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-   -   Changing, Healing, Growing (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6502)

River 02-08-2011 06:28 PM

Changing, Healing, Growing
 
This thread / topic is for exploring the question as to how people change, heal, grow. This forum is about relationship/s. And relationships typically bring us up against our "stuff," our habits, our fears, our automatic reactions.... Often we don't like our own "stuff". We want to change, and yet we find ourselves stuck, unable to change even those habits which we know are unproductive, self-destructive, relationship damaging, etc.

I'd like participants here to share with us the methods or tools of change which they utilize, as well as success stories in the application of these tools or methods. What has helped you to change for the better when you were stuck?

I'll listen a bit and then share some of my own experiences, tools and methods.

bella123456 02-09-2011 02:36 AM

I had a recent experience where a close friend made what everyone would class as a fairly innocuous comment. Objectively it was an innocent comment. I felt an instant emotional jolt, an instant and strong pang of something.
I didn't comment to him at the time, because I really didn't understand what the jolt was, I didn't understand how I was feeling, let alone why I was feeling that way..

Over the next few days I studied my response and tried to work out where such a strong reaction had come from. Eventually I worked out that his comment was (in my head anyway) a little too close to a comment that would have been said in a much earlier unhealthy relationship.

So the process for me was to accept that my friendís comment was actually fine in itself. He was not guilty of saying something wrong. My negative jolt reaction was linked to my past experiences. I was aware that my past experiences actually prevented me from hearing the innocence in his comment.

I emailed him and explained what had happened, and that I had a strong emotional response that was triggered by his comment, I explained my past so he could see why I may have had such a reaction. I re-assured him the comment was indeed fine...but it would be great if he could show some added sensitivity in the future given it's an area of vulnerability for me. His response was wonderful, he thanked for for being so honest in communicating what his comment had triggered for me and he committed to be mindful of this in the future..


This was a really good process for me as I felt I had worked out the issue was with me, rather than his comment, and it also opened me up the idea that I should listen to my ďjoltsĒ more often Ė they mean something !

Sometimes I think of it as listening to white noise and the discovering part of the noise isnít random, and picking up that bit that isnít random and turning it over again and again.

I now think of an emotional jolt as a non random sound amongst white noise, and listening to that non randomness is important.

In terms of my friend, I think in the past I may have just said (to myself of course :) ) something along the lines of ďoh, what a insensitive person he is....what a thing to say to me!!Ē
And Iím glad I didnít treat him that way, he is a very sensitive person, and I would have been doing him a great disservice.

River 02-09-2011 04:48 PM

Thanks for sharing that, Bella.

Whether they be words or actions, or inactions, a lot of us have a tendency to be "triggered" about some past hurt by these, and then to react impulsively without prior reflection about the "jolts". An old injury is being touched and the energy of the reaction is tied up with the past. The actuality and potential of the present can be lost in such moments. So, yes, it's good to take some breaths, settle, and examine what's going on before jumping on a reaction train.

River 02-09-2011 04:57 PM

"The curious paradox is that when I accept
myself as I am, then I can change."

- Carl Rogers


I found this quote in a book I bought yesterday, which I want to recommend highly. The book is titled Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With The Heart Of A Buddha, by Tara Brach, PH.D.

Most, if not all, relationship difficulties and challenges have some of their roots in self-esteem issues. This book shows how to shine the light of compassionate awareness on one's own self, thus liberating the powers of self and other loving. I can't recommend it too highly! The author has a real knack!

Karma 02-10-2011 09:43 AM

Interesting thread, given the things going on in my life right now. These past couple of months have been hellish at times. They have also been very enlightening.

My problem is this - identifying my problems and what I need to address is the easy part. Actually changing those things - this is the part I have no idea how to do. So I stumble forward with more failures than successes, until I find something that works.

River 02-12-2011 05:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Karma (Post 65710)
.... My problem is this - identifying my problems and what I need to address is the easy part. Actually changing those things - this is the part I have no idea how to do. So I stumble forward with more failures than successes, until I find something that works.

If you were to be specific about your challenges, perhaps some of the folks here could offer some insight.

bella123456 02-14-2011 10:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by River (Post 65482)
So, yes, it's good to take some breaths, settle, and examine what's going on before jumping on a reaction train.


I like the idea of identifying the reaction train. It's a good thing to keep in mind.

River 02-14-2011 10:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bella123456 (Post 66396)
I like the idea of identifying the reaction train. It's a good thing to keep in mind.

Good point. And it's also important not to harshly judge oneself about it while noticing and identifying it. It's best to notice, identify, and hold the awareness in compassion toward oneself and others.

HappiestManAlive 02-15-2011 08:06 AM

Soon as I/we find something that works, I'll be happy to share, LOL. Right now it's a lot of comminicating and a lot of struggling for everyone, with very limited success all around. :(

IanNairobi 02-16-2011 05:05 PM

One of the more effective self-checks that I've been employing lately is to maintain a much greater awareness of when I'm mentally playing the tape forward when thinking about certain events/situations, and forcing myself to recognize when I'm making predictions about the future based on assumptions that may be wildly incorrect and/or based on past events that aren't really germane to whatever event/situation I'm thinking about. I've realized that I sometimes have a tendency to assign malicious or untrustworthy motives to people when they really aren't there, or to incorrectly perceive mere thoughtlessness as malice.

So, whenever I find myself stewing about something that HASN'T EVEN HAPPENED YET, I recognize what I'm doing, stop doing it, and consciously re-assign positive motives instead of malicious motives to everyone involved in the event/situation. When I then re-analyze, things seem invariably less threatening and often more humorous.


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