lauantai 28. syyskuuta 2013

Day 324: Attraction, part 2

28092013



This post is a continuation to:

Day 323: Attraction, part 1



Today I focused on writing privately about specific people and interesting stuff emerged. I was losing concentration on studying because these people kept on popping up in my thoughts. I will share some of the SF with names censored.




I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe it is justifiable to have a “goal” in mind when interacting with another person, not realizing that my justification is “because it would feel nice”, which is my desire talking: the desire would be fulfilled (I would “feel nice”) when the goal would be reached.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to place X into a “special” position where he is allowed to occupy my mind on an obsessive level – not realizing it's not even X himself in my mind but my image presentation of X, the paper doll I play around with in my scenarios – and that the real X here in the 3D I cannot predict because he is his own individual being who makes his own choices – which is why our interaction is created in the flesh and not within my thoughts.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe and perceive it is justifiable to be mentally occupied by thinking of another person because there is an attraction and it is “natural” to be obsessed – not realizing that this mind-wankery amounts to nothing at all as the real interaction with this person is not created in the mind but in the physical when and as it is here and not a moment before.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to be impatient to explore my relationship to X because he is not here right now, and to thus resort to playing around with the mind-puppets by replaying past moments in my head again and again – not asking myself where this impatience comes from.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to be impatient to interact with a person I feel attracted towards, not realizing that impatience is wanting to be “there” already – to be in a future moment – not realizing that when I want to be in the future I neglect the present moment, which is all there actually is, the only thing that verifiably exists.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to escape my present moment into the future because in the future there is something “exciting” which makes my present moment seem “less” in comparison – not realizing that the “more” in the future is actually excitement energy and nothing that would concretely make that moment more full of opportunities or such – and that the present moment is actually just “as good” as the future moment, but that they're just different in the opportunities they provide.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe and perceive that the future I am impatient to live within is “better” than the present moment I live within right now because the future moment contains energy whereas the present moment doesn't.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not realize that a moment that contains high amounts of energy is just that – a moment with energy – and that measured in breath that moment is equal to all the other moments of my life.

When and as I get impatient to be in a future moment already, I stop, I breathe and I realize that I am disregarding the present moment by longing for the future. I breathe and I remind myself that measured in breath each and every moment of my life is equal, and that the future I crave for is equal to the present moment I am breathing in. I ask myself what makes the future moment appear “better” and I utilize self-forgiveness to release the energy in question. I then look at my present moment from within and as breath and I move myself according to what is here now, and I release the future to be lived when and as it is actually HERE.


All of the above also applies to wanting to return to a past moment and replaying the past moment in the mind to re-live the energy one experienced. It's always away from HERE, be it in the past or the future.

I'll continue again tomorrow.

perjantai 27. syyskuuta 2013

Day 323: Attraction, part 1


27092013



Lately I've been thinking a lot about attraction. When one is attracted to someone, in essence it is a kind of a pull – being drawn towards something – but these phrases suggest that it is someone else pulling, that a force outside of me is drawing me towards someone, when in fact I create the pull as I have created who I am at the moment.

I think the metaphor “people are mirrors to each other” describes it quite well. When I am attracted towards another, I either enjoy something the other person “has” - like a trait or a quality – or I enjoy who I am in the presence of another, or maybe both. In other words, the other reflects back to me what I lack or I wish I had – who I am is reflected for me to see, which is an awesome opportunity for growth. “Who I am” is not a constant, it's not something that would remain unchangeable from situation to another, but is in fact relative to all the factors that affect any situation, such as the people who are present, the activities involved, the physical location, the time of the day... So when I find myself to be “more” in some way when in another's presence (more kind, more relaxed, more funny, more intelligent, more active etc.) I am drawn towards that person's company, because I haven't yet realized how to bring out that quality in me without that person around.

So basically I am pretty clear on what attraction is and how it functions, and when I have come across people I am drawn to I have stopped to map out what is going on in me when this happens. The issue that somewhat remains is the fact that I suddenly find myself drawn to many people at once – not that it wouldn't have happened before, but before I have simply told myself “no” and refused to explore the situation further. It's either been a “no, I'm already in a relationship” or a “no, I've already got a main romantic interest”. So basically I have already made up my mind about who I will be intimate with, as if there was a spot I'm reserving – and I'm not talking about only sex, but about all levels of physical AND mental intimacy.

The change I'm seeing in myself is that there's no longer that need to reserve intimacy for one person, and I am in fact very comfortable with these people all around. I have realized that all interaction is actually allowed, because all interaction – talking, touching, moving – is self-expression, and as long as I am honest with myself about what I am doing and why there is no rule that would forbid me from exploring human interaction with all the people I come across. And no, I am not saying that I will now go and have sex with everyone – that's not the point at all – even though I could do that. The point is that what my relations are with the individual people I come across of the world's population of 7 billion are what I make of them – they are at best a creation by two – and that if I do one thing with someone it does not exclude me from doing another thing with somebody else.

I'm still trying to find the right words to crystallize this realization, and I'm sure I'll find them once I just write about this enough. So pardon my messiness! Lol.

The thing is, I don't think that attraction is a “bad thing” in itself. Attraction is an indicator of who I am and the people it is pointing me towards may provide important lessons. Attraction becomes dangerous when I forget that it is my creation, because then I lose myself into the other. I believe the other to be my “destiny” or my “soulmate” or “the one” et cetera – I create an obsession of the other because I believe the other to be the cause of my attraction when in fact he/she is just the trigger.

Oh right, another point I've been thinking about in relation to this are attraction patterns: how mutual attraction usually “ends up” in sex through certain layers of interaction. I've realized that one reason I have refrained from acting upon attraction is the fact that I already saw the whole pathway leading up to sex looming in front of me and I got really fucking scared of it, and so I rather just staid away from people. What I've realized now is that I don't (necessarily) have to follow that pathway. I have a choice in each moment of breath – I have a choice in every single moment I interact with another, and so in a way every moment is a blank slate. This realization has been a great relief for me, because I have understood that I am in fact in charge of myself and my life, and that such a thing as attraction is no longer “in the wheel”. From this starting point of self-trust I am glad to continue exploring human interaction.



I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear attraction.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear being attracted to another because I have believed and perceived that attraction can only “end up” in a specific, predetermined outcome – not realizing that people never simply “end up” somewhere but always bring it upon themselves one way or another, and that therefore I have taken myself to situations where an attraction leads to a familiar result – and that if I am the one taking myself to places, I have the power to stop and decide to change my route.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to resist attraction because I have feared acting upon it.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear attraction because it is an indicator of my wish to be intimately close to/with another being which is something I have feared because I have not wanted to expose myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear exposing myself to myself by exposing myself to another.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to avoid acting upon attraction because I have not known what it will lead into.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear not being able to define what my relation to another being is.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to want to define all of my relations with other people so that I would know in advance what is possible and what is not possible within the interaction I have with each one – thus creating “safe zones” where I can “let loose” of one aspect of myself with one person and of another with someone else – not realizing that when I create these definitions (i.e. I can hug A, I can't hug B, I can hug C a little if it's the right moment, I can hug D all the time, I can't hug E unless I do it the right way...) I limit myself extensively by accepting and allowing my relations with people to remain the way they have initially appeared to “work” (not causing conflict or confusion), not realizing that for every limitation I place in interaction there is a cause – a fear – and a border I fear crossing.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear physically touching people in a way that makes them react because I have feared that they would then pull away from me.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear addressing topics that make others react because I have feared that they will blame their reaction on me and accuse me of being “invasive” and “inappropriate”.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear that if I behave in a way that makes the other react, the other will judge me and think less of me.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to want to create and uphold “safe zones” with other people where I can trust the other to not “invade” my “personal space” (to not do whatever I have defined to not be “included” in the relationship I have with the other).

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not realize that by allowing these “safe zones” to exist I serve both my self-interest and the other's and in no way actually support and assist either of us to face and deal with what is really going on within us (the fears that create our limitations).

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to – generally speaking – define my relationships with female friends to only include specific kind of touching and only a specific amount of it.

  • I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not want to touch my female friends' breasts, butt, thighs, hips, neck, chest, ears, face, stomach or sides because I have defined these body parts to be “sexual”, “intimate” or otherwise reserved to only be touched within a romantic or otherwise “special” relationship.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to – generally speaking – define my relationships with male friends to only include specific kind of touching and only a specific amount of it.

  • I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not want to touch my male friends too much because I have feared it might be misinterpreted as “romantic interest” - not realizing that every time I fear this, I am actually on some level attracted to the person in question, and that I am covering my own ass while blaming my fear of facing myself on the other.
  • I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not want to touch my male friends' butt, thighs, scalp, face, ears, stomach, hips, sides or neck because I have defined these body parts to be “sexual”, “intimate” or otherwise only to be touched with a male I am in a romantic relationship with.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not realize that I have limited myself from touching almost 3/4 of the human body regardless of gender because I have feared intimacy (which, in essence, is always self-intimacy - “in-to-me-I-see”).

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to deny myself to be touched anywhere but a very limited “safe zone” of my body as I have defined most of my body to be “too intimate/personal/private” for others to touch – when in fact I have isolated and separated my own body parts from myself, which makes them feel “private” and “different” when in fact they're just the same tissue as all of my body is.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe and perceive that I don't want others to touch a “private” part of my body (any of the ones listed above) because others “should not” be touching it, when in fact I avoid it being touched because I do not want to be reminded of the existence of the body part.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not realize that all the limitations I have on my self-expression (the “walls” of discomfort I come across) are in fact a structure I have created in my mind and NOT some universal truth of “shoulds” and “shouldn'ts”.

--

This topic is apparently really vast and this SF seems to be a bit all over the place, so I will continue tomorrow in more specificity. Points to go through:

  • private writings on specific people
  • definition of attraction
  • reserving intimacy for someone “special”
  • attraction patterns

Plus others if they emerge.

keskiviikko 25. syyskuuta 2013

Day 322: The omniscient leader


24092013

A piece of a graffiti mural in Melbourne.


Today I had a really cool session with the children in my theatre course. With “cool” I don't mean that everything went perfectly, but that I learned overflowingly much from it; a shitload of new aspects of where these children stand, what I can teach them and ideas on how to do it emerged. The whole meeting began with things not going as I had planned at all, and showing myself that I can manage an unplanned situation with 15 kids was really, really necessary. I'm starting to grow trust in myself.

Another thing with today's meeting was that I realized that a learning process comes with confusion. Immediately afterwards I was anxious for a while because I was feeling uncertain about the session, questioning myself, fearful that I had “failed”, paranoid even. When I stopped to go through what had actually happened – which I need to do really slowly, because an hour-and-a-half session is like a fireworks of new points, lessons to be learned flying at me like a flurry of bullets – I realized that I was uncertain because compared to our earlier meetings this one wasn't “as good” - it wasn't as clear, as exemplary, as structured – and this made me anxious because I hadn't met my standards. I then realized that compared to the previous sessions I had actually learned much more today. To quote what I wrote after the session:

“But that's the thing with teaching: the group makes the course. I can't teach a group what they resist – I can teach them what they're willing to take in. I cannot know in advance what this course will be. I have to allow myself confusion, lessons like this when things don't go like I planned, because that's when new points are revealed, new conflicts arise – new lessons to be learned expose themselves.”

It's just a matter of me probing around to see what the group would be ready to learn, what kind of a challenge would be right for them. OH MAN, I am so so SO enjoying this whole thing. Kids are awesome company!



I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to get frustrated at myself for being confused, not seeing, realizing and understanding that confusion is a part of the process of learning.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to define “confusion” / “not knowing what to do” as “failure” when in a position of “leadership”, believing and perceiving that a “leader” should always know the best solution / the right answer because as a child I didn't know how this world works and trusted authority figures to know what to do, thus perceiving them to be omniscient, all-knowing, and not capable of failure.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to set myself an impossible standard of “never failing” when in a position of “leadership” - never showing my “weaknesses” - not realizing that it is human to make mistakes because none of us can ever learn every single thing there is to know about this life; the human capacity is limited to one body, one brain and one lifetime.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not realize that it is actually good to show children that I, too, make mistakes, don't always know what to do, get confused and make the wrong choices, because this will teach them that authorities are not all-knowing or all-capable but are in fact just PEOPLE one with and equal to the children themselves, and that they are “authorities” simply because they have happened to be born a bit earlier.



I commit myself to continue exploring teaching, leadership and directing with this group of children. (Man, am I glad to have an opportunity like this!)

I commit myself to prepare the sessions a day or two before, keeping in mind the requirements of the space we rehearse in and the rehearsals that we do.

I commit myself to after each session during the same day to go through what happened – with someone if possible, to provide feedback and perspective – and to plan the next session according to what worked out and what didn't.

maanantai 23. syyskuuta 2013

Days 320-321: The woman in me


22-23092013

To me the pose in this picture says: "Be a man!" And this is what I get when I google "female empowerment".


Ever since teen age I've been trying to be “one of the guys”. With this I mean that in social situations I have tried to adopt “guy-like” traits and behave like a “guy” because at some point while looking at the people in my life (parents, siblings, friends, relatives) I had learned to admire masculinity (rational, relaxed, stable, well-grounded, honest, loyal) and to resent femininity (moody, unstable, dishonest, spiteful, unreliable, tense). I didn't want to show my femininity even though I didn't exactly dislike being female, because when I was using masculine traits I felt strong and big and smart while being feminine I felt small and weak and stupid. Being “one of the guys” has also been an attempt to gain status and respect, because from my perspective it appeared as if men were socially appreciated more than women who were easily put down.

So, shortly put, I have defined femininity as “negative” and masculinity as “positive”, not realizing that they both have their upsides and downsides, strengths and weaknesses, and thus I have suppressed my femininity.

The reason I am writing about this is the fact that recently I have seen myself change. Yesterday I committed to writing about “who I am” with others and today I have been writing about an encounter I had yesterday with a friend. I saw that with this person I allowed myself to be feminine - soft, empathetic, caring, gentle – and I am glad to see this change in me, because it indicates that I have managed to release some of my social fears, the masculine personality being a “shield” to defend myself with.

I have also noticed this with other people recently, where I have been dropping the “tough guy act” and instead allowing myself to be exposed. I've for example been going through my work personality, allowing myself to for example be empathetic instead of abusing my position of power. So this is not something that is personally connected to the person I was writing about, but a process that is going on within me which I see reflected in different moments of interaction.

So in a way this “tough guy act” is also a very good indicator: when and as I see myself doing it, I can check myself to see if I am in fact doing it out of fear. I can think of several situations where I would very likely still hold onto this pattern, and those especially I need to investigate.



I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to define masculinity only according to what I perceived to be its positive traits (rational, relaxed, stable, well-grounded, honest, loyal), disregarding the negative aspects of this polarity and thus creating an imbalanced view of masculinity that was detached from reality.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to define femininity only according to what I perceived to be its negative traits (moody, unstable, dishonest, spiteful, unreliable, tense), disregarding the positive aspects of this polarity and thus creating an imbalanced view of femininity that was detached from reality.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe and perceive that some traits and qualities are exclusively “feminine” or “masculine” (stuff that commonly appears in either men or women) as I have not realized that even though we are all born into a gender which becomes our primal expression, our expression is not limited to what is commonly associated to be the qualities of that gender.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe and perceive that the definitions for “feminine” and “masculine” are inherently true, not realizing that a lot of these qualities are learned through conditioning that is beyond our scientific tools of measurement.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe and perceive that when a tendency passes on through genes, it is “inherent”, “natural” and thus “unchangeable”, not realizing that genes, too, are molded from generation to generation (and according to some, could even to an extent be molded during and within an individual's life) and that the traits, qualities and tendencies we seem to have “inherently” are the result of countless of choices being made along the way of human history and evolution – not something that “men naturally are” or “women naturally are” - this norm, too, has been created.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to resent the traits, qualities and tendencies that are commonly associated with the female gender and to thus start resenting women.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to admire the traits, qualities and tendencies that are commonly associated with the male gender and to thus develop a desire to be like men – not to physically be a man, but to express myself through the traits that I perceived to “belong” to men.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe and perceive that the qualities I have labeled as “masculine” are exclusive to those who are physically of the male gender.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to define “femininity” according to what I saw of the behavior of women/girls in my environment when growing up, picking up only the negative, and to start resenting all females according to this negatively filtered perception – not realizing that women are not in fact “less” but that my perception makes them appear that way to me.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to resent moodiness in women – going from one extreme emotion to another – exploding emotions, feelings and reactions onto others – blaming others for your emotions, feelings and reactions – creating “chaos” instead of upholding “peace” --- I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to accuse women of “creating chaos” by expressing their inner experience explosively because as a child I did not have the stability or the tools to handle this kind of conflict without assistance.*

* This relates to female family members who were emotionally explosive. During their shitstorms my family members were too preoccupied to give me the support I would have needed, and because I thought of my role as “the stable one” I didn't express my confusion about the “chaos” around me and tried to appear calm.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to define femininity as “dishonest”, “vicious”, “poisonous”, “unreliable” and “back-stabbing” according to a girl / a group of girls who bullied me in primary school, not realizing that their actions had nothing to do with them being female but that their actions were an expression of who they were as human beings.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to define people according to their gender, thus creating a database of “female” and “male” qualities which I have perceived to reoccur in people of the same gender, not realizing that by upholding these “male” and “female” stereotypes and believing them to be somehow “naturally” true I have limited myself from seeing people as human beings one with and equal to each other and have instead always seen people according to this dichotomy which is in no way accurate or, in this case, relevant. [To me focusing on gender seems to be relevant only when reproducing, lol.]

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to resent women because to me they appeared tense, thus admiring men who appeared relaxed, believing “tension” to be a quality inherent to women and “relaxation” a quality inherent to men – never asking myself why it is that women (mostly my peer group = teenage girls) are tense and men relaxed, not realizing all of the cultural, evolutionary, psychological, social and sociological history that was intertwined beyond all of our visible behavior was dictating our actions in ways most of us were not at all aware of.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not realize that the “tension” I saw in my peer group in school was mostly pubescent terror caused by pop culture, school culture, physical maturing, the human history of female abuse, family relations ET CETERA (!!!) and that it was NOT a quality inherent to women of all ages, cultures, eras and/or ethnicities, but something we as a gender within a certain context had been conditioned to.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not realize that my perception of men being “relaxed”, “care-free”, “honest” and “reliable” was not based on proper investigation but only how boys of my age group appeared to be in school (which is where many put on a “mask”), and that they, too, had their share of conflict and fear, only expressed in a different form.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to resent expressing myself in any of the ways commonly associated to be “feminine”, even if they were positive traits, because I wanted to distance myself from the female gender, not realizing that by doing so I've suppressed empathy, sensitivity, intimacy, and a huge range of my self-expression (emotions, feelings, talking, touch).

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to stand as a woman because I have feared being “fragile”, “frail”, “vulnerable” and “soft” – not realizing that I have defined womanhood by these words according to physical traits only – and that being an empathetical, sensitive being is by no means the equivalent of being weak; quite the contrary in fact.



I commit myself to map out and place myself in situations where I have the need to be “masculine” and the fear of being “feminine” in order to investigate why I do this (what in the situation triggers this fear) and to little by little move myself out of this behavioral pattern through exposure and consistency.

I commit myself to investigate the dichotomy “male = smart” - “female = stupid”, which is another facet of this point that has influenced me vastly.

I commit myself to explore myself as a human being containing the full range of expressive tools – both the ones I have defined “feminine” as well as the ones I have defined “masculine” AND everything that falls in-between.

I see realize and understand that “feminine” and “masculine” are just labels I have given to things arbitrarily based on my narrow subjective experience; Thus, when and as I see myself defining something with the words “feminine”, “masculine”, “manly”, “womanly” or any other gender-related words I come across – I stop, I breathe and I realize I am using labels that limit my participation in this reality. I flag the term I was using and investigate more thoroughly if necessary.

lauantai 21. syyskuuta 2013

Day 319: Who am I with others?


21092013



A little while ago after some kind of a social situation I asked myself: is there anyone I would be completely relaxed with? In other words, is there any person in the company of whom I would be completely “myself”, as I would be alone at home with no one watching?

I answered no, and it shocked me.

I realized that no matter who I am with, I am always a little bit tense. There's always something about me that I am trying to hide from my company, which of course varies from person to person, group to group. Be it big or small, there is fear in me wherever I go.

I have been socially very withdrawn and defensive ever since I got bullied in school starting from the age of 9. I got depressed and kept to myself, and I rarely actively tried to get myself any friends because I was so afraid of rejection and abandonment. I only had friends who had approached me first. This tendency of never approaching people and always waiting for someone else to make the “first move” (so that I would be certain that the person is not attacking me) continued on to my adult years and resulted in a solitary and insecure life that I would not want to return to.

I started actively moving myself out of this behavioral pattern at the beginning of 2012, about 8 months before I started to walk my process in the form of writing this daily journal. I had realized that I cannot continue this way, waiting around for others to “pull me in”, and so I took small “leaps of faith” in situations where I was so heavily emotionally burdened that without me approaching another person and dealing with things I would have collapsed. I opened conversations. I shared my feelings. I showed my interest. Later on I have continued to walk myself out of my social fears with more precision, targeting specific points of resistance.

The process still continues, and at the moment I'm at a very interesting spot in my life considering this process of de-assembling my introversion. I've just started studying in university, where I meet new people every day. I also work as a bartender, which is a position where I get to meet and discuss with all kinds of people – including the ones I disagree with on many things and would never associate myself with! I am utilizing these social environments for my growth, but I feel like I could be doing it more actively, more specifically. And that's why I'm writing here right now.

I realized that this process of walking myself out of my social fears is not structured well at all. The realization I mentioned at the beginning of this post provides one clear solution model: when you meet people and you feel tense, make a mental note of it: stop and breathe in the moment and ask yourself what is going on, why there is a tension, what am I afraid of, what kind of a mask am I wearing, what is the role I'm pulling, what do I hope to gain? The answers are usually very simple and self-evident once I give myself the chance to look at myself by stopping and no longer just “going with it”.

This may require me to go through this mapping with every single person I meet. With some there might be a generalized pattern that applies to many individuals, but for example with family members and long-time friends there's such a long and unique history of interaction that no general patterns necessarily apply. I've been avoiding doing this in precision because it has felt so burdensome and “big”, but I see that now (as I am not going through a bigger crisis) I have a great chance to allow myself to focus on this specific point (social fears, desires and tensions – who am I with others), which I will in time be “done” with, because all it takes is time and consistency. The shit I've compiled within myself is not infinite, as are not the people I interact with.

Thus,

I commit myself to write about who I am in the presence of specific people or groups and to write myself clear directions on how to change my behavior, and I commit myself to share in public what I can without violating anyone's privacy (including mine).

I commit myself to write down what I face of myself in social situations, even if it's just a few words, because a small note can be expanded later in more specific writing.

I commit myself to start walking these social points in the order that they occur – meaning I start with the points that I notice when I interact with other people today.

I commit myself to be patient with every point as a single aspect to my social fears can be incredibly vast and require several days, weeks, months or even years of writing and corrective action to be “done”.

keskiviikko 18. syyskuuta 2013

Day 318: Study environments


18092013



Today I had a day off and I had decided that I will use it to take care of my school assignments and other tasks. I managed to get many things done right after I woke up, but at some point I started getting suck. I had studying to do and the material I was trying to read seemed dull and pointless. After I had tried to get myself to read and failed a few times I realized that something about the fact that my apartment was so silent and still was bothering me.

I took my books and my laptop and walked to the bar I work in. It was full of people and the place was really noisy. I managed to find myself a table and I started to study, and to my surprise I was able to concentrate much better in the noisy bar than in the quiet apartment or any library I've been to. I then studied for about three hours straight.

I then remembered something I had just read in my study material about learning always being a social process. I am not sure why, but for some reason I was able to study much better in a social environment than a secluded one. There are so many factors to a situation like this that I cannot draw any conclusions from it (for example, the fact that I walked about 20 minutes to get to the bar and got some exercise might have something to do with it), but I will remember this experience and utilize it in the future. Because the bar was so noisy I was able to talk out loud to myself about my learning process without anyone else hearing! Try doing that in a library, lol.



I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe and perceive that a study environment has to be “peaceful” (quiet, solitary, comfortable, no distractions).

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to limit myself from trying to study in environments that are not “peaceful” because I have believed and perceived that it's not possible.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to use the “non-peacefulness” of an environment as an excuse to not study.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not want people nearby when I study because I have believed and perceived them to be a “distraction”.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not realize that even if I am not studying with people but among people I am already in a social situation where the information I take in can be immediately reflected upon reality and integrated into my world-view.



I commit myself to continue to explore and investigate the social aspect of studying and learning.


PS. The picture in this post is from a very interesting article that relates to my experience!

tiistai 17. syyskuuta 2013

Day 317: SF on Day 316: Loss of direction


17092013



I'm going through the video log from yesterday.



“my life is going well”
    • what is “well”? What is my definition of a life that is “going well”?

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe and perceive that one's life is “going well” when one has something meaningful and enjoyable to do, here creating a separation between a “good” life and a “bad” life, thinking that the “bad” life without meaningful and enjoyable activities is not life worth living, not realizing that if one's life does become what I have defined as “not good” (“not going well”) it is a challenge one has brought upon oneself and that it is definitely worth living through – not getting stuck into – as this, too, is LIFE as life is in every moment of breath.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe and perceive that now that my life is “going well” (I have something meaningful and enjoyable to do) I should also feel happy.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to feel like there's “something missing” from my experience because even though my life is “going well” I don't have that feeling of happiness and euphoria, being uplifted and excited – not realizing that I base this expectation on previous experiences in my life where my life has felt “perfect” for a while as I have both had something enjoyable to do AND I have had that feeling of happiness.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe and perceive that the feeling of happiness is required for my life to be fulfilling, not realizing that happiness as a feeling is an outflow of who I have lived as before the happiness, that it is the polarity of the negative feelings I have felt before, and that happiness surfaces to balance out the negative in a cyclic manner when I live within the negative-positive emotional loop – and that therefore when I release that emotional cycle and no longer live within, as and according to it and instead live within and as stability, the positive feelings that I crave for (as opposed to the negative feelings that I resent) will cease to exist.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to long for the feeling of happiness because I have defined it to be an indicator of when my life is “going well” and I don't have to worry about myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not realize that what actually indicates that I am living as LIFE and self-expression, as a being one with and equal to this reality, is stability: not being thrown around by both positive and negative feelings and emotions.*

* Not to confuse this with self-suppression, where one would be denying one's feelings and emotions and refusing to express them: a non-emotional “steel mask”. Feelings and emotions are an indicator of who we are at the moment, and thus when and as they surface they can be channeled in a non-destructive way and then, as they are out in the open for oneself, investigated and forgiven and eventually released. Stability is where emotions and feelings do not direct you, and where you do not lose sight of yourself in the middle of emotional turmoil.


I commit myself to stop to investigate any experiences of dissatisfaction that surface in me by asking myself if there is an expectation that is not being fulfilled.

I commit myself to slow down to enjoy feeling like “nothing” (no emotional experience affecting my state of being) by exploring my world as from this state movement is most effortless – or at least my boundaries are easier to detect – which is a great opportunity to expand myself.

When and as I get dissatisfied with “feeling nothing” - I stop, I breathe and I realize that I have defined a “satisfactory living” to be one where I am living within a positive emotional experience. I realize that the lack of a positive emotional experience is not a “bad thing” and that “feeling nothing” (not having a positive or a negative emotional experience) is an indicator of stability, no matter how momentary. I utilize self-forgiveness to release the dissatisfaction and I embrace the moment as described in the statement above.

--

“During [my travels] I made a lot of decisions to change my daily rhythm, my life style, and I've been living out those decisions, at least some of them. I'm still not working completely well with some of the points --.”

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself after I got home to get comfortable with not exercising as I no longer “had to” keep on moving every single day [when I traveled I carried a heavy rucksack with me and mostly walked around A LOT].

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to create a resistance towards physical exercise because I “had to” do so much of it during my travels.

  • I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not realize that I did not “have to” move as there was no outside force that would have actually made it compulsory for me to physically move myself, not wanting to carry responsibility for my decision to move physically (in theory I could have just staid still other than walking in and out of airplanes) as this decision caused me weariness and discomfort.
  • I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to blame “others” for “expecting me to move”, not realizing I was projecting my own demands and expectations for myself onto others so that I could avoid carrying responsibility for this self-expectation that wore me out.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not realize that I have created this resistance during my travels by not allowing myself enough rest to compensate for the physical and mental strain that I went through.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to get attached to my home because it offers me so much comfort – soft and clean places to sit and lie in, enough entertainment to last me for the rest of my life, fun activities and hobbies, good food that I have chosen to supply myself with – not realizing that by creating a desire to stay home and be as comfortable as possible I limit my life extensively as outside of my walls there is an entire world of people and places to explore.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to narrow my physical comfort zone down to my apartment.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to resist going out for walks without a destination.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to resist going out to meet people.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to resist exercising (full yoga routine, jogging, dancing).

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to resist practicing violin and piano playing.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to resist singing practice.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to resist making music.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to give in to my resistance and desire for comfort by giving up when I “don't feel like doing it”.



I commit myself to step by step work my way out of my comfort zone by not demanding everything of myself at once but utilizing the moments that I see to start out with something small from which I can expand through consistent practice.

  • with yoga: do a little each morning before breakfast and grow the amount weekly
  • with meeting friends: meet at least one friend a week other than in school or at work
  • with outdoors exercise: have at least one aimless walking trip per one week
  • with music: have at least one practice session per week, be it any instrument or form of music
  • with singing: sing at least one song a day

I commit myself to have mercy on myself so that I will not demand too much of myself – yet, I commit myself to hold on to the list above as I see, realize and understand that doing at least this small amount per week/day will activate me.

I commit myself to make a timetable for these activities if necessary to support myself to actually push through the resistance and get moving.

maanantai 16. syyskuuta 2013

Day 316: Loss of direction

16092013

A video log for a change because of a writing block.

video

Thus,

I commit myself to slow down with studying within and as the realization that it is more effective to study a book properly once than improperly for three times.

When and as I feel confused with the material I study, I stop, I breathe and I slow myself down in breath. I remind myself that all of the information in this world is somehow linked to reality, and that all of it can thus be connected to the "big picture". I return to the beginning of the section of the material that I did not understand, and within and as breath I read one word at a time, slowing down and stopping to ensure that I understand each word that I read. If this does not help, I take a physical break from studying (i.e. stretching, walking, dancing, singing etc), make sure I have had enough water and not too much / too little food and reassess and realign my physical study position. If the topic still doesn't open up, I investigate it outside of the material I'm reading (book, article, lecture notes) to see if an "outside perspective" would assist me in developing understanding.

I commit myself to investigate for ways to be an active participant of the university community.

lauantai 14. syyskuuta 2013

Days 313-315: Singing to impress


12-14092013



I am bothered by a choir audition I went to, which is one of the things I mentioned in my previous post. I was surprised by the fact that I got nervous in the audition, and as I was nervous and my core muscles were trembling, my singing wasn't the best it can be and my voice was shaking a little. There are two points here to look at: a) why I got nervous at all, and b) why I take “failure” so harshly.

After years and years of practice in performing I rarely get as nervous anymore as I did yesterday. Mostly I can trust myself to know what I'm doing and to figure it out if I don't. I wasn't nervous about the audition until I heard that a friend of mine would be in the jury. The fact that there was something personal on the line increased the “stakes”: convincing someone I know personally of my skill, of my value, is more important to me than convincing a roomful of strangers. This is why I would, for example, have my most “special” friends come see me perform something rather than have a hundred strange faces looking at me. This is because my attachment/attraction towards a person makes them appear “more important”: both failure and success feel “bigger”, because I believe I risk losing the appreciation and company of a friend if I fail in their presence, and on the other end I believe that if I succeed in their eyes I will confirm and strengthen the relationship.

This starting point led me to interpreting the reactions of the jury through my fear of failure / desire to succeed. Certain expressions that I interpreted as “judgmental” or “not impressed” are flashing in my mind again and again like snapshots, and I realize that these memory-images in my mind are not an actual photographic evidence of what the situation was in reality. I realize that what I'm carrying with me and holding onto as “signs” of my “failure” are not in fact what happened, but my filtered view of what I perceive and believe to have happened – random moments that I decided to burn into my memory because of what I believe I saw in them.

One reason this bothers me so is that I have to wait for the results of the audition for two weeks. If I would get the results straight away I could use them to determine whether I “succeeded” or “failed”. So instead of finding balance through self-honest self-assessment I torture myself with insecurity.



I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to judge myself for getting nervous, thinking that I “should have” not been nervous because I've had a lot of practice in performing, not realizing that I am whipping myself for not living up to an ideal I have created for myself – the self-image I would like to be for real – and that when I am goal-oriented I only see the end result and not how to get there, which ends up with me trying to force myself into a mold I don't know how to fit myself into, like trying to shove a cube into a round hole.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to hate myself for getting nervous, getting disappointed with myself for not living up to my own expectations, not realizing that my expectations were constructed on assumptions that did not take into account all the factors there are to a situation (for example, all the hidden points I am not yet aware of) and that my expectations are thus always bound to be flawed one way or another.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to expect various things out of myself and from others, not realizing that my expectations are never exactly correct – at best they're my best guess – and that as I live according to my expectations I bind myself to inevitable disappointment.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to expect that after several years of practice in performing I should have already mastered it, not realizing that because performance in its essence is to reveal myself to others – which constantly reveals new aspects of myself to myself - it is a life-long process that I can probably never during this life be entirely “done” with, let alone in a couple of decades.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to react to the information that my friend would be in the jury, from that moment onwards accepting and allowing my reaction to accumulate into underlying nervousness which reached its peak during the audition.

--

Here I walked the point of my relationship towards this friend in specific SF in private. It helped me see why exactly his presence got me nervous: without going into details I was hiding my experience about this person from myself and thus silently accumulated the energy of that experience until it erupted in an uncontrollable way (nervousness). While writing I realized what it was about and I will now explore my relationship with this person while being self-aware of who I am in his presence.

--

The fact that there was something personal on the line increased the “stakes”: convincing someone I know personally of my skill, of my value, is more important to me than convincing a roomful of strangers. This is why I would, for example, rather have my most “special” friends come see me perform rather than have a hundred strange faces looking at me. This is because my attachment/attraction towards a person makes them appear “more important”: both failure and success feel “bigger”, because I believe I risk losing the appreciation and company of a friend if I fail in their presence, and on the other end I believe that if I succeed in their eyes I will confirm and strengthen the relationship.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to want to “shine” in the eyes of another as I have believed and perceived that by doing so I will “confirm” our friendship – that the other will not want to walk away from me if I convince him/her that I am “good enough”.

Now, this point intrigues me. It keeps on reappearing in different circumstances and in different shapes and sizes, but the base point is the same: “Do not abandon me. Please don't leave me. Please tell me I'm alright.” I keep returning to this point because I am not sure where it comes from. There are no major events of abandonment in my childhood and I had a very supportive family, and all that I can think of are events from later on in my life. When I was around 10 years old all of my friends turned their backs on me because I was “weird” (I was somehow behaving “out of line”) and I took this sudden loneliness really harshly. I used this event and the emotional pain that I experienced then as a source for my upcoming depression, anxiety and introversion. The thing that eludes me is: how did I decide to start begging for acceptance through my skills and traits? That's not the reason I started having friends again later on. I didn't somehow enchant the people who became my friends: we just “ended up” together because in a school environment you don't really have much choice.

So what I'm asking of myself is to look at my past and search for events where I would have felt accepted because of a skill, trait or quality of mine that I got positive feedback of. I find this essential because through this belief that I can convince others to like me I have created a survival mechanism of “pulling the tricks” to avoid facing my fear of “losing” another person – and my dependency/attraction towards the other. Instead of asking myself: “hang on, why do I react to the possibility of this person not being present in my life?” I instantly believe and validate my fear and my “need” for this person to be around.

keskiviikko 11. syyskuuta 2013

Day 312: Hiding self-judgement under a positive mantra


11092013



Lately I have accepted and allowed myself to feel like I have “failed” or “not done well enough” on some things. On a conscious level I've been thinking “I'm doing alright”, “that wasn't too bad”, “it doesn't matter that I [made a mistake]” - but in my secret mind on an unconscious level my experience has been “I'm not good enough.”

Today I saw how all these tiny little moments have accumulated up to a state of being where I'm physically in pain and do not want to even try doing anything of relevance and rather just keep myself entertained with useless stuff. I am living within and as the statement: “I won't succeed anyway.” I realized that I have created this state of being out of small moments of hidden self-judgement.

I can see how easy it would be to get stuck into this kind of a state of being, and that to me explains a great deal about people who become passivated. Why get off the couch if making an effort is never enough? Here I miss the fact that I am the one setting the measure of “enough” – which means that I can in fact change it.

I know that I've been doing reasonably well in my tasks lately, and not least because I'm allowing myself decent rest for the first time in at least a year. But the guilt is there. I'm not saying that guilt is entirely a bad thing – if nothing else, it serves as a reminder of things I would actually need to be doing sooner or later – but combined with self-judgement it's quite deadly.


--

Here I did specific self-forgiveness and commitments on each one of the points where I had been judging myself, and I will keep it private for now. Writing out the commitments I mapped out all of the points that have been "bubbling under" for the past couple of weeks, and in the posts to come I will be opening them up in more detail. A general SF statement from today sums it up:

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to cover up my self-judgement with a mantra that says “I'm OK”/”it's OK”, thinking this thought over and over again, not realizing that I am suppressing my actual experience of not being OK with myself by trying to override it with “positive thinking” and thus ignoring the actual issue.

It's quite interesting to see this because I have thought that I am "the kind of a person" who DOESN'T do this kind of positive thinking -mantra. When I laid out the multitude of situations from the past few weeks in front of me, the evidence was pretty hard to deny, lol. So it will be interesting to walk through this point.

maanantai 9. syyskuuta 2013

Day 311: Leadership - passing the power


09092013



I was at a theatre camp for the weekend and while there I temporarily took the position of the “leader”. I want to look at how this switch in position happened and who I was as a “leader”.

In our theatre hierarchy I am unofficially the “second in command” after our chairman. This meant that when she was not around, I would take the lead. I saw this happening through expectations I had towards myself and through expectations others had towards me as well. When she was gone and there was a situation that required direction, I felt everyone's eyes on me, I felt attention drawn towards me even though I did nothing to get it, I felt like it was my moment to do something, as if it was my responsibility to direct. (I am not sure how much of this I imagined and how much was real, and to know the exact facts is not even relevant.) It was a moment where I realized that I had a choice to either accept all the authority offered to me – or, as this would not be a choice that supports the best of all, to try and use that moment of attention in a different way.

I was careful to not run the whole “show” by myself, meaning that I would try to get people to carry responsibility themselves – that I would NOT make it too “easy” for them and do every bit of thinking and moving for them just to feel “important” and “needed” myself. What I did was give these slight pushes and pulls towards the right direction, and this worked out quite well: most of the people were actually doing their share of work, which was more than I had hoped for. I didn't need to stress about things getting done and watch over every bit of action because I trusted these people to take care of things and showed them that I did. So by expecting no less from them than the best they can be I supported them to live up to their potential.

What interests me is the moment of “passing the power”. Hierarchy is a man-made conceptual structure to ensure that power remains in “deserving” and “capable” hands – in other words, in the hands of those who agree on the principles and direction of that which is governed, which may or may not be a good thing. But power does not exist if it is not given by those who are ruled over. Why does this theatre group accept and allow me to have power and what can I do to support them to become self-governed? Why and how do I find my position of power justified?

The moment of “passing the power” (accepting and allowing one to direct others) is a moment of collective helplessness. What do we do now? Who knows? Where do we go? It is the helplessness of a child. If there is someone there with apparent “knowledge” - the defining factor of an “adult” - that's where the faces turn. You tell us what to do! You know where to go! And people refuse to think, to move, to use their own capacity to search for an answer. This is OK if people actually do not know what to do and have no way of figuring it out (or if the process of figuring it out would take impractically long), but I see that at least within this particular group there is a passivity, a laziness, a limpness where an authority would rather be followed than self be set in motion.



I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe and perceive that my position in our theatre hierarchy as “second in command” is something I have “deserved”, something I “ought to” have, something that is “rightfully” mine as I have believed and perceived that I have “proven myself worthy” by being talented, hard-working and loyal – here defining myself (my ego) according to this high position in a hierarchy, seeing myself as something “more” than the ones “below” me in the hierarchy – not realizing that a hierarchy is a construct that only exists in the subjective conceptual realities of each individual – in our minds – and that if I define myself according to something that only exists in the mind I will end up believing I am that mind-image, when in fact I am a physical being in a physical reality.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not realize that if I define myself according to imaginary power structures (statuses and titles) I will limit myself from fully realizing myself as a physical being and from living in this physical reality.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not realize that the only dimension of power structures that actually matters are their consequences in the matter – the “fruit” that they bear in the physical reality.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not realize that the only reason participating in a power structure might be justified is its practical consequences.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to participate in power structures to feed my ego as I have not stopped to consider the practical consequences of my participation.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to give my permission for others to be “leaders”, passing them the power, without stopping to realize that their position is given by those who follow, myself included.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to blindly believe that some people are “meant to” be leaders while others are not, not realizing that the reason we have leaders at all is because most of the people do not know how to be self-directed and thus “require” someone to “show them the way”, and that the people who end up being leaders are those who are lucky enough to be (or at least appear to be) self-directed.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not question my “leaders” by asking myself if they're actually showing a good example and if I should be following them.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not “defy” my “leaders” by seeing and treating them as equals (= without fear).

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear disagreeing with my “leaders” because that would have required me to direct myself from within myself for myself – in other words, without an example I could passively follow.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not question my “leaders” out of fear of losing that authority I could passively follow, not realizing that when I rise up to question my “leader” I no longer need a “leader” as I have become that which I am looking for in an authority figure: an active participant and creator of life.



I'll continue with this in posts to come.

perjantai 6. syyskuuta 2013

Day 310: Dissolving a stereotype


06092013



Yesterday I was working in the bar and close to our closing time a couple of my new class mates from university walked in. While I was talking with them and observing their behavior in the bar I realized something about these people, and about myself.

I'll name these two girls A and B. For the past couple of weeks that I've been hanging out with them I've observed A to be a bit tense and nervous, but she seems active, and she has been one of the most eager to go out to party. B has appeared very fearful to me, kind of fidgety, with her eyes darting around as if she's not sure whether my look for instance (or anything in her environment) is friendly or hostile.

When they came to the bar yesterday they were both very drunk, and a lot started to make sense. A, who had been most eager to go party, was really loud and expressive when she was drunk – and I realized that she is probably a very expressive person who just believes she cannot do it without alcohol in her system. And B, while drunk, was a bit less fidgety, and came across as very warm and friendly when her guard was lowered.

What I realized was that with these kind of people I have usually been influenced by prejudice. I have judged their need to get intoxicated and I have labeled them into a specific kind of a stereotype (“pissikset” in finnish, the archetype of a superficial teenage girl). I have not wanted to be in contact with these kinds of people and I have very effectively pushed them out of my life. This time around when I began university I knew that I would be facing all kinds of people and my approach was different than usual – I wasn't prepared for anything specific, I just knew that I wanted to get to know all kinds of new people that I came across because university is a great place for doing that. Yesterday I realized that I had not labeled these people into that superficial stereotype: to me they were just my classmates. And so I was able to actually see them and embrace them because I wasn't separating them from myself with a made-up boundary.



I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to blind myself from seeing people for who they actually are (how they are actually moving in this reality without my filtered interpretation of it) by believing and perceiving them to be “different” from me and thus never seeing them as one with and equal to me.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear seeing other people as one with and equal to me because it would require me to see myself in them, including the things that I judge, dislike, hate, resent or despise in others.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear seeing myself as one with and equal to people who believe they need alcohol/drugs to be able to express themselves without limitations, because I have been like this myself and haven't forgiven myself for it.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear seeing myself as one with and equal to people who suppress and limit their self-expression because I am struggling with the same issues myself, just in different ways, and because “freedom of expression” is a defining factor in my personality/ego and admitting that I am in fact limited in my self-expression would shatter my ego.*

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to set myself apart from people who are limited in their self-expression by adopting the role of someone above them – “the one who is NOT limited in their self-expression” – not realizing that this is just another personality I use to feel good about myself.*

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear exposing myself as insecure to others who are insecure as I fear giving up my position of dominance, not realizing that exposing myself to another might actually be of support to the other when upholding my appearance and keeping a distance most certainly will not.



I commit myself to investigate and explore how exposing my “weaknesses” to others would act as support and assistance for others as well as for myself.

I commit myself to seek for the “good” in other people – their true potential – especially in those who I dislike, despise, resent, hate and/or judge.

I commit myself to expect from other people nothing but their utmost potential, as I have seen how this approach to others actually brings out the best in them; when and as I live within the experience “you are a small push away from the best you can be” I support the other to make that push and live as the best they can be.

I commit myself to investigate the ego and personality points mentioned above.*

torstai 5. syyskuuta 2013

Day 309: Using “time” as an excuse not to face things


05092013



Continuing with a realization from yesterday.



I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to use “not having time” as an excuse not to face things I have a resentment towards.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe and perceive that “not having time” is the real reason I “cannot” do the things I resent.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to be dishonest with myself about the resentment I feel and believe it to be justified to escape the things I resent because I “don't have time”.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself, when and as I am asked to do something I resent, to react to my resentment by saying “I don't have time”, refusing to have anything to do with it, expecting people to believe my excuse and to leave me alone.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to resent a request to arrange a meeting to a group because I assume this group to not have any substance in their meetings – which I do not actually know as I have never been present – using “not having time” as an excuse with which to escape the situation and avoid voicing my disagreement about the group.

  • I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to use “not having time” as an excuse to escape a situation I fear will turn into conflict.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to resent a request to meet a person because I assume this person to want to see me out of addiction/dependency, thus using “not having time” as an excuse to escape having to communicate my doubts about this person's behavior to the person directly.

  • I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to use “not having time” as an excuse not to communicate in self-honesty because I fear it will lead to conflict.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to resent a request to arrange an event when at a meeting because I did not expect to be handed tasks and responsibilities when I went to the meeting – and I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to agree to be in the organizing committee even though I knew I cannot take any more tasks or responsibilities due to my studies, as I did not want to tell the group directly that there's something more important to me at the moment and rather came up with a “back gate”, a plan B where I can later tell them indirectly that I can no longer participate because “I don't have time”.

  • I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe and perceive that “not having time” is a valid reason to drop out of projects mid-way and trust that others will thus not hold a grudge against me – that I will through this avoid conflict.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to resent attending any events organized by a group because I perceive the events to be based on escapism and entertainment, thus feeling relieved when I have a solid excuse not to participate (“I don't have time” because of studying) because with this excuse I can avoid voicing my point of view which I fear will trigger conflict.

  • I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to wait around for an excuse which will “save me” from doing things I don't want to do as I have not wanted to communicate directly and face the conflict that it might possibly arouse.
  • I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to abdicate my responsibility to direct myself and my life by living in a compromise until something/someone comes up to “save me”.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to create a resentment towards chatting online with a person who is asking for my help because I have felt like chatting with him is wearing me out, as if I was carrying the mantle of “authority” or an “educator” during our discussions and thus draining myself by upholding a “higher” position, therefore reacting to his attempts to contact me by thinking “not again”, “I don't have time for this” and sometimes ignoring his attempts.

  • I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to make these discussions tiring for myself by not wanting to explain myself many times (refining and simplifying my words time after time so that the other would understand) as I have believed and perceived that my effort is in vain as our discussions “lead nowhere” and that the other is “not getting it”, not realizing that I do not see the actual process he is going through and thus cannot really make an assessment of whether he is “getting it” or not – and that through this process of explaining, refining and simplifying – which requires great effort from me – I am actually learning A LOT precisely because it is painful, uncomfortable and requires me to push over and over again.
  • I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to resent discussing with this person because it requires me to step out of my comfort zone and to justify avoiding this person by thinking “I don't have time”.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to use “not having time” as an excuse to avoid facing conflict and stepping out of my comfort zone.



When and as I see myself using the phrase “I don't have time for X” I stop, I breathe and I ask myself if this is really true – if in fact my schedule is full - or if I am just saying this to avoid doing something. I ask myself: why do I not want to do X? I investigate the point (in writing if necessary) and I release it with self-forgiveness and breathing. I then proceed within and as the realization that only by stepping out of my comfort zone and going towards that which I resent I expand myself and my reality.

I commit myself to investigate my fear of conflict and how it links to practical application (or the lack of it).

As I see, realize and understand that time alone is not a real reason to do or not to do things – because schedules can always be rearranged as they are not “set in stone” but created in our conceptual realities – I commit myself to no longer use and present “not having time” as a reason for doing/not doing things but to seek for the real reason why I will/won't rearrange my schedule for something/someone and to communicate this actual reason to the ones involved.

To support the commitment above, I commit myself to communicate my actual reason for “not having time” even when/as/if I am not specifically asked for a reason, as I see, realize and understand that people have a tendency to assume a reason and to believe their assumption in complete silence – which, if not actively corrected right away, may have consequences in the long run. In other words: I commit myself to not accept and allow myself to use this “silent agreement” to avoid communicating the things I fear voicing.