Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Libertad, Oct 22, 2013.
Just a few thoughts.
About Free Will:
If we really had free will, wouldn´t we will ourselfes to do what would be the best to reach our desired outcome every time?
In terms of PMO, why didn´t I will myself to give it up twenty seven years ago? I knew after a few times of PMO that it was bad for me and it always left me depressed and without motivation afterwards.
The ego wants me to believe that there is a free will, that every decission is made by myself and I am the one who sits in the drivers seat in my life and that I can be proud of myself if I accomplish something I wanted and if I did not reach it yet, I just have to try harder and use more willpower.
Looking back, the reality for me was contrary. The more I used willpower and tried to resist what I did not want, the harder it got and the less progress I made.
When I gave up, in wanting to control the outcome and took full responsibility for everything as best as I could, even recognizing and acknowledging and accepting that a lot of things seem out of my control, things started to go smother.
The key for me is to be more outcome independent. Not to judge every little feedback as failure or success, but simply as feedback and not to question or doubt my whole proccess every time.
To not judge a relapse too harshly in case it will happen in the future, or to see it as a sign that my approach and proccess I implemented was necessarily wrong and needs to be changed.
To put the main energy in becoming consistant in the proccess of things like meditation and do them independent of relapses or reaching the big goal.
To be more in the present and look reality in the eye no matter how much it may hurt in the moment.
Disclaimer: This is a heavily religious/philosophical post and not everyone will agree with this, I just calls it like I sees it... no offense intended to anyone, just presenting what I believe is the worldview presented in the Bible. I absolutely acknowledge I can't force this worldview on anyone else.
Ah ha, but the thing about free will is that we are imperfect beings - a Biblical concept is that we are "fallen" or "slaves to sin". So we do have freedom to make choices but in my own experience I will choose the wrong way as much or more than I choose the right way.
We were created in God's image and so we shouldn't be surprised when someone, even an atheist, behaves in an honourable way. But also, we are all sinful to the core and we shouldn't be surprised when someone, even a religious person, behaves in an awful manner. In fact the Bible reports we don't have the capability on our own to revert back to choosing good behaviour (check out Jeremiah 13:23 for example: "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil." Or, Ephesians 2 which says we are "dead" in our sin.)
So, "free will" is a loaded term. Yes we make real genuine decisions and are therefore responsible for those outcomes, but, that doesn't guarantee we will use that free will for positive outcomes.
So what's the good news? Carry on in Eph. 2 - God sent Christ to make us alive again, out of our sin. We are saved by grace (that means it's undeserved and not based on our works) through faith (God asks us not to trust in ourselves but to trust in Christ to save us, forgive us, change us, bring that life and enable us to make honourable choices). The work of Christ helps us to come back to being what he originally made us to be before sin was in the picture: Ephesians 2:10 "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."
In any case, sounds like you are on solid footing and congrats on 5 months.
Thanks for taking the time.
What I want to say for now, is that I don´t feel or think that I deserve the progress I made and the more than five months of no PMO.
Difficult to explain, but after years, not years, decades of struggling to give up PMO, this time it is going smooth and almost effortless. I am not an esotherik person or very spiritual, but it is almost as if a force outside of myself does the work for me. Don´t get me wrong, a lot of things in my life are still not were they probably should be in my opinion, but the PMO thing is going almost effortless without my will or my power. I am gratefull for it, because after decades of struggling I was about to give up. I came to the point to admitt that I can´t do it by myself. The proof was in the countless attempts.
Hundreds, more like thousands of times I tried to convince myself that this time would be the last time, but it never was. I reached a point around six months ago, that I said to myself, that honestly, I can´t say when will be the last time that I will do it, and that it seems out of my control and that I don´t trust myself any more when it comes to PMO. I still think this way.
I can´t say that I will never PMO again, because when it comes to PMO I can´t trust myself and I countless times disapointed myself with going back on my word that I gave myself. Strangely enough, in hindsight, something seem to have changed and things started to go smoother. I wanted to mention it here, it may help others who are judgemental and harsh against themselfes after relapsing for decades. There is something about not resisting any more and be extremly honest and take full responsibility as best as I can. It is not pride, maybe I will relapse today or tomorrow. I am not sure and can´t be certain about myself and my actions when it comes to doing PMO and relapsing. I burned myself too many times.
About free will, I will repeat reading what you wrote a few times over the next few days. My thought for now are, that we can decide to return to the father, after we suffered enough and our ego at least partially died, and than god can change us, he lets us see ouselfes and our actions, because we ourselfes can´t do it. I can´t do it. I tried it for decades, it did not work for me.
The sin is not our doings like PMO, smoking pot or whatever it is that we do, the sin is playing god in our lifes, that we think that we can change ourselfes, our ego does not want the truth, it does not want to lose or give up the control over our lifes. The ego, which wants to play god in our lifes, is the nature of satan.
Maybe I am wrong about it and my view is not right on these things. I am open to whatever gets revealed. I was wrong so many times in my life, especially with this PMO thing, that I don´t trust myself any more. I am more and more adapting a wait and see attitude. Trying to take on a believe does not work for me, I have to see it for myself.
At the innermost core of all loneliness is a deep and powerful yearning for union with one's lost self.
Brendan Behan (irish writter)
And I (We?) tried to fill it with outside things and drugs like PMO for decades.
The difference between happyness and pleasure and what it does to us when we seek pleasure which is relevant for PMO users. He also talks about diets.
The Hacking of the American Mind with Dr. Robert Lustig
Great resource! Thanks for sharing.
Apiring to see life like the following poem describes it. Especially in times like this with all the crazyness going on.
I noticed a few things about my souroundings. I became more confident and self-assured and a few people out of my circle are surprised and not pleasantly surprised. I established a few boundaries, and two people reacted with anger and almost hate. In the past, when someone asked me for help, I was doing it without even thinking about my situation. For example a person called and said if I can help with his computer because he had a specialist over who changed something and he could not figure out were to go from here. It would have been a drive of around 60 miles. Before staying away from PMO for a few months I would have gone imediately. But now I told him to call the specialist again because I knew it would probably take me hours to figure out the problem and did not want to do it. He turned on me. It first surprised me but thinking about it, for years I played the victim and mostly did not speak up but did what was expected.
Most likely parts of my circle of people will have to change, if I stay on this path of no PMO, because I became a different person than I was while praticing PMO.
It can hurt but seems necessary for me to grow and stay on track.
BY RUDYARD KIPLING
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
Just a few thoughts. And as a disclaimer, I am seeking myself and I don´t trust myself when it comes to PMO and don´t know if I may relapse today or tomorrow.
I read about beating this addiction, fighting the urges, calling it a horrific, really difficult to beat addiction.
This sounds like war, like a boxing match in were you have to beat and defeat the oponent. In our case PMO.
Is this really the case? Thinking this way, aren´t we setting ourselfes up for failure and an endless fight against ourselfes, beating ourselfes up every time after a relapse because we saw it as a fight and PMO won ones again in case of a relapse? Also calling it a horrific, difficult to beat addiction, puts ourselfes in a very weak position because it makes the addiction seem as a huge, powerfull obstacle.
But what is it really?
A means to an end.
Maybe we all can agree, that PMO is used by us as a strategy to fill some void, to regulate our mood, to feel something or in the hopes of feeling better for a few moments, to distract ourselfes, to escape reality, whatever it is that makes us do it. Almost everything we do, if we do it out of the mentioned reasons, can be seen like something similar to PMO. Smoking, Cocaine, Sports, buying things, getting addicted to work etc. There are drugs more or less damaging to ourselfes, drugs were things get faster or slower down hill.
So if we do it to feel better, does it make even sense to try to beat the strategy we used and fight against it, or shouldn´t we take a very close look at what makes us feel bad and confront the reasons that come to our awareness stronger, the longer we don´t distract ourselfes with our drug of choice?
For me one main point is unforgiveness. I can be angry at someone or even hate someone, who did me wrong in my opinion, with a passion for a long time. I almost harbor those feelings of resentment and it makes me feel powerfull and clear minded. There is the enemy and I am here, the fronts are clear. It gives me structure and security. I found out that the strongest need I am lacking since childhood is the feeling of being safe. So whenever I can categorize people and things and put them into a box in my mind, it gives me a mentall structure to hold onto, and makes me feel safe. I have to come to terms, that feeling safe is not achieved in holding onto crutges or judging people and things. That is one main point which PMO gave me a stupid way to not to have to deal with my state of mind of feeling unsafe.
Maybe the word avoiding the drug and observe what comes up, could be a strategy to find out what makes us want to use the drug.
In case we agree with the above statement, there is no need to beat anything. The moment we found the hook that kept us inprissioned and tied to the drug of our choice, see it, stand up to it, whatever it may be, the need to escape our existence will fall away.
A few posts back I posted a video were the doctor asked a patience how she managed to become a no smoker after many years of failed attempts to stop smoking. She replied, after the traumas were solved, she now forgets to smoke. There is no urge there to beat or fight any more.
This gives me hope, that freedom is possible if we look at ourselfes with no excuses and with honesty, taking full responsibility for whatever we see or do, than there is no need to escape with the help of a drug.
Maybe deviating the energy we used to fight PMO into standing up to reality without excuses and complains, wouldn´t be the worst way to go.
Libertad, what a wonderful post. Thank you.
Libertad this is a genius post and I found it it particularly spoke to me. Thank you
Thank you @Old Tom Bombadil and @Mozenjo for the compliment. Glad it was useful.
A clip from Dave Ramsey.
They basically say, we can´t separate our misbehaviour from our bad outcomes in life. They are related.
Also that a lot of people are outsourcing their lifes and not truly living it and that P is the number one addiction and search on the internet.
Not surprised to hear that porn is the number one addiction. I just fed it again. Ugh. Ramsey was right on the money here. I also listened to the Robert Lustig interview above. Great stuff. Thanks Libertad.
It could be the oportunity to find out and become clear what is missing and what fear or feeling is hiding behind the misbehaviour like Dave Ramsey called it. If we can see it as that, an oportunity to find out more about ourselfes and what is missing, it takes away the power and judgement it has over us. All the best.
You're on a roll libertad. Thank you for what you've shared and for encouraging me on my journal.
Thanks, but as we all are, I am only a split second away from a possible relapse.
I see myself still more as an expert of relapses than of a healthy life.
I posted this a few weeks back.
At the innermost core of all loneliness is a deep and powerful yearning for union with one's lost self.
Brendan Behan (irish writter)
A few more thoughts on it.
I blocked myself of from being myself in many ways.
Underlaying one reason I can see now clearly is, that I wanted to be unconditionally accepted and loved. When I started a project or task or school or the ingeneering degree, I blocked the effort I put into it myself in many ways. I wanted to be acknowledged for who I am and not for what I can or bring to the table. Looking back from were I am now, this was naive and stupid. I expected something from people, that an employer can never give and I blocked myself from putting 100% into something, because my thought process was always, if I put a lot of effort into something, than it is no longer something special if I can do it, it is no special talent that would be admired or acknowledged and that is unique of myself, it would be simply the fruits of the effort I put in and everyone else who puts a lot of effort into something will sooner or later have the same capability and knowledge over the same subject. Basically, the inner me (child) wanted to be loved unconditionally, I myself was never able to love myself but expected it from the outside.
I wanted to have an Identity on the outside because inside I don´t had it and was not myself.
Today I can see how stupid such a behaviour is or at least how and why I took on this pattern and behaviour, but even now, in me, when trying to do something, my inner self stands on the internal brakes and I have to find ways to convince it to at least put the minimum amount of effort into the project to at least get through it and get what there is to get. But not more and not with joy and motivation but with kicking myself in the bud to make it through.
It can be very painfull to realize why things are as they are and what led to it. With practicing PMO it was possible to avoid a lot of realizations and the motivation for action and so delay the necessary change for many years.
Today I found a good video about the immunity of addicted people to risk and consequences, it is about diet but the general pattern is the same as for PMO. In short, if one really realizes the risk of his behaviour, he would be more careful what he does but the addict finds ways to play the consequences down or turns a blind eye to them when they scream at him. Something similar I posted a few weeks back when talking about the series my 600lb life and that with eating disorders or addiction, the consequences are much more clear and open for oneself and others to see, than with PMO. But there are havy consequences to pay with both addictions over the long run. For PMO one big factor is life time that passes by, because it keeps us stuck and makes us unaware to a lot of realizations we would have othervise and it leaves us with no motivation for change. The following is the video about diet and the most important part is from minute 7 on.
Main point: When addicts begin to consider the risk over the high, they begin to realize that the risk isn´t worth the high.
Second Videos main point: Addiction is a consequence of a deficient emotion management system, followed by the connection with a dysfunctional way of managing the emotions.
Ep:09 Why me? Vulnerability to addictive behavior part 1- by Robert Cywes - YouTube
I'm linking here something I posted in @Mozenjo 's journal: https://yourbrainrebalanced.com/forum/index.php?threads/moz-journal.21136/page-101#post-725566 .
I feel like waking up from being hypnotized and ignorant and a few things that I can see now in myself, are not flattering at all. (It turns out that I am no saint, of course I knew that) It hits hard when one becomes more aware of what is going on in his life.
And I am not really capable yet to deal with these realizations in myself and about the behaviour of others and I am surprised, how much the behaviour of others still affects me. I thought I was further in the developement of my inner self and emotional stability.
It seems like, the numbing down over decades, covered up a lot of my inadequacies by simply the avoidance of dealing and working trough stuff and feedback and so I did not overcome it and the shit became more over time.
I never thought that there was so much emotional baggage and triggers left under my surface who have not been resolved yet.
In good moments I try and in parts am able to see it as a blessing to now finally being able to see them, in other moments it is too much and I fall back into my old habbit of avoidance for hours. I know what needs to be done, but I watch a few episodes of some stupid shit on netflix instead. I know I sound like a bitch.
I go ones a week to a shrink and it helps a bit to talk to someone about what is going on inside. So for that I am grateful, that this oportunity exists. It is like bringing the garbage out, even I do it with shame sometimes. The false identities to feel safe need to come down, but often it feels like underneath is nothing than emptiness which appears to give no support for the ego. I sometimes even think that the shrink is not very far in his development and simply does not question what is and probably was never in such a low.
But the pressure of things that come up to the surface and the realizations is sometimes unbearable or simply I am not equipt with the right tools to deal with them yet.
It is a process of learning and becoming aware instead my me would like it to be gifted the abilities and clear mind without doing something for it. I even skipped a few times of meditation in the mornings.
Nothing to brag about.
Just unflattering realizations about my inner state of mind and the place I am in mentally right now.
When I feel ignorant, and see the unflattering things in myself, I try to turn those things around. The other day I was remembering a time I went to a wedding. I got rather drunk and danced all night. I thought to myself "how foolish I must have looked. A grown man, stupidly drunk, acting like a fool." I quickly turned that around and saw it from another view. I was having fun. Lots of people were drunk and dancing. I didn't harm anyone or say anything bad. The bride and groom had had a wonderful night and what a trip to just let loose and not worry about myself.
Most (99.9%) of the things we think we should feel bad about are just puffs of wind. They come and go and no one, except ourselves, notices them. Even the fact that I cheated on my wife is something I can cast in a more positive light. I learned something valuable about myself and my wife. I learned that the boy who had poor coping skills became the man who had those same poor skills. Knowing that now allows me to grow. Even up until relatively recently I could go into a dark place when I remember the hurt on my wife's face and the emptiness we both felt inside. When I think of that time now I change my view point. I'm not the evil person who ripped out my wife's heart. I'm a man who for many years was dedicated to his wife and children and always put them first. My mid-life crisis was just that, a crisis. No one was there to help guide me, to give me a helping hand, to show me love. Because I had been a solid man up until then it was expected that I would always be that. In other words, I was taken for granted.
I'm not blaming anyone, but the fact is we are all (magnificently) flawed and we tend to have relationships with those who will enable our flaws. Nailing ourselves to the cross every day, or every other day, does nothing to help us develop. I can go back and see red flags in my past, flags that highlight what was to come, but dwelling on the past in a minefield. Memories are hard to quantify, to trust even. My memory of the wedding was of a foolish middle-aged man, but that was actually not a true assessment at all. What matters is: what can I do today?
You do have the right tools. We all do. The work you've done and are doing is incredible!
Separate names with a comma.