Posts Tagged With: disowned feelings

Day 296: The other side of containment

“The other side of containment.”

That was the title on my mind, when I woke up today.

And I just want to warn you: it’s going to take me a while to work back to that title.

So let’s digress together, shall we?

I’ve blogged a lot about cognitive distortions, this year, including this one:

Shoulds. We have ironclad rules about the behaviors of ourselves and other people.  For example, “I really should exercise. I shouldn’t be so lazy.” A more effective way to motivate ourselves is to identify positive results, rather than whipping ourselves with guilt.  For example, “When I exercise, I feel better.”

I’ve seen “shoulds” do a lot of damage to people; and yet, people naturally think those thoughts.

There is a particularly nasty form of “should”-ing, related to feelings.

Two examples:

I shouldn’t feel this way.

I should be over this, already.

As I’ve written before, cognitive distortions are human, so I assume that you have thoughts like those. I know that I do.

So they’re human. Yet, I have never experienced a helpful “should” thought, about feelings.

And that sentence I just wrote? That fits the “duck test” for another cognitive distortion:

All-or-Nothing thinking (also known as “Black-and-White thinking”).

Things are either all good or all bad, people are either perfect or failures, something new will either fix everything or be worthless. There is no middle ground; we place people and situations in “either/or” categories, with no shades of gray, or allowing for complexities.  Watch out for absolute words like “always”, “never,” “totally,” etc. as indications of this kind of distortion.

It was the word “never” in my sentence,  that tipped me off.

However, that sentence IS also the truth. I have never experienced a helpful “should” thought, about feelings.

I think it’s time for me to re-approach my topic, for today:

The other side of containment.

Why was that on my mind, this morning?

Because I have been having some difficult feelings lately. And I often hear people talk about containing difficult feelings.

What are the difficult feelings I’ve been having?

Fear, for one.

It’s time to go to my old friend, Google, for images about fear:

fear460

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072407_fear_poster

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fear5 (1)

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Speaking of fear,  I fear,  right now, that I won’t be able to complete this post before I need to leave today.

And why am I afraid that I won’t finish in time? Because fear wasn’t the emotion I was intending to write about.

Here’s the emotion I planned to tackle, this morning:

anger

But it’s more difficult to write about anger. At least it is for me.

I have some fear about anger, people. And I know I’m not alone in that. Here’s  some immediate evidence, from the Google Image Buffet:

anger_danger

Here’s a particular fear I have, about anger: I fear that I (and others) judge and disown our anger.  And I think THAT can be dangerous.

When I see that fear of anger in others, sometimes I respond by saying:

Anger is just one of the basic human emotions.

Anger is the human response to not getting our needs met.

And I hope that’s helpful.

But what does this all have to do with containment, my alleged topic for the day?

Here’s what:

When I was hospitalized as a young child, I got some messages that anger and fear were not okay.   I got the sense that people did not want to see — or deal with — any anger or fear I might have about what was happening to me.

Therefore, I believed  (whether or not the messages were really there) that I needed to contain those feelings.

In this blog, I have written about several containers, for feelings and thoughts (like here and here).  And those containers can be useful, for sure.

However, I will say this:

When  a therapist talked to me, recently, about the technique of imagining a container for difficult feelings, I replied, “Personally, I would need such a  container to be open.  I wouldn’t want to believe that I have to close off my feelings, no matter how difficult they are.”

Therefore, I imagined a container, like this:

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but opened, like this:

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And that seemed like a good idea.

Before I end, I want to mention/brag about one more thing.

I am going to Game One of the World Series, tonight!

wsredsoxcards102013

Earlier this morning, I had this thought about that:

What’s the matter with you?  You should be ecstatic!

There it is, again: another “should” thought about feelings.

Earlier this morning, I also had the urge to yell, to get some anger out. And I thought, “I can’t do that!!”

But what about this, as a solution?

I’m going to the World Series tonight! What better place to yell??!!?

YAY!!!!!!!!

Much better.

Thanks* to the Boston Red Sox, the St. Louis Cardinals, to containers of all kind, to people who have fear and anger, and to you, too, for visiting today.

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Also, for the images, to theguardian.com (for the “fear face” and an interesting article), chrisperruna.com (for another “fear face” and interesting article), HowStuffWorks, rozsavage.com, Rebuilding Divorce Recovery, and what-buddha-said.net.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Day 258: All of you is lovable

All of you is lovable.

What does that mean?

All the different parts of you are lovable.

What does THAT mean?

I mean that all the things that make up you, in the moment, are lovable.  That includes all your feelings — even the ones you judge or disown (like fear, perhaps, or anger, or sadness). That includes all your body parts — even the ones you may not like so much.

Lots of things, in the past — bad and good — have contributed to what you are in this moment. But what you are, right now, is lovable.

Does that mean that you feel loved, or are loved?

I don’t know.

But I know that you are lovable.

All of you.

How do I know?

I’m very smart.

How can I prove that to you?

Read my friggin’ posts, people!

Thanks to humility, pride, and all the other parts of being human. And thanks to lovable you, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Day 239: Days when confused

I’ve been told that I tend to work towards the positive — hope, connection, possibilities, achievable next steps.

I also like to invite the other side of the positive — let’s call it “the negative,” for now. (I sometimes prefer other terms, like “the shadow” or “disowned feelings”) (including disappointment, which I wrote about here).

We can’t have the positive without the negative, right?

Light is meaningless without dark to help define it.

Up doesn’t exist as a concept without down.

We wouldn’t have the word “day” if not for night. (I suppose that’s arguable, but it sounds good, doesn’t it?)

Okay, I think I’ve made enough deep (if not completely air-tight) justifications to focus on less positive things in this blog today.

Throughout this year, I’ve written some posts about “accelerated learning,” focusing on valuable lessons I’ve been accumulating (including here, here, and here).

Today, I’d like to focus on things I don’t know. Things I can’t seem to figure out. Things that confuse me.

Ready?

Things That Confuse Me

by Ann

  1. How busy everybody seems to be (including me). This confuses me when I’m thinking that a lot of the busy work we’re doing isn’t (a) necessary, (b) helpful, (c) as important as we think it is, or (d) what we really want to be doing.
  2. Modern packaging. There are soooo many sealed products that I just can’t seem to get open without a swiss army knife or a team of experts on hand. (New occupation for the future: Personal Packaging Manipulation Consultant.)

For example:

IMG_1952_preview

At this point in the blog post — rather than discussing endless examples of packages I am confused by and have trouble opening — I will go to the solution-oriented side, and share something I saw on-line this morning:

18 Everyday Products You’ve Been Using Wrong

Even though that title is using a “You Statement — rather than an “I-statement” — thus easily putting me on the defensive ….

… that title is absolutely correct. I have been using all of those things wrong, dammit!

But, on the other hand, look at all I learned today.

Thanks to geeksugar (for the photo and post about opening up clamshell packaging), BuzzFeed, friends on Facebook and elsewhere, and to you, of course, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Day 235: Disappointed

This post is dedicated to one of my childhood heroes — Carl Yastrzemski — whose birthday is today.

Yes, I confess.

I woke up this morning and was aware of the feeling of ….

Disappointment.

Disappointment is a human emotion that I love to invite from people in individual and group therapy, but which I often judge in myself.

That’s another rampant epidemic I see in my work: that double-standard of accepting in others what we might judge or disown in ourselves.

Here are some random thoughts, this morning, about disappointment:

  1. Disappointment, like anger, might be a signal of not getting needs met.
  2. Disappointment might indicate an investment in some outcome.
  3. Here’s a movie-moment from one of my favorite actors:

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What helped me, in dealing with disappointment this morning?

I read and liked some posts from other bloggers — some familiar and some new to me –including talktodiana, Mostly Bright Ideas, Awakening to Your Story, findingmyinnercourage, A Year of Rejoicing, Shekhina, morristownmemos, and Whimsical Eclecticist.

By the way, I recently tried to add some new “widgets” to my blog, including one that displays posts I’ve recently liked, and these New Things, so far, have not worked exactly the way I expected or wanted.

So what else is new?

Or, to repeat:

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Anyway, something else that helped, this morning: I followed through with a “commitment” I had made, earlier this year in this blog, to pay bills when they first come in (rather than procrastinating).

And while I didn’t pay a certain bill immediately when it came in, I did pay it, this morning, much earlier than usual.

That’s worth celebrating, don’t you think?

Yay!!!

Okay! So far, this blog post has included some tried-and-true Ways To Move Forward:

  1. Identifying a feeling (or thought).
  2. Accepting (and perhaps venting) that.
  3. Realizing that I am not alone in experiencing this.
  4. Seeing this as a possible gift or opportunity.
  5. Throwing in some quote (movie clip, comedian, poem, etc.) I really like.
  6. Giving credit to others.
  7. Giving credit to myself.

Before I end this post, I’ll just include one other Blogging Element I’ve enjoyed using this year: doing a random “spin” in Google Images to see what comes up.

Here are some images I found, doing a Google-Images Spin on “disappointed”:

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(above posted by yet another blogger!! — thehonestone)

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Anyway, time to end this post, for the day.

Thanks to Kevin Kline, “A Fish Called Wanda,” Yaz, bloggers familiar and new, disappointments familiar and new, and (but of course) to you, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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