akienm: (Default)
She said "I know I should have told him then, I should have done better."

He replied "Given your needs, did you know a way to do better?"

She looked confused "Er, no…."

He chuckled, "So let me see if i have this right, you're down on yourself because you should have done something that you didn't know how to do. Do i have that right?"

"I… I hadn't looked at it that way…"

He urged "If you want to become better at this, find someone who knows how to do it well, and just watch them do it. Take it in. We monkeys learn through mimicry, so take advantage of it. Find someone who does this well enough that you can admire them for it."

She smiled, "Thanks".

Jealousy

Aug. 23rd, 2017 05:28 pm
akienm: (Default)
she asked "so, how do you deal with jealousy?"

he replied "the short answer is that jealousy is a collection of habits of thought. as long as those habits were strongest, i would feel jealous. i had to develop new habits.

"what habits do you have now?"

he looked thoughtful for a moment. "i pay attention to the feelings in my body, not the looping in my mind. i comfort my primate self, literally imagining being the child i once was and being held and comforted by the kind of parent i wished i'd had. i remind that child that we're just having a feeling, and nothing needs to be fixed, it will go away as soon as the adrenaline wears off. i remind myself that the wounding is in the past, the feeling today is just an echo. i keep my inner dialog focused on the present. i remind myself of all the things i have to be grateful for."

"how long did it take to habituate that?"

he laughed, "i still work on it every time something like that happens. i have many years with the old habits wearing grooves in my mind. the new habit's grooves will never be quite so deep, but the path to those grooves is part of what's changed. it's a process."
akienm: (Default)
Quite possibly the single most important lesson i have learned:

Whatever my attention is on, that is what my world is filled with.

When my attention is on my pain, the world is filled with my pain. when i express that pain fully, then i am able to turn my attention to other things. when i am unable to resolve my pain, the only course of action I know of is to remind myself that i have done all i can for now, and that the best way i can take care of my monkey is to turn my attention elsewhere. even if my attention doesn't want to go. it becomes a kind of meditation.

being aware that my world is filled with whatever my attention is on is what has enabled me to really own responsibility for my feelings.
akienm: (Default)
i am a big pile of habits & stories

habit - a behavior or thought that results from neurons firing in a concerted way repeatedly enough to strengthen those pathways, and thus they occur in preference other pathways. being triggered is an habituated response. so is walking.

story - a habituated interpretation… eg, reason, as in "he walked where it was dry because otherwise his shoes would get wet". the habit is walking where it's dry, the habituated stories are 1. that walking in the wet will get water in the shoes and 2. that water in the shoes is undesirable. i find that i tend to assume unquestioningly that the story is right unless a clear failure of the story occurs, at which point i am usually brought up short.

counter-story - a new interpretation or memory deployed to help elicit a new response to a given stimuli. reframing is one kind of counter-story. Reminding myself, in a jealous moment, that my partner has stuck with me through the hardest part of my life is another counter story. It runs counter to the story that my relationship with them will be harmed by them seeing other people.

I love you

Aug. 23rd, 2017 05:25 pm
akienm: (Default)
"What?!" she said...

"I love you"

"How can you say that?" she demanded. "You already have a girlfriend".

"Yes, I know."

"Are you trying to cheat on her with me?!"

"No, in fact she knows that I love you."

"What if I don't love you back?!"

"That's OK. When I say I love you, I am stating what I feel. That's all. I do not require you to love me back. I do not require that you have time for me, nor interest in me... I do not require that this 'mean something' beyond my statement of feeling".

"So then why are you telling me this?"

"Because it is what's true. And because in this life, love should not go unsaid."

"Why do you love me?"

"Because I see the things you struggle with in life. I see how you care about people. I see how you prioritize the needs of others. That care of others needs to be supported wherever it occurs. Imagine if every good deed were met with kudos, how different would the world be? So, I do what I can to make the world better."

"You're weird."

"You're not the first person to say that, nor will you be the last. And I'm OK with that. You, the things you do, the way you do for others... You are a gift to the world. And that should not go unrecognized. Thank you for having been part of my life."

Love 100%

Aug. 23rd, 2017 05:25 pm
akienm: (Default)
Love isn't a commodity to be traded or brokered. It isn't to be hoarded. It is to be given freely without condition. Give yourselves to each other with your full heart and soul. The more you give, the more you all will have to give.
akienm: (Default)
The question is often "Why aren't you meeting my needs?!" rather than "Which of my needs can you meet?"

The answer to the former assumes a static set of needs, and a static ability to meet needs.

The answer to the latter can change from day to day, and affords both parties the freedom to be who they are, right now, today.

It does however lack the illusion of security of the first question.
akienm: (Default)
He told the therapist "all I ever hear about is the things i've done wrong, she never appreciates the things i do"

She replied "but it goes without saying that i appreciate those things"

I learned two things in that moment... The first was: If it goes without saying, it should *never* go without saying. The second was: #cultivateappreciation

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Akien MacIain

August 2017

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