Perception/Character/Mis-conceptions

Today I want to write about Trust, I am working on that word in a studybook I am using and that word stumped me.

The question goes like this “How do I begin to trust in a power greater than myself?”

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For some weird reason, I wasn’t able to fully to commit to using that word trust. I got hung up. I put my journal away for weeks, and finally today, on Thanksgiving, I decided to give a go. Why did the word trust add such a hurdle to what should have been an easy question to answer. I know that God watches out for me, I give things over to my God all the time and that wisdom beams into me like some kind of magic fairy dust. I do believe in that, what got me was using the word trust. I needed to work on using that word. So I googled the word and quickly came upon this quote by Maya Angelou and that got the ball rolling…

“I don’t trust people who don’t love themselves and tell me, ‘I love you.’ … There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”

Perfecto….I see now what is going on, it was that easy.  I have been drawn to naked people offering me shirts all my life. I also grew up with naked people who gave me shirts. Why in the world would I not distrust trusting. Then I got to thinking about my uncanny way of mis-charterising most of the men in my life and many of my friends too. (unfortunately family too) I ran across this study….

(Adapted from Myers; Michener et al)

Social Perception

I. Intro.

A. In a study by Rosenhan, eight pseudopatients who were actually research investigators gained entry into mental hospitals by claiming to hear voices. During the intake interviews, the pseudopatients gave true accounts of their backgrounds, life experiences, and present (quite ordinary) psychological condition. They falsified only their names and their complaint of hearing voices. Once in the psychiatric ward, they ceased simulating any signs of abnormality. They reported that the voices had stopped, talked normally with other patients, and made observations in their notebooks. Although some of the other patients suspected that the investigators were not really ill, the staff did not. Even upon discharge, they were still diagnosed as schizophrenic, though now it was “schizophrenia in remission”.

Rosenhan described his results to other mental hospitals, and their administrators said they could not be taken in by such a ruse. Rosenhan then told them that they would be visited by a pseudopatient in the next 3 months, and he challenged them to identify who it was. During the 3 month period, 193 patients were admitted, and the psychologists identified 41 they thought were pseudopatients. In reality, Rosenhan had not sent anybody! https://www3.nd.edu/~rwilliam/xsoc530/attribution.html if you want to read more….

What they were involved in was called Social Perception – this is the process of how we form perceptions of others. We have tools for that, we develop them as we learn to encounter the world. Some of us do better than others, but what is that tool?

Mine happens to imagination. My imagination is a useful tool when I create fantasy….

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So how do we learn to form perceptions of others? I wondered that and still I have no solid answer, but in a way I think it loops back to Maya Angelou’s quote. Trust? or lack thereof….How did I form my earliest method of trusting and was imagination my best tool? If that is the deal, then of course I am flawed deeply today when the word crops up, for I have never done well with forming perceptions of others. Cause my imagination is giving me fits still to this day. But if this writer who is doing this study is correct, I am not alone. Even trained professions fall prey to their ability to perceive.

New Day, New View and New perception!

Today is Sunday May 3rd, 2015 – my previous writing was done back in November of 2014. I have been working hard to learn a new way of viewing the world. This process has been going on for many years, but finally I have made some deep [soulful] progress. I am leaning how to trust, love and let go. I am even learning how to discern and not judge. Here is a letter I wrote today and this is probably a good explanation:

Excellent writing, I am impressed with your insight and willingness to “let go” of judgement and desire.I had a rough day yesterday.* There was a group of Sr’s who decided to trash our house, calling it their “last night here” – in their profound wisdom they took the project on with vengeance. When I walked out of my apt that following morning I was shocked. I spent the day trying to get some boys to help clean it back up. The group of destructive Sr’s don’t even live here.

I did not want it happen again last night, so I decided to call one of their Advisors, (he is my age) and ask if he might help. I explained what happened and more, that I was worried about a repeat after the “fight of century”. The boys had ordered it on pay per view.

He made a few calls, and remarkably, the house was in perfect order this morning, the boys assembled to watch the fight and after the fight, they closed down.

I am still not clear on how to live in a world “judgement free”? There is judgement of others which can be harmful, if misused and there is a judgement that defies my ability to fully explain it, but it lies within the framework of “discernment” a term I don’t use much.

However, looking back at my old blog, here is quote I like;

“When you make a judgment you make a decision that the way things are is not the way things need to be. Your judgment reflects your belief in right and wrong based on what you may or may not know. Your judgment reveals your attitude of superiority that says you have the right to determine what must be done, how it must be done and who must do it. Your judgment shows that you resist accepting things the way they are. A judgment is a means of control. It is an attempt to get people to do what you need and want them to do in order to feel better about yourself. A judgment is a sign of fear. It is the foundation of discontent. Most important of all, judgment is the way you set yourself up to be judged by others.” unknown author.

The only person I need to be judging is me, and that is done by trying very hard to ask myself “what are my motives?” Are my motives self-serving, or are they trying to help others, (who will never know that I did anything to help them, btw)

I made some judgements (or was it discernment?) yesterday, I called Advisor, he stepped in and things got better. Was I discerning or was I judging?  I know I used the “slogan” “if nothing changes, nothing changes” and that is why I called Jack the Advisor.

Thank you dear Bryan for the gentle nudge into reflective writing of my own today. I think I will even save this letter to my blog.

Have a soothing day~

jimmie

Part two. ( July 5th, 2015)

First, I want to put a quote in here that will be of use later…

From the movie Code 46….

If we had enough information, we could predict the consequences of our actions. Would you want to know? If you kissed that girl, if you talked to that man, if you take that job, or marry that woman, or steal that papel? If we knew what would happen in the end, would we ever be able to take the first step, to make the first move?

That is the million dollar question, isn’t it? I mean if we knew the outcome of anything we did or did not do, would we proceed? I want my actions, words, thoughts, and desires to count for something, not rattle cages or cause harm. I want to be assured that I am doing things that will be seen as good.

This last semester (*read above) I had a rough time at the end of the year. There were a group of defiant SX’s who ransacked the house and tore one of the beautiful shrubs out of the pot out front.

poor shrub 2

poor shrub

I decided at that time, and for a couple of months since,  not do a dang thing to fix it, they live here also, there are 80 in and over 80 out and if they don’t care if we have nice shrubs, me, being the ancient mariner, shouldn’t have to do it. So I have watched it die, that kills me the one on the left is dying, the one on the right thriving. Finally, yesterday, July 4th, I decided to try and salvage it, I don’t have shovel or yard gear, but I got a melmac bowl and dug enough soil to fill in the huge crevices to maybe give it a change at life. I felt pretty good and it even looked healthier. Then, this morning, I walked outside and for the love of me, I could not believe my eyes, and at first denied what I was seeing? But, it is true, someone came last night and tore it back out of that pot again? AGAIN? I am pretty messed up about it. Were they watching me try to salvage it and decided it would be funny to tear it out again? I really am pissed about it. It has been two months since they first yanked it out of the pot, and all that time it sat with no one bothering it. Now, two months passed and I get the energy and motivation to try and fix it and it’s worse now than ever. I cannot fix it this time. It has to be taken out of the pot and the soil dug out and it put back and it is a large container and large shrub.

I read this nice quote this morning soon after I saw the damage to the shrub.

Inner Peace

Begins the moment

you choose not to

allow another

person or event to

control your

emotions.

I needed to read that, and I am grateful for the moment I felt that Peace inner my soul. But, then I cannot remain in that state. I keep asking, why did they do this, what is wrong with people, what kind of sicko thinks that messing with this shrub is funny? I cannot answer any of those questions, and right now I cannot control the next move they will make. I know one thing – for sure, we’ll have cameras to catch them soon. That is all I can think about these days, those cameras.

Last, today is Monday July 6th, 2015. I have had a great day, got busy early, got a lot done. One is about to be finished, which is working on the blog. One of the few that I have managed to complete in a long time. I am working hard on my CoDa issues, they have become an intergral part of my life, and man, who knew? I never fully “got it” until I met Bryan. He changed my life. He saw it right away and I have been valiantly working on this disease since. I am blessed to be able to see the real me. I know at times I am clouded by my own inability to see me. I am either too hard or too easy, but some days I get it just right. The reason I think the shrub and my reaction to it is part of my problem is the way I latched on to the unfixable problem of people messing with my shrub. It is what it is, and, sadly, I cannot change the outcome. I can plant it, I can water it, I can enjoy it, but I cannot control the external forces that damage it. I am not that powerful. I can wait and when the cameras get installed, I can watch it, still that won’t stop them. That will catch them in the act. That helps. Life is not ever going to be perfect. Nothing works like that. Some things are easier to swallow. That is how that works. There is the deep thick woods that we make our way through, and that can be painfully hard to navigate, but then we can find that lush green meadow and we can rest, enjoy and pass through that with joy and peace. Depending upon our spiritual conditon, we may be able to stay in the clearing longer. I am pretty content most of the time. I am blessed indeed.

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