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Steven Ozanich Do we make excuses for people who do wrong to us?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by KathyBee, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. KathyBee

    KathyBee Peer Supporter

    One of the trends I have noticed that seem to pair with repression is to make excuses for the other person:
    It was an accident. She didn’t mean it. She is trying her best. He was just having a bad day.
    And so we feel like we should not be upset with them. And therefore things get repressed.
    I was journal writing and remembered an incident that happened when I was a child. A friend of mine broke one of my bones, but it was an accident. At the time she asked if I was made at her and I said no because I knew it was an accident. But I realize now that the id part of me was very upset with her. But I felt like it would not be right to be upset with her for something that was an accident.
    Another big area here is parents. A common thing in psychology is to say that your parents "did their best" of "did what they thought was right." So even if they did drive you to need therapy you should not hate them for it.
    But there are lots of cases where this does not make sense. My parents were neglectful. Meals were very erratic. I was never sure when I would get something to eat or what it would be. A "meal" might be something like a candy bar, a loaf of stale bread, or a can of fruit. Sometimes I would get lucky and have a sandwich, a can of soup or some fast food. But since the food was heavy on junk food I was pudgy kid so no one would accuse my parents of not giving me enough to eat. I do not see how this could possibly be interpreted as doing their best.
     
  2. Forest

    Forest Forum Administrator

    Without question we hold people to a different standard. This is especially true when people wrong us or do something that hurts us. For a lot of people, myself included, this is a major factor in why we repress emotions. The problem isn't so much that we give people a pass, but that we fail to give ourselves the same pass. We can excuse other people's behavior as either having a bad day or that they did their best, but our best is never good enough. Our TMS personality prevents us from accepting anything less then perfection. If we make the same mistake as one of our co-workers, we will beat ourselves up and tell ourselves that we are worthless. So much of reversing this condition involves not excusing people who wrong us, but about excusing ourselves for making mistakes or having powerful emotions.
     
    plum likes this.
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, KathyBee. Your posting reminded me of mealtime when I was a boy in the 1930s and 1940s. Both my mom and dad worked (hard jobs during hard times) and my older brother escaped all their arguing over money and the lack of it by joining the Navy early in World War II when he was just 16.
    My year-older sister and I had to make our own meals, from groceries mom bought and instructions on how to prepare that night's dinner.

    One night, Mom left instructions for me to make breaded pork chops. I followed them faithfully but when my sister tasted her chop she spat it out.
    I didn't like the taste of mine, either, so I left it on the plate. We ate some cornflakes for dinner.

    When our parents came home from work later that night my sister told about how awful the pork chops tasted. Mom said maybe the butcher gave her horse meal, but when she looked a the ingredients I used, she realized the problem. She remembered she had switched them and put the sugar in the flour bowl. No wonder I made "candied pork chops" for dinner.

    My father never took my side. He even had the habit of putting me down in front of his men friends. I never knew why. But after he heard Mom explain about putting the sugar in the flour container, he said, "It wasn't Walt's fault." It was the only time I ever heard him take my side.

    Your Mom had her own reasons for being late with meals or not giving them at all, and you can only try to guess why. I'm thinking she must have had worries that seemed bigger to her than preparing meals. I wonder if she went hungry too?

    There I go... making excuses for other people. But sometimes when I put myself in their shoes, I reach some kind of understanding which leads
    to me forgiving.

    Are you in pain? What kind? What are you doing to heal?
     
  4. KathyBee

    KathyBee Peer Supporter

    I have wandering pain. Most recently it has been hanging out in my legs. My neck and shoulders have been popular hangouts lately. The pain does not seem to like my journaling because when I type or write about it my hands often get sore.
    In addition there is feeling of all over tension or stiffness that just never goes away. On bad days it will be an all over low grade ache.
    I have fatigue but that seems to be getting better.
    There are other more minor things that might be TMS as well. Mild allergies, mild digestive problems, occasionally spacing out.
    Right now I have been reading the Pain Deception book and journaling. I have also tried to be more physically active. And replacing my therapy exercises with regular exercise.
     
  5. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS author and speaker

    Walt I'm fascinated by your stories from you about when you were growing up. That world was a different universe from what we see today. People actually had to deal with people then. You are a treasure of experience that we don't have to dig for.

    KathyBee, we absolutely make excuses for those people. It's because we need them, and because we can't fathom hating them. The shadow aspect, as Dr. Sarno described with his Divided Mind, doesn't really care about those people. So you have the mind divided between awareness that you "should" care about them, and you have that part of you that doesn't give a damn. The non-caring part is something that is unconscionable to us, and so we feign caring with excuses like, "well, it was just their job." What we really want to say to them would make a rapper blush.

    Understanding why someone has done something to us does not mean we forgive them. True forgiving yields true healing. This takes time. The key is in the lightbulb moment that you become aware that the others are you, and you are them. That's the final step to true peace within the self. All the conflict within stems from thinking we are separate. This comes from ego; ego means "me."

    When you forgive someone else you forgive yourself. When you help someone else you help yourself. When you love someone else you love yourself. The reverse is also true. Only until you love aspects of yourself can you love others.When we make excuses for them, we're really only making excuses for ourselves, by holding them to the standards that we would want others to hold us to. It is a truly brilliant design by God; to return home, to free ourselves we have to free them too.

    If you really want to be free, then let them go.

    "And why do you take note of the grain of dust in your brother's eye, but take no note of the bit of wood which is in your eye?" M, 7:3.

    Steve
     
    plum and Forest like this.
  6. KathyBee

    KathyBee Peer Supporter

    I suppose on the flip side, you could say that it is not necessary to understand to forgive.
    Sometimes there are not any mitigating circumstances. Or at least none that you know of which is the same thing from an emotional level. In my mom’s case I do not know of mitigating circumstance. She was a stay at home mom. But she did not cook. Or clean. Or spend much time with her kids.
    It is hard to accept someone who did not seem to accept me. Between the neglect, the lack of affection and the criticism of just about everything about me I felt rejected as a person.
    On one hand I am really drawn to the whole we are one idea. But in practice it when you do not have a sense of belonging. In high school I was unpopular and verbally bullied. At home I felt rejected. So I am one with them, but yet I do not feel like a part of them. I can accept this as an abstract concept, but actually feeling it is pretty hard.
     
  7. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I lost that reply. I hate that. I hate computers and get angry at them when they do things like that.
    They should wait for me to finish writing.

    I was saying that I was invisible in high school until I began working on the school newspaper
    and appeared in a couple of school plays. Then kids greeted me in the hall and seemed to like me.
    I wasn't into sports. School athletes get most of the slaps on the back, or lower.
     
  8. Hafiz

    Hafiz New Member

     
  9. Hafiz

    Hafiz New Member

    My first post and I may have clicked on the wrong button here - but here goes:

    I just had a new thought regarding my subconscious (subcon). The "fight or flight" syndrome is hardwired into ur DNA - so our subcon may believe it has no option BUT to respond to our internal/external stessors by generating some form of pain to distract us. Just as we are learning to forgive past transgressions of others (and more importantly ourselves), why not forgive our subcon for what it believes is necessary to divert our attention from this apparent cesspool of memories we've collected over our lifetime? If our subcon really does believe that it's protecting us by diverting our attention to some painful condition - what happens if we forgive our subcon?

    I've read other posts where people shout and curse their subcon telling it "I know what you're up to and I'm not falling for this pain substitution you're throwing at me anymore" etc. Instead of becoming angry at our subcon for something it thinks is a diversion to protect us - what if we forgive it?

    Just a weird thought I had today. Tomorrow I may read this and wonder where in the hell I ever thought this up!!
     
    Solange likes this.
  10. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    I love the different perspectives in this thread. It highlights one reason I love this place so much, we get to see beyond ourselves and our limited perception. I had a rubbish experience with someone this weekend and I used it as a lens to filter my thoughts so a big thank you to all for your words here. Looking back across my life I realise that I have certainly made excuses for people and that this has in a way been a bluff for anger. Once I was clear on that, I was better able to deal with the torrent of emotions and a bit of Anglo Saxon followed by much soothing later, I find I drop into a deeper level of truth and compassion. Somewhere around here, the heart softens and the forgiveness comes. Real forgiveness too, not phony shells of words that cut the insides of your mouth because you hurt.
    The weekend thing was nothing big but it did demonstrate how far I've come with my healing and deepening as a person. I really have to thank so many people here for being a part of that.
    So to wrap and pack this comment I believe we start out making excuses for their sorry behaviour, for the reasons Forest states, and then with time and much inner work we reach a friendly shore where we can let it all go. And of course, it's worth remembering that there are people making excuses for us and what we did to them. And so it goes. Forgiveness is a truly beautiful thing.
     
  11. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    This sounds like it's part of the same general TMS mindset that makes you invest your inner bully with all kinds of power to disrespect you and put you down. Don't do it!

    BruceMC
     
  12. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Our TMSWiki community is pretty special, isn't it. Plum, yes, forgiveness is a truly beautiful thing.
    And Hafiz, making friends with our subconscious is very important in healing. It's there to help us to recover
    and bring us peace.

    I hope you folks will look at TMS and Pop Culture for the postings about movies and television series that
    are examples of TMS healing.
     

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