Issues

Heard a sermon Sunday about anger. Positive and negative ways of dealing with it. Perhaps it is also applicable for feelings in general. I have strong feelings. They often cause me to have vivid dreams at night that wake me up from sleep inducing more feelings. (2:30 am right now) I try to suppress them. Everyday, actually. Since my mother passed away, and I have lost other loved ones, I can’t stop feeling. I won’t call them mostly “negative” feelings, but it is a lot of self-pity over the sense of loss and grief I can’t seem to shake. I’m sure a therapist would help me tremendously. I’ve read good things about meditation and obviously praying. But then there is the more convenient, less effective, rather rebellious and self-harming means of cutting feelings. Choosing the poor coping over the more effective positive interventions signals to me some slight depression or rebellion. I’ve tried meds and drinking and exercise and relationships. Sometimes the experiments are simply for the sake of experiencing something different and feeling less bored and more alive. But it bothers me that a person, overtime, resorts to harmful practices in search of numbness or forgetfulness or satisfaction or coping. It’s scary because some people, those even within my own family in the last few years, by blood or marriage, have quickened their own death with the use of drugs, assumed in effort to manage their own feelings.

In a time of so many conveniences and luxuries and resources to help people live better and cope more effectively, why do some choose still to do harmful things to manage day to day? I’m am not excluding myself, but I wonder how much more productive we would be if we could only control the thoughts that induce such strong feelings that make us assume the only solution is to numb them with substances or harmful practices. How is it that people can know what is good and bad for them, but so many choose what is dangerous?

Perhaps once I learn how to stop wanting the things I cannot have, will I be content to make the most of this life without hurting myself. I know I’m not the only one with issues. I’ve met people who literally hate themselves, which causes all sorts of problems in their relationships. I’ve met other people whose selfishness isolates them from the rest of the world while they pursue their own trophies. I’ve met self-righteous people who easily can identify the faults of everyone around them, but their inflated sense of self-worth thinks they are doing everyone a favor by pointing out their flaws, which actually hurts others more than it helps them. Then there are the fake people who pretend to be victims to get sympathy from others only to manipulate them later for their own amusement, gain, or gratification. Often so much of human nature seems to be for the ego – to control or to conquer. Then there are those who love too deeply and feel too much. Those people who become hard if they aren’t careful because they bottle up their feelings, suppress, repress, deny, ignore. How do you have compassion and feel naturally the way one should feel about tragedy and sadness without being consumed by those feelings? Life is going to happen, but it’s how you react to it that makes the difference.

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Stupid feelings

I find it so hard not to love certain people and expect something from them on birthdays and such. No matter how hard I try not to expect anything, I can’t repress my hope for some tangible expression of affection. My mother has been deceased now for over 2 years. She told me not to expect anything from anyone, and then I would never be disappointed. I get emotional on my birthday and during the holidays feeling sorry for myself. I find that self-pity makes me angry, but acts of love and compassion make me cry.

My youngest daughter’s teacher called me today in love with my child’s performance and behavior. The teacher told me, “you all have done a wonderful job with her.” I returned the compliment because my daughter loves kindergarten and adores her teacher. I broke down in tears of joy when the conversation ended. I felt so validated and proud. I am not sure how anything could compare to hearing those words as a parent. However, I also felt slightly irritated for the warm emotions I experienced. The only reason I could imagine, is that it made me feel vulnerable and weak, or perhaps sad that circumstances prevent me from sharing this positive report with those I felt would care the most and share my joy.

For multiple reasons, I stay emotional lately. I read an article describing PTSD in terms to why we cry during happy endings in movies. Psychology explains that during the conflict and climax of the movie, we are not able to respond to the situation emotionally because of the stress hormones, but once the danger is over, the emotions are released during the happy ending. In life, we sometimes encounter emotionally traumatic experiences. I’ve researched a lot about coping and grief, and I know everyone responds differently to unexpected situations in life. I try to be aware of whether or not I am repressing emotions because I don’t want to become bitter, hard, or cynical. I consider others’ advice, and I examine the outcome of what happens when other people respond in certain ways, thus helping me choose how best to respond myself. The way I see it, you can learn from the “mistakes” of others, or you can learn from your own. I assumed I would experience less heartache by learning from others. I have gotten this far in life with a lot less trauma than some people I’ve met. Still, it seems tragedy is inevitable for us all at some point in our lives.

I am most passionate these days about relationships. I feel satisfied with what I have achieved academically and professionally, and my greatest desire now is to feel successful in my intimate relationships. I wonder what most people consider when making personal goals for their lives. Whether it is officially communicated or not, everyone is driven by something. Perhaps that is why I find psychology so interesting. It involves how and why people make the decisions they do. For it is those decisions that make our lives.

I can’t make people love me, but I often wonder what attracts us to people we want to like us. I think a great majority of people spend large amounts of time trying to control the actions and opinions of others. We all want to be accepted. I’m sure the concept of self-esteem and confidence has a lot to do with how we feel we are perceived by others, especially intimate partners.

I’ve also given a lot of thought to the different types of satisfying relationships one has in life. I am thankful for my relationship with my children, my life partner, and the Almighty, but I cannot describe to you how completing it feels to have a “soulmate friend.” These have been the greatest gifts God could have given me: a loving husband, amazing children, and a best friend (obviously aside from God’s forgiveness and salvation, of course).

In my opinion, all the tragedies of life are, if nothing else, an exciting opportunity to grow closer to another person by opening your heart and mind to share your feelings with another human being. I know many people who consider beloved pets as relatives and best friends. Many report God as being a friend who sticks closer than a brother. I have always held my God in high esteem. I am eternally grateful for the love and mercy He gives, but with all due respect, there is nothing like the physical hugs and contact and supportive conversation with a good friend. I can choose to believe this, too, is a gift from God. It is only after losing such a blessing does a heartbroken soul label her feelings as “stupid.” But as long as I remember that there is a time and reason for all things, I can still manage to find enough self-love and personal forgiveness to patiently wait until I no longer feel irritated about “stupid feelings.”

Rebel lurking

Loved this post by another blogger:

There is a rebel lurking inside us all. A defiant dreamer that dares to question what we’ve been told. A searcher, a seeker that yearns to know more, to find out for oneself, to do something different and not just blindly accept the staus quo.

Rebellion does not have to be violent or messy or loud; there can be quiet rebellion. a shift, a change. An insistent force of good can overcome the dark. To love can be an act of rebellion, to care about each other in a world that does not care for itself. To think for yourself in this world; that is an act of rebellion.

Lead me into darkness, I will not follow. Show me the light and I will embrace it. Shine your light and together we shine like the sun.

Life Is Color

gif flapper dance women vintage REBELS with Bobs—Flappers’ behavior was considered outlandish at the time and redefined women’s roles.

Rebellion does not have to be violent or messy or loud; there can be quiet rebellion. a shift, a change. An insistent force of good can overcome the dark.  To love can be an act of rebellion, to care about each other in a world that does not care for itself.  To think for yourself in this world; that is an act of rebellion.

Lead me into darkness, I will not follow. Show me the light and I will embrace it. Shine your light and together we shine like the sun.

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Contemplating happy

What makes you happy? A friend told me to think happy thoughts when I feel sad, or I have a bad attitude. That sounds so simple. I have been thinking more about what makes a person happy and how to keep oneself content. I read an article about increasing happiness. Being thankful is one thing. Not comparing yourself to others is another point. I have a hard time thinking of something that makes me feel happy. Maybe I’m actually happier when I’m NOT thinking at all!

This morning I did feel happiness watching my kids wake up with energy and joy. They asked me to make tiny sandwiches. They set up for a tea party on the back porch. They turned on music outside, started dancing and blowing bubbles. My youngest daughter said, “best day ever,” as she put on her cowgirl boots and new coat her aunt bought her.

I woke up earlier this morning after having a dream about her. I felt a sense of panic that I wasn’t spending enough time playing with my girls. I went in their room and adjusted my daughter’s favorite blanket over her tiny body. I kissed her head and hugged them both with a touch of my hand. I know this is a “good age,” based on what many of my older patients have told me. I think of their advice often, “enjoy your kids.” I loved considering their advice and contemplating how each person decided to make a life. These wise men and women had time on their hands to think about the important things that made them happy, and they seemed eager to share these things with younger generations.

I’m still learning about myself and this concept of happiness. Maybe the definition varies among different people, but as I continue contemplating, I plan to continue sharing and teaching my children what I learn.

Nothing like the movies

Tomorrow is my 33rd birthday. I don’t have any plans except a doctor appointment and a dentist appointment. I bought myself dinner Friday night at a nice seafood restaurant. My husband accompanied me, but I had to pay because he struggles with money management. Separating financially has been better for our marriage, in my opinion. The whole situation is sad, but this decision is better than the alternative. It has created more peace in my life this way.

Keep in mind I over share, and I am struggling in some of my relationships right now.

I know it’s not an appropriate topic to blog about, but since my page advertises “random” posts, I’ll live up to it by saying, I feel disappointed with myself when I’m on my period. I am not forgiving. I am tired. I am irritable. I am impatient, just to name a few traits. I don’t like myself when I cannot control my moods, but I desperately want others to be understanding and accommodating. I don’t want to be so disappointed with people, but it happens. This time of the month, everyone is a jerk, and I have a hard time feeling loved and content.

But tomorrow is still my birthday. I wish I could have higher expectations of people, but I think over time I just give up on them after being repeatedly disappointed, so now I try not to hope for anything at all. A lot of times I find myself projecting problems I am having with other relationships onto my marriage. My husband is probably a completely decent guy, but since my (former?) best friend basically shut me out of her life, my subsequent sadness has increased my moodiness, and I basically hate my spouse right now. Forgiveness is not something I can easily do this week, so this is me coping with my disappointment and anger. I don’t know that I’ll ever recover from the lack of concern with which my former friend abandoned our relationship. In my head I’m worth more than a half-hearted text message after days of silence. In my mind I want someone to love me enough to come to my workplace or my house looking for me, to check on me, to bring me a reconciliation gift, or in this case, a birthday present. But then I realize I live in a fantasy world and I’m not that important to anyone, so I keep dreaming to escape my disappointment that the real world is nothing like the movies.

Psychology of relationships

Amazing how much a person can change from day to day. I can feel my attitude affected by the people I listen to and the words I read. The psychology of relationships is fascinating to me. The concept that we might be attracted to similar traits in others that our parents possessed. Or how a codependent person is attracted to an addict. I’ve always considered myself more passive about starting new relationships. I mainly accept friendships from those who seem the most in need of companionship, more domineering and decisive that I’m what they are looking for in a friend, instead of seeking or cultivating healthy connections, including what my vision is and what I want. I wonder if it is frustrating to others how socially lazy I am.

I know there is a lot of insight to obtain from the concept of love languages. I suspect my love language is quality time. I’ve never had a talent for buying and giving gifts. I’ve been praised for the positive effects of my words of affirmation. I obviously enjoy physical affection. But the hard thing for me is showing someone love in their language. I have a hard time understanding the feelings of others enough to know when they are saying what they mean or not, and how to give them what they say they need, even if it’s not what I think they need, or it’s not what I want for the relationship. Space, for instance. When someone says they need space, do they actually need it or how do you know when it means “try harder?” I find this very confusing because for me, when I’m tired or I can’t spend time or talk with someone, I’m very honest and direct with exactly why I am making a decision in our relationship and the details. However, in my friendships, I’ve been very confused when someone says vague things about their feelings or they don’t give you specifics about where things are currently and where things are going. I wish I didn’t constantly need validation that the relationship is stable, but back to the psychology of life related to our childhood experiences, a lot of my insecurity probably has to do with the lack of stability in our home as children. I struggle with fear of rejection and abandonment and probably subconsciously meditating on what I don’t want, I unfortunately perhaps attract more of the same.

So is there such thing as happy endings? Do children from broken homes eventually repair themselves emotionally enough to become successful at relationships personally and professionally? I read an article today about the benefits of finding a life coach and mentor. I’ve recently spent a few years in “rebellion,” in which I deviated from my goody-goody lifestyle that I adopted in determination from an early age to make good choices. Since being disappointed from the lack of satisfaction and fear of hurting my beloved family, I’ve thankfully resorted to more reserved entertainment, which is safer for me personally and professionally. Setting out to obtain specific achievements in life, friendships had not been a priority of mine to invest in and cultivate. Now, however, after reaching previous goals, I understand how important friendships are, and I feel like I have more interest and time to devote to creating quality relationships.

The thing I like about the article is the straightforward mention of dumping negative people who bring you down. Each day I make a decision to avoid such persons, I feel a little bit stronger. I’ve been doing more self-reflection and cultivating of the current relationships I already have. I’m starting to see doors open slowly with new acquaintances that inspires my hope that I might be soon becoming a more active participant in the direction and outcome of my life. 😉

Being human

I can’t seem to process my thoughts and feelings without writing them down. Right now, I feel debilitated because my body is too weak to do anything, but my mind is too busy and my tummy is too hungry to rest. I texted my husband asking if he would do dinner and childcare this evening. He makes me grilled cheese sandwiches and soup when I’m sick. I could use that right now! Paired with some medicine, I’d probably be able to rest. Either I will eat, or I will sleep, but with the passage of time, something is bound to happen. So here I lay, spilling my thoughts in text to clear my head and hopefully soon I will be filling my tummy. BEING HUMAN is disappointing. Making mistakes. Having feelings. Depending on subsistence to survive. Knowing pain and sickness and stress and want and lack.

Lately, everyday has had it’s own set of challenges. A patient I cared for daily is gone after he made a “bad decision.” I listened today as people grieved this loss in their life. I watched as angry people show no mercy or courtesy in response to an error of judgement. I’ve seen injustice. I’ve seen neglect and apathy. I’ve listened to broken-hearted people try to cope by talking their way through grief and shock. I’ve seen the innocent accused and the bully favored. I’ve seen scared people try to act brave. I’ve seen weak people try to act powerful. It’s the last who will be first, and the servant who will be the greatest. But people still try to control each other. People still try to compete and compare and intimidate. Power struggles. Only the strong survive. But when do we stop pretending to like each other and actually care?

But instead of judging, I should practice forgiving. BEING HUMAN is disappointing. We mess up. Other people mess up. We judge and get offended. They do, too. So if we are all equal, and human, and broken, and imperfect, why can’t we just work together? Help someone get what she wants and you will get what you need. But sometimes people are cruel and selfish and seem to enjoy making life difficult for as many people as possible. What motivates these people? I don’t know if it’s ignorance or insecurity. How do you respond when trying to communicate with a foolish person? How do you not offend someone like this? As hard as you may try, they will still have an issue with you. Whether you avoid them or confront them. Whether it’s jealousy or bitterness. So then, what’s left is letting go. Letting go of pleasing impossible people. Letting go of loved ones who have made their own path despite all your efforts to help them. Letting go of offenses. Letting go of the past. It’s doesn’t mean the hurt isn’t still there. But you find a way of acceptance. You find a way to live with the disappointment and loss. Because life is full of such things. We won’t always understand why things happen. After all, it’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that determines your outcome. Taking the high road is not easy. Showing honor to a disrespectful person takes courage. Forgiving someone immediately takes practice. Maybe if we tried seeing ourselves and others the way God sees us, maybe then, BEING HUMAN wouldn’t be so disappointing.