Tag Archives: friendship

Social Media and Self-doubt…

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The following article highlights one of the difficulties encountered by many social media consumers…

“Social media-induced angst is happening with increasing frequency. Just as businesses and brands use social media to interact with their target audience and monitor consumer interest, people are using social media to gauge how their friends and acquaintances feel about them. “Likes” may be interpreted as approvals. Not “liking,” not following, or otherwise not engaging might translate into snubs. Since social media etiquette is largely undefined, and there are few universally-understood and followed “rules of engagement,” such interpretation is highly subjective and, in many instances, leans towards the worst-case scenario.”

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/our-gender-ourselves/201310/your-social-life-is-not-your-social-media

 

Love As A State Of Being And Healing

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Love As A State Of Being And Healing

The philosophy of Dharma is a beautiful one; one that describes a grasp of Love for all beings, in whatever form they take in the world. That Love is not conditional, that it does not come with guarantees and that promise to pay is not a part of the Great Love. But Love can become a parody, as well. For instance, I Love Stephen and allways will, but I do not Love every one, but nor do I hate, nor would I wish upon anyone any harm or ill well, nor would I deny someone a hand should they ask. The reason being for that philosophy is that most people are not willing/able to accept Love, and it would be a kind of idiot compassion to project Great Love to someone who would reject or become scared by it, as you can place yourself in a vicious circle of victim consciousness (see videos below). To other people, I can become an instrument to be used and then discarded (as they view all other people).  It is possible to live amicably in the world without loving on all planes of consciousness in the world. It is possible to be kind without loving all of humanity. I do not love all of humanity, yet I do not hate them, because not all humans can accept Love or feel that they are deserving of Love. Would that humanity were different, that we could all be as Powder speaks, and yet, we (as a whole) are not. At least, not at this time.

San Francisco Sessions 2001 *Would I speak to someone who hated me, who wanted to harm me? No, that would be idiot compassion. Would I help someone who was only manipulating me? No, that would be idiot compassion. These are lessons that I have learnt. I do not hate humanity either. I used to. I used to be very misanthropic and self-deprecating, but I have let that go. There is no one to blame, in order to do so; I would have to blame us all. There is no great monster upon whose shoulders stones can be cast….so, hatred is not necessary. But neither can every one alive be trusted or Loved fully. Does that mean it is not possible to live fully in the world, no I do not think so. I think were I to make believe that everyone loves everyone totally and completely and unconditionally or that Love can be on all planes of consciousness/existence would make it so that I could not live fully in the world. Love to me, is like a deep friendship, a bond that cannot be broken save by those in the friendship. On this matter, I agree with Alan Watts and the others. I just do not punish those whom I do not love, because I do not think punishment is a very good learning tool. But I do think to love all of humanity in its current state is a parody of love.

It is possible to engage and to achieve Dharma without that kind of depth of Love for all of humankind, because understanding, honoring, and accepting are a great part of living fully. It is possible to be kind without it being known to the party receiving that kindness, it is possible to be kind without love. Kindness comes from understanding/ comprehension/perception as well

freedLiberation will come, but will it come from Love? I do not know. Liberation arises out of kindness, empathy, sympathy, compassion, understanding, comprehension, acceptance, help, generosity, example, sharing, caring, etc. as well as a Love (on a higher plane of consciousness). This is what I have learnt, what I see in the world. I hope humans one day in some time will be All Love. I hope I am around in some form to witness. In the meantime, I ride the wave and see what I can see, and explore, and embark upon adventures, and find pleasure in finding these things out…following scents on the wind.

Yes, I am speaking of Love in its profound sense, rather than its sentimental/emotional sense. Love can be expressed emotionally, yes, but I do not see it as an emotion. I see Love as a state of being, same as many of the states of being usually attributed to “mere” emotion. I see emotions as much more complex than feeling sad or angry (the idea that sadness is expressed with tears or that anger is expressed with loud voices). Emotions are far more subtle, and are included in the state of being known as Love. I think it is why sometimes when we are happy we may cry, or we can be extremely calm and quiet when we are angry, or we can be even more kind when we hate. Emotions are not so black and white. So, I speak of Love from the state of being (the profound sense). In this way, although it is a parody of Love to speak to all people we encounter with Love (i.e., would you tell the person you just met in the café and had a wonderful conversation that you love them? Yet you may do this to the person with whom you are most intimate, your girlfriend/boyfriend/partner/significant other, yes? You would not hesitate to spontaneously say to that person “I Love you” should they do something that you find yourself suddenly filled with the compulsion to say so? But you would not do this with the “stranger” seated next to you, even though they may do something as profound? This is what I mean in the difference between love as a parody and Love on a different plane). So, it is possible to have the heart open all the time (or as much as possible) to have Love, and yet, not project in this realm, where it is parodied.

the golden dream*Image Credits (all work used with permission through CC license)–
“freed” by new 1lluminati
“San Francisco Sessions 2001 *” by Wolfgang Sterneck
“the golden dream” by AlicePopkorn

 

The Significance of Friendship

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technology

The electronic age is wonderful, it truly is! I love the fact that I can type out a few words, click the mouse and as if by magic, answers appear. I remember how I used to wait for Saturdays because my mother would drive me to the library and I could look up things that I wanted to know about in the encyclopedias or the card catalogues. It was something I always looked forward to.

So, having the ability to form a question, click and have resources deluxe pop up for me to explore just blows me away. It is something I never cease to marvel at and be amazed by.

I also love how there can be live conversations and communications with people halfway across the world. It brings people so much closer together and can help keep people connected in ways that they could never hope to stay connected years ago.

Technology and the electronic age is really amazing!

But – – – even with all the help of technology and the advances made in electronics, research shows that very few of us manage to develop and maintain meaningful friendships the way people used to.

Frienship

We don’t want to discount the significance of friendship. Recent research links things like work production and satisfaction and healthy eating directly to friendships. It has been proven that if people have a close or best friend who eats healthy, they almost double their chances of becoming and staying healthy eaters themselves. And people who have friends at work are much more productive and enjoy their jobs than people who feel they have no friends at work.

It seems, however, that electronics and technology seem to be focusing on shortening our interactions with other people even more than they already are. Our ever-increasing pace of life does not lend itself very readily to the time needed to cultivate and maintain meaningful relationships.

Google

Where clicking in a browser for information leaves me with a vast amount of information and fills me with possibilities to explore, clicking on an email, texting a comment, or tweeting a hash tag and a word or two doesn’t fill me with a feeling of connection that I would call meaningful or substantial.

There is no real substitute for a face to face with a good friend or a heart to heart with a great one. And we can advance technology to the nth degree, but when it comes to friendships and relationships, we ought not fool ourselves into believing it is enough to settle for something quick and virtual.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

Depression: How to feel happy again

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The following post is from the wonderful Jessica Morris, who herself has been depressed and fought the heavy war against it. She has written a precise, informative and helpful text on her own thoughts regarding the King of suffering, and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.

More inspiration can be found at her page: http://jessicamorris.net

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My New, Beautiful Best Friend

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Friendship isn’t about whom you have known the longest… It’s about who came, and never left your side…

As amazing as it may seem, most of us do not treat ourselves properly. Even if we have become “civilized” enough to learn the right way to treat other people, most of us do not naturally know how to treat ourselves the way we ought to.

Think about it. What usually happens when you spill or drop something, especially in front of another person? Most people might feel embarrassed. Their face may begin to flush and turn red. But it is what goes on inside our heads that I am focusing on here.

If you are like me, the internal dialogue goes something like this. “Jerk! Why aren’t you more careful stupid? Look what you did, dummy!” Not exactly conversation we would have if we are trying to win friends and influence people, is it?

Yet we do not censor the way we talk to ourselves when something like this happens. Just imagine the type of self-talk most of us experience when it is something really significant like messing up royally on a major project.

Last year, Anya Strzemien, executive editor of HuffPost Style and HuffPost Home began a campaign in which Huffington Post donated a dollar to Girls Inc. every time a woman was overheard saying something positive about her appearance. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anya-strzemien/self-esteem-stylelist-tip-jar_b_1386305.html

Why do we put ourselves down so often?

The answer may have some gender-related variables. It is not surprising that according to many reports, women are much more likely to engage in negative self-talk more frequently than men. Even in today’s post-women’s lib world, little girls still are taught that their value is in their physical beauty and not their ideas or their thoughts.

Our society has an unbelievably narrow concept of beauty. And we tend to buy into it. I remember hearing Cindy Crawford say in an interview one time that even she doesn’t wake up looking like Cindy Crawford!

We also equate beauty with age. This is a UBER huge problem, especially as so many of the women baby-boomers reach middle-age and late-middle-age. We’ve actually begun to redefine age with comments like “60 is the new 40.”

If you would like to learn to instantly become more beautiful and learn how to befriend yourself, try following these few steps:

1. Rather than focusing on your flaws, take a few minutes each day to take an honest look at yourself in the mirror.

2. Silence your inner critic. If you become aware of negative self-comments inside your head, acknowledge your inner critic and gently tell her that you can’t listen to what she has to say right now. Eventually, the negative inner critic will leave (at least temporarily.)

3. As you look at your reflection, think of small loving things about yourself. Maybe you can recall a small kindness you did for someone recently, or a phone call you made to a friend who was very happy to hear from you. Anything at all that makes you feel happy will do.

4. REPEAT step 1-3 frequently throughout the day.

You will not get rid of your flaws through this process. You will be more likely, however, to recognize them for what they are, human. You will be more able to keep them more balanced with the good, positive and beautiful qualities that you possess and this will start you on your journey of discovering your own new beautiful best friend!

Coming to terms with abuse

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Coming to Terms With an Abusive Past

By Allie Gledhill

Acknowledging that you’ve had an abusive past isn’t so easy, but it’s the first step that you’ve got to take if you want to come to terms with your past and move forward in your life. Healing from abuse is possible – it is a difficult road but it is definitely worth taking.

Recognising abuse

(Please note some readers may find the following a little disturbing)

Many forms of abuse are obvious to people who observe the abuse with an outsiders point of view. A slap or a punch in the face from a violent partner seems like an unmistakable form of physical abuse. Or, to the reasonable-minded outsider, an adult engaging in sexual activity with a child or young teenager is judged to be an unquestionable misuse of adult power. But if you are the one at the receiving end of it, abuse isn’t always so obvious.

From the moment I was touched by one of my uncles in an inappropriate way, I had a feeling that what was happening to me was wrong. But I couldn’t put my finger on what, exactly, was so wrong and why I hated it so much when Uncle Nathan would come into my room at night and have sex with me. Didn’t I love my uncle? Hadn’t he put so much effort into being the father that I’d never had? And hadn’t I soaked up his attention, his approval and his emotional support? Even when my uncle’s activities with me became violent and I was left bruised and bleeding I didn’t fully understand that what was happening to me was wrong. For years my uncle had been telling me that our relationship was right, that he loved me and that our sexual relationship was my doing because I had been too attractive for him to resist. I trusted him and I believed him.

Wanting to speak out but not knowing how

As the abuse continued, I developed an increasingly burning desire to speak out about what was happening to me. Fear prevented me from speaking out and so the burden of not telling the truth weighed heavily on my heart. It prevented me from living an open, truthful life. I hated that I carried a dark secret and that I had to lie about how I got my fat lip and why I felt so compelled to drink myself into oblivion. At the same time, the idea of telling the truth seemed impossible.

Years later, after the abuse finally stopped, I felt I’d been keeping the secret for so long that I didn’t know how to start telling the truth about it. The idea of telling the truth seemed so massive and confronting that I couldn’t face it. So I brushed it under the carpet, convinced myself that I didn’t need to talk about it and that it wasn’t important that my friends and partner knew about my past. But still the desire to tell the truth would come creeping up and niggle at me, manifesting itself as shortness of breath and sometimes full-blown panic attacks. Eventually the panic attacks became so bad that I reluctantly dragged myself along to an abuse counselor.

Counselling and writing as therapy

Initially, I didn’t share the full truth with my counselor because I felt too ashamed. I skipped over parts of my story, avoided discussing certain events and would lie about my feelings and state that I felt fine about things when I clearly didn’t. I was at the beginning of my healing journey, the start of a long and difficult road that would present me with as many challenges as it would rewards. I didn’t know that the people that I would meet on my healing journey would become my friends for life, that I’d meet other abuse survivors who would provide me with an endless source of love and support. I never expected that old friends who knew me during my years of difficulty would reach out to me with messages of encouragement and acceptance that would touch my heart.

In my early stages of counseling, I was encouraged to write letters to my abuser and to anyone else that I felt I needed to forgive for their part in my abuse. I would sit down and write pages of letters, feeling my anger dissipate and my fears dissolve as I wrote. I never imagined that this exercise would eventually lead me to write my first book, An Angel in the Corner, and that I would experience the joy of meeting and working with other authors and writers.

When I was at the beginning of my healing journey I hadn’t yet come to terms with my abusive past. I didn’t think that I could ever be free from my past and that I would always have to lie about who I really was. I am so happy that my counselors have proved me wrong.

A note of encouragement

After you have been abused, you can never go back to the person you were before. But I believe that personal transformation is possible and that there are wonderful life gifts that can emerge from an abusive past. I don’t know what my life would have been like if I hadn’t been abused and I’m not interested in knowing. My past has made me who I am and I am finally comfortable with that. I have given myself the gift that my teenage self so desperately wanted – the joy of living an abuse free life.

   Allie Gledhill is the author of ‘An Angel in the Corner’