“There are two kinds of silence, it seems to me. One is that place where we tuck out thoughts and feelings. You can betray in silence, brood in silence, envy, pity, plot, year, admire, condemn, lie to yourself, lie to your conscience, forgive yourself, forgive others, all in silence. Love. You can love in silence. You usually do.
Which leads to the second kind of silence, where you find yourself from time to time, surrounded by, engulfed in–that greater silence, to which all other silences run, when you realize that we are all part of the same poem, the same vast poem that began in the first cosmic spark and will end at the last amalgamation of the stars–a limerick, a sonnet, a fucking epic to which surrender becomes a kind of understanding. It’s as if sound, all sound, constituted an intrusion of people invented because they could not stand the overwhelming power of that silence.”
–Roger Rosenblatt, Thomas Murphy
“Boundaries are hard when you want to be liked and when you are a pleaser hellbent on being easy, fun, and flexible….When I do something because I feel pushed, pressured, guilt-tripped, or shamed into it, I expect people to be appreciative in addition to being respectful and professional. Ninety percent of the time they are none of the above. How can we expect people to put value on our work when we don’t value ourselves enough to set and hold uncomfortable boundaries?“
–Brene Brown, Rising Strong
“It’s easy to blame, the media, our culture, or our community for perpetuating unrealistic images of what it expects of us. But at the very core of these expectations, there is no one to blame; because a commercial, like self-judgement, has no power over us unless we agree with its message. It is only when we willingly attach ourselves to these images and distortions that our happiness is compromised.
We do not need to take the blame for these self-judgements. We can simply become aware that they have been developing in our lives since childhood through the process of domestication.
Once we are aware of our self-judgements, we can regain our freedom by choosing for ourselves to transcend the reward and punishment model that has been imposed upon us and eventually arrive at a place of self-acceptance. We have a choice. That is our power.
Practice: How many of your ideas and beliefs about the world and yourself are results of domestication and outside influence? Do you assume things should be or look a certain way because that’s what you’ve seen on TV or in your community, and it seems normal? With awareness question those assumptions today. Ask yourself if things might be otherwise and if you could be happy without these rigid ideals of perfection.”
“In my research I’ve found that the same can be said for the conspiracies we make up to justify stereotypes and to explain that fight with our partner or the disapproving look from our boss or child’s behavior at school. We make up hidden stories that tell us who is against us and who is with us. Whom we can trust and who is not to be trusted. Conspiracy thinking is all about fear-based self-protection and our intolerance for uncertainty. When we depend on self-protecting narratives often enough, they become our default stories. And we must not forget that storytelling is a powerful integration tool. We start weaving these hidden, false stories into our lives and they eventually distort who we are and how we relate to others.”
–Brene Brown, Rising Strong
“Like all good hustlers, our egos employ crews of ruffians in case we don’t comply with their demands. Anger, blame, and avoidance are the ego’s bouncers. When we get too close to recognizing an experience as an emotional one, these three spring into action. It’s much easier to say, ‘I don’t give a damn,’ than it is to say, ‘I’m hurt.’ The ego likes blaming, finding fault, making excuses, inflicting payback, and lashing out, all of which are ultimate forms of self protection. The ego is also a fan of avoidance–assuring the offender that we’re fine, pretending that it doesn’t matter, that we’re impervious. We adopt a pose of indifference or stoicism, or we deflect with humor or cynicism. Whatever. Who cares?
When the bouncers are successful–when anger, blame, and avoidance push away real hurt, disappointment, or pain–our egos are free to scam all they want. Often the first hustle is putting down and shaming others for their lack of ’emotional control.’ Like all hustlers, the ego is a slick, conniving, and dangerous liar.”
“The tricky thing about rumination is that it feels like it’s helpful, but there’s no action taken, and you don’t move forward to some sort of solution.”
“Why Ruminating is Unhealthy and How to Stop
By Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.
Why Ruminating is Unhealthy and How to StopRuminating is like a record that’s stuck and keeps repeating the same lyrics. It’s replaying an argument with a friend in your mind. It’s retracing past mistakes.
When people ruminate, they over-think or obsess about situations or life events, such as work or relationships.
Research has shown that rumination is associated with a variety of negative consequences, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, binge-drinking and binge-eating.
Why does rumination lead to such harmful results?
For some people, drinking or binge-eating becomes a way to cope with life and drown out their ruminations, according to Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, Ph.D, a psychologist and professor at Yale University.
Not surprisingly, ruminating conjures up more negative thoughts. It becomes a cycle.
Nolen-Hoeksema’s research has found that “when people ruminate while they are in depressed mood, they remember more negative things that happened to them in the past, they interpret situations in their current lives more negatively, and they are more hopeless about the future.”
Rumination also becomes the fast track to feeling helpless. Specifically, it paralyzes your problem-solving skills. You become so preoccupied with the problem that you’re unable to push past the cycle of negative thoughts.
It can even turn people away. “When people ruminate for an extended time, their family members and friends become frustrated and may pull away their support,” Nolen-Hoeksema said.
Why People Ruminate
Some ruminators may simply have more stress in their lives which preoccupies them, Nolen-Hoeksema noted. For others, it may be an issue of cognition. “Some people prone to ruminate have basic problems pushing things out of consciousness once they get there,” she said.
Women seem to ruminate more than men, said Nolen-Hoeksema, who’s also author of Women Who Think Too Much: How to Break Free of Overthinking and Reclaim Your Life. Why? Part of the reason is that women tend to be more concerned about their relationships.
As Nolen-Hoeksema observed, “interpersonal relationships are great fuel for rumination,” and ambiguities abound in relationships. “You can never really know what people think of you or whether they will be faithful and true.”
How To Reduce Rumination
According to Nolen-Hoeksema, there are essentially two steps to stop or minimize rumination.
1. Engage in activities that foster positive thoughts. “You need to engage in activities that can fill your mind with other thoughts, preferably positive thoughts,” she said.
That could be anything from a favorite physical activity to a hobby to meditation to prayer. “The main thing is to get your mind off your ruminations for a time so they die out and don’t have a grip on your mind,” she advised.
2. Problem-solve. People who ruminate not only replay situations in their head, they also focus on abstract questions, such as, “Why do these things happen to me?” and “What’s wrong with me that I can’t cope?” Nolen-Hoeksema said.
Even if they consider solving the situation, they conclude that “there is nothing they can do about it.”
Instead, when you can think clearly, “identify at least one concrete thing you could do to overcome the problem(s) you are ruminating about.” For instance, if you’re uneasy about a situation at work, commit to calling a close friend so you can brainstorm solutions.
Nolen-Hoeksema has also studied the opposite of rumination: adaptive self-reflection. When people practice adaptive self-reflection, they focus on the concrete parts of a situation and the improvements they can make.
For instance, a person may wonder, “What exactly did my boss say to me that upset me so much yesterday?” and then come up with, “I could ask my boss to talk with me about how I could get a better performance evaluation,” Nolen-Hoeksema said.
Do you tend to ruminate?
What has helped to reduce your ruminating ways?”