How many people take full responsibility and total control for themselves and their lives?
For example, if you are happy, sad, angry, jealous or whatever, do you take full 100% responsibility for that emotion or do you think you have no control over yourself and your life. That your feelings control you or that ‘things’ just mysteriously happen to you for which you have no control and that ‘they’ are the cause of your happiness, sadness etc?
Do you live in a world of appearances, where things outside of you have more value and control over your life than you do. Or do you live from the heart, knowing no bounds and knowing that the only power that exists in the world is that which is within you, that which is you.
I only ask because of course, being a typical aspie, I think everyone thinks like me. This has caused a lot of misunderstanding for me, and others. I now realise that the misunderstandings come from the difference in the way I see the world and processes it.
Most people I talk to think that their parents are their parents and their kids their kids etc, that love is an exclusive thing and although it’s ok to say you love your children unconditionally, after that, they pick and choose who they’re going to love as if it’s something they have and will only give it to people who meet the mark.
They think that when they forgive somebody for some wrong deed or other, that they’re forgiving the person, not realising that the bad feelings and thoughts were in them, they are the ones who need the forgiveness, not the other person. What’s the other person going to do with your forgiveness anyway? Is it possible to pass it on to them?
I’ve realised that I think very differently to most people. Well I kind of already knew that, but not quite to the extent that I understand it now.
My realisation means that I’m less inclined to make any efforts to mix with people (I mix with aspies at my autism group, I’m cool with that) but for most others, apart from the random strangers I love talking to, I’ve decided, I’m off the hook, I don’t have to make an effort anymore, we speak different languages, we live in different worlds, or at least different dimensions, so any level of communication is going to create confusion, on both sides. It’s like one side is speaking Japanese and the other German or something, two totally different languages.
How utterly delightful, I no longer need to make the effort, how sweet
By the way, don’t forget, this is only how ‘I’ think, maybe other people have different interpretations of personal responsibility etc, which, for the record, incase any body misunderstands me again or rather, to make sure I’m being clear, all points of view etc are equally valid. This is just my special interest, something I enjoy and am always curious to learn more.
I don't think all people "take full responsibility and total control for themselves and their lives" but I don't think that's a choice for many people. I see it as an insight, if you will, that we 'grow' into.
I think the ability to recognise that we HAVE full responsibility for our lives and ourselves comes with maturity, confidence, and experience. Once we gain those things, and then that insight, we learn to then TAKE control of ourselves and our lives. That's how I see it anyway and it's been that way in my experience.
I don't think age has anything to do with that process as each person matures, grows in confidence, and gains experience in different ways and at different rates and times. Some people may reach this level of self-awareness and 'world' awareness (or perspective or reality mindset or whatever you want to call it) in their teens, some not until their 60's, and most of everyone else comes to this state as a gradual process sometime in-between. (Some never at all.) I also don't believe the process is ever complete.
I have reached that point (or insight) in my life a few times in the past then either I, or my life, or my circumstances, change or I learn something new and I have to start again. I take the new information on board and I move forward with it. Some of my previous insight will be either absorbed / accommodated into this new one and some will be discarded as no longer relevant / useful. From the mix, a new insight will eventually be reached and so on and so on. Lifelong growth, as I see it.
I think someone can be supported to this realisation (somewhat) but I don't believe that insight is something that can be taught. You can't teach someone experience, for instance. (People don't generally learn from other people's mistakes, as any parent knows!!) Anyway, self-awareness and self-discovery are just that - things only you can do for yourself in the end (or not).
I do believe that once a person has these insights, it makes them feel more connected to other people in some ways. Or maybe just more tolerant of them because they realise that none of us are infallible. I'm not sure. I think everyone's take on that is different and changes as their own journey develops. At some points in my life I've felt more connected to other people than at others.
(This is hard work to formulate as actual words, rather than just the thoughts or feelings that I usually experience these things as.)
Feelings? As in emotions? I do believe that we are each entirely ("full 100%") responsible for everything we feel. Someone else doesn't MAKE me feel happy, sad, embarrassed, angry or whatever. If I feel those things, it's because I've allowed that person's actions or words to affect me like like that - I've made myself feel those things or allowed the words or actions to affect me like that.
The thing is, I'm not walking around the world with a shield around me the whole time, so there are times (maybe I'm tired or feeling down or just not feeling very strong one day) when I'm vulnerable to other people's words or actions and (without knowing it) I allow them to make me feel ...... whatever it is. Once I'm feeling strong again I can rationalise that these things aren't important and I can regain my equilibrium but IN THAT MOMENT those things have affected me. I see that as normal, just a fact of our interactions with people and things. I wouldn't want the shield up against these feelings ALL of the time because it's through our interactions with the world around us that we CAN learn from things and go on to grow from them. Good and bad. I wouldn't want to only have my own self-generated feelings and no others from the effects of the rest of the world as I think that would mean that i would eventually stop growing and learning.
Does any of this make sense? Was this what you were asking?
I'm going to take a break here. I don't normally talk about these things with other people and it's making my brain fry a bit.
To Be Continued ....
I mentioned different things that I believe make us vulnerable to other people's words or actions but I only mentioned negative ones there. I believe love can make us vulnerable too. When I feel love for someone I'm more vulnerable to being affected by that person's words or actions, for good and bad. Because I've chosen to 'lower my shield' with that person.
You said many people think love is an exclusive thing? I'm not really sure what that means. I think that I choose who or what I love. I think that I've chosen to love only those people who are MOST important to me. Is that what you mean by exclusive? Because I only 'Love' my partner and my children, that's me believing that love is an exclusive thing? If so, then I think i agree but I'm still not sure if I'm understanding this properly.
I think it might depend upon how you define 'Love'. For me, I think 'Love' means the feeling I have for those people I care about the most, the people for whom I worry and care about and will go out of my way to make happy in ways big or small just because it makes me happy to see them happy. There are other people in the world I 'Care' about, I wouldn't like anything bad to befall, but I wouldn't say I 'Love' them. I would help those people out if I could but I wouldn't put them before the people I love. That's as best as I can explain it anyway.
I don't think i believe in "unconditional" love. For my children or my partner. They make me crazy sometimes and I still love them, they exhaust me most of the time and I still love them, but if one of them were to kill one of the others I really don't think I could still love them.
As for forgiveness, I think it 'acts' in the same way as hate. If I hate someone (which I don't but I have in the past so I do know what that feels like) then i believe that the feeling of hate inside me does ME harm but doesn't affect the person I'm hating at all. (Unless I choose to act upon that feeling, of course. Even then, the actual 'hate' feeling isn't affecting that person, just whatever action I commit against them.) Forgiveness, or Love or any feeling at all, equally doesn't affect the person I'm feeling it for - it's just any actions that i choose to commit based on that feeling that could have an effect on the person. So, I can't just FEEL love or forgiveness for a person as that would be pointless, I have to do something to demonstrate to that person how I feel about them. Or tell them, I guess, but actions do speak louder than words.
Okay, so .... "our parents are our parents" and "our kids are our kids"??? The parents one I'm going to ignore. Not a good subject for me. As for the kids, I don't believe that my children are MINE. I don't 'own' or 'have' them or control them or their internal world. They're separate independent people and I believe they were even before they were physically born. They were / are my responsibility to look after and care about and try to support and guide in life but I can't MAKE them be or do or believe anything they choose not to.
BlueRay, this is the most I have ever written / talked about feelings in one night so I'm going to stop now. I actually think I have a brain-ache from it. Not a headache, but I think I can actually feel my neurons burning so I can't keep thinking about this tonight. I'll look forward to hearing back from you if this in any way answers anything you were asking. If not - I tried!
WoW thank you Endymion, that’s exactly what I was after. Everything you said made total sense and I agree with everything you’re saying. You’re speaking my language. Thank you. I know it gets overwhelming so thank you for that.
I’ve spoken to many people in the ‘spiritual’ circle, including those who are on the spiritual path but don’t know it and I am continuously disappointed when I soon find out that they’re not speaking my language at all. They’ve simply learned a new language, from books etc, one that I didn’t realise was out there, but which I have since discovered.
But you speak from the soul. It’s refreshing to speak to another kindred soul. We’re all kindred souls, I know that, and no one is better than another, not ever. Even Jesus was no better than the next man and he even said, you will do greater works than I. But it is nice to hear from someone who speaks my language. It’s equally good to hear from others, who don’t speak my language, as that is just as much help to me.
I’m not to well at the minute. I had a meeting at the university today for the masters degree in autism, but I couldn’t make it. Just the thought of going to the meeting has made me ill so I guess I’m not ready yet. So I’m just having a lay down and sleep to help my head stop hurting so I’ll read the rest later, but thank you so much, I thoroughly enjoyed reading what you said, it made total sense and I agree with all of it. Thank you
This is wonderful Endymion, I know I was going to sleep but I couldn’t resist reading on. I’m so grateful to you for writing all this because yes, it does give brain ache. When we talk like this we really are using neural pathways that we have likely never or that we’ve rarely used before. It kind of fires us up but it’s also kind of exhausting and yeah, I think your description is spot on, it is like brain ache, so I am truly grateful to you for writing all this, not to mention truly truly delighted to be reading it. Often times, when I talk to people like this, they’re from the spiritual community and I realise after a while, they’re talking from a book that they don’t fully understand and I was more interested in their thoughts and the way they see things. I don’t know why, but most people don’t like talking in this way, I guess it’s like a threat, to some people, to how they currently see their world, and that’s fair enough, if a person doesn’t want to talk like this, for whatever reason, that’s totally ok but it’s a nice treat for me when they do. I think some people as well think that their views etc might not be as important as others if they don’t quite see things the same way, but that’s not true but in this neurotypical world, that seems to be a common idea that has formed, or they somehow feel bad because they don’t feel or see the same way you do, which I fully understand, being an aspie. And I know that it also sometimes takes courage to be so open so again, I really do thank you dearly.
Going through what you described here, I agree with you and when you get to the part about love, you are perfectly right, this depends on somebodies understanding of what love is and I think this is what has caused a lot of confusion for me in the past. So I do think it’s important for ease of conversation for all parties to be clear on their understanding of love. Thank you for sharing yours.
I can understand your understanding of love, to some degree. I understand what you mean and certainly, I generally feel that kind of love, probably more times for my son than anyone else as we’ve spent the most time together. I was a single parent all his life, not getting into a relationship until he was 18, but I wouldn’t say I loved my son more than anybody else. For me, that’s not possible.
For me, love is unconditional and I feel it regardless of whether I have somebody in my life or not and I have used your kind of understanding of love in the past and it always, without fail, got me into big trouble, one way or another. Which is all good because all experiences are learning experiences and as you said and which I agree, once we stop learning we stop living. So I do understand your idea of love but for me, it’s totally disastrous, maybe because it isn’t my idea, so I didn’t know how to navigate it or understand the rules etc, I don’t know. And I do have or it appears I have stronger affections etc towards some people over others, but to me, that has nothing to do with love. For example, I really like my sister because she makes me laugh, a lot, and she’s kind of a leader type, which I like, because I like to be lead and I like spending time with her. However, when the kids were little, we were living just a few streets away from each other but after she got with this guy (now her husband) she bought a house with him which was a little further away, not much further but no longer in reasonable walking distance. That move totally devastated me. I understand it more now, that I have my diagnosis, but it wasn’t just the change. I was like a mother as well as a friend to my sister growing up but after I had my son, I needed her help more than she needed mine and after she moved, I felt totally lost and alone because I didn’t know how to navigate this 3D world, she was my rock, which I needed, especially with having a child to look after. But I don’t see any of that as having anything to do with love. I love many things about my sister and I do truly miss her company (bonus, I never knew for years and years what this ‘missing people business’ was all about! I used to ask people if they would teach me it, because I heard people saying it, it seemed like a good thing and I wanted to experience it but I couldn’t even understand it let alone experience it but I do know what that means now. So I do miss my sister, but I still don’t relate that to love. That’s more about my need for her guidance and friendship and stability etc. The same with my son. I adore him, he’s such a wonderful, very funny, kind, caring young man who astounds and interests me, but I wouldn’t say I love him more than any other person on this planet. I just can’t say that, for me it’s not true. My sister used to tell me that I had to say that, that my son would be upset if I didn’t say that but for me to say that, felt like a lie and it really confused things for me. I didn’t understand then but I do understand now, the difference between the two kinds of love and I don’t think one kind of love is any more ‘real’ or valid than the other, not in the least. I had a beautiful opportunity when I was in Australia, to really witness your kind of love, which was so beautiful, I cried myself to sleep that night. It was an eye opener for me and I was amazed at how wonderful your love is, how utterly tender it is, I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t know this kind of love existed. It’s very unlike my idea of love and in many ways, it’s much deeper, but also (to me), incomplete. Yet when I witnessed and experienced (I really did feel the love) what I experienced in Australia, it gave me yet another insight into life and although it didn’t open up a new world for me, I had a glimpse into yours and it was very very beautiful indeed. I cried myself to sleep but I wasn’t sad that I can’t have a part of that love, it’s not possible, so why cry over something that’s just not possible, but I have so much more respect for it now. It’s still confusing for me if I try to think about it too much but I know it’s there, that it exists and that it’s very beautiful. For me though, it feels like a big ball and chain around my neck. It’s like quick sand, it swallows me up, and kind of reduces me down to nothing. How could someone love one person and not another. It doesn’t make sense to me, this is where my brain starts scattering, as if it’s searching for something to anchor itself to but it can’t find anything, I feel lost at sea. So now, I don’t try to confuse the two. I simply acknowledge that they exist, side by side, both equally valid. I used to wonder why people bothered living at all and I used to ask them. Apparently they didn’t like that question but I can see now that you people do have a kind of anchor point, you understand your love and it is exquisitely beautiful. I feel something like that, for example, when I look in front of me, maybe an arms length away, and I see all the tiny flickering specs of light that are filled with so many magnicent wonderful colours that it makes my heart break (because it’s full to bursting) it’s so full of love and adoration, it’s immense. I sit for hours, just watching this magnificent show and I love how all the colours and light come together to form what appears to be solid objects. It’s so much fun just looking at these objects and how there’s no distinction between where they start and where they stop but yet you can clearly make this objects out. It’s like when I look at my hand, it’s so fascinating to me, how there is no distinction between my hand and all around it yet I can see the hand and even move it and even though it doesn’t change its character, each object has a different form. It’s amazing how many wonderful things are formed from the same substance. Sometimes when I’m driving the car, and I see autumn leaves, I have to stop the car and just look, I’m so overcome with love. But the love and beauty I see in the leaves and in the colours is what I see when I look in the mirror. I see such beauty looking back at me, it astounds me. But I am no more beautiful than anybody else, no more beautiful than the leaves or an ordinary piece of pavement or anything else because what I see is what the leaves etc are made of and that is the real beauty, the real love (for me). I just don’t know how to put conditions on love, I don’t know where those conditions come from, other than if I were to base them on my needs, and then it isn’t love, it’s simply something or someone meeting a need in me and to even consider getting attached to that, feels like death to me. It’s so horrible, it hurts me and makes me cry and makes me want to run away. It feels so final, so enclosing, it’s like taking all my love, reducing it down to one tiny box, giving that box to somebody else and then what? I am left without love because I seperated it out from the rest of love and now I have nothing. I might have that person in my life, according to appearances, but I neither have them nor myself in my life anymore. But I understand now that it’s not like that for everybody.
I agree with you about our children. If we agree to take on the role of their parent, then our job is to care for that child and do all we can to equip it with the skills necessary for a happy life. But again, if we take on the role as parent, I see that we become a parent to all children, loving them all equally as much and giving each one of them the same considerations that we do our own children, the ones we gave birth to. When I see a parent comparing their child to another, it feels to me like they’re setting up sibling rivalry amongst children and giving them the false illusion that they’re better than some and worse than others and maybe the same as some, when none of this is true. Sure some kids have skills that others don’t etc but we are all necessary and needed no matter how many or how few skills we have. Our value doesn’t come from how well we can chop wood, or ride a bike or whatever we do. Our value and beauty is within us, unchanging, and always seeking to express itself and I see the role of a parent as helping each child to find ever more ways to express itself, it’s or his or her own unique expression of love and beauty.
This has been so good for me Endymion, thank you. It’s helping me see that love is everything and another person’s love is simply the way that person experiences it, I don’t have to understand that anymore. It’s not ‘different’ as such from my understanding of love, it’s just their understanding, the love is still the same. For me, when I think of conditional love, I think of Hitler (and I’m not likening anybody to Hitler), but to me, I see the love he had for Germany and building this superior race of people. In his delusion (and I’m not saying people are delusional, but this is the way I can describe it), that one set of people could be any better than another, he decided to build a race of what he considered to be the superior race. It’s much the same thing that goes on around the world. For example, aborting some babies because they’re deemed not good enough in some way. It’s like, who makes these decisions about who is and isn’t good enough? It hurts my head just thinking about it.
My headache has gone now, not surprisingly, as it’s just past my appointment time so I can relax now. So I think I’m going to take a walk in the snow now. My son turned up at the perfect time with fish and chips so I’ve eaten, I haven’t had a drink, I’ll get that when I go for a walk. Your responses are heart warming, I really appreciate them and they’ve given me a lot of insight and a nice peaceful calm feeling inside. Thank you.
Oh, and as for feeling love or hate. I think we effect everyone on the planet with our feelings. If we feel love, our love will reach and touch everyone and those who are vibrating at the same level will pick up on that and will be drawn together and likewise if we feel hatred. You often find miserable people find other miserable people to hang out with and very happy people find other happy people etc. But I don’t think our feelings effect only those around us neither do I think our feelings effect those around us any more than somebody in China, for instance. I think that once our feelings are felt within us, we eminate them out to the whole of the universe and like radio waves find their receptors, our emotions find their equivalents. We never know who’s life we are effecting when, for example, we give out love. There could be someone on the other side of the world that was needing your love, right there and then, and they will receive it, even if they don’t know where it came from. It’s such a privilege and joy to give love to somebody who will never know where it came from. It’s like silent blessings. If you spend a day giving out silent blessings to everyone you meet or pass in your day, you will be amazed at how good you feel at the end of that day. If I’m ever caught up in my thoughts and starting to feel a little down, or I’ll just do this anyway, I’ll go out and start blessing people and I always feel better and snap out of my thought patterns, although often, I can get caught up in the thoughts and forget to bless other people. And by blessing, I simply mean that I sincerely intend for this person or that, to receive all that they hope and dream of, I thank them for their presence in the world and I see their happiness coming to light from under the weight of their thoughts and beliefs. And even if it all turned out to be a load of b******s, that we’re not all connected, then even so, I figure I’m not doing any harm by seeing the best for others.
Thank you once again, I’m going to have some fun in the snow now. If you drive down the road and see someone on their back in the snow, making snow angels, it could be me! Lol! X
I find that everyone makes me accountable for THEIR responsibilities as I mask too well...so I lack a sense of my own autonomy. I am too good at seeming to cope, too practical, too eager to serve others to fulfil an irrational desire to be accepted.., so like a human buckeroo, weighed down and feeling trapped
Yeah, I know all about being made responsible for others and having the irrational desire to be accepted and to please others and it’s only when I realised I was autistic that I started to find my true freedom. I hope you find your freedom TheTalentedmute. It hasn’t been easy to shed feeling responsible for others etc but I’m doing ok at it.
This has actually been really interesting, I think we both started out thinking that our views were polar opposite but now I think we're more similar than we realised. Each of us have been shaped by our own unique experiences, so no two people are ever alike, but it's interesting that different journeys can lead to such similar destinations. Not the same, but not SO vastly different as to be opposing either.
I know what you mean about talking to someone and realising that their 'talking from a book', repeating stock phrases or 'lines' instead of actually explaining how they feel or think about something and why. That's one of the reasons why I don't tend to talk about 'feelings' or 'emotions' or 'beliefs' with people, there's no point if they are just going to quote AT me instead of actually engaging WITH the process.
Another reason is one you touched on when you said your sister told you you had to say you felt certain emotions / feelings because other people expect it, I've experienced that and I too came to the realisation that I'd much rather be honest with people than lie or pretend. Honest with myself too without having to feel apologetic for it. Most people don't like that honesty and, rather than lie to please them, I simply don't engage with the conversation. I don't feel the need to justify how I feel to anyone and some people don't actually want to know how others feel anyway, they seem to just want to make others agree with them at any cost and I think that's illogical and unreasonable.
I don't know how to quote people on this forum but you talked in the previous post about your feelings when you look into the middle distance and see colours and light coming together to form what appears to be solid objects? You find it fascinating and amazing how many wonderful things can be made from the same substance, and feel overcome with love thinking about it all?
That sounds very much, almost exactly the same, as I feel when I think about atoms and molecules and all of the minute particles that make up the universe and everything in it. Including us. I feel all at once both infinitesimal and immense, and overcome with awe at the fact that 'I' am a part of it but even more so that the bits that make 'I' were around forever in the past and will be around forever in the future. I find that comforting and amazing to contemplate. It just feels right, somehow.
In that way, I can understand what you say about everything and everyone being made of the same stuff and all being connected. I feel that too but just in my own way, in my own understanding of it. I think a lot of the time we're both talking about the same thing it's just that we explain / see / feel it differently because our journey has been different. Everyone's is.
Anyway, I hope you did get to enjoy the snow today. We didn't get much here but the little we did get fell in a short blizzard. I sat laughing at my dog as he seemed to think I was causing the blizzard just to confuse him, he looked ridiculous blinking constantly and trying to shake it all off.
I couldn’t agree more Endymion with everything you said although I never thought we were polar opposites, I always thought you understood life on the same level as me. Sometimes we (as in everyone) word things differently but if we stick with it, mutual understanding is always reached.
Those atoms and molecules etc, what you are able to contemplate and feel part of, is what I see all around me and in everything. It’s the same thing and yes, it gives me so much joy, contentment and happiness just knowing I’m a part of everything.
I’m learning what you’ve learned to do, i.e. not get involved with people’s ingenuine conversations. My son has been trying to teach me this for years and I’m finally learning it. It’s so much more restful and peaceful and yes, being dishonest to myself causes me more pain than being honest with other people, so I’ll be honest to myself and I’ll be frugal with what I say to other people.
I thoroughly enjoyed my walk in the snow last night and today I’m spending the day with my two little grandchildren so it’s going to be fun outside in the snow today, whether they like it or not! Lol!
Your dog sounds so cute, I can’t wait to get mine. What a naughty mummy you are, confusing him like that! :-)