Posts Tagged ‘Ego’

Matthew Ricard: A Fulfilled Life

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“A fulfilled life is not made up of an uninterrupted succession of pleasant sensations but comes from transforming the way we understand and work through the challenges of our existence.

Training the mind not only makes it possible to cope with mental toxins like hatred, obsession, and fear that poison our existence, but also helps us acquire a better understanding of how the mind functions and gives us a more accurate perception of reality.

This, in turn, gives us the inner resources to successfully face the highs and lows of life without being distracted or broken by them, and allows us to draw deep lessons from them.

One of the great tragedies of our time is that we significantly underestimate our capacity for change.

Our character traits remain the same as long as we do nothing to change them, and as long as we continue to tolerate and reinforce our habits and patterns, thought after thought.

The truth is that the state that we call “normal” is just a starting point and not the goal we ought to set for ourselves.

Our life is worth much more than that!

It is possible, little by little, to arrive at an optimal way of being.”

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My two cents: Ricard is referring to a normal life but his words and advice work for PTSD sufferers also.

My life has little fulfillment when ptsd is out of control.

My fulfillment has come from the intense daily work of trying to heal and the enjoyment of improving in small increments.

Recently, I found the core issue keeping me stuck.

People, we have to persevere when things seem hopeless.

Feeling hopeless and depressed is part of our journey to fulfillment.

Yes, fulfillment looks entirely different for us.

We have to adapt and never give up, I believe these two traits are needed for serious childhood abuse.

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Childhood ptsd is hard on Relationships

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Relationships will always be difficult for abused kids. The experts tell us so.

PTSD was dormant until my late 50’s. The core trauma was alive in my subconscious, impacting my nervous system and behavior.

A family crisis released my childhood trauma, it exploded into consciousness. I would have trouble from that day being able to have friends.

I was not available, did not want to go out and be part of a friendship or group.

We cannot cultivate when our PTSD is at gale force.

Being agoraphobic limited my life and changed my marriage. Having triggers explode, paralyzed me, numbed me, and sharing the experience scared my partner even more.

My relationships were strained from mood swings, episodes of triggers isolated me while fear and anxiety changed my personality.

Finally, I see it was next to impossible to be a close friend.

This is more wreckage childhood PTSD has caused or I have caused. I guess they are the same person.

Life has always seemed out of control, I was always trying to catch up but an invisible demon-haunted me.

My life has been filled with turmoil, escaping PTSD symptoms has not gone well.

I struggle with relationships because I struggle mightily for any well-being.

Some of my past is a mess and I have responsibility for that mess.

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My Blog may not be helpful lately

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/211174968221885/

My intrusive thoughts never stop at times, normal people can not comprehend this or experience it. I do not dig up intrusive trauma thoughts they arrive on their own.

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My leading, helping others out has been sparse or nonexistent lately, PTSD is alive and persistent, overbearing, powerful, I strain for the correct description.

At my worst, life stopped, I could not leave the house, I was frozen, shaking for hours, darkness marked another day survived.

My fight or flight exploded 15 times a day, I was agoraphobic, irrational fear, and anxiety imprisoned me. My prescribing Ph.D. psychologist had me on 350 milligrams of effector, a normal dose is 75.

Life was horrible. He thought I was messed up.

My mind could not handle a nervous system tilted upside down, I had lost control of everything, I reacted and suffered.

All my work has calmed my physical symptoms adequately, it is the intrusive thoughts, my mind thinking that haunts my waking hours.

My mind is out of control again, intrusive thoughts, trauma memories run constantly.

Thoughts arrive without our input, an abused kid’s thoughts could not be more different, more trauma laced, more negative, or more destructive than a normal child’s. An abused kids thoughts trigger ptsd, fear, and anxiety.

All my tools, grounding skills, focus skills, tricks, and meditating focus have minimal impact.

I am worn out physically and mentally right now.

It does feel like a war inside.

Depression becomes the second biggest symptom, actually co-morbid with PTSD.

Life is horrible again.

I know that is irrational but so is my whole life.

I share when things go well, why hide my challenges and losses.

I have to make sure everyone knows I am not giving up, just suffering and whining some.

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The Journey for abused Kids

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In the beginning, healing was always slow, an amazing amount of time and effort are invested for a small return.

Healing was so subtle I did not notice for months, small improvements were underway.

A trauma event as an adult, brain fully developed, is much different than childhood trauma.

Childhood trauma has a depth, a plethora of unknowns, seemingly unending instances of more abuse.

This creates some big issues.

An adult endures abuse or a horrible accident and develops PTSD. He/She knows what a normal non-traumatized existence feels like.

He/She has a finite, one-off trauma to deal with. Healing is much quicker, much easier with good tools and effort.

His/Her brain is developed and handles trauma much differently than a kid with a brain incapable of handling life.

An abused kid has never experienced a normal life, never known life without emotional or physical abuse.

An abused kid’s brain is altered from that trauma, smaller hippocampus, larger amygdala, and compromised prefrontal cortex.

Our brains are injured and trauma is mixed up with brain development. As an adult, we fail to realize we need in-depth counseling or maybe in-house therapy.

We do not have a basis to understand our life is screwed up.

We have never experienced normal, how do we know what life is like for others.

My friends think I am just crazy, weak, and stuck. They have simple fixes, then question me for not being brave enough or skilled enough to live life as they do.

I wonder how they would have survived my childhood, my dad.

I did not seek help until I was about 60.

We are similar to narcissist, how can we see something wrong with us with nothing to compare it to. Life has always been like this for us, we have not experienced support or attachment or normalcy.

Childhood abuse is a well with no bottom, no end, no hope.

That is how it feels and looks to us at times.

None of this allows us to give up trying to heal.

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The Tug of War: Ego vs Inner Critic

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My vicious inner critic has close ties to my male Ego, constantly reminding me of past wrongs and failures.

My inner critic loves using blame to fuel his dominance in my conscious life.

What better way of dominating our mind than bringing highly emotional, judgmental thoughts.

Trauma explodes when we grasp this rope.

PTSD is fueled in this scenario.

I have spent countless hours blaming and punishing Abusers in my visual recreations.

A total waste of time and energy, somehow we have to forgive and surrender or be owned by our abuse (abuser).

This is a tug of war, grab the rope with only one arm and the whole body is attached.

Compartmentalization does not work with trauma.

I have run from forgiving in the past, now I plant my flag and engage forgiveness.

Follow me or let me be your test dummy.

My male ego needs a revision, a spiritual awakening of sorts.

My inner critic can kiss my ass.

Sorry for that raw emotion.

Sarcasm is my vehicle of choice on this journey.

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A look at my childhood minus the PTSD


My father was from a family of 15, he was in the middle of that order with a paternal twin. My mother was an only child raised Catholic by two atheist.

Yea that’s a weird match.

Mom got pregnant at 16, had me at 17 and that was the end of their high school education.

I was raised by crazy kids.

Mom was a fanatic with religion, dads only interest besides a weekly bowling league was for me to be Roy Hobbs, from The Natural, the greatest baseball hitter ever.

My parents were out there but found a way to exist, divorce was not recognized by the Catholic Church, my mom was stuck.

Playing baseball was his total interest in me. Oh I had to get good grades, be damn near perfect and have my behavior make him look good at all costs also.

He really never had conversations with me, I either did something to piss him off or it was baseball.

He criticized and lectured, we never had a conversation, ever.

If I brought up an idea about me being something other than a pro ball player, Mom would say God made you to play ball.

I did not talk much, fear and self protection were the emotions used for survival. Why would I ever say something and risk his wrath.

School had knowledge, dialogue but it brought social challenges.

You can understand why I was socially awkward, I was damn near a mute at home.

They controlled who I could have for friends and dad did not allow me to date, in his eyes women were a risk to my baseball career.

If he could of branded me showing ownership, it would of been a big bold tattoo.

Years later I returned home from across the country for some event, they could not believe I was a talkative adult. I was an extrovert, who knew.

And yes I moved as far away as I could.

Some of this was abusive but look at their lives.

My daughter explains my mother’s dilemma, in 1950, unwed and pregnant, her future husband was a violent narcissist.

Maybe it was a life sentence for her.

Who knows.

As an old man, I am lost, life has never had purpose or direction. I do not know how to have purpose or direction.

I try to heal a little more each day but life is hallow and has way to much suffering without a purpose.

We all have our challenges.

Any insights, comments or opinions?
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Lessons I have learned

https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?rs=typed&q=ptsd%20healing

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After a long energetic effort with therapy and practice to heal, my life was still a damn mess.

In my old wisdom, if that is a real thing, learning to function in the midst of PTSD is the new gold on my healing path.

Listen, my childhood abuse, wiring of my brain in survival mode, is never going away.

My ability to function, discount the noise and take action is a part of my happiness in life, the oasis in this PTSD desert.

It is not about winning, it is how we fight, how much energy we exert, how much adversity can we respond to.

How resilient can we be along this path, how many times can we get back up.

This is not the road of an easy life, many succumb without much resistance.

My purpose is to live as freely as possible despite PTSD and inspire you to never give up.

We rarely take big risks.

We face adversity and the collapse of our boundaries.

Adversity is not a punishment, some think opportunity lies within adversity.

Adversity is ever present in our lives, attitude and effort are the tools needed to resist and continue living.

Effort has always been easy for me, attitude is difficult when unworthiness and depression try to consume me.

Another lesson I use is the knowledge that PTSD is cyclical, it explodes with cortisol and adrenaline, fills us with anxiety and fear, then recedes in time back to our normal.

Know the pattern of trauma firing up, staying a while then returning back to normal.

Some Wisdom: I have survived my worst flare ups already, with PTSD active and powered up, so my fear level has dropped.

PTSD can do nothing new to me that I have not already endured or survived.

So PTSD has thrown its biggest punches and I am still standing, so are you, maybe you have not realized the accomplishment yet.

Realize that therapy even once a week is only 4 hours a month, our time alone accounts for 720 hours. 720 hours versus 4 hours.

Where do you think healing will happen?

Mine happened on my own time, sometimes directed by my therapists input, most of the time while meditating using my tools.

Next, Find a mentor.

Books were my first mentor, books on neuroscience, PTSD therapies, war, meditation and holistic cures.

PTSD discussion boards were next, a negative place filled with victims acting out, taught me what not to do.

Lessons are hidden everywhere.

Now, I follow blogs that inspire me as part of my daily routine.

Please share one of your tools that has made a difference.

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Is Ptsd a bad genie in a bottle?

Genie in a bottle

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/27866091433321867/

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PTSD’s power emerges from the fear and anxiety it perpetuates through dissociation.

Dissociation is the lynchpin of Ptsd, the fuel trauma uses to control life.

Without time spent in the past, judging, ruminating or just handling trauma thoughts, Ptsd whithers in that moment.

There is normal healing where life becomes easier to navigate.

Set accurate expectations, we are never going to be happy go lucky or be like others, we will be our own happy self, whatever that looks like.

Thinking in absolutes seems to be the rhetoric of the inner critic (Ptsd) employs to control us.

If we leave this present moment to delve into the past, suffering will materialize.

It’s almost like a genie in a bottle, Ptsd that is.

Ptsd is a bad genie, traumatized and unworthy at his core. Sounds like the inner critic’s voice.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/25543922874949051/

If we rub that lamp, suffering comes pouring out.

I entertain the dream, I am perfect as my true self, right now, right here, right this second, then I move onto the next minute.

Know the enemy and how he/she operates.

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The Inner Critic: Assigning Importance

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Our goal is to
find a way to live in this moment unencumbered by memory or past thought (PTSD).

Pixabay: Zorro4

Sounds ominous, complex and impossible.

My inner critic, a major contributor to the ego, causes that snowball to roll down that hill of suffering.

A sports analogy: A back in football is much easier to stop before he gets a full head of steam, similar to the inner critic, much easier to thwart before it gets momentum.

My inner critic lobbies for power, isolation, feeling like a victim and time bombarding me with worthless thoughts.

Instead of battling him/her, do the opposite.

I try to accept, let go and keep living life.

Without my negative narrative having power, life is better.

All the therapy and healing will feel numb if the inner critic still reigns supreme inside our mind.

Just for today, make a choice to change your relationship with the inner critic, act contrary to his/her wishes.

I am actively giving this approach full energy.

Any thoughts?
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PTSD: finding our way

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/296533956723067482/

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As a lay person, I know nearly as much as most therapists about childhood PTSD, in my opinion.

Yes, this has been helpful improving but healing therapies, therapists and holistic solutions have their limitations.

I lost my mind for a few months when an old buried trauma decided to surface.

All those old therapies and tools did not stick to the proverbial wall, life narrowed, became rigid and my options dwindled.

Childhood trauma has been highly resistant to healing for all of us at times.

We get lost, angry, ashamed and frustrated, suffering feels endless at these moments.

That’s when we need to find our own way out, intuitively.

Meditation has let me visualize things outside the box.

Now, I refuse to follow my inner critic or let PTSD mood swings impact behavior.

Not really a therapy but a valuable skill for me.

In a way, I have rationally refused to have the past rule my present moment.

Instead of letting ptsd fear and anxiety impact my thoughts, behavior, I do the opposite.

Feels so much freer not handling old trauma and the past.

Is this healing?

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