Posts Tagged ‘depression’

Abandon what is not yours?

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Excerpt from “Focused and Fearless”

Some people fear that letting go could diminish the quality of their lives, health, abilities, achievements, or personal property.

To this, the Buddha said, “Whatever is not yours, abandon it; when you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness for a long time.”

This invites a profound reflection on what one can authentically claim as one’s own.

As we discern the impermanent, conditioned character of all material and mental processes, we eliminate perceptions, sensory experience, and material things as fields for possession.

On the surface it seems like we are asked to give up everything, but simultaneously comes the realization that there is actually nothing possessed and consequently nothing that can actually be given up.

The great abandonment is to let go of the concept of ownership.

Letting go in meditation is the relinquishment that involves no loss.

Recognizing impermanence leads to the realization of the pure and ungraspable nature of things.

Knowing this basic fact of things, one has nothing to fear.

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PTSD and this Pamdemic!!!!!

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PTSD does not like more fear, quarantine or a pandemic!!!

Having idle time can be disastrous for PTSD, anxiety or depression.

Our biggest challenge, do not dissociate into the past or future. That means stop ruminating (thinking).

If we need to think, we direct our thought and leave out I, me Mine sentences. Be neutral as possible for a month.

We need to work on being grateful, then humble. Have goals like these to emulate.

Let the “I”, our “Ego” take a back seat. Limit his/her time in control of your mind.

Refuse to entertain judgments for a month. We can make decisions later, let go of all the extra worry this pamdemic has delivered.

If we do not accept this pandemic, surrender to these restrictions, the victim inside us will prosper.

Our “Ego” wants to blame, feel victimized and helpless.

Remember we all wither and die, so revisit your goals in life.

Some people are going to die. If it is us, do we want to suffer more because how we think?

I live with my daughter and three grandkids. My goal is to be positive and supportive of them.

We lead by example not words or thoughts.

We can not let negative thoughts, worry or doubt camp inside our mind.

We need not be perfect, but have the ability to let go of the noise and come back to now, when needed.

Accept the anxiety, sit quietly and breathe into it.

Observe it and watch it fade. Feel your body settle, cortisol and adrenaline dissipate.

This is our challenge with PTSD.

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The faster the mind goes, the more awareness is lost!

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Notice the speed of your mind, the speed at which thoughts arrive, the speed of your nervous system and the strength of our emotions.

This maybe an extended quarantine, so having the ability to let the noise, worry and fear go, is of great benefit.

Have gratitude, many , many more people are suffering around the world.

I have doubt, worry and fear but I refuse to give it more attention. Limit the noise, these distractions.

Realize worry and doubt compromises our wellbeing, weakens our immune system and lets our “Ego” control the mind.

These are simple battles that change our mindset.

Discount any strong emotions for a month, play defense.

Defense is making no decisions, giving no weight to negativity or chaos.

We just let the noise go, then follow our senses to this present moment.

In this moment, right now, I can be happy or at least enjoy the beautiful tree blooming.

If we let worry nullify nature and any positivity, we will suffer.

We need to stay present so much more now. Refuse to ruminate about the past or worry about the future.

Until new information comes out in this pandemic, no need for me to think about it.

When something changes, I will adapt but as of now, Surviving means letting go and being present.

These are simple actions that change everything.

We do not have to be perfect but we can catch ourselves lost in worry, then adjust and let go.

Think of ways to helps others, spreading kindness in creative ways.

We have the internet to reach out and spread kindness.

Many choices during this pandemic.

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“The Laundry List”: Adult Children of Alcoholics.

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The bold highlights are what I reluctantly identify with. I am curious about other traits I must have.

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These are some characteristics we seem to have in common due to being brought up in an alcoholic or dysfunctional household.

1.We became isolated and afraid of people and authority figures.

2.We became approval seekers and lost our identity in the process.

3.We are frightened by angry people and any personal criticism.

4.We either become alcoholics, marry them, or both, or find another compulsive personality such as a workaholic to fulfill our sick abandonment needs.

5.We live life from the viewpoint of victims and are attracted by that weakness in our love and friendship relationships.

6.We have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and it is easier for us to be concerned with others rather than ourselves; this enables us not to look too closely at our own faults, etc.

7.We get guilt feelings when we stand up for ourselves instead of giving in to others.

8.We become addicted to excitement.

9.We confuse love and pity and tend to “love” people we can “pity” and “rescue”.

10.We have “stuffed” our feelings from our traumatic childhoods and have lost the ability to feel or express our feelings because it hurts so much (denial).

11.We judge ourselves harshly and have a very low sense of self-esteem.

12.We are dependent personalities who are terrified of abandonment and will do anything to hold on to a relationship in order not to experience painful abandonment feelings which we received from living with sick people who were never there emotionally for us.

13.Alcoholism is a family disease and we became para-alcoholics and took on the characteristics of that disease even though we did not pick up the drink.

14.Para-alcoholics are reactors rather than actors.

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Anyone with Childhood trauma identify with any of these?

The Inner Drugstore: Adult Children of Alcoholics or Dysfunctional Households

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2. Inner Drug Store:

“For every emotion we feel, a corresponding biochemical substance is automatically released in our bodies. Think about how the felt sense of anger is different from the felt sense of calm or amusement. Especially for those of us who have trouble connecting with our bodies or our emotions, these chemical changes may happen below our level of awareness. But they still happen.

The inner drug store is not all bad. There are bottles of joy, peacefulness, and spirituality to name a few. But we Adult Children often gravitate toward the drugs of negative excitement.

Growing up in dysfunctional households, our everyday state can become one of hypervigilance. Am I safe? What mood is Mom in? We walk on eggshells trying to be invisible. Dad’s car just pulled in the driveway, is he drunk? We scan the house for things that might anger him and quickly try to neutralize them.

Or perhaps we were ignored or emotionally abandoned by our parents, creating anxiety and the general feeling of being alone and unsafe. Our normal can become anxiety and fear. And since it is perhaps all we have ever known, and since we may already have learned to shut down access to our feelings and our bodies, we may not even be aware of our anxiety.

Hypervigilance creates a stress response in the body, it even releases dopamine in our brains. As children, our small bodies are marinated in those chemicals. Even if we have never taken a drink of alcohol nor any drugs, we are all addicts. We, as Adult Children, learn to be addicted to our own inner drug stores. We can subconsciously seek out situations which recreate these feelings.

Emotional Intoxication is getting high on our inner drug store.

The more I understand it, the less it controls me. – (Jarvis)

“Subconsciously” is an important concept here. Generally, we don’t consciously choose to take these actions. It may be like breathing. Our minds are in control of that process, but normally we aren’t consciously aware of taking each breath. If we were we might have trouble thinking about anything else.

The subconscious mind takes over certain processes. I think maintaining our “normal” level of emotional intoxication or sobriety may be one of those. If we were raised in a dysfunctional home, our normal can be anxiety and fear. And we seek to re-create what is normal for each of us.”

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Focused and Fearless: unwaveringly witness the functions of desire, aversion, restlessness, and doubt

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It is imperative for the sincere meditator to unwaveringly witness the functions of desire, aversion, restlessness, and doubt, witness these forces arising—but without acting them out, without buying into them.

See them arise as empty thoughts, and see them pass just as quickly.

If they are not seen clearly, these mental states can obstruct progress in concentration.

Doubt can assail the mind with indecision, worry, or chronic judgment. Unabated, the momentum of uncertainty can paralyze spiritual progress.

Yet doubt is nothing more than a thought.

Through examining the experience of doubt, you will come to understand doubt, rather than be consumed by it.

Doubt is a category of thought that you can definitively set aside.

The very instant you realize you are thinking you have an opportunity to affect the patterns of mind.

Thoughts of self can clutter attention with a plethora of diversified tales—preventing composure, stillness, and unification.

Concentration abandons this diffusing activity.

When you clearly perceive a thought, natural disinterest replaces identification with the stories.

As the mind calms, mental seclusion is established.”

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Equanimity: Focused and Fearless

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“Equanimity is steady through vicissitudes, equally close to the things you may like and the things you do not like.

Observe when the tendency to move away from what you do not like ends, and the tendency to hold on to what you like is equally absent.

Personal preference no longer dictates the direction of attention.

Equanimity contains the complete willingness to behold the pleasant and the painful events of life equally.

It points to a deep balance in which you are not pushed and pulled between the coercive energies of desire and aversion.

Equanimity has the capacity to embrace extremes without getting thrown off balance.

Equanimity takes interest in whatever is occurring simply because it is occurring.

Equanimity does not include the aversive states of indifference boredom, coldness, or hesitation.

It is an expression of calm, radiant balance that takes whatever comes in stride.”

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