"The only thing we are ever dealing with
is a thought, and a thought can be changed."
--Louise L. Hay

1)So Louise L. Hay writes some books, one of them being You Can Heal Your Life.
2)It's a very interesting look at psychological causes of physical symptoms, among other things.
3)She basically claims that you can change anything in your life that you want.
4)While I accept this, in principle, it also means that you have responsibility for everything in your life.
5)Again, in principle, I accept this. It's harder in actual practice, but I'm not feeling applicable tonight.
6)So the thing that becomes a problem is that this causes all sorts of guilt for me.
7)I have guilt issues, but then, who doesn't? According to Louise L. Hay,
8)"Guilt is a totally useless emotion. It never makes anyone feel better, nor does it change a situation."
9)And yet, there it is. If I can "heal my life," then think how much I must be doing wrong if I need to be healed!
10)Does this make sense? I take the concept in totally the wrong direction.
11)If I *can* be so good, it must be my own fault that I'm not already. Presto, guilt.
12)I actually read this book a year or so ago, and I was fascinated.
13)Yeah, and guilty, but whatever. I made all these connections between physical issues I'd noticed at the time and their causes.
14)The author asserts early and often that "the bottom line for everyone is 'I'm not good enough.'"
15)So when most of my physical issues related to lack of self-worth, I thought, well, that's what everyone probably finds.
16)My sister later remarked, offhandedly, that probably everyone's issues related to being scared of the future.
17)I was like, what? It turned out that *her* issues related to being scared of the future--a different pattern than the one I noticed.
18)I was just now pondering current physical issues in light of some of the connections the author points out.
19)Of course, I feel like my body hasn't changed that much in a year.
20)And when I look up familiar symptoms now, lo and behold, they all relate to the same thing.
21)But it's a *different* same thing than it was this time last year.
22)Oddly, it seems that the things I notice now about my body relate to the free expression of anger.
23)... This kind of took me aback. I feel like expressing anger isn't something I think about a lot.
24)But then I read something that made me go, oh... that's true for me. It is as follows:
25)"Spiritual people often believe they 'shouldn't' get angry."
26)Well, yeah, I thought. I think that's true. We're as responsible for our emotions as we are for our actions.
27)I don't believe I should feel hatred or anger for someone any more than I believe I should walk up to them and say, "I hate you."
28)I don't even like to use the word "hate," not even to describe my reaction to a particular food or color pattern.
29)Hate is too strong, it's not accurate, it's not what I really feel because really, everything is innately good in some way.
30)So I tell myself. When I do use strong words, among them "hate" or "stupid" or "idiotic," I do it solely to be funny.
31)And I feel (of course) guilty about it afterward, because who am I to be spreading such negativity?
32)Louise L. Hay follows her "spiritual people" remark with,
33)"True, we are all working toward the time when we no longer blame others for our feelings,
34)"But until we arrive there, it is healthier to acknowledge what we do feel in the moment."
35)Apparently so. She says, pondering random physical manifestations of unexpressed anger.
36)It's interesting that I've worked so hard at becoming better at expressing myself--but only in the positive direction.
37)As outwardly extroverted as I am in many situations, I have improved very little in one of the most basic areas of human interaction.
38)That being the ability to say "no." I called my boss at the company today with every intention of telling her I can't work this fall.
39)I'm too busy, I won't be available at the right times, (yes I felt the need to make excuses) and mostly I don't want to.
40)But when she asked me, what did I say? "Well... I'm not sure. Why don't I get back to you with my schedule?"
41)Luckily, she followed up with the alternatives she was facing, and I was able to quickly point her toward the second one.
42)The second one was replacing me. Whew. I didn't have to say the "n" word, just, "I think option 2 is the safer bet for you."
43)I'm very confused. It was easier for me to experiment with positive emotional expression, because it didn't hurt other people.
44)Maybe it wasn't, actually, maybe I just remember it being easier because that was before. This is now.
45)I don't want to hurt anyone while trying to learn how to express my (apparent) anger.
46)Hah, look at that, that's probably classic denial right there ::amused:: "Apparently I'm angry, but whatever."
47)I feel like that Dar Williams song... "She says 'huh' and I say 'what?' she says 'exactly'
48)"And I say 'what? you think I'm angry? does that mean you think I'm angry?'
49)I will have to ponder this further.

"And she says 'look, you come here every week with jigsaw pieces of your past
it's all on little soundbytes and voices out of photographs
and that's all yours, that's guide, that's the map
so tell me where does the arrow point to?"

--Dar Williams
"What Do You Hear In These Sounds?"

Run Away