On Comfortably Numbing Down (CND)

Do you ever wonder why we do some things in our lives over and over, despite knowing it will not result any different of an outcome?
Probably even with a result that we know does not serve us.
 
I have been talking, writing, and learning a lot about living authentically for some time now. 
It is true it can get pretty lonely when we show ourselves. It is a risk we take being open and raw with emotions that guide our life.
This also can be off-putting to those in our world.
This is all just part of living authentically, When we are able to show our self and find comfort in this we then will be free to live our life as it has always meant to be….
Able to be the genuine person we are striving to be all along,
 
Comfortable enough to just be ourselves without any need to defend, protect, or deflect. 
There will be no longer a need to hang on to all the thoughts & beliefs we had scurried away that served to only preserve our self-image.
No longer will we have a need to secret away any parts of our self.
 
So now…. how do we get there?
 
This quote from Mary Oliver “Instructions for living”  is a perfect starting point. It was shared with me by a friend (thank you Joss) who is also on a self-exploration. 
 
” Pay attention.
 Be astonished.
Tell about it.”
           ― Mary Oliver
 
Perfect 3 tips to guide the start of the walk.
 
In the discovery of the path to authenticity I have found much in my recent research to bolster my agenda in wanting to live in a way that creates little to no regret in my life.
My big “Aha Moment” was finding I only need to change my thinking.
My astonishment came because I know I can make the changes in myself that will have great impact on that authenticity.
And a reconciliation that will allow myself to be comfortable in whatever situation or circumstance I might be in. Because there will only be the genuine ME navigating the circumstance. No question.
 
There is an interesting field of study in psychology called Cognitive dissonance.
The philosophy or idea that we will create thoughts and actions, or do just about anything in order to hang on to our own positive self-image, despite the actual truth.
In a simplistic example; we might believe we are loved (because lets face it we all want to be loved so thought it was something we can all relate to) 
Yet when faced with the factual actions that do not support love or it is withheld from us (for whatever reason) it sticks right in the heart. You know it. But you refuse to believe what is right in front of you.
It’s hard to admit it if we may have been mistaken. To navigate such uncomfortable circumstances we become masters at justifying what we believe, why we believe it, what we need to do and what we say to our selves.
We find can find justification for anything.
Self-deception can become our norm.
 
As a species with a highly evolved brain and emotion we are intelligent beings who typically look for consistency in what we believe & our perceptions. 
What is it that happens when we have conflict with a long-held belief and a new belief is presented.?
You feel it at your very core that ‘something’ is wrong.
That feeling of discomfort that is created when we hold two conflicting beliefs. When there is a discrepancy between beliefs and behaviors.
There is that gut feeling that something is off. 

That chord that rings true within all of us that ‘something’ is just not sitting right within our spirit. 

That’s dissonance.

And that ‘something’ must change in order to eliminate or reduce the dissonance. 

 
The realization comes through our self inventory, with our self-image and our self-worth playing heavily into this cognitive dissonance. 
 I am certainly not immune by any means which is what takes me on this journey of reason and discovery in the first place. 
 
I discovered in reading that I might have to rethink some ideas I have in my own head about who I am. And how I interact with those I love. 
It has to start with ourselves. 
 
 Self-Efficacy refers to our self-image, stability of mood, and level of motivation. 
Hopefully we have good levels of self-esteem, sense of self, and a sense of accomplishment. 
If so it seems we might be acutely aware of our feelings, where they come from –
But are we accepting – of both our strengths, and weaknesses?
Likewise, we might likely feel that people who are important in our life understand us. 
But people who are on our radar tend to be comfortable not giving in to peer, family, and other social pressures any more than we are. It’s human nature. 
 
Family & close friends opinions are indeed important, but their expectations do not need to strongly influence our life. Instead our close family & friends tend to have their own well-defined ambitions and goals. The two shall not meet. We might even be very influential and persuasive with others. In fact, our family, friends and acquaintances may often come to us for ideas of guidance across a range of issues.
 So, can we be real & honest with ourselves and them? Not say what they want, what we want to hear, but instead  say what the genuine truth is? 
 
I find myself wanting that deep emotional connection with those in my life more and more. An important aspect of loving anyone that should not be ignored. Being authentic can open that door.
Our self is the only thing we can change in any relationship, any situation. If it’s not working for you change ‘something’ within yourself.
The inner workings of relationships are not as natural to navigate as we expect them to be. It takes some effort to have genuine & authentic relationships with that soul to soul emotional connection of those who matter the most.
 
I have found some questions I needed to answer for myself in this quest as well as some thoughts and tips that seem to help me with keeping that feeling of dissonance further at bay. 
 
Firstly,  ask these three things and answer with brutal honesty. 
I suggest a pen & paper and turn off all electronics, even music (I know) Phones most definitely.
Now spend some time with yourself. (make sure you will not be interrupted if at all possible)
Then ask:

“Do your positive qualities outweigh your faults? Why or why not?”

“Do you ever feel guilty when you do not meet the expectations of your family or friends? Explain.

“Are you the type of person who likes to stand out in a crowd or go totally unnoticed?” Why do you suppose this is?   (just so you know, there are no right or wrong answers)

Secondly, there are things I know that let me live more authentically if I practice them on a daily basis. And I mean practice as in rehearse, make mistakes, and get back up again, and start all over. And do it again tomorrow…
 
#1 Don’t lie. We just have to give it up, even those little seemingly innocent white lies.  Ask yourself what the lie is feeding?
 
#2. Know that we must not say everything out loud (this is a personal hurdle) We tend to get into a mind-set that all our thoughts are important and worthy of being shared. Not true. Learn to quiet your voice, not squelch it. 
 
#3  You can change your mind. It’s allowed. Being rigid will not serve an authentic life. 
 
#4 Avoid being en-guard.
 
#5  Have core plasticity.
#6 Be flexible, bend a bit, but don’t break.
 
#7  See family & friends attempts towards emotionally connecting as the good they are, even if not 200% successful.
 
#8  Have Team Spirit (whoever your team may be. Family, friends, lover, community…) 
 
#9  Focus only on the good. Catch those who matter to you most doing the things that feed your spirit. Ignore those things that might not. 
 
#10  Assert yourself. 
 
and finally…
Find a new voice.
One with an Emotional Reaction Redirection, An E.R.R.
We do this by changing how we say things to others. And to ourselves. 
Sometimes let us try to numb down our response.
Let us try to be comfortable knowing not everything needs our reaction and response.
Be Comfortably Numbed Down. C.N.D.
 
Start there. . 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Signature 2013
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22 thoughts on “On Comfortably Numbing Down (CND)

  1. Awww beautiful friend as always your words are as timely as they are eloquent. You know the big change I am about to go through but what you don’t know is how much I am struggling, have struggled to set all past failures aside and let this new journey be whatever it is going to be. The truth is this new path does NOT fail and long as the sojourner does her part. However, as I have exercised my due diligence in the past I have only found failure mixed with scant success. Cognitive dissonance, much? Yeah, about that! This new road needs to be authentic. I cannot make this change without my whole heart so I am grateful for this preparation time to exercise these emotional aspects. I love the suggestion to be “comfortably numb”….to the past failure, to the prospect of outlandish success…to allow myself the most authentic experience possible. Thank you my lovely! One more piece to my puzzle…

    • I have been robbed! I sat last night responding to you here in epic novel length chatting and now when i came to reply to another comment my message to you is gone. Vamoose!!!
      Shrugging shoulders…..

      It is so amazing to me how we do this with each other, even though we have been for a couple of years now.
      It is one of my most reassuring things in life knowing you will always understand.

      Your new venture in life sweetie is going to be the beginning of your new life as a viewed through changed eyes. You will always be the treasured person you are, an authentic old soul from the very core of who you are. This won’t change you it will only enhance what you already are.
      My faith in you and the choices you make are 100% and if and when you find you need some encouragement I am your lady to call upon. Just say my name I will be here. Anytime. day or night You have my number, use it my friend anytime.

      Much love to you My Echo heart I love you much and am always…. always on your side of your life ~

  2. Loving that clever title.

    Me I like to reframe things. There is always, always, at least one other way to look at something. And the whole issue of acceptance and change, which I have probably mentioned before so won’t repeat it. (If I haven’t I’ll churn it out).

    • Aha MS!! It is you that I was inspired by for this title. Just so you know.

      I like how you say”reframe things” Wish I’d had that to add to my tips.
      Please forgive me if I missed your thoughts on change and acceptance.
      Do share please. Churn it out blibling!! Please?

      • It’s all from my MBA course, one component was creative management. Very good.

        Reframing is only like glass half full, glass half empty. But It’s always good to look at something from another perspective, or someone’s else’s point of view. Important to realise yours isn’t the only PoV.

        Anyway the change thing is about how to deal with a situation:

        Accept the situation
        Leave the situation
        Change the situation
        Change yourself

        Easy really 😀 I’ve done all of those.

        It was on one of my tapes for the course, and I would listen to it when I was driving to meetings, thinking how simple, succinct and clever it was. You have a choice. You need to consciously make it, so that you are in control. I still repeat it like a mantra. My partner claims he has an MBA by default because I bored him rigid with this and loads of other theories 😀

        (When I say ‘you’ and ‘yours’ I am generalising here, not referring to you. I could say ‘one’ and ‘ones’ but I think that’s overly formal)

        • Well I simply love your ‘How To’ for dealing with any given situation. Going to put this n my door of fame. (refrigerator door) with a few other absolute terrific affirmations that are gentle reminders.

          II promise to know you are always generalizing when you share like this unless you say other wise.
          There is such grace in what you share. I need to wrap some thoughts around it and use your How To Deal With Any Situation in some future piece.Love anything with such a great message said in simple terms.

          • I like it because it is pragmatic. Either you accept something that you aren’t happy with, or you do something to change it, whether that is you or the situation is your choice, eg work, relationships etc. It’s similar to the religious one about God give me the strength to change what I can, and the wisdom to know what I can’t. I’m not religious so I’ve not got the words right but you get the idea.

            Post away about it. I can give you a zillion examples!

  3. this is a tough place for most to go to. not impossible, not at all, for a mentally healthy person. for some this could be so depressing they might attempt suicide. we all need to feel loved, so if we are not and we can not tell the ego it is loved the ego can not sustain us. i admire that you are making this journey, the average person will need to have someone, like a therapist, who can help them find a way to make those needs met in another way.

    i have spent my life doing all i can to be authentic. sometimes this can be a bit alarming to family and friends. once they get used to it they accept it is just me. i would probably have more friends if i were more of a phony:)

    • Hello my friend, am so happy to see your face on my blog!
      Yes you make a good point that this article is aimed for mentally healthy folk.

      Telling the ego to believe something it does not see in actions and behavior is one of the most difficult things about this kind of trek into our personal journey. I think if it was easy we’d not have the problems this world holds in its heart.

      I felt your authenticity from the very first time we communicated with one another. And yes, alarming to those who matter to us. It may not feel good at first, in fact to be honest I have put my tail between my legs many a times and said what i thought someone wanted to hear rather than risk their disapproval. Or the discomfort of being honest
      I’m now looking forward to finding comfort in honesty.

  4. that’s what I have been doing this past week. believing what wasn’t there. I got burnt as I said in my post I wrote late this afternoon. Maybe I will never learn

    • I have been to your post as you know so here I am sending my wishes for you to give yourself a break. Wishful thinking about someone we love dearly is how it should be I think.
      It is just that there comes a time when we have to face the reality of the circumstances and that is just painful. Who willingly wants to have pain in their lives?
      Dying is a process. Also a process for those who are the witness to the end of life transformation.Sadly though we are never taught how to process and live these monumental times in our lives. I also think learning is a process.
      Have you ever read the book Tuesdays With Morey by Mitch Albom? f not it is a great read. I think it is the best read I have ever come across about the end of life. Written in a narrative story about dying told in the most gifted way.

      Be kind to yourself today friend. Be your best to yourself, ~

You are most welcome to share your thoughts, comments, and/or complaints here. Know though complaints are only handled on the 2nd Tuesday of the week.~ The Management

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