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Re: Feeling shame and anger DAisym

Posted by Dinah on August 16, 2008, at 12:11:53

In reply to Feeling shame and anger, posted by DAisym on August 15, 2008, at 21:05:17

Again, I may be totally missing the point.

I'm not sure how he delivered it, but it doesn't seem to me that just because there may be things you can do about your loneliness doesn't mean that the loneliness is your fault.

I guess my view of things is that there is the pragmatic, and there is the blame and judgment, and there is the question of values. And while they may overlap, they are very separate things.

If you think of it as a map, it would be like you were at point A and you've determined you'd like to be at point B. How you got at point A, for this purpose, is irrelevant unless it interferes with how to get to point B. Values and judgments, for this purpose, are irrelevant except you probably wouldn't want to violate your values to get to point B. Pragmatically speaking, there's no way to achieve your goal without traveling from A to B.

I think your therapist is addressing this aspect when he asks you how you think you could reach your goal. He's asking you what steps you need to take to get where you wish to be.

The emotional question, the question of what stops you from taking those steps, the removing of barriers to take those steps, are a separate issue. Those are emotional issues, and rightly should be addressed by your therapist.

Both aspects are necessary parts of the whole.

Like with my weight. The only way I'm going to lose weight is by eating fewer calories and exercising more. There are reasons I am this weight, some my fault, some not. There are reasons I don't eat fewer calories and reasons I don't exercise more. And however legitimate those reasons are, I'm not going to lose weight unless I eat fewer calories and exercise more. I can decide the path to lower weight is too difficult and I'm going to stay where I am. That's a valid choice. I can decide I'm going to work toward a lower weight and recognize it will be a difficult path with a lot of detours. That's a valid choice too. It just isn't pragmatic to neither accept the place I am, nor to make plans to get where I want to be. It's not a question of right or wrong or being lazy or anything else. It's just a pragmatic decision.

Resolving to be better or happier may work with some people. And I know many people would be helped by the idea of a gratitude journal. I have a feeling it would backfire with me. I need more balance in my life. Resolutely turning my eyes to the positive would leave me recoiling. I need to have a bit of ungratitudes mixed with my gratitudes or I can't embrace the latter. But that's me. I pull to the middle. (Hmmm... keeping an ungratitude journal might work better for me.)

This is a very long post considering that I'm not sure I grasped anything at all.




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