Confused. Please Advice.

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Confused. Please Advice.

Postby Lunchbox » Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:29 am

Hello, everyone.

First of all I must say that I enjoy browsing on this site. Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences and knowledge.

By the end of this year I will be moving to a different city, a new place. And by the end of this month, I will be quitting my job to start looking for a new one at the city I'm moving to.

The reason i started this topic is because I'm worried, confused and stressed out. Mainly because of fear of suffering at this new place.

Through out my whole life I've been dealing with bullying. I've come to the conclusion that I get bullied due to my heavy pain body. I just can't come up with another reason why I get into these situations. I believe that somehow my pain-body activates others pain-body, just by being around. Then, somehow, either people start picking on me or just avoid me. This has been going on all my whole life. I guess I've come used to it, but why do i have to suffer?

I'm 25 years old, and I'm concluding that this is really affecting my life. I have a feeling that if i get hired at a new place I'm going to have a miserable time, either have a douche-bag boss or co-worker picking on me. I need the job, i must adapt into these situations. But all i want is to have a normal life, i don't want to be around bullying nor being bullied. I'm tired of that. But it has happened all my life that i fear that it will continue.

I also plan to go back to college sometime next year. But the I fear the same problems will happened. Thanks to being bullied, it made me drop out of college when i was younger. That's a long story, but that for later.

It's like I'm a human magnet to drama, lots of drama, and suffering. I don't want to attract that to my life anymore. I'm tired of being picked on. I really hope i can change from the inside, and hopefully at this new place, i can be at peace, inside and out.

Does anyone here being trough a similar situation on being bullied? Or have any advice?

Thanks.
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Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby KathleenBrugger » Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:09 pm

Hi Lunchbox. I have not experienced bullying, but I have experienced what you're talking about in other ways. As we grow up our minds are programmed; the end result is that we spin our own personal story about reality. My story took the form that I needed to be weak in a relationship and not assert myself (I think this had to do with my parents divorcing). What this meant was that I would get into relationships with dominating men, and then bitch about how they were dominating me.

I had a three-year relationship in college, and then began a relationship with Arthur, who became my husband, (who I'm still married to). Early on, I noticed Arthur did some of the same things I had hated in my college boyfriend. For example, I would be talking to one of them and they would start talking about something completely different. They would act as if they were completely oblivious to the fact that I had been talking.

At first I was outraged when I saw Arthur engaging in these same annoying behaviors, and then I wondered, could this really be a coincidence? Could it possibly be sheer chance that out of the millions of men in this country I had picked two who acted in precisely the same way? Or could it have something to do with me? The latter explanation appeared more likely.

I realized that because I thought of myself as weak I unconsciously encouraged other people to dominate me. Even when they failed to honor my request, I still misunderstood what they said and did in order to satisfy my need to play weak (and this was true in areas other than my primary relationship). For many years of our relationship I felt like a ghost in Arthur’s shadow. I blamed Arthur for being a dominator, for "keeping me down." The truth is my story required a dominating villain. If Arthur wasn't here I’d have found another man to play the part. I picked Arthur precisely because he would play this game (not consciously of course). I unconsciously stage-managed our relationship to satisfy my story’s plot requirements.

But realizing this about myself didn't mean I instantly stopped acting weak. :( It took time, and it definitely met with some resistance from Arthur! But that's just because he was following the plot line of his story.

I guess I'm saying the hard truth is there is something inside you that thinks you deserve to be bullied, just as I thought I deserved to be dominated. It's not your fault, this was somehow programmed into you as a survival strategy. And I don't think it's necessary to figure out how the programming took place. Once you've recognized that the pattern exists, and that there is something inside you that invites mistreatment, you have set the stage for change.

One of the consequences of our programming is we misinterpret events and other people's words and actions. For example, when Arthur would make a suggestion I would hear it as a command. Maybe, lunchbox, you could start by questioning your interpretation of what other people are doing. People do have a tendency to create pecking orders, and delight in making themselves superior by picking on the weakest. So they will test you when you're new to see if you're weak, and if you are they'll happily chop off your head to stand tall. Your history of bullying means you're crouched in a defensive posture anticipating the next blow, and people will perceive that as weakness. But if, in the moment, you are present and aware of what's happening, there is a chance that you won't play that same part.

One more bit of advice: don't wait until you move to your new place. Start now, at least by cultivating the awareness in the moment when you feel like bullying is taking place. I wish you the best.
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Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby Ralph » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:00 pm

Great response Kathleen !!
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Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby KathleenBrugger » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:38 pm

Ralph wrote:Great response Kathleen !!

Thanks! :D
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Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby Lunchbox » Sun Nov 17, 2013 9:58 pm

Hello everyone.

Thanks for the wonderful replies. After giving your advise a shot, I can definitely see how i unconsciously invited mistreatment due to letting people walk over me, more importantly not acknowledging my self and respecting me.

I've decided to give it a shoot and fully see how i would normally act in a social interactions. Surprisingly, I notice a wimp approach to, literally, all the social interactions happening. I was shocked at this self discovery. Then, i decided to sort of 'respect' my self whenever social interaction appeared. I notice a different feel whenever I interacted with anyone; i did, too, notice some sort of resistance from the other person. Fortunately I did not encounter any situations where I was bullied, slow week I guess. Anyways, I could say that i was conscientiously being aware of my self when I interacted with somebody. But this did not happen all the time, I did notice how easily it's to fall back to my old habits. It this normal? I hope that with practice this will go away.

I have a question that I would like hear somebody's point of view regarding this. Should I always acknowledge when somebody does something disrespectful/bullying towards me? Weather it's something small, should I still do it? I think so.

I guess one of the other things about 'respecting' my self is to watch my judgement toward others. If somebody comes to me and starts telling me something, there's the possibility that I may misinterpreted it, and hence a possible mistreatment from my part. Because, i must say, I did notice that I sometimes have "hater thoughts" towards other people, but I always keep them in my head. I will work on that.

This was definitely an interesting week.
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Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby KathleenBrugger » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:36 am

Lunchbox I am so thrilled to hear that my experience and advice were useful to you.

That's interesting that you noticed resistance. Was this someone who you knew, so they would have been used to you being a "wimp" and your strength took them by surprise?

And unfortunately it is easy to fall back into old habits. That's why it's called a rut, because the habit forms a well-worn path that is easy and comfortable to fall back into, and the edges of the rut are rough so when you try to get out of the rut it makes for a bumpy ride. So yes you have to keep vigilant. And one thing to remember is not to get mad at yourself when you do fall back into the old habit. Just dust yourself off and remember next time to climb out of the rut.

I'm a little confused about your question.
Should I always acknowledge when somebody does something disrespectful/bullying towards me? Weather it's something small, should I still do it? I think so.

Do you mean, should you say "you're bullying me" or "you're being disrespectful" when you perceive that someone is doing that? That's a hard question. Because, as you say, sometimes you might be misperceiving what's going on. And other times the person might not be aware enough to understand what you're talking about; they may be completely unaware that they are being disrespectful or bullying. Maybe there's another way of going about it, where in that situation you assert your right to respect without being confrontational in return?

Glad you had an interesting week! Keep us posted. :D
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Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby Lunchbox » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:44 pm

KathleenBrugger wrote:
I'm a little confused about your question.
Should I always acknowledge when somebody does something disrespectful/bullying towards me? Weather it's something small, should I still do it? I think so.

Do you mean, should you say "you're bullying me" or "you're being disrespectful" when you perceive that someone is doing that? That's a hard question. Because, as you say, sometimes you might be misperceiving what's going on. And other times the person might not be aware enough to understand what you're talking about; they may be completely unaware that they are being disrespectful or bullying. Maybe there's another way of going about it, where in that situation you assert your right to respect without being confrontational in return?


As I'm becoming more 'aware' I been noticing that almost all human interaction has an ego-driven desire. This includes myself too, however it's much easier to spot this on others.

What i meant to ask was : When there's a situation when you know the other person's actions is based on reinforcing his ego image/self, what is the best way to approach this? Yes, you made an excellent point regarding that the other person might not be conscious enough of his own actions. BUT if those actions end up affecting you, you must do something about it. A broad example : Someone pushes you, you push back. You might ask, why push back? I say, why not? During my spiritual search, I read somewhere ( I believe it was on a Youtube comment on a ET video) that all life event's are ultimately neutral. Maybe it's us that give it a point of view. Why not fight back?

So this past couple of weeks I been in my 'fight-back mode.' I was consciously aware of any human interaction, waiting for something to pop-up that I felt disrespectful, and then attack/defend. Nothing much happened. However I did notice an overall negatively emotion while I was eagerly waiting for something to happen.
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Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby Onceler » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:25 am

It's hard to bully someone with good self esteem or someone who knows who they are.....I found it easier to find out who I am and that created good self esteem......it's funny how emptiness can stick up for itself!

When you know yourself (when fear is gone/nothing to protect) You can stand up for yourself in a matter of fact way or chose to ignore the bullying, just as you would redirect your attention away from any other negative experience.

My favorite defense is to make a joke. Humor is a subversive act requiring intelligence and spontaneity in the midst of tension. This doesn't mean a good line can't be rehearsed, delivered, walked away from...... boom.
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Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby Lunchbox » Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:55 am

Onceler wrote:When you know yourself (when fear is gone/nothing to protect) You can stand up for yourself in a matter of fact way or chose to ignore the bullying, just as you would redirect your attention away from any other negative experience.


What fear are you talking about? May you elaborate on this a little more?

And the killer question : how does one develop a healthy self-esteem (the healthy way)?
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Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby Onceler » Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:49 pm

I'm talking about the "fear of life" as John Sherman puts it. ET calls it the pain body.....I think they are roughly similar. This fear arises at birth and is the context for our psychological/emotional development. We create defenses against it which become maladaptive as we age. There is not much we can do about it other than find out who and what we truly are. This is also the basis for self esteem, but it's more simple than that. As you find out who you are, you realize a context for self which, as ET says, is not your life, but is broader. Your defenses against the fear slowly erode and you are left with life, intensely felt, without fear.

I use John Sherman's inquiry method called 'the looking'. It cuts through the existential/spiritual context, straight to the heart of who you are......simply shift your attention to how it "feels to be me.' You can also think of a childhood memory and feel how it felt back then as compared to now......the same. All this is better stated on Sherman's justonelook.org website.

When the confounding influence of fear is gone, and it takes awhile (years) to diminish, your 'self esteem' is effortlessly established as you know who and what you are without the context of fear. You can't be harmed, or helped, because you are much deeper and broader than the reach of life's passing circumstances.

The looking only takes a few seconds to do and I do it whenever I remember to. You can carry on with whatever practice or lifestyle you want. I find that as the fear diminishes, I am drawn to positive life-affirming, practices, lifestyle choices, people, etc. it can free you from previous conditioning.....even spiritual conditioning, as you live a life that is not fear based.

Bear in mind, I'm no expert in this, just stumbling along and learning as I go. I have learned from many others and each individual, honest communication of what they experience seems to help us all as we stumble along as a species. I am not one for "there is only one way to enlightenment" because I think in this unique point in time there has never been this set of circumstances. Keep talking about your experience, as it is unique and informs the path of the rest of us.
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Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby KathleenBrugger » Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:22 pm

Onceler wrote:It's hard to bully someone with good self esteem or someone who knows who they are.....I found it easier to find out who I am and that created good self esteem......it's funny how emptiness can stick up for itself!

When you know yourself (when fear is gone/nothing to protect) You can stand up for yourself in a matter of fact way or chose to ignore the bullying, just as you would redirect your attention away from any other negative experience.

My favorite defense is to make a joke. Humor is a subversive act requiring intelligence and spontaneity in the midst of tension. This doesn't mean a good line can't be rehearsed, delivered, walked away from...... boom.

This is fabulous, Onceler, as is your next post about dealing with fear. I particularly love that you describe humor as a subversive act. So true.

I'll share something I have learned recently about fear and self-esteem. As I mentioned earlier, I have not suffered from bullying (other than ordinary childhood playground stuff) but I have had trouble asserting myself in relationships. I was the submissive person in the relationship and let the other have their way. I've overcome this a lot over the years through spiritual practice, but the tendencies are still there. I am still shy about asserting myself and my ideas in the world, for instance.

Recently I read a book called Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self, by Anodea Judith. Ms. Judith's goal is to integrate theories of child development in western psychology with eastern systems, particularly the chakras. What I learned is that the very first step in development, which is the province of the first chakra, is all about the "right to be here": it's okay for me to take up space on the planet, it's okay for me to be provided for. I wasn't abused in any way as a child, but I could see how I must have had some issues during this stage of my development. This feels like a key to understanding my self-esteem issues. My mind was saying: What right do I have to express myself in the world? What right do I have to stand up to a dominating husband?

I've checked out the John Sherman technique that onceler mentions and it is powerful. I think you could say that what you are doing when you "shift your attention to how it "feels to be me'" is you are saying "it is okay for me to be here and feel the way I do." Once you have established that right, you can assert yourself in the world. I would suggest that one way to look at bullying is that a bully is implying you don't have the right to be here.

It's interesting, lunchbox, that you say nothing happened in the last few weeks:

So this past couple of weeks I been in my 'fight-back mode.' I was consciously aware of any human interaction, waiting for something to pop-up that I felt disrespectful, and then attack/defend. Nothing much happened. However I did notice an overall negatively emotion while I was eagerly waiting for something to happen.

Sounds like you are asserting your right to be here, which is a mark of self-esteem. But as I noticed as I worked through these issues with Arthur, sometimes I would get angry when I saw him (or thought I saw him) dominating me. It was as if I thought I needed the energy of the anger to assert myself. The more I practiced asserting myself, the more I learned that the anger was not an assist, it just created new problems. So I understand that you felt a negative emotion, and that can be the next thing to witness!

And I also second onceler's comment about continuing to share your experience. It is valuable to all of us.
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Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby Onceler » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:04 pm

KathleenBrugger wrote:
I've checked out the John Sherman technique that onceler mentions and it is powerful. I think you could say that what you are doing when you "shift your attention to how it "feels to be me'" is you are saying "it is okay for me to be here and feel the way I do." Once you have established that right, you can assert yourself in the world. I would suggest that one way to look at bullying is that a bully is implying you don't have the right to be here.


Actually, Lunchboxe's question about self esteem threw me into an ontological tizzy, from which I don't think I have recovered.....it's very deep, cutting to the marrow like a zen koan. It seems self esteem in the conventional sense is pointless. The self being esteemed is the one interwoven into the narrow band of ones life; thoughts, feelings, body, circumstances.....none of which is a problem to be fixed, changed, or aggrandized. It's just life. As ET and others say many times, we are not our lives.

The Self, of which we are, cannot be esteemed or diminished, as it is literally everything. The genius of the looking is that we are brought face to face with who we are, which is the truth and reality, and which, after repeated 'looks' shows us we are not who we thought we were.....our thoughts, feelings, body, circumstances...our life.

So, self esteem. Not necessary when the true Self is seen and it's realized we are the bully as well as the bullied. I have definitely seen who I am and can work all this out on paper, so to speak, but I haven't looked at myself long enough for this to be intuitive second nature. Just trying to hang on as it all flows by.

Thanks, Lunchbox and Kathleen for the crack of the stick!
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Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby KathleenBrugger » Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:30 pm

Onceler wrote:So, self esteem. Not necessary when the true Self is seen and it's realized we are the bully as well as the bullied. I have definitely seen who I am and can work all this out on paper, so to speak, but I haven't looked at myself long enough for this to be intuitive second nature. Just trying to hang on as it all flows by.

Thanks, Lunchbox and Kathleen for the crack of the stick!

i am SO enjoying your posts onceler--not just here but all over the forum. Now you've put a stick on my back! I'm thinking about the movie Tree of Life, by Terrence Malick. It's a beautiful, sensitive look at life. There's a voiceover in the beginning about the two ways of being in the world. One is the way of nature, and the other is the way of grace. (I found the passage on the Internet Movie Database site http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0478304/quotes) I've bolded the pertinent part. I have seen this film 3 times already and every time I hear those bolded words a thrill runs through me--when I am in the moment I can shrug off an insult or injury because what is being insulted and injured is not who I really am.

The nuns taught us there were two ways through life - the way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you'll follow.
Nature only wants to please itself. Get others to please it too. Likes to lord it over them. To have its own way. It finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it. And love is smiling through all things.
Grace doesn't try to please itself. Accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked. Accepts insults and injuries.
The nuns taught us that no one who loves the way of grace ever comes to a bad end. I will be true to you. Whatever comes.

The film is a lot about "seeing the shining" coming through all things. I really recommend it.
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Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby Onceler » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:06 am

Thanks Kathleen, enjoying your posts, too. It's what makes this forum so wonderful. I can trace all the beneficial changes in my life right back to here. I saw Tree of Life a while back, but knew I wasn't fully processing it. Will have to see it again. Will also check out the link.
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Re: Confused. Please Advice.

Postby KathleenBrugger » Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:44 am

Onceler wrote:Thanks Kathleen, enjoying your posts, too. It's what makes this forum so wonderful. I can trace all the beneficial changes in my life right back to here. I saw Tree of Life a while back, but knew I wasn't fully processing it. Will have to see it again. Will also check out the link.

Yeah it was only on the second viewing that I started understanding what the movie was about, then the third (and now I realize I've seen it 4 times) and fourth I really started appreciating it!
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