This is the place for postings unrelated to action toward achieving dreams-- Emotions, World Events, Hobbies, Trivia & other important but not directly relevant matters. Muse, meditate, mope or ponder & enter other forums when you're ready to get moving.
Not being good to yourself? Or not allowing good into your life? Low self-esteem? Using food, things, spending habits or even job stress to 'fill the void' of living a non-dream life? Those are the first thoughts that occur to me- but they're not the only factors. I am living my dream life, doing something I love, yet I still have clutter, some debt ( small and manageable at least ), and overweight in my life. I am constantly working on those three areas, and even making progress on them - but the fact that they still exist indicates to me there's something deeper going on. I do know that clutter and debt can be protection against the new. You can't fit new stuff in if the old stuff is filling your entire space, and you can't move into new realms if you don't have enough money to invest in yourself and your future. Overweight can be protection against intimacy or romance, but also against change, since you can't move easily into new realms if you're overweight (and unhealthy by definition in most cases). Clutter and overweight can also help keep you invisible in a way. You can hide behind either of them, if you are so inclined. Same for debt and a bad job, since either one or both can keep you from moving toward your dream, while giving you a place to hide out. It doesn't even have to be a safe place to serve the purpose, as all those toxic jobs and panic-stricken debtors show clearly. I look forward to seeing what everyone else has to say on this subject. Great thread, Tituba - as usual, you come up with some of the best and most thought-provoking topics! All the best - GiniDee
Maybe it is about settling. Settling for a clutter life so we have a never-ending project and have a built in excuse. Settling for an unhealthy body and life style. Settling to stay in debt was we can't possibly leave that toxic job and do what really matters. Settling. Now the question is - what comfort do we get from settling that makes us continue these patterns? Any thoughts?
I am starting to see that the things you have listed are in my life because I feel that I am stuck in the pattern of being the family "screw up"~! Any thing that I do to break out of the "assigned pattern" creates a way to be punished (by family members) and that I feel that I "deserve it" for messing up. In a way I settle for people to "accept" me and act the way they want. Some times it is how not to act depending on the reaction to me. To not give in to "them" is to be treated mean, attacked verbally and to feel guilty for "making them mad/disappointed in me"~! My family is a MONTH of Jerry Springer shows so I always just thought it was NORMAL to be dogged on and dreams, as balloons, to be popped. It is through this board that I can actually see that I "crave/desire" being treated badly and that it is NOT a healthy thing. On the positive side, I did that NaNoWriMo last year and somehow it opened a door that I never knew was there. The dysfunctional things are said/done but the family doesn't seem to have as strong of a hold as before. I did what everyone said I could not do ~ write a novel~! Not that it is anything to "sell" but just that I did it. I think NaNoWriMo was a "lightbulb moment" like when I was eight years old and read Beverly Cleary's book "The Mouse and the Motorcyle." I realized I had an imagination ~ because I COULD picture the mouse getting the motorcyle to run. I am convinced that everyone has their own "lightbulb moments" but not all are strong enough to grab hold of them and hold on with every fiber of their being. Every mountain (of personal happiness) needs footholds for people to pull themselves up on. No one can take my imagination or novel away from me. They are small but they are mine~! [This message has been edited by Jeepdream (edited February 14, 2004).]
Good questions and answers! My feeling about all of this is to look at it from two angles: the bigger picture and then the local (personal) aspects. Bigger picture: it's damn stressful to be human, with our species' unpredictable chemistry, emotions, biological remnants, behaviors and feelings about whose origins we have no clue. Add to that the barrage of information, expectations, choices, uncontrollable events, etc. of the world around us, whether that be of ancient times or today. All of this is enough to make many people anxious, fearful, or shut down, even just partially, and not feel safe or clear enough to make the most forward-moving choices for ourselves. Change = anxiety, and who needs more of that? Local/personal: similar to the above, but on a family/social group scale, with all its baggage, and that of the era one lives in that contributes to a particular family pattern. Plus, one's personal sensitivity, temperament, unique physiology, preferences, etc. and its relation to anxiety or fear. So, does fear = settling? I don't know. I think all of the behaviors you named, Tituba, are really unconscious survival or defense mechanisms taken beyond their usefulness. Why do some people do them and not others? I think it goes back to how sensitive or wounded a person is. Temperament. At any rate, it would seem then that one way to alter these defenses is to make friends with them and understand why they are there in the first place, rather than hate them. But first one needs to get conscious of them and their role. No easy task! I love Rilke's quote: "How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us."
I agree with GiniDee that clutter, overweight, in debt and hate job, all are common symptoms of people with low self-esteem. Lack of love of self to me would be one of the core issues. I think another core issue would be lack of control. People who have these symptoms are letting the clutter, overweightness, indebtiness and job dissatissifaction control them. If the person were in control then these symptoms probably would not be an issue. ------------------ Gail
People who: live in neat houses, have a body size deemed 'normal', have lots of $$ in the bank, and reportedly love their jobs can have significant problems too. And some of them are the same or very similar to those who people who live in clutter and are overweight, in debt and hate their jobs. Core issues are just that--at the core. No matter the package.
Long time fan of Barbara and this board, so here is my first post! This is a fascinating thread and certainly applicable to my life. Settling and hiding are all too identifiable. So are shame and isolation. These issue seem to feed off one another, causing a viscious cycle. I have been settling for a job I hate for 14 years. I stay because it is easy, flexible and the pay is good, but it is a toxic environment and I am not growing or learning anything new. The people around me are just as miserable. Everyone fantasizes about winning the lottery and quitting on the spot. My manager is 57 years old, angry, afraid, and counting the days until he can retire. I don't want to end up this way, but I can see how easy it is to EXIST rather than LIVE. If a friend were in this same position, I would encourage him/her with every bone in my body to make a change. But because it is me...I settle...it's like I feel I don't deserve better. I have been overweight since I was a child, and I am in debt up to my eyeballs too. Luckily I have been able to clear my clutter, but I was guilty of that too until about a year ago. So back to the original question....what is the common thread? OK, don't knock what I'm about to say as a "I'm messed up and it's all my parents' fault" excuse. BUT, I think it's worth examining. Where does a person first get their sense of self-esteem, self-worth and self-entitlement? Our parents set the tone from a very early age (granted, we all have the power to change this as adults). So if our foundation is not strong from the start, is that a precursor to low self-esteem and self-sabotage? And does temperament play a role? This seems common for introverted sensitive types. Thanks to everyone who participate on these boards. You are my heroes!!
Thank all of you for your insights! I agree that upbringing and parents played a large part in starting the pattern. Will we still be pointing to them when we are 70 saying "it's because of them?" There needs to be a moment when we come into our own. Separate from the damaged people we had in our lives. Now that we are adults, we do have the power to change the pattern. I think it might be a choice. A choice to live the best life or the choice to keeping looking over our shoulders at the past. I read an article recently where Dr. Phil says we live the lifes we expected for ourselves. If we expect to be alone, fat, live in chaos and debt, that is what we makes sure happens. When we raise the bar and expect more, we get more. I think the real work is in accepting your own role in your present circumstances and making a new choice. Taking a real look how to change the pattern and make our lives more than just taking up space and oxygen. One of my favorite quotes I read on this board: "it is better to focus on solutions and not why it happened." [This message has been edited by Tituba (edited February 15, 2004).]
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Quest: <B>People who: live in neat houses, have a body size deemed 'normal', have lots of $$ in the bank, and reportedly love their jobs can have significant problems too. And some of them are the same or very similar to those who people who live in clutter and are overweight, in debt and hate their jobs. Core issues are just that--at the core. No matter the package. </B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE> TouchÃ© Perhpas I'm overly sensitive, being overweight and all, but exactly which of the four things you listed could you see looking at people on the train? Looking around you could only possible see the overweight bit. And please don't project the overweight bit onto all other parts of our lives. There are people happy to be at the weight they're at, and not have to fit in with societal standards. I also shout "blaaagh" at the society who demands my house is tidy. So, purging continuously to be skinny and societally accetable is OK, or do these people have self esteem "issues" too? Is keeping your house perpetually tidy just to keep up with the Jones' when you could be out doing something you love not also a sign of low self-esteem? [This message has been edited by engelein (edited February 15, 2004).]
I used to "blame" my family for how they treated me and the crushing way I felt depressed all the time. I don't do that nearly as much any more because I now know it is my reactions that influence what I see as "pain/torture". In the greenhouse realm there is something called 'root stimulation'. Pretty much any flower you see on a plant has been "STRESSED" to get it to bloom. Usually it is with long periods of no nurishment (water) and lots of heat (sunlight). Some plant varieties are more "forgiving" than others. You can't treat a Ficus tree like a Cacti. Hey, I think I can start to think that I AM a cactus and that I am learning to 'thrive' with little support (water) and lots of heat (family)~! Hee I KNOW there is something "better" out there and have seen glimpses of it. I have had a couple jobs and friendships that I would "lick boots" to have again. It is a matter of knowing how to not brush them off as easy come/easy go ~ because they are NOT~!
eng: That wasn't my intent. I am looking at the common denominator in these and in my own life. Clutter bothers me - yet I have always lived with it. Always been overweight - yet I do very little to change that. Debt - always. Working for myself now, so I don't hate my job. Yet, I'm not really doing what I say is my dream. If clutter, overweight, debt and toxic jobs stop you from living the best life - then finding and examining how to change that has merit. If these are not obstacles, then don't fix what ain't broke. For me, and many others, they are indeed obstacles. They are also the reasons we cite when asked why we don't do this or that. Jeep: I love your plant examples. I remember a speaker once saying that you water this bamboo plant (I think) for something like ten years and it does nothing. Then almost overnight, it shoots up several feet.