Friday, May 19, 2006

Deepak Chopra quote

"When you find a genuinely loving person, as you have, you will see that you are in his heart not because you look a certain way or act a certain way, but because he is following his own nature. Loving others is just the easiest way he knows how to be. When you realize this, the whole problem of not deserving is exposed for the illusion it really is. "

-Deepak Chopra

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day

Well, I've been feeling sad for the last couple hours - even crying at one point. I realize that for perhaps the first time this year I am listening to a Billy Joel cd and I realize, also, that it is mother's day. This is my second mother's day without a mother. But I can still remember her - and maybe that's what I need to do now right now.

I don't really believe in coincidences. I didn't know it was mother's day (I'm not sure the French really celebrate it) but yet I put Billy Joel on - Billy Joel was my mother's favorite. I'm listening to Billy Joel's last, or one of his last, cds - the River of Dreams CD. I always liked it, but my mother always liked it much more. Now, as I get older I realize why.

In this CD he talks about losing faith, about depression, religion, soul, death, life, not knowing about life. And each song reminds me so dearly and clearly of my mother.

I'm so glad that I had my mother for the nineteen years I had her. I would rather have had her for those nineteen years than someone else for longer. But it still makes me sad that my boyfriend is going to buy a necklace for his mother (last minute of course :) ) and I have no one to buy a necklace for, or talk to. And, as I wrote in an earlier post today, F and I have been fighting a lot - yet, I feel like I have no one to talk to because everyone has such different values than I do - they don't approve of him as it is; they can't see past the arrogant, and yet rather unproven, macho exterior which I must admit is there. But anyway, my mother would know. The saddest part of my mother dying is she will never meet F and she will never know the children that I want to have with him. That is the saddest part.

And I miss her wisdom, I miss her faith, I miss her understanding, I miss her love, I miss her encouragement, I miss her validation. I miss my mother tremendously. Until I met F I felt afloat at sea, awash in the currents, with only dying people trying to hang on to me for their life, floating around. No one really held me up for two years - and they were the hardest years of my life. But anyway, it wasn't so terrible, people see much worse, and people care about me very much who I shouldn't discount - but they did not know what my mother knew.

And without those two years I would have no way to understand the fear and the loneliness my mother must've felt in her last years. She was dying of cancer after a 14 year valiant and brilliant fight - and only took her final breath when she and I let her go. She left when she was ready - not entirely ready - but when she had accepted it. But, regardless, she was an intelligent, sensitive, and accomplished woman. I know, though, that especially after her mother died when I was around eight (something like ten years before her death), and then even more so when her father died a few years ago, she felt very very alone. I probably understood her better than most people in this world. She did not receive validation from the people closest to her who she needed it from - she got a lot of anger from them because they did not understand her. Sure, some of that might have been her fault, but I was there - she tried, and she cried. And she loved anyway.

My mother related a lot to Billy Joel. I do now as well. We had a beachhouse in southern jersey and Billy Joel sings a song about Avalon and closing up for the season. I can remember so many seasons with my mother closing up the beach house. I remember driving in her minivan being a captive audience to Billy Joel playing over and over and over - and singing to him - and relating myself - and in my teenage years rebelling against the uncoolness of listening to him ALL the time when I was with my mother. But now I understand - he gets it. What it is I don't know, but he gets it.

Now I'm listening to The Great Wall of China - Billy Joel's manager I believe, or someone who worked with him and who he respected, betrayed him and took most of his money. His response is this song. It's great. You can tell that he is more jaded than in his earlier albums, but he is striving to work it out, still to have faith "You only beat me if you get me to hate." "We could've been standing on the Great Wall of China if you'd only had a little more faith in me." My mother felt betrayed by her job where the chairperson was trying to get her fired from her tenured position while she was very sick because, I think, he was jealous of her. She was very successful and yet very kind. She understood that feeling - you could've worked with me, had faith in me, but instead you just took.

A Minor Variation - dealing with depression "I just define it as a minor variation" he says - my mother didn't really like this song - she like'd to be more optimistic and was not really depressed - but, she expected to work in cycles. The motivation would hit her - she'd work like crazy and then it would leave and she'd not do much of anything. "Don't even hurt it's all a part of the pattern."

But I relate - I've had some very tough minor variations, "But I'm ready for the next time it hits me again, because I've gotten tough it doesn't phase me."

It's just
"Sometimes I gotta give right into the mood, despite how i try it's a sure shot i'm going to lose."

Shades of Grey - she loved this song - i think she was really confused more and more as she got older. i actually feel like i have always lived with the shades of grey. i think there's also a generational aspect of this song. at one point we were sure - world war II for example - that we were on the side of right and God. We haven't known that since Vietnam and now we're all stuck a little in shades of grey grasping desperately at our own individual blacks and whites or trying to reinvent the black and white in a more socially acceptable form for our new era.

"Some things were perfectly clear seen with the vision of youth
no doubts and nothing to fear i claimed the corner on truth
these days it's harder to say i know what i'm fighting for
i'm not that sure anymore"

Lullaby for Alexa (I think that's the name) - I think my mother liked this because for most of my life (since I was five) she was very aware of her own mortality due to the cancer. He's singing this song to his daughter, I believe, because he and her mother were divorcing. He wanted her to know he would always be there, even though he must leave now, even though he will die someday, even though she must sleep that night - and that he is there even if just in that she sings this lullaby to her child one day to put her child to sleep. I'm sure my mother felt all these ways for me. I miss her. Oh, mother, are you still somewhere?

River of Dreams - she loved this one too, related to it a lot - my mother was always searching and walking down to the river of dreams in the middle of the night...

in the middle of the night
i go walking in my sleep
from the mountains of faith (valley of fear) (jungle of doubt)
to the river so deep
i must be looking for something (searching for something)
but the river is wide (something taken out of my soul) (something so undefined)
and it's too hard to cross (something I'd never lose) (it can only be seen)
(Something somebody stole) (by the eyes of the blind)

my mother was searching - for faith, truth, for something to carry us past and through doubt and fear - for our dreams - i'm searching too...

2000 years - she loved this song too - we've come so far and yet not gotten anywhere - and yet, we hope we have gotten somewhere anyway

anyway, i have to go to sleep and get up for work tomorrow. but i love you mom, and i miss you. and you were a wonderful mother - i am very lucky to have had you.

Much love

Thoughts on Christianity

I have had some trouble with a lot of Christian orthodoxy. I know that there is a lot of good in the Christian dogma - because there is a lot of love - but I wonder if people don't get lost in the rules, and the structure - even though it's really just there, it seems to me, to direct people to love. But I've had some new thoughts recently.

What if God was always loving, not angry, even during Old Testament times - but He just couldn't get us to believe it? Perhaps, we were so angry, fickle, and fearful (as always) that we couldn't even conceive of a God who was not. I believe we have to create the world we want to live in with our own actions. If we, ourselves, cannot be loving (each one of us individually), how can we accept the idea that there is strong love in this world? Perhaps we may even feel the most timid stirrings of love at times even in difficult situations, but if we choose not to act on them, how can we expect that others will. However, if we act out of love, there MUST be someone else who does as well. We've proven it is possible - thus it must exist.

Therefore, what if God always loved us, and was never angry, and didn't send down punishments - but merely let us learn from the reality of the world? What if he sent down Jesus to give us a living symbol of the fact that we are good enough, we are blessed, we are loved, we don't need to prove ourselves and that had always been true we just couldn't see it? What if all that is required of us is to have faith so that we allow love to grow with us and don't turn it off with our doubts and fears about getting hurt and not being good enough to be loved?

Agh, but I still don't understand...why are we here? I feel very strongly that I have a purpose here - to comfort, to gently guide, to encourage, to love. But why? Maybe we all just need to learn we are good enough, we are loveable, we are loved. Maybe if we could all figure that out - earth would be heaven.

It confuses me. But I'm starting to get a little farther along in my thinking.

Thoughts, disagreements, comments?


A beautiful internal world...

My wonderful, intuitive, intelligent boyfriend and I are fighting a lot recently; perhaps, primarily, because I'm coming home after eight months of being abroad and this understandably causes some anxiety.

One thing I do not like that my boyfriend, F., does is that when he is frustrated at me, he is rather nasty, yells, and basically just goes into attack mode. He did this the other night, over a small upset that I was feeling, because he became defensive. Granted, in many ways I'm hard to deal with because I am very emotional and sensitive. The slightest insult becomes huge in my mind and sometimes seems to foretell the doom of our relationship. I am hard emotionally to deal with. The joy of this relationship though is that F is too - so we have to work equally hard for each other and grow a lot in the process.

Overall, we have an amazing, almost ideal (for me), relationship. It's very much based on a mutual understanding and respect for each other and each other's postion. We connect beautifully and we grow through the validation and love we find in each other. We both want to love each other unconditionally - quite a feat, perhaps impossible to attain, and yet I think even the pursuit is worth a lot.

In many ways, F., though, has had a very hard time. He is so loving, intelligent, and sensitive that he was often misunderstood, pushed back, unrecognized, invalidated. When I met him he was very angry at the world. I think that some of that anger has gone away from meeting me. It's amazing what a little validation can do - but, of course, I can't change the world, just make little differences - the anger is still there.

I did believe before I met F that I needed to protect myself from the men in this world that would tear me down and pull me apart. One thing he has taught me is the importance of faith and the importance of letting go the control. I worry a lot. But, I'm starting to let that go, and the need to be in control. I keep trying to control the situation by thinking it to death, and trying to handle the issues immediately so they won't haunt me later. It's not the most terrible thing I could be doing - but it's overkill - and it makes me anxious and fearful.

Recently, I've just let go of a lot of that. I've decided to believe in a wonderful future. Yes, I may be disappointed - but, as F pointed out, I don't regret anything I've done this far - why would I start just because I'd decided to believe?

But that fear and anxiety is just a product, I believe, of our society. I often wonder if we aren't too quick today to say that we must take care of ourselves first. I wonder if we aren't too quick to say we should leave at the first sign of wrongdoing, leave when 'love' dies, leave when we are 'not happy,' leave when we do not feel some sort of satisfaction that we've been searching for our whole lives. Essentially we are choosing not to love. Maybe some people need to learn to love themselves first and that's part of the move - maybe it IS necessary - I don't know. But it seems to me we are losing something huge in this lack of faith, commitment, trust - in this mass movement to protect ourselves.

This quickness to choose to not love, I believe, comes from our lack of faith. But if there is another place, if there is another world, then the fact that someone is treating us badly doesn't matter. Or, even if there is no other place, still here, what matters is our internal world. What happens in this world to us, which we can't control, doesn't matter. What matters is how we respond to it - what matters is our internal world - which we have the power to create.

F is wonderful. I am so lucky. I've been thanking God everyday since I met him, and it's because of him, in many ways, that my faith in goodness, meaning, and love has been renewed. If someone, even just one person, can love so well then it must mean that whoever created him loves even better. I've remembered my desire to have a beautiful internal world regardless of what has happened in this world.

So, I've decided I believe in unconditional love. I've decided I believe in trust, faith, God. F may yell at me when he is frustrated, for the rest of our lives. He may never do exactly what I want (in fact, I can count on that). He may not succeed according to society's standards. He may not always treat me perfectly (although he does a really good job). But I think what's important is that I give him as much love as I am able through it all - and through that he will become, and has already become, a better person.

I believe he is sort of my charge in life, and I am his, and we may hurt each other terribly - but if we do not leave, if we make the active choice to love no matter what, we are doing something amazing. We are proving that unconditional love still exists in a world like this. That no one needs to feel they are not good enough, that they need to be better looking, that they need to be better educated, etc. in order to be loved. We will be proving that everyone is good enough as they are.

I can feel the cynicism and the mocking already, but I choose to believe in faith. And, I've had some pretty hard knocks in my life, although in many ways it's been a very nice life. I am not simply naive. I am naive - but choose to be so. I believe in love.

It's either that or add to the pain in this world, which I never want to do.

I decide how I feel, what I think, who I am, how I will act regardless of what life throws at me. I pray for the strength and the faith to carry me through. But I will not blame the world if I make unloving choices - the responsibility for my choices lies with me alone.

Much love to everyone who would like some love. Always feel free to write, post up, comment, disagree. This place is safe.


The Importance of Faith

Religion supplies those lacking in their own sense of faith in the good in the world with a reason, a structure, to believe. It is a discipline, a way, to believe that there is a reason, a path, meaning, truth in the chaos and Hell that our life can seem to be.

Because loving is hard. It's easy to say we should feed the homeless. It's hard to turn to your best friend who betrayed you and say, "It's okay. I understand why you did it. You are a good person. I love you." It's hard to let go of our own idea of right and wrong and say that love is the most important idea.

But it's easier if we have faith. I do not believe it matters exactly what faith - but faith that the world makes sense. If we believe we will be loved, recognized, seen, validated, and understood by someone, somewhere, it's much easier to allow the person in front of us to feel their disapproval or anger of us, and accept it and them.

I believe faith is the only thing that subdues fear. I believe fear is what leads us to unloving acts. Perhaps fear, as the precursor to hate, is truly just the opposite of faith, the precursor to love.

But I don't think we need to have faith in any one set of beliefs: maybe just faith in love; faith in God (or something that controls the universe) that He is good, that He loves us, that He would not allow harm to come to us without reason; maybe just faith that our lives have meaning.

I've seen so many miraculous acts of love, it makes me believe. It makes me believe there's a reason why we suffer, why some suffer more than I can possibly imagine, why we fail, why we are left alone. Somehow, we must learn to love despite all that - and I think it's through faith in love, the world, truth, goodness, me, and you. I think it's through an understanding that this world, and our time on this earth, is a trasitionary part of our souls' wandering. I believe there is more. And again that faith allows me to say to the person who feels the need to be on the top of the ladder, "go ahead, you do deserve the top rung," and put myself aside.

It's taken me years to get here, but I finally see why it's important to take leaps of faith, and jump into trust even blind into seeming darkness - because if we jump out of love and out of faith, we are adding to the good in this world - and a little more love, a little more faith, is the most important thing we can bring to our universe.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Nice Visit with Dad

I have had a very good last few days with my dad here in France. I am very glad he came. We do tend to get along quite well somehow. We just had dinner with my friends and it was lovely. He can be very entertaining and he proved to be so tonight. My father can also be a little bitter and angry (as many of us can) and it's nice to see a different side to him.

But that's why I haven't written so much - dad's been here.

First day we did Nice and met this couple that took us around a bit, Josette and Michel, they were very hospitable and fun.

Second day we did my area, and had a little picnic on the beach.

Third day we did Marseille and Cassis - very nice - and dinner with the girls.

Tomorrow I am taking dad back to Nice to catch his flight home.

I want to go home. Oh well. Three weeks. I'm sure when I'm going home I'll be sad about leaving France.

Much love to all who need it...


Monday, May 08, 2006

Nothing's Necessity Toward Creativity

I believe that I have to get a certain amount of nothing done in order to get something done - especially if that something involves creative work. However, even if it seemingly does not, doing nothing is important. Creativity comes in many guises - life, after all, requires a constant stream of creativity to deal with its unexpected thrusts and blows.

But anyway, I feel very imposed upon when I feel, often out of guilt, I must spend my time socializing with people I don't care about. I say to myself - it's because I have things to do! But then, when I decline an invitation, I often find that I am not doing the things I should do - but rather, I end up doing nothing, or, at least nothing of much importance. Nonetheless, I have come to believe that that time is essential for me in my eventual move toward taking real action. I need to allow my mind to wander and it can only do that if I give it rest.

Cziksenmihalyi writes a book on creativity (called Creativity :) ) which describes case studies on a group of successfully creative people (chosen through a certain set of qualifications - such as awards received, work sold/published, etc). In his book, he writes that one theory about success that many of the creative subjects expressed, was the importance of their nothing time. Not all of the creative people found this necessary, but a surprising amount did.

If you think about it, it makes sense. Creativity is essentially just the linking of two ideas, thoughts, concepts, or facts that were previously unlinked. In order for this linking to happen, the mind must step out of external structure, out of society's rules, out of common perception and allow for idle wandering of thought down seemingly impractical and uncertain paths (sometimes through thought, sometimes through daydreaming, sometimes in a mode entirely subconscious to the thinker). However, it seems clear that for many this wandering can only happen when we do nothing in this external world. Only then can we free ourselves in our own internal world.

One can also understand why doing nothing is important if one considers genius. Genius is just KNOWING something, without, many times even knowing how one arrived. The mind makes a leap which works, that no one else has made before. Would the mind have the time to work and make leaps, if it was constantly occupied with more practical pursuits? Perhaps, we do not need to force our brain to work, it will work if we let it. Perhaps by forcing it to do the work we think it should do, we are shutting it off from doing the work it is destined to do.

Thus, allow me, yourself, and creative others the time to do nothing. And help me allow myself this time. I, at times, feel very guilty as I do nothing. Many have said I was procrastinating but I think it may be better termed as percolating. Understand that the thoughts need to wander, the face needs to become blank, and the body needs to repose in order to allow for the swift, efficient working of the internal mind - which will, rest assured, eventually lead to dramatic, thought-out, effective action.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

On My Own

My roommate returned to the US yesterday leaving me in France to my own devices. I was sad and cried off and on through her last day, even though sometimes she and our other friends drive me a little nuts with their extraversion. Overall, she is a warm and generous person and I was very lucky to have her as my roommate.

HOWEVER, I am so happy to be on my own. I can really relax and really take care of myself - be the quiet (though not seemingly so) health nut that I am.

Started taking some ginseng because I am unable to find vitamin B worth taking in France and ran through the first set I found. It's so frustrating. BUT I feel great today - energized and my face looks youthful - is it the ginseng? I guess we'll have to see...

Much love to all,

For in natures, as in seas, depth answers unto depth...

He was quick enough to observe; he had a good memory, and did not forget a word of the brother's revelations. He interwove them with everything he saw of the sister, and he began to understand her. To be sure, the better and profounder part of her character was not within his scope of perception; for in natures, as in seas, depth answers unto depth; but he soon began to read the rest with a student's eye.

-Charles Dickens, p. 196 (of my edition :) )

Beautiful - and so aware - perceptive. I hadn't read any Charles Dickens, but make it my mission to understand why people think certain writers are so great. I don't mind disagreeing, once I've read. But I like to know why people think what they do.

But Charles Dickens was definitely a master. He was very insightful into human personality - and just look at that writing - beautiful!!!

Excellent Article on the Dangers of Invalidation...

I think this is an intuitive and accurate article on INVALIDATION and the problems it causes. I found it to validate the way I've felt most of my life. I know I'm smart - very smart. I know I understand a lot of things. Yet, the world (in the form of friends, teachers, sometimes my dad or a boyfriend), often does not seem to realize that and even downright contradicts it. I was told I was stupid or too slow for a class any number of times. And it's just not true - but it makes one crazy.

Anyway, give this a read - it's worth it...

The Article:

Invalidation is to reject, ignore, mock, tease, judge, or diminish someone's feelings. Constant invalidation may be one of the most significant reasons a person with high innate emotional intelligence suffers from unmet emotional needs later in life.(1) A sensitive child who is repeatedly invalidated becomes confused and begins to distrust his own emotions. He fails to develop confidence in and healthy use of his emotional brain-- one of nature's most basic survival tools. To adapt to this unhealthy and dysfunctional environment, the working relationship between his thoughts and feelings becomes twisted. His emotional responses, emotional management, and emotional development will likely be seriously, and perhaps permanently, impaired. The emotional processes which worked for him as a child may begin to work against him as an adult. In fact, one defintion of the so-called "borderline personality disorder" is "the normal response of a sensitive person to an invalidating environment" (2)

Psychiatrist R.D. Laing said that when we invalidate people or deny their perceptions and personal experiences, we make mental invalids of them. He found that when one's feelings are denied a person can be made to feel crazy even they are perfectly mentally healthy. (Reference)

Recent research by Thomas R. Lynch, Ph.D. of Duke University supports the idea that invalidation leads to mental health problems. He writes "...a history of emotion invalidation (i.e., a history of childhood psychological abuse and parental punishment, minimization, and distress in response to negative emotion) was significantly associated with emotion inhibition (i.e., ambivalence over emotional _expression, thought suppression, and avoidant stress responses). Further, emotion inhibition significantly predicted psychological distress, including depression and anxiety symptoms.) (Reference)* We are ignored
* We are judged
* We are led to believe there is something wrong with us for feeling how we feel

You Can't Heal an Emotional Wound with Logic

People with high IQ and low EQ tend to use logic to address emotional issues. They may say, "You are not being rational. There is no reason for you to feel the way you do. Let's look at the facts." Businesses, for example, and "professionals" are traditionally out of balance towards logic at the expense of emotions. This tends to alienate people and diminish their potential.

Actually, all emotions do have a basis in reality, and feelings are facts, fleeting though they may be. But trying to dress an emotional wound, with logic tends to either confuse, sadden or infuriate a person. Or it may eventually isolate them from their feelings, with a resulting loss of major part of their natural intelligence.


You can't solve an emotional problem, or heal an emotional wound, with logic alone.

There are many forms of invalidation. Most of them are so insidious that we don't even know what is happening. We know that something doesn't feel good, but we sometimes can't put our finger on it. We have been conditioned to think that invalidation is "normal." Indeed, it is extremely common, but it is certainly not healthy.

I have heard parents and teachers call children:

dramatic, crybabies, whiners, whingers, too sensitive, worry warts, drama queens

I have also heard them say things like: "He cries at the drop of a hat." One teacher said "When she starts to cry, I just ignore her and eventually she stops." Another said, "When one kid's crying is disrupting the lesson, I tell them to go cry in the hall till they can pull themselves back together again."

Defensiveness and Invalidation

All invalidation is a form of psychological attack. When we are attacked, our survival instinct tells us to defend ourselves either through withdrawal or counter-attack. Repteated withdrawal, though, tends to decrease our self-confidence and lead to a sense of powerlessness and depression. On the other hand, going on the offensive often escalates the conflict or puts us in the position of trying to change another person.

One sign of both high self-esteem and high EQ is the absence of either of these defensive responses. A healthier response, one which is both informative and assertive, without being aggressive, is to simply express your feelings clearly and concisely. For example, you might respond, "I feel invalidated," "I feel mocked," or "I feel judged."

How the other person responds to your emotional honesty will depend upon, and be indicative of:

(a) how much they respect you

(b) how much they care about you and your feelings

(c) how insecure and defensive they are

(d) how much they are trying to change or control you

All of this is information which will help you make decisions which are in your best interest.

Self-Injury and Invalidation

Invalidation has been suggested as one of the primary reasons people cut, burn and injure themselves.

For example this quote is from D. Martinson ( )

One factor common to most people who self-injure, whether they were abused or not, is invalidation. They were taught at an early age that their interpretations of and feelings about the things around them were bad and wrong. They learned that certain feelings weren't allowed. In abusive homes, they may have been severely punished for expressing certain thoughts and feelings.

Martnison also writes: ( )

Self-injury is probably the result of many different factors. Among them: Lack of role models and invalidation - most people who self-injure were chronically invalidated in some way as children (many self-injurers report abuse, but almost all report chronic invalidation).

Examples of invalidating expressions. -- Each is an attempt to talk you out of your feelings.

"Ordering" You to Feel Differently

Be happy.
Cheer up
Lighten up.
Get over it.
Grow up
Get a life
Don't cry.
Don't worry.
Don't be sad.
Stop whining
Stop laughing..
Don't get angry
Deal with it.
Give it a rest.
Forget about it.
Stop complaining.
Don't be so dramatic.
Don't be so sensitive.
Stop being so emotional.
Stop taking everything so personally

Ordering you to "look" differently

Don't look so sad.
Don't look so smug.
Don't look so down.
Don't look like that.
Don't make that face.
Don't look so serious.
Don't look so proud of yourself.
Don't look so pleased with yourself.

Denying Your Perception, Defending

But of course I respect you.
But I do listen to you.
That is ridiculous (nonsense, totally absurd, etc.)
I was only kidding.

Trying to Make You Feel Guilty While Invalidating You

I tried to help you..
At least I .....
At least you....

Trying to Isolate You

You are the only one who feels that way.
It doesn't bother anyone else, why should it bother you?

Minimizing Your Feelings

You must be kidding.
You can't be serious.
It can't be that bad.
Your life can't be that bad.
You are just ... (being difficult; being dramatic, in a bad mood, tired, etc)
It's nothing to get upset over.
It's not worth getting that upset over.

Using Reason

There is no reason to get upset.
You are not being rational.
But it doesn't make any sense to feel that way.
Let's look at the facts.
Let's stick to the facts.
But if you really think about it....


I don't always do that.
It's not that bad. (that far, that heavy, that hot, that serious, etc.)

Judging & Labeling You

You are a cry baby.
You have a problem.
You are too sensitive.
You are over-reacting. You are too thin-skinned.
You are way too emotional.
You are an insensitive jerk. .
You need to get your head examined!
You are impossible to talk to.

You are impossible.
You are hopeless.

Turning Things Around

You are making a big deal out of nothing.
You are blowing this way out of proportion.
You are making a mountain out of a molehill.

Trying to get you to question yourself

What is your problem?
What's wrong with you?
What's the matter with you?
Why can't you just get over it?
Why do you always have to ....?
Is that all you can do, complain?
Why are you making such a big deal over it?
What's wrong with you, can't you take a joke?
How can you let a little thing like that bother you?
Don't you think you are being a little dramatic?
Do you really think that crying about it is going to help anything?

Telling You How You "Should" Feel or Act

You should be excited.
You should be thrilled.
You should feel guilty.
You should feel thankful that...
You should be happy that ....
You should be glad that ...
You should just drop it.
You shouldn't worry so much.
You shouldn't let it bother you.
You should just forget about it.
You should feel ashamed of yourself.
You shouldn't wear your heart out on your sleeve.
You shouldn't say that about your father.

Defending The Other Person

Maybe they were just having a bad day.
I am sure she didn't mean it like that.
You just took it wrong.
I am sure she means well.

Negating, Denial & Confusion

Now you know that isn't true.
You don't mean that. You know you love your baby brother.
You don't really mean that. You are just ... (in a bad mood today, tired, cranky)

Sarcasm and Mocking

Oh, you poor thing. Did I hurt your little feelings?
What did you think? The world was created to serve you?
What happened to you? Did you get out of the wrong side of bed again?

Laying Guilt Trips

Don't you ever think of anyone but yourself?
What about my feelings?!
Have you ever stopped to consider my feelings?

Philosophizing Or Clichés

Time heals all wounds.
Every cloud has a silver lining.
Life is full of pain and pleasure.
In time you will understand this.
When you are older you will understand
You are just going through a phase.
Everything has its reasons.
Everything is just the way it is supposed to be.

Talking about you when you can hear it

She is impossible to talk to.
You can't say anything to her.

Showing Intolerance

This is getting really old.
This is getting really pathetic.
I am sick of hearing about it.


Even when we are happy, unhappy people want to ruin it for us by saying diminishing things like: What are you so happy about? That's it? That's all you are so excited about?

There was an _expression I heard when I was growing up. It was "Who put a quarter in you?" A quarter is a 25 cent coin in the USA. It was a coin which was once enough to start music in a juke box. So the implication was the person was acting abnormally happy, excited, lively etc.


When your awareness rises, you'll begin to notice such comments on a regular basis. Together, they take their toll on us. We wonder if there is something wrong with us for feeling how we do. It seems fair to say that with enough invalidation, one person can figuratively, if not literally, drive another person crazy. This is especially possible, I believe, in the case where one person has long-term power over another. Examples of such relationships are parent/child, teacher/child, "spiritual" leader/follower, boss/employee, spouse A/spouse B. Such a sad scenario appears to be even more likely when the person being invalidated is highly sensitive, intelligent and has previously suffered self-esteem damage.

The more sensitive the person, the more serious the damage of invalidation. Invalidation undermines self-confidence because it causes self-doubt. This in turn further diminishes self-esteem. Invalidation is serious violation of one's "true self." I believe it is one of the worst crimes one person can commit against another without ever lifting a finger against them. And yet it is neither illegal, "immoral" by most who consider themselves moralists, nor even widely recognized as a problem.

The high EQ person will never invalidate another person's feelings, especially not the feelings of a sensitive child.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

I found this on another blog and I really liked it...

43 Year Old Very Wise INFP Guy TELLS IT LIKE IT IS

What is it like to be an INFP?

He says:

Here is what I hear:

* Think too much
* Not focused
* Can get into head trips
* Literal learner/thinker(meaning you have to spell it out if it starts getting too abstract like chemistry.)
* Always late
* Stare into space
* Not good understanding other's motives(am a sucker for what looks like honest emotion and am manipulated this way.)
* Have a sense of wonder
* Nice person -genuine
* great moderator
* brown nose
* sensitive -- "must be gay" (am not)
* petty
* opinionated but fair-minded(tolerant)
* He is a good guy
* Have a hard time asking for what is mine

Am an INFP adoptee. Talk about confusing trying to learn who you are. Adopted parents tested, are ENFJ and INFJ. Birthparents I believe are INFP (bmom) and INTP (bfather), but with a lot of childhood damage that was never fixed so they are a bit strange to me.

With my adopted parents I felt like I was raised in bootcamp, hut hut hut. Those J's are tyrannical. Along with the T's ....

Someone else mentioned it was not ok to be themselves in their family. This was me also. I became an ENTJ to be ok growing up. Didn't have a clue who I was until late my 20's (thank god I waited until 40 to get married, I would have been divorced twice by now.) Was popular in high school. Was the one popular person who also identified with the outcasts. Seemed to find what everyone had in common and build on that. Started work in Corporate America. Got fired -- was too honest when the blame bottle spinned on me (honesty is NOT the best policy in the working world -- lesson learned. Another thing I took literally in school.) If I lie I am the one who gets caught. Wife is an INFP. I recommend this if you want to be understood -- especially if you spent your childhood trying to be someone else to be accepted (also an adoptee theme.)

Can relate to the guy who talked about team sports being somewhat of a struggle. The team bonding thing is so much easier if you are an extroverted non sensitive man. Also, I dated many women. I always found they liked me and said what a great father I would be ... Did this matter to them? In large part no. They still married -- or got excited about -- the alpha, non emotional, screw them in business, have an affair-but-you-get-a-big-lifesyle guys. I listen to some of them complain about their husbands now but I don't feel sorry for them. They wanted that. This lead me to learn to change the people I hang out with. I agree with someone who said find people who appreciate you for you. That is a great demonstration of good self esteem and one that took me until I was 40.

It is not easy being married to someone who is like you in terms of sexual chemistry. I find the sexual attraction thing more with other personality types -- the women T's and J's. But this I learned had more to do with my associating intimacy with rejection (or someone not getting me.) The sparks were not as bright with my wife at first, but man, we are friends through everything. I think that is the healthier way to go. Definitely not what you'd see on Oprah. Forget what our culture says about you "just knowing." It is bullcrap coffee table stuff. I know people who said that and got divorced a few years later. Essentially they married their opposites, it didn't last. The gulf was too wide. Either that or their marriages didn't look like anything more than lifestyle/economnic arrangements.

I would say heaven and earth are themes for me. Trying to balance the practical with the spiritual. Oh how I envy those who are comfortable not asking the big questions!! Sometimes I wish I could just go on with my life like they do and work, accumulate, then die, without ever having to get my brain messy. Instead I am absorbed with "what did that mean?" over and over.

Still I wouldn't trade my INFP status. I think the rest of the population needs us to bring things from unreality into reality. We are that bridge. To my way of thinking it makes them all drones.
I found a way to make money in a niche advertising business where I am my own boss. I don't have to dress up, impress a boss, show up for meetings on time or kiss anyone's a**. I recommend this if you can find it. I think INFP's are sort of scapegoated in groups at work.

Peace to you all

Managing motivation and my INFP experience with it...

I have many things to do; but, I'm just not doing them.

I recently bought a cheap (but quite nice nonetheless) guitar (!) and my internet is getting cut off soon, and I was visiting my friend so I'm feeling the need for major downtime in which there will be internet usage and guitar playing and both. As a result, I'm sitting here, not doing any of the things I should do. But I will do them, eventually, I just have to manage my motivation. I will explain to you what I mean here, as a method of calming my anxiety about not doing anything. :p

Despite my tendency to procrastinate, I've learned to trust myself. I've learned I am very powerful, but I have to work with who I am. I generally can't do too much of anything because I think I 'should.' I'm just NOT motivated. These things I think I should do include homework, chores, errands, exercising, whatever. But I, with great enthusiasm and energy, have a hard time stopping myself from doing the things I really care about. I am responsible and generally get everything done eventually without too much harm to myself or others in the process. But it comes from learning to manage my motivation, as I said before.

I think it's really a matter of what many psychologists refer to as intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation involves motivation that comes from deep inside you - when you, yourself, care. For example, I passionately love to sing and play guitar, so I am intrinsically motivated to do so. I like to learn, so when homework assignments help me to learn, I do them quickly, accurately, and thoroughly. I really am very interested in learning new things. I love to help others learn, so am a dedicated, punctual, and pretty damn good teacher.

Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, comes from other people or the outside world. Examples of extrinsic motivation are doing the homework to get the grade (given from the external world), paying a bill on time (not truly necessary in that you can pay late and still have somewhere to live, but practical and what you are supposed to do according to the external world), exercising to look good (approval from the external world), not stealing because you might go to jail (punishment from external world).

Some people act more on extrinsic motivation (what we 'should' do) and some are more intrinsically motivated (what we love to do). I believe though, we can all find and act on the intrinsic motivation - and may, indeed, find ourselves happier for it, in the end.

However, I seem to have the problem of being UNABLE to act on extrinsic motivation, which I find unusual and which causes me great difficulties at time. I just can't seem to focus my attention on a task or activity or assignment, if I'm just doing it for something gained from the external world (money, grades, approval, etc). If I don't like the class, my grades are not as good. If I don't believe that I am affecting lives in the classroom, I show up late (although I'm always on time because I believe it matters to the kids feelings of being important to me). If I just want to look good, no way I'm dragging myself to the gym for very long.

So, to circumvent this difficulty, I make sure that I set the situation up so I always am being motivated by something intrinsic. In other words, I turn something that starts out extrinsically motivated into something intrinsically motivated. To make sure I get some exercise: I take a walk that is beautiful somewhere. I like being outside, I like being in nature, I like beauty, I even like walking sometimes. That way, I can exercise. But basic exercise, like you get in the gym, doesn't work for me, because I'm only doing it to look better, or perhaps, because supposedly I'll feel better (though for me, somehow I rarely actually feel better from the gym - sometimes I do). Or, in terms of school, I did have a 3.9 GPA, so I did pretty well. But that's because I searched and put time into finding classes and professors that would interest and intrigue and challenge me, thus keeping me intrinsically motivated. The only B I got was from a requirement class in which the teacher was a TA who, frankly, was far less intelligent than I was. I do believe she just didn't even understand my papers and thus continually gave them Cs. But partly, I was NOT intrinsically motivated in that class, since I was not challenged or interested.

I have read that other INFPs have trouble with motivation. I know my boyfriend does. He sees what I'm saying on this, but he doesn't believe in it enough to put it into practice yet - maybe it wouldn't work for him the way it does for me anyway. Trying to force ourselves through sheer will hasn't worked for either of us, though.

So, just in case that helps anyone...I thought I'd put it out there. I hope it makes sense.

And, in the process, explain this to you all as a way of forgiving myself for writing here, playing my guitar, holing up in my apartment, and not dealing with France Telecom about the erroneous bill they sent me or trying to figure out how to communicate to them in French that I need to cut the line come the end of the month (because I'm coming home!!!! yay!!) and have the bill sent to the states.

Also, just as an update, eating more fruits and veggies and taking vitamin b supplements have changed everything for me!!! I'm doing so much better emotionally. The feeling of doom is gone and replaced with this wonderful feeling that things are meant to be and life will work out. Or is that just the hypomania? I don't think so; I feel more stable than I have in years (although I'm generally very stable, don't get me wrong).

I hope that was clear or helpful or at least thought-provoking. I believe it is not necessary to be right, but to be well-thought out, and that being well-thought out will lead to growth for you and others regardless, because it will cause others to be better thought-out, to think, to learn which in turn will cause you to be even better thought-out, to think, and to learn.

Questions? Comments? Thoughts?

Much love to everyone,

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Doubting Doubt and Fear

We all know money doesn't matter. But we all act like it does. Because the fear in our hearts tells us that if we don't, we will be alone, and hungry, and lost. Which might be true.

I was brought up to know that I am self-sufficient and capable. I will never need money because I will always have, or work to have, the skills to make enough. I will never need money because I know that I don't really need much in the end, anyway. But, in the process, I was also taught that being able to take care of yourself is very important. I was taught that working hard is important.

F, my boyfriend, has really made me think about my values in life. If you haven't already read the glowing praise, he is wise beyond anyone I've met, strong, sensitive, kind, aware. He understands people around him and takes care of them. And they have no idea. Partly because he doesn't need them to.

But things of this world are very hard for him. He understands love, and hate, and greed, and fear, and depth, and himself, and me, and you to an extent that most couldn't begin to even understand. He is an amazing musician, a gifted writer, and extremely knowledgeable and thought-out on many current issues today (politics, religion, health...). But is he 'responsible' about the worldly things in his life? Not really. Not because he doesn't want to be, not because he doesn't see where he's going wrong, but just because he wants to please so badly that he shuts down. He has a hard time finishing things (though he's getting better!), he procrastinates, he is scared to try sometimes because he's scared to fail.

He is so gifted and intelligent, powerful, and aware, I have a hard time believing he won't make it somewhere. He has intelligence, talents and people-savvy galore. He is great at selling himself. He has no problem telling people he's the best - and they usually believe him. He is a hard, responsible, dependable worker. I believe he will make it to a place where he is happy, which is all I want for him.

But I don't know that. I have no proof. He does not have a college degree to prove his potential to me or a good job or even a solid plan. He's only twenty two. But he is twenty two, and he is still living at home without a solid income - he's working, though, very hard on a business he started with a partner (which has occassionally brought in a decent amount of money) and taking some classes at a county college. Many, who don't get him, probably think he's irresponsible and immature - including his parents at times - but I believe we all have very different paths - and I believe he is on his - even if it seems a very winding path.

Not to mention he smokes - which scares me. My mother smoked until she died of breast cancer - which she always insisted was unrelated despite any evidence to the contrary. Anyway, he plans to quit by 25, but who knows?

So it's my choice which I make everyday. I can leave his beautiful love and support, the health I've gained from him, the connection, the understanding, the complete genuiness and honesty in search of all that in someone who also has met the worldly requirements of my snobby society. I can abandon him and show him I actually don't have faith in him. Or I can believe in him, I can believe in God, I can believe in life's meaning, I can believe in love.

I'm choosing love and I believe in that choice. But it is a decision I have to work toward everyday in order to fight the fear in me.

What choices have other people made? What were the results? Any words of inspiration? Anyone relate? I'd like to know...

Much love,

My Search for Your (?) Love

My Best Friend S. ...

I had a fantastic week with my friend in the west of France. We really connect and get along, but there's always been some uneasy areas. Something clicked this time and we may have moved past some of the difficulty. S, my best friend, is a very intelligent, creative, hard-working, and caring person. She had a good childhood, but her mother died of breast cancer when she was nine, and from that time on I think she often had to fight for attention, was always regarded by her step-mother as a problem, and regarded by her older siblings as a tag-a-long. She has always been one of the people to best understand me, and yet, perhaps because of all that childhood stuff, she is very self-reliant, reserved, maybe a little afraid of intimacy. So, she has left me alone at times when I could've used her help. She has, however, also been there at times when no one else was.

The Importance of Those Who Stand By You...

It's amazing that your mother can die (or more honestly), that my mother can die, and in the year following, few people realize that you (I) need them. My boyfriend of five years couldn't handle the extra stress and left me in a terribly hurtful and destructive way. My best friend at school decided she couldn't talk to me anymore because she couldn't handle it, as she put it. My best friend from highschool, S went to study abroad in Ireland - which was fine, of course. But when, I went to go see her for Christmas so she (and in some ways so I) wouldn't be alone for the holidays she, to make a long story short, went back to the states, leaving me to go to Ireland without her there for most of the three week backpacking trip or on Christmas (I had my other friend (who declared her intention of never speaking to me again shortly after, but she's Jewish so no Christmas... :P).

Anyway, I don't know how everyone felt okay doing these things, but to lose these three (my mom, my boyfriend, my best friend from college) IMPORTANT people in my life within a period of one year was a staggering blow. Looking back on it, maybe I haven't done such a bad job in pulling through the last few years. But, if nothing else, S stayed and that has made a huge difference through it all. We had fights, but she's always stayed. I believe she always will - because she sees my value and believes we are good for each other. And that has mattered a lot at many times.

My mother took care of me...

Part of the problem, undoubtedly, is my own self-possession. My mother took care of me very well, so I didn't really need anyone else too much. And despite my sensitivity, I knew that people didn't mean to hurt me, they just didn't know better, and that my mother loved me truly. So, instead of burdening them with my sensitivity, I learned to hide it, or just talk about it with my mother who would help me understand how other people could hurt me but not mean to really hurt me. Few people would claim to know they have an understanding of what's going on in my head. But I do tell people, I just have a hard time showing it very much because it doesn't usually work out very well.

My boyfriend, F. ...

My boyfriend of a year and two months now, and thank goodness for him, is the only person who has ever looked at me and gotten it. He both sees my pain and can see and value the way I love others. He knows my motivation; he understands that I hurt. Most people have no idea. I guess, how could they? Before him, I didn't even know I was hiding.

The Down-side of a Strong Image (because it is always only an image)...

So, I visited with S and I just let it all pour out. I just kept talking and talking. I just wanted her to understand! and to approve! and to smile! You wouldn't think any of this would matter to me if you looked at me. I have always been told I carry myself with self-possession (as I said) as well as strength and confidence. I'm quite pretty; I've been told I'm stunning or striking at times. I'm intelligent, capable, responsible. And people are entirely fooled - to my detriment often. I don't mean to do it - I don't even know it's happening.

Moreover, I always keep calm and loving and supportive and understanding when others are angry at me, so they don't realize that I need things too. And I didn't really before my mother died. But I had no one to take from after she died and it was a terribly lonely feeling. When I tried to be honest and lean on others some, people left.

Having someone to lean on...

But, the sun is shining a more vibrant hue because S understands, at least somewhat, because she made me a snack for me for the train ride back, because she said I looked nice in my shirt, because she didn't tell me I was doing things wrong, because she listened, because she was happy to be with me, and didn't walk away. I have someone to lean on at least a little.

Why is this so hard for people? But thank goodness some people can do it - just be around me and love me.

Now are you someone who knows how to love well?

I may need your love - depends who you are. I don't care what the crowd thinks; I don't care if you're cool or wealthy or successful. But I care if you really think, if you love, if you seek to grow. Do you? S does, I've always known that. And my boyfriend really does. But who else out there does? There must be others and I will find some of them. Will you someday be another? Are you the type of person who someone can lean on, who someone can expect to be there for them, who understands, who loves, who needs, who grows? If you are I want to get to know you. Because I am a person like that, and I need to find some more. Maybe we can lighten the load for each other just a little bit.

Much love

As usual, love the comments! Excited I have a few! Thanks everyone for listening. And haha some of you are quite funny I see. :P