Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Phil’

What Is Stubborn?

February 21, 2013

This is the post I have been working on since Feb 10th – In many ways it still feels as if it is still a work in progress.  Isn’t that Life after all?

I ask the  question because I have been reading Louise Hay’s book “You Can Heal Your Life” and many of the things I am looking at have stubborn as the cause.  I don’t think of myself as stubborn – I check the dictionary and it says:  Having or showing dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something, esp. in spite of good arguments or reasons…  Now is that really me?  Let’s face it, I feel as if I have spent my whole life doing what others wanted, not always willingly or with good grace.

Silver-Tabby-Cat-512X384-51

Am I really stubborn?

However, the more I have thought about it, the more I wonder if it has to do with seeing myself as a victim – of RA, other people, circumstances, etc.  I have finally realized and understood that I have always felt I was an innocent victim sideswiped by RA for no reason – not quite accepted it or willing to admit it out loud much.  I have felt helpless and powerless a lot of my life because I now realize I gave my power away.  Who knew I had power?  What a revelation!  However, that victimhood belief has been in there for over 6 decades, going to take a while to dislodge and clear it out.  If not now, when?

In looking at just one entry for knee problems, she writes it is “Stubborn ego and pride. Inability to bend. Fear. Inflexibility. Won’t give in.”  I have been thinking I am not quite willing yet to actually give up being a victim – much too comfortable and familiar at this point.  Then I have to ask myself “What would happen if I did let it go?”.  That would be a radical attitude overhaul.  Then what would I replace it with as a positive attitude?  I have been in this same mentality for a long time, I am now on autopilot.  It takes a conscious effort to say “Thanks for sharing ego, I choose something different”.

I am getting better at noticing when ego pops in with her 2 cents worth, I hadn’t recognized before or even understood what was happening.  I have held on to all the hurts, anger and resentment of things people “did to me” – hugging them to myself as proof of what a victim I am and how mean people have been to me.  As Dr. Phil asks:  “How’s that working for you?”.  Not very well.  I don’t like feeling like a victim any more, it is too much of a powerless feeling now.  The curse of being a good girl, following the rules and doing what I’m told.  It is hard to break out of that at the moment, it is getting better and I am more often   I have to look this one up as well able to do and say what I want.

So holding on to victimhood, all the hurts, anger and resentments – is that where I am stubborn?  Or not loving myself in spite of all the evidence to the contrary?  Looking at things from the negative view rather than the positive?  At this point I am not sure if there is one definitive answer or a series of  different answers.  I am certainly open to any ideas or opinions to help clarify it.  I have probably gotten too close to it and overanalyzing again.  Maybe if I go take my shower and get dressed, it will seem clearer to me.

UPDATE

It is now 10 days later and it isn’t very clear yet.  I also got a message about being inflexible – another word from Louise Hay – I don’t quite see how I am inflexible.  It feels as if most of my life I have had to put my life on hold, cancel things or postpone because I had to do something for someone else.  Wouldn’t being inflexible mean I do my thing before I do anything for anyone else?  I have to go look this one up as well:

Not willing to change ideas, beliefs or decisions – Something or someone who is inflexible cannot or will not change or be altered, even if the situation changes.  Does not bend.

domestic-cat

Inflexible? Don’t be ridiculous!

Hmm, I keep thinking that doesn’t sound like me – I feel as if I am easily persuaded and let people talk me into something.  When I know that I know something but I allow someone to talk me into something, I kick myself for not listening to my higher self.  There are many times when I don’t trust my higher self, that I still look to others for validation instead of from inside myself.

I suspect that both terms have more to do with my beliefs about myself than anything else.  I was hoping that as I thought about this and wrote about it, I would have a better idea what is happening so I can clear any negative energy and understand better.  I suspect I will have to put it back on the back burner again and check back in a while.  I would be open to any ideas or explanations.  I suspect I am still too close to it to be objective.

Button, Buttons, Buttons

October 9, 2011

I was so pleased to see my sisters when they came for Mom’s birthday.  I don’t see them very often and it was fun to be together for a few days.  Mom was very glad to see them, though she did seem a bit overwhelmed at times.  One of the gifts they brought was an objective view of how things are working here – Eddie and I are too close to see it with objectivity.  It was gratifying to hear them say how well we deal with Mom, that we are very good with her.  They said how patient we are – I will admit I get impatient and sometimes it sneaks out in spite of my efforts.  Ellen made a very valuable observation – I realized when she said it that it has been going around in my brain but I didn’t have words for it.  She observed that  when Mom has too much coming at her, she gets agitated and feisty ( my paraphrase) so she suggested not expecting her to always understand exactly.  I realized I have been expecting logic and sense as well as wanting to be right about things;  I would get irritated and frustrated when it didn’t happen.  As Dr. Phil says “And how’s that working for you?”.  Sounds like we push each other’s buttons.

Speaking of buttons, another things Ellen talked about was buttons.  She had wanted to be in solitary contemplation and the head person said to her “Oh no dear, you don’t want to do that”.  She explained that it is important to live in a community with other people until you have your rough edges smoothed off, otherwise you will slice yourself to death on those rough edges.  You come across all kinds of people, including people who drive you crazy and push your buttons.  The objective is to come to the point where you no longer have buttons to push.  I started thinking about it visualized a row of buttons from my throat to my root chakra.  Then I realized I probably have a double row at times and possibly down both legs.  Depends on the situation.  Then I visualized a button fading until it wasn’t there any more – now, do I have to label the buttons so I know which ones are fading?  There I go again, overthinking it and wanting the hows, whys and wherefores in great detail.  That’s my need to “get it right”, or is it fear of being wrong.  Add one huge button for that in the middle of my forehead.

I have realized lately that most of my buttons are on autopilot – something happens and I am angry but not sure how it happened or why.  One thing I am learning in working with Debye in my  massage is where some of this is coming from.  A lightbulb went on in one session when I realized a lot of it is from childhood and my little girl who didn’t know how to deal with it.  I have gathered up in my arms and put her in my heart so she is safe.  Now I know that I am the adult and my job is to love her and protect her so she can be carefree and play in the sunshine.  Her perception was so different from the facts, but she didn’t know that.  So now when something comes up, the first things I do is to hug my little girl and tell her she is fine, she doesn’t have to worry or deal with it, I am here to protect her.  I haven’t gotten it down pat yet – I still react rather than think it through objectively, but I am getting better at comforting my little girl first.  I may not know the exact trigger at the time, so I have to think if this is really about me or not.  I tend to take responsibility for everything and everyone – it’s not my job.  What a relief to know that.

When my husband and mother argue a bit, I no longer feel I have to referee or make them feel better afterwards.  Old habits are to break, now I let them work it out because “I don’t have a dog in the fight”.  From Ike Pono I learned “I care, but not so much”.  Which translated is, I care but I am not going to tie myself up in knots about it.  It doesn’t help anyone to do that, my past experience definitely shows me that.  I am also learning that often, it isn’t about me and not to take it personally.  Oh my, that is a big button for me.  I am getting a college level course in that with my Mom.  Living in the house I grew up in with my husband and my mother is a guaranteed button pusher.  At times I feel caught in the middle – maybe that is how moms feel with growing kids and a husband.  My Mom is 93 and  seems to be more of a little girl than an adult – except she knows what being an adult is like.  So I have become the parent (reluctantly) and no experience being a parent.  As she has gotten more and more confused and bewildered, she comes out with the most surprising things.  Sometimes it is funny, sometimes if it hurtful.   So now I am learning more about it’s not about me and not to take it personally.  I am doing better than I was at the beginning, but I find at times it takes me by surprise  and all my buttons are firing.  The good news is, some of them are fading a little and I am slowly getting better at handling it.  There is still a long way to go but I have come a long way.

Powerless Or Powerful?

May 31, 2010

I have spent so much of my life feeling powerless, I never knew why or what I could do about it.  When RA arrived, I added helpless to my view of myself.  To me, power and being powerful always seemed as if powerful people were strong and bulldozed their way through whatever obstacles stood in their way.  As a highly sensitive person and brought up to be the “good, polite girl” I couldn’t see myself doing anything like that.  Lately I have begun to understand I have given away my power all this time – then came the question “How did I do that?”.  A foreign concept to a “good girl” because the “rules” said you had to play nice, be polite and as a girl, let the boy win.

Skip forward a few years and I read one of  Dr. Phil’s rules – “You teach people how to treat you”.  Once again, how did I do that?  Since I came from a background and lifetime of insecurity, not all that hard.  I ran across a list from Jenna Avery on how one gives one’s power away.  What an eye opener!

You give away your power when you …

  • Doubt yourself. Energetically other people sense this and take advantage of it.
  • Try to be nice and polite, and make everyone else happy.
  • Just go along so you don’t make waves, cause trouble, or disrupt the “peace.” Does the phrase “peace at any price” mean anything to you? Are you giving up your own personal inner peace to create the illusion of peace with others?
  • Over-empower others by looking for approval and validation from them, instead of getting it from yourself. This gives other people the power to hurt you.
  • Forget that you do know what you’re doing, and you are good at it.
  • Have poor boundaries.
  • Get energetically “mixed up” with other people by not staying in your own energy. Or, you let other people take over your energetic space by leaving your body or by pulling back.
  • Allow yourself to be intimidated by bluster, bragging, or emotional assaults from other people.
  • Don’t say what’s true for you and then honor it. You can do this without being confrontational.
  • Energetically and emotionally buy into other people’s dramas, emergencies, and aspersions.
  • Allow other people to run your life, or try to run other people’s lives.

Bullseye!  That has been me so much of the time.  It was not easy to read or to realize how much that described me, but it was a real eye opener.  It has taken time for it to simmer on the back burner and really see how I have allowed this to happen.  But I didn’t sit and beat myself up for not being aware of it before, normal SOP for a long time.  I have been able to see  a bit more objectively how it has happened and I now know I am not responsible for the whole world or making sure every one is happy.  I care, but not so much. (Thank you Ike Pono)  My biggest way of giving away my power has been looking for validation and approval from external sources.  Especially one in particular and it has been such a sore spot for so long.  But now I see that there is a gift in that – I finally realized that it has to come from within me, not from outside.  If it is from outside, when that source is no longer there, I have to find a new source.  When it comes from within me, it is always there and I love, accept, approve and trust myself.

Jenna has also given a list of ways to begin to take back your power:

  • Remember to breathe! Focus your breath into your solar plexus and third chakra, which is your personal power chakra.
  • Practice staying in your own energy, your own body, and your own skin.
  • Learn energy skills to strengthen your energetic and interpersonal boundaries.
  • See yourself as a whole, resourceful, and spiritual being, with your own best answers.When you choose to focus from the inside out in this way, you’ll be less susceptible to outside influence.
  • Learn to say “No” and mean it. This means being firm — and not just with the tough people, but with everyone. Your personal power must become your habit, not a reaction, afterthought, or counterattack.
  • Use your anger wisely — anger is the energy of personal power — and stand up for yourself.
  • Stand on the courage of your convictions. Believe in yourself no matter what anyone else does or says, or how they behave.
  • Ask for what you need and want. Give yourself what you need and want.
  • Similarly, don’t burden others with the task of validating you. Use your own yardstick to measure your successes. Look to your higher self for validation and approval.
  • Own this truth: Other people have their own path and you are not responsible for them. You might even be doing them a disservice by not acknowledging this.
  • Claim your rights and place in the world. You do have the right be treated respectfully by other people.
  • Be detached and practice detachment by observing other people’s behavior without attachment. Think to yourself: “Isn’t that interesting? I wonder what that’s about?” Remember that another person’s behavior has almost nothing to do with you.

Thank You Jenna Avery!  I have come a long way, still have a long way to go – a journey and a work in progress.

Sentence or Journey?

April 4, 2010

As you know, I have been dealing with RA for 39 years – as I look back over those years, I realize there is a difference from Day 1 to today.  For so long I have felt I was  suddenly sentenced to deal with RA with no hope in sight of an end.  I would look at others dealing with a broken bone, surgery, illness, etc. and think – They have a limited length of time to deal with it, that after certain stages are accomplished it will be finished.  Knowing there is a time limit seemed to be a lot easier to work with than to feel there is no limit.  There didn’t seem to be any hope of a suspended sentence, time off for good behavior or maybe even a pardon.  Not only that, it wasn’t going to kill me, just make my life miserable for years on end.  (I apologize for whingeing when I promised this blog wouldn’t be that way).  Essentially it was a bad, long term case of “oh-poor-me-osis – I am the worst off person in the world, no one has as badly as I do.

I realize now that was Ego, my false self, being in charge and the worse it was the happier she was.  She revels in the negative, the scary, everything with fear.  The worst part was that I thought that was me and I wasn’t happy about that.  People would tell me how positive an attitude I had – I kept thinking, “You have no idea the bitch who lives inside me and whinges all the time”.  I would feel so sorry for myself, why did I have to be drag may ass tired all the time, hurt from head to toe, take all those drugs and be on the business end of a needle.  Why can’t I have energy and flexibility like everyone else and have fun and do what I want, when I want, how I want?  All I could see was what I couldn’t do, couldn’t be.  I realized I was fighting it, that RA and my body were the enemy that I didn’t have any defense against.  I often felt hopeless and helpless, while at other times I felt useless.

I don’t know when I began to think there might be a different way to look at it because there was no big “Aha” moment.  I found different books to read, some people recommended, some I found myself and some I stumbled across in looking for something else.  I read the first volume of “conversations With God” and one line in it kept bugging me because I couldn’t visualize it or clearly understand – “What you resist, persists.”  I read it 2 or 3 times, then went on to Volume 2, then Volume 3 and to a couple of other books he wrote.  I didn’t really understand it, but it was a different way at looking at life, myself and God.

When I started reading Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth”, the business with ego and false self took awhile to understand, even then as now, I still am working on it.  Another book I read was “Radical Forgiveness” by Colin Tipping – his view of things in one’s life was very different from what I had been thinking and feeling.  The idea that people and situations that come up in one’s life  could be a soul contract with another’s soul to resolve the situation, especially an ongoing one.  That is still a little unclear for me but I am now “willing to be willing” to explore it and understand it better rather than dismissing it out of hand.

And of course, Dr. Phil.  As much as I want to ignore some of his questions, I know they are true.  When I am in a situation and certain I am right, his question “How’s that working for you?” comes up and I have to admit it isn’t working.  He also says “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge”.  How often have I been so not ready to see what my part is in the situation.  The one that sometimes really gets me is “You teach people how to treat you”.  I would much rather see myself as being put upon, a victim of someone being mean to me rather than acknowledging I am part of the problem.  Ego wants me to keep seeing myself as a victim, it is part of her power and hold over me.  Thanks to Eckhart Tolle, I am now a lot more aware and working on putting her out of business.

I’m not sure at the moment where the idea of a gift in RA came from or when, it has been growing slowly in my mind and doesn’t seem so weird and far fetched any more.  One of the affirmations I have been using is “I am willing to know the truth about myself”.  I have always been scared to know because I was sure it was horrible and ugly.  But as I told my sister this morning, I am beginning to see myself as a nice person.  I am working on loving myself, not in conceit or superiority, but loving, accepting, approving and trusting myself – I want to know who I truly am.

Now I realize I have been on a journey and my life experiences and the people in them were and are there because they can teach me about parts of myself and learn to know myself from the inside.  One thing about getting older is that a lot of the stuff that seemed so important really isn’t.  I am less concerned about what people think and more interested in what is true for me and trusting the Universe takes care of me.

Lies. Damn lies and whoppers

March 26, 2010

In the last few years I have been turning my attention inward instead of  just concentrating on the physical.  For the first 35 years of RA, I spent my time looking at how to get rid of the pain and inflammation, then looked at causes other than virus or biological.  It hasn’t been an easy process because I have to take responsibility for much of it.  To quote Dr. Phil:  “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge”.  It is so much easier to see myself as a victim sideswiped by RA for no reason – time to look deeper and see what has been going on.  One thing I have learned that was a surprise, my body is my healer, not my enemy.  All this time I felt she has betrayed me and made my life so much more difficult.    At last I am beginning to understand she has been shouting at me  to make me listen – too bad I have been deaf all this time.

For so long I felt my body was not really a part of me, more like a shell covering me and strangling me.   I often thought of myself as being trapped in a rusty suit of armor, that it wasn’t the real me.  If you looked inside you would see the real me trying desperately to get out.

I noticed a different train of thought one night when I couldn’t go back to sleep around 3, I had had a migraine and taken one of my bombers that leaves me wide awake until about 6.  I am not sure why I began to think about what is going on and what my body was trying to tell me, then  it hit me, she was trying to tell me Ego is trying to take charge and do her big pity party.  The more I thought about it, the more I wondered if that was the message – by golly, a while later I noticed the headache had gone.  When it happened again, I thought in terms of  my body as my alarm when Ego is trying to take over and I needed to be reminded I am not Ego.  Once again, it meant my headache left.

Hmmm, maybe I am on to something.  This morning I was  back in that boat – I have been having fewer and fewer headaches lately – but now a different train of thought.  If my body has been warning me with headaches,  has she been trying to tell me all these years that Ego is in charge and telling lies, damn lies and real whoppers about me and I have been believing them?  Has she been trying to get my attention with joint problems and pain?  Have I been so unaware of Ego that I just thought that was me living my life?

I have been unsure of myself most of my life – I started wearing glasses in the 3rd when no one else was; I have been Reubenesque all my life – the middle sister between 2 slender ones.  Did I only tune into the negative because Ego ruled and never heard the positives?  I was teased at school about my weight and glasses, last one to be picked for a team, feeling odd man out most of the time and not really a part of a group.  Boy, did Ego lap that up!

I will let it simmer on the back burner for a bit and see what begins to emerge.  I see there is a lot more to my early history as an influence on how I see myself – Carol Tuttle’s book “Remembering Wholeness” has really helped me see what is going on.  There is definitely more going on inside me and now that I have set an intention to know the truth about myself – sometimes a scary thought – it may be easier for me to be more objective than I have been in the past.  Maybe deep down my true self is an amazing woman – dare I hope so?

Anger

March 11, 2010

Anger is a waste of energy, along with resentment, irritation, fear, hurt.  It is really Ego taking control, making me feel diminished and need to defend myself.  As Eckert Tolle write,  there is no diminishment, only a perception by the ego.  He  has a spiritual practice to consciously allow the diminishment of ego when it happens without attempting to restore it.

“I recommend experimenting  with this from time to time. – when some one  criticisezes you, blames you, or calls you names, instead of immediately retaliating or defending yourself – do nothing. Allow the self image  to remain diminished and become alert to what it  feels like deep inside you.  For a few seconds, it may feel uncomfortable, as if you shrink in size.  Then you may sense an inner spaciousness that feels intensely alive.    You haven’t been diminished at all.  In fact, you have expanded.  You may come to the amazing realization: When you are seemingly diminished in some way and remain in absolute non-reaction, not just externally but also internally, you realize nothing real has been diminished, that through becoming “less”, you become more.”

I will admit I am still working on that – I know it in my head but not quite “know that I know” deep down.  What I finally do know is that getting angry is giving away my power to someone else and after spending years feeling powerless, I am determined to quit doing it.  Not an easy goal or intention, but definitely worth it.  I now know I have held that anger inside of me all these years, hugged it to me  as proof I am put upon and  a victim.  It is now lodged in my cellular level and a good part of it has contributed to the RA.  I have personalized it, when it is not really about me at all.

As I have explored and grown in changing my perceptions, my attitude and also learning about who I truly am – that’s a whole different subject – I am realizing that it is about the other person.  For some reason that person has to have the upper hand and only by diminishing me does that work for him/her.  It is my choice to let it affect me and make me feel diminished – then I give away my power.  I love the play on the Bible quote “Love your enemy – it will drive him nuts!”

I have a limited amount of energy with RA and it seems foolish to expend it on things like anger, hurt, resentment and fear.  Yes, easy words to say, but not so easy to  practice.  What helps is understanding better what is happening rather than just reacting.  I set an intention of just saying “Interesting” when someone criticizes or gets mad at me.  Someone suggested saying “Thank you for sharing”.  Whatever works for you to be non-reactive in that situation and experimenting with going within.  Because if I keep doing the same thing over and over, I hear Dr. Phil in my head saying “How’s that working for you?”.  Guess what, it isn’t working for me and never has.  The difference is that I am more aware of it.


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