Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Entry 1: We're All Human

Disclaimer A

Oct. 8. 2011

It's funny how we can get ourselves into these states of thinking that our momentary faults in character are abnormal and inhuman. When we think we're the only ones who are capable of yelling, snapping, whining, judging, criticizing, isolating, being jealous, etc. and we feel like a real ogre.

People are often quick to denigrate themselves when they have a character slip. Then, after that moment of denigration, we can sink into this haze of denial and shame.

I am always hardest on myself, and I'm not always a joy to live with or share space with. However, I'm reminded that I'm not the only one who is capable of regressing into undesirable behaviors and actions. I may even have a good reason to do so, trauma and bad past experiences, though it's no excuse.

Where's the middle ground in dealing with a character slip? In my experience many struggle with the imbalance of swinging to either side of the pendulum. One side is pointing the finger out in blame and victimizing ourselves, though it's out of a secret fear. It's a fear that we can't face a potential mistake that we may have made, a certain part that we had to play, which resulted in a not-so-great choice. We may fear that if we face our part in it, we would have to see ourselves as bad or solely the one at fault.

The other side is taking it all on, feeling like what we did was horrible, inhuman, and how could we possibly behave in such a manner and still be a good person. Those of us dealing with traumas, past abuses (especially childhood) and inner baggage especially are often swinging to either side of this pendulum. Or we're doing a bit of both simultaneously. This is subconscious.

Finding the middle can be rough when you don't have solid self-esteem, or a solid sense of self, and many of us don't. I'm just beginning to come out of that.

I keep trying to remind myself that I'm not perfect. Though something I may have said or done in a moment of pressure and/or conflict may have been undesirable, it doesn't mean that I am my mistake. It's only then that I can retain enough security to take responsibility for my mistake, make necessary amends, and maybe even set a warranted boundary (in a non-violent manner) on the other end of it.

When I'm in the midst of learning how to do that, and how to love and forgive myself, it's nice to hear that I'm not alone in my imperfections. It reminds me that I'm human. Lastly, this isn't to encourage anyone to let themselves off the hook nor to suggest that people should repent, either.

It's to encourage people to take responsibility, but understand and forgive themselves, too. Though we can't control how others will respond to us, we can do our best to make amends with the universe and ourselves. This is for whatever part we had to play in it, if and when needed, and even if it was as simple as allowing oneself to be a doormat. We can ask ourselves for forgiveness too.

I just think that the more this kind of response to one’s own imperfections and mistakes occurs, the less likely they'll continue a pattern of negative behavior by way of blinding denial which can turn into things like anger, defensiveness and helplessness.

This is what can perpetuate a simple character slip into a full on, more chronic character defect and resulting cognitive distortion. It's by hanging onto it, not accepting and processing it, that we can stay sick. We can recover and manage our overall health and wellness by forgiving it, amending it, and letting it go. If we keep trying to love and forgive ourselves, the quality of our love in going out to others can be deeply strengthened!

Next blog, Entry 2, "Sustenance Analysis Time"

- N.M.Rose Guedes

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