Menu

Where to find strength

HomeForumsEmotional MasteryWhere to find strength

New Reply
Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 111 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #375790
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Felix:

    I communicated with you at length in the past, under the screen name Felix. But you either deleted your previous threads or signed in with a new email, so that the record of your previous threads is not available to me, at this point. I remember that years ago you lived (still, I imagine) in Los Angeles, working in the IT field, born in the former Soviet Union, had a hostile relationship with your then wife, and the one solid comfort in your life has been your dog.

    In your most recent post you wrote: “I am going with the flow… I am not at all depressed or even sad. I am in a great mood”.

    What you described in a bit earlier, in page 1 of your thread, is the opposite of going with the flow and being in a great mood: “I feel like sh%t… I get overwhelming anxiety… I do feel sick, almost to the point of being nauseous from the overwhelming worry… I am all alone and have no support network.. I am always alone… It’s been a long time since I felt anything, but pain.. I just feel overwhelming and out of control..  Guilt is still hurting me. Regret is still punishing me… I am lost. I am beyond lost”.

    Let’s look what you wrote about your family: “Good people, but they treat me badly and have emotionally destroyed me“- what I italicized is the opposite of “good people”.

    Here is a famous quote from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man”.

    I think that you have been true to your dog all along, you trust him, him and no one else.

    anita

    #376363
    Felix
    Participant

    Hi Anita. Sorry for the late response. I’ve been interviewing and studying non-stop. Suuuuper exhausted. Stayed up until 6 am yesterday (today) because I put the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together and I finally saw the image that was missing. And all I had to do was lose all hope. From the “Peaceful Warrior”. “Where are you, Dan? I am here. When are you, Dan? I am now”. So I am and I am.

    I had a breakthrough last night. I’ve been meditating a lot lately and had a few moments of enlightenment’ish realizations. I know what I want. I know exactly what I want generally speaking. I know what I need to do. How long it might take and all that. I am letting go of everything, accepting my life, the world, and everyone else as it exists, and I am content. I am tired, yes, very tired, but it’s OK. There are people who have it much worse. The ONLY thing that still bothers me through all my actualization, realization, etc., is my aloneness. It has been with me since the beginning of time. We are all alone, I get it, born alone and die alone, but most of us have someone. We have partners, kids, close friends, siblings. I have a family, but they are the Kardashians and they don’t understand my reality. My friends are amazing, but they have their own lives and their own families. I am left alone and so far that’s the only thing I have no been able to shake. I can work on putting the pieces back together and realizing my potential, and I will do it no matter what, but this being single and alone is terrible. I am not bored or lonely, I am just alone. I’ll continue working on that as well. I know we can be happy as is, but that’s the one thing I have not been able to defy. I crave physical and emotional connection to the point where it makes me psychologically and physically ill.

    #376368
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Felix:

    “stayed up until 6 am…my aloneness. It has been with me since the beginning of time… this being single and alone is terrible. I am bored or lonely.. I crave physical and emotional connection to the point where it makes me psychologically and physically ill”-

    – what the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), in its website spcanl. com/ social isolation in dogs, states about dogs is true to humans as well: “Why social interaction is so important: our domesticated dogs evolved from wild ancestors that lived in family groups called packs. As we domesticated and bred dogs  to suit our needs, they learned to substitute humans and other family pets for their pack. Having ‘a pack’ is essential to a dog. It is not a natural instinct for a dog to live alone… The need to interact with people, other animals and their environment is a part of a dog’s biological and psychological makeup.

    “Problems created by social isolation: social isolation causes intense boredom, anxiety and often leads to aggression… A dog that is tied onto a dog house nearly all the time and barks constantly (much to the annoyance of neighbors) is literally crying out for help”.

    Wikipedia on Social Isolation, reads: “Research indicates that perceived social isolation (PSI).. may contribute to ‘poorer overall cognitive performance and poor executive functioning, faster cognitive decline, more negative and depressive cognition… ‘ PSI also contributes to accelerating the ageing process… Moreover, the social interactions of individuals who feel socially isolated are more negative and less subjectively satisfying. This contributes to a vicious cycle in which the person becomes more and more isolated…

    “chronic social isolation in rats has been found to lead to depression, anxiety, and psychosis-like behaviors as well as signs of autonomic, neuroendocrine, and metabolic dysregulation… the isolation of a member of a social species has detrimental biological effects”.

    Felix, you mentioned in your recent post that you have family and friends with whom you interact, but you feel lonely, and have felt lonely “from the beginning of time”, meaning that your past and existing social interactions have been very unsatisfying, and therefore you feel lonely. Perceived Social Isolation means Loneliness.

    The Royal society publishing. org, on perceived social isolation: “deficits in social relationship- as indexed by perceived social isolation (i.e. loneliness)- (are linked to) adverse health and fitness consequences at each developmental stage of life. Outcome include depression, poor sleep quality, impaired executive function, accelerated cognitive decline, unfavourable cardiovascular function, impaired immunity… and earlier mortality…

    “Perceived social isolation, colloquially known as loneliness, is a useful construct to examine the importance of social relationships for health and fitness. People are with (or around) other people much of the time, with only a few exceptions (e.g. inmates in solitary confinement..). Group living- in families and larger communities and societies- virtually guarantees the availability of social others and thus minimizes the likelihood of becoming isolated… Perceived social isolation represents a mismatch between an individual’s social needs and the provisions the social environment offers or is perceived to offer. The mismatch can be quantitative.., but is usually more qualitative in nature. That is… social relationships fail to engender the sense of connectedness and belonging that is critical for human thriving..

    “One of the primary functions of social interactions in early life is to foster the learning of trust. Unresponsive and unpredictable parenting foster insecurity and distrust, qualities that can disrupt the foundation on which all subsequent relationships are built…

    “Humans’ deeply social nature means that deficiencies in a sense of connectedness are- to put it colloquially- depressing… Lonely children are implicitly hypervigilant… taking longer to get to sleep and more sleep disturbances… ” (a very long article).

    In conclusion: the title of your thread is “Where to find strength”? I am ready to answer this question: find strength in quality human interactions. Of course, it is easier said than done. But I will be glad to elaborate on my answer with you, through further communication with you.

    anita

    #376378
    Felix
    Participant

    I get it. And I do. I am trying to shed the feeling of what society thinks our life should look like, but it’s not always easy when I walk by people who are coupled up. I went for a short hike with my parents and sister yesterday. We are so different that spending time with them often borders on cringe, but they are family and I love them unconditionally. It felt so nice spending time with them. I don’t need a large circle of friends. I have good friends and good family. Everyone I am surrounded by loves me and I love them, but I feel lonely. I am not talking about being bored with myself. I am not lonely because I have nothing to do. I am lonely simply because I want to share my life with a woman who is my friend, lover, and partner in life. I am not punishing or condemning myself about my past or the future when it comes to this subject. I am learning buddhism and other philosophies, and everyone is all about being in the present. I am learning to be in the present and to dedicate myself 100% to the present moment 100%. It feels amazing. The ego and everything else evaporates, whether I am doing dishes or studying or watching something. But I can’t escape the feeling of that lacking of intimacy, emotional, physical, and everything in between. I am again turning to Buddhism when it comes to this subject, but unlike many other areas of my life I have not been able to master this particular one. I crave (bad word, I know) intimacy and closeness like drug addicts and alcoholics crave their vices. We’ll see how it goes. I am not giving up by actually giving up and enjoying myself as it is. Life will pass us by whether we like it or not, might as well enjoy the ride.

    #376384
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Felix:

    Previously, you wrote about your family: “they treat me badly and have emotionally destroyed me“. In your most recent post, you wrote: “I have good friends and good family. Everyone I am surrounded by loves me”-

    – your “good family” (1) destroyed you, (2) loves you, (3) treats you badly?

    I mean, do you see my problem here, trying to understand you?

    anita

    #376387
    Felix
    Participant

    I am abbreviating things here it’s an online forum and not some group or personal therapy. My parents did some bad stuff in the past when I was younger. And by bad, I don’t abuse or something terrible in that sense. I mean neglect and absence of love and care. I’ve forgiven them, fully. Now, they don’t do bad stuff, but they are so different that if we weren’t related I would not look in their direction and they would not look in mine. They are obsessed with wealth, superficial things, Kardashian culture, and truly believe that only material wealth brings true happiness. I am 100% opposite of that. But they are my family and we’ve all gone through horrible things in the last 10 years, so everyone is trying to the best of their ability. We are still different and they still do things that drive me insane, but I love them and they are making their best effort to love me. I accept them as they are and they accept me for who I am.

    #376388
    Felix
    Participant

    I think I’ll wrap it up here. Not trying to be rude, but that’s completely off topic. I’ve had a breakthrough in the last week and I know where my path lies. It’s a shame that I am going through it all alone, but it is what it is. I accept life such as it is. I am here and I am now. My parents, my job, my bank account, all that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I am learning to love myself, not in a vain selfish kind of a way, but in a way where I see that my mind, body, and my consciousness are starting to work together in unison. I am fine by myself. And that strength that I was look for in the beginning of the post, I have it now and that’s all I have to say. Thank you everyone.

    c’est la vie

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 4 days ago by Felix.
    #376390
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Felix,

    I know you’re not asking for feedback any more, but I still want to say that what Anita noticed isn’t off topic. Not at all. I understand you don’t want to use this public forum for personal therapy and talking about your past, but I suggest you do find a therapist to work through those issues in private. Because even though we say we’ve forgiven our parents and hold no resentment towards them, it’s not completely true because it’s not enough to do it mentally, rationally. There’s still a wounded inner child within us, and no matter how your enlightened adult self is trying to accept it and rationalize it telling yourself c’est la vie, the wounded child is screaming for love, care and attention. Unless you do the inner work of healing that wound, it will be difficult to move forward. You’ll feel empty, exhausted and lonely, like you do now. If you want a rich, fulfilled life, you need to tend to the unhealed wound within.

    #376401
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Felix,

    There’s something else I’d like to add. When you say you’ve forgiven your parents and love them unconditionally, without actually having done the inner child work, you’re invalidating the feelings of that inner child. You’re telling your younger self that it doesn’t matter that he was hurt by the actions of your parents (“My parents did some bad stuff in the past when I was younger. And by bad, I don’t abuse or something terrible in that sense. I mean neglect and absence of love and care.“)

    Emotional neglect can be very hard on the child, because we feel unseen and unappreciated. From what you’ve written, your parents didn’t see the real you, but were only interested in superficial things. (“They are so different that if we weren’t related I would not look in their direction and they would not look in mine. They are obsessed with wealth, superficial things, Kardashian culture, and truly believe that only material wealth brings true happiness. I am 100% opposite of that.”)

    They most likely didn’t appreciate the real you, because they weren’t in touch with their authentic selves either. So you probably felt not understood and very alone. Actually you said it yourself: “The ONLY thing that still bothers me through all my actualization, realization, etc., is my aloneness. It has been with me since the beginning of time.

    I imagine that you felt alone since the beginning of time because your parents never saw the real you, nor were they interested in the real you.

    What matters is that I am learning to love myself, not in a vain selfish kind of a way, but in a way where I see that my mind, body, and my consciousness are starting to work together in unison.

    If you want to truly love yourself, you need to embrace your wounded inner child. You need to validate his feelings, validate his pain, and truly see him, rather than push him away (which is quite the opposite of how your parents treated you). Only then can you truly love yourself.

    #376407
    Peter
    Participant

    I trust Felix won’t mind me commenting.

    I suspect there are many ways of embracing ones ‘ wounded inner child’ and not all of them requires a full digging up of past disappointments.  One can come to terms with ones Mother and Father complexes through a process of seeing them as individuals with their own needs, more then only Mother and Father. Felix appears to have found his way through the tangles and we should respect that.

    Like Felix I’ve wondered If my family were not my family and we came across each other if we would even like each other. My conclusion is that we would probably walk on by each other not even bothering to ask the question. That was troubling to me until I read Fredrik Backman book ‘Anxious People’ in which some of his characters were troubled by the same feeling. His response might be seen in this quote:

    “Because perhaps it’s true what they say, that up to a certain age a child loves you unconditionally and uncontrollably for one simple reason, you’re theirs. Your parents and siblings can love you for the rest of your life, too, for precisely the same reason.” ― Fredrik Backman

    The question of if I or my parents and siblings would like each other if we were strangers disappeared. It was a unnecessary, and unskillful question. I care about them and they care about me because we ‘belong’ to each other. And that is enough.

    Fredrik Backman book ‘Anxious People’ starts with the following:

    “This story is about a lot of things, but mostly about idiots. So it needs saying from the outset that it’s always very easy to declare that other people are idiots, but only if you forget how idiotically difficult being human is. Especially if you have other people, you’re trying to be a reasonably good human being for.”

    I think that’s true of all our stories, at least it is of mine and I’m pretty sure of my families. Were all trying to be reasonably good human beings for each other and at times, most times are ‘idiots’.  And that’s enough

    These realizations we have, these breakthroughs, I think can appear to be so simple. Surly more work is required… Such big problems should have big solutions… right?

    I no longer think so.  Its coming home and seeing things as if for the first time. A realization perhaps that we work so hard for things that don’t require work. The paradox is that we cant realize that until we do the work. Yet when the work is completed why should we hang onto the work? These realizations when we come on them require only a Yes,  “I see”…. Such a odd experience especially if the expectation is for fireworks that the world will notice….

    “Before one studies Zen, mountains are mountains and waters are waters; after a first glimpse into the truth of Zen, mountains are no longer mountains and waters are no longer waters; after enlightenment, mountains are once again mountains and waters once again waters.” ― Dōgen

    You work so hard to climb the mountains the become more then mountains only to return in the realization that the mountains were always mountains.  So much work for that which, after the return, work is no longer required.

    Maybe I’m not making any sense, words get in the way, yet I suspect Felix understands .

    #376409
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Peter,

    I think I understand what you’re trying to say – that we can help ourselves by changing our perspective, by looking at things differently. That’s true up to a point. But if we step on a piece of glass and hurt ourselves, we can’t pretend that it doesn’t hurt. We can’t look at it differently and say “no, I’m not in pain.” It’s pretty simple with physical pain.

    With emotional pain it’s a bit trickier, because we can actually tell ourselves that it doesn’t hurt. We can rationalize it. We can try to “transcend it”. But the inner child is the part of us which still feels the pain – and the pain is very real. It’s like when we step on a piece of glass, only the glass is in our soul, in our heart. We can try to ignore it but it comes out in different other ways.

    “Because perhaps it’s true what they say, that up to a certain age a child loves you unconditionally and uncontrollably for one simple reason, you’re theirs. Your parents and siblings can love you for the rest of your life, too, for precisely the same reason.” ― Fredrik Backman

    It’s true that a child loves their parents unconditionally, because it depends on them completely.  They are the source of love,  nurturing and protection, and the child depends on them to meet their physical and emotional needs. Without the parents or care-takers, the child wouldn’t survive.

    Parents or care-takers (or siblings) on the other hand, don’t necessarily love the child unconditionally. Sometimes they withdraw their love when the child doesn’t behave in a certain way. Sometimes parents can be physically and/or emotionally abusive. The fact that someone is our parent doesn’t guarantee they love us unconditionally. We might have been wounded  by the very people who were supposed to love and care for us, and that’s why it’s so painful. We need to heal those wounds if we want to have a happy, fulfilling life.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 3 days ago by TeaK.
    #376414
    Peter
    Participant

    Hi TeaK

    When I use the words Unconditional Love I associate them with accountability and healthy boundaries. One can love someone unconditionally and still hold them accountable for who they are. That is not a paradox If we don’t get to be held accountable for who we are and what we do then we don’t get to experience purpose or meaning. If we don’t’ get to experience that we wont experience being Loved.

    A task of individualization, becoming, requires coming to terms with the mother and father complexes. Part of that process is pulling back our shadow projections and ‘becoming our own mother and father’, learn to nurture and protect ourselves. Or set healthy boundaries. Having the best or worse parent, the task is the same. Finding peace with our parents inevitable failures while creating healthy boundaries. From what I read Felix has done the work and found his way.

    The memory of the pain we felt as we step on the piece of glass is just that a memory. Perhaps their is even a scar and a lesson to be more careful around broken glass. I can let go of any anger or disappointment I may have had about glass, maybe more so because it was broken.  I don’t have to hold on to the memory, dwell on it forever in order to maintain healthy boundaries.  I can honor the inner child without clinking onto memory which may be a ego wish  ‘if only’ things were different.

    Like Felix I’m not talking about abuse but the inevitable things family do that hurt us. Its hard for family to see it’s members as they are outside the context of family.  We need our parents and siblings to play their role and when they step out of them, it can cause us pain. But that’s not about them that’ s about us.  Ad we grow we can I think let that part go and love them just because their ours. No longer demanding or need them to play this or that role for us just as we may no longer have to play the roles assigned to us.  That will still require healthy boundaries.

     

     

    #376415
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Peter,

    Part of that process is pulling back our shadow projections and ‘becoming our own mother and father’, learn to nurture and protect ourselves. Or set healthy boundaries. Having the best or worse parent, the task is the same. Finding peace with our parents inevitable failures while creating healthy boundaries.

    I agree that we need to become a loving, compassionate parent to our own inner child, and learn to nurture and protect ourselves, as you say. Eventually we need to forgive our parents, regardless of how inadequate they might have been. What I was saying is that we can’t forgive by simply changing our thinking – we need to also process it emotionally, i.e. work on those unmet needs from our childhood, i.e. our wounded inner child.

    The memory of the pain we felt as we step on the piece of glass is just that a memory. Perhaps their is even a scar and a lesson to be more careful around broken glass.

    Until we heal our wounded inner child, i.e. give ourselves the love and affection we didn’t get as children, the wound will be active and festering under the surface of the skin. It first needs to be cleaned in order to start healing and a scar developing. Only then can it become a memory which doesn’t hurt any more. We can then truly forgive our parents and hold no resentments, because we know that they too were just a wounded children themselves and didn’t know better.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 3 days ago by TeaK.
    #376433
    Peter
    Participant

    Hi Teak

    I suspect their are many path a person might follow to forgiveness. The experience of forgiving and being forgiven being a personal one.  A stumbling block many have may be associating the idea of forgiveness with the idea that a forgiven person can no longer be held accountable.  That would not be Love or a path to healthy boundaries.  Unconditional Love becoming a unhealthy unconditional allowing.

    I also wonder if that some times instead of healing our wounded inner child the tendency isn’t to cling to them. What makes you wonder if Felix hasn’t found his way to heal the wounded child?

    The point I was trying to make in the pervious zen quote about the mountain.  When that realization (enlightenment) comes and the child is healed, the mountain becomes a mountain again… we don’t keep climbing it. Its a odd experience because I think we grow attached to that inner wounded child and attach our sense of self to it. And the realization is self isn’t usually some grand fireworks that changes everything but a quitting.  the mountain becomes a mountain again.

    The memory of the disappointment and hurt by someone we needed better from continues to be a memory of hurt and disappointment.  Its our associations and attachment with that disappointment and hurt that changes. The wounded child, the joyous child, remains a part of us but is not attached to the sense of self. We are more and less then the sum of our parts, more and les then the sum of our experiences, memories, emotions, thoughts.  Bigger then big and smaller then small.

    A man traveling along a path came to a great expanse of water. As he stood on the shore, he realized there were dangers and discomforts all about. But the other shore appeared safe and inviting. The man looked for a boat or a bridge and found neither. But with great effort he gathered grass, twigs and branches and tied them all together to make a simple raft. Relying on the raft to keep himself afloat, the man paddled with his hands and feet and reached the safety of the other shore. He could continue his journey on dry land.

    Now, what would he do with his makeshift raft? Would he drag it along with him or leave it behind? He would leave it, the Buddha said. Then the Buddha explained that the dharma is like a raft. It is useful for crossing over but not for holding onto, he said.

    We may abandon the raft but the skills we learned to build it, that becomes a part of us.

    In my own experiences I have tried to carry the raft, afraid that I will forget how to build one if needed again. Its exhausting. I’ve seen others that keep re-crossing the river to get it just “right”, some that become a expert raft makers and guides… others that create temples at each side of the river…. That’s fine however I think we forget that the purpose of crossing the river for most people is to continue on the journey.

    #376435
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Peter,

    A stumbling block many have may be associating the idea of forgiveness with the idea that a forgiven person can no longer be held accountable. That would not be Love or a path to healthy boundaries. Unconditional Love becoming a unhealthy unconditional allowing.

    I agree. Unconditional love or unconditional forgiveness can be just an empty phrase, and is sometimes used by spiritual people who find it hard to face their pain (or to accept responsibility for their actions), so they’d rather transcend their pain and pretend that all is love and light. I also agree that true forgiveness doesn’t mean allowing others to abuse or disrespect us, or to cross our boundaries. Even if we forgive our parents for having treating us badly, it doesn’t mean we’ll allow them to do it again. If they don’t want to change, we need to protect our boundaries and e.g. reduce contact with them.

    I also wonder if that some times instead of healing our wounded inner child the tendency isn’t to cling to them.

    Many people react from their wounded inner child. Actually, according to Internal Family Systems, our wounded inner child is only one part of our personality – the most fragile one, which was hurt by the lack of love, care, appreciation, support etc in our childhood. But we have other parts, called the protectors, which serve to protect that wounded inner child from pain. A protector part is e.g. when we act tough and distant in a relationship because we’re afraid of intimacy, we’re afraid of actually being hurt again. So we use various defense mechanisms to protect our wounded inner child. Those mechanisms are dysfunctional, they don’t help us, but still, we believe they shield us from pain.

    So yes, we can cling to those defense mechanisms for a long time, till we decide to feel the original pain and heal it, so that we don’t need the false protection any more. That means that e.g. we heal from the fear of intimacy, which enables us to become open and vulnerable in a relationship. We aren’t playing defense any more. As a result, we can have deeper and healthier relationships.

    What makes you wonder if Felix hasn’t found his way to heal the wounded child?

    I don’t feel comfortable talking about Felix without him participating in the discussion. But I’ll just say that whenever we don’t want to look into something, it’s a sign that a defense mechanism is at work.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by TeaK.
Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 111 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Please log in OR register.