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Is Self-Improvement Recovery From Negative Beliefs?

The following is a discussion between Chanson Dinhars and me in response to The Ball of Light. It’s a lucid dream about the nature of Consciousness and Being. He also commented on something I described during my experience Inside Ivy, which is an account of what happened when I (my consciousness) entered my favorite house plant.

When I chose to respond to Chanson’s remarks in the most constructive way I could, several interesting thoughts emerged. One, is looking at self-improvement as being natural or built into who and what we are. When I turned the idea of self-improvement around, I could see how it’s also another form of addiction recovery, like recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. In this case, it’s recovery from negative or less than ideal beliefs, attitudes, values and expectations that create results we don’t like or want in our lives.

Another important idea is Jane Roberts suggestion that: “Hate is looking for love.” It seems so true to me! What about you?

Be Happy Question

Chanson Dinhars, , December 18, 2013 at 9:11 AM

Ha ha ha ha ha ha! What a load! If your story’s for real and I don’t believe it is, this is dreaming 101. Not much going on here, except your lust for power – captain of a starship? Don’t you mention this somewhere else too? And your weird tastes – who gets turned on by a fucking bathroom?

Pete December 19, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Hmmm, how do you talk to someone who thinks they have everything figured out already?

I suspect many people want to ask me the same question because sometimes I talk like I have things figured out too. Maybe the purpose for you finding my website and making the comments you did is the universe’s way of making me more aware of that. So, thank you!

Do you believe that we’re all doing the best we can with what we know and, as we learn more, we do better? Do you think self-improvement is built into who and what we are? I do, and if we turn this idea around, you can see it as us attempting to recover from things we don’t like about life and ourselves, things that don’t work for us or make us happy. If this is so, why don’t we do more to help ourselves and each other in our effort to recover instead of laughing at each other as if we’re all a big joke, not that any of us are forced to accept this projection.

Regarding my flight of fancy in making myself the “Captain of a Star Ship” and getting “turned on by a fucking bathroom”, as you put it. When I became fully aware of the profound obligation we assume when we remove plants from the ground and bring them into our homes, I felt a strong sense of guilt. Until that moment, I hadn’t realized how poor and insensitive I had been as a partner in my relationship with potted plants throughout my life. I always did the best I could with what I knew regarding plants but it wasn’t much. As the full impact of my failure hit home, all I could think to do was escape, and I did, in grand fashion. I used the material of the rootlet to create an amazing Star Ship, along with a beautiful captain’s uniform to go with it. I wanted to feel good about myself to balance out how bad I felt about myself. Do you think there’s something wrong or unnatural about that? I don’t. I think this is a natural course of action the mind takes to preserve our sanity. When I realized that I was in denial, I discarded the Star Ship and returned to the plant consciousness to learn more about it.

The bathroom thing represents one of my personal recovery projects. When I was about 8 or 9 years old, I discovered how much fun it was to pee from some branches high up in a large pine tree in our side yard. There I was, about 10 or 12 feet up on the back side of the tree, mesmerized by the silence as my pee passed my feet. Long after it hit the ground, the sound returned to me. It was awesome! Suddenly, my mother leaned out of the bathroom window and hysterically screamed up at me: “Roger Peterson, what are you doing? Nobody wants to see you pee!” My first response was to laugh at her but that didn’t completely stop the energy of her reaction from having an affect on me. The next time I peed from up in the tree, the same damn thing happened. I have no idea how she knew I was up in the tree peeing again, unless she was intuiting my behavior or spying on me. Anyway, the emotional impact of her screaming at me a second time did its job. From that moment on, it was almost impossible for me to pee in front of anyone else.

Imagine being in school or in the military with this problem. It was an emotional and logistical nightmare to pee in public bathrooms. If someone came in, I’d freeze up and pretend I misjudged my situation and had to take a crap instead. It was a long-term nightmare that had a profound affect on my life. I’m 71 years old now and it’s taken me most of this time to overcome this debilitating inhibition. Does fear, judgment and competition, I win, you lose, I’m good, you’re bad, I’m right, you’re wrong – comparison and value judgment – play a role in the formation of human inhibitions? I believe it does, at least in my case. I also suspect that many of us decide to stop asking “why” questions early on because it’s easier to go along to get along.

Hopefully, you understand a little more why the “fucking bathroom” played such an important role in my Ball of Light dream. My long-term pee inhibition contains a lot of energy, which often  plays itself out in my dreams. That’s just the way energy works. Did my larger self, with the help of my mother, intentionally create this troublesome condition to provide me with an important challenge, one that would keep me coming back to question the role of beliefs in our lives? Maybe.

Chanson, I’m glad you wrote what you did. Your thoughts provided me with a great opportunity to figure out what works and makes me happy. Getting angry and escaping into anger or denial doesn’t work for me anymore. I’m much happier finding ways to open doors to communication instead of close them.

I don’t know if you know who Jane Roberts is but she said something pretty cool: “Hate is looking for love.” I love this insight because it seems so true! When I was young, I was angry at the world. I was angry because so many people I knew (and my own limited view of reality) made it so hard for me to love them. I also found it hard to receive love from these same people (what we give is what we get?). I always suspected it was because they didn’t know how or didn’t think it was okay to love themselves. I certainly found it hard to love myself, and it didn’t help that my mother kept saying that, “anyone who loves themselves, gets stuck on themselves.” I’d be interested in your thoughts on this issue. Cheers!

Pete – http://realtalkworld.com

“How you define yourself, and the world around you, forms your intent, which, in turn, forms your reality.” – Seth

In other words, we create our own reality from what we choose to believe about ourselves, and the world around us, whether by intention or inattention.

If we don’t CONSCIOUSLY choose our beliefs, attitudes, values and expectations, we UNCONSCIOUSLY absorb them from our surroundings.

If beliefs, attitudes, values and expectations create our reality, can we afford not to question them?

The more we love, understand and appreciate ourselves, the better we treat ourselves, and the world.

The secrets of the universe lie hidden in the shadows of our experience. Look for them!

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Janet Glatz December 21, 2013, 3:38 PM

    Funny story, but a wonderful example of how seemingly small incidents in our childhood can change the direction of our entire lives (if we let them.) Wouldn’t it be great if we could all be self aware enough to be able to identify every such incident and understand it for what it was?
    This kind of introspection takes a lot of energy, intent, and time. The rewards are worth it, though.

  • Pete December 22, 2013, 11:01 AM

    Right on, Janet! Like learning how to use a computer, it’s a steep learning curve in the beginning but once you become accustomed to using it, it’s easy.

    This morning, the day after I wrote this post, I started rethinking the use of “recovery” versus self-improvement. I’ve always found it hard to accept the idea that “once an addict (to drugs and alcohol), always an addict.” It’s limiting in that it validates the idea that there’s something wrong with us and we can’t trust ourselves, our bodies or our minds. Self-improvement, on the other hand, is about believing in our power and desire to do better today than we did yesterday. It’s upward and onward!

    Recovering from a loss of balance is natural but when “recovery” is used by the alcohol and drug rehabilitation community, it means something totally different. When someone accepts the idea that the only way out of addictive behavior is to identify themselves as an addict for the rest of your lives, they give their addiction more power than themselves. Is it time to stop being afraid of ideas and start believing and trusting in ourselves? If there’s any truth to the statement: as we think, we create, can’t we change what we create by changing what we think? One place to start is to stop being afraid of ourselves and start loving ourselves, just because we can!

    Self-improvement is built into us so why not acknowledge it and stop letting people and ideas bully us into submission? Can you see this day coming? I can, as more and more of us discover that we create our own reality from what we choose to believe about ourselves and the world around us. Thanks for writing and sharing your thoughts, Janet. We’re part of the trickle before the flood.

    Here’s a link to a great article about questioning beliefs: When Your Mother Says She’s Fat.

  • Janet Glatz December 22, 2013, 11:34 AM

    Yes, indeed. Anyone who has beat addiction (of any kind) has the right to think very highly of themselves as a healthy, ever evolving individual!

  • Waylon December 31, 2013, 9:18 AM

    Janet, I enjoyed your comment almost more than this post. You’re right, the rewards are worth it! Thanks for sharing this.

  • Lisa Reman January 26, 2014, 4:09 AM

    To get a good job we need to improve our self confidence and your post have some tips to improve self confidence. I liked your post and feel proud to read it. I love to read this type article. Will come again till then bye……

  • Pete January 26, 2014, 9:46 AM

    Hi Lisa,

    I looked at your website, howtoimproveselfesteem.org/. Good on you for starting it! Meaningful changes are happening and it’s exciting to watch and participate in it. WE are the change we’re creating!

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