The Goodist

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Some people are wired to be “good” people.  They focus on doing the right thing at every critical juncture even if it means (and it often does) they get the short end of the stick.  They were raised to believe that good things come to good people and that they must do the righteous thing, the moral thing even if it is the wrong thing for them.  They habitually put themselves last and have an idea that someone, someone is watching them and keeping score.  Maybe this is true, maybe it is not.  The “goodist” is the anti-thesis of the narcissist – though both may be excessively focused on themselves.

The “goodist” excels at being modest and self-effacing and taking care of others needs before their own.  They do not back out on promises or commitments even when they are trapped in an abusive situation.  They think it is too rude to say “no”.  Once the “goodist” realizes that they always seem to come up short, they become angry,  Or at least their subconscious does, in true “goodist” form, they do not necessarily recognize this anger.  Instead, it is often transmuted into depression or converted into aches and pains which are far more acceptable than admitting the terrible rage that is brewing in the subconscious mind.  Rather than allow themselves to be angry at all, the “goodist’s” anger is not acknowledged, but suppressed.

The “goodist” patiently waits for their slice of pie to find it is all gone and the greedy claimed second and third pieces for themselves.   Thus their anger is a natural consequence of their continual self-sacrifice.  The “goodist” excuses and rationalizes other people’s bad behavior,  they are compelled to take the higher, lonelier road rather than …say…get angry.  At some point they believe, they will get their due.  But all they get is crap.  The “goodist” puts themselves last and, not surprisingly,  so does everyone else.

For more information about the health consequences of being a “goodist”, I urge you to read:

The Divided Mind by Dr. John Sarno

Heal your mind, heal your life.

Expecting the world to be fair to you because you are a good person is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.

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The Exponential Potential of Shame.

Shame

Shame, is a topic almost no one wants to speak about – they are simply too ashamed. First, we are ashamed of something.  Then we feel shame for being ashamed.  It is the exponential factor of this most wretched of emotions.  It is an isolating and miserable experience. 

The distinction between shame and guilt is this:  We feel guilty for things we have done; We feel shame for what we are.  Shame is pervasive and all encompassing.  It demoralizes and humiliates us to a barely breathing raw pulp. Shame is merciless as it tears at the very fabric of our being.  Shame is a place we dwell and pray that no one ever notices us again.  Shame results in a desire to be and stay invisible, unnoticed and unworthy of being noticed.

Have you ever fallen down?  Has it caused you so much shame that every decision you make subsequent to the fall is shame-based and thus contaminated?  Have you felt the G forces that suck you into a vortex of debilitating, life-ruining, downward-spiraling shame?  Each layer of the spiral seems to etch deeply into your soul creating what feels like permanent threads of hopelessness.  Shame sucks.

We all experience shame, but most of the time we are too ashamed to admit that we are ashamed.   Worse yet, the shame of being ashamed is a double whammy.  Thus, we encounter the exponential potential of shame that makes it toxic to human beings.

Many people feel no shame; others feel shame for those people.  It is an odd thing that when we feel ashamed we often turn to blaming someone or something else.  It relieves us of the burden of shame by projecting it onto others. They are two sides of the same coin – shame and blame.

If we are blaming, we are trying to shift our shame.  I call it “shame shifting.” We relieve ourselves of a highly negative emotion by denying and disassociating it from ourselves and by placing it on someone else.  When we blame others, our finger of blame points outward; four fingers of shame point back at us.

Highly sensitive people are the most vulnerable to this shift.  Someone does them wrong and then energetically shifts the shame on to them through blame.  It is easy to do, HSPs are empaths and, by definition, are emotional sponges.  They often carry the burden of others people’s shame and guilt along with their own.  They are emotional pack mules. 

I have gotten lost and I am ashamed of it.  I tried to pivot my career and became lost in a whirlwind of fears that arise when you step out on your own.  A tempest of survival fears – the very basic, hard-wired fears of the human organism.  I stood on the diving board too long, made too many excuses, and chased too many shiny balls because I was afraid.   I knew what I wanted, but wondered if I might be wrong. if I might not be good enough.  Such is the power of shame; it cripples self-trust and induces self-doubt, which in turn reinforces shame.   In short, things did not go as planned, but went, as I feared – funny how that works.  At least I have learned a lot.

Shame researchers Jane Middleton-Moz and Brene Brown have both delved into the subject of shame deeply.  If you would like to read more about shame, please check out there great work on the subject. 

What is your experience with shame?  Where does it cause you the most harm?  There is an antidote. 

To discuss shame without shame, simply reply here.

 

Sweet Spring Dreams.

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As the weather here in New England prepares to shift seasons, it reminds us that change is a constant in life.  Even beneath the deepest blankets of snow and a frigid February – the coldest and snowiest on record with cruel winds and thick ice – spring was quietly preparing its return.  In late January, the sun took on a warm glow, hinting at its return to the northern hemisphere.  It is now early March and spring is shouting from the rooftops, melting the heavy snow winter deposited there.  As we leave behind our hibernation and begin shedding layers of clothing, our bodies began to shift and we move with joy in our step, our souls reach outward and we seek connection, visibility and sunshine again.

As in nature, many of us experience our personal winters, turned inward and shut away from the outside, cold, frozen and seemingly dead.  We trudge through these bitter days consumed by the misunderstanding that this is a permanent state; we lose faith.  Winter brings withdrawal and a turn inward; it can also bring scarcity and loss.   During the darkness of the winter season, it can seem as if everything we loved and dreamed of has slipped away.  In some cases, our career sputters, we lose loved ones and jobs, our focus and perspective shift to a focus of loss and depression.  The juicy goals we had no longer tug at our heart or seem hopelessly out of reach.  We may also sense our values are shifting.   We find ourselves in a survival fight caught up in the maelstrom of our lives.   Winter always requires surrender; storms can lock you inside for days, in darkness, reminding you of what you take for granted.

Your personal winter is a difficult time, but it does not last either – it cannot last.  During this time, change is already underway.  At the darkest hour, in the frozen land of loss, the shift occurs and although it remains unseen for a while, the movement is toward rebirth – the sun is coming and your spring is on its way.

Nature provides us with clues everywhere that everything cycles and spring always comes again.  Spring will come even when it appears that all is dead and gone.  Rejuvenation, rebirth and resurrection are all clues that no matter how bitter, barren and frozen winter looks. Once again, glorious, sexy, fertile spring is on its way, faithfully. – Diane

 

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