brief statements per posting.

As previously noted, a comment on language: I am not an advocate of scientific materialism, the philosophic ontology that only science can address truth, and that energy-matter is the only domain of experience in the universe. I value scientific methodology highly, but the overall terminology of scientific materialism has many hidden presuppositions. As much as possible, I will identify them in these posts.

(219 — Continuing from previous) When I have an issue, it is my problem! It is my first move! It is still our issue!

(220) Relationship, especially marriage, requires

  • commitment (willingness to stay),
  • communication (willingness to share who I am honestly),
  • cooperation (willingness to be present to the other’s needs), and
  • conscious choices, dealing with the positives and negatives.
    • staying present
    • genuine safety for both of us
    • safe expression of criticism and anger.
    • problem-solving of conflict.
    • conscious fun! (long-term fun requires effort!)

(221) Relationship is maximized when both individuals are present and centered.

(222) An old adage is that ‘you cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.’

The adage does not say however that one is better than the other; maybe I want a leather purse.

 (223) Relationships require both basic ingredients and transformation. Not all ingredients lead to effective transformation, especially in the direction that I want. Romance is only one of the ingredients.

It may be that I want a silk purse, and one or both of us are sow’s ears—we need to come to terms with this, perhaps staying together, or perhaps separating.

Thinking skills, feeling skills, and effective actions are all necessary for successful relationships in this complex world that we inhabit.

(224) In relationship struggles, I can only:

  • find ways so as to resolve my pain, and
  • be available to you so that you find ways to resolve your pain.

(225) This is hard work, and occasionally delightful fun!

(226) The best argument for being alone is its simplicity

Yet it provides only limited possibility for growth. Relationship provides much more!

(227) I learn the most about myself, about who I am and what it means for me to trust, from friendships and marriage!

(228) I pick the spoons that will stir me!

(229) It appears that all of biology seeks life, seeks contact. The human baby is born seeking life energy (growth, ecstasy, something?) and yet is a relatively blank slate. Experience of caretakers provided the template of what is both “normal” and “ecstatic;” it doesn’t matter to the baby if the experience is positive or negative!

Before language, before identity, this template is laid down as a basis of future expectation, future excitement. It occurs almost immediately (likely before 6 months of age), and is then somewhat modified with growth and development. This is “security,” and we want it all of our lives.

(230) At puberty, this template becomes linked to sexual development. Hence romance, a sexual fog, that restores “security” and “ecstasy.”

But the template also contains the negatives! These form the basis of the power struggle. I do not believe that it is possible to have romantic passion without later having the power struggle.

(231) It is possible, though, to work through the power struggle.

The speed is limited by maturity and wisdom.

(232) Civilization requires the regulation of instinct.

Civilization requires the regulation of togetherness and individuality, the regulation of relationships.

(233) Relationships are most effective when they are adult-adult relationships, each person responsible for their own experiences and behaviors.

This is a goal, rarely achieved. Indirectness, dependency and helplessness, romantic fog are easier (and less effective).

(234) In partnership, can we be effective with each other? I believe so.

(235) One of my truths is summarized in the poem called the Gestalt Prayer. This is not an easy poem to embrace yet there is much truth in it.

I do my thing and you do your thing. / I am not in this world to live up to your expectations  / And you are not in this world to live up to mine. / You are You and I am I, / And if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful; / If not, it can’t be helped.

(236) For me, the final line of this poem does not mean that I passively suffer.

Acceptance is an active process, and I am capable of much change (and others are also capable of change).

(237) Life necessitates struggle, sometimes saying good-bye!

(238) To say good-bye is to abandon by choice—it is characterized by sadness, pain, and the expectation that the other will not change.

(239) I live on a spectrum (a dialectic) ranging from being willful (of myself or others) to being willing (to surrender/accept).

Both are important; a balance of the two is essential.

The basic emotional triangle.
The most important diagram of my life.

(240) I live within a set of interlocking emotional triangles¾each triangle consists of any two people and a third person or issue. Emotional triangles allow life energy to circulate within an emotional system.

Given the number of people and issues within any system, we all function within thousands of simultaneous interlocking triangles. We call it the ‘familiar’ and ‘stability’; it is also our place of ‘stuckness.’

(241) There are three “laws” that impact every emotional triangle:

  • I can only change the limbs to which I belong,
  • if I change, others must change, and
  • change requires I stay connected.

(242) As simple as these laws seem, they account for much human misery.

Most of this misery occurs because I attempt to interfere in the limb, the third limb, where I do not belong, the limb between you and the other.

Alternatively, you attempt to interfere in the limb where you do not belong, the limb between me and the other.

(243) We are connected. Always we are individuals, and connected in togetherness.

Togetherness and individuality ideally support and promote each other.

(244) Unhealthy functioning occurs by persistent interference within the third limb of the emotional triangle.

It is characterized by interfering in the relationships of others, attempting to convert others to one’s own point of view by leverage, and by an inability to have a relationship with those who disagree with one’s own point of view.

(245) When I focus on my own experience and the relationships to which I belong, I have power; when I focus on you and your relationships, I am powerless and stuck.

(246) Coming to terms with powerlessness is one of the steps to maturity.

Ultimately I have only the power to change myself and my contribution in the relationships to which I belong.

(247) When I attempt to change the third limb (of a triangle) for which I do not have direct responsibility (the third side, you and the other), I am both willful and stuck, generally without love or play!

To be continued.

 

¿Truths? Part 8

Dave’s ¿Truths?

Truth2As noted with ¿Truths? Part 1, I am choosing to offer these thoughts simply to encourage growth. I submit them simply for self-study as an example of one person’s searching — such self-study is a very powerful way to come to know yourself. The list of these truths is long and I will submit it over a number of blogs, 25-30 brief statements per posting.

As previously noted, a comment on language: I am not an advocate of scientific materialism, the philosophic ontology that only science can address truth, and that energy-matter is the only domain of experience in the universe. I value scientific methodology highly, but the overall terminology of scientific materialism has many hidden presuppositions. As much as possible, I will identify them in these posts.

(189 — Continuing from previous) You and I are different.

(190) Authentic relationship means that we deal with the anger between us. This requires time and energy, often much time and energy.

It is in the working through of these differences that I learn trust, trust of you that you will not abandon me, and trust of myself that I will not abandon you!

(191) The major issue is not whether we are different—we are different!

The issue is whether we violate one another, intentionally choosing to devalue the other, treating the other as an object, sometimes in a harmful fashion.

(192) You and I are different. Most, if not all, of the differences occur either from intrinsic capabilities (such as intelligence or beauty) and/or from wounds (such as scars and shoulds).

Some of these differences can be modified, perhaps 30%.

(193) I am not God—only God is perfect, whatever that word means! The rest of us in some way struggle with imperfection—we are wounded, either from natural abilities or from previous relationships.

(194) As a culture and individually, we deny our individual and collective woundedness. When we do, we violate self or others.

(195) When there is difference, when I am angry with another, I can

  • move away from (abandon),
  • move against (attack or criticize), or
  • move towards (cooperate and problem-solve).

(196) Only the latter leads to long-term healing and growth of relationship.

(197) When I move away from or move against, I am coming from woundedness!

(198( Problem-solving: what are my needs, your needs, our needs? What alternatives do we have? What flexibility to persist until resolution, perhaps with several attempts?

What stops me from this? Usually my story that you are inflexible!! Wow!!

(199) Only when I recognize my wounding am I able to problem-solve, or otherwise move on in some fashion.

It is said that only when some other validates my wounding, is healing possible.

Perhaps—I am not sure about this part, the “only.” It is certainly an optimal component, and it may also create more victimhood!

(200) For me, authentic relationship ranges from informal friendship (what society calls “liking”) to the legal state of marriage (what society calls “loving”).

(201) In friendship, the sexual issues are minimal. I choose to show you who I am, my similarities and my differences, and to work through these differences when they impact us. I have a commitment to work through the differences that keep us apart.

Often my commitment is limited—by time, by geography, by interest.

I have some sadness about this—the world is large and there are many friendships I have lost because of its complexity, especially time and geography.

(202) In marriage, the sexual issues are prominent.

Theoretically, my commitment is unlimited. I will work through the differences—I will find ways to remain authentic and present, even with volatile emotions.

(203) Marriage is a special type of relationship; in our culture, one that begins with romance, and later (hopefully) changes to one in which I have extended opportunity to learn about myself and my ability to give, my ability to extend myself for my partner’s growth, to love as a gift.

And to receive love as a gift!

(204) There are many invalid reasons for marriage.

(205) There are only two valid reasons for marriage:

  • the care and nurture of children, the opportunity for them to grow, and
  • the friction, especially the opportunity for myself and my partner to grow.

(206) Successful relationship, especially marriage, necessitates that we achieve clarity as to what we want, and do the work (and perhaps the fun) to achieve that.

I cannot know what you want! That is your responsibility. My component is to stay present, authentically, while you do so.

(207) I can however know what I want. That is my responsibility.

Wants will vary from individual to individual; some wants are more important than others.

Meeting these wants is my responsibility, not yours.

(208) Marriage (and also friendship) is a relationship—many wants requiring a dynamic interaction between the players.

If I do not get my important wants met (in the long term), there is a very real risk that I will not stay in relationship, leaving either emotionally or physically.

(209) A wedding is an event, a product; a marriage is a process!

One of the major issues of marriage is that people change, and forget to tell each other!

(210) What each person wants/needs will vary from individual to individual.

I have many wants. The following are fundamental to me; I want to be able to share these with my partner:

  • a common vision (and appropriate action) of growing together.
  • striving for clarity of communication, with directness and honesty,
  • striving for growth and health,
  • conflict resolution principally by problem solving,
  • much sensuality, and
  • good food

(211) I have other wants; the above are fundamental to me.

(212) Process is more important than product!

(213) The universe fundamentally only provides feedback and outcomes. No mistakes, no failures, just feedback and outcomes.

Will you learn from the outcome, or not?

(214) What we call mistakes are actually takes that missed: mis-takes.

We are always doing the best we can — sometimes we miss.

(215) My ‘issues’ (the difficulties with which I struggle, and hopefully grow) are those wherein I have a direct emotional experience, usually pain, anger or sadness.

(216) If you and I are in conflict, I am responsible for my behaviors, and for all those components wherein I have direct emotional experience.

You are responsible for your behaviors, and all those components wherein you have direct emotional experience.

(217) When you have an issue, it is your problem! (It is however our issue!!)

By that I mean, it is your first move. If I attempt to solve your problem and move first, I am violating you; in some way, I am assuming you are helpless, and I am taking responsibility for your life.

Yet I care; I will not abandon you. However, I need you to define what you need.

(218) If you do not define what you need, if you simply blame and bitch (see note #75), then I act as a sink for your pain.

I don’t want that. I have enough pain of my own, thank you!

(219) When I have an issue, it is my problem! It is my first move!

It is still our issue!

To be continued.

 

¿Truths? Part 7

Dave’s ¿Truths?

Meaning2As noted with ¿Truths? Part 1, I am choosing to offer these thoughts simply to encourage growth. I submit them simply for self-study as an example of one person’s searching — such self-study is a very powerful way to come to know yourself. The list of these truths is long, and I will submit it over a number of blogs, 25-30 brief statements per posting.

As previously noted, a comment on language: I am not an advocate of scientific materialism, the philosophic ontology that only science can address truth, and that energy-matter is the only domain of experience in the universe. I value scientific methodology highly, but the overall terminology of scientific materialism has many hidden presuppositions. As much as possible, I will identify them in these posts.

(162 — Continuing from previous) Why bother telling others how I feel?

(163) Telling others how I feel, however, does not lead to change, especially it does not lead to change in others.

It is not meant to!! The only time it really worked this way was as a new-born infant: I cried, I got what I wanted. But all this was soon to change.

(164) I live in a community, an environment of other people. When we are authentic and complete with each other, I am most at peace.

(165) I am dependent on others for many of my needs. This is neither good nor bad, simply part of being human—I am designed for interaction.

(166) In seeking to get my needs met from others, I can either:

  • make hints and expect that they will guess my needs (wherein I am often disappointed and angry—my outcome), or
  • ask for assistance.

(167) Telling how I feel, and expecting change, is not a form of asking. “Asking” means that the answer “no” is acceptable.

(168) I may not like “no”—the other is free to respond, and I am free to ask another!

(169) Basically, I can tell someone else only two things:

  • who I am (what is my experience), and
  • how I think they should be.

(170) Both get me into trouble.

  • When I tell others how they should be, they generally don’t like it.
  • When I tell others who I am, they sometimes tell me how I should be.

(171) I need a way out of this process. For me, that way is a combination of love (compassion) and play (humor and paradox).

(172) I am very committed to you getting your desired outcome in life. I am not committed to my getting your desired outcome for you! Sometimes I choose to do so.

I am very committed to working with you, to exploring with you — when you ask for assistance.

I am not responsible/accountable for you!

(173) Why do I really care what other people think?

In general, when I take a stand, any stand, 25% of people will like it, 25% will not like it, and 50% won’t care.

(174) In each group, however, there will be those who will tell me who I should be, and those who will tell me their own experience.

I would rather have people tell me who they are, even if they disagree with me, than for them to tell me who I should be.

(175) I can also only really ask two things from you:

  1. for some form of behavior change (to which you can answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’), or
  2. for information (to which you usually cannot answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’).

(176) Indirect communication is characterized by confusion to these two.

(177) I only am able to hear you when I am moving towards you. “Moving towards” means being interested, excited, physically moving towards, anything such that my interest in focused on you.

I want to hear and be heard—what do I need to do? If I am not willing to hear you, why should you listen to me?

(178) What is the difference between feedback and criticism?

For me, when I tell you who I am, I am giving feedback; when I tell you who you should be, I am criticizing.

Unfortunately though, you will hear what I say through your filters, not mine.

(179) Feedback describes my experience, often in relating to the behaviors you have done.

It is not a request for change; it is data so as to be in authentic relationship.

(180) Criticism describes the difficulty I have with you, and usually ignores my contribution to this difficulty.

It is a request for change, always, and often in a sneaky hidden fashion.

(181) I can only do two things with others:

  • I can give them a gift of my time or my energy. A gift has no price tag, absolutely none, not even a thank you! Yet I gain merit (personal valuation) from gifts (part of the paradox of life)!
  • I can do something for which I expect reciprocity (a transaction for payment!). I do not gain merit from these transactions. I resent when I don’t get paid!

(182) Keeping these two actions separate is absolutely essential!

(183) I have considerable language difficulty in my relationship with others.

To like (love) someone is to be excited by their presence—this has more to do with me that it has to do with you!

To love someone is to “will to extend oneself for their spiritual growth,” to “call them to their own unique power”—this has more to do with my own growth as a human being, my relationship with the universe, than with you.

Interpersonal relationship with another person has most to do with trust, only partially to do with liking and love—I trust you when you keep your commitments and/or when your actions are consistent with expectations.

(184) To trust is to have confidence in the reliability, the predictability, of an occurrence in the future.

It is usually, but not necessarily, a positive hopefulness. If you are repeatedly dishonest, I likely will trust you to be dishonest in the future!

Not usually the effective basis of relationship though!

(185) The distinction between “needs” and “wants” is frequently important in relationship.

Needs reflect that which would affect my survival as a living being. I need oxygen. I need water. I need food. I need shelter.

Wants reflect that about which I have some choice; I can survive without my wants being met, albeit with sadness or pain. I want successful relationships in my life. I want a comfortable home.

(186) Depending on my maturity, many needs and wants overlap or are fuzzy.

If I say to someone, “I need you,” I really am saying I want you in my life, I want the feelings that I experience in your presence.

I can survive without this, and it might be painful to me.

(187) You and I are similar. I feel comfortable with what is familiar! I relax and have fun! I “like” you. We are “acquaintances.”

Then the differences start to emerge.

(188) I am a sexual being. I get “turned on” by certain experiences, many of which I am not consciously aware. When I am “turned on,” my sensations are wonderful; my emotions are powerful; my thinking is very unclear, very foggy.

You and I are similar. You do things that remind me of my sexuality. Thus, “romantic love”—a sexual fog!

Then the differences start to emerge.

(189) You and I are different.

Authentic interpersonal relationship necessitates shared honesty, and the coming to terms with these differences that exist between us. Conflict occurs when we confront these differences—anger, or a precursor of anger, is the emotional impact of this conflict.

To be continued — we are about half way through the list.

Here is the image that Phil added. I am not sure how to add it to the comment:

PotOfStew

 

¿Truths? Part 6

Dave’s ¿Truths?

Problems2As noted with ¿Truths? Part 1, I am choosing to offer these thoughts simply to encourage growth. I submit them simply for self-study as an example of one person’s searching — such self-study is a very powerful way to come to know yourself. The list of these truths is long and I will submit it over a number of blogs, 25-30 brief statements per posting.

As previously noted, a comment on language: I am not an advocate of scientific materialism, the philosophic ontology that only science can address truth, and that energy-matter is the only domain of experience in the universe. I value scientific methodology highly, but the overall terminology of scientific materialism has many hidden presuppositions. As much as possible, I will identify them in these posts.

(134 — Continuing from previous) Changing my language may radically change my life!!

(135) Much of my reactivity is sustained by five common expressions (or their euphemisms): “I should,” “I don’t know,” “I can’t,” “I’ll try,” and “maybe.”

(136) Maybe (!); do I want to? My energy goes to what I want, not what I should (‘should’ activates that part of me that says “I don’t want to!”)

I have choice! I need to choose! I should choose!! Maybe!! I don’t know if I can!! I can’t!! But I’ll try.

(137) As applied to the external world, there are many things I don’t know, and there are a lot of things about which I know only a little.

However, most of the time when I say “I don’t know,” I am referring to my inner thoughts or experience, and when “I don’t know,” I stop thinking about the subject.

If I don’t know what is happening to me, no one else does either! And no one else can determine what is happening to me—it is my responsibility to know myself!

If I want power/strength/freedom/wisdom, it is also essential that I know myself! I know of no other way to obtain these.

(138) With rare exceptions, the word “can’t” is a misnomer; what I am really saying is that, if I were to do the action (which I most likely can), then I would … (be afraid, be hurt, be angry, lose money, etc.) and I don’t want this outcome.

I “won’t” is a more accurate word for this choice.

(139) “I’ll try” is also a misnomer in that it frequently becomes an excuse for ‘not doing.’

If I have never done something before, my attempt is an experiment and still a ‘doing;’ I may not succeed at my expectation, and yet still gain valuable feedback in my attempt.

If I have done the task before, even without success, I know what to expect (perhaps how difficult the task is). ‘Trying’ (without proper preparation and action) is an excuse.

(140) “Maybe” as applied to my inner world simply means I am too lazy to take the time to know myself! And also I disconnect from my own authentic experience, my truth-testing.

An experiment: Say out loud “Today maybe I will (action — some action to be done [walk to work, eat an apple, . . .]).” Then say “Today I will (action).” Feel the difference created by maybe!

“Maybe” as applied to the external world again means I am too lazy, perhaps not willing to take time to know myself, or more commonly not willing to be engaged in commitment.

Neither lead to effectiveness in my life.

(141) If I give attention to my actual experience, I can know myself!

(142) My relationships with others are based on:

  • being authentic (showing the other who I am), and
  • keeping my commitments (doing what I say I will do).

(143) Living in this manner takes much time and effort.

(144) I do not make commitments lightly. As much as possible, I attempt to be very clear as to what I am committing.

(145) I can only keep commitments when I know the terms by which I may break my commitment.

Often my commitments have time limits, or some other way for negotiation of conflicts.

(146) Commitments require a vision, a purpose to which I am committed. Big purposes require more commitment, and are also more validating of my being, my sense of belonging and of valuing myself and the universe.

(147) When I interact with another, when I show the other who I am, when I give voice to who I am, the message that is received by the other is often different from the message that I intend.

This is a major source of difficulty in my relationships, in my authenticity, especially when I assume that the other has received what I have intended.

(148) A partial truth, especially true in persisting relationships, is that the message received is the message given!

Messages between persons are incredibly complex. Communication depends on the present content, the way in which the message is given, and the filters of both giver and recipient (which in turn are influenced by the past experience in the relationship, and in all previous relationships!)

Human communication is frequently miscommunication, especially when emotionally laden!

(149) Communication is complex!

“I believe you understand what you think I said but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I said.”

(150) Equally true (and harder to recognize):

“I believe that you understand what I said but I’m not sure you realize that what I said is not what I meant or what you think I meant.”

(151) Consider also:

I believe you understand what you think I said but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I said.”

Voice tone and inflection can be incredibly important!

(152) How do I know what to say?

First I need to be able to know what I am experiencing. And I need to know my values, my significant beliefs. Then I need to be able to compare all this with what the other is experiencing. Highly complex.

Amazingly, I learned how to do this simultaneous with the development of language, while dealing with the subtle craziness of family and culture!

Wow!! Enough to drive one (or me) crazy!

(153) If I have given the same message more than twice, the other either cannot, should not, or will not hear.

If I don’t recognize this, I’m sending the wrong message myself.

(154) When you don’t know what to do, do it slowly.

(155) I live in an environment, an environment of other people, all of whom are also attempting to live in ways that keep them safe, if not joyous.

(156) Other people are mirrors for me; it is from others that I learn to see myself. I need to know the authentic experience of others so as to see myself more clearly.

To do this effectively, I need ways of sorting the information I get from others. What is authentic experience? Who/what do I trust?

(157) You are the ultimate Mystery to me. I cannot possibly understand you—I am not you.

What I can do is make meaning of who you are (my story) and then be an ‘I’ and a ‘Thou? with you—a distorted mirror for us to experience each other and learn from what we are experiencing.

(158) There are skills to observing the message being received, often called “calibration” of the response—also known as “body language.”

The message received creates biologically observable and consistent responses, changes in skin color, body stance, and many other changes, long before a verbal response occurs.

The same is true of the message sent.

(159) These biological responses are available to each of us: your responses are observable by me, and my responses are also observable by me. They form the basis of my truth-testing.

(160) Part of the difficulty of communication is that the verbal response is often different from the calibration response, a so-called double message.

Confusing! Valuable at times also!

(161) Calibration can also be used to check the message being sent!

(162) Given the complexity of communication, why bother telling others how I feel?

Essentially to be honest with myself, and to define my self [sic]!! When I do this, I like myself better! and I develop my inner strength!

To be continued.

¿Truths? Part 5

Dave’s ¿Truths?

CogDiss01As noted with ¿Truths? Part 1, I am choosing to offer these thoughts simply to encourage growth. I submit them simply for self-study as an example of one person’s searching — such self-study is a very powerful way to come to know yourself. The list of these truths is long and I will submit it over a number of blogs, 25-30 brief statements per posting.

As previously noted, a comment on language: I am not an advocate of scientific materialism, the philosophic ontology that only science can address truth, and that energy-matter is the only domain of experience in the universe. I value scientific methodology highly, but the overall terminology of scientific materialism has many hidden presuppositions. As much as possible, I will identify them in these posts.

(107 — continuing from previous) Some actions are more useful than others. They distinguish effectiveness from purity.

(108) Frequently, effectiveness and purity do not coincide. Do I want purity, or do I want effectiveness?

If what I get is recurrent pain, somehow I am contributing, somehow I am wanting purity.

(109) The mind is a pattern generator—a generator of behavior that becomes patterned behavior (habit and/or stuckness).

Purity is often pattern!

 (110) I need to be careful of what I am choosing—I may get what I ask for!

Do I really want this outcome? I have known people to tell others “Drop dead!”¾and they have!

(111) I have a center, a place within myself, or a way of being where I am most stable, at peace and ready to be in action.

I can learn to be centered.

(112) Learning to be centered necessitates three things:

  • developing a vision of who I am and where I want to go with my life, something greater than myself to which I am committed.
  • developing discipline in my life.
  • planning—keeping track of what I need to do on a daily basis, balanced with a philosophy of “just do it!”

(113) The meaning of life, being centered in life, always points to or is directed to something or someone other than self; strict orientation to self does not appear to be an effective stance.

This stance of being centered can be through creative contribution (achievement), exploration of relationship (affiliation) or by acceptance of unavoidable pain (the inward journey of freedom).

(114) To live is to have pain (sometimes); to live well is to find meaning in the pain.

Life ultimately asks that I take responsibility to find the answers to its problems, and to fulfill the tasks it repeatedly sets for me, for each and every individual. These tasks differ from individual to individual, and from moment to moment for the same individual.

(115) The word ‘self’ is frequently misunderstood; the word actually has many meanings, often derogatory.

The suffix ‘-ish’ refers to ‘having the characteristic of.’ How is it that ‘selfish’ is so derogatory?

(116) True selfishness means to be centered, to have the characteristics of a self!

However, such a state threatens others (and becomes ‘Don’t be so selfish!’), a focus on the other, the crab box (see #18).

(117) Meaning provides reasons; actions provide results.

(118) I am most centered when I am complete with the actions that I want to do, the actions that are effective, the actions that lead me to a sense of health and resolution of the tasks I have set myself.

(119) Invariably, this includes my environment. I am not ‘independent,’ nor am I a parasite on others.

I am dependent on my world in many ways though. And I need to be aware of the consequences of my choices.

(120) When I avoid my own need for action, I lose my center. Completeness does not mean that I have no issues that trouble me—it means I am at peace with my own actions.

(121) A friend of mine wants his tombstone to read “He couldn’t do everything—so he did something!”

(122) Progress in my life requires a balance of actions, those from myself and those from others. Completeness means that I am awaiting action from others.

I seek completeness.

(123) Some issues/conflicts of my life are more important than others. Conflicts trouble me when:

  • I am in internal struggle with myself (my “shoulds”), or
  • I am in external struggle with others (their “shoulds”).

(124) My “shoulds” present major issues for me, and I seek resolution; they are important to me.

The “shoulds” of others require that I delimit myself; I have the right and the responsibility to agree or to disagree—and to be at peace with my actions.

(125) As much as possible, I transform my “shoulds” into choices based on how I would manage the worst possible outcome of “Will I?” or “Won’t I?”

If I am willing to accept the risk of the worst case, I can always manage whatever outcome occurs. If neither option generates anxiety, I choose on the basis of what is the best that will happen.

(126) I also have a dark side, a part of me that I do not know well, and frequently do not wish to know well—lazy and arrogant amongst other characteristics.

Frequently my dark side is my most creative part. A big component of the second half of life is to learn from, and come to terms with, my dark side.

(127) Fish swim in the ocean; I swim in language!

Language provides the basis of giving meaning to my awareness and of being in action, of interacting with others.

(128) The discipline of monitoring my own language, of what I am actually voicing, is an incredibly powerful discipline.

(129) More and more, I recognize that I can only language in metaphor, an implied comparison with the intention to create meaning.

My best use of language is to strive for you (or me, in my self talk)¾the listener¾to have a detailed sensory experience of the meaning I am intending, either by telling you my actual experience as it happened, or by creating a metaphor with similar effect.

(130) Telling you my conclusions, rather than my experience, is fraught with difficulty.

It is very possible you will argue with my conclusions.

People seldom argue when told of experience.

(131) Language most likely developed as a process for cooperative behavior. Essentially by definition, cooperative refers to non-innate behavior, behavior that requires some form of future intent, and some form of self-conscious choice.

Given that we humans remain creatures of habit, most cooperation occurs via some form of ritual, some form of stylized agreed-upon habit.

(132) Once a culture or a species can generate language, the possibility of non-genetic inheritance (memetic) becomes an actuality; we call it tradition! enforced usually by ritual!

This inheritance may also be multi-dimensional, through time and space, to friends and neighbors, rather than simply thru time to our children.

Genes and memes: memes likely are transmission processes unique to our species.

(133) This form of inheritance (via memes) is extremely powerful.

Witness the furor of the Irelands over centuries,  the devastation of Bosnia-Serbia, the terrorism of the 21st century. Consider also the influence of the family, where both genetic and cultural transmission occur!

(134) Changing my language may radically change my life!!

To be continued.

¿Truths? Part 4

Dave’s ¿Truths?

Truth3As noted with ¿Truths? Part 1, I am choosing to offer these thoughts simply to encourage growth. I submit them simply for self-study as an example of one person’s searching — such self-study is a very powerful way to come to know yourself. The list of these truths is long and I will submit it over a number of blogs, 25-30 brief statements per posting.

As previously noted, a comment on language: I am not an advocate of scientific materialism, the philosophic ontology that only science can address truth, and that energy-matter is the only domain of experience in the universe. I value scientific methodology highly, but the overall terminology of scientific materialism has many hidden presuppositions. As much as possible, I will identify them in these posts.

[An apology also — sometimes the formatting offered by WordPress is very limiting! An aspect of technology that I hate is that it forces me into processes that I do not want in my life; yet the same technology offers many advantages. Thus my common statement: Technology is wonderful — when it works.]

(80 — continuing from previous) Reactivity is a habit! And like all habits, sustained by laziness!

(81) I cannot solve life’s problems except by solving them.

I alone am 100% responsible for everything that I feel, think, and do! People may stir my pot or push my buttons, but I provide the pot and the buttons.

Personal freedom has to do with having many choices, acting on those choices, and dealing with the consequences.

(82) Awareness is essential! My “attention to my ongoing spontaneous sensations and perceptions” is fundamental (and may be developed through discipline).

The more grounded I am in Now, the more choice I have. When I distinguish between my perceptions, and how I interpret these perceptions (my story), the more choice I have.

This is the basis of personal freedom (and of power and strength).

(83) My awareness is often rapid and fleeting, just barely within consciousness.

This is especially true of those perceptions that I wish to avoid, those that are painful to confront.

(84) “The Rules” (the social constraints as to how I and you should be) are generally out-of-consciousness. They are so familiar, and so pervasive, that it is simpler to keep them out-of-consciousness; then we can be ‘good little boys and girls,’ approved of by others, especially our parents.

(85) Two of the major rules are:

  • ‘don’t talk about the rules—keep them out-of-consciousness’ and
  • ‘your rules are the same as my rules.’

(86) These keep me safe — and keep life complex.

I learned these rules as a small child, asking questions when others were uncomfortable or anxious. Rather than acknowledge their discomfort, they criticized me and, in my pain, I learned not to speak about the rules. Eventually I learned not to think about the rules.

I also had to assume that each one of us obeys the same set of rules. It was the only way for me to make sense of my world.

Then it seemed like I could avoid the pain. And I could for a while.

(87) A major difficulty however occurrs when I moved out of my family of origin, into another family of my own creation. And I assume that everybody had the same rule!

Not a good assumption! My partner has a different set of rules, also in the other-than-conscious domain. So we fight, and wonder what is happening, but we can’t talk about the rules. That breaks the rules!

The consequence is called Guilt!

(88) Guilt is useful for about ten (10) minutes.

Guilt is the meaning/energy I give to an issue when I break the rules.

If the rules are out-of-consciousness and I cannot talk about them, I have created a problem for myself.

(89) If I am guilty, then I am attempting to give myself a message about a problem, usually about a belief of mine that I am bypassing.

I have broken some rule as to how I ‘should’ act.

(90) The rule is out-of-conscious, likely because I hold it as a ‘should’ rather than a ‘want.’

My growth work is to hear the message, and decide if I want to attend to it or not. If not, I need to resolve my guilt; if so, I need to be in action!

(91) As with ‘guilt,’ so the above is applicable to ‘embarrassment,’ ‘resentment’ and ‘rebellion’—they are useful for about 10 minutes.

I am ‘embarrassed’ when I assume you will criticize me for breaking the rules. And, after all, you have the same rules as I do! So you know when I am breaking the rules!

I ‘resent’ you when you break the rules, my rules, and I am unable to talk about the rules. And, after all, you have the same rules as I do! Don’t we?

I ‘rebel’ when you attempt to impose your ‘rules’ on me, rules I don’t want to acknowledge, because we cannot talk about them. That breaks the rules!

(92) I ‘shame’ myself when, in addition to being trapped in breaking the rule,  I consider that I am also bad for breaking the rule.

(93) If you want to be a slave, harbor your resentments and your guilt.

They bind you to your out-of-conscious rules. Such crazy rules!

(94) I have a set of tools for solving problems; they are called actions. My disciplines are also actions. Depending on the stresses in my life, I need different tools at different times.

(95) I can only solve problems through actions! I can act my way into a new way of thinking; usually I cannot think my way into a new way of acting.

Interaction with life involves risk! There is no risk in thinking; thinking does not mobilize action. Intention mobilizes action!

(96) Actions speak louder than words; they are also more truthful!

(97) I have a body! I use my body to be in action. It is the only body I have, or will have. I need/want to keep it healthy.

More than anything else, health involves intelligent attention to good nutrition, regular exercise, and effective responses.

(98) I use my body as my source of information.

All biological organisms are designed to receive information (awareness—sensation through sensory systems) and act on that information (action—response through motor systems). All information comes to my mind from my body (perhaps!? — consciousness is very complex, probably more than my simple body).

(99) Given that I am a spiritual being, it is probable that there are other sources of information. However, in the complexity of our modern materialistic world, it is difficult to determine what these other sources might be, or to access them in reliable ways.

My body is my best starting point.

(100) My body (body-mind-heart-soul-spirit) is a vast system of communicative networks, responding to demand. Three systems predominate:

  • Neurological: electro-chemical orientation, an organizing neuronal/humoral network (uni-cellular), encoding information, responding in milliseconds to seconds. Principally responsible for temporal consciousness and memory.
  • Cardiovascular: fluid pressure orientation, a distributive network (multi-cellular), transferring information/resources, responding in seconds to days. Principally responsible for ??? (¿felt sense—emotionality or spiritual?).
  • Myofascial: mechanical piezo-electrical orientation, a structural network (extracellular), allowing movement within the exo-system, responding in days to years. Principally, it seems to be responsible for energetic consciousness and memory.

(101) The purpose of my mind is to be a delay loop between awareness and action! Almost always, when I am suffering, I am stuck in the delay loop.

(102) The system (me) is well-designed—not omnipotent, just well-designed.

(103) The system is so well-designed that almost always my body knows my truths, and what actions are appropriate.

Usually this occurs  long before I am ready to acknowledge this information consciously.

(104) Action clears the delay loop for new information, and new possibility.

(105) Action can be specific (this is what I need to do—so just do it!) or it can be non-specific discharge (exaggeration, role play, anger discharge in safety, etc.).

Both satisfy the system. (This is one of the fundamental distinctions of my Blowing Out work.)

(106) If at first you don’t succeed, do anything else that is different!

(107) Some actions are more useful than others—they generate the outcomes I want. This is called being effective.

I stop myself from this because it “doesn’t feel right!”—it does not correspond to the way life ‘should’ be. I call this purity —and generally I want purity!

‘Feeling’ has nothing to do with right or wrong; ‘shoulds’ certainly do!

To be continued.

 

¿Truths? Part 3

Dave’s ¿Truths?

Truth2As noted with ¿Truths? Part 1, I am choosing to offer these thoughts simply to encourage growth. I submit them simply for self-study as an example of one person’s searching — such self-study is a very powerful way to come to know yourself. The list of these truths is long and I will submit it over a number of blogs, 25-30 brief statements per posting.

As previously noted, a comment on language: I am not an advocate of scientific materialism, the philosophic ontology that only science can address truth, and that energy-matter is the only domain of experience in the universe. I value scientific methodology highly, but the overall terminology of scientific materialism has many hidden presuppositions. As much as possible, I will identify them in these posts.

[An apology also — sometimes the formatting offered by WordPress is very limiting! An aspect of technology that I hate is that it forces me into processes that I do not want in my life; yet the same technology offers many advantages. Thus my common statement: Technology is wonderful — when it works.]

(52 — the ending of the previous post) What traps me most as a human being is when I assume that the story I make up is true (!), somehow more important than the facts.

(53) Some of my beliefs are easy to identify; others are very difficult.

I have beliefs about my environment, my behaviors, my capabilities, even beliefs about my beliefs—all of these are comparatively easy to identify and manage.

My beliefs about who I should be (my values), about who I am (my identity), and about my identity (my faith), become progressively more difficult to identify and to manage.

(54) Life is difficult; life is painful (I would add: sometimes!). This is the first Noble Truth of the Buddha (Truth #1 of four and I ascribe to them all). There are aspects of life that I do not want to face, and I do a lot to avoid these aspects ( usually inappropriately).

The biggest difficulty (Truth #2) arises because, somehow as a human being, I do not want to believe that life is difficult. “Life should not be this way! Life should be easy!” I want to hold on the pleasurable, and avoid the painful. I suffer when life is not easy — “it should be easy.”

Truth #3 is: Pain (truth #1) is inevitable; suffering (truth #2) is optional.

(55) Maturation through life requires acceptance and discipline (Truth #4).

The Buddhists say it somewhat different from this.

(56) If I truly accept what life offers and am disciplined in my responses, life becomes easier—not less painful, just easier! And frequently more joyous!

(57) Biologically, I am deeply influenced by pain/pleasure. My mind-brain is set to experience reward with the occurrence of pleasure—whatever I consider as pleasure (and possibly also reward if I avoid pain).

In this, I have a short-term orientation to life, my source of satisfaction or my nemesis! Long-term orientation is generally more satisfying if I am seeking peace or happiness (wanting what I get). And more difficult to achieve.

Fortunately I have choice—it come with the human mind (?brain).

(58) What I resist will persist!

Human beings are not helpless, only habitual.

(59) Accepting that life is the way that it is, and authentically working for change, is a major step for creative life!

(60) Acceptance is a very active process: it is not passive! It may not be easy, though.

Often, I accept best when I, to the best of my ability:

  1. examine what I gain and lose from the problem,
  2. acknowledge/appreciate the positives,
  3. minimize/change the negatives, and
  4. forgive my humanness.

(61) By discipline, I mean “doing what I need/want to do even when I do not want to do it”, usually every day.

If I want to fly with eagles, I need to do more than play with turkeys! I need to do what is healthy for me.

(62) Discipline is a way for me to learn about myself, and to stretch my boundaries; it is a way to look at myself in action. The disciplines that I teach (informally) are Yoga (Iyengar), Meditation (Vipassana), and Journal Writing (Progoff). There are many others; essentially they all involve a dedication to truth.

How can I maximize the ways in which I use discipline?

(63) What I gain from discipline is stamina, stamina to be at peace with life’s pain.

(64) Some more definitions to consider/experience:

Pain—                 The conscious awareness of an unpleasant experience that denotes the potential of bodily harm.

Anxiety—   The conscious awareness of an unpleasant experience that denotes the potential of personality harm.

Discipline— The conscious awareness of an unpleasant experience that denotes the potential of health, such that I choose the experience.

The action of choosing needs to be experience-based, not should-based.

(65) Discipline is not a solution; it is a tool to allow me to be still while I find other means of resolution.

(66) Much of every-day life requires discipline in the form of delayed gratification, cleaning up mess so as to have greater satisfaction.

Discipline allows one to do the cleanup with contentment rather than resentment.

(67) Laziness and fearfulness trap me; “life should be easy.”

(68) Life is not fair! It never was!

The only thing in life that is fair is what you and I agree to accept as fair. It is then unfair when one of us breaks this agreement.

Otherwise, life is! Each one of us is handed a different set of circumstances and issues with which to grapple, perhaps to solve.

Optimally we agree to treat each other fairly. We get into difficulty though when we assume that this agreement exists.

(69) My current definition of life is:

“Life is what happens when I am planning something else.”

(70) We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.

(71) It’s not so much what happens to me that matters, but how I respond!

Sometimes the environment is toxic; more commonly I lack flexibility.

Freedom and wisdom both depend on flexibility!

(72) Energy is the capability of doing work, of initiating movement. Life energy, aliveness, is my inherent excitement that I bring to my life.

Emotions occur when I give meaning and direction to my energy.

(73) There are three fundamental “laws” that impact life energy:

  • every human being wants positive experience,
  • it is easier to get negative experience than to get positive, and
  • negative experience is better than no experience.

(74) As simple as these laws seem, they account for much human behavior.

(75) ‘Bitching’ and ‘being a bitch’ are not female preoccupations.

‘Bitching’ means to use one’s energy to complain rather than to negotiate or problem-solve, to be indirect rather than direct—it is generally an ineffective means of power, used by both men and women. It is a way to negative experience.

Pot(76) One of the best metaphors I know for describing myself is as a pot of stew (all the stuff of my past: my values, beliefs, memories and expectations, my VBMEs), being heated on the stove by my current or recent stressors, stirred by a spoon (the current event, here now, often your behavior).

(77) When my pot is stirred (or my buttons pushed, however you want to name this), what comes to the surface (my thoughts and feelings, my T/F) are information as to what is happening, especially information as to what is already in the pot.

Although the process is rapid (and predominantly outside of awareness), I then choose my behavior, my responses (again, also often out of awareness).

If I am aware, I speak of “responding”; if unaware, I “react.” In any event, my behavior then becomes the spoon for your pot! And your subsequent response becomes a further spoon for me, or someone else, and so on!

(78) Consider, however:

  • If I were really stirring a pot of stew with a spoon, and a carrot came to the surface, would I blame the spoon for the carrot? Did the spoon make the carrot?
    • No! The spoon brought the carrot to the surface, but it did not make or cause the carrot.
    • Yet this process is what happens when I blame you for my thoughts, feelings or behavior, when I say “you made me …..”.
  • Your behavior is simply your behavior; I have no divine right to change it, or to judge it. However, I do have the right to know, to account for it, especially if I believe you intend to harm me.
    • If I feel anguish of some kind (anger, sadness, etc.) and you intend it, I wish to protect myself from you, either by leaving or by defending myself in some other way!

(79) In order for me to react to an event (a spoon), I must perceive it (take in the information), and then make an interpretation or judgment about it, especially about its possible danger to me. Generally this is a highly primitive fight-or-flight reaction, incredibly rapid and out of awareness!

Then I prepare my response, and my body starts to reacts, again out of awareness! This body reaction is my emotion, my body getting ready for motion.

I have some choices and control over this process.

(80) Reactivity is a habit! And like all habits, sustained by laziness!

To be continued.

 

¿Truths? Part 2

Meaning2As noted with ¿Truths? Part 1, I am choosing to offer these thoughts simply to encourage growth. I submit them simply for self-study as an example of one person’s searching — it is a very powerful way to come to know yourself. The list is long and I will submit it over a number of blogs, 25-30 brief statements per posting.

As previously noted, a comment on language: I am not an advocate of scientific materialism, the philosophic ontology that only science can address truth, and that energy-matter is the only domain of experience in the universe. I value scientific methodology highly, but the overall terminology of scientific materialism has many hidden presuppositions. As much as possible, I will identify them in these posts.

[An apology also — sometimes the formatting offered by WordPress is very limiting! An aspect of technology that I hate is that it forces me into processes that I do not want in my life; yet, the same technology offers many advantages. Thus my common statement: Technology is wonderful — when it works.]

  1. (Continuing the previous) As part of being present, I learn skills of living.
  2. The skills fall into two main groups:
    • skills of integrity, being my word, including choosing action (pro-activity) rather than “understanding” or “reaction,” developing a vision of where I want to go and how, and being disciplined in “how” I action my vision
    • being in relationship with life, trustworthy and committed, including balancing my needs with the needs of others and being a midwife for others..
  1. All this requires that I be very clear of who I am!

Every man has a vocation to be someone: but he must understand clearly that in order to fulfill this vocation he can only be one person: himself (Thomas Merton).

  1. My journey is not your journey. You need to do your own journey.

The only truth I can tell you is of my journey.

  1. I can never know absolute truth; depending on circumstances, everything is true, and everything is bull. What I gain on the journey is wisdom, the knowing of my own truth! I cannot teach wisdom to anyone else.
  2. I am here now!

This is very simple, yet very fundamental. This is the only time in which I am able to make a difference in life. What difference, if any, do I want to make at this time? Now? Here?

  1. As a biologic creature, I have all the resources I require so as to be alive, to live fully.

I frequently wonder about this; present-day human life is very complex. Sometimes I truly do not know something, and I obtain such from another source. Such resources are invaluable to challenge me in my growth.

However, if there is something such as universal consciousness, then perhaps all is available to me, if only I knew how.

I certainly need integration of my resources; my society also needs integration.

  1. The following statement speaks volumes!

“Until you can see through the rules, you can only see through the rules.” (R. D. Laing)

  1. Believing is seeing!

Usually we say “seeing is believing;” less accurate though.

  1. I am currently doing the best that I can. Even when I believe I should be doing something else, I am still doing the best I can right now.

I can however do something different (especially if I do not like what I am currently doing!)—I have choice!

There is a price tag to choice!

  1. Fears are ‘Fantasied Experiences Appearing Real.’

One of the activities I enjoy is climbing—50’-60’ in the air, suspended by a safety harness. The real risk is slight; the perceived risk is high (and exciting).

Most of my fears are due to perceived risk! I call this fearfulness. And I need to be careful that I do evaluate the real risks!

  1. There is a major distinction between fear and fearfulness.

‘Fear’ is the authentic response to danger. ‘Fearfulness’ is the catastrophic response to ‘fantasized experiences appearing real.’

Julian of Norwich, a 14th century mystic, indicated that this latter is one of the only two sins—it alienates us from life.

  1. This distinction became the basis of my PhD dissertation — the study of acedia, an ancient term that for me includes fearfulness, laziness, and self-righteousness as the fundamental emotional processes we use to avoid authentic living.
  2. Some thoughts/definitions of importance to me.
  • Power—               the ability to influence others.
  • Strength—            the ability to resist others.
  • Freedom—           the ability to influence myself.
  • Wisdom—            flexibility with craziness (yours and/or mine).
  1. I live within an environment, and I impact that environment. Even when I am doing “nothing,” I still have an impact.

What is my impact? Do I truly want this impact?

  1. On rare occasions, I am an innocent victim of the universe (especially true of children).

I am never one when my pain is recurrent—always I contribute to my own suffering.

I have no power to change the universe; I do have power to change my self.

  1. Assuming there is a purpose underlying the universe (God, Creator, .Mystery, …), then there are probably no innocent victims, ever. We are given this life to live it, in all its complexity.

There is a great freedom in accepting that I have chosen to be here.

Yet I often wonder as to the purpose envisioned by Creator. The diversity of life is so complex, especially in the realm of good and evil.

  1. I have a purpose in being here! Even when I do not know what that purpose is, I still have a purpose. What is my purpose?

Sometimes my purpose seems small (I want to talk to you!); sometimes my purpose seems grand (I am an instrument of Mystery!). Always I am a creature of the universe, contributing to whatever purpose resides in the universe.

  1. My time is my time! No one, absolutely no one, gets my time without my permission! I can give my time freely, or resentfully—either way, with my permission!
  2. I am an explorer. I am often happiest being an explorer. As explorer, I cannot fully know what I am exploring until I have explored it!

Frequently, when exploring, I feel very scared.

When I am most scared, and able to explore my scare, I find my biggest treasures.

  1. As much as possible, I seek simplicity and clarity. For me, these allow me a place to stand in the universe. What is the simple and the obvious in my life?
  2. There is a major difference between wishes and goals.

Wishes are exciting, generally vague, and usually I can tell you why I don’t have “it” in my life, perhaps with excuses or explanations. I may also regret, or somehow create, a negative experience from this.

Goals are planned directions, planned in that I know what I want and how to get it, what I need to do and when. The RPMS of goals are Realistic, Practical, Measurable and Specific!

  1. When I am living a goal, it is likely that I am also excited and looking forward, able to celebrate when I am finished (or having reached a significant milestone on the path). I can also change direction when necessary.

How do I live my life, what part as wishes and as goals? Both are useful at times.

  1. “Want” does not mean that I like something; it means that “I choose” (perhaps the better of two goods, often the lesser of two evils).
  2. There are no guarantees!
  3. One of the simple concepts in life is that there are three kinds of “facts”:
  • there are external facts (outside myself—said to be objective — wow!),
  • there are my personal facts (my own internal sensations, thoughts, feelings and my behavior descriptions of what I experience outside myself), and
  • there are my interpretations of these two other facts (the story I make up about these first two types of facts).
  1. What connects these three are my beliefs. Keeping all these aspects, my facts and my beliefs, separate and manageable is an amazingly difficult process—and an incredibly rewarding one when I do so.
  2. What traps me most as a human being is when I assume that the story I make up is true (!), somehow more important than the facts.

Also, I often keep my beliefs out-of-consciousness (so as to maintain this trap)! To step out of the trap means that I will encounter pain (and hopefully joy).

To be continued.