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Day 8 being a good example

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by ElizabethG, Feb 12, 2016.

  1. ElizabethG

    ElizabethG Peer Supporter

    I've just finished day 8. I've been stuck on this day for a while trying to write someone a letter. I wasn't able to get past the thinking to the feeling and was finally able to today and I learned that I have a lot of pressure to be a good example. I remember being told in jr. high that I should be a standard for my friends to follow and that made sense to me and I was for a very long time. I'm realizing that I still feel that pressure 25 years later and that I also feel like I'm failing in almost every way. I often think, if I can't do this right, then how can I help anyone else? This is a big revelation to me because I knew that I put pressure on myself but I didn't know I felt guilty and sad for not helping everyone around me as well. It seems quite fitting that my pain started in my shoulders as I've been carrying around a heavy burden. I'm looking forward to seeing the results of this new piece of the puzzle.

    I'm just now realizing that I should probably have an emotion towards the fact that I have this pressure in the first place but I'll get there.
    Stella likes this.
  2. Moppy

    Moppy Peer Supporter

    Hi ElizabethG. Isnt it amazing how helpful this forum is, often in ways we don't expect? I just read this post of yours and suddenly realised that i do exactly the same as you in a way I hadn't realized before, particularly when you said you feel guilty and sad for not helping everyone around you. I do too on a much bigger scale. I do feel guilty about not doing more about the less fortunate in our world: the asylum seekers being refused refuge in my country, those dispossessed due to immoral big business like mining, people whose livlihood is snatched away due to environmental damage done in the name of a few people making more money etc. It goes on and on...there is so much needless inequality and suffering in our world and i think i should be doing more BUT i also want time to myself now that i have retired and my children are grown up. I want to spend more time in my garden growing food, spend more time exploring our beautiful natural environment and do more bushwaking, painting and drawing....but i feel terribly guilty about wanting this. I do some volunteer work in the community but always i feel i should be doing more.... I know its a question of balance but the imbalance i currently feel and the guilt for not doing more is definitely a major contributor to my TMS, especially the shoulder and knee pain i suspect. Think i need to do more journalling on this.....your own reflections have really helped me so thank you so much for sharing....
    Stella and ElizabethG like this.
  3. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    Perfectionism is often a component of TMS. I've struggled with it my whole life. I like to think that I now have more balance in my life, and try to include time to meditate, exercise, and do something fun each day. That's hard!

    Moppy, your post reminded me of something my Dad told me when I had a young child. I was used to volunteering at several places, in addition to working. He suggested that our lives had "seasons," and that while my daughter was small, my focus should perhaps be on her. that gave me permission, in a way, to back off on the volunteering and other commitments. I've learned to say "no." And now that my daughter is in grad school, I'm very protective of the time I have after work. I want to spend it with my husband! Who knows how much time we have left together?

    There are even monastic traditions that focus on balance. Even the ancients knew that too much work or prayer was a bad thing!
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  4. ElizabethG

    ElizabethG Peer Supporter

    Hi Moppy, yes this forum is a huge help, I'm sure I wouldn't have gotten this far without it. It's awesome that my post helped you realize what may be contributing to your TMS, I'm so glad you wrote. Your desire to spend time outside and also to be creative is really beautiful. I still struggle to know what brings me joy. I hope your journaling gives you the freedom to enjoy the things you love without the guilt of not doing more. Perhaps in pursuing what you love you will find a way to make a bigger impact on the world. :)
    Moppy likes this.
  5. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    How interesting it is, these juxtapositions between taking care of our own existence, seeking beauty, ease, goodness in life ---and the urge to reach out and reduce suffering we see around us.

    We can see the distortion for caring for others in a natural way, in the conditioning to "be nice," "take care of others," and "think of others." And all the familiar guilt and shame we learned when we didn't behave this way as children. We can see this conditioning, and with insight and feeling more, we understand that there is something missing in this view. The guilt, shame, and superego attacks tell us this is not the right path. It isn't right to live out our lives trying to achieve a self-image which we took on as way to stay in the field of love. And which is based on a child-like mind of all-good (and therefore worthy) or all-bad (and therefore unworthy).

    The goodist and perfectionist ideals are actually unachievable because they are so rigid. Who, for instance judges our worthiness? However, as Blake said, they are seductive. They promise us love and support (from our caretakers). Yet they are always painful in their embodiment. And the goodist and perfectionist views are not attuned to those around us so much as they are attuned to our own conditioning, our myopic view of the world.

    So does that leave us to hedonism and self-centeredness, selfishness? The superego says this is the alternative to the life of trying to appease the superego. Its black or white.

    Perhaps when we come to more understanding of our own suffering, we can give, and will want to give, quite generously, to those around us. It might feel like a natural abundance of giving, rather than a guilt driven compulsion. I hope so. I want to give with ease, and love with beauty, and care with goodness. I want to let my generosity flow naturally.
    Moppy, Stella and ElizabethG like this.
  6. ElizabethG

    ElizabethG Peer Supporter

    Thanks Andy. That's really good. I've spent a handful of years now fighting behavior modification in preference of fruit coming from a full life but living with pain leaves me drained and empty feeling. I'm already feeling a more natural flow of positive emotions springing from this TMS journey. I'm looking forward to seeing how this affects my girls. They seem to live with my same emotions to a lesser degree. It's amazing how much I've been able to help my five year old through what I've been learning.
  7. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    Being "compulsively dutiful" is another one of my personality traits. Dr. Gabor Matte discusses this in his book, When The Body Says No. In other words, when YOU can't say no your body says NO for you (in so many ways).

    I have to manage being Compulsively Dutiful all the time. I have to place myself as a priority realizing guilt starts dancing around in my head when I do. I journal about that guilt and anger that follows to manage my mental and physical health.
  8. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Elizabeth. Trying to live up to other people's expectations is a waste of time and definitely can cause emotional TMS pain. Don't let the pressure make you feel guilty, just do what you can and let them live at the perfection level they want. I was a hard-working perfectionist as a writer for years, until I finally modified it. I still get mad at my computer for not writing as fast as I think, and making so many typos, but then I laugh at myself. I can't tell you what I have been feeling guilty about all my life (and I'm 85 now), but I can say that I've learned that there was no need to feel guilty at all. I got a lot of bad information. I learned a long time ago about trusting information from a night editor when I was a reporter on a newspaper. He said not to take anyone's word for anything... "If your mother says she loves you, check it out!"
    ElizabethG likes this.
  9. ElizabethG

    ElizabethG Peer Supporter

    Thanks Walt! I've been through a long process of letting go of guilt. Clearly I still have a ways to go but the journaling seems to be helping me find the causes. And that's good advice about not blindly trusting because I tend to to do that. I love how you find ways to laugh. I will try that as well.
  10. Moppy

    Moppy Peer Supporter

    Andy, I think you've hit the nail on the head with your question "who for instance judges our worthiness?" Probably only ME....no one else. So how pointless is that....i could never satisfy myself because i have just realized that i do still subscribe to the "all or nothing" childhood belief and i dont think i had really understood this before. It really is the belief that underpins our perfectionism isnt it? Wow...this TMS journey is full of amazing insights! Thank you for your comments...extremely helpful☺
  11. Moppy

    Moppy Peer Supporter

    Thank you Elizabeth....thats a lovely way to look at it. Its really wonderful to know we all journey this path together.and its not just an academic connection. Personal comments like yours really do bridge the geographical divides and create a sense of mutual support.Blessings to you!
    ElizabethG likes this.
  12. Moppy

    Moppy Peer Supporter

    What wise words....Gigi...thank you for passing on the wisdom....i do have some sense that right now throuh this TMS journey i am recovering physically and refashioning my life after many years of physical pain and self inflicted mental anguish. Who knows where it will end. But if i dont accept and welcome this "season" of self reflection and healing then i wont move forward....you are very wise!
  13. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    That's nice Walt. A boundary between who we are, our existence, and the others. Let them go ahead and experience all the perfectionism they want. It does not involve me. I can even lend my support: "I urge you to live at the perfection level that you want, and I'll choose my favorite perfection level too!"
    ElizabethG likes this.

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