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Self Help: what you can do


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Given that we basically "are who we are" I feel all that one can do to improve in life is let go of the things that are holding us back.

For example letting go of the past, releasing oneself from any negative thoughts of any kind.

I am not looking to argue or prove anything here, this is a support site & I am just offering it in case it helps anyone the way it has helped me.

I will say this however, I did not arrive at this conclusion casually or flippantly. Many books have I read on philosophy, psychology, higher consciousness, motivational training, and Eastern thought - Zen, Taoism, etc and my take away is that we already have everything we need and the only thing to do is to realize that. You don't need to change, you need to accept.

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Quite often, in fact, you have to accept who you are now in order to believe in yourself enough to change.

Acceptance isn't "I like everything about myself and don't want anything to change".

It's "This is the only self I get. I exist and deserve to, whether I change or not."

That allows you to say to people: "Ridicule me all you want. You're entitled to an opinion just like everyone else, only don't fool yourself into thinking yours is more important than anyone else's, and especially not more important than my own."

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I vibe on this. Thanks to both of you. Acceptance of the self is essential. In my experience, something very important is that your "self" need not be defined by actions taken in the past. This is something I've struggled with (and continue to struggle with, in all honesty). If your actions, or "fruits" are the result of who you are, and you've done reprehensible things, then how are you to accept yourself? Maybe to reject yourself would be a rather principled (and courageous - given the pain of self rejection) thing? I guess it all comes back to letting go of the past like victim said. But how do we separate ourselves from the fact that our past is the result of who we ARE?

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I vibe on this. Thanks to both of you. Acceptance of the self is essential. In my experience, something very important is that your "self" need not be defined by actions taken in the past. This is something I've struggled with (and continue to struggle with, in all honesty). If your actions, or "fruits" are the result of who you are, and you've done reprehensible things, then how are you to accept yourself? Maybe to reject yourself would be a rather principled (and courageous - given the pain of self rejection) thing? I guess it all comes back to letting go of the past like victim said. But how do we separate ourselves from the fact that our past is the result of who we ARE?

hello spotless.

obviously this is a complex question; one that i can't fully answer. one way of accepting oneself, for someone who has done reprehensible things, is complete change; by becoming a better person, not repeating one's mistakes, trying to fix what one can (or to right a wrong), and being honest with oneself.

take care.

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You have to accept your limitations. If you can change it, change it. If you can't, accept it. Often, we have a tendency to see negative occurrences as faults with ourselves, and far too often, we see this as defeat, and we learn to accept defeat. We should not be accepting defeat, we should be accepting our mistakes and our losses, but also accepting our ability to learn from these experiences.

Once you are able to appreciate yourselves and learn to love yourself, learning to accept that your past gas lead you to who you are today will come much easier.

All human beings are amazing creatures but don't let that stop you from growing and changing.

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The things you've done in the past are the fruit of who you were, perhaps. But we constantly change.

It also helps to ask whether you're applying the same (principled) standard to yourself as you would to others. We're usually much more forgiving of others. The forgiveness is to our credit, but we deserve it ourselves as much as anyone else does.

For myself, one of the first benefits I found of working on this site was that I had to find a compassionate part of myself with which to listen to others. After a while, though, I began to ask myself why I didn't use that part when relating to me, and that was the second benefit.

Your question also brings up another useful one: given that we do constantly change, what part is really our selves? It's probably none of the things that our ego thinks it is.

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I vibe on this. Thanks to both of you. Acceptance of the self is essential. In my experience, something very important is that your "self" need not be defined by actions taken in the past. This is something I've struggled with (and continue to struggle with, in all honesty). If your actions, or "fruits" are the result of who you are, and you've done reprehensible things, then how are you to accept yourself? Maybe to reject yourself would be a rather principled (and courageous - given the pain of self rejection) thing? I guess it all comes back to letting go of the past like victim said. But how do we separate ourselves from the fact that our past is the result of who we ARE?

In my opinion, you separate yourself by changing, you accept where you are now, but accept that you're learning and growing as a person, building on new concepts, feelings and memories, moving away from the old past by building a better future, and try to be good, do good things, and maybe one day feel good about yourself.

Argh, hope that doesn't sound too corny. Wish you all well.

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No it does not sound corny at all mts. Plain simple truth gets thru to people much more than deep philosophy.

Speaking for myself, I finally realized "I am who I am" and that won't change but I can unload negative worthless thoughts, feelings, behaviors that weighing me down and this will allow growth, development, and life. It's a world view born of Eastern thought, particularly Zen, that says you already have everything you need completely and totally and there is no need, and indeed no way, to add anything.

I am no longer concerned w knowing who I am or what this self is. The answer for me is "it is what it is". At a certain point you reach a point where further inquiry serves no purpose like asking why 2+2=4.

This view can be hard to accept because it runs contrary to everything we are taught in school, advertising, culture which is goes something like "your dreams are just around the corner! A new you awaits! Just take this course of study, follow this exercise regimen, swallow these pills, have this surgery, etc". This is the nonsense that causes mental illness in my view.

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Thanks Vbn. I agree with what you're saying, though I might not be quite there yet. When you say unload negative thoughts and feelings do you mean by overwriting them with positive ones, or something else?

Lately, I've had the realization that I might need to embrace anger more, but it needs to be constructive. Cognitive self-help says anger fuels anxiety, and spirtual self help gurus say anger is bad...

It's easy to start thinking I should live like a monk...no negative feelings...totally at peace...oouhhmmm...

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No it does not sound corny at all mts. Plain simple truth gets thru to people much more than deep philosophy.

Speaking for myself, I finally realized "I am who I am" and that won't change but I can unload negative worthless thoughts, feelings, behaviors that weighing me down and this will allow growth, development, and life. It's a world view born of Eastern thought, particularly Zen, that says you already have everything you need completely and totally and there is no need, and indeed no way, to add anything.

I am no longer concerned w knowing who I am or what this self is. The answer for me is "it is what it is". At a certain point you reach a point where further inquiry serves no purpose like asking why 2+2=4.

This view can be hard to accept because it runs contrary to everything we are taught in school, advertising, culture which is goes something like "your dreams are just around the corner! A new you awaits! Just take this course of study, follow this exercise regimen, swallow these pills, have this surgery, etc". This is the nonsense that causes mental illness in my view.

"it is what it is" is something I say to absolutely everyone. Dwelling on things gets you nowhere.

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Thanks Vbn. I agree with what you're saying, though I might not be quite there yet. When you say unload negative thoughts and feelings do you mean by overwriting them with positive ones, or something else?

Lately, I've had the realization that I might need to embrace anger more, but it needs to be constructive. Cognitive self-help says anger fuels anxiety, and spirtual self help gurus say anger is bad...

It's easy to start thinking I should live like a monk...no negative feelings...totally at peace...oouhhmmm...

As far as getting rid of negativity goes, I just do my best to not let it hook me, not pursue it and to consider other options. And yes - the more positive thinking the better for me.

Anger is like fire - what matters is what you do with it. In my view what the cognitive self help crowd misses is that a certain amount of suffering is required for success. Med students have to hit the books, athletes have to train, musicians have to practice, businessmen have to work hard & take risks, etc.

I don't want to be a monk but I sure would like a "chill out" vacation or retreat.

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