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Forums / Staying well / Be Yourself but who am I?

Topic: Be Yourself but who am I?

  1. Elizabeth CP
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    10 November 2019 in reply to quirkywords

    I agree totally with Dools. It was very well put. Sometimes people can be so concerned about finding their true self rather than accepting we have different facets & different situations allow different facets to show. Worrying about it doesn't help. but as Dools pointed out learning about ourselves to gain insight into what helps or hinders is valuable. Even trying new things & accepting that it might not be right for us. That is not a failure but just a learning experience. On the other hand when something turns out to be good for us that is great.

    Dools also mentioned other people. We are social beings & part of our community, family circle of friends so maintaining connections with others is important as long as we don't harm ourselves by trying to fit into others wishes at the expense of our own well being. It is about finding the right amount of self care & responding to others to suit our own needs

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  2. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
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    10 November 2019 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Hello everyone

    Elizabeth,

    Thanks for your post.

    I like your last sentence "It is about finding the right amount of self care & responding to others to suit our own needs".

    That is the trick to find the right amount of self care and knowing how to respond to other people so that it helps us .

    I have realised learning to know ourselves and learn from others for me is a journey and a lifetime project.

    Quirky

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  3. quirkywords
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    30 November 2019 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    hello everyone,

    have always thought of myself as being very independent in relationships.

    I have been alone over the years as well as in long term relationships.

    My partner is away travelling for a number of weeks and I wonder who I am, that independent girl or that needy old woman who does not even know what she wants to eat .

    So do some of us define ourselves by whom we are with.

    Quirky

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  4. Peppermintbach
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    30 November 2019 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky,

    I wanted to reply, purely because your latest post resonated. I too have always been very independent in relationships...

    For me personally, I think it partly stems from my strong need for personal space/autonomy. But also because I believe no one person can ever meet all my needs, and I certainly wouldn’t expect them to meet all my needs either, which feeds into my need to maintain a certain independence (or call it what you will) in romantic relationships.

    Plus I really enjoy spending time in small groups and communities, which an intimate relationship can’t give me...so I’m that mix of both needing space for myself and wanting to be with others :)

    For those reasons, I have always maintained a strong sense of self and put in time for other relationships in my life, such as aunts, cousins, friends, etc :)

    Please don’t misunderstand me, it’s not that I don’t value all the beautiful things that a romantic relationship can provide me, and I get that my way may not suit everyone...

    But for me at least, I need a fair amount of independence in relationships. In turn, I have always given exes space when they needed it, was happy to sometimes do things alone/with other people and actively encouraged them to maintain their other relationships in life.

    I don’t know if that’s everyone else’s definition of “independence” in relationships is the same/different to mine. Mine is simply one of (many) perspectives to look at relationships ;)

    In terms of self definition, my possibly unsatisfactory answer is “it depends.” I don’t think there’s one strict way that I see myself. My self perception changes, but overall I recognise some core/consistent traits.

    In terms of relationships, I don’t necessarily “define” myself by them but I also don’t not define myself by them either. I integrate relationships into my self identity, but I don’t necessarily completely define myself by them either.

    I suppose that I define aspects of myself based on relationships, but aspects of myself based on other things like self perception, etc.

    Thanks for reading this long, and possibly tedious, post :)

    Pepper

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  5. quirkywords
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    30 November 2019 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Thanks Pepper for your personal contribution to this thread.

    I like your answer if it depends. I suppose it dioes not have to be the extreme of being totally natural and independent and the other extreme doing everything your partner does.

    Relationships are complicated and complex.

    Quirky

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  6. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
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    13 December 2019 in reply to Peppermintbach

    Be yourself, can you be yourself at this time of year when there is so much pressure from friends and family to socialise.

    There is pressure to buy presents, cook amazing food and eat too much rich food and talk to people who upset us or with whom we have nothing in common.

    Tell me how you can be yourself during the festive season.

    Quirky

  7. Elizabeth CP
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    15 December 2019 in reply to quirkywords

    Perhaps one thing is to think about why you do things.For example if you are buying presents or dong things just to suit others then stop. Often we are doing thingsbecuse we want to keep the connection so keeping that in mind helps to keep things in perspective. This is something I'm working on as I find it easy to slip into just feeling overwhelmed and trying to get everything done but I need to remind myself why I'm doing it so I can experience the pleasure rather than just doing it because i 'should'.

    The other thing is to pick things which are important to you and find a way to do them even if it doesn't fit in with others. For example years ago we had salads at both my parents and my in-laws on Christmas day. I missed the traditional Christmas dinner. After that I cooked a roast chicken & vegetables on Christmas eve for just our immediate family with the best plates, nice drinks, Christmas tablecloth& a instituted a few other traditions I wanted. This allowed me to have the traditions I wanted & I could ft into whatever others chose to do Christmas Day without feeling I was missing out on what mattered to me. Obviously other people would have different ideas of what is important but finding a way to do what is important to you is good.

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  8. quirkywords
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    16 December 2019 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Elizabeth,

    I think it is always getting the right balance between doing what you want to do and being flexible enough to fit in with others plans.

    I think deciding what is important to oneself and meaningful is others, makes for a calm gathering.

    Quirky

  9. Moonstruck
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    17 December 2019 in reply to quirkywords

    Quirky, you asked "how can you be yourself during the festive season?" Well , my answer to that is easy...."I can't".

    The media, shopping precincts, newspapers, magazines, neighbours....the majority of the society in which I live.....won't let me!!!

    This is why I find this time of year SO stressful.....because I can't be myself. December 25 means no more to me than August 15....or May 23rd etc...to be the only one going against the tidal wave of enforced celebration and compulsory joy, is pretty scary.....it's agony for me until I am "allowed"once more to be myself... 8 days to go and I can breathe again!!

  10. quirkywords
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    17 December 2019 in reply to Moonstruck

    Hello everyone,

    Moon thanks for answering my question but I think you are being yourself by sticking up for your values and not getting sucked into the consumer frenzy that is Christmas.

    You are following your thoughts and nit following the crowd,

    To me that is really being yourself.

    Quirky

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  11. quirkywords
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    7 February 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    hello everyone reading for the first time or for the umpteenth time.

    Well a lot has happened in my life in last 9 weeks and maybe in your life too.

    i have lost a lot of things and so question who am now with out my work that gave me an identity and my possessions that helped to define me.

    are we more than our work and possessions?

    what defines you?

    quirky

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  12. monkey_magic
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    7 February 2020 in reply to quirkywords
    Hi Quirky,

    Sorry to hear of your loses, it must still b raw and very hard.

    I do think we are more than our work and possessions. When I lived in Qld I didn't work or have many possessions and I travelled. I felt like I was apart of the land, the sea, the stars and moon. It was truely amazing. I felt at one with my surroundings and was stripped of those possessions and work.

    I am a giving, living, breathing thing who doesn't need much to survive, live, and thrive.

    Now that I'm working I feel apart of my work but the feelings I experienced in Qld we're much better. I was truely alive. Every place I lived was just temporary and I explored.

    I think we have many sides to our souls and what defines you in one chapter of your life doesn't necessarily define you in the next chapter but most importantly you define you. Your friends and family define you. The universe defines you and you choose which road to choose for definition.
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  13. quirkywords
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    8 February 2020 in reply to monkey_magic

    thanks monkey.

    I suppose of one chooses to start a new chapter but for ne it was forced on me by the fires.

    When one plans to start a new job or a new way of life, that is because they made a choice.

    When things change overnight one has not the chance to plan. So one is taken by surprise.

    Quirky

  14. Elizabeth CP
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    8 February 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    I think that rather than work or possessions defining us they ideally reflect who we are. Your book store I suspect reflected your love of books, your desire to share that love with others & a desire to support yourself rather than relying on others. Losing that leaves you struggling to find a way to replace this activity with something equally meaningful. This is hard enough if you've lost a job due to retrenchment but much harder when associated with trauma such as the recent fires.

    A house can be easily rebuilt & most contents purchased (providing you have the money from insurance). A home is far more than the replaceable material possessions. Your home reflects your needs & interests & includes the environment it is in, the neighbourhood, the people around you & the memories triggered by special possessions. Even if a house was rebuilt in the same location as before it won't feel the same because the area & the people will have changed due to the fires. Feelings of grief & loss are normal as you struggle to rebuild a new life.

    Despite this you are still you. Your values & interests will remain the same.

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  15. quirkywords
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    9 February 2020 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    hello everyone.

    hanks Elizabeth for your well thought out post.

    the trouble is like most people I love the theory it is the practice I am struggling with.I will read ylur words many times to remind me.

    Thank you.

    Quirky

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  16. PhoebeWings
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    13 February 2020

    Hi Monkeymagic

    You wrote...

    ‘I do think we are more than our work and possessions. When I lived in Qld I didn't work or have many possessions and I travelled. I felt like I was apart of the land, the sea, the stars and moon. It was truely amazing. I felt at one with my surroundings and was stripped of those possessions and work.


    I am a giving, living, breathing thing who doesn't need much to survive, live, and thrive. ‘

    Thank you for expressing this, it resonated very deeply for me.

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  17. monkey_magic
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    13 February 2020 in reply to PhoebeWings
    Morning PhoebeWings,

    You're so welcome!

    I deeply felt the elements around me at the time and totally stripped back. It was a freeing liberating experience. I had the space to swim in the ocean everyday and be free of a schedule. I just did as I felt.
    Loved that lifestyle.

    We are enough as we are.
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  18. PhoebeWings
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    13 February 2020 in reply to monkey_magic

    Hi MonkeyMagic,

    I just wanted to pick up on your sweet reply.

    In relation to the title of thread, being ourselves.. but who is that?

    You know, my small life has been spent building outwardly successful constructs, delivering in high performance roles where there’s constant feedback - which in turn fed my unhealthy need for acceptance and approval, a need which is beyond what is reasonable I think.

    And then the breakdowns came.

    I had accumulated clothes and furnishings and so many things to shape this ‘ID’. I definitely had a bad impulse buying habit, supported by funds - so I never thought twice about how each purchase, each thing which garnished my self portait.. really deadened the wee me inside.

    I went on a Camino walk some time back, not for any particular religious or spiritual experience, I went for the pleasure of being in another country, a walk with a friend, food, the people...but what I did experience was the amazingly unburdened feeling of all the things you mentioned, just day to day living and thriving. A back pack, simple sandwich for lunch, sitting on a log somewhere. I felt like I was really owned by the universe.

    I recently noticed myself creeping back into my habit of constructing a prescribed self, looking too hard for outside acknowledgement.

    And that along with a wave of old grief took me down for a couple of months end 2019 and early this year.

    I thought it was the grief and feelings of abandonment that were holding me in the black trough, but now, I see that although those feelings were present and real, I had lost my sense of all the things you wrote about.

    I’ve been recovering and have slowed down each day, choosing simplicity.

    I can live in so much pain, like all of us.

    When I ground myself into a deeper reality - of which you wrote - my peace flows.

    Thank you.

    And sorry this is a bit long.

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  19. quirkywords
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    9 March 2020 in reply to PhoebeWings

    Phoebe wings,

    Your words touched me about constructing a self for others.

    I have done that in the past.

    have been defining myself on what I did and now I I have lost that I struggle.

    I have always been a giver and now I must reserve at all which I do with difficulty.

  20. quirkywords
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    29 March 2020 in reply to PhoebeWings

    Hello anyone reading

    So much has happened since I last wrote.

    I wonder in these days of self isolation and social distancing how can we be ourselves.

    I am a hugger but now I cant hug, I like being with my grandchild but now I cant.

    I like chatting to people in person but now I cant.

    So how can I be myself?

    Any ideas?

    How do you be yourself in times of self isolation and social distancing.?

    Or do you prefer the social isolation?

    2 people found this helpful
  21. Doolhof
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    30 March 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky,

    Good questions! Don't know that I have the answers.

    My depression and other mental health issues have me isolating a lot anyway, so social distancing can be normal for me.

    I'm finding I am actually reaching out to others more now, I don't really know if it is because I want the contact or because I am concerned for them.

    As for me and myself. I think in a way I am getting used to the idea of being with myself more and realise I can fight being just me or I can accept me and find ways to make my days work better for me.

    Hope you find ways to deal with these changes Quirky.

    Cheers from Dools

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  22. quirkywords
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    1 April 2020 in reply to Doolhof

    Hello everyone

    dools thanks for your detailed comment.

    I think we can learn about ourselves.

    I worry about people who feel that every joy has gone from their life and they dislike isolation and feel they will never cope with this long term.

  23. Doolhof
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    1 April 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky and Everyone,

    As a child, I had it installed in me that spending time of frivolous and joyful experienced was not something you did until all the chores were done, school work was finished and you didn't make a mess.

    As an adult, having all this time now when I could be enjoying arts and crats, I am telling my child mind that I don't have a right to do pleasurable activities, that if I do they need to have meaning and a purpose!

    I read a comment that staying at home is not a punishment, it is an honour and we are protecting ourselves and others. Or something like that.

    For me, I need to work on allowing myself to relax and enjoy it. There is so much I could do to bring a sense of creativity into each day.

    Tonight I will look in some craft books and do a little crocheting, I'm making a blanket for an elderly man. See, it has a purpose!! Ha. Ha.

    Cheers from Dools

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  24. quirkywords
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    2 April 2020 in reply to Doolhof

    hello dools and all,

    was brought up they to rest even well you need it is lazy.

    The last two days I have rested a lot and I have tried not to feel guilty.

    We get bombarded from the past , from our inner critic, from friends, family and loved ones, so being ourselves becomes a challenge.

  25. Doolhof
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    9 April 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky,

    Sometimes it is hard to get the balance right isn't it! Maybe we don't have to get it "RIGHT" maybe we just have to work with what is happening each day and find something to be thankful for at the end of the day.

    I worry about people who feel that every joy has gone from their life and they dislike isolation and feel they will never cope with this long term.

    You mentioned this in a comment above. For a lot of us, change is scary. No longer having the old familiar is confusing.

    Guess we all need to find healthy ways to adjust and find ways to like and accept ourselves in all of this.

    Cheers to you Quirky and All from Dools

  26. quirkywords
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    9 April 2020 in reply to Doolhof

    Thanks Mrs Dools,

    Routine is comforting and change can be scary.

    I suppose we are now trying to adapt to a new way of doing things.

    We need to be flexible.

  27. quirkywords
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    3 May 2020 in reply to Doolhof

    hello anyone reading,

    I am finding parts of myself that surprises me and I wonder am I suppressing my real feelings too much.

    I see myself as patient but at times I find I am impatient and that annoys me as that is not how I see myself.

    How do you see yourself and how is that different to how you may behave at times?

    1 person found this helpful
  28. Sarahbelle
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    3 May 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi quirkywords and all,

    How do I see myself.....at the moment I think as rather confused, often afraid and anxious, easy to panic, absolutely get stuck in my thoughts, finding it hard to make decisions and double guessing myself. I hate the night time, I am dressing in trackies and oversized jumpers and jackets to stay warm, less time taking care of my appearance - This is not the usual me but I seem to be having more of these days than not in this current climate.

    But I also see I am trying to be resilient and willing to take advice from people on these forums who understand and are full of wisdom, sensitivity and have a personal story and feel like comfortable friends, - I am questioning my unhelpful thoughts and trying extremely hard to see perspective. I am working from home but being extremely productive, in many ways this is my saving grace .

    On the flip side I am a loyal and creative person, I care about others, I am a mother who adores her adult son, I also love my gorgeous dog who is a great source of joy. I am a teacher who loves her work. I love walking in the park, the sunshine and butterflies. I have much to be grateful for.

    Thank you for reminding me of this.

    Sarahbelle

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  29. quirkywords
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    3 May 2020 in reply to Sarahbelle

    Hello everyone

    Sarahbelle I like your name,

    Welcome to my thread. Thanks for your well expressed post that is full of hope.

    can relate to your first paragraph especially about second guessing and finding it hard to make decisions. You could hjave been writing about me.

    like how you are aware of how you are behaving now but you are resilient to recognise your strengths. That is great to have insight into who you are.

    hank you for showing how important it is to recognise our strengths as well as our weaknesses.

    Feel free to post here whenever you like.

    1 person found this helpful
  30. CMF
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    6 May 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    I don't know who I am at the moment. I get annoyed with people i love and who love me. I'm anxious at work due to a fallout with a colleague. I'm anxious about kids going back to school as i like not having to rush to get back to pick up little miss. I don't know what my life i meant to be or where i am meant to be or what I'm meant to be doing.

    Feel flat and empty

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