Tag Archives: Judgement

The Prodigal Son’s Older Brother and the Conservative Mind

In a previous post I wrote about how Christ’s parable of the prodigal son gives insight into the dynamic of ego and shame. I recently re-heard this reading and was struck by how the older brother in this story provides valuable insight into the mind of the anti-liberals who write and contribute to the Orthosphere and other related blogs. I use the term “anti-liberal” rather than conservative because this group of people are far to the right of what would pass for an average Republican in the United States. For example, some of them advocate a return to Monarchy. Some reject the notion that freedom is a good that a society should strive for. What seems to bind them is their rejection of liberalism, leaving aside the fact that it is always unclear just what any one person on these blogs actually considers a liberal to be.

In the parable of the prodigal son, the younger son of a rich man asks his father for his inheritance. His father gives it to him and the younger son then goes away and squanders his money on riotous living. He subsequently falls upon hard times, sees the error of his ways and returns to his father begging for forgiveness. Surprisingly, the father welcomes him home with loving arms. He clothes his son and orders the slaughtering of the fatted calf in celebration. Meanwhile the older brother who had remained loyal all this time arrives home from working in the field to see this new state of affairs and becomes angry. When his father tries to convince him to join the feast he retorts:

‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’

LK 15:29-30

We can all sympathize with the older brother. Surely there should be some reward for remaining loyal. At the very least there should not be a reward for disloyalty and sinful behavior. On the other hand, the older brother is using his loyalty to justify his lack of compassion and his judgment of his younger brother. In a very similar way the folks at the Orthosphere seem very justified in judging and blaming liberals for all the evils in the world.

Now the father in the parable represents God the Father. His attitude is love and compassion and does not seem to be concerned with matters of fairness, property or finances. To him, the important thing is that the prodigal son has returned. To the older son the father says:

‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’

LK 15:31-32

Jesus ends the parable here leaving it unclear as to whether the older son was convinced by the father’s argument. I suspect that he is not, primarily because the father’s argument does not provide any new knowledge that the older son does not already possess. The older son already knows that he shares in the father’s property. In fact, this is probably part of what is upsetting him because the return of the younger son presents a challenge to the remaining portion of the father’s estate that he will eventually come to own. The fact that the younger brother was ‘lost’ and is now found probably does not change the older brother’s attitude either because while the younger son was lost he was doing all the things the older brother had the discipline not to do.

The part of the parable that does not fit the analogy where the Orthospherians are the older brother, God is the father and liberals are the younger brother is that the prodigal son actually returns to the father. In the view of the Orthospherians the liberals left with their inheritance a long time ago and never came back. They are the ones who remained loyal and are out working in the fields. Perhaps the fact that the liberals have not yet returned justifies the Orthospherian lack of compassion and judgment of them. Perhaps they would in fact join God in a feast if the liberals ever returned. But I am not so sure about that.

I suspect most liberals would interpret this parable differently as it relates to them. I suspect at least some of them would argue that they never left with their inheritance in the first place and continue to work the fields with their older more conservative brother. Perhaps they would argue they work on opposite ends of the field but are still working in the field none the less.

 

Advertisements

16 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Exploring Why a Genuine White Supremacist Doesn’t Like New Years Resolutions

KKKApparently “Genuine White Supremacists” take issue with people making New Years resolutions. Last week I wrote a piece on New Years resolutions and true to form, my self-described “Genuine White Supremacist” neighbor launched into an accusatory tirade in the comment section. I strive to write at least one blog post a week and last week was inspired to write this particular post because I noticed that a previous post on the subject was getting a few hits. The idea of comparing my current mindset to my previous mindset struck me as interesting and off I went.

We have a little history, my Genuine White Supremacist neighbor and I. He has been somewhat obsessively posting in the comment section of my blog for some time now. For the most part I enjoy the back and forth we have. The fact that we are pretty much diametrically opposed on a number of subjects makes for a lively debate. Our interactions have given me a wealth of material to write about and the traffic to my blog has vastly increased ever since he started contributing. For all those reasons I am grateful. However, there is a certain hostile negativity to his posts which can take our interactions down dark paths from time to time. Fortunately, this is my blog and I am in control of the content so I can easily keep him in line if need be.

One thing I enjoy about him is that his hostility always takes me by surprise. His reaction to my post on New Years resolutions is an excellent example of this:

If you desire to control others then you are constantly attempting to break their “continuum.” The “New Year’s Resolution” is some such mechanism invoked on a mass scale to break the “continuum” of the people’s [mind frame]. There is on January 1st a sort of mass reboot infused with the idea of mandated recalibration and foundational inspection.

Making New Years resolutions is something I would imagine a great many people do. Because many people do this there is naturally a lot of chatter about it in the media. His reaction seems to view this chatter as some sort of top down, mechanism designed by the “media-entertainment complex” (his words) to control people by breaking their “continuum” for some unknown purpose. I suppose this breaking of continuum affected by encouraging people to make New Years resolutions in his thinking prevents them from achieving the clarity of mind he claims to possess by ignoring the custom.

My neighbor continued:

Those most susceptible [sic] to a Self/ego split antagonism will find much meaning in this break in the “continuum” as it essentially validates a perpetually gnawing personal experience AND helps to disperse a personal burden amongst the masses. In other words, your continuous breaks in your personal continuum is eleviated [sic] by the idea of a mass break in the people’s continuum. You find a “heartening” personal to collective relationship in the “New Year’s Resolution” based upon a shared brokenness in one’s Self/ego continuum.

If I read him correctly (and that is always a challenge) I think he is asserting that people who like the idea of a New Years resolution suffer collectively from a condition he refers to here as a “self/ego spit.” By this term I assume he refers to experience of an internal, self-critical voice (i.e., the voice of the ego). He seems to be passing judgment on these people and making the claim that he does not experience this voice, himself. I find this very hard to believe mostly because it has been my experience that people who are a judgmental of other people as he is are equally as judgmental of themselves thus giving rise to the self / ego split and the internal self-critical voice.

Also included is his judgment of the population contending with a self / ego split is the idea that the individuals within this population draw comfort from their neighbors suffering from the same issue. He contends that this is the reason or motivation behind the cultural phenomenon of making New Years resolutions on January 1st. I get the sense that he is also trying to imply that people drawing comfort from neighbors in this way indicates ignorance and weakness on their part which he sees as additional fodder to shame them.

He continues:

I take it as a given that the masses are being controlled from on high… Part of this control is the understanding that most possess a broken “continuum” (conflicting self/ego) and that it is in the validation of the broken “continuum” suffered by the masses as epitomized by the “News Year’s Resolution” that this control is refined and normalized. The broken “continuum” signified by the reboot of a new year’s “resolution” is the attempt to normalize the abnormal… The attempt to legitimate an annual massive reboot and foundational reinspection… The attempt to make regular the idea of a broken continuum in one’s existence.

In the paragraph quoted above he describes the making of New Years resolutions as the “attempt to make regular the idea of a broken continuum…” In other words a non broken continuum is mankind’s real state of affairs only it has been disrupted through cultural traditions like making New Years resolutions.

But what is the making of a New Years resolution? I see it as simply the acknowledgement that I could be better than I am and that I am making a renewed effort to strive towards perfection. Seen through the lens of Christianity (a tradition he claims to adhere to) we are all sinners and we should all strive to be without sin. Apparently he sees himself without sin which I assume is the reason why he sees himself to be entitled to throw the first stone.

He then chose to make things a little more personal:

Your fundamental stance is of a Self/ego conflict that is seemingly unresolvable? But, there seems to be no awareness on your part that you are not, in fact, trying to solve the conflict BECAUSE it is in this very conflict that you maximize your autonomy in relation to others in your proximity.

Remember, I am a GENUINE white Supremacist.

This rather cryptic section requires a little unpacking. Do I believe that the “Self / Ego split” is unresolvable? The answer to this question depends very much on the definition of “resolvable.” If “resolvable” means that I no longer hear that critical voice in the back of my head then no, I do not believe for most people the self/ego split is resolvable. However, if “resolvable” means that I recognize the self critical voice for what it is and am no longer governed by it to the extent that I was, then yes, I do believe it is resolvable. I believe this because I have experienced this resolution first hand.

I suspect my Genuine white Supremacist neighbor on the other hand has not really resolved this split the way he claims. At least he has not resolved it in the manner I just described. Put another way, his resolution of the self / ego split was to side entirely with his ego. In a sense he annihilated his self in favor of his ego. Interestingly, like all egocentrics, he defines himself in comparison to others. He is a “Genuine white Supremacist” afterall. In a sense he merely took his “self / ego split” and externalized it into a “self / other split.” From this lofty perch he can look down upon the masses who are unknowingly manipulated by the media-entertainment complex into making New Years resolutions for the purpose of breaking their continuum.

97 Comments

Filed under Judging

Looking Back on New Years Resolutions

NYEIt is interesting to see how much I can change in one year. Last year I wrote a piece about making New Years resolutions. It sort of makes me cringe to read it now. At the time I wrote it I was very interested in dissecting and deconstruction the emotion of shame in an effort to better understand it and by doing so, liberate myself from it. The fact that reading this post now makes me cringe (which is a physical reaction to shame) whereas I did not cringe (presumably) when I first wrote and published the piece suggests that I am indeed now in a different place psychologically. I am aware that imbedded in my cringe is a judgment of my former self. There is a sense that I am now better informed or that I have matured and am now in the position to look down upon this former me. On the other hand, I do not think that me judging my former self is any better than me judging another person. It is essentially criticism and comes from a negative and egocentric place that uses criticism of the other to make myself feel superior.

In that post, my former self began:

So you have decided to make a New Years Resolution and you feel ashamed for various reasons a good deal of the time. Here is what I recommend based upon my life experience dealing with shame issues.

Reading the phrase “[s]o you have decided to make a New Years Resolution…” makes me feel embarrassed. It has an amateurish quality to it. Perhaps this suggests that I have matured as a writer. The embarrassment comes in part from my current self judging my former self but it also comes from me assuming how other people reading this paragraph might have read it and thought that I was acting like a douchebag. This presumes these readers had the maturity then that I have now which may or may not be the case. On the other hand, I am aware that my writing last year comes from a place of compassion for other people who might be dealing with the same shame issues I had dealt with. The fact that I am now judging my former self in this way suggests that maybe I have regressed in terms of my relationship with shame. I am not sure about that because I feel pretty good about myself right now.

My former self continued:

First of all, do not make a New Years Resolution out of a sense of guilt. Only make New Years Resolutions for your own benefit. Of course, your shame ego will tell you this way of thinking is selfish and something to feel ashamed about. Remember that the shame ego is the same thing that will convince you that maintaining the resolution you made out of guilt is too difficult to keep up and then once you stop maintaining the resolution will then tell you that you are weak for giving it up. Of course this requires awareness of when your shame ego is sabotaging your efforts and looking for reasons to feel ashamed (but that is a topic for another blog post).

What I was referring to with the term “shame ego” is that negative, critical, internal voice that probably most people experience to one degree or another. I believe this voice is the result of bad programing and is passed down from generation to generation through the line of fathers. It results from the combination of shame and misplaced loyalty. A person is shamed by his parents. Because they are his parents he must internalize this feeling of shame or else he will be disloyal to them. Being disloyal in turn brings on more shame. When this person becomes a parent, if he remains unaware and has not achieved autonomy from this dynamic, he will shame his children in the same manner because it feels good to his ego which is really in charge. This dysfunctional ego is the source of shame, judgment, jealousy, racism and all the other sins.

Making a New Years resolution seems to me to be an attempt to strive towards some perfected version of the self. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on what the motivation behind this striving is. If the striving comes from a whole hearted place, an honest and loving place then it is good. If it comes from an egocentric, shameful, judgmental place then it will always be dysfunctional and will end in harming the self and others. It is ultimately doomed to failure.

My former self continued:

I recommend your resolution should either be to stop performing some self-destructive behavior or to take up a behavior that improves yourself. It should be something you are capable of doing with your whole heart. That is, it should be something you want to do. People with well-developed shame egos have a hard time knowing what they truly want because they have bonded to the message that what they want is wrong.

I think this last point is important. I believe a person cannot be successful in life if he is incapable of articulating what he wants. If he believes what he truly wants is wrong he will sabotage his efforts to achieve this secret goal. If he pursues goals that are not in line with what he truly wants he will not be satisfied when he has achieved them. Shame teaches a person that his desires and needs are selfish and wrong and to the extent he is aware of his true desires he should feel shame. So he buries them and they remain unconscious. The only entity this dynamic serves is the ego which revels in this morass like a pig in its own excrement.

My former self continued:

A good way to tell if something is what you want is to pay attention to how it makes you feel. If it makes you feel good then it is (most likely) good and something you like doing. If it does not make you feel good then it is (most likely) not good and something you do not like doing. Be careful. Some things feel good in the short-term but are destructive in the long-term, like addictions. Addictions are another trap of the shame ego. At first addictions seem like an escape from the shame ego’s constant criticism. That of course feels good. But eventually the addiction becomes self-destructive and gives the shame ego another reason to criticize you.

I would imagine that this last paragraph might irk a person who self identifies as conservative. Perhaps I should clarify that feeling good is an indicator that one is acting in accordance with his true purpose or indeed God’s will. It has been my experience that true purpose is almost never in accordance with the ego and acting in accordance with the ego gives rise to anger, resentment, jealousy, racism and hate.

I believe most people make New Years resolutions because they find themselves lacking and they want to improve. A person’s motivation to improve, his plan to improve and his execution of that plan can always run afoul of the wants and needs of his true self. To right the course of the ship of self, I think it is always a good thing to increase awareness of the self and the ego’s attempts to undermine the self. Awareness of the ego brings about a separation from the ego. In a sense the self becomes autonomous from the ego thus allowing it to act more fully in accordance with its true purpose.

15 Comments

Filed under Shame

Loving Thy Neighbor and Ebenezer Scrooge

NeighborIt should not surprise me that my neighbor reads Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and takes the position that Scrooge was better off before his conversion. He feels the problem in the story truly lies with Scrooge’s liberal neighbors who judge him negatively for his conservative values. My neighbor feels that they are hypocritically disobeying the Second Commandment to love thy neighbor when they judge Scrooge in this manner. I cannot entirely dismiss my neighbor’s point of view. Often times “judgment” does not come from a place of love and compassion. Frequently judgment of others results from the ego trying to mitigate the pain of its own shame. In this sense judgment is the ego telling itself, “Look! I am better than him.” Accordingly, to the extent Scrooge’s liberal neighbors did judge him in this way they certainly were not acting in accordance with the Second Commandment.

However, not all of Scrooge’s neighbors judged him in this manner. Certainly, Scrooge’s nephew did not judge him this way. Fred made a special point of inviting Scrooge to dinner despite his uncle’s abusive behavior. Fred did judge Scrooge in the sense that he made clear that he disagreed with Scrooge’s perspective on Christmas. But in my reading of the story this judgment came from a place of compassion. Fred truly wanted to connect with his uncle and not to put himself above uncle for the purpose of gratifying his ego.

It could be argued that Dickens himself is judging Scrooge in the egocentric sense. Certainly the following paragraph exudes this type of energy:

Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone. Scrooge! A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster…

Now, if I know my neighbor (and I think I have had enough experience with him to know him well enough although he does possess the ability to surprise me often enough) I can anticipate how he would react to that description. I suspect he would say that this is Dickens’ description and Dickens is the same type of judgmental, hypocritical liberal as are Scrooge’s neighbors. Assuming this actually reflects my neighbor’s potential reaction, it is interesting how he can project such a consistently schizophrenic view of the world into every situation. To him, even the author of a story (the creator of a universe in a sense) is unaware of his own warped, destructive and self-annihilating view of the world. It is as if there is a real story about Scrooge that exists elsewhere and Dickens’ version is a contrived piece of propaganda serving some nefarious purpose. If I am correct, my neighbor sees the story “A Christmas Carol” itself as a humbug in the fullest sense of the word.

I would argue, however, that the story is not written from an egocentric, judgmental perspective but from a compassionate one. True, in the opening scenes we see him acting abusively towards his clerk, his nephew, the two solicitors and the young caroler. When the ghost of Christmas Present displays scenes from his past we see that he seemingly valued money more than the love of his fiancé. All these exhibits display the negative aspects of Scrooge’s value system. But then we also see the reasons why this behavior came about. We hear of Scrooge’s neglectful upbringing by an abusive father who blamed him for Scrooge’s mother’s death. We also see glimpses of Scrooge’s good nature; his gratitude for Fessiwig’s kindness and his compassion for Tiny Tim. We see his remorse for pushing away his fiancé and his fear of dying an unredeemed man. All these examples are to show that Dickens wrote this story from a place of compassion for Scrooge. As readers we pick up on this energy and root for Scrooge despite his negative behavior.

Therefore, I cannot agree with my neighbor’s assessment that Scrooge was better off as a bitter, lonely, old man. Nor can I agree with my neighbor that all of Scrooge’s neighbors were hypocritical, judgmental liberals who hated Scrooge for his conservative values. Nor can I agree with my neighbor’s shame-based, egocentric judgment of the “liberals” he seems to despise. His judgment does not come from a place of compassion and in my assessment is in violation of the Second Commandment. I now must examine my conscience to determine where my judgment of my neighbor comes from.

52 Comments

Filed under A Christmas Carol

Dialog with a [W]hite Supremacist Part V

My biggest fan waxed psychological about the workings of the ego: “It’s not clear who exactly is writing on your behalf? Your ‘self’ or your ‘ego?’ I was always suspicious of those that try to disassociate the two to the point of mutually exclusive ‘entities.’ Where my beliefs are strong, the ‘ego’ is silent. Where trivial efficiency comes into play, the ‘ego’ sometimes goes into overdrive.”

Here, I am pretty sure I understand his point. Again, the concept of ego can be used as a crutch or an excuse but also its existence can be reasonably called into question. Part of the confusion is that the term “ego” can be used in different ways. Freud’s ego is not the same thing as the ego talked about in a Buddhist context for example. When I say “ego” I refer to that inner voice. A person who deals with shame issues might experience an inner voice that is constantly criticizing him. It might tell him or make him feel that he is not good enough or is not entitled to certain things. It might recall embarrassing memories over and over or tell him he is doing something incorrectly. I believe a great many people experience the ego I am describing undeservedly. This type of ego results from an abusive situation where a person is constantly bullied or told they are wrong at a young age. This message is then internalized and never really goes away. Because of its chronic nature it has to be managed, otherwise it will result in maladaptive behaviors, anxiety, depression, anger and in some cases violence.

Periodically, in our discussions the white Supremacist would, rather than discuss the issues civilly, resort to making ad hominem attacks. It is my belief that his unchecked ego was the source of this behavior. When I pointed this out to him he responded, “But that is exactly the kind of disassociated, ego-emergent notion that neutralizes the rightful burden at the feet of the Self.” I assume by this statement he means that his ad hominem attacks were not only fully intentional but virtuous and praiseworthy as well. Putting aside the fact that making ad hominem attacks is not really a convincing or effective debate tactic, I have to admire that he is taking his philosophy all the way without compromise. I’m not sure what he is talking about half the time but he seems to believe it whole heartedly.

He went on to say, “What you call ‘ego’ had been assimilated by my Self where issues of first principle are involved.” By this, I take him to mean he has no ego or critical voice as I have described when survival is at stake. I can only take him at his word on this point. However, he seems to put almost all aspects of life under the umbrella of survival. He sees the white race as under threat of extinction and he sees the behavior of seemingly everyone but himself at fault for this. I cannot experience his psychology (obviously). I can only piece together the bits of reasoning I have sifted from his voluminous and largely incomprehensible writing.

Based on my meager understanding I still have to believe he has this internal critical voice whether he labels it an ego or not. He displays all the characteristics of a shame dominated person. He is highly judgmental of other people. He displays an “us versus” them mentality. He tries very hard to project an image of certainty and reacts with hostility when questioned. He is obsessive (one need only review the comment sections of the last four posts for proof of this). He has scapegoats too numerous to count. A person with a shame dominated mind has to find other people at fault for his problems. He has to point the finger elsewhere in other words. Else the only person to point to is himself and that pain is too much to endure.

7 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Dialog with a [W]hite Supremacist Part IV

It seems to me that it gratifies my white Supremacist’s ego to place himself in a position where he can look down upon, judge and shame other people. When I asked him if this was the case he became hostile.

That’s an interesting question for the mindset it seeks to project,” he said. “There is first the assumption that I CAN think in your terms… An assumption that all think in those terms. But, there is an implicit message in your question that says winstonScrooge does not ‘think’ like this…

I’m not sure what it is he is claiming not to be able to think in terms of. He surely cannot be claiming that he is not able to judge other people? He calls himself a “white Supremacist.” Does this label not outright claim a superiority (or at least the intent to have superiority) over other people? As for assuming all people thinking in terms of judging other people, I know many do but I certainly do not think all do. As for me claiming or implying that I do not judge other people, I do not make this claim and it is not my intention to imply this either.

I do try not to judge other people in most cases. I recognize that most judging of other people comes from a place of shame which is usually brought about by being judged and shamed by someone else. In other words, when a person judges or shames another person he usually does so because he suffers from a negative self-image and seeks to alleviate this feeling by making someone else have a negative self-image of themselves. This motivation is largely unconscious when acted upon. It is the ego at the helm in those instances. But of course Mr. white Supremacy will never admit to this (probably even if he believed it to be true).

Moving on. Then he made the following accusation: “This is your manner of radical autonomy. You impose a mindset on the masses that you are happily free from thus maximizing your autonomy in relation to the world.”

I asked him how he thinks I am imposing a mindset on anyone. After all, I write a blog that has gets 5 hits a day on average (not counting those coming from my white Supremacist reader). If this is my mouthpiece I fail to see how this influences, let alone imposes a mindset on the “masses.”

He responded, “By believing that your questions were comprehensible in the first place. Your question is in the form of ‘when’s the last that you beat your wife?’ My answer is feigned ignorance. I don’t understand your question. I know of [no] such ‘ego’ that you speak of? Can you articulate your question in a more concise and understandable way?

I am not sure what questions he is referring to. I think my questions are far more comprehensible than his inscrutable tirades. I don’t see how my asking him to tell me how he think I am imposing a mindset on anyone is like asking him about the last time he beat his wife when he directly accused me of “imposing a mindset on the masses.” I think he actually believes his writing is perfectly logical and straight forward and that I am merely feigning ignorance (as implied by his comment “My [meaning his] answer is feigned ignorance.”

Perhaps this is the impasse. He thinks I am being dishonest with him when I am actually trying to understand him. But he gets offended when I try to get him to clarify his argument. He reminds me a great deal of Admiralbill in this regard.

To be continued…

7 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

10 Ways To Go From Feeling Stuck In Life To Feeling Unstuck

Feeling stuck comes from the desire to move forward from one phase of life to another but (for what ever reason) not being able to do so. The perceived reason could be any number of things including fear, other people or situations. Regardless of the reason, it is my contention that dealing with the feeling of being stuck has to be a subjective process with subjective solutions. In other words no one else and no situation can make you feel stuck without your consent. Certainly some situations are more extreme; an abusive spouse or incarceration for example. But even in these examples it is possible to deal with the feeling of being stuck internally. Here are ten methods:

  1. Take Action  – In many ways the feeling of being stuck comes from the inability to take action. As such, taking action by pushing up against your comfort zone fights against or acts to disprove that this inability is in fact a reality. Depending on what you think your reason is for being stuck, take action to counteract this reason. If (for example) you feel that unemployment is the reason for being stuck take action and look for a job. You need to put yourself out there and address whatever your fear may be and by doing so you will cultivate courage and strength. Other forms of taking action might be cleaning your house. I find getting a haircut shifts my feeling of being stuck for some reason. Creating a check list of things to do can be helpful when feeling stuck because it takes the initiative off of yourself and puts it on the list. This at least is a good temporary solution. Ideally you want to act under your own volition.
  2. Cultivate Spirituality – Spirituality means many things to different people. At its core it addresses humanity’s belief or longing for there to be something more to existence than material reality. Feeling stuck is very much a feeling rooted in the material world. As such cultivating spirituality is a means of rising above this feeling. This can be done in many ways and here are a few: (a) Meditation – sit still for ten minutes, be quiet and focus on your breathing. When you find your mind wandering bring your attention non judgmentally back to your breathing. It works. I don’t know why. (b) Prayer – directly address the divine honestly with your whole heart. List the things for which you are grateful. Ask for help. (c) If you have the opportunity I highly recommend going on a retreat for a structured spiritual experience. (d) Simply try to be aware and recognize that inner voice who whispers the negativity in your ear and reinforces this feeling of being stuck. When you recognize it, name it so that you diminish it and separate yourself from it.
  3. Move – Remove yourself from your present situation and negative people. This may be difficult because the reason you feel stuck might be because you feel you cannot move. I have found that moving from one location to another always brings about a feeling of renewal initially. However, be careful you don’t just take your baggage from one place to another. If you find yourself repeating negative patterns after the newness of a move wears off then therapy is probably a better option. If you cannot move at the very least get out of the house and go to the movies or simply take a walk until your mood shifts.
  4. Therapy – Caveat Emptor: There are good therapists and bad therapists and different types of therapy works better for some people than others. I have found that Gestalt body centered therapy was the most effective therapy I ever experienced to address the feelings of shame that had kept me feeling stuck for so long.
  5. Wait it out – All things change; especially moods. The feeling of being stuck feels like it will never end but it will. Simply knowing this can be helpful to combat hopelessness. While you are waiting you can focus on any other item on this list.
  6. Read – There are many helpful advice type books out there. The simple action of reaching out for one of these is therapeutic because when you do this you are taking action. In terms of content, I highly recommend Choose Yourself and The Rich Employee by James Altucher. Both have been very helpful for me.
  7. Exercise – It is important to exercise, eat well and sleep well when you are feeling stuck because these actions increase your energy and ability to shift from being stuck to being unstuck. By contrast, avoid or restrict alcohol and pornography as these things tend to have the opposite effect.
  8. Write – I have found writing about my experiences has given me the ability to see them more clearly. Blog, keep a journal or write a book and self publish it. I have self published twice and both the experience of writing and the experience of actually publishing were both therapeutic. Self Promotion: My books are Shame and Internet Trolling (non fiction) and The Book of Bud (a $.99 novel) are both available on Amazon.
  9. Establish Boundaries – If your feeling of being stuck is associated with another person you need to establish boundaries with this person. This means saying “no” when you don’t want to do something this other person wants you to do. You must say “no” even if it feels bad. It will feel bad at first because you will feel like you are doing something wrong. But what you will also feel soon after is a lightening of your mood. Any prior resentment you had for this person will begin to evaporate. It is quite dramatic and unexpected how powerful this technique is.
  10. Stop Judging – You might equate judgment and morality but this is a false association. When you judge other people you judge yourself with equal intensity. That is because both forms of judgment come from the same place: a wounded ego. When you make the conscious effort not to judge other people the force of the wounded ego weakens. You will find that you will stop judging yourself as well and from this place you can begin to cultivate compassion both for yourself and other people.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized