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-   -   Understanding Yourself (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2170)

MonoVCPHG 02-19-2010 07:16 PM

Understanding Yourself
I was talking to Redpepper about self discovery yesterday and this morning. I quickly jotted down how I go about learning things about myself.

I'd like to hear about how others go about self discovery. My intent of this thread is not to stimulate debate or analysis of each others approach but to collect a spectrum of approaches that people use to achieve this for themselves. With luck and openness maybe we can learn from each other through simple sharing.

Here is how I do it:

1) Recognize a need to learn about myself in a specific area (emotional triggers for example)

2) Identify the issues behind the need for learning (why do I have to deal with this? What is the impact if I do or don't?)

3) Determine if there is something that can be done or if it simply is the way it is. (I believe that there are some things in life that are definite and so there is no need to direct energy at changing them)

4) Dwell on one thing at a time. (focus on the need to learn about one thing. This avoids overload for me as I have a limited capacity to multi-think LOL!)

5) Come to an understanding within myself. (draw on the experience of others if it relates but come up with my own answers. If the are the same than great but I accept that the experiences of others are exactly that. Answers are fluid accept in very specific cases - people will have different answers for the same questions)

6) Accept what I have learned and don't question it once happy. (some things may be re-examined as life changes but I don't engage in a non stop internal or external debate. To question everything is fine for me..to question the same thing over and over is obsession)

Above all - I am confident in my understanding of how I work but I do not impose or apply that resultant understanding on others. I can listen and respect that other people will have different answers for the same questions.

I look forward to hearing how other people learn about themselves :)

Peace and Love

booklady78 02-19-2010 11:31 PM

Last summer, I decided to take a trip by myself. I was feeling lost and aimless and didn't know what was wrong exactly. I could have taken my husband or a friend, but I wanted to do it on my own, mostly because I had never travelled by myself before. I travelled through several US states, briefly saw a couple of casual friends along the way, but most of my time was spent alone.
I realized how afraid I had been to just be 'me', seems I was so wrapped up in being a wife, manager, friend, daughter, etc. that I forgot how. I wandered around beautiful cities, picked directions and just walked, hopped buses for unknown destinations, sat in restaurants by myself, just explored where I was. I was lonely at times and my shyness and quiet nature was very evident, but I decided to not let that hold me back. Being quiet allwoed me to stop and listen to what was going on around me. Being shy allowed strangers engage me in conversations and let them do the talking, hear their stories. And the biggest hurdle was to realize that being alone was ok, because I had myself, my eyes, my ears, my heart, my mind to experience things. Too often, I get so focused on those around me and their wants and needs, that I neglect my own. This trip gave me the time and perspective to realize what my wants and needs are. I had the good fortune to be able to literally step away from my daily routine and the people around me.
I'm not sure if this totally answers your question, but aside from my explorations with poly stuff, that trip was by far the most amazing personal growth experience of my life.

GroundedSpirit 02-19-2010 11:34 PM

Hey Mon,

Well, I guess I'm not quite as analytical as you - or maybe not as formal anyway.
For me self-analysis is pretty much a constant, ongoing process triggered by just going about my life. There's a myriad of things that crop up in the course of a day that give me an opportunity to compare my thoughts or actions to others that I see happening around me. It usually begins with a 'what do I know about this?' question which often will trigger some research. Or the time-tested question of 'what would I do if in those shoes?'.
And as you pointed out there are times when I just embrace myself, my own experiences etc and have to just allow & acknowledge that everyone is entitled and in fact doing the best they are capable of in their situation.
The battle at times seems to not be judgmental even where it might be deserved. Because I do constantly remind myself of that above philosophy - that everyone TRULY is doing the best they can. Sometimes it highlights a better way - sometimes just a different one-sometimes......ummmm not so great. But there's always a lesson in there somehow - or if not- at least a reminder.


redsirenn 02-19-2010 11:51 PM

I look at things very similarly to you Mono. I don't think I have ever put it into words, but I go thru that process often. It is hard to let it sit, once I have made the decision though - I have a problem with letting something settle for a while so I can figure out if it works or not.

MonoVCPHG 02-20-2010 12:42 AM

Great responses everyone! GS, I love this question "'what do I know about this?".

This is the type of sharing is what I was hoping for Booklady :)

Thanks to all!

SchrodingersCat 02-20-2010 05:09 AM

I think a lot of my self-discovery comes when I find myself having negative reactions to things which I don't want to have. I try to step back and analyze why I'm feeling that way about the issue, and what are some rational reasons to feel otherwise.

I have a disconnect between my emotional and intellectual sides, for better or for worse. I'm not entirely sure I'd prefer to have it any other way. It allows me to analyze problems in my life/situations without letting my feelings overwhelm or control me, and it allows me to enjoy my emotional responses without thinking too much about them. I have just enough connection that I can change negative thinking and feeling patterns, and for me, it feels well-balanced.

GroundedSpirit 02-20-2010 03:41 PM


Originally Posted by booklady78 (Post 22578)
Last summer, I decided to take a trip by myself. I was feeling lost and aimless and didn't know what was wrong exactly. I could have taken my husband or a friend, but I wanted to do it on my own,

Oh MY - what a beautiful story ! I could almost feel it !
Everybody should take such journeys on a regular basis for all the reasons you explained. And I'm not even saying long distances to exotic places etc. Maybe just off into the woods for a couple days.

Thank you !


GroundedSpirit 02-20-2010 03:45 PM


Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat (Post 22610)
I have a disconnect between my emotional and intellectual sides, for better or for worse. I'm not entirely sure I'd prefer to have it any other way.

Most excellent ! If only everyone could have/master that !
It's an invaluable tool for maintaining balance. We need to give both pieces their turn to speak - but not dominate the conversation. :)


classycaveman 02-20-2010 10:43 PM

I guess there are two main methods by which I learn about myself and everything else.

One is direct. If I have a problem I want to solve, I google it, and find a number of different solutions, and pick the one that makes the most sense for me.

The other is indirect. I do a lot of reading of different stuff, things that interest me. Sometimes a particular point or fact will stick in my head, for whatever reason. Sometimes a bunch of these little facts come together and I get this feeling of clarity, because all of a sudden something that was a mystery before, makes perfect sense.

Breathesgirl 02-21-2010 02:06 PM

Writing, writing and more writing.

When I have something which needs to be examined or figured out I do that wonderful thing call introspection so I can pinpoint what it is I need to work on.

If it isn't a simple and quick answer I head over to my Live Journal to write about it. What's bothering me, what's feeling right, what I'm not sure about and just let my fingers do the talking. My brain sort of disconnects and my fingers, via the keyboard, just do their thing.

I might head over to xeromag to see if Franklin's written something about it or google it to get some differing ideas and opinions.

I'll go to some of my regular web haunts (here, PMM, any other related site) and see what they have to say on the subject.

I talk to my boyfriend about it when I feel the time is right. If the time isn't right I'll mention to Him that something's bothering me and I need to figure it out. He'll leave me be to figure things out. I'll bounce ideas off of Him since he's more logical and analytical than I am. Eventually the solution smacks me upside the head & says "i was there all along. You just HAD to analyze this, didn't you." lol

It's amazing what I figure out when I disengage my emotions from the equation and let the rest of me figure it out without all the emotional turmoil and upheaval.

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