tiistai 18. marraskuuta 2014

Day 411: Sensitivity


The Princess and the pea

Lately I have been thinking about the concept of sensitivity. The existence of “sensitive people”, an entity of its own kind, has been spoken of as a fact whereas I have rather been questioning the whole existence of such a fundamental trait. To me the ones I have thought to be included in “sensitive people” have appeared to be products of their environments and not so much inherently of a quality that others have less of.

During the past couple of months I have appeared in stark contrast to my partner. I have been going through some intense points that have required active work for me to walk through, and consequently I have been very emotional and worn out both physically and mentally, crying a lot and reacting strongly to the issues at hand. All the while I have been flipping out he has been quite stable, stoic even, to the point where his unemotionality becomes an issue for him, although that's another matter. The point here is, I now have empiric data that under these conditions I feel a whole fucking lot even though I've thought of myself as a relatively stable person, and that brings new light to the question of sensitivity.

I haven't really wanted to think of sensitivity – the ability to feel emotions oneself and to empathize with those of others – as a special trait. I've really more thought of it as something that others have practiced to enhance and others have practiced to extinguish. I'm thinking I might have been wrong about this. Maybe there are in fact inherent differences to people feeling things and picking up on messages around them; maybe our brains are wired differently. Every now and then when I share something I have felt or experienced I get confused responses, and I have interpreted them to mean that these people have not allowed themselves to feel those things in their lives in order to be able to empathize with me. What if they simply have never experienced that kind of a feeling at all? What if there are people who, as opposed to my anxiety-painted existence, have lived their lives mostly emotionally blank?

This came back to me today when I read a quote that spoke of “sensitive people” in an explaining way, as if how they experience life would be news to the ones reading it. I found myself empathizing with how the sensitive people were described because I recognized myself from the text. Only in reading the text and looking at the response it got from others I realized the possibility that not everyone experiences life through guilt, shame and pain. Even though I have known people who do not agonize over life, I have simplified them into a category of “self-denialists” or “those who suppress their emotions”. Boy, what a generalization.

This also brings perspective to how I have treated myself and the conflict I have faced with others throughout my life. In school I was easy to pick on because I reacted strongly to the smallest of insults or even constructively meant criticism. I have for a while now thought that this is because I haven't learned the right coping mechanisms or social skills or that I have learned to search for messages in my social environment for validation – that I have lacked a learnable skill – and I have whipped myself with the disappointment and self-blame that have followed my attempts to acquire these skills. But what if I should be focusing on mercy instead? It might be that I am physically constructed in such a primary way that my emotional sensitivity cannot be fully unlearned or switched off. If this is the case, I might as well stop battling the windmills, accept who I am at this point of time and space and learn to cope with it.

For example, I have hated having to cry all the time. I've been trying to stop the tears and cover up that I'm feeling bad and hide myself and cry in secret, because I have been afraid that my constant emotionality would burden others and make them leave me. In other words, I have not accepted myself as the emotional being I have been recently, which has of course made handling the issues themselves more difficult because a part of them is kept barred within me. (As a side note: this fear of being abandoned for being emotional has only become apparent now that I've spent much more time with people than I previously have. It's been easier to cry before when I've mostly spent time by myself.) So instead of blocking it up I could admit to myself that it is typical and natural for me to express myself and converse with myself through crying; that despite other people's reactions to crying it's not actually a “big thing” to cry; that I may cry even though nobody's dead and I'm just having a difficult time growing. “I don't know about you guys, but this is how I experience things.”

perjantai 29. elokuuta 2014

Day 410: Social anxiety - introversion as a learned quality


Yesterday evening I went to visit a friend's commune for the first time. The preceding few days had been very stressful and tiresome for me and I felt stretched, tense and exhausted.

When I got to the place and sat down with the people, I noticed that a calm came over me. I noticed that as compared to the other social situations where I had been for example during the same day, these people appeared to have no expectations of me. We didn't know each other, and the activities that people were engaged in didn't require anything of me unless I wanted to contribute. As I realized that I was in a space where I didn't have to strain myself, I started relaxing myself by allowing myself to focus on myself and my well-being only. I was in dire need of my own attention (i.e. I really needed to rest my body) and so I allowed myself to simply be and let others construct the situation.

I eventually slowed myself down more than I have in a long while. I was simply in breath, observing myself and my motions. I realized how much I stress about social situations and what a relief it was to be in one where I didn't require anything of myself. The keywords that night were: “I don't need to” (“ei mun tartte”). Whenever a thought came saying I “should” do something, I released it with the realization that no, I shouldn't, as these requirements are not practical but ones that serve to build and uphold my self-image and self-ideal. I was forgiving myself for setting myself standards striving for perfectionism.

This state of peace continued on to this morning, and because it was in such contrast with most of my experiences from the entire summer, I noticed when it started to crumble. I went out of the house with my partner to have lunch with some of his friends whom I hadn't met before. After the lunch I had become withdrawn, anxious and tense (or “weird” as my partner expressed it – the contrast was pretty noticeable). After writing about it now I realized that after we left the house, a series of “I should” -thoughts had been triggered by different situations, which brought up stress as I attempted to attain to these thoughts and judged myself when I didn't.

  • “I should keep up with him” / “I should be able to keep up with him”
  • “I should make a good impression on these people”
  • “I should be able to pay for my own expenses”
  • “I should talk with these people”
  • “I should participate in the discussion”
  • “I should be more independent” / “I should make an initiative to ...”
  • “I will look stupid if I do that – I should look impressive”

The thing is, I'm starting to see what my social difficulties consist of: these lines of code containing the words “I should” - or rather, the thoughts or lines of code as experiences and not so much as words spoken in my mind. I've been what one might call an “introvert” ever since some time in elementary school when I started being bullied, and the thing is, I remember the time before that: I know I haven't always found social situations difficult, and that introversion at least for me is not an inherent quality. It is something that got created somewhere along the way when I learned that there were unwritten rules to socializing that could be broken with dire consequences. I didn't know how to cope, so my response was to withdraw.

I'll continue with specific self-forgiveness on the “I should” -statements above.

keskiviikko 27. elokuuta 2014

Days 408-409: The healing process is to learn from mistakes

This post is a continuation to:

Day 407 - Being ill


I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to think about the disease in a dramatic way.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to use dramatic words, tones and phrasing when describing the symptoms and/or consequences of the disease, such as saying the virus will remain in my body “for the rest of my life” or exaggerating the pain or discomfort I have been in and the length and magnitude of the symptoms.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to think of having the disease as a dramatic story, where I have been the victim of unfair adversity.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not realize that by thinking and speaking of the disease in dramatic terms I assign myself a role / a position where I am “the victim” and thus justify not carrying responsibility for the disease.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe and perceive I am helpless to prevent disease and/or to direct my healing process when I am ill, not realizing that as everything in this reality is connected, nothing that occurs in my body is a coincidence.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not realize that thinking about the disease in dramatic terms triggered a feeling of despair in me, one that continued into depression and anxiety, and that I created these feelings by separating myself from what is HERE and what can be done about it.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to expect the disease to pass in a few days as I assumed it to be a normal flu, not realizing that the long-term symptoms would have pointed to another direction had I examined them more carefully.

- I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to resist looking at the long-term symptoms (prolonged muscle pains, fatigue, swollen face) as I have been afraid of having an uncommon illness.

- I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to avoid looking at and evaluating my symptoms because I have been afraid of what I might find: an illness as the consequence of how I have lived my life.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to react with frustration and fear when and as my expectations were not fulfilled as the disease continued longer than expected.

- I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear that other people will get tired of taking care of me and abandon me as I am no longer “useful” (entertaining, engaging, stimulating) to others but instead become “useless” (unfulfilling, boring, burdensome).

- I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear that my partner will get tired of the relationship being “on hold” while I am physically incapacitated from any form of interaction and that he will leave me as a result.

- I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to get frustrated when the disease continued as I became afraid of being abandoned.

- I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to want to heal as fast as possible to avoid abandonment.

- I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear losing my friends because of prolonged sickness.

- I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear “missing out on life” while I am sick, with this referring mainly to social events I have been unable to attend while sick, not realizing that I am not missing out on life in fact, as LIFE is here even when I am am sick – sickness is life, too – but that I am “missing out” on “fun”: experiences of joy, excitement, belonging and happiness.

- I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe and perceive that the experiences of joy, excitement, belonging and happiness are dependent on specific social conditions and cannot be experienced while sick and alone.

- I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to confuse the experiences of joy, excitement, belonging and happiness with stability, believing and perceiving that the positive emotional experiences can provide a stable focal point to my life, not realizing that the nature of experiences is inherently unstable and fickle, as no emotion/feeling can be made to last forever or to remain the same; Thus, I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not realize that reliable stability can only be found outside energetic and emotional experiences.

- I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to stress about “missing out” on positive experiences (and fear facing negative experiences) as I have believed them to be “the fuel” I would need to live on.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to react with fear to physical disability, as I have been afraid that I would be somehow disabled for the rest of my life.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear making mistakes that can't be amended, not realizing that in the end there are very few mistakes the consequences of which couldn't be directed.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear making a mistake that will permanently disable my physical body in some way, not realizing that this fear is a sign of my mistrust towards myself – of the fact that I know I am not living as self-honestly as I could and that it can bite me in the ass some day.


But hang on. What if this is the greatest fallacy of all?

One of my clearest personality traits (or issues) is perfectionism: trying to do things as well and flawlessly as possible, because I see no point in aiming any lower. The whole low self-esteem thing with “I'm not good enough” popping up everywhere is tied to this survival mechanism, where I kind of try to compensate for myself with my actions – myself, which I perceive to be very small, insignificant and insufficient. Most of the people closest to me, and even those that are not that close, have picked up on this, although not many discuss it directly.

Because the people in my life have helped me become aware of this personality trait learned somewhere way early in my childhood, I have become more careful about walking this process. I fear that I am looking for “fault” in myself where there is none, because there IS an actual risk for me misrepresenting myself to myself, and often people respond to my attempts to develop myself by dismissing my attempts to carrry self-responsibility with “you don't have to be perfect”. I know this is probably in most cases a defense mechanism, but I'm still doubtful. What if I am doing myself harm by trying to be “perfect”?

But I am not aiming to be perfect. I am engaging in a process to become the best possible version of myself: considering the circumstances I have been born and raised in and the possibilities I have now as the outcome; the time I have left; the skills I have and the skills I am still able and willing to learn; the support I have available in my environment. I by no means expect myself to ever be “ready” or “done” with this process, I do not expect myself to learn everything there is, I do not expect myself succeed flawlessly in any of my attempts. What I do expect of myself, however, is patience, perseverance, consistency, self-management (I prefer this to “self-discipline”) and absolute self-honesty – at least eventually, as the cycles of self-deceit sometimes can't be unraveled right away. Can this be called perfectionism? I'd rather call it integrity or self-respect. Why would I disgrace myself by not showing myself respect?

Also, I do not see the process as linear, where I'd have a single outcome to reach for. I do not see myself lying on my deathbed and thinking “this is who I became!”, lol, and waiting for judgement. What I refer to with the “best possible version” of myself may be different in different points of time and space – it is simply the potential that I would be able to live out, and this can and will vary as I change and my environment changes.

So, when writing the last self-forgiveness statement above, I wrote the words “I'm not living as self-honestly as I could” and I saw self-judgement.



I commit myself to show myself that most mistakes can be amended by redirecting oneself and managing the consequences of a mistake, just like an illness heals once the cause is addressed and dealt with and the symptoms alleviated.

Thus, I commit myself to live out the commitment above by following this self-corrective statement:

When and as I consider myself having made a mistake - by for example thinking about having made a mistake, blaming myself for having made a mistake or feeling bad for making a mistake – I stop, I breathe and I remind myself that a mistake is also a chance to learn and develop, and that a mistake is not a negative (nor a positive) thing. I take care to not believe my self-judgement, I look at the cause of my mistake and I forgive myself for it. I look at the consequences of my mistake and I ask what could be done to reduce their impact. I take action to make amends for the consequences of my mistake and to redirect myself in a way that will prevent the same mistake from happening again. I remind myself that a learning process is a series of mistakes and that mistakes are inevitable if one wants to learn.

The next time I get ill, I commit myself to focus primarily on resting and self-care to support myself with my immediate circumstances and secondarily on piecing together a picture of what events and actions led to the disease in order to support me in my long-term process.

The next time I get ill, I commit myself to face the illness as LIFE, not as something that separates me from life.

sunnuntai 17. elokuuta 2014

Day 407: Being ill


I have now been sick for 14 days, of which I have had a fever during the last 11 days. The disease was identified as mononucleosis or “kissing disease” (a nickname derived from the fact that the virus only transmits through direct contact with another's saliva). The symptoms include high fever, muscle pains, swollen lymph nodes, swollen face, sore throat, stomach cramps and an overall fatigue that in the most extreme cases can go on up to months or even years. Once infected, the virus will remain in my body for the rest of my life.

The first few days with the muscle cramps were heavy, because I thought I was dealing with the usual kind of pain that comes as the result of having a bad posture or not exercising enough, and then got frustrated when the pains were just getting worse despite my attempts to support my muscles in healing. When the fever struck on day 4, I was overwhelmed by how “everything” can happen at once, as I still thought that all of my slowly-occurring symptoms were unrelated to each other. By Sunday the fever was reaching 40 degrees celsius, I felt like I was going to die and I was so unbelievably frustrated, as I had “been a good girl” and given myself rest - despite the fact that I wouldn't have wanted to - because I just wanted to heal as fast as possible so I could get on with my life. I didn't know why the fever was going up, I didn't understand any of my symptoms and I was getting depressed and anxious and thus cried a lot and tried to write during those few hours of the day I was awake. I felt cut out and separated from the world, a prisoner in my own home. I didn't sleep for many nights because I was too restless to empty my mind, and all the entertainment I had consumed to “keep myself busy” while hurrying up healing attacked me mentally during the nights.

On day 9 I got the diagnosis and my anxiety dropped, as I now knew I wasn't dealing with a normal flu and that I had done nothing “wrong” to not be healed already. With the knowledge of what was happening in my body I could give myself the peace of mind to rest and the time needed for the body to go through the process of adapting to the presence of the virus - I mean, my body's gonna have to deal with it for as long as I live! The fever lowered a bit and I started having energy to be awake and do something light, but as these kinds of days have now been rolling by, I've increasingly felt how everything that I am doing or thinking of myself possibly doing is somehow useless, a pastime, as if I was just killing time – and when I pointed out to myself that I am now simply on sick leave and that it is OK to not push myself too much, I asked myself: if I wasn't sick and didn't have all these constraints, what would I be doing now? And the response I got from myself was just as unfulfilling and depressing as all the thoughts I'd had before. I felt that everything I would be doing during these last few weeks of my summer holidays would be “killing time”, constructing sandcastles only to let them be blown away, and besides that, I'd be doing it alone or with people I didn't like or with not enough of a variety of people.

I'm a university student with a 3-month-long summer holiday, and for many reasons I decided not to plan anything special for this summer. I'd stay here in my hometown, working as much as I could (which turned out not to be much) and just give myself space and time to focus on myself and whatever personal projects I wanted to give my attention to. My semester begins on the second week of September, and until then I still don't have many plans.

So, where has my focus been during this summer? I have had a new relationship I have invested quite a lot of time in. I have traveled a bit, gone to some festivals, prepared for and celebrated my sister's wedding and experimented with having cats. I've read some books (not as much as I planned to) and played some piano (way less than I intended to). Basically, I don't think I've had a moment where I've had to wonder about what to do next, because the opportunities have been presented to me – one could even say I've been a bit busy, lol.

So I'm guessing a partial cause of this unfulfillment experience is the fact that I am now for the first time actually facing what my summer would have been like in some scenarios: if I had to spend it alone (as I am now doing in isolation) and without going anywhere (as I can't now take up anyone's invitations). I am in shock of this leisure, especially because I cannot do anything physical yet, which is probably what I would be using a lot of my free time for. I don't find fulfillment in studying when I can't balance it out by going for a run. I don't find satisfaction in making music when I can't shake it off with yoga. I have figured that I am a very kinaesthetic person (not saying that everyone isn't or couldn't be), and not being able to move has been tiresome for me. I've felt as if many of my preferred channels of self-expression have been cut off, as I haven't been able to dance or sing or even fucking walk properly.

So, the reason I'm writing all this is to try and make sense of the experience of unfulfillment, resistance, loneliness and dissatisfaction that has been triggered during this illness. It's been a tough 2 weeks for my psyche, as during this time many points concerning my new relationship, proactiveness and in general just living a life have surfaced.

I'm also curious about the infection itself. It may be quite telling that I got a “kissing disease” while coming down from the rush of endorphins of embracing and establishing a new relationship – I could say I've been quite easy pray, lol, with my guard way down. I don't know where I got the infection, but because it only transmits via saliva, a good guess would be my new partner. There are some things that have been straining the relationship as the premise of it was left a bit unclear, and I'm kinda thinking how this is now the “payment” for my carelessness, as I did see the things we slid under the carpet and chose to ignore it. “This is what you get for constructing a relationship in this manner.” In a way I'm not surprised at all.

Ok. There's a lot to process here, so I will continue tomorrow by going through what I wrote today and writing specific self-forgiveness on what I find.

sunnuntai 22. kesäkuuta 2014

Day 406: The Desteni of Living - expansions, part 2


The video log linked above is a continuation to:

In this video I expand on point number 2: I commit myself to living by the principle of what is best for all – guiding me in thought, word and deed to always in all ways direct problems to the best possible outcome for all.

Previous video logs:

Day 405: http://youtu.be/OFUjJ3i988U

lauantai 31. toukokuuta 2014

Day 405: The Desteni of Living - expansions, part 1


The video log linked above is a continuation to:

Day 404: The Desteni of Living - my declaration of principle

In this video I expand on point number 1: I commit myself to realising and living my utmost potential.

Day 404: The Desteni of Living - my declaration of principle



I am here to commit myself to the following statements, on which I will expand in upcoming blogs and vlogs. These statements were put together by the Desteni group, and I have gone through them independently to be able to stand fully behind them as myself.

I thus commit myself to:

1. Realising and living my utmost potential

2. Living by the principle of what is best for all – guiding me in thought, word and deed to always in all ways direct problems to the best possible outcome for all

3. Living by the principle of self honesty – to ensure I am pure in thought, word and deed: that my within and without is equal and one. Who I am within is who I am without and vice-versa

4. Self Purification through Writing, Self Forgiveness and Self Application – the action of realising I am responsible for my own thoughts, words and deeds, to forgive myself for transgressions and change myself to ensure I take responsibility for who, what and how I am and through this know that I can trust myself to always be honest with me and so others

5. Living the principle of Self Responsibility – realising only I am responsible for what I accept and allow inside of me, my relationships and my outside world and so with this responsibility: only I have the power and ability to change that which I see is compromising who I am, what I live and how this affects others

6. Realising that who I am in thought, word and deed affects not only myself – but others as well and so with Self Responsibility in thought, word and deed – I take responsibility for myself and so my relationships to be Self Aware in every moment and live in such a way that is best for me and so others as well

7. Living the Principle of Self Awareness – to be aware, to see, to recognize my own thoughts and Mind, to be self honest to the extent where I can take responsibility for when I see my thoughts / Mind is not what is best for me / others and commit to immediately take responsibility and change for myself and so for others

8. With taking responsibility for myself, becoming aware of myself – take responsibility and become aware of others in my life, to assist and support them as I am assisting and supporting myself – to give as you would like to receive and do the extra bit every day to see where I can contribute to other’s lives and so my own

9. Living the principle of self trust – as I commit myself to remain constant in my living of self honesty, self responsibility and self awareness, I stand as an unbending trust that I always in all ways know who I am no matter what I face and that in this I know, as proven in the constancy of my living that I will always honour and stand by what is best for all and so best for me

10. Making Love Visible – through me not accepting/allowing anything less than my utmost potential, I support those in my life to reach their utmost potential, to love them as I have shown love to myself by gifting to me my utmost potential, the best life/living experience and show others as I have shown myself what it means to LIVE

11. No one can save you, save yourself – the realisation that the tools and principles of Desteni is the guide, but I must walk the path myself. We are here to assist and support each other in this process from Consciousness to Awareness/LIFE and what it means to live – but the process itself, where you are alone with yourself in your own Mind: is walked alone

12. Not waiting for anything or anyone to take responsibility for me and this world – but that I realise I have created who and how I am in this moment, therefore I have the responsibility to change who and how I am and so the realisation that we as a collective created how and what this world is today and so it is the responsibility of the collective to change how and what this world is today

13. Honouring the life in each person, animal – everything from the great to the small of earth, that we expand our awareness and responsibility to creating the best possible life for everyone and everything and so ourselves

14. Relationships as Agreements: individuals coming together using agreements as a platform to one-on-one expand, grow and develop as individuals in life and living to support/assist each other unconditionally to reach their utmost potential where the agreement is a coming together of individuals understanding what it means to stand as equals and to stand as one

15. Sex as Self Expression – where sex is an united expression between individuals in honour, respect, consideration and regard of each other as equals, two physical bodies uniting in equality and oneness – a merging of two equals as one physically.

16. Realising that by the virtue of me being in this world – my responsibility does not only extend to my own Mind / my own Life, but to the minds and lives of everything and everyone of this earth and so my commitment is to extend this awareness to all of humanity to work together and live together to make this world heaven on earth for ourselves and the generations to come

17. I must in my thoughts, words and deeds – but most importantly in my living actions, become a living example for others in my world that is noticeable and visible when it comes to the potential of a person to change themselves and so change their world. So that more people can realise how we can change this world, by standing united in our self change within the principle of what is best for all to bring heaven to earth

18. I am the change I want to see in me and my world – to bring heaven to earth is to bring into being, into living the LIVING PROOF of a PRACTICAL HEAVEN that can be seen and heard in our actions and words. We are the Living Heaven that must come into creation in this living world.

19. Through purifying my thoughts, words and deeds – my inner becomes my outer, so I bring into creation me as heaven into earth, realising it is not enough to ‘see the change / be the change’ – for change to become REAL it must be a constant, consistent living of me through the words I speak and the actions I live visible and noticeable to all in every moment of breath

20. Realising that my physical body is my temple – my physical body is the living flesh through which and in which I will bring into being and create / manifest heaven on earth as me in my thoughts, words and deeds and so I honour, respect and regard – nurture and support my physical body as I would nurture and support me as equals: my body is me

21. We are the change in ourselves and this world we have been waiting for: and so I commit to dedicate myself and my life for each one as all to realise this, as nothing will change if we don’t change in all that we are, within and without

22. The realisation that for me to be able to change myself in thought, word and deed to the most effective living being that I can be and become – I first have to ‘know thyself’ and so commit myself to investigate, introspect and understand how I became who I am today, to prepare the road before me into self creation of a responsible, aware, self honest and trustworthy person for myself and so for all

23. The realisation that for me to be able to contribute to change in this world – I have to get to ‘know thyself’ as this world and so commit myself to research, investigate and introspect the inner and outer workings of this world and align the systems of today to present and give the best possible life for all on Earth