finding partners...

RedFox

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I think that's some good advice, I too was surprised by the 'life being grey/boring' comment.

However it is useful that you mention it, as it may get you closer to seeing yourself more clearly. This is important in the Work, should you wish to be doing it - hence I'd second the suggestion of reading/re-reading what Alada has mentioned.
Dabrowski's work may also be useful if you are interested.

From a practical point of view the 'life being grey/boring' can be a sign of brain chemical imbalance (lack or dopamine/serotonine), and can come from depression (see Covert Depression) and/or addiction. I went through many years of that, with sexual release providing the only moment of colour. To the point where I felt numb (and everything was grey and pointless) without it.
That was depression and addiction all tied together. And it just made things worse.

Perhaps it's worth re-reading lainey's quote from the Wave again, especially considering the hit of dopamine orgasm releases.
What is the dopamine release doing? This Is Your Brain On Porn (it applies even without porn).
Other things can give you the same chemical hit, so if it's something that interests you it may be worth considering what those things are. What gives you a rush followed by a crash/need to sleep?

If you want a better alternative, high intensity exercise to the point of exhaustion can help burn off the hormones. Black tea and oak extract can take the edge off things too.
In the end though, it comes back to what your Aim is, and if you a conscious have one.

Are you interested in the Work, and do you understand the reason for it?
It's kind of important, as that's the context that frames this discussion.
 

luke wilson

The Living Force
I'm starting to feel threatened by the direction this is going. Ominous feelings are coalescing. Dark clouds are forming, howls indicating the imminent approach of danger can be heard from the distance. The sun has disappeared into the clouds, the atmosphere has changed, the temperature has dropped, the stage has been set.

First of all, I put myself in a compromising position by talking about a subject that should be private. I didn't evade/avoid but all along had the feeling this line of action will automatically create perceptions in others eyes of someone who isn't clean/divine/angelic/pure/character-hardy which in turn will manifest in interaction. Then it'll descend down to not doing enough, being weak, being depressed, having the wrong attitude etc. Then I will turn round, increase my effort, quit 100%, have some new vigor, convince myself it can be done, which others may see as character building, which may reflect in interaction. Then eventually things will go back to normal, the inevitable slip up, the compromise etc. Then at some point in future someone in the forum will say something about the subject, I'd chime in, then depending on how things are for me at that point, the whole play may repeat.

The above may be mental narratives but in their is a sense of danger and a sense of visualisation, as to the path that will most probably manifest given how it's all shaking up. Naturally, the other solution could be to just ignore this thread, act like it never existed (like someone who has done a runner), or simply lie. Neither will be good for me personally in terms of work development but it may be good in terms of evading danger.

Its silly of me to write any of this but I figured it was the best path forward compared to responding directly to the latest comments and watch my visualisations come into reality.

I've read most of the books mentioned, not all. Currently reading Defying Hitler which has no bearing on this at all but it's what I'm reading when I can.
 

placematt

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
luke wilson said:
I'm starting to feel threatened by the direction this is going. Ominous feelings are coalescing. Dark clouds are forming, howls indicating the imminent approach of danger can be heard from the distance. The sun has disappeared into the clouds, the atmosphere has changed, the temperature has dropped, the stage has been set.

First of all, I put myself in a compromising position by talking about a subject that should be private. I didn't evade/avoid but all along had the feeling this line of action will automatically create perceptions in others eyes of someone who isn't clean/divine/angelic/pure/character-hardy which in turn will manifest in interaction. Then it'll descend down to not doing enough, being weak, being depressed, having the wrong attitude etc. Then I will turn round, increase my effort, quit 100%, have some new vigor, convince myself it can be done, which others may see as character building, which may reflect in interaction. Then eventually things will go back to normal, the inevitable slip up, the compromise etc. Then at some point in future someone in the forum will say something about the subject, I'd chime in, then depending on how things are for me at that point, the whole play may repeat.

The above may be mental narratives but in their is a sense of danger and a sense of visualisation, as to the path that will most probably manifest given how it's all shaking up. Naturally, the other solution could be to just ignore this thread, act like it never existed (like someone who has done a runner), or simply lie. Neither will be good for me personally in terms of work development but it may be good in terms of evading danger.

Its silly of me to write any of this but I figured it was the best path forward compared to responding directly to the latest comments and watch my visualisations come into reality.

I've read most of the books mentioned, not all. Currently reading Defying Hitler which has no bearing on this at all but it's what I'm reading when I can.

Hey Luke, Im curious as you're feeling threatened, and if so why you don't want to probe that. After all is this not the reason for such a place!! I think this is a good opportunity to learn and observe, see yourself.

I think a great place to head is to answer red fox's question if it threatens and if you feel its an avenue you want to block out!

RedFox said:
Are you interested in the Work, and do you understand the reason for it?
It's kind of important, as that's the context that frames this discussion.

I think its an important question, and i say this only because i feel I'm in a similar place as yourself! Just not specifically regarding this issue. But like all things, the journey starts with a step, and if this is such a threatening place to be, seems like your next step to take. I could be wrong though. Hope you work it all out!
 

Alada

The Living Force
The thing is, there’s an overall impression that you’re not up to speed on certain subjects Luke, so in trying to establish what you’ve read and what you haven’t it isn’t about anything other than the material itself. There is no, ‘you’re a bad person, you didn’t read x,y,z’, its more to find where you’re at so as to highlight to you the ‘dude, you could read this which might help’ with specific examples.

For example, at this point it would be useful to comment about the predators mind with regard to what you’ve written above. But not knowing what background knowledge you have on that already doesn’t help. Why pour time into further comments that might miss the mark if you don’t have the background reading?

As it happens, some of what you’ve written on this thread recently comes across as very well, and I thought, well, hats off for being so straight forward and upfront about things. The kind of poetic/cryptic writing thing and huge amounts of imagination occurring now are waaay more concerning than anything else at the moment, to me at least.

Who the heck IS "clean/divine/angelic/pure/character-hardy" here anyway? I’m certainly not, but I do what I can, do the best with what I’ve got. Its silly to worry about the pattern of trying, slipping up, trying again. That’s what IS, that’s the way we ALL learn I think. So you see, there should I think be no sense of ‘ah, they’re trying to catch me out by proving such and so’, ya’ll have to understand that very often if we see something in others its because we have seen/are working on the very similar things in ourselves.

If we can’t communicate well and help each other, if there is always doubt, suspicion, the ‘fear of being exposed any minute now’. Then what hope? Do you see how being able to network properly and commune-icate effectively with each other (rather than getting cryptic/evasive) might go a long way to ameliorate many of the problems raised in this thread?
 
S

Skipling

Guest
This has been the kind of thread which has been pertinent to me for ages, but I've always shyed away from opening up fully about the kind of subjects that inevitably follow from the discussion, but here goes.

As someone who has been through porn addiction (and many other addictions, sadly), I must say that to any sufferers you have to hang in there, never give up on giving up, and try not to despair about it. :)

Ultimately, this kind of addiction can be summed up as virtual prostitution, and that alone should provide a good jolt to the machine; it certainly did for me, and it's never easy overcoming any addiction, it takes time and continual perseverance on the individual's part. You've got to want to be free of it.

At this point I will also say that I am not judging anyone on this thread nor am I labelling anyone as an addict; I did ultimately label myself as one though, and sought the advice of a psychosexual therapist at my local hospital to help me get to the bottom of this inner emptiness and lack of self-regard (or genuine self-esteem) which led me to continually fall off the wagon after periods of doing well. I am still on this journey of self-discovery regarding the why's behind my maddeningly self-destructive behaviour throughout my adult life, but I am glad to be on this journey; it was never going to be pretty finding out about all these Jungian shadows within myself, but just like with any other form of illness in the mind/body, it's better to know and eventually be able to understand, isn't it? The alternative is far worse...just stumbling around in the dark.

Thankfully for me (although I wouldn't say that I am completely clean of the addiction), gradually I have found that more and more of myself (those little i's) has gotten bored of the whole thing, and I no longer rely on my old excuses ("I'm lonely, I need love too") which were in my case disguising what was merely a chemical dependency. It provided no love, and it was no cure for loneliness. It is what it is, and that is virtual prostitution. Virtual prostitutes are becoming less and less attractive to my machine now, and finally more and more little i's are waking up, seeing just how silly they/I have been.

Regarding the finding partners question, I've had to realise that in this life romantic love has eluded me, because in my case I need to learn how to love myself first and foremost; it's a life lesson which I am very grateful to have had brought to light for me. Until I can truly learn how to love all of myself, care for myself properly and comprehensively (physically, psychologically, emotionally, spiritually), what use would I be to any potential life partner?

I was in a potentially "good" relationship for 6 years, and throughout it I have subsequently realised that I was a narcissistic mess of a man, plus I have also discovered that the woman in question had next to no interest in the kinds of subjects that have led me over the years to Sott and to this forum, and what kind of relationship can truly grow without a colinear commitment?

By the end of the relationship we were barely able to speak to each other; just a sad, resigned silence, like two souls quietly realising we had reached the end of the road together and neither of us wanted to hurt the other.

Regarding the need for genuine colinearity, it might sound hard-line but it also sounds true to me. Of course at this point I also point out to any of my i's that are still struggling with the truth of this matter; any potential co-linearity with a virtual prostitute? It's a rhetorical question that for me highlighted the sheer ludicrousness of the situation, not to mention how low my personal standards had sunk.

It's been a hard life lesson but I've had to man up and come to terms with it, and it has not been easy. Actually it has been extremely messy and painful, but I'm through the worst of it now and can see far more than I ever could in myself before, and the key reason behind that is that more of me wants to see myself now. More of me wants to change the kind of person I am, because I didn't like the person I used to be. Plus these little i's have been reassured that they are not going to be hated, they are going to be loved and understood.

Another factor which is a great relief to me is the dropping off of my once insanely high maintenance libido. One of the hidden bonuses in ageing in my case.

I must stress that this is how I perceive things within me, and if anything I have said here seems too extreme or hard-line, I'd more than welcome the feedback. Personally I think I'm striving to be as objective about this aspect of my life as I can at this point. That's the honest truth about things as I currently see them.

To anyone struggling with porn dependency/binges/addiction, I wish you strength and perseverance in your battles. It can be overcome, but it does take time, patience, understanding and forgiveness. :)
 

patty2292

Jedi Master
luke wilson said:
Is this even a worthwhile subject to talk about? I just think many people say one thing and do another.

I think that statement makes it a very worthwhile subject to talk about.

luke wilson said:
First of all, I put myself in a compromising position by talking about a subject that should be private. I didn't evade/avoid but all along had the feeling this line of action will automatically create perceptions in others eyes of someone who isn't clean/divine/angelic/pure/character-hardy which in turn will manifest in interaction. Then it'll descend down to not doing enough, being weak, being depressed, having the wrong attitude etc. Then I will turn round, increase my effort, quit 100%, have some new vigor, convince myself it can be done, which others may see as character building, which may reflect in interaction. Then eventually things will go back to normal, the inevitable slip up, the compromise etc. Then at some point in future someone in the forum will say something about the subject, I'd chime in, then depending on how things are for me at that point, the whole play may repeat.
...
Naturally, the other solution could be to just ignore this thread, act like it never existed (like someone who has done a runner), or simply lie. Neither will be good for me personally in terms of work development but it may be good in terms of evading danger.

Its understandable how you feel towards this type of subject, as it is one that touches some nerves for alot of people. Just remember that no one is targeting you or trying to make you feel threatened. The headlights arnt on YOU directly, but on the subject itself. I think telling yourself that discussing this topic is not only aimed at helping you, but a whole array of people who are seeking some information and knowledge on this aswell may help. Some of whom may not be able to step forward to contribute due to the subject being, again, one that hits a nerve. So it was strong of you to be honest and not try to avoid it totally!

luke wilson said:
When I'm getting advice from somewhere, I would very much prefer if the person was legit i.e. not saying one thing then doing another!

If someone does not fit the criteria, doesnt mean the advice given should be scrapped fully.

Keyhole said:
In my own experience, over the past few weeks I have gone through a relapse a couple of times and succumbed to the desire to subject myself to the "filth". All I can say is that once you 'throw the dog a bone' once or twice, before you know it "the floodgates are open" and the habit begins to take hold again.

Corvinus said:
I ll be honest even if knowing it is sensitive topic, and not being totally clean, most of this year for the first 6 months I did not watch porn, after that did slip but intend to not watch it anymore. The longer you do not watch it the need for it is lesser and it becomes repulsive after longer periods. I could have got cleaner and prior to that few years earlier but it was my fault for not being more conscious and using it as disassociation when feeling hopeless, not having clear intention or inspiration of ridding of it, not wanting to lose it all yet, not giving it importance.

RedFox said:
From a practical point of view the 'life being grey/boring' can be a sign of brain chemical imbalance (lack or dopamine/serotonine), and can come from depression (see Covert Depression) and/or addiction. I went through many years of that, with sexual release providing the only moment of colour. To the point where I felt numb (and everything was grey and pointless) without it.
That was depression and addiction all tied together. And it just made things worse.

If you re-read peoples comments, you should see that people are admitting sensitive information along with yourself. Clearly there are alot of people in the same boat and to disregard peoples comments when they are trying to give their PERSONAL input is, i think, what Alada was implying with the evasion.

RedFox said:
I think that's some good advice, I too was surprised by the 'life being grey/boring' comment.

However it is useful that you mention it, as it may get you closer to seeing yourself more clearly. This is important in the Work, should you wish to be doing it - hence I'd second the suggestion of reading/re-reading what Alada has mentioned.
Dabrowski's work may also be useful if you are interested.

From a practical point of view the 'life being grey/boring' can be a sign of brain chemical imbalance (lack or dopamine/serotonine), and can come from depression (see Covert Depression) and/or addiction. I went through many years of that, with sexual release providing the only moment of colour. To the point where I felt numb (and everything was grey and pointless) without it.
That was depression and addiction all tied together. And it just made things worse.

Perhaps it's worth re-reading lainey's quote from the Wave again, especially considering the hit of dopamine orgasm releases.
What is the dopamine release doing? This Is Your Brain On Porn (it applies even without porn).
Other things can give you the same chemical hit, so if it's something that interests you it may be worth considering what those things are. What gives you a rush followed by a crash/need to sleep?

If you want a better alternative, high intensity exercise to the point of exhaustion can help burn off the hormones. Black tea and oak extract can take the edge off things too.
In the end though, it comes back to what your Aim is, and if you a conscious have one.

Are you interested in the Work, and do you understand the reason for it?
It's kind of important, as that's the context that frames this discussion.

I could not agree more with the link between addiction, in this case masturbation, and depression. And i think anyone partaking in this, or any other addiction should look into the mental health side of things that make us want to get this 'high' from our addictions or dissociation's. It may help set the scene for whats going on in our lives a little more.
 

luke wilson

The Living Force
I've read Isotm, Gnosis, wave series, SHTW... Partly read, fear of the abyss, defying hitler. Forgotten the names now but read some of the books recommended under the Julius cesar thread.

Watched lectures posted by redfox about validation/invalidation, Gabriel Mate talks. Got the big 5 at home plus other books I've been collecting but not reading. I read sott everyday but nowadays maybe a few times a week as sometimes get home to late. Read the forum daily. I also watch documentaries about various subjects, depends with what's floating around.

Its not a fear of being discovered. Its a fear of being told you aren't doing enough. Between working - leaving the house at 8 and getting back in between 7:30 & 8, cooking food from scratch every night which takes time, checking the forum/sott, not secluding myself from my housemates, occasionally socialising in the evenings with work colleagues or friends in the city, going to the gym for an hr every other day after work, my weekdays are gone. The exhaustion is to much to do to much more!

Between now and the second half of october, I only have 1 weekend where I have no obligations. This weekend I have to go on a hike on Saturday (I have an obligation to do this for a friend), go visit my parents on Sunday /Monday (haven't seen them in months). All weekends are dotted with things like this and ontop have work based examinations of which you have to do a copious amount of reading and remembering and being able to regurgitate an endless stream of information. The fear is being told you aren't doing enough!

I prioritise sott/forum as I can do this on the move as compared to recommended list. At any time I have a book from the list in my bag but I'd be lying if I said I read it as much as I should.
 

Buddy

The Living Force
luke wilson said:
I'm starting to feel threatened by the direction this is going. Ominous feelings are coalescing. Dark clouds are forming, howls indicating the imminent approach of danger can be heard from the distance. The sun has disappeared into the clouds, the atmosphere has changed, the temperature has dropped, the stage has been set.

It was a dark and stormy night?

luke wilson said:
First of all, I put myself in a compromising position by talking about a subject that should be private. I didn't evade/avoid but all along had the feeling this line of action will automatically create perceptions in others eyes of someone who isn't clean/divine/angelic/pure/character-hardy which in turn will manifest in interaction. Then it'll descend down to not doing enough, being weak, being depressed, having the wrong attitude etc. Then I will turn round, increase my effort, quit 100%, have some new vigor, convince myself it can be done, which others may see as character building, which may reflect in interaction. Then eventually things will go back to normal, the inevitable slip up, the compromise etc. Then at some point in future someone in the forum will say something about the subject, I'd chime in, then depending on how things are for me at that point, the whole play may repeat.

That describes a symmetry pattern more relevant to games or competitive activity. Most of the activity of Work seems to sort more into complementary patterns; like struggling with opposite poles.

Since you interact with many people in your environment, are you ever involved in a situation with someone where there is a disagreement and they just go silent on you, or go to the other extreme and get very emotional and verbally aggressive? Or have you ever reacted that way? If either case, you could be implementing core ideas in Crucial Conversations (it's on our reading list) to get communication with people going again and get a visceral feel for the friction involved in trying to go against ingrained patterns.
 

RedFox

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
luke wilson said:
Its not a fear of being discovered. Its a fear of being told you aren't doing enough. Between working - leaving the house at 8 and getting back in between 7:30 & 8, cooking food from scratch every night which takes time, checking the forum/sott, not secluding myself from my housemates, occasionally socialising in the evenings with work colleagues or friends in the city, going to the gym for an hr every other day after work, my weekdays are gone. The exhaustion is to much to do to much more!

Well in that case :hug2:

We're all in that same boat! So no one was telling you 'to do more', it's about passing on knowledge so that you have more energy to do these things.
We can't read your mind to know where you are, so we just have to go by what you've posted.

Thanks for clarifying.

Perhaps this might be of help? Stress buildup and the body
Stress will trigger all our comfort seeking and past addictive behaviors. Humans are social creatures, and one of the biggest stress relievers is socializing and opening up.
Connecting.
One of the deepest connections we can have is through sex, so it actually ties into this topic quite nicely.
Loneliness will cause stress, and 'seeking partners' may seem like the only way to relieve that stress.
Social rejection is terrifying, and when you are stressed will seem overwhelming. So that explains the 'dark clouds gathering'.

Perhaps this will also help with re-framing the stress? A lot of stress comes from our social programming, and 'how we are expected to be'.
If we never stop and get a chance to try out 'just being ourselves' (that statement use to make me So angry! because I didn't know how, and thought it meant I needed to 'Try harder!') it will be a huge burden of stress.

RedFox said:
Thanks Oxajil, it's a very important point actually.
I don't agree with his point of not thinking about death, but missed that initially.

T.C. said:
I'm wondering what it is that has prompted you to make this thread. I don't in any way want to take away from the importance of the subject matter in general, but as it relates to you, how do you think it "clearly isn't true" that you have become an adult and that you're operating from a child's perspective in an adult body?

What prompted me was a spate of deaths and births for friends and family. It got me to thinking about my own life, and taking stock of where I was. This led to how I see things.
Specifically, although I do adult things and act responsibly (this may answer your thoughts luke) it is all driven from a small constrained point of view. A 'scared child'.
I recalled a memory from pre-teen years (and others throughout my life) of being utterly petrified at being an adult - it made no sense and I had no idea how adults did things! At that age, I didn't have the knowledge, experience and maturity of cognitive functions to be able to see 'how it was done'.
That emotional perspective got stuck and frozen in time. It was the perspective I did everything from despite everything else having matured.

Perhaps that makes it clearer? I could see that my life was seen through this perspective, and all decisions and behaviors (especially stressful or anxiety causing ones) would trigger it.
When I could see it for what it was, I was able to switch to a new perspective. It felt like I'd been living in a closet in a large house, and finally stepped out to discover huge rooms full of libraries, tools and everything I needed.
I took stock of all the complex things I do/have done, but could not see due to the lens of the 'child' perspective.

luke wilson said:
You know, I think in psychology, there is to much blaming the 'child'. Everything goes back to the child. Maybe more than is warranted. I'm not seeking to say modern psychology is incorrect but it just seems that the child gets blamed for anything the adult cant do or is finding hard to cope with in the present. So much so that it is said you aren't an adult until you stop being a child. This theoretical framework sets up the child as something to be overcome, something holding you back, the eternal enemy of the 'adult'.

It is important to consider the baggage that goes with being a child, that of hearing things like 'why don't you grow up'. So you 'act' like an adult whilst still developing and the 'child' mind gets frozen in place.
There is nothing wrong with a childs mind or view of the world! It is a problem when you carry that mode of operation into adulthood. You end up with all sorts of 'childish' (there's that negative label again) behavior.
Narcissism and self indulgence, as well as black and white thinking and overwhelming fears.
So the definition of 'child mind' is probably not a useful definition - 'undeveloped cognitive functioning' may be more helpful.

An 'adult' is not a lack of a 'childs mind', it's the expansion of it.
It's the executive function that decides what mode to engage.
And the 'childs mind' sometimes needs you to reassure it, that as a team, you can solve whatever is in front of you.
If you abandon, neglect or try to shut it out, it will kick up a storm or sulk. It needs internal validation and support.

Here's an example of it in operation, along with it's formation:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/both-sides-the-couch/201306/taking-leap-faith-in-yourself
Taking a Leap of Faith - In Yourself
It's hard to try something new, but we also can't wait until we feel comfortable
Posted Jun 10, 2013

I went from grade school to junior high school to high school and even to college without so much as a breath. I simply did what was expected of me by my parents, by my grandparents, by my aunts, uncles, oh hell, by the entire neighborhood. All the children who went to P.S 99 for grades 1 through 6 were expected to proceed in much the same manner in the upper middle class area in which I was raised.

Did every father write on his daughter’s six grade report card in the comments section “Could use more work.” When a decision had to be made about which language to study starting in seventh grade, he plucked a book from the shelf and read aloud to her in French, afterwards declaring it the most beautiful language there was. What choice could she make after that?

I went to a college as far away from home as I could get, but manage to still stay in the same state. My brother followed me a year later. We had to take advantage of in-state tuition due to the dismal shape of our family’s finances. This decision (within that limiting parameter) seemed to be the first choice I was able to make about my life.

In the last semester of my sophomore year, I received two C’s. Up until then I had been able to keep my grades at A’s and B’s although I don’t know how because I seemed to be perpetually high along with the majority of the kids in my dorm. My parents threw a fit (they didn’t know about the marijuana), and they threatened not to let me play sports in my junior year. I spent most of the summer convincing them I could manage to both get my grades back up and play varsity basketball and softball. And I succeeded. That was the first hint I had that I was capable of directing my own life, but it was quickly buried. When I graduated cum laude, although it was an achievement, I had the sense that it wasn’t mine.

Right to work at an advertising agency as a secretary. Another failure. Why couldn’t I get a better job with a college degree? Was it my voice or my father’s that was asking? It wasn’t clear any more.

It took years of illness, years of trying to destroy myself, years of trying to please others, before I hesitated and then did what I wanted to do. I wasn’t sure I could return to graduate school to obtain my masters in social work and succeed — at the time I was contemplating this decision, it had been sixteen years since I had sat in a classroom.


I had tried returning to work at my first career in marketing after six years of depression and starvation and I failed miserably being back in the corporate world. I tried to work for my mother in her computer software development company — that endeavor lasted three months. When I told my mother and brother that I wanted to go to graduate school, they were surprised and most likely had their doubts, but since I was taking out a loan to pay for the tuition, they had little say.

I had doubts as well but I reserved them for my therapist and a psychologist who would become my mentor. This extraordinary woman who was already incredibly busy made the time to support me and guide me in my journey. She has since passed away but upon my graduation, she presented me with a pocket-sized DSM-IV inscribed, “May you diagnose others in good health.” Regardless of how many subsequent editions of the DSM are published, I shall always treasure my coffee-stained cpy of the fourth one.

This time when I graduated, I felt as though the choice and accomplishment were mine. I had somehow believed in myself even without knowing for sure that I could get through the two-year program and I moved forward despite a great deal of uncertainty and anxiety.

One thing that I try to share with my patients — and I have disclosed to them that I didn’t return to graduate school until I was 38 — is that if they wait until they are one hundred percent comfortable to try something new, it is likely that they will never attempt it. That they have to try to fly above the clouds that they are gazing up at from the ground below.

It may be frightening to think about, not to mention terrifying to take action, but the process can be just as rewarding as the result. “Think of the first time as practice for the rest of your life,” I tell them, “for once you start taking these giant steps, you will never want to stop.”

“It’s not what others think of you that matters or counts for anything,” I continue. “It’s that you tried and failed, or tried and succeeded — because you will do both — and not in any particular order and you will do both over and over again.”


I just tried yoga for the first time finally having been convinced by multiple sources that it would be beneficial for the pain due to my fibromyalgia, my stress level and my severe migraines. I had been resisting because I was fearful that I would “fail.” “Failure to me meant not being able to perform the various poses “perfectly” the first time out and if I couldn’t, what would the other people in the class think of my awkwardness?

Anxiously I attended my first class and I learned to move my body and to breathe. And despite my lack of strength and flexibility, I’ve kept going back. Now I walk around telling myself to breathe and I feel like I am breathing for the first time in my life.

The point about breathing is especially interesting, because it suggests a frozen freeze/fight/flight system.
It's important to be able to form your own personality through your own experiences.
And this is about a stable and healthy sense of self worth. Not one based on fear/failure or superiority/narcissism.

Another angle on the same thing:

http://psychology.about.com/od/theoriesofpersonality/a/self_efficacy.htm
What Is Self-Efficacy?

When facing a challenge, do you feel like you can rise up and accomplish your goal or do you give up in defeat? Are you like the famous little train engine from the classic children's book ("I think I can, I think I can!), or do you doubt your own abilities to rise up and overcome the difficulties that life throws your way? Self-efficacy, or your belief in your own abilities to deal with various situations, can play a role in not only how you feel about yourself, but whether or not you successfully achieve your goals in life.

The concept of self-efficacy is central to psychologist Albert Bandura’s social cognitive theory, which emphasizes the role of observational learning, social experience, and reciprocal determinism in the development of personality.

According to Bandura, a person’s attitudes, abilities, and cognitive skills comprise what is known as the self-system. This system plays a major role in how we perceive situations and how we behave in response to different situations. Self-efficacy plays is an essential part of this self-system.

What Is Self-Efficacy?

According to Albert Bandura, self-efficacy is "the belief in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to manage prospective situations." In other words, self-efficacy is a person’s belief in his or her ability to succeed in a particular situation. Bandura described these beliefs as determinants of how people think, behave, and feel (1994).

Since Bandura published his seminal 1977 paper, "Self-Efficacy: Toward a Unifying Theory of Behavioral Change," the subject has become one of the most studied topics in psychology.

Why has self-efficacy become such an important topic among psychologists and educators? As Bandura and other researchers have demonstrated, self-efficacy can have an impact on everything from psychological states to behavior to motivation.

The Role of Self-Efficacy

Virtually all people can identify goals they want to accomplish, things they would like to change, and things they would like to achieve. However, most people also realize that putting these plans into action is not quite so simple. Bandura and others have found that an individual’s self-efficacy plays a major role in how goals, tasks, and challenges are approached.

People with a strong sense of self-efficacy: {'adult mind'}

View challenging problems as tasks to be mastered
Develop deeper interest in the activities in which they participate
Form a stronger sense of commitment to their interests and activities
Recover quickly from setbacks and disappointments

People with a weak sense of self-efficacy: {'child mind'}

Avoid challenging tasks
Believe that difficult tasks and situations are beyond their capabilities
Focus on personal failings and negative outcomes
Quickly lose confidence in personal abilities

Sources of Self-Efficacy

How does self-efficacy develop? These beliefs begin to form in early childhood as children deal with a wide variety of experiences, tasks, and situations. However, the growth of self-efficacy does not end during youth, but continues to evolve throughout life as people acquire new skills, experiences, and understanding.

According to Bandura, there are four major sources of self-efficacy.

1. Mastery Experiences

"The most effective way of developing a strong sense of efficacy is through mastery experiences," Bandura explained. Performing a task successfully strengthens our sense of self-efficacy. However, failing to adequately deal with a task or challenge can undermine and weaken self-efficacy.

2. Social Modeling

Witnessing other people successfully completing a task is another important source of self-efficacy. According to Bandura, "Seeing people similar to oneself succeed by sustained effort raises observers' beliefs that they too possess the capabilities master comparable activities to succeed."

3. Social Persuasion {What happens if your model is people without self efficacy? Who constantly fail at/avoid life or dominate others?}

Bandura also asserted that people could be persuaded to believe that they have the skills and capabilities to succeed. Consider a time when someone said something positive and encouraging that helped you achieve a goal. Getting verbal encouragement from others helps people overcome self-doubt and instead focus on giving their best effort to the task at hand.

4. Psychological Responses

Our own responses and emotional reactions to situations also play an important role in self-efficacy. Moods, emotional states, physical reactions, and stress levels can all impact how a person feels about their personal abilities in a particular situation. A person who becomes extremely nervous before speaking in public may develop a weak sense of self-efficacy in these situations.

However, Bandura also notes "it is not the sheer intensity of emotional and physical reactions that is important but rather how they are perceived and interpreted." By learning how to minimize stress and elevate mood when facing difficult or challenging tasks, people can improve their sense of self-efficacy.
 

lainey

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Luke, you've had some great feedback, I just want to add, what is or isn't enough? It's totally variable depending on the circumstances. What it boils down to is giving what you can when you can. If you are fulfilling all the duties of a good obvyatel while in your spare time putting energy into the forum/reading them in my eyes that's enough. Good for you for making the effort.
As to your comment on what the point is, what I will share is my own thoughts on this. If I thought all this Work we do here, all this effort to share and grow, all the difficult dietary changes and physical exercise and cold showers was just for me, if I though for a second that I would be the only person that would benefit from it I wouldn't bother. I would be watching re runs of the X-files with a massive pizza having hot showers every day and partying at the weekend. But I'm not doing it for me, I'm doing it for everyone else because there are more important things than what I (it) want(s) to do. The world is burning and people are hurting and there is a small fraction of humanity who can see that and are asking for help to make positive changes. I think about the people here on this forum and everything that they have given me and I want to give something back. That's the point for me and this community here is like a rainbow after the storm.
 

lainey

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I also wanted to add that I'm literally in the first chapter of Cupid's Poisoned Arrow and if you have a bit of time just to read the first wee bit then perhaps it might give you some insight into this imbalance that you are experiencing if you find yourself slipping back to porn again and again.
 

Alada

The Living Force
luke wilson said:
I've read Isotm, Gnosis, wave series, SHTW...

[...]

Its not a fear of being discovered. Its a fear of being told you aren't doing enough. Between working - leaving the house at 8 and getting back in between 7:30 & 8, cooking food from scratch every night which takes time, checking the forum/sott, not secluding myself from my housemates, occasionally socialising in the evenings with work colleagues or friends in the city, going to the gym for an hr every other day after work, my weekdays are gone. The exhaustion is to much to do to much more!

Well, it sure sounds as if you might benefit from a review of that material. ISOTM and SHOTW both have excellent indexes, it's often enlightening to just follow the thread of a subject and see what comes up when you look under certain related headings. That can be done in minutes and keep the ideas and data moving along every day.

Heck, all you'd have to do is just cut down to one gym session a week and save yourself a bunch of time for doing a review of the material. You never know, maybe going to the gym is part of the problem, that the interest in going is not for health benefits, more the influence of being around women in Lycra affecting your machine. A mental work out three times a week might be far more beneficial, help you get to know your machine better.

We all struggle for time, how we manage what little there is depends on what our aim is I guess.

On feeling exhausted, I've often found in myself that feeling too tired to work can be strongly linked to negative emotions. It also seems to be true that energy we put into working/network is instantly replenished, if not increased, that a little push to get going often leaves you feeling way better than before.
 

luke wilson

The Living Force
Lol, there are very few girls at my gym... like next to none. Seriously, I'm not like a salivating pavlov dog at the sight/scent/voice of a woman... Hahaha.... Lol. I go to the gym because I want to maintain a level of physical vitality as I'm at a stage where it can go downhill very quick due to being sat down for a huge chunk of the day. Personally, I'd prefer not to go, but the price I pay there in effort (just enough), sweat and subscription is smaller than the price I'd pay for not going (rapid physical decay). I doubt humans were designed to be sat down for most of the day. But I get the point. I've actually been down to 1 day a week for about 6 weeks now, just because of time issues. It's 9:24 now and I sat down to read the forum on my laptop at 9:00. Got in at 8, by the time dinner was made and I'd eaten it was 9. Not yet had a shower. Will jump in after this post. Haven't read sott, don't think I'll have time tonight. Left work at 7 (about 30 - 40 min walk home), stopped by the supermarket, arriving home at 8. I need to definitely manage time better.

Wanderer, it was just an instinctive sense, nothing in general. In the beginning the impression about not being up to speed was not explicitly stated but this is where the interaction was leading without it being explicitly stated as such and I suppose this is what caused the anxiety/worry.

But, I can make time! And time isn't the problem I suppose, it's overcoming the hurdle of reading through reams of pages with small text that makes you feel like you are on a treadmill, muscles fatigued, lactic acid overload, having to still keep going. Don't know why I feel this way about reading books. I have no problem with articles, posts etc, but multiple pages of small text just result in fatigue.

Buddy, one day I'll see the world through your eyes. "Symmetry pattern more relevant to games or competitive activity" lol :) Incidentally I think I might have that book, crucial conversations, it's the one with the red cover... no? It appears to have gone walkabout.
 

Buddy

The Living Force
luke wilson said:
Buddy, one day I'll see the world through your eyes.

Luke, you see the same things I do. Maybe it's just my age and my brain's unceasing search for ways of organizing data that makes what I'm saying seem incomprehensible.

I can speak your language, but it will come across blunt, so let's do an experiment, Ok? You can tell me if I get out of line somehow.

The urge for sex is biologically driven. You're in no way accountable except for your chosen actions. If you can't contain yourself, then the solution is obvious. Get your favorite porn out. Masturbate to orgasm. Notice how long it takes your erection to subside and return to totally flaccid state. Sometimes you'll feel very good afterwards and stay semi-erect for awhile. Sometimes you'll go flaccid almost immediately after orgasm and feel rotten or otherwise not so good.

Pay attention to the particular class of porn or fantasy you used for that session. Whatever turns you off quickly afterwards is your body saying "Ok, that's not what I like." Whatever keeps you turned on (to some extent) afterwards, is your body saying "yes, that's the kind of sex (or whatever) I like." That's the raw information you'll have to deal with, if you really want to know it. If you think you can handle it, then do it, because that's probably going to be the character of a relationship you wind up in.

Without our narrative and verbalization ability, we would be little better than the dogs who, when they meet, are compelled to fight to see if fighting is really what they wanted to do. They may also fight in order to find out what their relationship is and if one is dominant while the other should be submissive. For people, there seems to be little more uncomfortable than to not know what role they should be playing, so in such a case, maybe they just have to act some out to find out.

Or, we could learn from other people's experience. How do I know the above? Personal experience and honest rapport with friends over the years. It just seems a shame that others have to go through those same motions, but it may just be necessary for all I know.
 

luke wilson

The Living Force
Thanks for shocking me to oblivion buddy. Petrified is the word. What I'm feeling right now after reading your post is how I imagine I'd feel if my mum ever talked about this. I'd simply stop in order to never hear her ever say any other word regarding it. God almighty!

'If I can't contain myself?' Ha! Why do people keep using phrases that imply you have no control or you are like some pavlovian dog... Jesus Christ, not a junkie, not overflowing with the uncontrollable need for gratification. Oh God! Just because you need to dip your toe in every now and again doesn't mean you are a fanatic.. Lol. Or does it? :shock: (or whatever!) oh deary me... There is no or whatever! How can you even think that... I quit this discussion. Lets go back to talking about finding Soulmates.
 
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