Posts Tagged ‘C-PTSD’

Does wanting to be Happy take daily work, action?

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Ask anyone, Do you want to be happy. Of course. the overwhelming response will be an enthusiastic yes.

Next ask, What does happiness look like to you? That answer will be incorrect 95% of the time. True happiness is very elusive, hidden to us.

What are the physical and mental actions you take everyday to be happy?

Not many actions taken, the usual response.

Remember, one definition of happiness is being in harmony with our inner nature.

If I want to be in better shape, a plan is developed.

The way I eat changes, daily exercise routines are formulated.

I may research, inform myself better, raising my chances at success.

Matthew Ricard in “Happiness” says our goal in life is to be “Happy”.

I wholeheartedly endorse this view.

Happiness has nothing to do with chasing pleasure, or getting hooked on dopamine.

If happiness is harmony with our inner nature, what actions help me with my inner nature?

Affirmations, meditating, practicing awareness, entering a mundane task, letting negativity go, etc., are a few actions available.

Happiness is surrounded by gratitude, giving and humility!

Just wanting to be happy does not work.

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A few prerequisites for happiness

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First, we must have a worthy self image, a healthy ego. We must love (approve of) ourselves to be truly happy.

Our awareness must be focused in the present moment. Happiness does not exist in our memories or future predictions.

Desires and needs must be in perspective. To many needs or constant desire eliminates our chance for happiness.

Worry, doubt, Dissociation, fear etc. must be at a minimal.

When my PTSD was active and strong, being happy was impossible. Fear and anxiety stole much more than just my happiness.

If we have a disorder, we must take action or happiness will never visit us.

Happiness must be earned in spite of all the challenges we all face.

Happiness does not arrive easily or with half effort.

I believe we all can find happiness with practice.

It will look entirely different for some.

Extra credit: https://ptsdawayout.com/2017/03/14/ricard-happiness-2/

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Authentic Happiness

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“Authentic happiness is not linked to an activity; it is a state of being, a profound emotional balance struck by a subtle understanding of how the mind functions.

While ordinary pleasures are produced by contact with pleasant objects and end when that contact is broken, sukha (happiness) —lasting well-being—is felt so long as we remain in harmony with our inner nature.”

Matthew Ricard in his book “Happiness”

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My two cents: So long as we remain in harmony with our inner nature, seems to inform us pleasure objects, possessions, power, approval, or status are temporary imposters.

Being in harmony with our inner nature is the goal of our Meditating/Mindfulness practice.

For me, being in harmony happens when I am focused, aware of everything around me, observing without judgment, or maybe entering fully into a task.

The less I depend on possessions, power, approval and status, the better chance I have of being in harmony with my inner nature.

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Happiness seems elusive for most of us!

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Growing up being happy did not seem to be our goal. Being raised Catholic, I had responsibility to the church and God.

My parents demanded proper behavior at home, school and in public. Somehow out of this indoctrination and proper behavior, happiness would be attained.

Well that never worked out. I studied hard, accomplished a college degree, added seven years as a professional baseball player, before a successful working career, but lasting happiness was a complete stranger.

Now I knew possessions, accomplishments, power or approval were not connected with true happiness.

Happiness is hidden, in some of the simplest thing we do.

Hidden in the mundane, clouded by bias and thought, happiness eludes us.

Emotions lead us away from happiness. Try being angry and happy at the same time. Many emotions are connected to negative thought and judgment.

I have found peace and happiness inside mundane chores at times.

Happiness only exists in this current moment, so we need to be present first to enjoy.

Thought seems to chase away happiness for me.

There is a time to think but continuous thought like we get involved in, is destructive.

An example: I have found peace doing laundry.

My purpose: Make my grandkids look as good as possible.

How: Enter the chore completely. Each piece of clothing I pick up, receives total attention and energy. I feel like part of each piece of clothing when my focus is strong.

Time ceases, thoughts fade while a quiet calm envelopes me.

I have felt my nervous system dissipate all its anxiety and aggravation in this space.

Being totally present with laundry, has settled my being and brought a grounding, a smile to my being.

Is this a happy moment?

For me it has the correct elements.

We are Ever present while focused, observing and acting without thinking.

Happiness does occupy spaces like this.

Thoughts?

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Our Ego never feels Equal to another Ego

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We know scientifically that we create a fictitious identity (Ego) to navigate life.

I call my guy, Marty.

He is a combination of how my first caregivers raised me, how others treat me, how I see myself in this world, and a few other intangibles. He can adapt and change but not easily.

Every Ego desires to be special, desires to elevate his/her status in a myriad of ways.

Our Ego feigns and bluffs with a plethora of thoughts and emotions for control of our being.

All the Ego needs to do is get us thinking about emotional thoughts and judgments.

He/She does not need to convince us, just distract us to win control.

Get lost in thought and lose control, awareness.

Our Ego never feels equal to another Ego, thus creating this need to compete or hide.

Our Ego is out front and in control when we feel wronged, mistreated, disrespected, ridiculed or feel sorry for ourselves.

The other side, too much Ego, has facets of narcissism. This Ego desires adulation over all else.

This insecure Ego uses other Egos for their pleasure.

Next time you walk into a class, a meeting or a group, bring awareness to where your Ego thinks you fit in.

Can you feel your Ego ranking you in the group. One thru ten, where are you? Is your judgment correct?

If your ranked one, two or three, does this impact your Ego?

Would it make a difference if you were an expert in the group or a novice?

It sure would for me.

Can you be calm when your Ego feels like a novice, a little vulnerable?

How you respond will give you insight about your Egos strengths and weaknesses.

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Stuck Parts 3: From Coping with Trauma Related Dissociation:

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Fight Parts

Some angry parts are stuck in a fight defense against threat.

They have the explicit function of protecting the individual by means of fight responses, either toward other people or towards parts inside that in some way evoke a sense of threat.

Fight parts often believe that they are strong, have not been hurt, and are capable of carrying out strong aggressive reactions to perceived threat or disrespectful behavior.

Often they view themselves as a tough child or teenager or a large strong man.

Ashamed Parts

Shame is a major emotion that maintains dissociation.

Some parts of the personality are especially avoided and reviled because they hold experiences, feelings,or behaviors that you, or some part of you have labelled as shameful or disgusting.

You will need to be especially empathetic and accepting toward these parts of yourself.

A central problem for people who have a dissociative disorder is that parts of the personality avoid each other and their painful memories and experiences, or they tend to have strong conflicts with each other.

In the literature this has been described as phobia of dissociative parts.

Parts typically feel fearful, ashamed, or repulsed by other parts.

In particular dissociative parts that function in daily life want as little as possible to do with dissociative parts that are fixed in traumatic experiences.

Parts stuck in trauma-time often feel abandoned and neglected by the parts that try to move on without them in daily life.

These ongoing inner conflicts can be painful.and frightening, and they cost a person with a dissociative disorder a tremendous amount of energy.

As we said before, all parts need to learn to accept and cooperate with each other.

After all, in order to adapt and be our best, we must learn to accept ourselves and all our aspects.

Only in acknowledgment and accepting are we able to make positive changes in ourselves.

However we are aware that getting to know yourself and working more cooperatively internally can be a long difficult process.

You cannot expect yourself to immediately function differently when parts have spent a lifetime avoiding each other or are in conflict.

Please remember that you will need much patience and self acceptance in this work and go at your own pace.

Remember to be empathic and accepting of yourself as awhile person.

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“Parts that Imitate who hurt you” From Coping with Trauma Related Dissociation:

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Usually their are parts of the personality that hold anger and rage that are unacceptable or very frightening to other parts.

Some may resemble people from the from the past who were abusing.

These parts shame, threaten, or punish other parts inside, or they may direct their anger to other people in the outside world.

Although the behavior of these parts can be quite frightening or shameful, as well as unacceptable, it is important for you to understand that these parts have good reason to exist and are representations, and thus not the same as the people who hurt you.

They originally developed to protect you by containing many distressful experiences of anger, helplessness, and sometimes guilt. or shame.

Furthermore, their function often is to prevent other parts behaving in a way that, in the past, evoked fear or shame.

Over time it is important to appreciate why they exist, even though their “methods: that is, their behavior and attitudes, may not be acceptable.

Your fear and shame about me parts must be overcome in order for you to heal.

These parts like all parts of yourself, need to become part of an internal “team” that collaborate and represent you as the whole person and your own history.

And once they do so, you will be surprised at what tremendous help they will be to you.

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