Behind the Cries for Attention – Alternate Reality Creation

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In my last blog, I looked at a memory where I was a small child yearning and longing for my father to come to me. I wanted ‘attention’, but did not ask for it. When he did not come, I, in that moment, planted the seeds of behaviour that lasted a lifetime: self-isolation, loneliness, sadness, not feeling good enough and low-self worth eventually led to manipulation, blame, failed relationships and a lot of anger at myself.

These seeds took root over time. This strategy of using blanket statements such as ‘wanting attention’, but not knowing why, and then pushing it down and not understanding it, created the behaviours listed above over the decades that followed. As it turns out, had I understood what it was I was actually desiring in that moment, I could have simply taken the steps to start living it for myself. Instead, I separated myself from it and created a self-definition over time, and an entire alternate reality play-out that was completely unnecessary. In this new reality I created,  I was the disempowered victim that could never be good enough. So, we’ll have a look now at how this happened:

What was behind the desire for ‘attention’, and was it even ‘attention’ that was wanted?

Upon further investigation of the memory, I saw an interesting thing. It was not so much that I wanted my father’s attention at all. When I looked over at him all those years ago while he was working hard in the alleyway, as I played with my trucks in the gravel, I was actually noticing a very cool expression he was living. He was exactly as I said: working hard. There was intent and dedication to get the job done. What he was doing looked important, needed, he was contributing to something, doing something that needed to get done for the betterment of the house, the group. He had purpose.

I then looked down at my trucks. I had really been enjoying my imaginary world where my trucks were pushing the gravel and loading/unloading it, making little piles here and holes there. But After I looked at my father, then back at my trucks – my imaginary world fell apart. I was all of a sudden looking at silly plastic trucks in the dirt. It wasn’t real, there was no point. What I was doing wasn’t important, needed, useful. In fact, if I were to call him over I would be stopping him from his important work to come over to me… for what? I was taking it easy and contributing nothing. And so, in my mind I created a false dilemma: Either you are important, needed, of value, with purpose, intent and dedication to something, or you are not. I left no room for an in-between, a learning process.

The consequences of this over time is that I learned to separate myself from words and expressions that I observed in others. Instead of seeing and realizing that what I observe in others I can actually integrate into myself. I instead, over time, decided that I needed those others in my life to fulfill that for me.

What I did show though, in that moment, is what was important to me, what I want from and of myself in this life, which is to be important, needed, useful, contributory, I want to have purpose, to support the group, I want commitment, intent, focus, dedication, a strong work ethic, and I want to push myself.

Instead, over time, I made myself unimportant through withdrawing, instead of needed I became needy, I began to see myself as useless and a burden on others and with nothing to contribute, I had the desire to be supported and taken care of, not committing too much to any one thing, losing focus, missing dedication and not pushing myself to be better.

I arrived at a point in my life where living this way was showing me that I am in fact amounting to nothing, and the future looked bleak. I could see more and more that there is a major misalignment between what I want for myself and my life, and what I am living. Thankfully, around that time,  I found a group of people online that were taking on just such points.

I found Desteni, and I learned about self-forgiveness, among many other tools of self-support. I turned my life around and began to integrate all of these words and qualities I had been living the polarity of. I walked and am still walking a process with it, where I went to extremes and became like a machine, completely overdoing it and burning myself out! So now I take all the lessons from the first memory, to how it played out in my life, to my mis-aligned correction, to the present moment where I realize balance, discernment, self-understanding and many more words that continue to support me in my quest back to myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to, in the moment of looking at my father, in the act of ‘admiring’ the words he was living, immediately separate myself from these words, placing them outside of myself, unattainable, and diminish myself through judging myself as ‘not that’ (instead of ‘not that YET’).

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to, upon admiring my father’s work, judge myself as unimportant, unable, without worth, value, importance, with nothing to contribute and having no purpose.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to use my own self-judgment through comparison to make excuses, validations and justifications for why I can not move myself to develop myself into and as the words I observed within and as my father.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to hold on to this initial judgement, and the self-limiting beliefs that I connected to it in order to diminish and sabotage my efforts throughout my life the develop myself as these words, overlooking the work I have done and the skills and qualities that I have integrated, simply because underneath it all is still the initial self-judgment and self-definition that I have no real value, worth, importance, am not good enough, and so do not ‘experience’ myself as having made anything of myself, which is nothing but further self-manipulation to not take self-responsibility, because I can still cling to the backdoor that: “I just really can’t do it – look, despite all my efforts, I am still nothing”, as if I am saying a big “fuck you” to the universe and so to myself, a self-righteous “I told you so”, instead of an unconditional letting-go and forgiveness of all these things that I have defined myself by.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to look to other people, to their skills and qualities, and to long for them, instead of seeing, realizing and understanding that in doing so, I am separating myself from these qualities and from being able to develop these qualities into and as myself through a process of learning.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to avoid the learning and physical integration process of certain skills and qualities I desire by instead being drawn to people that have these qualities, and then bring them into my life in a try and attempt to fulfill what feels like ‘holes’ in myself that I was not tending to and filling for myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to abdicate my self-responsibility to fulfill myself (fill the holes), and instead look to others to apparently make me whole, for me.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to compare myself to the people whose skills, abilities and qualities I am drawn to, and instead of taking the opportunity to properly learn from them, diminish myself to their polar opposite through comparison and self-judgment that “I am not that” – all to avoid the simple act of self-responsibility.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to diminish myself, creating self-limiting beliefs about myself, facilitating procrastination and resistance, creating anxiety, stress and anger at myself within myself, which pre-occupies my time and my mind, all in order to keep me busy in my mind instead of actually applying myself to be and become that which I really  want, which is to be and become the living words such as: important (to myself), needed (providing something of value as an expression of me), contributing, supporting myself and others in my life, defining and understanding my purpose, living with ‘intent’ (meaning, living intentionally, not to be misunderstood as ‘having intentions’, because we all know what those can do), commitment, and challenge/pushing myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to, instead of practicing, applying and living words into and as myself as Who I Am as mind/being/body as an act of self-responsiblity, I instead participated in manipulation, thinking and believing that others could do this for me, feeling that others should  do this for me, that I cannot do this for myself and so I neeeeeeeed  others to be this and do this for me, and so participating in neediness and blame when and as they did not/could not/would not.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to manipulate others instead of taking responsibility for myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to think, believe and perceive that I cannot take responsibility for myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to think and believe and perceive that there are certain things I simply cannot do, and so I need others to do it for me, instead of seeing and realizing that I am blinding myself and disempowering myself from those things that would empower me most.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to create an alternate reality where I am a helpless victim, everything is against me and life is just ‘too hard’, instead of seeing and realizing actual reality, instead of seeing and realizing myself make it through and in fact do well in many cases, but holding on to the self-limiting beliefs simply because ‘it might’ become too hard.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to teeter on the edge of standing up and falling, wondering why I simply cannot stand “no matter how hard I try”, not seeing that it is me, myself that is still holding open the backdoor for fear that everything I believe about myself may be true.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to long for others to ‘save me’/’fix me’/’make me whole’, to go into sadness and isolation when others do not to ‘save me’/’fix me’/’make me whole’, to take it personally that others cannot to ‘save me’/’fix me’/’make me whole’, and so finally blaming others for what they could not do, instead of stepping up to become my own saviour, fixer, fulfiller, placing myself as that importance in my life that I put the time and effort into understanding and so developing myself into what it is I truly want.

 

 

Carrying an Emotional Burden as Atonement

emotional burden as atonement

Do you ever wake up in the morning with a certain feeling or emotion for seemingly no reason at all? With a mental disorder, every day is like a challenge, and oftentimes upon waking up, coming into the realization that the beginning of another day is like preparing for another battle. Sometimes I wake up feeling like it’s not going to be a good day, that I will lose the battle this day, and I will experience the consequences of that loss. I have only recently begun to ask myself how much of this is self-created, how much of it is a self-fulfilling prophecy?

In this blog I will look at how defining this morning experience in words, tracing back the source of how I created the experience, and then creating new more supportive words to live instead has changed the way I live out my days and determines so much of who and how I am within them. This application was created by Sunette Spies, who you can watch HERE for a deeper understanding of many aspects of what we live and experience within ourselves and our minds. In this blog, I will describe my own personal experience with this application.

I woke up one morning with an underlying emotional experience of frustration and agitation. It’s interesting, because there was no apparent reason for it. I was on vacation from work so the usual stresses and rush are far from my conscious awareness. What I realized is that we as humans are so programmable that we can condition ourselves into certain experiences, wherein our bodies can carry within them energetic charges that can influence who and how we are throughout the day.

What I ask myself is: where within this is my choice? Where is my decision-making ability where I decide who and how I am and experience myself throughout the day, and what I accomplish and whether or not I stand or fall? What I understand is that we do in fact have a choice, and we can in fact be the decision makers in our realities simply because we are here, living in our bodies, making those decisions and choices every day.

What we end up doing a lot of the time though, is succumbing to these un-named and un-identified emotional experiences we just seemingly feel as if it were all of who and how we are. But what if this experience is changeable? What if we have simply programmed ourselves to feel this way over time, but it doesn’t necessarily mean we have to follow through on the feeling? The unavoidable fact is that it took time to do this programming, so it will also take time to undo it. The realization is that it just takes a patience, practice and application.

Over time, we accept an allow our minds to run rampant, thinking all sorts of thoughts that are rarely directly connected to actual reality, however these thoughts do have an influence on how we feel about ourselves and our participation in life. When I woke up with frustration and agitation I had a look at how I had, over time, actually grown used to this underlying experience within me. Upon looking a little deeper I realized that, not only had I become used to it, but I had also been using it as a weight to carry around as my burden, a burden I carried around as if I deserved it, and as if it were some kind of atonement for past bad behaviour and bad decisions or choices.

I realized that, due to not having directed my experience with OCD my whole life, and having instead constantly and continuously submitted to it, I had an awareness on a deep level that I was harming myself in every way possible and on so many levels. Common sense would dictate a change in self and living is necessary, but how rarely do we look at and listen to common sense? What I had instead been doing was carrying around frustration, agitation, and even guilt, anger and regret, mostly due to self-judgment,  as my emotional burdens in a way to atone for the sins I had committed against myself.

It is as if we look to burden ourselves to make up for the harm we do and have done to ourselves and others. This religion of the self where self-flagellation takes on the form of self-criticism, self-sabotage, self-judgement and the carrying of emotional burdens. What is not realized here is that two wrongs don’t make a right. All we are doing is making it more difficult to self-correct. That the best and only way we can atone for our sins (real or imagined), is to invest into ourselves and our process of self-forgiveness and self-change.

This is where we come to the concept of self-forgiveness. Although I don’t associate self-forgiveness with religion, I am aware that Christ taught of forgiveness, and despite many manipulations and harms caused by religion, forgiveness is a concept of immense value that stands and can be taken and applied in one’s own life. This can be done in a way where the forgiveness is like a gift to ourselves, regardless of whether or not we judge ourselves as worthy or deserving. If you take away the judgment and view all life as equal – equally deserving, equally valuable, equally worth the opportunity for a chance to make it right – then the concept of self-forgiveness is one that atones for any sin, so long as it is accompanied by self-understanding and self-change, because it allows us to let go of the burdens we carry (much like forgiving someone in your life can have the same effect).

I realized that I had been carrying around an emotional burden that actually caused me to be and live less than my utmost potential throughout the day, the week, the month, the year, my life. If I choose to accept and allow this experience to be the deciding factor of who and how I am throughout the day, then what I am that day is someone that is impatient, someone that explodes in frustration and irritation at others due to nothing they themselves have actually done wrong, but due only to my own impressions, judgments and perceptions of their behaviour and actions. But the truth is, I am only looking at and projecting myself, and all that have done unto myself onto others, and reacting towards that mirror instead of forgiving myself and changing.

Conversely, I have also been on the receiving end of such treatment and outbursts, whether at work, with family or in my relationships, and I must say, it does create a lesser experience of what is possible. When the experience is not checked, it creates sub-par relationships and interactions between human beings. It creates hell for some, depending on the situation and context, where the hell is created for both the giver and the receiver of the outburst reaction. Where depth of communication and intimacy is possible, only protection and defence is expressed and lived. This is the type of day I was setting up for myself if I had just let myself go with that flow.

When I woke up with this particular experience, I decided to step up, to be instead the decision-maker in my life, to check myself and really have a good hard look at who I would be and how I would behave if I were to submit and succumb to the emotional energy of frustration and agitation I carried within myself the moment my eyes open in the morning. What I saw, when checking myself in awareness, was that there are so many other possibilities that I could live instead throughout the day, the week, the year, my life.

The word I chose to support myself with in this instance was ‘Release’, wherein I give myself a re-lease on how I am living, like a new lease on life, one where self-responsibility is taken, things are faced and forgiven, I move me, and I do not punish me and hold charges against myself. I instead live Real Ease, as I ease myself into my day. Release, let go, move on.

There is the path of following the reaction or emotional experience, and treating myself and others in a way where I use that interaction as my outlet to indulge in the frustration and agitation, letting it explode in an apparent release of tension, where I end up not only diminishing myself and making myself less than I am capable of, but also diminishing anyone else that I react towards, causing and creating reactions in them instead of assisting and supporting them to create and maintain stability and balance in their lives as well. But there is also the path less-traveled, the one where I decide – in this case- to instead release myself of this burden and this weight by taking self-responsibility for it, and go about my day with a clean slate, bringing the best of me forward to live and experience with myself and others.

What I saw is that we all have the choice every day; The choice to correct ourselves, to check ourselves, to step up and forgive ourselves in order to understand and release our energetic build-ups in our own time, on our own watch, how it should be done, in self-responsibility – not exploding at ourselves or others due to all the build up.

It’s not being tough or strong to become emotional, angry, frustrated… it’s actually the weaker alternative. Real strength is defined in our ability to take responsibility for ourselves and everything we are and have become. To really stand as that example of what is possible for humanity. That is how we create a better world, through simple participation in our reality, that little slice of it within which we have an influence. It’s how we teach our children and show our peers what we are capable of, and each and every one is in fact capable of it. And that is how we show ourselves what we can be.

This is a daily practice that is necessary in all of our battles. I have OCD and that is the hand I was dealt, that is what I must step up to and overcome and manage for myself. So every day, upon waking up, I take a good hard look at what I’m feeling and what that will create. I take that moment to define it in words, to self-forgive, and to create new more supportive words to live instead.

In this, I am actually creating living words – a living vocabulary- which over time can be used to live and apply in many different situations, not just for that day. And what also happens over time is that the words can be used in conjunction with each other, to compliment each other. As each word is lived it becomes stronger, and I define myself more and more within these words, instead of defining myself within and as feelings and words that I had programmed over time to be filled with hidden friction, anxieties, stresses and frustration among other things. There is another way.

 

Mental/Physical Balance

Mental physical balance

I am continuing from my last blog post  where I am working on an application of developing myself from a starting point of creation (creating a New Me!), while at the same time, letting go of OCD. Obviously, self-change and self-creation are not as easy as writing a list and sticking to it. The process of making new habits and breaking old ones requires time, dedication, persistence, perseverance and patience, among other qualities (these are just the ones that have come up for me most in my experience).  What I have found is that there must be a balance here. A balance meaning, balancing between the physical doing, and then also walking through the mind/mental elements.

 

It has been about three weeks that I have been working on incorporating these new elements into my life, and my first report is that it is a lot tougher than I thought it would be! I have managed to integrate a few of points to certain degrees. It is like having planted seeds which I am now nurturing to grow, and the seeds are sprouting and growing at different speeds. The good news is that all of them have ‘germinated’ so to speak – meaning, I have given attention to all of the points, and I see potential in each one to develop, and some have already begun!

 

One of the things I noticed is that it is tough to remember all these new things I want to incorporate into myself and my life, when I already have quite a busy schedule. Whenever I confront this point of not having time, I think of a quote I hear that says “saying you don’t have enough time is like saying you don’t care”. It’s true because I ALWAYS find time for OCD/derma, so if I have time for that multiple times a day, I then also have time to give to my own self-creation. So, time is no excuse, this CAN be done.

 

Another mind/mental aspect that has been making this application difficult is the resistances I feel in relation to doing these things. I will prepare a moment for myself to, for example write or to work out. When the time comes, it s like hitting a wall, everything of me does NOT want to do it, and all of me would prefer to go into OCD/derma instead. In this moment, I have sometimes fallen (for which I forgive myself), and sometimes stood and moved me (yay!).

 

When I have moved myself into the direction of my choice, it has never been as bad or as hard as I thought it would be. It has rather in fact always been a huge beneficial support and an empowering self-movement and self-direction. In fact, I often end up feeling a sense of relief and lightness within me, almost as if it took more energy to maintain the resistance to maintain the internal battle than to just pick myself up and move to do it.

 

Letting Go of OCD While Birthing A New Me

letting go of ocd birthing a new me

Sometimes I don’t even try to stop OCD because deep down I like it in some ways and am very attached to it. But then the consequences become too great and I come to a point of wanting to stop again. Common sense dictates though, that no matter what my feeling or emotional relationship to OCD is, I must push myself to end it because it is destructive in my life.

 

The main way I have been trying to stop OCD for a long time has been to ‘just stop’. When that obviously didn’t work, I tried to ‘replace’ it. Meaning, I would garner all my will power and avoid triggering situations and do other things instead of OCD. This made sense to me and seemed really good and right. The problem is that I would always reach a certain point and then fall again, each and every single time, for years.

 

It happened again recently, and I did some searching online and found an interview recording (called ‘Addiction Replacement‘, and part two, ‘Creating Balance While Changing Yourself‘) containing advice for just such a situation that made A LOT of sense. It suggested that within the word ‘replace’, there contained some suppression, some avoidance and some running away as a starting point. In a way, I was trying to ignore the problem and do everything I could to replace the problem, but within this, it is obvious that the problem is still at the center of everything I was doing. I mean, if you think about it, when has “ignoring the problem” ever worked? It is a classic mistake and avoidance/suppression technique.

 

In the recording, there was a suggestion of a slight re-alignment to this application, which at once assists and supports me to let go of OCD, while at the same time, bringing forth something new. This is more a process of letting go and creation, rather than a process of replacement. It seems like a small difference, but the implications are HUGE.

 

So I am still going to look at the activities I had been wanting in my life instead of OCD, which includes exercise (creates discipline, increases self-image, decreases self-judgment), writing (self-forgiveness/re-defining words/sharing realizations etc… which helps with vocabulary building, self-expression and finding my voice), keeping my environment tidy (lessens anxiety, creates structure and discipline), finding a hobby (for enjoyment and self-expansion), reading (rest and relaxation or informing myself), preparing for my day the night before (instead of rushing/stressing in the morning), vlogging (I find it helps with self-expression, walking through fears and resistances and so: self-acceptance), and down time (resting/relaxation, like bubble baths or movies). The goal here is to strengthen my strengths, and develop my ‘weaknesses’ (aka “strengths in the making”).

 

The important thing to realize that this is not about chasing these activities in a way that is ‘running away’ from OCD, but to instead focus on creation and to focus on self, while at the same time working with the OCD. It was explained to be like a see-saw, where you place yourself squarely in the middle of the two ends: letting go of OCD, and creating a new me.

Within this understanding, you can see that if the focus is only on letting go of OCD and not CREATING me, OCD remains because I am the same and thus will recreate the same. If the focus is on only creating me and not walking through OCD, I am supressing OCD and thus, OCD remains. The balance is where I am equally letting go of OCD, and creating me at the same time.

 

I will continue in my next blog with a practical exercise.

 

Is OCD My Identity? Why is it So Hard to Let it Go? Who Am I Without It?

ocd identity

I am in a very interesting place right now. I feel completely empty and stuck – but for surprising reasons. I was pretty bad about a week ago. I had very little control and I had visible un-hide-able marks on my face and body. It felt really bad, and that ‘bad’ feeling really motivated me to do something to assist and support myself to get better.

‘Bad’ meaning – I didn’t like being around others, facing others at work. I didn’t want to be seen without makeup on, but I don’t like wearing makeup, so once I washed it off for the day I would just stay in my room to not be seen. This creates isolation and some friction in my home as others may become concerned about me and then I tend to react to that because I don’t want to talk about it when I am in it. So I close myself off, and life becomes somewhat unpleasant and it this situation causes me to want to do it more, and then it is a downward spiral. (Check out this video on isolating self within/as feeling undeserving: ‘I Don’t Deserve It’)

But not this time. This time I stepped up and supported myself – through writing, making small commitments, supporting myself through online resources, especially Desteni.org and Eqafe.com. I also started a 21 day commitment to do something OTHER than OCD, where I take one moment a day to do something beneficial for me, and I film it, like a vlog challenge. I have not posted any of the videos because I wanted to make sure it is for me only, not to please others and to not create an accountability to others. I want this challenge to be for me only to create a self-accountability.

My plan is to do another 21 day challenge publicly, but I am walking the point alone first. It is only day 6 and I have been experiencing success. My skin is healed and I have proven to myself as able to commit for longer than I have before. And now I have hit a wall. I have no visible marks, and it’s like, now I have no purpose to move and continue. Isn’t that interesting? I just feel empty and like there is no meaning.

One of the greatest things I was gifting to myself within this challenge has been that I felt I was creating a self-value. Each time I did something beneficial for me instead of OCD, it’s like, I felt this worth growing. But now that I have no visible marks, it is like I have nothing there, no identity, no reason to move me because I’m okay. I’m no longer ‘damaged’ and ‘healing myself’.

I have noticed this before though, it is part of a greater cycle where, whenever I am in this position, I have this experience, and I fall back in to OCD. It’s like self-sabotage, and I actually can feel myself slipping away. I have already short circuited the cycle on the upward part, wherein I come out of OCD and heal, but I have never hit the top and just kept going. This time, I would like it to be different. I would like to short circuit the programming and keep it up instead of falling back.

So, I see what is necessary here is to create something new from here. I need a goal, I need to understand the challenge I will face, and I need a reason. I will give these to myself now:

The goal is to manage OCD; to live in awareness of the triggers and assist and support myself to channel the energetic reactions to something other than OCD. Basically, the goal is to live a ‘normal’ life, where my time is spent on constructive things, where I build, grow and expand myself to be and become something greater than what I had previously thought possible.

The challenge will be pushing myself through the void. The void is the space left where OCD once was. It is the platform of the creation process. ‘Creation’ because it feels like there is nothing there already, there is nothing (or very little) familiar there to hang on to, and no blue print yet.

The motivation is that I will be creating self-worth, self-love, self-acceptance, and a new me that I want to be: all things I have always wanted. Completeness, self-discipline, to be and become the decision-making authority in my life. To live a life of minimal regrets.

So I have to ask myself: do I really want this, or is there still a part of me that wants OCD?

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to want, need and desire OCD because it is all I know, it is comfortable, safe and familiar.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to not know what to replace OCD with, and to feel instead like a big empty void and not know what to put there.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fear that within this not-knowing, OCD will come back and settle back in to that place.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to use my self-trust that I will push this and find what needs to go into that place.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to think and believe that without OCD life is cold and hard and unforgiving.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to see, realize and understand that OCD is that which is cold, hard and unforgiving.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to seek the comfort of OCD.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to think and believe that life will be so hard all the time and I will live in constant discomfort without OCD.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fear not knowing what to do because I can’t picture what life will be like without having OCD to constantly pre-occupy me.

When and as I want to slip back into OCD I stop, and I breathe. I bring myself back to self-commitment by reminding myself that I am more than reason enough to keep pushing, I remind myself that I have self-trust that I will not be hard on myself, and I will not accept and allow my life to be cold and uncompromising, because I have learned to take care of myself with gentleness and assertiveness together to be ale to direct myself through any storm.

I commit myself to support myself to create a self beyond OCD.

I commit myself to push myself to manage OCD even when it feels like I am in a void.

I commit myself to explore life without OCD.

I commit myself to create value and worth in my life to replace OCD.

The Problem-Oriented Mindset and How to Break Through

Continue reading to understand WHY we develop this problem-oriented mindset… you may be surprised by the answer!

How and Why I Developed a Problem-Oriented Mindset

When I was a teenager I started to experience REAL problems, meaning, problems with real life consequences., such as health, legal and financial problems. This was placed on top of the usual teen stuff like relationship, friendship, family and school problems. My life felt like it was full of problems and I was not comfortable discussing them with anyone, so I would internalize them and think about them on my own. Unfortunately, I had not developed effective problem solving skills, and I felt powerless in the face of  and crushed by my problems.

This led to the problems consuming me, wherein I became melancholy and isolated, and began seeking escape through OCD, substances and relationships, and other such compromising and risky behaviour. I find that within interacting with others with OCD, this mind-set of creating a world crushed by problems was prevalent. And what I noticed within myself, was that so long as I had this ‘bad situation’, all my escapes, including OCD, were easily justifiable.

It ‘made sense’ to me to try to constantly try to get the ‘high’ or the ‘numbing’ effect to take me away from the lows that this way of thinking can really exaggerate. This is where I can see a time in my life where I could have become empowered, became instead the solidification of my self-limiting and problem-oriented way of thinking, doing and being. Despite my exterior presentation, a self-defeating problem-oriented way of thinking was the real truth of me.

Into my young -adult life, my problems (my bills, my debt, my relationship issues, the effects of OCD, not being able to keep a job, not knowing what I am going to do with my life, difficulty making friends, my messy house, my lack of discipline to do basic things, the poor quality of food, the problems in the world etc etc etc)  had become my comfort. Self-pity and helplessness became safe, familiar places where I never really had to face who and how I had become.

I can see now, looking back, that despite hating the life I had created and wanting change, I was actually getting something I liked out of obsessing about my problems. It was comfortable, familiar, and I always had an excuse handy for why I just can’t change. Changing was scary and difficult,  terrifying and uncomfortable. Pushing myself to really change was totally outside of the comfort zone I had created for myself in my life.

Thinking about my problems would create an emotional experience in me, chemically induced in my brain, a chemical pattern I could dose myself with daily, thus creating a kind of addiction to a way of thinking. What I also noticed was that with pushing myself to break out of the internal isolation and open up more to people in my world, this problem oriented thinking would come again out in moments of vulnerability. I would speak about my problems in order to seek support to change, but what I found was, the more others would try to help and push me, the more I felt defensive and would argue or make excuses and justifications for myself.  This is what can be called ‘arguing for my limitations’.

This is a pretty tricky cycle, because I would  remain isolated and try to figure out solutions alone with myself, there was no one to be accountable to. I realized I had not developed a sense of self-accountability, and it was easy to get away with not really seeing things through when they got tough. But then, when I would seek support outside myself, I would argue for my limitations out of fear of really having to go for it for real, because now there was someone that could call me out when I produced no visible evidence of having walked any kind of change. Looking back, I can see these were signs that I was still holding on to a problem-oriented mindset.

This mindset explains some of the friction and conflict within me as I physically did the things I set out to do. I had not yet fully aligned my way of thinking with my actions in the physical world. It was time for not only the external change of ‘doing’, but also to look at the internal, seeing my mind and how it functions within me. I saw that it was time to step outside my comfort-zone and become solution-oriented.

So I began to venture into the scary unknown of really looking at solutions for real. Really walking my change and stopping myself when I would start to make excuses such as stating what the problems are and why I cannot move on a certain point. I am still working on this, as it will take some time to fully develop and strengthen to become  quality that is substantiated and evident in my life and living. But even over a small period of months, I have noticed the friction dissipate, the conflict drop, and cool and clear interactions with others start to come through.

It’s cool when relationships and interactions with others are not used by one’s mind to perpetuate the comfort zone by arguing for one’s limitations. Without awareness, you can end up resenting and blaming others in your life for showing you the limits of your comfort zone due to the reactions it causes.   When it was pointed out to me where I still tend to speak from this problem oriented mindset, I experienced resistance towards hearing it, but often times, when what is seen and spoken by another that causes a reaction (defensive, hurt or resistant), it means that there is a truth to it that self does not want to look at or see.

 

Being solution oriented, for me, was not this wonderful, positive experience. It was scary, raw, and humbling. It exposed my vulnerabilities, and it showed me where I was still weak or underdeveloped. But when I could actually listen to another and see through my reactions, I was able to plant a seed of change within myself.

I have had to nurture and grow this seed through some painful moments, but ever since I have been making this self-directed effort, I have made more progress than in the past in terms of getting things in my life together and get them moving. Moving through the problems and finding gifts of self-development and expansion all along the way.  There is still a long way to go, but with progress, the journey is a little more enjoyable, cool things start to develop, and life beyond the comfort zone becomes a place of abundance and opportunities to grow.

It’s interesting that as the problems melt away, and solutions and forward motion begin the manifest, there remains very little reason or justification to OCD. I see this as a serious step towards healing self and managing this disorder, because it diffuses and disarms it. It leaves one wondering, what is the point?

 

OCD and the KEY to ME

keyEver since I realized I had OCD I have slowly been coming to grips with what it means to have a mental disorder. For a very long time I found myself victimizing myself as if I had this separate entity in my life, something separate from me that had been imposed on me, something I was powerless towards and imprisoned by. And most of the time this is what it feels like, so this perspective of my life has been very easy to justify and validate.
Recently, I have been learning more about what it means to be and become ‘self-responsible’, which means, seeing, realizing and understanding that I am responsible for everything in my life, my life is my own creation and as creator, I am also responsible for every aspect of it. Many people will fight an argue this is not so due to genetics, environment, upbringing and life experiences, and this is another perspective that is very easy to justify, validate and make real. But if you consider the consequences of this, you will see that this perspective directly takes one’s personal power away, and places it within outside sources, such as genetics, environment, upbringing and life experience.
In this way, self-responsibility can seem like a tough pill to swallow, I mean, it’s not my fault I was born with a genetic disorder and into an environment that was not equipped to teach me how to learn to cope with it, right? This is true; it is not my fault, it is no one’s fault, there is in fact: no one to blame. So, where this then leaves me is squarely in a position of responsibility, one where I have to step up and take back control if I want to live a life that is in any way worth living.

If I look back at how I have lived, I can see that my quality of life has been drastically reduced due to the effects of OCD. It effects everything I do. It is not just actively a part of my life when I am caught in a possessed state where I am acting out the compulsive behaviours. Upon consistent self-introspection, I have realized that all of me, my thought patterns, my reactions to things, the way I feel when I experience myself walking through my day, is in fact obsessive compulsive. However, what is also apparent, is that there is something else, something MORE to me then just this.

There has always been a part of me that is ‘suffering’ in a way. A part that can clearly see that this is not what life should be like. There is and has been a part in me that has stood up time and time again, fighting for me and my life, wanting more, not feeling satisfied, seeing potential, but not knowing how to change or get there. This is actually huge.
What this means is that, yes, I have OCD in this life. This is the hand I was dealt and it is my deal, a part of myself that I have to work through. But it is not all of me, it is not entirely Who I Am. There is something else and something more. I have committed myself to push to make this part of me that is ‘something more’ the biggest part. Until now, I have functioned with this disorder my entire life, but I have always fought and pushed myself because I had to. I had to make money to survive, so I had to have a job and work. I have to interact with others, so I have to have social relationships, function within a family, a relationship, groups at school or at work. I have forced myself to live for all these reasons, but have I ever really pushed, fought, and forced myself to live for ME?
This is so important, because there is a part in all of us that is worth fighting for, pushing for, living for. It is the most important starting point one can have for all decisions and life choices. It is literally the greatest purpose from which one can source the most personal power, authority and ability to do whatever is necessary to realize one’s personal potential.
This is where my process is moving: where I take steps, make moves in my life, and practice being the Living Change for ME. This means, really taking the time and effort to get to know me, learn to understand the intricacies of my mind and thinking, really commit to give myself that time and dedication, because really, who else is going to do that for me? Even if there were someone willing to take this on, the truth is that, no one can do this for me. This is something that only self can give to self, and this is the greatest gift we can give ourselves in this life.
The focus of this blog will continue to be my process of walking out of OCD and into Life for real, as the process I have walked so far has led me to the realization that self-responsibility truly is the key, but both the SELF annnnd the responsibility must be taken into consideration. If you also have this disorder, please walk this process with me.

 

Breaking Out of Isolation – Creating Something New (final)

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Here I am concluding the self-forgiveness on the point of living within and as isolation due to a fear of speaking up and reaching out to connect to others. Please read the first three parts of this process for context: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to never develop a supportive relationship with myself,  showing myself my own worth through my actions and comportment towards myself, but instead I have neglected myself, abandoned myself for the energy of the mind, and only judged myself, being hard on myself and beating myself up.

When and as I see that I am going into an energy of self-sabotage (I’m not god enough/I can’t do this/I don’t have the energy/it’s not worth it/I’ll fail anyways) I stop, and I breathe. I bring myself back to self-worth by stopping my actions and thoughts in that moment, and instead doing something nice and supportive to/towards myself. I remind myself that, so long as I am alive, it is not too late to be good to myself, to support myself, and to show myself that I am Here for me.

I commit myself to diminish self-sabotage, and increase self-support in my life until  all that is left is the self-support as Who I Am as Life.

I commit myself to honour and cherish myself.

The above, and in the past three blogs, are all words on a screen, however, these words exist within me. Because I went inside and found what it is I want to live and express from now on, I described the experience in words, I brought the words forth and put them on to a screen, and I read them again. I read these words TO myself AS myself, thus I have spoken and listened. I have HEARD these words, and the process of writing out the point has had an effect on me. I have had an effect on me. I have influenced me. I have challenged myself to see, do and be differently. I have taken an active role in creating myself as Who and How I want to be.

The effect of the practical application of these words has been laying the foundations of self-worth, self-care, and self-support, as well as a more dynamic self-experience. Because I value myself, I have shared myself, I have put myself ‘out there’, and I am receiving different feedback, reactions and perspectives from others; things I would not have otherwise considered. Because I see myself as worthy, I am connecting to others, I’m expanding and growing, I’m learning, I’m finding solutions and pushing for them. Because I am supporting myself, I am allowing myself a voice and having an effect on my reality. This, to me, is pushing towards really living; and to answer the questions I asked at the beginning:

“Is being held back by fears worth not fully living? Am I prepared to look back on it all, and among all the ups and downs and experiences, feel an underlying theme of regret? Am I not brave enough to live as an equal to others and all that is Here? Will I accept and allow my own self-judgment lead me to live a life of unworthiness?”

The  answer is an abounding YES! It is ALL worth it, because I am worth it.

 

Breaking Out of Isolation – Creating Something New (part three)

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Continuing here with revealing what it is that holds me back from opening up and reaching out to others:

For too long I have limited myself to the isolation and solitude of OCD, but here I use the tools of self-forgiveness and self-correction to change this pattern.

From here, I leave the isolation and greet a new world whose arms are open to me so long as my arms are open as well.

 

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to place differing amounts of worth on others, depending on how much feeling/emotional energy or benefit I think I can gain from the interaction.

 

When and as I see that I am placing others into an energetically-based value system, I stop, and I breathe. I bring myself back to equality by embracing others as me, with an equal value to myself and everyone else.

 

I commit myself to stop any judgment of others, because the only judgment is self-judgment.

 

I commit myself to embrace others unconditionally as me.

 

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to go into a ‘people pleasing’ character, or to use manipulation tactics, such as physical movements, voice tonality, or words, in order to try to get people to ‘like’ me, and want to be around or spend time with me, instead of seeing, realizing and understanding that this would surround me with relationships of dependence (instead of relationships of support), where those I connect to would come to me for a pleasing experience, and I would seek feeling/emotional energy from them, because I’ve framed relationships as a give-and-take, because of the belief that they would otherwise not want to be or spend time with me, or I would otherwise not want to spend time with them.

 

When and as I see myself trying to give or get an energetic experience out of a relationship, I stop, and I breathe. I bring myself back to self-honest communication by taking a breath and clearing myself, clearing my starting point from a desire for energy to a practice in self-honest communication.

 

I commit myself to correct myself until self-honest communication is achieved.

 

I commit myself to stop myself from communicating in an exchange-based system of values.

 

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to think, believe or perceive that I have no worth, and nothing to give in an interaction, except energy.

 

When and as I see that I am going into an experience of ‘worthlessness’, I stop, and I breathe. I bring myself back to self-worth by reminding myself that I am walking this entire process for me,  I am dedicating myself to me, and I am committing myself to me, because I am the most worthwhile thing that I have.

 

I commit myself to walk this process for me.

 

I commit myself to dedicate myself to me.

 

I commit myself to me.

 

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing my own thoughts of worthlessness and unworthiness to limit my participation with others, and thus limit my expression and who I am to only that of giving and receiving energy (positive or negative feelings/motional charges).

 

When and as I see that I am limiting my participation with others due to feelings of worthlessness, I stop, and I breathe. I bring myself back to self-worth by pushing myself to interact with others, and show myself through physical actions what my expression is and who I am.

 

I commit myself to show myself who and what I can be and am through physical actions instead of the foundationless judgments of the mind.

 

I commit myself to push through worthlessness to see, realize and understand my innate worth that is the same in everyone.

 

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to think and believe that if I don’t use energy to manipulate others, that they will not want to be with me or spend time with me, instead of seeing and being my innate worth as a living, breathing being Here.

 

When and as I see myself trying to control how another thinks or feels about me, I stop, and I breathe.  I bring myself back to self-worth by reminding myself that I am not responsible for how others feel or think about me. If I took on that responsibility it would only be to validate some idea I have about myself, when I could be using the opportunity to create Who I Am , utilizing the interaction to find points that require direction, instead of wasting the opportunity by trying to control it.

 

I commit myself to wean myself off of the addiction to emotional and feeling energy.

 

I commit myself to learn and push and fight for the power of self-creation.

More self-forgiveness to come!

 

For the entire series:

 

Breaking Out of Isolation (pt 2)

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In this blog, I am forgiving myself to set myself free. I am forgiving myself for all the judgements, hidden fears and secret thoughts that have caused me to be a shy, introverted person, incapable of reaching out to others for support.

Self-Forgiveness:

 

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to be afraid to approach others, to express myself in front of others, and to be myself when with others in a social setting.

 

When and as I am in a social setting, and I see that I am recoiling within myself, I stop, and I breathe. I bring myself back to the simplicity of the physical, and allow myself to just be, talk, and move, without the complications of the mind of thoughts, beliefs, judgments and self-limiting fears, within the realization that I can pass from moment to moment and let it all go in one moment, and there is nothing that can cling to me and bring me down except by my own acceptance and allowance.

 

I commit myself to push myself to daringly live in the moment, from moment to moment,

 

I commit myself to prove to myself that there is nothing to fear from others, and that what I fear only exists within me, and is mine to change.

 

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to be afraid to approach others because I worry they will be bothered by me coming up to them and drawing attention to myself.

 

When and as I am approaching another, and I get the sensation that they do not want to see me, I stop, and I breathe, I bring myself back to common sense by trying it first, before making the judgment. By ‘trying it first’ I mean: if I approach another and there is no sign that they don’t like my presence, then I can see that it is only in my mind. If, on the other hand, I see plainly that I am interrupting or coming at a bad time, that this is simply a practical point, NOT a personal point, and I can simply ask if it is a bad time for them. If/when I approach someone, and they react in impatience and annoyance, I remind myself that this is a point that they are dealing with, and has nothing to do with me and I should not take it personally.

 

I commit myself to judge in the moment, based on actual events, as to whether or not I should approach another, and if there is uncertainty, to simply ask.

 

I commit myself to breathe through the reaction of taking it personally if someone seems frustrated or annoyed, because I see that when I am annoyed or impatient with others, it is always because of something within myself, no matter how much I blame and project.

 

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to think, believe or perceive that I am not worth someone spending their time on me or with me, and that there has to be some kind of ‘exchange or payment’ wherein the interaction has to be ‘deserved’ instead of shared unconditionally.

 

When and as I am going into the energetic experience of inferiority within the belief that I am not worth spending time with and have nothing to give, I stop, and I breathe. I bring myself back to self-worth by sharing myself unconditionally, which is all I can do.

 

I commit myself to slow down during interactions, and to direct myself to, as much as possible, create mutually beneficial sharing through self-honesty.

More self-forgiveness to come!

For the entire series: