Use What You Know – It Will Help You Know Yourself Better And Be a Guide For Your Future Efforts

The Forbidden Kingdom

Image by Gandalf. via Flickr

Some of the best encouragement I got was from my sister-in-law who writes, CretingBrains.com. She said,

Sana, you know a lot! When you start writing, you’ll see. It will come to you. You won’t believe how much you have to say.

Now when I get stuck, when no words come, I remember this, the panic ebbs away and I start to write.  I increased my listening skills …to myself, to hear myself.  It’s a terrible thing to live, loud background noise, but not learning how to become the main voice  of your own journey.  The knowledge base, emotions, energies and passive efforts although acquainted with each other never merge into rhythm.

Just write what you know.

I learned more to trust myself.  In fact, I became a better physician.

However, before this, I studied. I studied and I studied and got worked really hard, but I got the knowledge base that I have and I gained part of my platform.  I got a lot.

I share my sister’s words with others.

Just write what you know.

I’m not done.  I shudder to think about being done.  It feels like death.   However by writing, it stretches my movements.  It reminds me of those martial arts movies that show all the kicks and jumps and climbing air as if moments could be shaped differently.

That is my experience, but any of us have something worth saying.  We have our suffering at least.  Everyone has some of that.

My six year-old was asking me about writing a blog.  I’m sure she’s tired of watching me at the keys and figures she’ll join me if she can’t get me otherwise.  I asked her what she’d write about and she said,

I have nothing to say Mommy!

Just write what you think, I said.

I have nothing to say!

Just write what you feel, I said.

And then my daughter found her words.

One!  I’m lonely!  Two!  I feel left out!  Three!  I’m sad!  Four!  I’m happy!

She is a fierce creation.  She is, like me, “A big ‘F.”  (F stands for feeler in the language of temperaments.)  At age six, she has much to write about.  I remembered my sisters words,

…you’ll see. It will come to you. You won’t believe how much you have to say.  Just write what you know.

We all have something to say and for many of us, saying it increases our sense of presence with ourselves, our connections with others and inherent to the design of writing freestyle, guides us into the space of what we enjoy.  That space can be evasive and for some of us, it takes practice and increased skill to find it.  But here is an exercise in being friendly with ourselves.  Not many of us would spend this kind of time on things that bore us, things we feel awkward with, things that erode our self-confidence or increase incongruence with our inner-self.  When we write freestyle, we let our genetic self speak.  It can be used as a guide to clarify our talents and interests as per our design.

I hope I never forget how compelling my daughter was with her,

One! I’m lonely!…

That is a lot to say.  There’s a lot there worth hearing as well.

Go toward your interests and you’ll be writing what you know.  If writing isn’t in your design, something else is that will join you up with your personal journey, grow your sense of presence, connect you to others and serve as a guide to clarify your talents per the design you were created to be.  Go toward it.  You won’t believe how much you’ve already stored up.  You are treasure.

Self-Care Tip – Use what you know by using your temperament as your guide. Keep on.

Emotions – One Part of The Multi-Paradigm Weave That Makes Us Who We Are

Immanuel Kant developed his own version of the...

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Yesterday we spoke about the emotion, happiness, as it connects to and does not connect to spirituality.  Traditional western religions squirm  or  more, disagree when they hear this.  Everything is spiritual in their school of thought.  However, as our understanding of where emotions and behaviors come from, we have happily disentangled ourselves from the stigma and judgment that comes from the way many people have (mostly unwittingly and often without intended malice) abused us with mental illness.

I know that I have also been in this crowd of prejudiced.  Coming out of that has been fun.  There is still so much that I think I see clearly but don’t, as it is for us all.  The growth we’re talking about is part of the high adventure that brings pleasure to life.

To say it plainly:

  1. Emotions come from the brain.
  2. Emotions are not always directly chosen as we can’t directly choose the way our brain works.
  3. Emotions are what we use to interpret the world around us.
  4. Emotions don’t have intrinsic moral value.  Morality is bigger than the way we feel.
  5. Emotions are not constant between us.
  6. Emotions are a sense.  We’ve called them the Sixth Sense.  Senses are subjective and not objective.

How does this fit into your biopsychosocial model of how you see yourself?

Biology.  Psychology.  Socially.

How does it influence the way you befriend yourself?

How might this influence stigma surrounding emotional illness?

Emotions are just one of the many things that make us who we are.  Many many things.  As we tease these bits of ourselves apart, it is not the same as denying the multi-paradigm weave that makes us who we are.

Self-Care Tip – Enjoy your emotions but don’t put your life on them.

happiness and spirituality are related and separate

Father Time? (IMG_9736a)

Image by Alaskan Dude via Flickr

A couple of days ago, in blog-post What Must I Do To Be Happy, we asked the question,

Do you see happiness as something that reflects your condition of spirituality and/or your condition of brain health?

This is not a question we hear every day.

The relationship of happiness and spirituality is heavily weighted in our cultural awareness.  We hear about it all the time.  “They are connected,” is a reasonable statement.

The separateness of happiness and spirituality is culturally quiet.  How often do we think that happiness is about brain health and not our spiritual condition?  It may not be reasonable, culturally common or comfortable, but it is still true; they are separate.

Lola Snookers answered our question saying,

No, I do not see happiness and spirituality going hand in hand. Having faith does help me be stronger but no it doesn’t pull me out of sadness. I can be grateful and depressed at the same time. …to say having a closer connection to God will make you happy is crazy. It helps me hang on and push though, it blesses my heart & maybe someday I will look back think how happy I was to have Him in my life (and I am.) However, for me it doesn’t in itself make me happy.

Lola is telling us that happiness and spirituality are related and separate.  There is no reason they can’t be both …except for how we reason.  For example, I think of Father-Time who left office when the forth-dimension came into discussion.  Our reasoning changed and told us that Time is not what we thought.

There is great freedom in the understanding that emotions such as happiness are not always chosen.   There is great freedom knowing more about how we intersect with the seen and unseen forces.  Freedom in knowing how we connect seems paradoxical doesn’t it?  But it isn’t.

We’ve talked about how everything is connected and that knowledge is flat.  That includes happiness and spirituality.  However, we have also spoken about taking things apart to know their natures better.  Knowing how they are separate is knowing how they connect.

What Is Your Life-er?

Cover of The Cowardly Lion of Oz.

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been doing my usual struggle with lifestyle, health, weight and image maintenance.  It’s one of my life-ers.

There are some things we will courageously and sometimes cowardly maintain our fight with.  These are our life-ers.  We will have it on our docket every day.  There are times when this will blow us away with frustration, hopelessness and feelings of impotence.  Other times we will see it more calmly for what it is.  It is.  No more or less.

It’s helpful to say these things out loud.  That way when we wake up and see the life-er there, or catch a reprieve with distraction, or work like a mad-dog to get friendly with ourselves despite it all and find that that doesn’t take these life-ers away, we will maintain hope.  We will see these life-ers, although part of us, don’t define us.  We will own them and weave them into our friendship with ourselves – flawed and perfect selves.

What is your life-er?

Self-Care Tip – Knowing what your life-er is, is part of being a friend to yourself.

She Is Worth It, But Maybe Not Because Of What You Think

Woman in satin dress holding mirror

Image by George Eastman House via Flickr

She is worth it!

Have you said that? Half crazed from this-way-that-way behaviors, your battered psyche crawls out of the smoking heap from your most recent relationship collision. There are times when this is absurd to continue. But have you ever seen those people who crawl out smiling? Sure their eyes are rolling around on their face but they are smiling. That might be you too. And there’s a reason for it. However the reason may not be what you think.

She is worth it!

I’m not disputing “her” value in this admirable exchange that takes all your energy. But what I do dust off from the good “encounter” we just spoke of is that although she may be worth it, I propose that isn’t the reason you think it is. The reason is you.
You find pleasure in it because of what it does for you. You think you are worth it, and you are.

Even the Bible says,

We love because He loved me first. 1 John 4: 19

We love because of what it does for Me. God isn’t surprised by that or looking down His nose at our motivation. It sounds like He is actually embracing it – fully consented.
Remember when we talked about inevitable selfish motives, secondary gain and the absence of altruism in us? Is that an ugly thing about us? I don’t think so. It is what it is.

Now this does not evaporate the connection, the realness of the exchange between two, the value of the bond or its quality. See blog-post, Things Will Always Be About “Me.” It does nothing else but discuss the motivation. I believe understanding our motivation to remain in a relationship is important not to devalue it or value it differently, but to help us take care of our own selves.
She is worth it. That isn’t the question.

What can go wrong in our self-friendship when we think we are motivated by reasons outside of what is in it for Me? What do you think? I think it distracts us. It’s wasted energy and we don’t have enough to waste. Getting it right, puts energy into us. Getting it wrong, takes energy away.

Yesterday we talked about wanting to connect with someone who has character pathology. Any of us can say that this is hugely energy depleting at times. If we think we are doing this for any other reason than for ourselves, we will get “burned” much more often than we might if we understand that we choose, consented, freely and for ourselves. We will wear the victim-crown and die the death of worn out do-gooders who lived to do nothing really but bemoan their special suffering existence. See blog-post, Please Don’t Say “But.”

Self-Care Tip – Do things for yourself with self-knowledge.

To Connect Because you Want To But Would Be Advised Otherwise, Set Your Rules

A Nuclear family, Image by FredCamina

Image via Wikipedia

When we want to take what is good and leave the rest, to keep the best and let the otherwise character pathology pass us by, to make good memories with someone who torches the ground and air they breath, splits families and catastrophizes the little and ignores the big personal flaws – when we actually turn around and say with a fully informed consent, “I want us in each others lives,” make rules.

1.  Take care of “Me” (bio-psycho-social)

2.  Have walk-away power

3.  Nothing violates what you say is impermeable; such as you and your spouse, your nuclear family, your home

4.  Consistency combined with as blind a vision as you can bare

5.  Take nothing personal

6.  Pick your fights carefully

7.  Let them save face

8.  Set them up for success in your relationship

Each one of these generally takes hard work.  Some of it will be natural and easy.  A lot of it will be hard.

Setting boundaries for the other person helps them control their chaos and they’ll feel safer with themselves.  The boundaries, when clear for a person with character pathology, helps them trust themselves more and subsequently us more.

Again, if these things seem exhausting and insurmountable efforts, it might mean that medically – emotionally and behaviorally …–>  Go back to #1.  Take care of “Me.”

Self-Care Tip – To connect because you want to even when you’d be advised otherwise, set your rules.