Friday, June 29, 2007

Weekend: Recognizing differences and overcoming them...

There are times when I really feel the difference between me and most of the world.

And sometimes it's really painful.

I got to thinking about this site earlier today.. and this afternoon. There are days when it's harder and days when it seems to be okay.

The differences that I am aware of are hard to define in precise terms but they do affect how I write here and what I have to say. Some people are observers in this world, while others are full participants. I am an observer.

Social smoothness is something I will never have. I am a single, older woman. I do not come from, nor live in a nuclear family setting. There are no family weddings to write about.. or birthdays.. or anything of that nature. I don't have cute and funny family stories to share from the past. In that regard, I can't create commonality where there isn't any.

All of these things at times feel alienating.

Do I feel "less than"? Sometimes. Yeah. I do. And sometimes this site really amplifies that. All I can offer is observations and ideas, thoughts about the things I see around me.

There are times when it doesn't feel like enough.. and there are times when that old shame creeps back in. I should be someone different than I am. I should be married. I should be more active socially. I should be... I should be.... everything that I am not.

I'm curious about how others see this, too. Do you feel like blog writing brings out so many of your inadequacies (we all have them)? Does it make you feel more connected or less? Do you vacillate? (I do. Some days are awesome and other days I feel like I'm on the outside, nose against the window pane.)

While this is very hard sometimes, keeping this site up, I also know I need to do it for my own growth. I need to overcome these insecurities. There are also good things about me that I know. I am reasonably intelligent. I'm kind and compassionate... and I am a social moron. (I say that in the most loving manner, of course, because being a social moron isn't always a bad thing.)

There are some really awesome human beings in this small blogging community that surrounds me. Some are people who are twenty years younger than me and I learn from them daily. They have more wisdom than I will ever have. Some of them.. well.. I wish they were my younger sisters. There are some who challenge me to climb out of the abyss and begin to see things differently.

And I'm really grateful for all of that. Truly. I am.

And there are times when I feel like I can't possibly live up to this, that I am not "good enough" for some of you who surround me, whom I learn from and admire on a regular basis. The old ghost rattles its chains in the closet and seriously tempts me to shut down and go away.

Just curious what others experience in this setting, a setting which by its very nature is probably far more honest than most social settings.

I know some of you are going away for the weekend. May you travel safe.. and come back refreshed.


Peace,


~Chani

29 comments:

slouching mom said...

But what you perceive as "less," not having cutesy stories to tell about your kids...

...I perceive so differently.

I like coming here precisely because you are at a different stage of life from me and because I am a bit envious of the life you live, in which you are not beholden to anyone but yourself, and because you think interesting thoughts and write about them so well.

thailandchani said...

SM, sometimes I love that about my life. Sometimes it's the best thing I can identify about my existence. Other times, it scares the shit out of me. Sometimes.. freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.


Peace,

~Chani

Snoskred said...

I have much to say, but lunch is served. I'll be back. ;)

flutter said...

Social Moron? Meet insecure, self conscious hyper empath with PTSD.

I am glad you are here, and on the days when it seems too much for you to bear, remember that there is one of me, fluttering by who values you more than I can possibly express.

I expose my most tender and bruised bits to the universe at my place and it does leave me feeling...exposed but you know what I have found in return? Support. Know that I will always be that for you, Chani.

Snoskred said...

Some human beings travel through life without ever pushing themselves to do anything. They wake up in the morning, go off to jobs they hate, come home to relationships they wonder why they are in..

Some of us are more lucky. We end up in jobs which make us face the demons which exist within us. I would not be who I am today without the jobs I have held, because they have pushed me to be who I am - and by extension to push myself *and* others to be the best they can be on a daily basis.

Did you ever think there's something more to all this? My old church pastor used to say "Coincidences are God's way of remaining anonymous" - I was reminded of it by a book I am reading. That I found you, that we all found each other, it can't just be for no reason.

Change is difficult. Personal growth is like an earthquake every day. You have to be willing to put what you think and know on the line, to open yourself to a different way of seeing things. You also have to want it. I can sit here and type till my fingers fall off, but it will do no good if the eyes and ears that I am typing to reach are closed shut.

Nothing good is easy. If it were, it wouldn't be good. One has to reach, to stretch, to make one's muscles hurt trying to grab it. Sometimes it'll swing away from one, and one can then choose to relax, to stop, to walk away saying "I knew I wouldn't be able to reach it, I knew I wasn't good enough" or one can set one's jaw, grit one's teeth, and reach even harder than one knew was possible to try and get it.

What does not kill us makes us stronger.

I went through a child custody battle against a purely evil woman who did some really terrible things to us. People who know about that (and there's not many of them, it isn't something I discuss very often) will ask me - if you knew then what you know now, would you have done things differently? The answer to that question is no. It was hell, and that's stating it mildly.

I found myself deep in the black hole of depression, trying to get out with my fingernails. I did not have a lot of fingernails left. But all these struggles made me who I am now, it made me a lot stronger, it changed a lot of things in me for the better, and though I would never put any worst enemy through what I went through, I would choose it again for me, every time. It was what I needed.

You have to grab on with your fingernails, Chani. Especially when you feel the same old feelings.

And Pfft to should. Coulda, woulda, shoulda. I should have stabbed his ex wife in the brain with a fork the first day I met her. ;) Oh, if only!

(yeah, but then the whole jail thing..)

You are good enough. Now if only you would believe it. ;)

As far as what I experience, I learn a lot and I am really grateful. Sometimes people make a comment and I see things in a whole new light that I'd never considered before. I push myself and it's not easy, but it is worth it. I love reading what everyone else has to say more than what I write.

And Chani, sometimes what you're going through pushes people away. I lost more friends than you can imagine during the custody battle. They were never really friends if something as small as that sends them away.

The nature of blogs is that people read what is touching them now, it might not apply to them next week. The place you are in is not for the faint hearted, so let the faint hearted go with a wink and a knowing smile. The rest of us will stick it out for the long haul.

It's ok sometimes to talk about things not so earth shattering, if you don't feel you can go out on that limb on any given day. Some days the limb seems fragile, as though it might snap. Perhaps on those days, look for a news story and give us the unique Chani slant on it. We'll appreciate that too.

And what Flutter said. Especially the bit that went - Know that I will always be that for you, Chani.

meno said...

"Do you feel like blog writing brings out so many of your inadequacies (we all have them)? Does it make you feel more connected or less? Do you vacillate?"

No, i don't feel like it brings out my inadequacies. They are already out i suppose. I think it exposes my inadequacies to other people in a very direct way. And i find out that many people have these things in common with me. So i feel more connected.

I wish i knew what you are trying to achieve that you felt like you haven't. Can you tell me?

Hel said...

I was thinking of you this morning when I read this.

"In order to become whole we must try, in a long process, to discover our own personal truth, a truth that may cause pain before giving us a new sphere of freedom. [...] We can repair ourselves and gain our lost integrity by choosing to look more closely at the knowledge that is stored inside our bodies and bring this knowledge closer to our awareness. This path, although certainly not easy, is the only route by which we can at last leave behind the cruel, invisible prison of our childhood. We become free by transforming ourselves from unaware victims of the past into responsible individuals in the present, who are aware of our past and are thus able to live with it." Alice Miller. The drama of being a child.

I immediately thought of your honesty and courage and how you have helped me be honest with myself over things I would never ever admit to. Like being hurt when not included in a meme. (Yup but don't tell anyone) Seriously this realization has made me reevaluate the reasons I write and the expectations I have and how am sometimes willing to rather push away someone I love than take the risk of them hurting me.When they never meant to hurt me and feel bewildered and sad when I suddenly cut them of without an explanation. Now I take a deep breath and say would this person ever deliberately hurt me, or anyone else for that matter. And mostly the answer is no.

And yes sometimes I look at what I write about and I compare it with better written blogs and I think how mediocre. How badly written. How repetitive.

The other day I got my first Anonymous said... comment: "Jesus you people are hippies" And it made me feel less. Despite all the wonderful comments I get from women I am honored to know. And being a hippie is hardly a bad thing. A consumer junky. Now there is an insult.

Anyway I suspect I am rambling a bit. What I want to say is you inspire me. You make me think. You encourage me to face my demons. If I ever meet you I know it will take a bit of time. A few lunches talking about art and Thailand and roses. And slowly, slowly trust will come. And then gifts of truth and humor and love and wisdom.

You are indeed like an older sister. If ever I don't comment it is because my mind has gone blank because it is pondering so hard. But from now I will leave a message that say. Wow. I need some time to think this trough.

Peace to you,

KC said...

Not any less.

I love this community because of the different perspectives on life we all have, we all bring something different. Your perspective, your views on life, your life experiences are valued Chani.

Bob said...

Everyone is different. I don't expect you to be married, or have kids, or have lots of friends that you in turn can write wittily about. I come here to read about you and your opinions. I expect you to be you. Please don't feel you have to meet any other expectations on my part.

Not everyone is a social butterfly, I certainly am not, so I wouldn't worry about being a "social moron" unless it is something you don't like and want to change.

I blog because I occasionally have something to say, something about myself I wish to share. Comments are a bonus. I don't get much traffic and I don't expect it.

I don't know that blogging brings out any of my inadequacies - or my strengths - except where these may be reflective of my writing abilities. I do think that over time people may be able to determine what kind of person I am, and in that context my strengths and weaknesses come out. But I don't think that blogging exacerbates them.

I try not to compare my blogging efforts to those of other's, because in that method lies madness! I am not other people, I am me and my only struggle is to make sure I stay true to myself - which is a life effort, not just a blogging one.

What I most wish to tell you is that I value your blog for what it is - a reflection of you.

Gwen said...

Chani, sometimes I wish you weren't so ready to see the ways you are "different" from everyone else. I feel an isolation in that that makes me sad. You are not so different than you think; I mean, maybe you are from the people in your daily, non blogging life, but it seems as though your commenters think very much like you. I see you as a person who has found a community here, a loving, supportive one, and I wish you would embrace it, even with its imperfections.

That was so not meant to offend, so if it did, please please please know that was not my intent.

Now, to answer your question: no, blogging does not make me feel inadequate (anymore). I don't get a lot of traffic. I'm not a rockstar in the way that some of the people I read are. But I don't care (anymore). I love the writing; I love the way it challenges me and keeps me honest, and I love the regular readers I do have. Full stop.

Julie Pippert said...

I love the quote from Hel. Love it!

Snoskred and flutter said it all so well.

And I also have to scho SM.

I do want to say more than ditto though. So I'll answer your questions.

First, the fact that you can and do ask these questions, and allow a space for us to find commonality and similarity as well as difference with understanding is SO VALUABLE.

Sometimes in life---any time, anywhere, blog or elsewhere---I feel less. I feel less than my expectations, les than "by comparison." I used to berate myself for this. But I've learned to flow with it, accept it has a purpose. The purpose usually involves reflection about myself and what I am doing and who I am with.

I think as women we are so often taught to thnk "what do others think of me?" It gets out of balance for me when what others think obscures what I think. So that time of self-reflection I mentioned above is good for getting back on track.

Blog writing can shine a light on my feelings of inadequacy...but as another commenter said, theya re already out LOL.

I try to use it as a guide in a managed, controllable situation to work through some of these, KWIM?

I do feel connected, but yeah somedays, I wonder.

I have moments of self-doubt too. For example, I was reading a few old posts of mine this week and I thought, geat scott, where did that level of writing go? That was hard on the heels of have NOTHING for the Hump Day Hmm this week when EVERY participant was over the top fabulous. So I had to sit back and think. LM and SM had said thanks for the links and I thought, okay, I did contribute something of value...links to these other great posts.

But please...always end up knowing that you are more than good enough, more than smart enough.

You've got your eyes and mind open and you're asking us to think about things we should think about.

jen said...

ah..it's interesting how our life imprint can allow for such different reactions.

blogging doesnt bring out my inadequacies. if there is something i am missing out on, so be it. if someone else is doing really well, good for them.

but i hear you taking it in a way that somehow detracts from who you are. i want to understand that better, chani,because it's hard for me to understand.

thailandchani said...

Flutter, thanks. I do know that. This is an unusual dynamic in me, I know.. and I appreciate some of the commonalities we have. There is some thinking on this that I might want to tell you about later...

~*

Snos, I agree with much of what you say.. and not some others. Sometimes the easiest things are most valuable. In terms of personal growth, I agree that it requires a lot of examination and, yes, even at times comparison. Many years ago, I used to say that my greatest wish would be to be someone else for five minutes. That wasn't to escape being me.. but to truly understand what it would be like to be someone else.. to have that frame of reference.

I like the idea about the news stories and I very well might do that sometimes.

Thanks for sharing your perspectives so freely. I appreciate it very much.. because your perspective is unique!

~*

Meno, I think what I am seeking is wholeness... and while I have more of that than I ever believed possible.. it's still not quite "whole". Social phobia (which I have rather severely... ).. I would like to overcome that one day.

My inadequacies are never going away. I'm not silly enough to believe that... and I do know that most people have some similar inadequacies to mine.

Honestly, I think the isolation I've experienced in my life is unusual. That is not something I find in common with most people because those who have experienced it are either too messed up or unwilling to share that with others.

~*

Hel, you're not going to believe this .. but I have that book! Now I will take it out and read it this weekend. It's been on the shelf for a few years now.. untouched.

And I do know that no one (I will go so far as to say "no one") ever hurts me intentionally. For one thing, I'm not that important. Secondly, I am not that networked that I would draw it. I'm no threat to anyone.

When I get to feeling like I was yesterday, it's pretty immobilizing. I feel so totally inadequate in all social senses, and have had to kind of figure it all out for myself, it has that impact... that I fall into the hole and have a hard time climbing out.

Thanks for all of this. See, I think you are rather amazing, too, to have come out the other side of it, and to come out of it as well as you have.. without bitterness.. is God at work, in a manner of speaking.

~*

KC, yours are valued, too. Thank you for saying so. I don't think you understand how many holes you have lifted me out of.. with your comments about neurobiology. If you think I'm joking, let me assure you that I am not. Those comments saved my ass more than once.

~*

Bob, thanks. I do try to tell the truth here.. even when it makes me look like an idiot. The comparing.. ahh... I admit I do it.

~*

Gwen, you didn't offend me. It would be rather silly for me to ask for input from other people, asking them for their experiences, and then get offended at what's said.

See.. I'm going to tell you the truth about something here. I am very, very surprised that you don't have traffic above and beyond anything I would ever have.. or what I see elsewhere. Your writing is extraordinary. You are another one who should be an author.

You remind me of Barbara Kingsolver.

Maybe this is part of my confusion at times. What is really valued.. but that's a question that's been asked by many others before me. Why someone who writes about poop is over-the-top with interaction. That's one of those imponderables.

Your point about community is taken.. and I will remember it.

~*

Julie, thanks. I think I do pull the scabs off of things sometimes. It's frustrating to see so many people living with it all under the surface. Admitting some of the things I have about my life felt almost like a coming out process.. like I was admitting to being gay. The reason I draw that analogy is because so many gay people lived in secret shame for years, too... (and perhaps that is the basis for my kindredness with them.. I get that shame..)

I try to be valuable.. and I try to say something that someone, somewhere, will recognize as being commonly unspoken.

This post is an example of that. How many people think these things.. but never say them?

~*

Jen, truly.. I don't expect you to understand this. It is not part of your frame of reference. If my perceptions are correct, I believe you are a person who has always been surrounded by love from others. I don't think you've ever had to question your place in the world.. or your inclusion in it.

And I'm very grateful that you don't understand the damage that comes from the opposite.

Grateful. I mean that. I don't expect you to understand it entirely.. and I hope you never do.

~*

Peace,


~Chani

Carla said...

I read your blog late last night and was too tired to comment...so now I'm back. I don't mind at all that there are no cutesy stories. In fact, it's refreshing. Your blog makes me think, makes me ponder and that's a very good thing. My question would be do we really have to overcome our differences? Can't we celebrate our diversity. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

thailandchani said...

Carla, good point, of course. There's no way in the world I want to see everyone as the "same". That would be boring beyond description.. and it's not my expectation.

There are times though... just times.. sometimes fleeting.. that commonality is refreshing. That comes from my own experience of having been an alien for so many years.

And I'm glad for the responses here that indicate my lack of cutesy stories about my full life with kids and relatives is not off-putting.

That's been one of my greatest fears. But, you know, I can't pull it out of a hat either.

~*

Okay. I will be back to answer comments later.. but I feel the need to get away from this site for a while.

Thanks, everyone.. very, very much!
I wish there was ever a way I could repay you. Receiving compassion is sometimes hard for me.. and this is making me stand up and accept it, find gratitude and grow to be a better, more complete, person.


Peace,

~Chani

QT said...

Chani - I don't know what I can say that is different from what everyone else has already said.

Blogging doesn't make me feel inadequate because I am really doing it just sharing things of interest to me, or things going on in my life - very subjective. There are times when I worry about exposing too much of my self, but not to my commenters so much as the internet.

I really love my regular commenters because I feel like I have a rapport with them. I honestly might see something during the day and think "Oh, if Chani lived here, we could go to that new restaurant."

And that is all I want. I also like the fact that you blog about different topics than other people. That, in and of itself, is a wonderful contribution that you make.

Patricia said...

I refound you today, dear Chani, and I'm so grateful that I did. My absence has had nothing to do with you, or with any blogger for that matter, since I'd stopped reading ANY of my old friends. It had everything to do with an obsession that has consumed my life these past months. Now I wonder if there's a 12-Step program for photographers, especially those who get hooked on creating collages/composites using Photoshop, cause that's where I am right now.

Enough about me, it's you I want to talk about: Chani as writer, blogger, honest and sincere human being, compassionate soulmate to untold numbers of readers who never leave comments but need to get their Thailand Gal fix every day.

Sometimes this cyber-world can be filled with misconceptions, the most common being for bloggers (or photographers) to imagine that their words and insights are flowing down a river of disinterest. Nothing could be further from the truth. Chani, you are touching--and transforming--folks in ways you will never know. Trust me. You are. And I am one of the silent horde who has been and continues to be touched and changed.

This is important work you're doing here, work that no one but you can do. And I thank you in the name of all those who daren't speak.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I feel that my blog helps me in ways I never could have envisioned at the beginning one year ago.

The honesty is a respite from most social interactions because I know that those who visit me do so because they want to, not because they have to. That makes me feel far less inadequate than I do in more traditional situations.

I have been thrilled and delighted and touched in so many ways by the kindness, wisdom, humor and intelligence out there in the blogosphere, besides the extraordinary talent I see on so many of the blogs I visit regularly.

Your writing and really, everything about you, has made you as necessary to my life as anyone whom I know face-to-face, more than many. I would feel a big loss if you disappeared, so blogging gives me a sense of community and support and even love that is too often missing in our everyday lives where we are often too busy to acknowledge others and to tell them what they mean to us.

I am in NY now, mending family fences successfully and having a very lovely time, but I had to check in with you and a few other blog buds to make sure you're ok, too.

Not sure if I answered your question, but that's what I felt like saying to you, Chani.

Snoskred said...

I'd love to know what you don't agree with. ;)

Can I also just say, and this is not coming from any place other than I care about you, that you're probably one of the most resistant people I know. As in, I say something, you say yeah that sounds good but.. and it's the but that will get you every time.

Positive changes are possible. They don't come to you as a surprise. You have to want it, believe in it, and then you have to work for it. I'm not saying change your spots. No leopard can do that. I'm saying change the way things are wired in your brain.

It's sort of like a computer program. If a = b then do c. But you can re-write the program, if you're willing to.

It's not like I'm saying Chani, flap your wings and fly until you reach the moon, then paint it pink. I'm not saying get plastic surgery because it'll make you feel better. I'm not suggesting the impossible or ridiculously cosmetic. I'm suggesting small changes which might seem stupid or even not worth doing but these small changes DO work and CAN help.

I'll stop saying these things, if you want. If it's not helping, and you're not interested. :) It's ok if you don't want to change. That's a choice and a perfectly valid one.

thailandchani said...

Snos, you almost caught me with a "gotcha". :) to say "it's okay if you don't want to change" is .. um.. not okay with me.

You know, different things work for different people. And we all change differently. We all use different methods. As it happens, NLP doesn't particularly work for me.

It smacks of "The Secret". Think it and be it.

For me, I use a method that is not dependent on affirmations. I don't believe real change can occur until the wound is cleaned out and heals from within. That happens through examination. Then change begins to take place.

In all my years, I've done a lot of changing. That doesn't mean I'm done.. or that I don't still have plenty of work left to do. Healing from some things is a lifetime process.

By chance, did you happen to read Hel's quote above in the comments?

Several things have to be taken into account, including personality type, whether someone is internal or external locus, and design things according to all those factors.

You know, if it works for you, I think that's awesome.

The thing that is most important is that I know you are being kind. I know that you care.

In the end, that is what's healing.. for someone like me.

And I thank you. Sincerely.


Peace,

~Chani

thailandchani said...

QT, thanks. I'm glad my posting about other topics than the "typical" feels okay to you. I am alone in many ways.. but not especially lonely. I don't have the drive to create a large social circle. I'm content with my email friends, a few close friends here locally and that seems to be enough.

In that regard, I'm content.

I feel like the regular commenters who show up here... well.. we often have very honest dialogue and that's the most important thing. It establishes trust.

~*

Patricia, it's good to see you here again. :) You have really gotten to the core of the matter in many ways. "A river of disinterest". Yes. And then that taps into my background of being invisible.. and how awful that was.. and, yes, I kind of go back there again. I wish I had more faith in intangibles than I do.

Lurking here usually doesn't bother me a bit. Sometimes it does. And it's no one else's responsibility to figure out when those times are.. but that's as honest as I can be.

~*

Susan, the voluntary aspect is an important one. It's true that people come around these various sites because they choose to... and that does make it better. Knowing that, I mean.

I'm so glad to know you are mending fences. I had a feeling that is how it would go. :)

People get older, you know? And they change. Sometimes it might not even be a choice but just life itself catching up to us.

:)

~*

Peace,

~chani

Queen of the Mayhem said...

It is so interesting to read this post! I feel the same, but for very different reasons! There are days when I feel like my site is about nothing but nonsense....that all I have is my cutesy stories about the kids. I love my family and children with all of my being, but I long to be more than just somebody's mama.

I suppose we can liken this to "the grass is always greener" mentality...but I do understand.

Being a hyper-sensitive person, I can appreciate your vacillating feelings. I have them too! I wish I cared less about what others think of me....but I care....WAY too much!

I am glad you keep writing....and I hope to be able to read more!

Excellent post!

Sober Briquette said...

(I purposely didn't read the other comments so I wouldn't be influenced.)

Chani,
Yes, I definitely think my blog writing brings out my inadequacies. I feel that if I had more time to devote to it it could be better in a dozen different ways, but I don't really have time to do it at all and other aspects of my life suffer because I choose to blog.

I tell myself that I am blogging because I enjoy it, and I think I may learn something useful about myself, but a lot of the time it makes me feel crappy and a lot of the posts I write, or have written, or just think about but never get around to make me feel bad too. I believe that the "power of positive thinking" is something that could work for me, and that I should cut out blogging because it causes a lot of negative thinking.

My kids cry when I go to my desk. My husband gets mad at me about blogging.

Now, about you. Well, about your blog. Your blog is great. Your posts are smart, insightful, soulful. You write well, you comment well, and you are an integral part of the small community that I know and a probably much wider group.

My mind reels at the wealth of amazing blogs. No one can "live up to it." Whatever it is.

I hope you have a good weekend too.
De

Snoskred said...

Sober Briquette said - I believe that the "power of positive thinking" is something that could work for me, and that I should cut out blogging because it causes a lot of negative thinking. - I'm wondering do the two have to be mutually exclusive? I mean, can you have a blog where you use the power of positive thinking instead of allowing it to cause a lot of negative thinking?

Look, we all have those thoughts. I'm not good enough, what I wrote isn't good enough, people won't like it, people won't like me. None of those thoughts are TRUE. They are simply our own way of self-sabotaging.

It's like you have a devil in your head constantly determined to put you down and make you feel bad.

Things do not have to be that way.

Chani, yes I did read Hel's quote., I also read this part of her post - Now I take a deep breath and say would this person ever deliberately hurt me, or anyone else for that matter. And mostly the answer is no. - That's one of the things I suggested you try. If I recall correctly you came back at me with reasons why it would not work for you, none of which were true, but all of which were ways of saying - thanks for trying to help but I really don't want to do that.

It IS ok if you don't want to change. Sometimes we resist it with everything in us and we have no idea why. I don't know why you want to feel that you're being excluded all the time. It's not logical to me and I'm sure you'd say "I don't want to feel that way" but if you're not working to change it, then how can you say that? I don't know what you get out of it that I don't see, but there must be something you get out of it, or else you would choose to change it.

It's like you're sitting in a pool of flames, and I'm saying to you here's how to get out of the flames, Chani. And you're saying but I'm comfortable here, I don't want to move. And I'm seeing you burning up in there, and I'm trying to tell you it's no good for you, but you don't seem to mind. But can you understand how hurtful it is to see someone sitting in a place that is hurting them, knowing you can help them get out of it, but they aren't interested?

It constantly reminds me of my sister, when she was in a relationship with an abusive man. Not the kind of abusive QT wrote about on her blog the other day, but *mentally* abusive. I sat there and watched her go through that for 7 years. I tried everything I knew how to get her out of there. Nothing worked. And a person I loved deeply was in a situation where she was on fire all the time - and even worse, my two much loved nephews were in there with her.

I knew I could save her, if only she would listen to me.

Part of this might be about that for me - that I have knowledge which might help you get out of places that aren't any fun to be in. This might be a lot about me, and my inability to get my sister out of that situation. It might also be about me not wanting to keep my mouth shut when I might be able to do something to help.

But clearly it is bugging you, so I'll step back. I don't want to upset you, nor do I want to lose my voice from shouting so loud trying to help someone content to stay where they are.

Because to keep saying things like "several things have to be taken into account" shows me that you just don't want to even *try* what I am suggesting. Like I say, that is perfectly fine. Yes, it worked for me. Yes, it would work for you, if only you tried it. It's not the secret. It's not think it and be it. It's simply allow yourself to be more positive about things, try and change those negative tapes which run over and over in your head.

It's very frustrating to me as well as you, and maybe we should just stop doing it. I'll have to sit here and watch you burn up, and accept that is the way things are going to be. I won't like it, but I'll stop yelling CHANI GET OUT OF THE FIRE because it's not doing either of us any good.

thailandchani said...

Snos, let me ask you this: Isn't there just a bit here of "you have to do it my way or you're not doing it"? That reminds me a bit of the people I used to know in AA who swore I'd get drunk again if I didn't go to meetings.

I haven't been to a meeting in 25 years and I haven't gotten drunk.

Making the inferential leap to "you don't want to change" is a bit of a stretch.

When I say to take several things into account, one of them is personality type. Certain personality types respond to different techniques. What works for you might not work for me.. and that really needs to be okay.

We are all individuals.. with different histories.. and different styles of doing things.

I am almost 56 years old.. and I've done a lot of changing in my life.. and I will change this but, with all due respect, I am going to do it the way it works for me. I am going to use my self-knowledge, the support of friends and the techniques that have brought me results in many other attempts to change.

So.. while I appreciate your efforts and I appreciate that you care, I don't want your judgment.

Let me do what I need to do. If you really don't support that.. and really believe I have to do it your way or no way, then we'll have to agree to disagree.

All the same.. your passion is inspiring.. and your willingness to discuss these things is very well appreciated.


Peace,

~Chani

thailandchani said...

QM, I suspect it's part of the human condition. Believing we will not care what others think would be lying to ourselves. That's more destructive than simply accepting it. :)

I don't mind the posts people write about their kids... they are often cute but I have to admit this: I don't relate to them.

~*

De, the only problem with stopping is that we avoid the negative thoughts rather than dealing with them.

It certainly wasn't easy in any way for me to put this post out, to admit that I am so freaking insecure that I need validation from others that my life is worth living... let alone writing about... but I'd rather do it this way and grow. That's better than running.

I came very close to shutting this down. We both deal with that impulse, I know. And really it wouldn't be the best option for either of us.


Peace,

~Chani

Snoskred said...

Ok, at the end of this comment you'll either still be speaking to me, or not. So I'm just going to throw it out there. Here goes nothing.

I hear what you're saying. Let me take a guess at what you see when I write these comments. You see "Damn, here comes that know it all girl again, the one who is oh so smart and knows how to fix everything. I know all about me. She doesn't know me. I know how to fix me. She should just STFU. Her suggestions won't work for me. I know what works for me".

You also, apparently, see judgment where there is none. Again it is about interpretation. I'm not judging you, Chani. If I were, I wouldn't be wasting my time here. So that's maybe a question you can ask yourself - why do you assume judgment?

My idea is simple. The Assumption Of Exclusion isn't working for you. Try a step or two before making any assumption, perhaps as suggested by Hel - take a moment to think - would this person ever deliberately hurt me, or anyone else for that matter.

You're making it a lot more complex than it really is. And yes, I think that making something so simple into a very complex thing isn't a good idea, not for you, not for anyone but certainly not for those people you are assuming exclusion on behalf of. In fact those people could find it a little insulting.

You might not like this bit - *you* are the one making the judgment that people are excluding you, and I'm trying to say hey, wait a minute, don't make that judgment. Try it another way. A way that respects the people you are judging.

Because you ARE judging them when you automatically assume exclusion, you know that, right?

Yes, none of this stuff is fun or easy. But your automatic assumption that *I* am judging you is way off base, and I hate to be the one to point it out but many of your other automatic assumptions are just as far off base too. You make these assumptions based on your past experience, I know that. But these are a different situations with different people, and allowances for that have to be made.

Things do not have to be like that. These assumptions, the conclusions you jump to, this is something you can change, if you want to. And if you want to, I'm willing to help you look at ways of doing that.

If not, I'm willing to just sit here and put in the odd comment and be generally supportive instead of trying to help you out of the fire you seem to be surrounded with there.

To me, that's not support. To me, that is the equivalent of letting someone burn while you have the way out of the fire right there. It's not being a friend. I don't know what that is. It seems like watching someone drink themselves into oblivion and not even bothering to say - is it possible you have a drinking problem?

What kind of person would do that? Sit idly by? Would any of us commenters do that? If yes, is that the kind of community you want to create? A place where we all accept each other as we are and don't try to help each other out by sharing the lessons each of us has learned in our own lives? That's not what I see other people here do. Are you willing to listen to others but not to me? Is there something about me? Or are you not listening to anyone? Are you just taking the validation you get and not any of the other good stuff, the life lessons, the excellent wisdoms found here?

Because again I am hearing but, when you could be saying ok, I'll give it a try for a couple of weeks - three weeks actually, 21 days of change, and if it doesn't work out I'll throw it back into your face and laugh at you. Acknowledging the fact that you're not willing to try it and you're doing everything you can to tell me it won't work for you isn't making a judgment. It's just a step on the way to accepting how things are.

And that is how things are. You've voiced it very clearly in that last comment to me. "with all due respect, I am going to do it the way it works for me" <--- that is fine, I have no problem with that. You've said it clearly there but it's been coming through to me in all your replies to me, which is why I said "Because to keep saying things like "several things have to be taken into account" shows me that you just don't want to even *try* what I am suggesting." That's not a judgment. It's fact. And you've now stated it clearly. I am willing to accept it.

If you tried my idea and what I suggest didn't work, I'll happily accept you throwing it back in my face, but to just sit there happily in the flames and say "Well, I'm 56, my personality type is different, what you're saying won't work for me and I know that not having ever tried it and I'm not willing to give it a go and I'm making a judgment that it won't work for me, so shut up and sit down but your passion is inspiring and I appreciate you taking the time to write all this stuff out so I can just ignore it" - That seems to me to be what you're saying. If yes, please don't pretend otherwise. I'm a big girl, I can handle reality. If no, what are you saying?

I'm here to help if I can. I'm not going to waste my time or yours writing out these long comments anymore if that isn't what you want. I say that like I can possibly do it! It's not within me to keep my mouth shut, but I'm going to try because there's other things I can be doing with this time and what I'm doing is not helping you at all, I can see that. It's just making you stick your head in the sand and pretend like I'm not here..

Where's the value in that for either of us? There isn't any.

We Aussies are usually laid back people, but we also do not hesitate to stand up when we think there's a problem. Maybe a part of what is making this hard is where we come from. I'm pretty in your face. People from the US don't tend to like that, in my experience.

If what you want are a bunch of people to pat you on the head and say there there while you sit there in the flames, let me know. I'll be on my way. That's not for me. I don't think it's for most of the readers you have attracted but to each their own.

I don't want to watch while people burn up. Especially when it is over stuff like assumptions and jumping to conclusions. Stuff that is within your circle, stuff you have control of, stuff you can change, if you want to. You have been struggling with this ever since I have known you, and it is painful to watch it. I've suggested things, I've seen others suggest things, nothing seems to help.

If you're using the negativity to get that validation you need, it isn't going to fly for long and once people realize it, people may start to react by ignoring you or walking away and you won't get that validation you crave. I will be honest with you and say I think this is a part of what is going on, as painful as it may be for you to read. The harsh truth is, I think jumping to those conclusions is serving you in a way. I think it gets you attention and you're scared to death that if you changed it, the attention would go away too. The attention wouldn't go away but to someone who needs that validation from others even the possibility that it might is terrifying.

Validation from others might hold you up from the day to day, but unless you start to give validation to yourself.. and the only real way (that I know) of doing that is by saying those positive things to yourself.

Being this honest with you does not come without risks. If you want me to go away and leave you be and not comment anymore, just email me and say so. It's ok. Even so I find myself faffing about, putting off posting this. Because I value you and your friendship, possibly more than *you* value you.

Can anyone else help with their thoughts on this?

Sephyroth said...

Chani,

I'll say that I'm not a regular reader of your blog; I do read the odd entry from time to time however. I'm not here to judge you or tell you that you must do things in one way or another, and to be honest, I don't see any of that going on here either.

I also want to be upfront about something else - Snoskred and I are very good, if not best, friends. We've known each other for about two years now, and she has done a lot to turn me into a much better person than I was. You might think that she is judging you, but in all honesty, she doesn't judge anybody, unless they have done something to directly anger her. Even in that case, she will still find the good in them, and in anyone that she meets.

Something that I think you're doing is taking the advice that is given to you, acknowledging it, but then giving an excuse as to why it won't work without trying it. I'll let you in on a little secret - I can be like that at times myself. I'll be asked to do things, and in the past I would have just said, nah that won't work, and not even make an attempt at trying to do it. These days, instead of just not trying it, I will go out and see if I can do it; most of the time, I will find that not only does it work, I actually like it.

Let me give this example to you - I had never seen Titanic until a few weeks ago, at Snos' urging. Sure, I'd given every excuse in the book about it not being a "guy" movie; about there being no point in seeing it because obviously we all know the end of the story. However, one night she told me to just watch it (I had had it in my possession for a while by that point) and stop the complaining. As it turned out, the movie was nothing like I expected it to be, and I actually wound up liking it, something that I really didn't see myself doing.

I could go on and tell of many more things like that where I have followed the same path, such as commenting on blogs to eating avocados and beets. Generally, it goes like this - Snos will say "Try this" and I'll say "Thanks, but no" but she keeps on at me until I cave and say "alright already!". Then I try it, and wonder why I hadn't done it a long time ago. I think you'll understand my point here - making excuses for not trying to do things doesn't work; you wind up hurting yourself along with those who are supporting you. Not only that, you'll find that if you constantly make excuses and not change, people start to notice this and could begin to be less supportive of you. The main reason is that they think that the advice is just going into an abyss and wonder why they're trying to help you.

Something else that I see you doing is knocking yourself down for no reason. I see this because it is something that I am excellent at doing to myself. It is something that I am working on. Specifically, when you say that you feel "less than" someone or something, that's a sign to me that you might not be comfortable with blogging at some times, and maybe even with something in your private life. With respect to your thinking that you're less than another blogger; consider the participation that you see on another blog. I will be honest and say that outside of maybe some celebrity blogs and a site related to tips and tricks to increase your efficiency, your blog receives more comments from your readership than a lot of blogs. For that fact alone, you should be feeling very proud of yourself. Now, throw that in with the fact that you are willing to blog about your personal experiences and be honest about them, and there is no reason for you to think of yourself as "less than" any other blog or blogger.

Lastly, looking at the variety of comments that I see here, and the fact that you do have a lot people commenting, I will make one judgment - you have a lot of people who believe in you very much. Otherwise, you wouldn't see all the comments that you do here.

I'm going to put your blog into my reader so that I can keep up with your thoughts and also the great pictures that you post from time to time. I wish you all the best as well. :)

Sephyroth
http://www.sephyroth.net

thailandchani said...

Sephyroth,

Thanks for coming by. I wasn't actually going to address this topic any further but I do want to say a few things:

The way we handle glitches or personal issues is often largely dependent on our worldview in general.

You've mentioned two things here that I will say something about.

You mention being proud. Proud of what I've created here.

I didn't create it. The commenters, including you and Snos, are the ones who create this forum.

Secondly, on the issue of pride, I don't see that as a positive thing.

The next thing is that affirmations which increase a sense of individuality, pride or ego would not work for me.

What I need to do to fix this, and I'm pretty clear after a day or two away from the site to think about it, is get *further* away from ego.

Thinking we are "less than" or being worried about how others perceive us is largely a function of egotistic self-centeredness.

The only way I will be entirely rid of it is to work on not allowing ego and/or self-centeredness to cloud my perceptions. My job here is to be offering something to others, not looking for personal validation.

I try in all ways to respect that which works for someone. In the final analysis, we all want to be better people. We all want our lifespans to be meaningful. We want to increase our sense of purpose.

These things are all obvious.

My discussion with Snos on Friday wasn't a power struggle. It isn't about either one of us being right or wrong. We are both individuals who are trying to live our lives in the best way we know how.

And I am always grateful for someone stepping up to the plate and offering me something, their experience and their strength, but that doesn't always mean I will do it that way. Still, it gives me something to think about, to process, and make a decision about.

What you say about or imply is "yes, but-ing" on my part is actually an attempt at diplomacy. I'm not here to get into a cultural battle over worldviews and styles of living.

What I can say is that my healing, my changing has to include my changing into what I want to be. It also has to be consistent with my cultural values and my fundamental belief system.

When it comes to NLP, I actually have done it in the past. I am a veteran of the New Age and self-help movements. I've been through Erhardt Seminars Training (EST). I've been through Louise Haye trainings, Science of Mind and I've been involved in TM.

And that's only the beginning of the various things I've tried over the years before I made a commitment to the way of life I subscribe to now.

Every now and then, I allow myself to fall into old ways of thinking ~ and that's when I get in trouble. So my job is to meditate, get my balance back and get out of my ego. When I get into my ego, I hurt myself and others.

Bad. Bad. Bad.

I hope that makes more sense.. and clears up any possible misunderstandings.

I'm grateful to both of you for sharing your perspectives.


Peace,


~Chani