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Hazza's Positive Thinking Thread!!!!
May 2, 2000
8:28 am
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hazza
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Hi All,
I thought i would start a thread about positive thinking because there has been a lot of talk on this subject in recent threads. I apologise in advance if this becomes one of those "debatey" threads, so don't say i didn't warn you!

The posts i have made recently on positive thinking seem to elicit two deifferent responses.
Some respond with the feeling that what i say is not something that they could do or would work for them, as though it is almost a stupid idea to think about "thoughts" when there are real problems to be solved. they seem to feel that this is the same as denial, and that by thinking positively when feeling bad people are not solving the problem.
Others seem to me, the opposite and go on to recount how much benefit they have gained through positive thinking.
I seem to float from one group to the other!
most of the time i beleive strongly in looking at things in the most positive light, but sometimes.....!

My questions really are about this.
especially the whole issue of whether or not positive thinking is tantamount to being in denial?

I personally think that they are different. Yes you can be in denial and bury your head against all that is happening in your life, and i have been there, let me tell you!

But i think that you can also be fully aware of what is going on in your life and still CHOOSE your attitude about it to a certain degree.
I first became interested in this power of the mind when reading tales of people who had undergone operations, with no anaesthetic and feeling no pain through hypnosis. I thought then ,as i do now, that the mind must be so much more amazing than anyone of us can realise.
My experience of phobias also lead to read up alot about the workings of the mind and such. if such strong emotions as phobias can develop in the mind, then surely the opposite is true. Surely if we learn to harness this power we can make ourselves feel deep contentment as well as deep fear?

Well i am still working on it, but i have in myself noticed so much improvements since changing my attitude about my own particular challenges.

Is it nonsense? why do we as a western society seem so drawn these days to different cultures who have a more holistic approach to mind and medicine? have these cultures kept hold of knowledge that we in the west have lost? or are they not as "advanced" as us?

positive thinking alone cannot solve that much in my opinion, it needs to be part of the whole programm, but to me it is still essential.

What do you guys think?
how do you define the difference between thinking positive in a healthy way and being in denial?
How has it helped / hindered your own growth?
Peace
Hazza

May 2, 2000
8:31 am
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hazza
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OOh, forgot to tell you!
Do any of you remember me telling you about the girl who was a model who lost her leg in an accident?
I talked about her becuase she had such a determined spirit through being homeless and her accident and mother not wanting her and such, yet she fought back to happiness?

Any way! she is now dating Paul Mc Cartney! (sorry SIR paul!)

Hazza's hot gossip of the day, so you will all know who she is soon!
Peace
Haz

May 2, 2000
11:24 am
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The power of positive thinking. Anybody who has sat up watching Anthony Robbins on late nite TV as wondered just how powerful it is. I think the problem with it is that it requires constant work for many people. Myself included. Many people are 'waiting things out'for better times to come along. Believing that our moods are perhaps controlled by enviroment. So how does + thinking effect the way things happpen? Does - thinking cause - things to happen? Can our depressions/ailments be psychosomatic?
I am currently waiting on several enviromental changes and I am hoping that these will be the key to my happiness. As for + thinking, it's a constant exhausting battle. Waiting for something better is easier. Well not really but......

May 2, 2000
1:29 pm
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Frieda
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For me, Hazza, to think positively and not be in denial requires a level of acceptance that I'm not ready to face. I have to accept that I am bipolar or BPD or MPD or, or, or, and then I could fix my thoughts on looking ahead, facing fears, etc. As yet I don't know what to think positive about. Where do you put your hope, Hazza? Self? Mind? Spirit?
I agree with ions that it's exhausting, but I would never underestimate the power of thought. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.

So that's my dilemna--accepting...

May 3, 2000
9:38 am
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Hazza, what a fabulous idea. I have always been a firm believer that that which we think upon, so shall it happen. Positive thoughts take up no more or less room than do negative ones. The only difference is the outcome. Joy-filled heart and soul, not to mention a freer spirit. How blessed we are to have power of such a magnitude, that of our own minds.

This is going to stir up some controversy, and sometimes it needs to be stirred: If more therapists would empower their clients instead of keeping them coming back week after week for 49 minutes a session, there would be happier, more self actuated people coming out of therapy.

I have been told by people involved in therapy that I should seek the advise of a therapist because of all the trauma my body and mind has had to handle from day one. WHY? I may not be the textbook perfectly balanced person, but I am a spirit which soars to new heights with every waking day. All things which have happend to me in my life from sexual abuse, physical abuse, to my body just not cooperating at times have been blessings for they are part of lessons I am here to learn, and darn it, they are part of what makes me unique in this world. I tried real hard to feel sorry for myself for all that I have been through in nearly 42 years, but then a sad thing happened, two children, I really did not know, but am related to, had experiences even worse than my mind could have even imagined. That was when I knew the why I had been put through all that I had been, it was to be able to draw from my past experiences to help these two young boys. My family turned their backs on the boys and me, but we pushed ahead. Nearly 7 years later and I am accepting of most everything which happens in my life. WHY? Because I KNOW I will be called on, at some point in time, to use what I have learned from that experience to help another spirit in this physical world. Nothing happens out of chance, there is always a reason of which we may not know until its time has come to be revieled.

Sorry I took so much space. Sometimes I get on a roll and just go for it. Just allow me to finish with my final thought: To be empowered is a blessing, to empower others is devine.

I bid you all peace through understanding.

May 3, 2000
10:52 am
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hazza
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Frieda, you ask where do i put my hope? Self?mind? Spirit?.
To me all three parts are totally linked, i put my hope in the fact that the future is unwritten and I am the one holding the pen! My hope is that I will continue to build up courage to write myself a good future.

Spirit,
I agree with you.
I do not wish to degrade the work of councellors because there are just too many people here that can tell me how they have helped them, and i respect that.
BUT, i agree with you. I think that too many councellors are just charging people a fixed fee for them to listen to their problems once a week and then turn round and say "ah, so how do you FEEL about that!"
Where is the program? where is the journey of helping that person find the courage to progress as take charge?

I firmly belive that our recovery is our own responsibility.

If we don't like the way things are, it is our job to do our best to make it different. A councellor should help that person find new solutions. Some do but many don't.

When some of you here kindly suggested that I would make a good councellor I was very flattered by my initial thought was "oh my lord I would be a terrible councellor!"
Councellors are trained to be unbiased whereas I wade in and tell people what i think!

I have had this debate with a friend of mine who trained as a councellor.
She tells me how it is her job to lead people to find their own answers. But my thought is when i am stuck, i want someone elses imput. I want to hear stuff that I couldn't think on my own, see if there was anything i had missed!

The most productive therapy i have ever seen applied, is where someone can encourage the other person to believe in themselves again.
When you are at your worst, for someone else to CARE and offer a bit of sympathy and encouragement can help so much. Many councellors find this approach incorrect, they fear this will lead to dependence on the part of the client, maybe it does?

we are all the only ones who can find our own way back, but just knowing someone else cares can give strength.
this is not found in the conventional councelling arena.
Councellors keep their distance.

this is why i am in 2 minds about councelling.
I recognise the need for councellor to remain detatched, that is important.
But what then do they actually do for the client?
How often does the client actually devise a program towards recovery with their therapist? or how many times does the councelling session just become a weekly event for years on end like a trip to the hairdressers every fortnight?

I think that some councellors could do more than they are doing. They could help their client devise and work towards identified goals. Rather than becoming a silent paid listener.

When i read about Squirrels account of her therapist, i was so impressed, the therapist sounded like she was actually structuring a programm for Squirrel and Squirrel was taking her job of recovery in her own two hands. To me that is the ideal, but i see many more cases of bad therapy than good.

I am not opposed to therapy at all, but i do think that like in everything there are good therapist and bad.

Spirit, I admire very much your strength. It takes a concious decision to have this attitude. I feel sure that many people will read your words and think "oh, if only I could feel like that"
What people need to see is that you are not blessed by some devine gift unattainable by others, you have worked hard to feel the way you and choosen to look at your life in this way. I bet at first like everyone else you felt like you were faking it, but when we decide to change our attitude, at first it feels strange but in time we BECOME WHAT WE FEEL AND IT IS THEN OUR NATURAL WAY OF THINKING.

All of this of course is JUST MY OPINION!!!! I think of this as facts and reality and to me they are, but this does not mean i am right, i just think i am!!
Peace
Hazza

May 3, 2000
10:57 am
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Frieda, you ask where do i put my hope? Self?mind? Spirit?.
To me all three parts are totally linked, i put my hope in the fact that the future is unwritten and I am the one holding the pen! My hope is that I will continue to build up courage to write myself a good future.

Spirit,
I agree with you.
I do not wish to degrade the work of councellors because there are just too many people here that can tell me how they have helped them, and i respect that.
BUT, i agree with you. I think that too many councellors are just charging people a fixed fee for them to listen to their problems once a week and then turn round and say "ah, so how do you FEEL about that!"
Where is the program? where is the journey of helping that person find the courage to progress as take charge?

I firmly belive that our recovery is our own responsibility.

If we don't like the way things are, it is our job to do our best to make it different. A councellor should help that person find new solutions. Some do but many don't.

When some of you here kindly suggested that I would make a good councellor I was very flattered by my initial thought was "oh my lord I would be a terrible councellor!"
Councellors are trained to be unbiased whereas I wade in and tell people what i think!

I have had this debate with a friend of mine who trained as a councellor.
She tells me how it is her job to lead people to find their own answers. But my thought is when i am stuck, i want someone elses imput. I want to hear stuff that I couldn't think on my own, see if there was anything i had missed!

The most productive therapy i have ever seen applied, is where someone can encourage the other person to believe in themselves again.
When you are at your worst, for someone else to CARE and offer a bit of sympathy and encouragement can help so much. Many councellors find this approach incorrect, they fear this will lead to dependence on the part of the client, maybe it does?

we are all the only ones who can find our own way back, but just knowing someone else cares can give strength.
this is not found in the conventional councelling arena.
Councellors keep their distance.

this is why i am in 2 minds about councelling.
I recognise the need for councellor to remain detatched, that is important.
But what then do they actually do for the client?
How often does the client actually devise a program towards recovery with their therapist? or how many times does the councelling session just become a weekly event for years on end like a trip to the hairdressers every fortnight?

I think that some councellors could do more than they are doing. They could help their client devise and work towards identified goals. Rather than becoming a silent paid listener.

When i read about Squirrels account of her therapist, i was so impressed, the therapist sounded like she was actually structuring a programm for Squirrel and Squirrel was taking her job of recovery in her own two hands. To me that is the ideal, but i see many more cases of bad therapy than good.

I am not opposed to therapy at all, but i do think that like in everything there are good therapist and bad.

Spirit, I admire very much your strength. It takes a concious decision to have this attitude. I feel sure that many people will read your words and think "oh, if only I could feel like that"
What people need to see is that you are not blessed by some devine gift unattainable by others, you have worked hard to feel the way you and choosen to look at your life in this way. I bet at first like everyone else you felt like you were faking it, but when we decide to change our attitude, at first it feels strange but in time we BECOME WHAT WE FEEL AND IT IS THEN OUR NATURAL WAY OF THINKING.

All of this of course is JUST MY OPINION!!!! I think of this as facts and reality and to me they are, but this does not mean i am right, i just think i am!!
Peace
Hazza

May 3, 2000
10:59 am
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OOPS!
I obviously thought my word so wonderful that you needed them twice šŸ™‚

May 4, 2000
9:32 pm
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TRosciano
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I think positive thinking is excellent. I read somewhere on this board that you can start the day positively or negatively, it is up to you. This is so right! This statement and others have made a world of difference for me recently. I'm not saying forget all your problems but if we think in a positive manner then the symptoms we have such as anxiety and stress will not have the same affect on our bodies. With each bad experience take it as a learning experience and don't let every little thing get to you. Start the day off on a positive note and I guarantee that you will have a better attitude and frame of mind when handling tough situations. I agree totally with positive thinking and I think it's a great way to get things accomplished and feel better about what you are doing with your life and about yourself.

May 4, 2000
10:47 pm
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Sometimes we over load ourselves with things of a material nature and are so unhappy because we're afraid someone will try to steal them, or we place too much stock in their value as a measure of our worth. Only when Spirit steps up to the plate and causes a major change do most people get a clue into life. Bless each day as the blessing it is, give of ourselves in small ways (smile, open doors, let the car behind you have the parking space) and see the real worth of ourselves as spiritual beings having a human experience. May we all continue to grow through understanding and gain the peace that is ours to have and to hold.

May 9, 2000
11:33 pm
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Hazza: Its been a while since a positive thread was written here. Is all well with you?

One of the major issues I am working on is EGO. I have been accused of having an out of control ego, at times, and at other times of having very low selfesteem. Does this mean I need help? Yes and no. When I feel my ego getting in the way of my peace and harmony quest I need a trusted friend to let me vent about the unfair treatment I have received from XY&Z. This gives my heart a chance to hear what is in my mind. Once my heart hears it, I become humbled by the puffed up image my ego has of me. You see the unfair treatment really doesn't exist, except for from my ego's point of view. This humbling swings me into what others perceive as low selfesteem, I see it as retreating into my shell until I get EGO under control. I have made great strides on this issue, and have a great way to travel. A question was asked in another thread on why family members fight. My theory is that egos are out of control and those that are jockying for position FEEL they are more entitled to being "right" than the next person.

Is what I write from my ego, or is it from my heart? I know one thing is for certain, I will gain greater peace once I gain the understanding of what ego is all about. To be continued...

May 10, 2000
1:02 pm
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eve
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Oh, spirit... the ego thing

do let me know if you find any more clues to that one šŸ™‚

And hazza,

I'm all for positive thinking. And when I manage to think positive it is great. I think all this pro and contra positive thinking comes from the misunderstanding that positive thinking can come from the outside. And, as you stated above, this is not possible, everybody has to do it themselfs and has to make up their own minds - and not before they are ready. I find it highly insulting when somebody else tells me to think positive. (need an example? One of the nurses of my grandma's nursery home told me, when she had died that I shouldn't grieve too much, and Grandma would sure be in a happier place now. I didn't find much comfort in a nurse telling me that she finds it better that people be dead than in her care.)

May 11, 2000
2:56 am
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hazza
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HI All,

Okay spirit, the ego debate!!!
Right here are my own views on ego, see if it makes any sense to you! i have tried explaining my thoughts on this before to people in my life and they dont seem to get it, so I would be curious to see if you guys do!

Firstly I think that the ego and self esteem are 2 different things.

I think that self esteem comes from within yourself. You do not need to be overly humble about it, it is healthy to know you ARE right sometimes, You ARE good at this or thatand it is healthy to be able to see that you DO deserve to be treated a certain way and get angry if you are not. But mainly, self esteem is a very personal thing. It is between your own 2 ears only, not something that should be affected by any third party outside yourself (although when it is a tired or sick self esteem, this is usually the reason!)

Ego, on the other hand is not your view of yourself. It is your view of HOW YOU THINK OTHER PEOPLE SEE YOU. and all the fears associated with that. many times when people allow their self esteem to suffer it is due to their ego fears- ie trying to get their self esteem from their ego or how other people see them.
Ego is when there is that little voice at the back of our minds wondering how what we are thinking, doing, saying is being PERCIEVED by other people.

I think that if you were alone on a dessert island for a week, self esteem would be happy, it would make no difference, but ego would be going mad, it needs other people to live.
Okay you might get lonely but that is a seperate issue!

many times we dont recognise the ego at work and we allow the ego to be the one to control our levels of self esteem. but it is we who need to set our own self esteem by concious choice otherwise the ego will do it for us, and the ego will do this based on how it thinks others see us and not ourselves. This in turn leads to a vicious circle, it lowers our self esteem and we are unable to then take it back into our own control.

I have only built my own self esteem up by learning to like myself. regardless of if i think other people like me.
I have less friends now than i ever have done, but i can truely say that over this past few years i have come to like myself better than ever.

I realised that all my relatiionships with friends and aquaintences were shallow. they dumped me when i went through some life changes and i spent a long time coming to terms with that. I learned how shallow my life had been and how i was basing my life on others rather than myself.
it was a tough lesson to learn, but i am getting there.

I still have an ego as big as the next guy i am sure! but i try my best to see it for what it is. I dont however feel gulity about that, it is natural enough, i just try to live in my esteem rather than my ego as much as possible.

I have gone from being a very fashionable person who everyone wanted to be with, to a person most people my age find nerdish i am sure! but I truely belive that i am just starting to be myself, i am sure that everyone passes through this stage at ne time or another in their life. i am happier now and i dont need to be that fashionable person anymore, that was all just food for my ego whilst my self esteem starved.
Now i am giving my self esteem a hearty meal and my ego has gone on a diet!!!
Peace
Hazza

May 11, 2000
6:04 am
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Spirit
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Hazza: Makes perfect sense to me. I too, have been undergoing changes of an ego related nature, which has lead to some rather interesting comments from those who have known me all my life. I do not fit the mold others have made up for me, nor do I wish to, unless it is right in my knowing heart.

The only way I can see someone not understanding how you so perfectly explained ego vs self esteem is if the person just isn't ready for that lesson. It is a far more comfortable feeling to live according to what I know to be true about myself, rather than to live by my feelings of worthiness according to how others perceive me and my actions.

With a strong base of right from wrong for my spiritself, I have overcome many criticisms and remained close to the truth of who I am. As I have written before, I am all that I have learned through experiences, both positive and negative, and it has been my choice as to which ones I choose to change parts of me in need of change. Isn't growth great!

Once we understand the coreself, we find peace.

May 11, 2000
9:32 am
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Hazza-- I love your expanation. It does make perfect sense, though some could argue a matter of semantics.

And I bet the people who ARE drawn to you now, are much more the people who see the true value of you. I'm thinking you're one of those classic fashions that no longer caters to the hottest trends, and I think we call that maturity.

Why are we so susceptible to that outer perception of who we are? That ego, that so wants to be liked, to be affirmed, to be sought after. How can we be unbalanced to the point that we have HUGE egos, and very little self-esteem? My personal goal is to have Huge self-esteem and very little ego. Yet I feel guilty feeding my self-esteem, and still rely too much on ego FOR my self-esteem.

Is it a scale to be balanced? Or are we to starve out ego completely? Could we if we tried?

???????????????????????????????

May 12, 2000
3:02 am
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hazza
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HI Frieda,
I must admit, that I dislike emotional extremes - I did all that in my teens! so in answer to your question, which is uncannily close to my heart, balance is the key. To starve out the ego totally would be an extreme, and i don't think that extreme piety is anymore healthy than extreme hedonism.

When I was growing up, I lived in a large house in a well known part of London. I lived there with my parents and my paternal grandparents.

My grandfather, with whom I was very close, was a pythagorean. Now this belief system of his was on the whole more philosophy than religion, although it did creep towards the religious end of the spectrum but not the extent of any organised religion such as the church or mosque.

The ideals and precepts of this way of life where very much a part of my early life, although purely as intellecftual debate, my grandfather was very opposed to enforcing his beliefs on me and would be very careful about not indoctrinating me.

One of the key points about the pythagorean way of life is Moderation and balance.
In all things, keep to the middle path.

There is a story that shows how pythagoras and his followers keenly understood the link between the mind and the world around us.

The story goes.... Pythagoras was walking about near the sea and saw a young man dancing to some music being played. The music was fast and frantic and the young man was gettingmore and more frenzied in his dancing. Pythagoras felt that this frenzy could in no way be good for the young man so he went to the people playing the music and told them to play calmer music, they did and the young man became calm.

Now, you could say that old Pythagoras was a bit of a kill joy! but it is just a story to explain how any extreme interferes with our own internal balance, extremes of joy and of woe equally. It shows us that the outside world can affect our inside feelings and to be aware of where we are and keep the balance in our lives inside and out, to keep calm and healthy.

The same with Ego, to lose all ego would be unatural, we may be going to the extreme of goodness, but just like the young man dancing, although it is good to lose the ego, just like it is good to dance, to take it to the extreme is to deny the balance in ourselves.

we should, in my opinion as always!!, strive to dwell in the self esteem rather than the ego, becuase the self esteem somes from us rather tahn the outside, but to kill off the ego entirely would be also to put ourselves out of balance.

If we have good esteem, we don't rely on the ego at all to make US feel good. But it is part of our human nature, if it is still present from time to time, then so be it. We see it, we learn we move on. If we get angry at ourselves for thispart of ourselves, we can damage the self esteem, we have a neative thought about ourselves.

Far better to aim towards keeping the ego as it is, a reminder that we are part animal but that we choose to rule our lives not from it but from our human parts.

The female followers of pythagoras (who were equal to the men, in their societies) would not adorn themselves with fancy clothes or jewellery in order to be more dedicated to education rather than the ego. But they kept in moderation. A day would consist of pleasure and relaxation, such as dancing and theatre and music as well as education - the part that most of us still reconise about pythagoras - his geometry!!!

Now all this stuff about ancient greeks is just my personal way of showing you what I belive about the ego and telling you that this sort of discussion filled my early life and that has influenced me this way.

But there is always the danger, when you try to eliminate the ego, that you end up associating anything pleasurable as being ego. You run the risk of confusing an ego free life with being puritan, especially in our culture which has strong puritanical backgrounds. In my view this would be negative.

Keep in my always of what the ego is.
If you go out dancing is that bad? is that ego driven? the extremist might say yes. But what are your reasons for the dance? If you are dancing away hoping some young love god will be watching you and that is what gives you pleasure, then yes, that is ego at work. But if you are just there because you are enjoying yourself, you feel good and are having fun dancing without caring how you look to others, only caring that you meet you own standards then how is that unhealthy?

Providing that you respect yourself and your health. You should be able to work out when it is your ego talking or self esteem. Some people do confuse the 2 things. Just like everything, some people are not able to see the truths yet. they may be living entirely in their ego but feel it is self esteem becuase it makes them feel good. Well that is fine, but when the dance floor empties, the person living in their ego empties with it, they will still have that deep sadness in them becuase the ego is happy but the self esteem is not.

the self esteem can be alone but not lonely. The ego cant.

There will always be times when we are in more ego mood than others. we are not perfect and it doesn't matter. The harm comes from only ever feeding your ego and neglecting your self esteem. If you develop good self esteem then it doesn't matter if you have a bit of ego every now and again. We are not perfect, nor should we be. any extreme unbalances the body.

if you walk out of the hairdressers one da with a fabulous hair style, and you feel great, then what is wrong if someone compliments you and you feel even better? Okay, so it is ego, but so what. You already felt great in yourself and didn't need that other person, the ego part was additional it was not the core.
If you walk out the hairdressers and DON'T feel great UNLESS someone else compliments you, then you are getting your feelings of welf worth from others and not yourself, the ego is there but the self esteem is not, the self esteem is waiting to be nurished from the ego and not you. That is a case of dwelling in the ego rather than the self esteem.

I know that it sounds like a stupid debate on just semantics alone, but it is the only way I know how to explain what I see as the difference. It is of course a personal point of view. I may wake up when I am 80 and thinkg " blimey, i was dumb thinking that!" but this is how I feel right now in my life.

I took a long time to develop my self esteem, it was only when my ego got starved out that i realised how much i had been relying on friends, status, money, job or whatever to define who I was. That all disappeared one day, and I though who am I? I had to learn tolike who I really was without all those distractions, and learn to like myself for things in ME not in my social standing. The sort of things that are always with me no matter where or when I am. than is how I learned that there was a big difference between ego and esteem.

But if you can look at yourself and find at least one thing that you do well and that you like about yoruself that would still be with you if you were alone on a dessert island, then you are getting there!
Peace
Hazza

May 13, 2000
6:05 am
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Hazza: You have found yet another way to explain ego vs selfesteem. Terrific! You are now the teacher of the wisdom you have gained from experiences of the past. Continue on this path and you will learn even more.

One other thing I have learned about knowing when one is living in ego is if you feel better by putting others down. By doing this, you have fed ego a nourishing meal. The place where I work is full of women, most of whom use the latest fashions and jewlry to puff up their egos. There are some who simply can't afford these things and degrade those who can. Two groups who cannot stand to be found wrong in their work, or to be found wrong in their treatment of other people. So alike, and yet back-bite each other constently. If selfesteem was firmly intact, there would be acceptance that others are on different paths in life, instead of the put-downs and made-up gossip.

Balance is the key, as you said, and it can't be obtained if we put others down for having more or less than our selves. Thank you, Hazza for simplifying what can be a complicated issue. Your keen understanding will bring peace to those who are ready.

May 15, 2000
2:44 am
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Thanks You spirit,
I hope it was my esteem you have fed and not my ego !!!:)

You are so right, I totally forgot about that part of ego : Putting others down!

I used to do that alot. I have always had a very quick sence of humour, my whole family has. I would also find that in friendships I would be attracted to other people with a similar sence of humour.

When I was part of "the crowd" I was notorious for my cutting comments toward others. At the time, I really belived it was just sence of humour, and in part I still do. But now I do realise that deep down I may have upset other people, although at the time that was never my intention. But when I said something that made other people laugh, I think my ego got a huge meal!

I don't feel to bad about this, and I still do tease people mercilessly, but I try to sence whether thay are upset or don't mind and act accordingly.

I would also enjoy it heartliy if someone else did the same to me though, providing it was a good joke! and my best friends where definitely the sort of people who could give as good as they got.

But it was surely, when I look back, Just a mask, being noted for my humour rather than who I was.
I spoke with one of my best friends from this time in my life, abut a year ago after not seeing him for a couple of years.
He felt that I had changed so much and I could tell he felt very uncomfortable when I explained about all the problems I was facing at that time. (at the time of talking I was at a very low point).

I realised then that what I thought of as friendship, was just a meeting of minds in one type of thing - ie humour. When we both stripped away that, there was little we had incommon when dealing with other issues, such as problems.
It occured to me then how shallow the friendships I had, were.
The minute I was no longer on the scene, where were all these people? No one phoned, no one called round. nothing.

All the times that I had thought we were so close turned out to be an illusion. Maybe they didn't like my humour after all, maybe they were all gossipping about me, saying "lord, she has gone so strange lately" or "I never liked her anyway!"
Either way, I suddenly found myself alone and i realised that these friendships where shallow, and I had to ask myself why I felt such pain at them suddenly going.
The answer was of course ego, I had got all my self worth from having this large circle of friends, where being cool was so important.

Now, I am still a bit of a hermit! I spend far more time with my family now than ever before, I have you guys!! friends at my classes, some email pen pals and people I talk with through my anxiety group. But I do think that all these people care far more about the real things than my past friends ever did.

But I think this also happens to many people and is part of growing up. As young people, we are shallow and then we mature and oldfriendships die and we we grow. I think what happened to me is quite common really.

But luckliy it did happen, so I have had the chance to build myself up again in hopefully the right way. all I have learned over this past few years I am grateful for, so any hurt was worth it in the long term. I still see some of these people getting worried about trivial things and not being happy in themselves, and i think, well at least I am learning to like myself, they have yet to do that.
But I have told each of them about my anxiety problems, even if they don't understand now, at least if they ever find themselves with any of these issues, they know they can at least find someone who understands them in me, should they wish. I have lost count of the number of times people open up with their problems to me and i see that how in their normal circle of friends, no one will take the time to talk about these thingswith them and they feel very alone. AT least by talking with people about it, they may not understand now, but the little bit you have said may be enough for them to remember should they ever find themselves at a similar place and remember there is someone there who will listen. That is my hope, so that I can show that while in the past I was a shallow friend too, in the future I would always be there to be sincere and that my friendship with them was and still is genuine but I knew no other way back then to show it.
But i am not waiting for the phone to ring!!
Peace all
Hazza

May 15, 2000
7:36 am
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And sometimes friendships are only for a moment in time to get us through something we have yet to realize needs to be gotten through. A sense of humor goes a long way in making life lighter. When we have surrounded ourselves with like-minded individuals, who share the same sense of humor, we are sharing a part of them and us, freely. You can bet that you were not the only one to come out of the circle of "friends" who have since grown within. At one time or another, each of you had the role of teacher, student, bystander, etc. Nothing is coincidental in life.

RETAIL. There's nothing like working on a Sunday, and being invaded by the ones who have just come from worship services, and getting slammed by the "I'm better than you" attitude. URGH... One Sunday, a woman and man came into the store to return an item, that not only had been worn and washed a few times, but also did not come from any of our stores. They were so mean spirited to one of my associates, insisting it came from us, when in fact it came from the store nextdoor. The associate was in tears from the words that were coming out of this woman's mouth. She was saying how God would bring his rath down on this young gal if she didn't do the right thing. I walked up as these words were being spoken. I looked the woman straight in the eye and told her that God was everywhere, not just in the church she had been to earlier. "I am the pastor's wife," she said, very loudly. "And I am one of God's daughters," I replied back. Her husband, the pastor, turned many shades of red. I looked at him and promised I would pray for him to truly walk in the Light of God. This woman's ego was so out of whack, she honestly thought she could use threats of God's rath on a loyal, hard working employee, who was following the company's policies. Later, I had to sit my associate down and let her talk about her feelings, and to help her see what had truly happened.

Every day we are faced with situations that just pop up. It is up to us to decide how we choose to deal with them. Yes, the pastor has returned many times to the store. Always a gentleman. His wife, I haven't seen her back in again.

Its a shame when people try to press upon others how special they are. Are we not all of one Spirit, one universe? Are we so controlled by ego that we must hurt others to prove our worthiness? Countries, businesses, every institution I can think of is ran by people, and those people have egos. Some so out of control that actual wars are started to try and prove who is "right" or "stronger" or whatever. Religions are no exception. Look at the "holy wars" in history. One religion believing their beliefs are the only true way.

I could go on and on, but the clock says enough. As we understand and find a balance with ego, so then shall peace be with us, one and all.

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