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Finding or creating oneself

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  • #78831
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hey everyone,

    Sorry if this is real long..I guess i wanted to share all that is on my mind lately.

    Currently, i have a little more than 2 weeks left at my internship at this American MNC marketing research company. Despite being a masters student in economics, i decided to opt for it because i got the chance and well, i guess having it on my resume wouldnt hurt while job hunting. The truth is, I dont entirely love it, some parts are fine by me and some parts i really find dull and monotonous. I have been lucky in the sense that despite being subjected to over-professional, snappy and sometimes plain brusque managers where i have had to handle a lot of work pressure and also be criticized, almost given pink slip like speech albeit unfairly, i managed to change, do my best and receive positive feedback from them. I worked really hard and its often the case, where i have moments of weariness and wonder when i see my classmate in another team of the same company getting lesser work, leaving early and having a relaxed life while i am managing 3 projects in various stages simultaneously while doing other things. I feel like “jeez, i dunno whats the point of this stress.” sometimes i feel so doubtful of my abilities, my smartness and everything bout me in general.

    I dont hate myself but i dont exactly love myself entirely yet. Lately, as i have been sitting nearby one of the big-shot directors, a part of me wishes that someday i too could reach a position like that – i guess i am searching for that feeling that i do have something in me, i can do this – maybe a smaller word would be confidence. I have mixed shades – basically an introvert who was quite socially anxious but in the last one year has learned to live alone, go to uni and make friends despite serious depression issues that spiraled her to almost suicide sometimes. I worry a lot about whether i am doing fine, i feel kinda distrustful of people and take my time with them. Right now, all i am focusing on is trying various activities, socializing more and not focus too much on whats lacking…its just..i wish things would be okay…i am not sure what that really means to me, i know i have made a lot of progress but i guess, i wanna know who i am and what i want…i want to do something good with my life and go places. I just wish i believed that i wont be this nerdy nervous girl forever.

    Can anyone make sense of this?

    Regards,
    Moon

    #78832
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Moon:
    What you want, it seems to me, is possible via a process that you already started, a PROJECT if you will. You wrote that you manage a few at the same time at work. What if the one and superior project of all is that which you define for yourself- specify the best you can what it is that you want, the aim, goal of your very personal project. Not a goal that society sets, a should-be goal, a real one, one that is authentic for you. That would be the project way above all others and all other projects are inferior to it, there to serve the superior project. Everything you do is to get you closer to the aim of the major, superior, highest project. Perhaps peace of mind, a state of mind that you will define, that you already felt at times and want more of, a state of mind that is possible (a constant ecstasy as a goal would be impossible). What do you think?

    anita

    #78882
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear Anita,

    I suppose you are right. I have been trying to do new things a lot lately, think less, act more, make more mistakes, learn and grow. Sure its made me more scared and anxious sometimes but i guess i would regret not doing what i want to later than actually doing them. Hopefully someday, i will love myself for real and be confident.

    Regards,
    Moon

    #78883
    Rock Banana
    Participant

    Hi Moongal,

    Material success can’t make you happy.

    To understand this, you have to realize what makes you unhappy. So, what makes you suffer? It might seem like it’s your circumstances, but it’s not. You can test this by asking yourself, could somebody else be happy in the same circumstances? Am I always unhappy in these circumstances, or only some of the time? When I’m not thinking thoughts that make me unhappy, am I suffering?

    Of course, through this kind of questioning you’ll come to realize yourself that the thing that creates your suffering is thinking, that is believed in the moment.

    What kind of thinking? Well, judgements (about yourself and your circumstances), beliefs about how things “should be”, etc.

    Now, think about it. Can a really good job with a lot of money eliminate the thoughts in your mind that make you unhappy – judgements about yourself and your circumstances, beliefs about how things should be, negative beliefs about your abilities etc?

    Of course not.

    The thing is, what will really, truly bring you happiness and lasting peace, is to realize that the only thing that can make you unhappy is thinking.

    Just let that soak in.

    You don’t have to believe me, just question it for yourself. How do you feel when you tell yourself certain thoughts? Are the thoughts true just because you feel that they’re true? (No – you can prove this in a thought experiment such as, If you believed your partner cheated on you, you would tell yourself thoughts that make you feel bad, regardless of the reality. It could be they never cheated on you, but because you tell yourself the thoughts that they did and that’s bad, you feel bad. The point here is, the reality is irrelevant – your thinking creates your unhappiness. The real circumstances don’t actually change your feelings at all! You see?)

    Now, let’s have a look at some of the thoughts in your post.

    “sometimes i feel so doubtful of my abilities, my smartness and everything bout me in general”

    How do you feel when you tell yourself this thought?

    Are these thoughts serving you or not?

    Of course they’re not going to disappear overnight. But the thing is, if you make some deep philosophical shifts, the thoughts will let go of you naturally. Think about it – are you smart? Now, here’s the thing. Say you got a certain result on a test. Does that prove you’re smart? How would you know what ‘smart’ even is? How do you quantify it? Is it possible some people think you’re not smart? Is it possible some people think you are smart? Do you think you’re smart in some moments, and not in others? Where is smart? Can you show me where it is? You can show me your nose, your eyes, your arms. Where is smart?

    “Smart” is just a thought. In reality you are not smart. But that doesn’t mean you’re stupid. Stupid is just a thought. In reality there is no stupid. In reality none of these judgements about yourself exist, they only exist in your mind and in the minds of other people’s. So the bad news is, you’re not cool, you’re not clever, you’re not funny, you’re not friendly, you CAN’T be any of these things objectively and scientifically and in terms of ‘reality as it is’. But guess what? Nor are you stupid. You’re not bad, you’re not worthless, you’re not a failure, you’re not dumb, you’re not any of these things either. Because those too are just judgements of reality you create in your mind. THOUGHTS. Those self-judgements are really flimsy, which is why you struggle to maintain them. That’s why you try so hard to keep up a certain self-image – because you’re aware that the judgements aren’t actually true in reality, whatever they are. Otherwise they wouldn’t require so much maintenance.

    This may all seem a bit bleak, but please, it’s liberating. Because with that understanding comes the freedom of knowing that you are just as you are. In that sense, you’re perfect. In this moment, there is nothing wrong with you. You lack nothing. How could you? Those beliefs are just THOUGHTS. And thoughts aren’t the same thing as reality. “Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so” – Shakespeare.

    Now, in your post you’re doing the natural thing and trying to find fulfillment and happiness out there. Society tells you, get a great job and you’ll be happy. An amazing house. A great relationship…

    But wait. Pause. Are all the people with those things really happy? No! Some of them are depressed. Some of them just want more.

    Getting stuff doesn’t make you happy. Appreciating what you have does, because it involves acceptance of what is now.

    Now I’m NOT saying, just abandon personal ambition and so on. Go out and keep striving, go for a great job. Why? Because you would prefer to have money, relationship, job, whatever. But to be happy, make those strivings something you do because you would prefer those things, NOT to seek happiness.

    Happiness is here. Now. Every time you’re not depressing yourself with your thoughts, you’re happy. Now, you might tell me, but hold on. Even when I’m not thinking, I sometimes feel bad.

    Wait. You feel bad? That’s a thought. Who said, for example, a fluttering in the stomach is “bad”? Who said a racing heart is “bad”? Who said a dull ache in your chest is “bad”? Thoughts say that!

    In reality those sensations are just sensations. Just feel them. They are as they are. To say they’re “bad” is to label them – and THAT’S what makes you unhappy!

    Now sometimes you’ll feel things you don’t regard as pleasant, but just feel them. Let them be. They’re OK. Explore the sensations physically without resorting to labelling and judging them. Notice what thoughts come up, but don’t get sucked into the thinking. Remember, the thoughts are not reality, they’re just stories your mind is telling you. And if you’re listening to the thoughts, how can you be them?

    Think about it. If you are listening to the thoughts, then you’re not the thoughts. You’re the listener. The observer. You observe all of that, you aren’t “it”.

    Then you’re free. Then peace, happiness, contentment.

    Don’t expect this to be an overnight change. For many this is a lifetime of developmental work. But I hope I’ve helped to show you some things and to possibly give you a direction of where you might be headed.

    …of course, the real fulfillment comes from knowing you don’t need to go anywhere at all.

    You’re fine here, now. You are whole. You are complete.

    Be here now. Have fun. Enjoy the game. Because that’s what life is. A wonderful, elaborate game.

    Peace out!

    #78920
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear Rock Banana,

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    As much as i appreciate the ideas of Noah Elkrief to feel happy and less depressed, what many of his ideas miss out is the power of maturity and experience that bring about changes in our responses. You may argue that yes indeed its all about thoughts but the Dalai Lama too had once said this, that thoughts arent enough to simply transcend a certain plane. One needs experience to make that happen. I realize that material happiness isnt everything. However, as a young 20s something keen to make a mark in the world for her sake, i dont see why materialism is such a bad thing – I want to do well, I care about what i do and I want to gain new experiences, be kinder to myself instead of only intellectualizing everything.

    I agree with the idea to not judge one’s feelings but the essence of that is to allow oneself to just feel – if i feel bad, i dont have to keep going crazy trying to always control my thoughts – physiological reasons matter too – sometimes a long shower or a walk or a laugh does more than re-programming our feelings via thoughts. I agree what we thinks matters but i have given up trying to judge every aspect of my thinking – I am trying now to go with the flow and change over time. Wanting to change doesnt mean i am not whole or something is wrong with me – its all part of growing up. I have been through a lot in my life and some of those wounds are still healing – Right now, all i want is some courage and to believe in myself again. Yes, i still doubt myself sometimes but i want to go on now despite all these doubts.

    I am not attempting an argument of any sort but simply trying to make my point a bit clearer to you – The path will unfold along the way, its just i am done trying to nitpick it like crazy like before.

    Regards,
    Moon

    #78926
    Bethany Rosselit
    Participant

    Hi Moongal,

    It sounds like you are feeling overwhelmed. So first, do something to calm yourself. Try breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, prayer–whatever works for you.

    Then, look at these thoughts you are having. Look at the doubts you are having about yourself, and ask “Why do I think this?” After you answer that question, ask it again! Your mind is assuming something about you, that is leading to all of those doubts. It is looking for “evidence” to prove its assumption true. So see if you can figure out what those assumptions are, then ask yourself why they should be true.

    Once you’ve looked at the assumptions, consider other possibilities. How can you redefine them?

    Taking a good look at your self-talk can really provide a lot of insight.

    Bethany
    http://onlinetherapyandcoaching.org

    #78928
    Matt
    Participant

    Moon,

    Well said! Some conclude, especially when engaging Buddhism without a teacher, that the emptiness of thoughts means they are pointless, to be ignored, turned away from. Better though is to accept them as not inherently agitating, meeting them with space. For instance, thoughts of food can be noticed, accepted, and embraced without panic, as an indication we are perhaps hungry. You could breathe and ignore them all day, or you could eat a sandwich. 🙂

    Good luck on your journey, friend, you’re wonderful.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    #78931
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hey Matt and Bethany,

    Thank you for taking the time to reply here. I will take your ideas into consideration.

    @Bethany – The source of all this has kinda accumulated over the years and it will take me a while to truly walk away from it, work through the knots – there are patterns of all-for-nothing thinking, emotional reasoning, certain habits i have picked up to cope but yes, it no longer worries me like before or makes me hate life the way i used to. Everything is still the same, i only have new eyes that are taking time to get used to the world i see differently now.

    @Matt – Thanks, I will surely try. I have got so much to learn tbh 🙂

    Regards,
    Moon

    #79049
    Rock Banana
    Participant

    It’s not about thinking your way out of suffering, it’s to realize that thoughts create suffering and not to take them so seriously. If you’re already figuring that out and discovering that on some level, then cool! The thought disputing elements are just there to address recurring beliefs, the idea being that when you stop believing the thought to be ‘true’ it won’t keep asserting itself in your attention. Anyway glad you’ve got stuff that’s working for you Moon.

    #79357
    Nekoshema
    Participant

    Lol, wow anonymous, a spam post about a spell caster on a non-pagan site, I’m impressed. Not to be laughed off this forum, but I’m Wiccan, don’t listen to someone claiming a spell caster can fix your life, they’re scamming you [obvious to non-believers I get it, but I’m in a few pagan communities online so I’m obliged to point this out] also, you don’t need a spell for your current situation, just some introspection.

    Anyway, Moon I can relate to how you feel, you’re trying to find your place in the world [as am I] and all these other people seem so happy and confident and everything without trying. Think is that’s our perception, not fact. People could be looking at you and thinking the same thing [crazy, but it’s possible] I sadly can’t help you too much, but I feel journaling and asking/answering questions [who am I? What do I like? What is my ideal self like?] Has helped me figure stuff out.

    Also, it’s not a bad thing to want a high paying job with a big house and whatnot, it’s when you define your happiness by your stuff there’s problems. If you dream of one day owning a sports car, that’s fine, telling yourself you can’t be happy or successful without it is problematic.

    Sorry if I’m not as helpful as everyone else, I’m in the same boat as you [or the very next boat lol] good luck figuring everything out.

    #83896
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi everyone,

    I know this is a long due post but just wanted to say thank you to all for replying 🙂

    Regards
    Moon

    #83899
    jock
    Participant

    I just wish i believed that i wont be this nerdy nervous girl forever.

    It is probably something I don’t like about myself too. But it might be what makes us special, unique and loveable too.

    #83911
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    ”I suppose you are right. I have been trying to do new things a lot lately, think less, act more, make more mistakes, learn and grow. Sure its made me more scared and anxious sometimes but i guess i would regret not doing what i want to later than actually doing them. Hopefully someday, i will love myself for real and be confident.”

    I’m happy to read this post as this sounds like a healthy minded girl. self aware, looking at possibles not just plain negatives. not afraid to try new things and stor things up a bit

    it’s absolutely fine to be a wee bit scaredy and it happens to everyone in the whole world, I refuse to believe it doesn’t. but many hide behind their labels and never even try. When I get lost and I’m just pulling through a lost patch myself, I do exactly the same as you have described: make mistakes, get things wrong, hate myself, love myself, scientific experiments of behaviour

    Yep. you’re going to be ok f’sure x

    #84197
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi pomplemous,

    Thanks a lot! Yep, a lot of the magic has already started and now its blossoming out – The last 3 years i have been trying to change my attitude and habits – I have seen a lot of shit in my early years but i am letting go now, there is a big world out there and i cant be bitter and doubtful forever because of the past. Finally, i am beginning to feel more comfortable in my skin. Somehow that feeling of “i am awesome just the way i am, i always was” is beginning to sink in. I never thought it was really real. These last couple of weeks, i wake up and look at the mirror – smile unwittingly, wink sometimes. I really like that pretty girl in the mirror 😀 Its like meeting my favorite person. Haha, not in a million years i could think that about me before!

    Oddly, that has made me less reactive and bothered by others. I realize now a number of my responses were often a reflection of my inner state and self-perception rather than what was. Besides, we all have limited time here in the world, lets make the best of whatever we got and laugh more.

    Once again, best wishes on both our journeys and lets have a hell of a ride while we can 🙂

    Regards,
    Moon

    #84200
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Jack,

    Yep, we always were unique and special – The world is still the same but we sometimes need a new view.

    Regards,
    Moon

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