When the Body Says "no" - Gabor Mate

edgitarra

Jedi Council Member
Thanks for sharing the video. I also started to read the book, but I have one question: how can one improve his external consideration ability without entering in a the field of suppressing emotions? How can he distinguish easily if his attempt to be externally considerate does not turn into suppressing his emotions? Thanks!
 

Gaby

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edgitarra said:
Thanks for sharing the video. I also started to read the book, but I have one question: how can one improve his external consideration ability without entering in a the field of suppressing emotions? How can he distinguish easily if his attempt to be externally considerate does not turn into suppressing his emotions? Thanks!

It can be a fine line. It does help to pinpoint suppressed emotions with a caring therapist. My favorite is Patrick Rodriguez :)

Once we identified specific emotions which I'm famous for repressing rather successfully, he gave me a tip on how to tap into it so I can face them upfront instead of running around in circles trying to suppress them. It is basically finding a safe place to feel your emotions.

For instance, from his latest newsletter:

_http://www.soulrescuesite.com/

Viewing Emotions as Energy

[...] When we are in the process of healing others (or even ourselves) it can become very difficult to separate ourselves from the care and sympathy that we may naturally have for the suffering of these people. However, I've found that in order to be of greatest service, it is essential to view their emotional pain as simply "stuck energy". This in turn helps me to work on the energy rather than become paralyzed with trying to comfort the person with a hug or with sympathy.

Stuck emotions can happen in a wide variety of ways but the most common is through emotional traumas and suppressed emotions. So if an opening occurs in the energy field by way of disruption, this is an opening for spirits to join. And, in my opinion, this is a common occurrence for anyone and everyone.

Patrick's tip to help me confront my suppressed emotions was the following:

Everything is related, right? It’s kind of like health [P & G: lol]. But what I’m going to invite you to do. You know what sounds like a good idea? Is to invite you to play with the Éiriú Eolas method of inviting the feelings of powerlessness and helplessness to come up so [...] to invite it to come up, to focus on powerlessness as you are doing the technique and then do the breathing allowing everything to come up. And what I imagine is going to happen is that energy will start to flow and during this, the part that I didn’t hear in the EE method which I’m going to invite you to add on when you do this homework is not to judge yourself for having the feelings. Because very often with how these feelings, lets take powerlessness, and you’ll be like wow, why am I having these feelings of powerlessness with me, my God, I was raised by a single mother, I went through medical school, here I am, I accomplished all this, how can I be feeling powerless, right? [G: Yeah] That’s judgment. [laughter] I would invite you to do this method because this is a method that you already practiced so is just basically tagging unto it, but instead of letting to whatever come up come up, is to invite the feelings of powerlessness. Basically [...] you are inviting little Gaby to be safe. You are allowing her to finally feel the feelings that she wasn’t allowed to feel. [...] And so what I am inviting you to do this technique, what I’m really inviting you to do is to acknowledge her and say, yes, your feelings are valid. The way that you do it is to allow the feelings of powerlessness, helpessness to come up [...] And just allow it to come up.

It does help to have someone mirror the feelings that you are suppressing because even though it can be obvious even to yourself, it is very therapeutic to have them recognized and/or shown to you by someone other than yourself.

The tip above was given because I was having disturbing images through EE and SRTs. So instead of letting "whatever come up, come up", Patrick was helping me to find that safe space within the self so that the emotions can flow more freely, rather than with anxiety or negative reactions through images.

My 2 cents!
 

Xico

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Dear Laura:

I got my copy, starting to read it, thanks for sharing the information..


kind regards.
 

obyvatel

The Living Force
edgitarra said:
Thanks for sharing the video. I also started to read the book, but I have one question: how can one improve his external consideration ability without entering in a the field of suppressing emotions? How can he distinguish easily if his attempt to be externally considerate does not turn into suppressing his emotions? Thanks!

Our feelings arise without much conscious effort on our parts. Sometimes they are appropriate to the situation at hand; sometimes they are not. When they are not, it is usually a replay of old wounds and programs which are triggered by little similarity between the present and the past. When feelings that arise are not consistent with the present situation, external consideration would dictate that we recognize this and not let those feelings drive our behavior. Learning to acknowledge our emotions yet stay separated and not identified with them is a big part of 4th Way Work. We would ideally utilize the emotional energy creatively instead of letting the energy control our behavior.

We can avoid suppression by taking note of the feelings that arise and processing them later through journaling or networking.
 

beetlemaniac

The Living Force
edgitarra said:
Thanks for sharing the video. I also started to read the book, but I have one question: how can one improve his external consideration ability without entering in a the field of suppressing emotions? How can he distinguish easily if his attempt to be externally considerate does not turn into suppressing his emotions? Thanks!
I would recommend therapy as well, it helped to have the support of my therapist (Starlight) to help me acknowledge that I was hurt and that I deserved to feel safe and secure within my being. I would have found it difficult to understand the fact that I was accepted and essentially deserving of love if it wasn't for her caring guidance.
 

doublea1535

Jedi Council Member
The book sounds very interesting. I have only watched the video linked on the first page, and in it he focuses on people who suppress their anger, and the connection this has with dis-ease. I would be curious if the book contains insight into people who do the third response he talked about, people who "over-express" their anger, and don't handle it properly in that way. For me, my problem has never been trouble expressing my anger, many of the problems I have created for myself in life are because I have a problem with not expressing my anger; saying what I think (feel), when I think (feel) it, regardless of the consequences. Unhindered, it's definitely the opposite extreme of people who are "never angry" and all smiles, all the time. I find I am often "dialing" myself back, and reminding myself to chill out. Its about finding that balance between autonomy and social ties, weighing whats important in that moment, and coming up with effective solutions.

He mentioned in that video our emotions (at least as far as anger is concerned) are a defense mechanism to protect our sense of boundaries. So do people with anger problems have an exaggerated sense of self-boundary? I would guess so, because a lot of my anger with others really centers around control. I.e, that I am projecting this large boundary of "self" around me. Control over things I identify with (projects I am working on) or control over the perception of how others perceive me.

In that same video, he also mentioned frequently that it's not about assigning blaming (to yourself). Which makes me wonder, what is the difference between blame and responsibility?

Blame seems to center around "passing the buck" and creating a sense of finality to a situation. You being sick is your fault - and therefore not mine. You need to deal with it, not me.

Ascribing responsibility is about putting a person in charge of a solution. You are sick, not me. I can help you, but ultimately you have to do most of the work, and the burden of finding a solution falls on you. Because you are the one responsible there are things only you can do to rectify the situation.
 

obyvatel

The Living Force
ignis.intimus said:
The book sounds very interesting. I have only watched the video linked on the first page, and in it he focuses on people who suppress their anger, and the connection this has with dis-ease. I would be curious if the book contains insight into people who do the third response he talked about, people who "over-express" their anger, and don't handle it properly in that way.

In the book, Mate briefly mentions people who express anger easily and are generally tense, fast, in control and aggressive. They are more likely prone to heart disease.

[quote author=ignis.intimus]
For me, my problem has never been trouble expressing my anger, many of the problems I have created for myself in life are because I have a problem with not expressing my anger; saying what I think (feel), when I think (feel) it, regardless of the consequences. Unhindered, it's definitely the opposite extreme of people who are "never angry" and all smiles, all the time. I find I am often "dialing" myself back, and reminding myself to chill out. Its about finding that balance between autonomy and social ties, weighing whats important in that moment, and coming up with effective solutions.

He mentioned in that video our emotions (at least as far as anger is concerned) are a defense mechanism to protect our sense of boundaries. So do people with anger problems have an exaggerated sense of self-boundary? I would guess so, because a lot of my anger with others really centers around control. I.e, that I am projecting this large boundary of "self" around me. Control over things I identify with (projects I am working on) or control over the perception of how others perceive me.
[/quote]

Anger is a powerful emotion. Chronic anger is addictive - it feels good while one is indulging in it. It provides a sense of being big, and powerful and in control in the moment. Physiologically, anger releases adrenaline which provides energy as well as endorphins which are natural opioids or feel good chemicals which act as pain killers. Sometimes, chronic anger is a way of self-medicating against painful feelings of weakness, unworthiness and shame.

[quote author=ignis.intimus]
In that same video, he also mentioned frequently that it's not about assigning blaming (to yourself). Which makes me wonder, what is the difference between blame and responsibility?

Blame seems to center around "passing the buck" and creating a sense of finality to a situation. You being sick is your fault - and therefore not mine. You need to deal with it, not me.

Ascribing responsibility is about putting a person in charge of a solution. You are sick, not me. I can help you, but ultimately you have to do most of the work, and the burden of finding a solution falls on you. Because you are the one responsible there are things only you can do to rectify the situation.
[/quote]

If chronic anger and control is the issue, taking responsibility would mean that you need to own up to your behavior and not blame others for making you angry or "asking" for you to control them.
OSIT
 

davey72

The Living Force
ignis.intimus said:
The book sounds very interesting. I have only watched the video linked on the first page, and in it he focuses on people who suppress their anger, and the connection this has with dis-ease. I would be curious if the book contains insight into people who do the third response he talked about, people who "over-express" their anger, and don't handle it properly in that way. For me, my problem has never been trouble expressing my anger, many of the problems I have created for myself in life are because I have a problem with not expressing my anger; saying what I think (feel), when I think (feel) it, regardless of the consequences. Unhindered, it's definitely the opposite extreme of people who are "never angry" and all smiles, all the time. I find I am often "dialing" myself back, and reminding myself to chill out. Its about finding that balance between autonomy and social ties, weighing whats important in that moment, and coming up with effective solutions.

He mentioned in that video our emotions (at least as far as anger is concerned) are a defense mechanism to protect our sense of boundaries. So do people with anger problems have an exaggerated sense of self-boundary? I would guess so, because a lot of my anger with others really centers around control. I.e, that I am projecting this large boundary of "self" around me. Control over things I identify with (projects I am working on) or control over the perception of how others perceive me.

In that same video, he also mentioned frequently that it's not about assigning blaming (to yourself). Which makes me wonder, what is the difference between blame and responsibility?

Blame seems to center around "passing the buck" and creating a sense of finality to a situation. You being sick is your fault - and therefore not mine. You need to deal with it, not me.

Ascribing responsibility is about putting a person in charge of a solution. You are sick, not me. I can help you, but ultimately you have to do most of the work, and the burden of finding a solution falls on you. Because you are the one responsible there are things only you can do to rectify the situation.

Something i learned in the treatment center i was in is that anger is a secondary emotion that arises from the primary emotion of fear. I think it is helpful to try to observe yourself when you are angered and to try to identify where it is actually coming from.
 

Keit

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davey72 said:
Something i learned in the treatment center i was in is that anger is a secondary emotion that arises from the primary emotion of fear. I think it is helpful to try to observe yourself when you are angered and to try to identify where it is actually coming from.

Yep, I can relate to that. I am a person who has a tendency to "over-express" the anger. It's much milder, regulated and under control now, and I am much less easily angered or bothered by something, but the tendency remains and expresses itself especially in moments of fear or situations of "being cornered". It's like when a "fight or flight" response is being triggered, I choose to "fight".

It took some time, if not some years to realize what's going on and see the connection, especially when many of the fears were still unconscious, but eventually I was able to figure out that it had to do with loss of control. And not loss of control in a sense of losing control over people, but in a sense of not having control, or not being able to have control over myself and my life. The feeling of losing the ground under my feet, so to say, on one hand terrifies/"immobilizes" me, and on the other - makes me incredibly angry.

obyvatel said:
Anger is a powerful emotion. Chronic anger is addictive - it feels good while one is indulging in it. It provides a sense of being big, and powerful and in control in the moment. Physiologically, anger releases adrenaline which provides energy as well as endorphins which are natural opioids or feel good chemicals which act as pain killers. Sometimes, chronic anger is a way of self-medicating against painful feelings of weakness, unworthiness and shame.

Yep, can relate to that as well. As an example, recently I chose to discontinue communicating with one of the university "friends". There were signs from the beginning that our friendship isn't genuine one, but there were also enough moments, when it was easy to get confused and try to talk it over, while I was the one talking and she was reassuring me that everything is ok. Basically, there were constant feelings of being used, and that she was friends with me only when she needed something from me, etc. And it made me very angry. Not healthy dynamic at all.

I decided to regain control, so to say, and put an end to it by telling her that it isn't acceptable anymore. But then it made matters worse, because her reaction was no reaction at all, which on one hand was the proof that there was no friendship at all, but on the other it made me and still makes me incredibly angry, mainly due to the strong feeling of powerlessness and feeling stupid that I allowed myself to be used like that. And because instead of feeling in control, it just reinforced my weakness.

In such situation it's easy to get confused and think that this anger is toward the specific person, and I admit that I still can't pass near her without feeling the blood starting to boil :D, but it's clear that the real anger is not toward her, but toward myself (except for maybe narcissistic rage of "how dare she to ignore me like this!"). And I eventually will get over it. ;) fwiw.
 
This discussion about anger is giving me a lot to think about - about my quick to anger disposition...

thank you guys for offering some insight into this, it's hard to look at myself clearly, outside of symptoms (per say) as in muttering & stewing at my husband in particular, oddly, it's never my child.

I tend to write it off thinking it's chemically enduced anger (when cheating on diet) - but I still act like a fool. But (meagerly) to my credit, I don't act out on him anymore, feeling entitled to rage & rant & blame - I know enough that my feelings are not an accurate reflection of the reality around me. But it's still not ok to do. I'm glad to come across this conversation, because I've been wanting to change and understand.


A couple of weeks ago something interesting happened. I had been going on like a 3 week bender of being pissed off at him, at every little thing, just intolerant. And I was trying to articulate (out loud to myself) what on earth was I actually so mad about, and before I could self edit, a comment about control came out (I've been sooooo blind to this aspect previously, thinking I was immune to "control issues"). I was really embarrassed and it scared me straight somewhat (& am so grateful to gain some perspective from what you guys are saying above).

Then that night, I decided to do something different based on trying to be kinder to myself - for a couple months I had consciously changed my inner script when I was feeling anxious. To sum it up, I would have this feeling of so-and-so standing over me and criticizing me to no end (like getting the house ready to host Easter, and trying to accommodate other people's standards and being degraded at every turn). And I realized that so-and-so had never actually done anything threatening like that to me, and yet here I was, on hour 2 of hearing this dialog (learned behavior from youth?).

Anyway, I've been getting Reiki treatments of late and my inner dialog there has been "love to me" and so I forcibly chose to have that so-and-so tell me "love to you" for the rest of my activities! Man did that turn out well!

And back to my husband story, so that night, I went over my day and for all my petty anger, in each situation, I said "love to you Jack" instead. I did it for a few minutes, hitting all the bases, I didn't really dwell on it.

That morning he was super chipper & loving (vs us still waking up and being somewhat pissy). It was so nice, and he mentioned that he had a dream that we had made up (in the larger sense) - I was so struck. I told him about my corn ball "love to you thing" and he appreciated that (being directed to him & to caring myself).

It's been a story on my mind that I've wanted to share. It was a powerful & empowering experience for me.


I've gone back and forth with myself, thinking this could fall into the New Age beaming love & light bull crap thing. & I'm tending to side with it not being the same. I had no coercive intent, no expectation or anticipation. I was just trying to not act like such an a-hole, and it was a stepping stone, consciously choosing something other than auto-pilot anger. Any thoughts?
 

doublea1535

Jedi Council Member
HifromGrace said:
I've gone back and forth with myself, thinking this could fall into the New Age beaming love & light bull crap thing. & I'm tending to side with it not being the same. I had no coercive intent, no expectation or anticipation. I was just trying to not act like such an a-hole, and it was a stepping stone, consciously choosing something other than auto-pilot anger. Any thoughts?

I agree with the last thing you wrote there (not that I disagree with the prior stuff necessarily) that it came down a choice on your part. You decided to act differently. Where you have normally followed a pattern of stimulus-reaction-behavior, you made a conscious decision to change it up.

Which is often pretty hard in and of itself. But changing how the stimulus impacts you, how that is perceived, that I think is the key. My best guess is it requires a total re-framing of how you see and approach life.
 

kalibex

Dagobah Resident
HifromGrace said:
I've gone back and forth with myself, thinking this could fall into the New Age beaming love & light bull crap thing. & I'm tending to side with it not being the same. I had no coercive intent, no expectation or anticipation. I was just trying to not act like such an a-hole, and it was a stepping stone, consciously choosing something other than auto-pilot anger. Any thoughts?

ignis.intimus then said:
I agree with the last thing you wrote there (not that I disagree with the prior stuff necessarily) that it came down a choice on your part. You decided to act differently. Where you have normally followed a pattern of stimulus-reaction-behavior, you made a conscious decision to change it up.

I also get that impression - that you realized you could try something different from your usual habit. Seems to me as if you were experimenting with your own personal 'perception filter' /attitude, so to speak.
 

davey72

The Living Force
ignis.intimus said:
HifromGrace said:
I've gone back and forth with myself, thinking this could fall into the New Age beaming love & light bull crap thing. & I'm tending to side with it not being the same. I had no coercive intent, no expectation or anticipation. I was just trying to not act like such an a-hole, and it was a stepping stone, consciously choosing something other than auto-pilot anger. Any thoughts?

I agree with the last thing you wrote there (not that I disagree with the prior stuff necessarily) that it came down a choice on your part. You decided to act differently. Where you have normally followed a pattern of stimulus-reaction-behavior, you made a conscious decision to change it up.

Which is often pretty hard in and of itself. But changing how the stimulus impacts you, how that is perceived, that I think is the key. My best guess is it requires a total re-framing of how you see and approach life.
I agree. This is where neural plasticity comes into play. You can rewire your brain this way and wean your brain from the addiction it has to these chemicals. Although i also think that before you start this process that there is a lot of value in letting it happen and just observing the process as a third person and trying to figure out where it ultimately comes from. This can be a valuable learning tool if viewed properly. OSIT
 
An appreciative thank you for the perspective, I'm touched & grateful.

...I'm also trying to change my ways from lerker status (been re-reading TONS of transcripts) to a place of STO giving through communication AND action & balancing giving/receiving w the forum, time to pony up! So as self-conscious as I've been feeling, extending myself in writing, having a positive experience means a lot to me, thank you. (I look forward to the day when this will be no big deal, laughing at myself, I'll have forgotten about how sweaty my palms were when typing this ;) ).


davey72 - do you happen to remember if neural plasticity is in a book that's commonly talked about on the forum, I have a collection of them and it sounds strikingly familiar & important, I want to look into it. I just looked at the indexes in Primal Body, Primal Mind or When the Body Says No, not there... I'll do a forum search, don't feel obligated to get back to me.

Also your point about chemical addition - I have to say, when I read that in the prior posts, my jaw was on the ground! And you know my first reaction, was not about myself, it was about my son (hello projection!). I too share a background of addiction (as do both parents), so this is a deep one for me too.

Additionally - thank you for the 3rd party observational writing... again I remember reading about that on the forum, but I do not have that book, I'll look it up. But quite obviously can do some writing without that (and not do my usual obsessive reading - all reading & no action!!!


Side note, I'm sitting here probably burning my bacon while my boy (7yr old) is chatting w me in through the other room about lego creations - here's the deal, household meme this week is me saying "Why has "Mama!" become a curse word?!!!" to make it clearer, when he's frustrated my son blurts out "Mama!" like how other people use "damn it" BUT it's also with this underlining sense of blame with frustration. It only happens once in a while, but enough to notice. And just now it was a big source of giggles for both of us! He was playfully asking permission to use my name as a curse word, ha!

[But just to put it in context, I live in a pretty healthy household, no one has big "issues" or "drama" so much anymore, my husband & I have worked a lot on ourselves a lot (both came from traumatic childhoods) and our son is growing into a good person, we have no concerns about his behavior by & large. LOL, but clearly there's always more work to do! for me, I think it's like diet, like when I was a vegetarian for 20 yrs and feeling "good", esh! I had horrid health, but it was better than before, which does not actually put it in the good category by default! thus I'm writing about my anger binges. Again, I may look back and be like, "LOL, "healthy household" now that's a good one!" just because I'm not like my parents, doesn't meant that there aren't higher levels of thriving to be had.]


With my name becoming a curse word - big mirror of learned behavior from my son & symbolic of my dynamic, deep. I'm going to include that in my 3rd person narrative. I know a lot of my smoldering revolves around blaming my husband irrationally & obsessively - my parents did that, but it was a direct "you, Grace, get a spanking because I had a bad day." Endorphins. Control. There's gotta be a Chinese adage about "Rage & Control are two sides of the same coin"!! or should it be Rage & Pleasure?
 
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