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#239365 - 07/21/08 03:25 PM fighting self
blueshift Offline
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Registered: 01/21/08
Posts: 1242
Loc: infinity
When I first came here there were important things that I had not yet well considered. I was writing things and then thinking about them later. Being here has been such a learning experience for me!

Now I am slowly coming to realize the extent of the care and thought needed for my words to really be a positive force, especially when my motives have the word anti associated with them.

I rarely speak of the perspective I shift in and out of according to my present needs. The perspective of being not me but all. It's not a perspective that usually seems to serve everyday purposes, other than relief from the various types of anguish associated with believing in the reality of separation.

I have only had somewhat limited access to that perspective for a relatively short time and it's uses I am still in the process of learning. But now it is suggesting it's self over and over again to me as a handy alternative to the me vs other oriented way I handle my interactions with those locations of myself I go along with in calling "other people".

The fact that these "other people" are really me, though becomes so evident when I interact with them from the perspective of separateness and attempt to oppose something they appear to manifest with a lack of gentleness that, were I to think about it, I would know that I my"self" would be unlikely to respond to positively.

Of course there is value in not allowing things like intolerance, or unkind behavior to go unchallenged. But challenging those things in a way that does more good than harm is WAY harder than it usually seems on the surface.

Doing that successfully while perceiving the situation as a fight to be "won" is almost, if not completely, impossible. The simple perception of the "other" as an adversary to be defeated in a battle of wits or whatever is, by it's self the kiss of death for the success of your objective.

Even if you are completely right in your position and are sure the other person will recognize that, going about it from the perception of "I" will correct "him"/"her" ensures that you will not...at least not without causing as much harm as good.

I'm really writing this for myself as much as for anyone else. (That statement kind of doubles as a joke for those who get it)

I'm hoping that I am learning from recent mistakes and that in the future, if I feel the need to confront or oppose something done or said, that before responding at all I can shift perspective and say to myself "OK. I just did/said this. How could another person approach me and bring the wrongness of it to my attention in a way that respects me enough to allow me to consider what that person says without defensiveness, hurt feelings or shame?

If I can't answer that question, then I have to recognize that I am not up to the job---and that's OK too! Sometimes the wisest response is recognizing one's inability to respond at all without causing further harm.

This post may seem off topic since it does not directly concern spirituality, but it does relate to our ability in this forum to discuss spiritual matters which---as anyone who reads it regularly can easily see---is not at all irrelevant.

Seeking ways to discuss our spiritual issues here while maintaining a climate of mutual support and respect despite our many disagreements is a subject that merits discussion here IMHO.
Sorry though that it's turned into another long soapbox sermon.
(Oh, I'm just SO wise when I'm not actually trying to practice what I preach!)lol





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#239375 - 07/21/08 04:29 PM Re: fighting self [Re: blueshift]
hogan_dawg Offline
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Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
Hmmm.

Intolerance and harassment are cousins - harassment should not go unchallenged for sure - the harm that can follow from harassment or hate speech is profound: I saw one guy here who reports he was called 'faggot' in a chat room and frankly, the person doing the name calling 'deserved' to be challenged and yes, it would shock the name caller and maybe put a few noses out of joint (i.e., those who agree it is ok to call gay men 'faggots'), but the good far outweighs the harm caused to those people. Another gay man was told he should get married to a woman and if he did his problems would go away. Not quite the same as 'faggot' but it's a direct slap in the face. Stuff needs to be said.

Anyone learning anything experiences pain. Learning is always painful. Even for bigots who call gays faggots. Will they learn? Well, I guarantee if we say nothing, there is a 99% chance they will not learn.

If we challenge people on their intolerances from time to time, it may be uncomfortable but at least there is a 'chance' for learning. After the point is made, it's up to the reader.

If we don't challenge it, I think we tacitly endorse it, it can escalate, and then we've got a community no one wants (i.e., is totally intolerant, IMHO).

But I'm with you and others in that I think peace is way more fun than war, any day. Your note was not preaching, it makes sense and I'm only adding that there's a downside to silence, as a group.



Edited by hogan_dawg (07/21/08 05:05 PM)
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#239385 - 07/21/08 05:06 PM Re: fighting self [Re: blueshift]
blueshift Offline
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Registered: 01/21/08
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OK. I just realized that despite my feeling that I said too much, I did not, in fact say enough. Anyone remember the "HR PuffnStuff song.."Can't do a little cause you can't do enough"? I guess I have resigned myself to the idea that however carefully I choose my words, the subject alone creates the high probability of this post,if it is discussed at all, also ending up a locked thread. No blame. It's just the nature of the beast so to speak.

I absolutely agree that this forum should ideally be about our own spiritual issues and not for debating who's got the best beliefs.
That said though, I also see the obvious and unavoidable conflict that arises between the needs of some to discuss their own spiritual journey and the needs of others to feel respected where their own spiritual journey is concerned.

This unavoidable conflict is not fixable in my opinion by any means of moderation. I mean, when I got to the end of the thread I just read and found it locked, I just said, "OK, I'll just put my 2 cents in in my own post.", which is what I did..hence this post!

As I see it, the issue isn't what can or can't be talked about. As long as there is a forum like this at all, things are going to be talked about and trying to limit peoples expressions of what they think and feel is like trying to beat the incoming tide back with a stick!

What I'm trying to say, with all my own eastern philosophy oriented mumbo jumbo is that we can talk about things and still not end up beating each other up...we just have to carefully consider HOW we talk about these things!

We just have to, first of all, be real about how much another's feelings and thoughts regarding our cherished beliefs can really hurt us if we are in fact secure in those beliefs, and second of all we have to be honest with ourselves about whether what we are saying is really about our issues regarding spirituality or is it about some form of winning in a me vs him/her/them contest and how important that winning is in the context of this being a place for survivors of horrible experiences to support one another (rather than beat one another in debates)!

I am a hundred percent in support of free speech. But I am also a hundred percent in support of people caring about each other enough to rise above points of contention and be respectful of the people who have certain beliefs, even if they despise the beliefs themselves.

I could go back and find my own posts that I made not that long ago that would make this whole speech I'm making sound like hyppocracy, but which came first is important. I'm preaching because I'm learning. Now if I made those posts AFTER this speech, that would be hypocracy but I am learning from my own mistakes even as I see that learning being very important here, not just for me but for all of us.

If you need to vent about beliefs that have damaged you, then vent, if you feel it helps you, and if you need to voice a disagreement if you feel like that helps you then do so, but before doing those things, realize that you are speaking to hurting human beings just like yourself who will react just like you would if someone was saying the things to you that you are saying to them. It's about growth, healing and support not about being right or winning a contest, because the contest (getting mystical again) is only with yourself!


( all my text editing was done for emphasis, not to express anger,...there is no anger involved.)

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#239387 - 07/21/08 05:10 PM Re: fighting self [Re: hogan_dawg]
blueshift Offline
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Registered: 01/21/08
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hogan, before I respond to your reply..which I haven't read yet, I just want to make sure you know that I saw it after my last post--just so there is no confusion about whether any of it was in response to your post. I will read it now.

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#239389 - 07/21/08 05:17 PM Re: fighting self [Re: blueshift]
hogan_dawg Offline
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Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
Oh dear I hope I didn't say anything 'threadlockworthy'! lol

I'll pee on my owner's carpet if I did!



Edited by hogan_dawg (07/21/08 05:17 PM)
_________________________
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

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#239391 - 07/21/08 05:19 PM Re: fighting self [Re: hogan_dawg]
hogan_dawg Offline
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Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
Re: Your original post - I have every confidence in your take on conflict and resolution in the Spirituality forum of Male Survivor. WE probably agree that we oughtta consider the possible pain our posts can cause to others, just as much as the perceived likely benefit of posts.

I very much liked the 'imagine you're talking to a group of hurting human beings'

Very excellent suggestion - very rewarding outcomes I bet too - easy to dig it.



Edited by hogan_dawg (07/21/08 05:31 PM)
_________________________
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

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#239395 - 07/21/08 05:44 PM Re: fighting self [Re: hogan_dawg]
blueshift Offline
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OK, now I have read your post and am responding.lol Yes, I agree with you and as I said, it IS important to challenge these things you are speaking of, and yes, learning can be painful. The thing to consider though is the fact that these people have egos just like you and me, and if they are challenged in a combative way, the likelyhood of them learning, even painfully, is slim because, just like you would if someone challenged something you say in a combative way, they will be responding not to WHAT was said, but HOW it was said.

I mean, just knowing myself, I'm not going to hear it if someone tells me that horses have hooves if they make that point in a way that makes me feel disrespected. I'm not saying all this to be a soft touch or to pretend to be too nice to say anything to hurt people, I'm just being realistic about human nature and how people respond to other people.

If I really believed any more that "putting people in their place" so to speak was the most effective way of changing their behavior, I would say take off the gloves! But the overwhelming majority of my experience has shown me that it isn't.

People can be receptive when they don't feel threatened or belittled, but once they are put on the defensive, it's pretty much all over. Of course the challenge of confronting their wrongness without putting them on the defensive is huge, and sometimes impossible.

Sometimes the best you can do is try to open the door to your point of view just a crack rather than all the way open, and then the threat will be small enough that it will have greater effect than if you totally go for it and make them feel too contradicted to listen at all.

These aren't hard and fast rules of course. It's a judgment you have to make depending on the situation and the person involved. Some people I just know in my gut right off the bat that no matter how right I may be and how obvious it may be that I am right, they just won't hear anything I have to say and nothing of value can be accomplished.

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#239396 - 07/21/08 05:44 PM Re: fighting self [Re: hogan_dawg]
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denver, CO
Just keep in mind everyone - (back on my soap box - I've almost worn this one out) - one of the inherent problems with the written word is you cannot see the "speaker" nor hear the tone of their voice. If I am in a BAD place, almost anything I read can become an attack against me, while if I am in a GOOD place (like that ever happens), there's a greater chance I will be more "open" in interpretation - or more willing to ask the "speaker" what was meant.

This is my favorite soap box, because it's one of my greater failings, I suppose.

Just remember - there is always the chance you are misinterpreting the intent/meaning/purpose of another person's post.

** hastily putting away soap box ... again **


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#239397 - 07/21/08 05:49 PM Re: fighting self [Re: hogan_dawg]
blueshift Offline
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Registered: 01/21/08
Posts: 1242
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Originally Posted By: hogan_dawg
Oh dear I hope I didn't say anything 'threadlockworthy'! lol

I'll pee on my owner's carpet if I did!


lol I guess I just said that because I've seen so many threads in this forum end up that way. There's truth to that truism about politics and religion.

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#239398 - 07/21/08 05:55 PM Re: fighting self [Re: MarkK]
blueshift Offline
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Registered: 01/21/08
Posts: 1242
Loc: infinity
Originally Posted By: MarkK
Just keep in mind everyone - (back on my soap box - I've almost worn this one out) - one of the inherent problems with the written word is you cannot see the "speaker" nor hear the tone of their voice. If I am in a BAD place, almost anything I read can become an attack against me, while if I am in a GOOD place (like that ever happens), there's a greater chance I will be more "open" in interpretation - or more willing to ask the "speaker" what was meant.

This is my favorite soap box, because it's one of my greater failings, I suppose.

Just remember - there is always the chance you are misinterpreting the intent/meaning/purpose of another person's post.

** hastily putting away soap box ... again **


So true! With almost every post I make I am torn between the worry about making a long tedious post and the worry about not saying enough to avoid misinterpretation. I usually end up erring on the side of the long tedious posts.lol

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