Friday, March 6

Five Steps That Kill the Giant of Depression, and, Our Ideal Self Isn't, Part II.............. ...................3/6/15

      Is the Giant of Depression chasing you?  Such happens to many.  Dealing with an abusive per-son can cause this monster to appear.  This beast also contributes towards sleep problems. Not to mention anxiety, and havoc upon the mind.  He clobbers our self-image, too. We think we deserve mistreatment.

      "Bad things happen to bad people. Look at the problems I am going through.  There must be something wrong with me."   This is a
false conclusion.  Abuse is a statement about the victimizer, not us.

      A basic human right is that everyone is deserving of dig-nity and respect.  These two qualities do not need to be earned. They are a fundamental right.  Only trust is earned.  Put downs and con-stant criticism reveals the character of the critic.  They have a control issue.  The following ac-tions counteract psychological, emotional and verbal abuse.

1.  Taking care of ourself.  Exer-cising regularly.  It discharges stress.  Many of my clients have learn the healing power of hitting a futon with a stick, riding a bike, jumping a rope or going for a  walk of two hours.

     Eating nutritious food, bed-ding down earlier are other ways of taking care of ourselves. Treat-ing ourself is also wonderful, like taking a bubble bath, going to a live concert, taking in a movie with a friend or hitting a bucket of balls at the local driving range.

     Frequently, we forego nurturing ourselves, when stressed.  We don't have the time.  When challenged emotion-ally, mentally or otherwise, this is when we need to be our strongest.  We make this more pos-sible by taking care of Numero Uno.   We are the only person on earth who can make our welfare our number one priority.  If we don't, no one else will.

2.  Express yourself, speak your truth in an encouraging envi-ronment.  Resilient people are known for keeping good com-pany, having a supportive network that undergirds them when they are chal-lenged within or without.

  Often, abusers try isolating us from family, friends, any-one who can offer strength, be it emo-tional or spiritual.  They do this to force us to depend on them.  I encourage most people to try Al-Anon Family Groups. This fellowship is helpful whether you are relating with an alcoholic or not.  Seeing a counselor can help, too.

3.  Express yourself, internally.  Journal. Write it out.  Some-times, like Flannery O'Connor said, we don't know what we have to say until we start writing.  Emotions, fanciful thoughts and creative images often flow from pen as it caresses paper.  I use a fountain pen. It allows feelings to express themselves dramatically with thick and thin lines.

4.  Use boundaries, frequently.  The word "No" is an excellent one.  No doesn't mean we are
selfish, rude or mean.  It simply indicates we have a different priority than the person making the request.  No is a complete sentence.  We have a right to refuse without explanation.  (Hope For Today, p 220).

    If boundaries is a fuzzy subject for you, create a "Must Haves and Can't Stands" list for relationships. Any.  When a person violates them, your boundaries have been crossed.
5.  Be gentle towards ourselves, mindful that...
"Condemning my imperfections has never enhanced my appreciation of life or helped me to love myself more."       Courage to Change, 19.
        This includes two important actions.

      First, forgiving ourselves. No one is perfect.  When we are compassionate towards our vulnera-bilities, they can surface. This allows healing and transfor-mation.  But if our Ideal Self condemns the weaker parts of us, this part of us will retreat.  Healing will not take place.

      What does this tell us?  Our. Ideal. Self. Isn't.  It can be a tyrant never satisfied.  A preferred Ideal Self is patient, loving.  It is full of  compassion.

       A preferred Ideal Self is gracious.  A better Ideal Self does not react negatively when we make mistakes.  It does not condemn our frailties.  Instead it supports us.  It cheers us on as we takes steps in overcoming areas where we need to grow.  There is no judging or blaming.

       Secondly, being gentle towards ourself means we put ourselves on the top of the list of those we need to make amends with. Some exam-ples of doing this:
a.  Ridding ourselves of behavior that no longer serves our best interests. To continue them not only hurts others, but us, too.
b.  Saying no. often, frequently, whenever we can.  This protects us.  It's about time we take care of our needs, not letting our desire to please others to overrule our desire for sanity and serenity.
c.  Admitting when we make a mistake.  "An admission of error," Goethe told us, "is a sign of strength rather than weakness."  It is realizing that we are not what we do.  We are lovable simply for who we are, regardless of the criticism received from abusers and ingrates.
d.  To allow others to have their feelings without being triggered by them.

       If we take the action listed, we easily descend from the beanstalk that led to the Giant of Depression, that chased us for all these many years.

May you have a great and grateful day.  I know I will!
       The Innkeeper


Superman said...

Dear Innkeeper,
I enjoyed this post very much. I drew a parallel between your last statement of letting others feel and letting our Ideal self condemn ourselves.
I feel that a lot of the times that I have difficulty communicating with others is because I personalize my faults as shameful. Shameful for being inadequate, not understanding my vulnerabilities, my humanity, instead of seeing that the other person is being vulnerable when they are sharing their feelings as well. A great opportunity to share and connect! Just working on distinguishing between thinking vs. feeling. More gentleness toward myself perhaps...
Thank you,

Pablo said...

Dear Superman,

Thank you, for dropping by and your honesty. I am in agreement with you. We want to stay with what we are experiencing, including in our body, and not flee from it, by using our thoughts. When in our head, often we believe what we are assuming,interpreting or assessing to be true.

It is through feeling, that we get our healing, so we want to know what is going on in our body.

When we see an area of weakness, within ourselves, instead of kicking ourselves with shame, we can take the view that we are getting healthier. We are aware of an area that can provide growth---as we apply healthy alternatives---that at one time we could not see. That's a good thing!

I appreciate you being present with me in your comments and keeping me company tonight.

The Innkeeper

Thumper said...

Dear Pablo,

What an excellent post. Someone dear to me is experiencing bullying and it is not the first time. My heart aches as I remember going through the same thing. It is helpful to know that it is not about us, but about the abuser. It is a statement about them, not about us. I am acting as a balcony person of support for this individual, reminding him of these important statements that you often wisely impart to all of us reading your blog. I also shared the insight I have learned about taking care of oneself when these situations plague us. Luckily, this person took my advice and showed signs that he was taking steps for self care. I was happy and relieved to see this. What an important reminder to all of us during bad times.


It's so hard to do a right thing, like taking care of ourselves or admitting that we are wrong... Basically, we sabotage our well being by giving in to the "Giant of Depression" or other "enemies", lurking in our sub-conscience. Reading a post like that reminds me of the duty I have: to be honest and gentle to myself, so that I can be most helpful to others.

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.