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Am I hurting because I choose to?
February 18, 2004
6:12 am
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artist 2
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Can we control how we feel, and can we decide that we're going to stay sad? Can feeling sad be a trap?

February 18, 2004
7:02 am
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deehmah
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Artist 2 - there is an excellent book called The New Mood Therapy by a doctor named David Burns(I think that's his name, I don't have the book handy). It is cognitive therapy and it also has a work book with exercises. This book has helped me immensely. Basically, as you say, we make the decision about how we feel and we use messages to ourselves that we can reprogram. A lot of our thought processes come from what we learned as children and they are 'our' reality. We're stupid, we're selfish, we're unlovable. We'll always get left. We'll never find love. It will always happen the same way again and again. But our reality is often not real 'reality'. This book teaches you how to change all those recordings in your head, the automatic negative thinking, that actually has no basis of truth. It's work, but it works. We don't choose to feel bad, but sometimes we just don't know how not to. But we can learn.

dee

February 18, 2004
8:29 am
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artist 2
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Thanks! I'll look into this.

February 18, 2004
1:07 pm
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Zinnie
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Absolutely! You can choose how you feel, no doubt about it.

Much as I would love to sit around and be sad about all that has happened over the last year and a half along - the reality of it is: what good would it do?

Would it bring my daughter back to life?

Would it bring my other daughter back to being whole again?

Would I regain all the time, effort and money I lost trying to help my cretin of a cousin?

Would the sickness in my body stop immediately? Better yet, never happen?

Or... can I choose to live each day to the fullest.

Being thankful that my grand-daughter survived the car wreck that killed her mother.

Being thankful that my daughter survived an attack that could have killed her as well.

Being thankful, that I realize NOW what my cousin is all about, and not after he had moved here, was living with us and molested someone elses child.

Z.

February 18, 2004
1:15 pm
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bel
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The SC has this posted by Grocho Marx

Each morning when I open my eyes, I say to myself

I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today.

I can choose which it shall be.

Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet.

I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.

Thanks SC............

February 18, 2004
1:29 pm
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labelled
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Am I hurting because I choose to?
Nope.
If one thinks about this question and the systems one has to deal with - we don't choose to hurt - it depends on who is controlling that system and their criteria and or rules and regulations for support or help.

Nobody wants to hurt, but everybody employed in the system eventually hurts somebody. That is reality.

February 19, 2004
12:48 am
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marley
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well I have a different theory than labelled, we all chose. PERIOD. If we hurt it is a choice, if we are happy it is a choice, misery - joy whatever. Does your landscaping hurt? no - it does not have the analytical ability to chose to feel pain. Your cat? Your dog? Momentarily, but they do not remember everyday that you never took them for the walk you promised or bought them that cat nip. Absolutely we chose! However, most of the time we are not conscious enough to be aware of the choice and in conscious I mean - Aware. I hope no one is offended, but this is the truth to me. Lately I chose to be miserable, I think if I am miserable enough now, I will get through it all and never be miserable again. Does that seem logical? It isn't. I hope tomorrow I chose to be happy, joyful, grateful to experience the wonder of each passing day. If Zinnie can have such a great attitude after her year, what right sdo I have to bitch about some loser of a man who doesn't do exactly what I want when I want?

February 19, 2004
7:39 am
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artist 2
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I agree totally with you Marley. It's being aware of the choice. I think that many times when something major happens in our emotional psyche, that it ties back to our chlildhood, and something we are trying to resurrect or "fix". Because dogs and cats aren't intellecutal beings and don't have that kind of memory, they react the way they were trained by humans. You know a dog who had been beaten, or a cat who had been loved. But us, we remember, and our experiences get stored and stuffed away as interactions. Maybe we want to go back and change or relive the interraction? We feel a hole or a warmth there and the desire to do something with the feeling gets resurrected in our relationships.

Maybe that's why we need to find our soul mates. Supposedly they superceed all that stuff.

Make sense?

February 19, 2004
10:07 am
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Zinnie
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Artist,

Interesting thought... but, also think about this. If we are unhappy because of our childhood, why not work it out so that we can be happy for the rest of our lives? Instead of always falling back on "well, this happened when I was a kid, so..."

I remember when I testified in court for my cousin. I made a remark, that both the defense attorney AND the Judge gave me a great compliment. Actually the attorney said "wish everyone looked at life like that." The Judge said "if all people had that perspective, the jails would not be so full." Let me elaborate.

During the sentencing phase, the entire family was up there speaking. They have been in and out of jail and on and off drugs, and married umpteen times, and had umpteen kids and didn't know who the father was, and they were all of welfare because... their Father was never around and their Mother was not a good Mother.

When I got up there I said "you know... I have learned in dealing with all of this... that no one in this family takes responsibility for anything. You know... I have to look at my life and think O.K. so my Mom had a drinking problem, there were too many kids in the family, my Father is a womanizer - and maybe the reason I married men so much older than myself was because I was looking for a Father figure. But, I need to figure that out on my own time, and that does not give me the right to break the law or be an a**hole to anyone and everyone else that I meet."

At the same time, as much as I would love to wallow in misery, what good would it do?

My daughter was killed by a drunk driver last year. I have worked hard with MADD to help set up funding for free taxi rides to people that call and are too drunk to drive - so they can get home safely.

My other daughter was brutally attacked last year and left for dead. I am in the process of going back to school to obtain a degree in Social Work - to work with women to help them get out of these situations. My husband now volunteers his time pro bono to The Family Place here in town to help women who could not otherwise afford legal counsel in filing the legal paperwork they need.

I have cancer - it sucks - I feel like crap more than I feel good. I try to help out the Cancer Center in fund raising as much as possible. I have been blessed by marrying a man who not only had family money, but makes good money. My first husband passed away and left me financially secure. Not everyone has that luxury. There are many people out there that cannot afford the treatment that I get. If I can raise and donate enough money to help out even one person, something has been accomplished.

I am not saying that I'm perfect, I am so far from it it' sad! I get down and depressed, I get short tempered, I get mad at God for dealing me this lot in life. But, all of these things cannot be changed, so why not try to make something good come out of it?

We CHOOSE to wallow in our own pity and grief. We can also CHOOSE to move on and live our lives to the best of our ability.

Z.

February 19, 2004
10:14 am
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Anonymous
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I think that events in our life will hurt us, but it is how we deal with the pain, and how long we choose to let it affect us. Of course losing someone will hurt if you cared about that person, but its your choice on what you will do with that hurt, wallow in it and let it overcome you, or do things that will try to lessen it. I think that most things are a state of mind, and it depends on what state of mind you chose to take, things will hurt in life, but will we let that hurt control everything else in our life.

February 20, 2004
2:39 pm
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TIME
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I HAVE TRIED THIS BEFORE. TRIED TO THINK COMPLETELY OPPOSITE OF HOW IM REALLY FEELING. OR ACT OPPOSITE OF HOW IM REALLY FEELING. I JUST CANT SEEM TO DO IT.

February 20, 2004
2:51 pm
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nancee
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I don't think I choose to hurt, but it is almost habit. I kind of had a 'lightbulb' moment a few weeks ago that you have to decide you want to be happy and do what you need to do to make that happen. I felt really good about things for a day or two and then woke up in hell again. I really do think a great deal of it is habit. I'm used to pining away for someone who doesn't love me....what else would I do with my time? My friends are having a hard time keeping up with my moods because they change with the wind lately. It seems to me like being happy will take a lot of work. I don't mean that in a bad way at all, just that it won't magically happen overnight. I have a lot of things to deal with and let go of before I will be happy. But I have to make the committment to let go of the past and make a better future for myself. I don't know if I'm ready to do that. It's not like I just want to wallow in misery forever, I just don't know how to be any other way....
Nan

February 20, 2004
10:19 pm
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Zinnie
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Being unhappy all the time is certainly a choice. I think we can choose to wallow in our own misery, or we can make the best of a situation and move on.

Everyone has bad days. I have more than my share - but ultimately, by having a bad day - what does it accomplish? Drags me down further.

For me, when I feel down - I do look at the why. Sometimes, we feel down, and that's O.K. But, when we look at the overall picture of our life and realize that we have more bad days then good - we have to change something.

Someone here made a comparison to feelings being like shoes.

That old pair - look horrible, but they are sooooo comfortable we keep wearing them. But eventually, the soles wear out, and our feet are coming through the bottoms and lo and behold, we start hurting.

The new pair - they are beautiful, but they feel funny. Tight, they squeak, they pinch a little. But, soon they break in, and when we look at ourselves in that full length mirror, our new shoes look nice, and people compliment us on them.

Actively trying to have a good day is kind of like that. It hurts at first, it pinches, it rubs us wrong and generally makes us feel a little uncomfortable. But, soon others start noticing that we are little happier, a little more fun to be around. Pretty soon it becomes just as natural and comfortable as those ratty old shoes.

February 20, 2004
11:56 pm
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kmshull
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I believe alot of my hurt is habit. I am used to feeling sad and lonely and depressed. It has become my "normal". When things start getting better, I seem to have to find something to being me back to that familiar "down" feeling. I do believe I can choose to live a happier life, learn to have different perspectives, and deal with my issues that make me feel inferior and self-conscious. But being happy (or rather, feeling content) right now takes a conscious effort. It isn't second nature. I have to work at it. Some days are better than others.

February 21, 2004
12:08 am
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Zinnie
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Hi KMS,

Trying to "learn" how to feel different can really be hard. There is a book out there that is older, so I'm not sure if it's still in print. It's called "I want to change, but I don't know how."

My oldest brother gave it to me when I was a teenager, and got hit with a hard depression. It helped me find a way to learn to be happier.

I know it's not easy - change never is, and you will have to practice because you have been feeling this way for so long.

But, once you start to feel better it becomes so much easier it's unbelievable.

You want to know something funny? It amazes me when I hear others describe me as being one of the "happiest and most positive people they have ever met." I think to myself "um - can you really be talking about me?" I think sometimes how can they not realize that I have my own set of problems too?

I'm not saying to stuff those feelings down, definitely deal with them. But, I'm here to tell you the truth - once you start making that effort you will be amazed at the difference not only in how people percieve you, but how much better you feel.

Z.

February 22, 2004
1:03 am
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nancee
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Zinnie,

You are such an inspiration to me and I'm sure to many of us. You seem to always have something positive to say and I hope to share that attitdude someday soon. I was just telling a friend earlier that I am having more good days than bad and I feel I am making progress. I hope that with the support and advice of someone like you, the good days will increase even more. Thanks for sharing your wisdom... Nan

February 22, 2004
10:38 pm
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LA Rosa
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Hi Zinnie

When the old comfortable shoes wear completely out - it's time to wear in the new ones - that you really could have done ages before it became a matter of necessity. I always like to feel that when the time is right I've got the new ones in the shoe-box - at least I think I have. It really isn't logical to put it off any longer.....but what if they aren't there? That's where the negative subconscious starts chiming in - and it probably says something to me like - You are not a matter of any urgency....You can put up with this a little while longer....You probably can't really do it anyway....and what if you find that you can't? How can you think that you can do it? You don't know how to. Does it need to be done right now....etc It seems as though there are probably so many of them that come to trip me up. A good reprogramming would be invaluable - and give the new habits a bit of time to become established in my mind - instead of being so temporary, like a pair of shoes that you take off when you get home.....maybe I'm just basically stubborn? One thing is for sure though, and that is that some of those negative messages have long passed their 'use by' date. Perhaps positive tapes under the pillow when sleeping could help to get rid of the demons....along with conscious effort too no doubt. It's not as though I want to hold on to them..... BUT they are hard to get rid of. I do believe it can be done. If I haven't got any new shoes - then I'll just make it a top priority to make sure I've got a pair - and that'll get rid of some of those ingrained negatives. Psyche-up time....and not a day too soon. Scarey stuff though! I had told myself that this wouldn't happen to me....I was already paid my lump sum to compensate for being unemployabe, after the road accident when I was twelve.....that left me with epilepsy due to a head injury. At least until relatively recently - so I have never been in the work force or felt really independent. Now that the money is gone - where am I? Obviously it IS a matter of necessity! That's a message that will be repeated over and over - just incase my mind doesn't believe me - and thinks I'm joking. Well it's seriously worth a shot - there's nothing to lose and everything to gain. I'll even look at it like I should be thankful for not having that money that kept me from expanding my true potential....and that is a fact!

Thanks Zinnie for all your inspirtion and help in putting things into a truer perspective. ((BIG HUG))

Love, LA Rosa

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