vvvexation: (Default)
An excerpt from the paper I wrote a few weeks ago for my meditation class:
Probably the most helpful precept I've learned so far is the one [instructor] discussed in one of her first sections: be as gentle and forgiving with yourself as you would be with a close friend. The literal phrasing resonated loudly with me, as I've been trying lately to criticize myself less but have had trouble justifying that practice to myself. To tell the truth, I'm still a little conflicted about it; my inner critic protests that it's all very well to talk of forgiving my friends, but the reason I can forgive them is that it's not my job to make sure they don't keep hurting people, but it is my job to make sure I don't keep hurting myself, and how will I stop if I don't lecture myself about it? Really, though, I've always been able to forgive people I care about even when they've hurt me fairly badly, and very little I've done has been as hurtful to me as some of the things that I've forgiven others, so I ought to be able to forgive myself more if I can just keep that in mind, or if I can convince myself that criticism is not the only way to make sure I don't repeat my mistakes.

The idea of gentleness with oneself also touched off some unexpected associations for me, though, that were even more helpful. I'd been exposed before to the idea of "being your own best friend," but it had always been phrased in ways that just didn't work for me. Usually it was phrased more or less as "if you need help/companionship/support and you've got no one to get it from, don't waste your time trying to find someone to get it from when you can just as easily provide it for yourself," but to me it didn't seem at all easy to take on all of life's burdens by myself when I really wanted someone to share the load. Recently, however, I noticed that not only are support and companionship a two-way street, but the street is downhill both ways; I'm actually better motivated to do things for people I care about than to do the same things for myself, so having someone I can do things for is in a way just as beneficial as having someone to do things for me, provided there's at least a little bit of both taking place. [instructor]'s words gave me the final insight I needed to connect those concepts: if I think about caring for myself as I would care for a friend, instead of caring for myself as a friend would care for me, it seems infinitely easier. Taking the perspective of the one who is helping rather than the one who needs the help allows me to focus on what I can do, rather than on what needs doing; instead of feeling overwhelmed by the number of things I have to do, I can pretend that I'm not the one who actually has to do any of them, and then decide to do them anyway as a favor to myself.

(I hadn't ever phrased all that in this particular way until now, and it's a little disturbing to see spelled out; I'm not used to thinking of myself as being more than one person in any sense as concrete as this. I suppose, though, that this isn't a harmful way of thinking as long as I remain aware on some level that both selves really are the same self.)

Once again, though, I don't seem to be any closer to successfully applying this concept for all I suddenly understand it. Sigh.
vvvexation: (Default)
I fill out a fair number of Memegen memelets just for my own amusement, though I don't post them because I doubt anyone else really cares. But the problem is, half the people on my flist are people I don't actually know, or joke journals and other things of that nature, and those show up all too often in the slots where I'm supposed to see the names of my friends in silly contexts. This seriously cuts down on the amusement factor. Wish there were something to be done about it.
vvvexation: (Default)
Dang it. When I caught sight of the line "I salute you in the name of the most High!" at the top of the latest email in my spam folder, I thought I was going to be invited to join a fringe religion. But alas, it was just a 419 scam.
vvvexation: (Default)
...because gods know it's easier than coming up with anything original to say.

An example: My dad and I were just discussing movies over email, but he interjected this into his latest reply:

My computer-guarder thingy, Norton, says, "Remember to check for updates frequently."

1) I remember frequently that I should check for updates, but I never do check for updates.

2) I remember now and then that I should frequently check for updates, but I check rarely or never.

Wouldn't it be better to check for updates frequently and forget about remembering to? And wouldn't it be better for Norton to say, "Check for updates frequently"? That way they'd be staying out of my mind and I'd be getting proper instructions.

This is just the kind of thing that I would post here more often, if only the impulse didn't flee before I had the chance to and if only I didn't anticipate loud sighs and head-patting in response. Maybe I need to stop caring about that.
vvvexation: (Default)
My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Sister Pepper Spray of Loving Kindness.

Get yours.

Don't just generate a name; read the article if you haven't already (though it's unlikely you haven't, what with everybody linking to it).
vvvexation: (Default)
I just asked my dad the following question over email:
Is there a name for the phenomenon whereby a pale imitation of some
experience is better known than the experience itself, and becomes
almost more of a prototype than the prototype is? But without people
forgetting that it is just an imitation, so that when they for once in
their lives have the prototypical experience, they think "wow, this
feels like [prototype X]" just as they always do when they're having
the derivative experience, and forget for a moment that this time it
actually is the prototype they're experiencing?

He evidently isn't quite sure what I mean and wants a specific example. However, I'm not sure I want to share with him the example I was thinking of.

Anybody have any parent-safe examples of this kind of thing?

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September 2012

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