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Thread: A Confession

  1. #1
    Stephanie
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    A Confession

    I am as mean-spirited as anyone. I take pleasure in seeing people I don't like, even for petty reasons, be brought down and suffer.

    I am as judgmental as anyone. I am constantly finding new ways to hold disdain for people. I go around with a simmering rage looking for a target. Some of this comes from having to take unfair crap off of people more powerful than me, but a lot of it comes from a feeling of being entitled to something better.

    I constantly go around with Machiavellian plots in my head about how to advance myself. Many of these fail because I am not as smart as I think I am.

    I spend an embarrassing amount of time thinking of ways I could indulge myself.

    When I find myself alone or having suffered some embarrassing defeat, I rarely look to my own shortcomings. Instead, I blame someone else, politics, or even Fate. I like to think of myself as unlucky even though I've walked right into many good situations that only came my way due to chance.

    I am an expert at judging others. Especially people not as humble and well-meaning as me, even as I go around with my delusions of grandeur and hateful ill-wishes.

    And I construct an elaborate identity to avoid facing the simple needs in my life I don't seem to know how to meet.

  2. #2

    Re: A Confession

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    I am as mean-spirited as anyone. I take pleasure in seeing people I don't like, even for petty reasons, be brought down and suffer.

    I am as judgmental as anyone. I am constantly finding new ways to hold disdain for people. I go around with a simmering rage looking for a target. Some of this comes from having to take unfair crap off of people more powerful than me, but a lot of it comes from a feeling of being entitled to something better.

    I constantly go around with Machiavellian plots in my head about how to advance myself. Many of these fail because I am not as smart as I think I am.

    I spend an embarrassing amount of time thinking of ways I could indulge myself.

    When I find myself alone or having suffered some embarrassing defeat, I rarely look to my own shortcomings. Instead, I blame someone else, politics, or even Fate. I like to think of myself as unlucky even though I've walked right into many good situations that only came my way due to chance.

    I am an expert at judging others. Especially people not as humble and well-meaning as me, even as I go around with my delusions of grandeur and hateful ill-wishes.

    And I construct an elaborate identity to avoid facing the simple needs in my life I don't seem to know how to meet.
    Well, understanding the games you are playing is a vital first step.

    Now, try not to play those games so much. Be generous instead of watching for others to fail ... be tolerant ... avoid anger, disdain, rage. Don't be so "entitled", as the treasury is already in hand.

    You know what you are better off doing and being. Practice.

    Gassho, J

  3. #3
    Stephanie
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    Re: A Confession

    You are right, Jundo. Thank you

    And it feels strangely better to admit these things.

    Gassho

  4. #4
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: A Confession

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    And it feels strangely better to admit these things.
    That I can sympathize with! I must say that in so many ways I see myself coming from the opposite end of things from you. I am far more likely to find blame in myself before others, even when it is obvious to all around me that it was not my doing. But the frustrations I feel are not all that different from yours really. And I do know for a fact that you are not as "bad" as you think...because there are plenty of people that have the same thoughts and just don't give a damn about it!

    I usually don't post after you start a thread like this (or Chet and his own special flavors) because I think anything I have to say will sound like it came right out of Mayberry USA and make you want to puke. If so, vomit away! But I did want to say that I'm glad you are here practicing with us and that I gain knowledge, wisdom, and a better perspective on the human condition every time you post.

    Thank you for that.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  5. #5
    Senior Member murasaki's Avatar
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    Re: A Confession

    I will admit as well, that while I'm generally kind, oversensitive, caring, a "people-pleaser" and possessing of an array of social/customer-service skills...I can unleash all that Stephanie-mojo you described on certain people when they get under my skin. Case in point: some people in the tango circle I complained about recently.

    I don't like myself at all when I am like that. But it's a real part of me. I struggle against it a lot -- I fear very much that if I let it show, I'll undo all those positive things that people have appreciated me for. I'm afraid of pushing them away, of letting them down. I'd say I'm 90% Jekyll and 10% Hyde. (Or the other way around? Which one's the bad one?) When I am good, I am very, very good, and when I am bad, I am demonic.

    Thank you for putting your "confession" out there, Stephanie, because you gave me that bit of nerve I needed to make my own.

    gassho
    Julia

  6. #6
    Stephanie
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    Re: A Confession

    Thanks Dosho

    Believe it or not, I used to be on your end of the spectrum, to the point where I would take an enormous amount of abuse off someone and still ask how I could be a better friend, and how I might be responsible for their hurt, etc.

    It's possible, say, six or seven years down the road you could be here making the same post I just did. Isn't that scary?

    ETA: Thank you for your post and joining in the fray of fraught self-examination, Julia Gassho.

    And don't get me wrong. My actions remain to some extent "people-pleasing" also. I believe a lot of folks would be completely blindsided if I let fly - as has happened a few times. The monsters usually stay inside my head, I am just appalled at how often it is their primitive utterances that are dominating my headspace.

  7. #7
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: A Confession

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    It's possible, say, six or seven years down the road you could be here making the same post I just did. Isn't that scary?
    Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooo!

    :lol:

    Eh...there are worse things! :P

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  8. #8
    disastermouse
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    Re: A Confession

    Quote Originally Posted by Dosho
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    And it feels strangely better to admit these things.
    That I can sympathize with! I must say that in so many ways I see myself coming from the opposite end of things from you. I am far more likely to find blame in myself before others, even when it is obvious to all around me that it was not my doing. But the frustrations I feel are not all that different from yours really. And I do know for a fact that you are not as "bad" as you think...because there are plenty of people that have the same thoughts and just don't give a damn about it!

    I usually don't post after you start a thread like this (or Chet and his own special flavors) because I think anything I have to say will sound like it came right out of Mayberry USA and make you want to puke. If so, vomit away! But I did want to say that I'm glad you are here practicing with us and that I gain knowledge, wisdom, and a better perspective on the human condition every time you post.

    Thank you for that.

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    This may surprise you, but I don't think of you in any sort of negative light, Dosho. Probably in the past, I've come down hard on you for what I saw as a fear of conflict on your part. Knowing a little bit more about you, I understand a lot better from where this fear originates - and instead of judging you for it, I'm more likely to empathize with it - because in a lot of ways, I can relate. The other thing I'm beginning to understand is that responding to you in a challenging way doesn't much work, because you are much more likely to internalize criticism than to object to it and get the sort of conversation going that I'm used to. I'm much more used to the sorts of people who bounce my aggression back at me so I can see it better (eventually) - you absorb it, which is a terrifying thing to watch - like seeing your best intentions or not-quite-skillful remarks or actions having much worse effects than you'd have ever wanted. Oddly enough, exposure to people like yourself makes me more mindful and careful. I can only say in my defense that when I was harsh with you, I was not aware of how upsetting it could be to people who aren't like me. Even now, you mention your reticence in posting because of some things possibly tossed out verbally by myself or others that was not meant to have such a lasting effect on how you see yourself as a person or a Zen practitioner.

    I don't see you turning into a nasty person in any way, shape, or form - but the negative self-image you struggle with is similar to the puffed-up ego that I struggle with - they are maybe just bizarro images of one another. We all protect our egos - whether they be the more typical self-promoting versions or the self-abnegating types. A deep and strong realization of no-self would be just as helpful for either of us - but the traps and barriers are slightly different. I'm MUCH more likely to hang on to that experience and build something out of it.

    Chet

  9. #9
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: A Confession

    Hi Stephanie,

    Seing through the shadow is the most important step of all. I find that to create a very good environnment helps practice, nature does the trick for me too. You are presumably not worse than ten years ago, just more aware of the twisted and crooked cucumber

    gassho to moon faced Buddha!

    Taigu

  10. #10

    Re: A Confession

    Stephanie, sorry to hear you have those negative feelings but from your writings I can tell you have many good and positive qualities. Lately just being grateful for being alive has gotten me past some perceived difficulties.

  11. #11
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Re: A Confession

    I think we all have negative stuff happening on our minds. Thing is you are doing a wonderful job realizing all that's not working.

    If you came here being open and honest about what you feel when you are on that mind mode, then it's the first step to being mindful of what you are doing or feeling.

    And that's awesome because you will know exactly when to stop and change your behavior.

    Like Jundo said, practice. But I would add: practice metta all the time. Meditate on it and practice generosity.

    Gassho,

    Choco

  12. #12

    Re: A Confession

    I think it is good that you were able to share that and get it out.
    none of us our perfect and that is a good thing. be kinda dull if we all were. Thank you for sharing.


    Gassho


    Seiryu

  13. #13
    Stephanie
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    Re: A Confession

    Thanks all. And thank you, Taigu, for your teaching. Perhaps you are right that I am just seeing more than I did. I will never know, because the past is a dream fiction now and will never be more than that.

    I am grateful I can see these things. I keep hitting up against them. I catch myself judging others and remind myself to look at myself. I am getting sick of my SELF. I am indeed guilty of SELF-loathing--not in the sense of hating Stephanie, but in the sense of getting very frustrated and impatient with my self-serving little self and the way I experience life when it is dominant. I've got a lot of practice to practice! Gassho.

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