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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

please respond

Here are two things that I've heard throughout my life that I don't buy:

1. You can't love anyone else until you first love yourself.

2. No one else can make you angry (sad, etc.).

What say ye?


Bek said...

I have seen both sides of this one! I have no opinion of number one. I have always had an alarmingly good level of self esteem. I somehow avoided much of the teenage angst that creates low self image. PURE LUCK. That all came as an adult and by then I was already married and so, I dodged a bullet there!

As for number two. It is true that other people can make us mad or sad or happy, we really can learn how we let it affect us. I have had to practice this a lot, but I am getting better. I do get offended or hurt, etc, but I just don't have the time or emotional energy to carry that kind of baggage and allow anyone else to affect how I feel about myself. I am learning to just let it go. Mostly, these things are from folks who don't know me. I am lucky enough to have friends that support and protect me. :-) If someone I cared about and valued did something hurtful, that is a different story...that one is harder.....

Great question...what was the inspiration for this?

Carina said...

J says statement two All The Time. And it usually makes me angry (oh the irony.) The older I get the more I understand what he means. However, a part of me still thinks there is culpability in the other person, especially if the action was intended to provoke emotion from me. I do understand that I can control my reaction.

And if statement one were true, then how have I been able to sustain love for parents, child, and spouse through those times of not loving myself? If the observation is that if you are so preoccupied with self that you cannot notice others, the statement is true.

However, isn't it also true that you can begin to love yourself when losing yourself in service/love to others?

More Caffiene, Please said...

I am so in love with myself, it's not even funny. :-)

La Yen said...

I think that it is harder to receive love when you don't love yourself, but it is easy to love others. Especially with that deaparate, fanatical love that so often drives people away and then you have to call them 400 times until they finally pick up the phone.

My mom used to really cheese me off when she would say "Dogs get mad, people get angry." I say "oh yeah, I used all of your toilet paper and provoked my brother into kicking a hole in my door. So there."

~j. said...

Bek - my inspiration? Well, it's just something I've been chewing on for a while and I needed to get it out there. I've been noticing things lately that people say ("they say...") that I simply don't agree with. And these are two of those things. I just wondered if anyone else felt the same. I hope more people will throw in their two cents...

QueenScarlett said...

So I am no expert on these things... but been chewing on your post for a day...

1. Ideally I think we all want to be in a relationship where each individual is wholly aware of who they are and is emotionally sound. I guess what I mean is... we all go through phases where we love ourselves and times where we don't. I imagine since relationships are tough enough as it is, being in a relationship with someone who is unstable or not completely whole makes it harder for the other person. More work... does that make sense? It's like a normal guy staying in a relationship with a girl that is either really manipulative or psychologically unsound... all you can say is... that guy has a tough hill to climb.

Perhaps the more you love yourself - in a healthy - not a vanity way... you are able to love others more? I dunno. I know when I get pissed off at myself for not being able to achieve a certain quality... I get all antsy on other people that don't display that quality.

2. I like to think that there are a lot of people that know how to piss me off. Darn button pushers. Or the ones that always say the wrong things and you wonder... were you just not taught to be civilized?

However, the rational side of me says that... in that split second before I decide to roid rage on someone... there's a transparent angel/jiminey cricket dude that's trying to intercept my anger...but hello... split second too late... should have muffled the idiot talking first. Whenever I get ticked... there is that split second that I have to retract or go for it... and I haven't the balance to retract.

Plus... I think that the fact that we're living, breathing, emotional beings... especially the passionate personalities... being able to not react... to me means an absence of feeling... how do you live like that?

Although there are people that whether they lived or died... wouldn't make a rat's a$$ difference to me.

I feel like I am just rambling now... so I'll just shut-up.

~j. said...

"Never, never, never shut up."
-Winston Churchill

QueenScarlett said...

I knew I liked him for a reason...

C. Jane Kendrick said...

J Dawg,
I can't control it.
When they say "I like your perm" I get angry.
It's a natural cause and effect.
Just like after they say those things, I call and tell you.
Cause. Effect.
As for loving yourself...
Blah blah blah

Anonymous said...

In reference to number two I think there are different levels of reaction and action we must consider. For example, research has shown (I don't mean proven and I'm not going to sit here and put down references for you) many times that different types of music even played at varying decibel levels can evoke a reaction in the body without the listener having to do much to react to the music. It is as if our spirits, which are obviously connected with our bodies, naturally react to the positive and/or negative they are receiving. At another level, the listener can also choose to react to the music he or she is listening to by singing, dancing or at least attempting to do so.

I use this example because I think it holds true for people. I think our Spirits naturally recognize the positive and negative (or however you choose to define it: good/evil, bad/good, etc.) without us having to react per se. At another level we also choose to react a certain way based on what we see and hear, including what others say and do to us.

When it comes to other people MAKING us mad, if a person were to be yelling at and degrading me constantly I think my spirit would not like the negative feelings evoked by this person's outbursts, but ultimately the choice to react is mine to react in a negative way and become angry or not. It doesn't change the way the words make me feel, but I do have control over the way I choose to react (e.g. get offended, smack the person, etc.).

In summary, I think others can evoke very negative feelings in us by what they say and/or do and those feelings are real and can be very powerful. However, I think the real issue is how we choose to react. In other words, after an onslaught of negativity towards us we have to recognize that we are forced to make a choice, whether the choice is a thought or an action, we are forced to make a choice (even if that choice is to sit there and do nothing).

Bottom line...feelings are real and can be evoked by others, but we can choose to react in many different ways.

~j. said...

Anonymous (I wish you'd identify yourself),

Yes, there was one of those music "studies" even at my daughter's school's science fair (the girl that did the research/experiment won for her level, and it was all very interesting and not at all surprising to me).

I guess the question lies in what 'angry' means - does it mean feeling or action? Of course we choose our reaction - that is appropriate behaviour coming from our social selves (the choice - not necessarily the reaction). But my point is that I could be having a great day, blue skies, birds singing, all of that, and when a person enters my realm and directly, intentionally insults me and/or mine, that makes me angry - makes me FEEL angry.

The two statements in my post are examples of things that "they say" - you know the kind: "Well, you know what they say... (insert cliche comment)". There are so many things SAID by THEY out there, and those things don't always make sense, yet are often accepted because, somehow, having been around for a long time, they are blindly thought of as wisdom without people taking the notions of the phrases to task.

I've been trying to avoid negative people lately, and one of the reasons is because of the feeling I get from them - their negativity is draining. Or, in other words, simply by being around them, I am being made to feel a way I do not wish to feel. My pre-emptive reaction (or, choosing to act for myself rather than be acted upon) is to not be around them.

Hope that made sense. Thanks for commenting.

sue-donym said...

Just take a nap.
No, seriously, I can't change the fact that someone upsets me, but I can certainly change the way I decide to react, dwell on it, or toss it out with the trash. Sometimes that means walking away from a depressing relationship.