Summarizing What You Say About Friendship With Yourself

Friendship

Image by Rickydavid via Flickr

In Summary:

Q1:  What does being “a friend to yourself” mean?

  • self-awareness
  • Acting on that self-awareness
  • Grieving who I wished I was
  • Valuing Me

Q2:  What helps?

  • Knowing where emotions and behaviors come from
  • No self-injury or aggression to others
  • Knowing God
  • Gratitude/self-inventory
  • Support from outside of Me
  • Personal check-points in place to offensively guard again self-sabotage

Q3:  What doesn’t help?

  • Perfectionism
  • Ingratitude
  • Untreated or treatment resistant brain illness
  • Stigma
  • misdirected efforts to feel empowered (such as, preoccupied thoughts = control)
  • isolation
  • habit

Q4:  What helps despite this?

  • Self-forgiveness
  • Realism/Without catastrophizing
  • Tenacity
  • Remembering what your self-care has done
  • Presence

Q5:  What is the relationship between biology and choice when it comes to understanding where emotions and behaviors come from?

  • Biological template determines function
  • Choice is there for using that template

Finalé – Me Again. Everything Starts and Ends With Me – Even Emotions and Behaviors.

We are doing a narrative series on understanding where emotions and behaviors come from:

  1. Emotions Are Contagious – Emotions shared
  2. Our own Emotional Junk – Emotions hidden
  3. Positive Emotions and Behaviors are Contagious Too 
  4. Our Conscious Self is Our Board and Paddle at Sea – Small conscious self and BIG unconscious self
  5. Biopsychosocial Model – Biological, Psychological, Social selves
  6. Me! 
  7. Finalé – Me Again.  Everything Starts and Ends With Me – Even Emotions and Behaviors.  (Today’s post.)

We have covered in our series that emotions are contagious.  We know that if we take care of our own first, we might not be as “susceptible” to negative “contagion” in turn and perhaps, be more available to giving and receiving positive “emotion-contagion.”  Further, we hope that if we do this, we might be able to choose to be with people we love even if they don’t do their own self-care.  We can have that connection without personalizing what isn’t about us.  Sigh.  That is nice, isn’t it?  Then …out at sea (away from our narrative for a day,) we talked about the pleasure in engaging with what bits of biology are directly available to us and the relationship we maintain with the big expanse of our unconscious biology.  We reviewed our biopsychosocial model as a tool, and then restated the simplicity in looking for and at Me to discover where emotions and behaviors come from.

Today we leave Rob and meet Iva for our Finalé.

Mother and daughter

Image by Video4net via Flickr

Self-Care Tip #272 – Look!  Me Again!

Iva was crying.  Things could not go on as they were.  It must stop!  The tension and recurring emotional crisis’ between her and her daughter were cancerous to her family.

Iva was trying.  She’d come a long long way.  On antidepressants now, exercising three to five times a week, down twenty pounds and into her honey-moon clothes from many many years ago.  She felt so much better about herself.  She was no longer yelling at every stressor, she felt pleasure again and liked being with her kids, including her daughter… when her daughter wasn’t throwing fits.  However, her daughter was “fits-ing” one to three times a day still.  Iva felt like she had lost control as a parent and gave a lot of blame to her little girl.  This is why Iva came in.  Something wasn’t right about that.  It was evading her, however, what that something was.

To be clear, “little” in this case meant four years old.  Four years old and they could hardly be with each other.  Iva trembled thinking about the teen years ahead.  Iva wondered how a four-year old could drum up so much drama and wield so much power.

Why didn’t she listen?  Why did her daughter make her resort to spanking and punishments to get obedience?  Why did she whine all the time?  

Crying again, Iva was still able to break this down as to where her emotions and behaviors were coming from and specifically keep it about “Me.”  That was our job as we crunched this together.

Emotions shared – Iva had negative emotions that her four-year old was susceptible to?

Emotions hidden – Iva hadn’t gone towards her own something or other?  Maybe she didn’t even realize the negative emotions she felt toward her daughter in the first place to go towards them and see what was there.

small conscious self and BIG unconscious self – Iva had an opportunity to play, work, know and own this little portion of what made her who she was.  The BIG unconscious self she was doing well taking care of with her basic needs – time with her Higher Power, medication compliant, exercise, sleep, diet, water and so on.

Biological, Psychological, Social selves – (A whole bunch of stuff you’ll have to read the previous blog-posts on!  Awesome paradigm.)

And then, finally, Me.  In the space between her and her daughter, Iva had forgotten that it was about Me.  Iva was putting a lot of blame on her little girl.  That’s a lot of pressure for a child to shoulder.  It is not appropriate for a parent to shame her child this way.  This isn’t a moral statement unless we make it one.  It just is.  It-is-not-appropriate.  That’s all.  Iva circled back around and saw herself there.  Her Me.

Iva left thinking things were looking up.

Questions:  Even in your most difficult relationships, how do you own your emotions and behaviors?  Or is there a reason for them outside of yourself?  Please tell me your story.

Me! Where Emotions and Behaviors Come From

steps 15

Image by Erik - parked in Cairo these days via Flickr

We are doing a narrative series on understanding where emotions and behaviors come from:

  1. Emotions Are Contagious – Emotions shared
  2. Our own Emotional Junk – Emotions hidden
  3. Positive Emotions and Behaviors are Contagious Too 
  4. Our Conscious Self is Our Board and Paddle at Sea – Small conscious self and BIG unconscious self
  5. Biopsychosocial Model – Biological, Psychological, Social selves
  6. Me!  (Today’s Post)

What we have covered so far in our series is that we know emotions are contagious.  We know that if we take care of our own first, we might not be as “susceptible” to negative “contagion” in turn and perhaps, be more available to giving and receiving positive “emotion-contagion.”  Further, we hope that if we do this, we might be able to choose to be with people we love even if they don’t do their own self-care.  We can have that connection without personalizing what isn’t about us.  Sigh.  That is nice, isn’t it?  Then …out at sea (away from our narrative for a day,) we talked about the pleasure in engaging with what bits of biology are directly available to us and the relationship we maintain with the big expanse of our unconscious biology.  Yesterday we reviewed our biopsychosocial model as a tool for further understanding where our emotions and behaviors come from.

Self-Care Tip #272 – If you are ever unsure about where your emotions and behaviors are coming from, it is always safe and true enough to say, “Me.”

Where do emotions and behaviors come from?

Me.

For example:  Me <–> Emotions Shared <–> Me <–> Emotions Hidden <–> Me <–> small conscious self and BIG unconscious self <–> Me <–> Biological, Psychological, Social selves <–> Me… round and round, starting and ending and starting with Me.

Rob and Yesenia were both breathing hard.  Rob was pale and Yesenia flushed.  Where to start?  With Me.  This is what I shared with them both.

Put your spouse down and take three steps back!  Own your own self.  Take care of your own self.  In the process, you will be able to pick each other up again and share love.

Questions:  What are you holding, carrying, using to explain where your emotions and behaviors come from?  How have you been able to put those down and hold yourself?  Please tell me your story.

The Biopsychosocial Model for Where Emotions and Behaviors Come From

Waitress.

Image via Wikipedia

We are doing a narrative series on understanding where emotions and behaviors come from:

  1. Emotions Are Contagious
  2. Our own Emotional Junk 
  3. Positive Emotions and Behaviors are Contagious Too 
  4. Our Conscious Self is Our Board and Paddle at Sea 
  5. (today’s post) 

What we’ve covered so far in our series is that we know emotions are contagious.  We know that if we take care of our own first, we might not be as “susceptible” to negative “contagion” in turn and perhaps, more available to giving and receiving positive “emotion-contagion,” so to speak.  Further, we hope that if we do this, we might have the ability to choose to be with people we love even if they don’t do their own self-care and have that connection without personalizing what isn’t about us.  Sigh.  That is nice, isn’t it?  …Yesterday took us out to sea away from our narrative for a bit, where we talked about the pleasure in engaging with what bits of biology are directly available to us and the relationship we maintain with the rest.

Self-Care Tip #271 – Use your biopsychosocial model as a tool to help your friend – You.

We return today to Rob and Yesenia.  (Remember Rob?)  Rob has shown us three important ways of considering where his emotions and behaviors come from.  This is the biopsychosocial model of looking at our functioning in the context of illness.

  • Rob’s biological factors include his own genetic primary illnesses as well as his genetic vulnerability to emotional milieu on his genes’ expression.  It also includes Rob’s temperament.

Going toward what our temperament finds pleasure in will naturally bring more good things to/in us and others around us.  (See blog post, Hear, Be Heard, Believe and Speak in Your Own Language.)

  • His psychological factors include how he is or is not able to cope with his wife’s emotions and behaviors.  There is obviously more involved but, snore.  (Ahem.  Oh.  There I was.)
  • Rob’s social factors include his wife’s emotions and behaviors.  Yesenia’s untreated emotional illness gives Rob a difficult interpersonal relationship to contend with.  …Where to start?

Questions:  How has looking at your biopsychosocial self collectively as well as in parts been a useful tool for understand your own emotions and behaviors?  Is it difficult to do this for yourself?  If so, what limits you?  Please tell me your story.

Our Conscious Self is Our Board and Paddle at Sea

Paddle away

Image by San Diego Shooter via Flickr

We are doing a narrative series on understanding where emotions and behaviors come from:

  1. Emotions Are Contagious
  2. Our own Emotional Junk 
  3. Positive Emotions and Behaviors are Contagious Too 
  4. Our Conscious Self is Our Board and Paddle at Sea (today’s post) 

Paddle boarding in the Pacific Ocean (OP) today brought me to flocks of pelicans, breaking waves and a seal who said hello.  The OP was kicked up into big swells and long-shore currents.  There was all this ocean to connect with using not much more than a paddle.  Where do the waves come from?  The moon?  The wind traveling currents of changing temperature?  And what did I have?  A paddle and a board.

Our body is about like that.  There is this huge amount of unconscious self that we are connected to but not in a direct sensory way.  Our emotions, touch, smell, hearing, taste and sight; our spiritual quotient, emotional quotient, intellectual quotients – these are a pinch of what make us who we are.  These are our summarily interpretive lens for the world.  They steer our choices and shape our understanding of reality.  They are our “paddle and board” in an ocean of biology.

Even though the things we have a direct sense of, a direct connection with and thereby implying control of is not the majority of what makes us who we are, it is such a privilege to actively engage in it.  It is what makes our life worth living.

When we think of where behaviors and emotions come from, we think of many paradigms.  But that pinch, that bit of the great enormous creation we are that we are conscious of is such a pleasure and wonder.  To not engage with it fully as we are free to do is an unqualified loss.  It is to be without board and paddle at sea.

This is not to say that we are to ignore the great majority of our biology that is otherwise who we are.  Any surfer knows better.

Self-Care Tip #270 – Do all that you can with the amount of direct awareness you are given and relish the experience.

Taking Care of Our Own Emotional Junk Empowers us Not to Take Care of Theirs

Women Only - Choose your Favourite-Bangalore-n...

Image by najeebkhan2009 via Flickr

Yesterday we started a narrative series on understanding where emotions and behaviors come from:

  1. Emotions Are Contagious
  2. Our own Emotional Junk (today’s post)

Yesenia and Rob chorussed,

Yes! I am worse when Yesenia is not doing well. Who can cope around that!?

Yes! Rob is making me sicker!

Saying emotions are contagious is not the same as explaining causality or fault. It’s talking about an influence. I didn’t want Rob to misunderstand me. Saying emotions are contagious is information to use to empower us; not to make us feel like victims. It is to help disclose our own vulnerabilities, our own needs and our own quest towards healing and presence.

But how to be present with “falling knives,” as Cindy described this in yesterday’s comments?

It starts and ends with Me. So getting back to Me simplifies things and short-cuts our confusion.

It’s easier for us to be around so much charged air when we have already gone toward our own flaws, pain, emotions and anxieties. It is easier for us to not make something personal that isn’t if we have already stayed in our own nasty space for a time, did that process over and over, and each time stayed long enough to see what is there/what will happen until we realize – not much. (That was what I like to call a “super-sentence!) Taking care of our own junk helps us be available for other people when they are spilling theirs. We are less controlled by shame and fear.

This may not happen when complicated by our brain disease. Personalizing things may be inevitable if we do not get medication therapy. Being present with our own journey might not happen without medical help.

Sometimes when we are ill, we feel like we are spectators of our own life story, standing off to the side, just watching the show. With healing, we join with that living active self and can be present and whole. With healing, we don’t have to personalize someone else’s emotion-spills. With healing, we can improve our quality of life. When they don’t fight for brain health, such as taking needed medications, or whatever it is that would have been friendly for them to do – we don’t have to make it about us.

And! And if we choose to, we can be with them. We can be with the people we love! Isn’t that great?! Even when they don’t do their own self-care. Even then. Or not. But we are choosing now rather than reacting defensively.

Kaily said it yesterday like this,

Now, when I notice that my mood is starting to mimic the negative mood or negative atmosphere around me, I stop myself and realize that just because those around me are negative, stressed, uptight, etc., I have the choice and the power to stay positive and at peace within myself. Just because everyone else is jumping off the cliff doesn’t mean that I have to follow.

Self-Care Tip #268 – Taking care of our your own emotional junk helps you not try to take care of theirs.

Hear, Be Heard, Believe and Speak In Your Language.

c. 1868

Image via Wikipedia

Self-Care Tip #187 – Say it better by saying it in your voice.  Be a friend to yourself.

We all have our own language.  I’m not talking about Hungarian or Spanish.  I’m roughly talking about Jungian typology.  We speak and hear, we are heard and we find that we believe better with it.  But we don’t all know that and so don’t treat ourselves with enough courtesy.

For example, many of us used to think that listening to emotions was silly and that using graphs and quoting studies was smart.  (Who ever heard of smart emotions or even spiritual intelligence for that matter?!)  We used to hold our breath and hope our brains would change if we despised our own wiring enough.  As if our genes would get the hint, give up their mortgage and leave town, disgraced.

Hopefully after the paternity of the genes in question was established, and if we grew a little, we noticed that there is no better way to speak than what is our own voice.

Say it.

That was lovely.  Thank you.

We can listen to the beautiful music of Celine Dion French Album, or watch the foreign film Like Water for Chocolate (Spanish: Como agua para chocolate) without subtitles, or sing the African-American spiritual song from the 1930s, Kumbaya.  We will get a partial understanding of what is intended, what is said, what is felt.  We will know that someone is desperately in love with someone else, for example, in Como Agua Para Chocolate – but not get the full story of course unless we hear the words in the language we know.  Saying that one language is greater than another is hopefully buried with Hitler.  Our temperaments speak uniquely as well by design.  They are not qualified differently from each other.  True, they are better suited for different tasks, jobs, audiences.  But that doesn’t make one smarter or dumber than another.  Regardless of the bank account any one or many may hold, there is no difference in value between them.

If we want to say something, ….  Well all I can say is this just feels right?  You know what I mean?  😉

Question:  What has helped you discover your language best?  How has it helped you understand your connections better?  Please tell me your story.