Monday, January 10, 2011

Lovability Update

I may not be actively pursuing any sort of improvement in my self for my pursuit of developing valuable relationships, but improvements have been  made regardless. As a reminder, a few months ago I noted that after my Project I'd like to take more seriously the pursuit of valuable relationships, meaning friendships and romances, but that I was going to delay such pursuits until after my Project since the Circumstance poses such a significant problem. In the meanwhile, I recognized that my value as a person was in question: In order to cultivate valuable relationships, both participants must be of value to each other. While I value myself highly, I thought I didn't measure up to my ideals and therefore would not be able to achieve relationships with those I value as ideal as well, so while my Project is in process I thought it would be best to work in striving for betterment. To that end, I've started with a cosmetic pursuit: I wrote down two categories in my notepad, "honesty" and "conversation," and used them to keep track of whenever I was dishonest, in any degree, or dwelled excessively on anti-values in conversation. I've succeeded in my pursuit and have almost always managed to keep my categories clean of marks, but I still maintain the practice in order to keep track of myself. I'm getting closer and closer to realizing what I view as making myself match in substance what I view as ideal.

Oddly enough, while I've been engaged in unrelated pursuits I've been noticing positive changes in my character that serves my lovability goals as well. My sense of life has been getting better and better lately, and I've been much more aware of the valuable associates in my life, my behavior towards them, and how open and honest I've been. Emotionally, I've been welling up with affection and have been much more responsive to the good in my life and more fierce towards the bad, though still resistant to frustration deep down. My mental obsession with the Circumstance hindered my relationships previously, but now I think of it virtually none at all and am almost surprised to think it's still in my life and impacting me. Circumstance 2 has my attention now, but at worst it stirs up my moral contempt without obsession. Plus, Circumstance 2 is also a problem affecting other associates whom I value, so I am comforted by their joint condemnation of it and desire to live life regardless of it. In other words, I'm not alone in dealing with Circumstance 2.

In short, I've observed that I am becoming a better and better person, in all areas of morality, work ethic, emotions, and personality. I am not only becoming more and more satisfied with my behavior while striving to seek more advancement, but am also becoming more sensitive to those around me and taking more care to demonstrate that I value them. My associates have demonstrated they value me as well as indicated by their presents given to me in December, and while their gift may be small I am tremendously heartened by the value they represent. I may not be able to give them much back in exchange, but it does inspire me to become a better person to at least pay the value back in friendship.

I think this change has come about by my more successfully managing my stress and introspection. A little while ago I mentioned that rubberducking, while helpful, was becoming ineffectual in helping me relieve my stress. Since then I have adopted two new habits: writing regularly in an introspection journal and maintaining a list of good things that have happened or I have done. Combined into a trio, I think they've worked in conjunction to each contribute to my well-being in their own way, and I can tell each specific practice makes a different contribution.

The rubberducking and journal writing are both related in that they help me introspect, make identifications, make plans of action, and alter my habitual thinking, but they do so in different forms that may be isolated to each means. The writing works well to make me more intensely concentrate on my introspection, emotions, and the root of my thoughts, and has been working well to better equip me with more efficient thinking so I can make identifications and plans much quicker. It also helps to make my thoughts more "real" given the fact I'm taking time to concentrate on them and deliberately hand-write them out, even if I've already thought out the entire journal entry in my head. The rubberducking, while similar, has been doing well to make me more comfortable with my emotions, thoughts, and my expressing them verbally. I have become much more aware of my behavior on the fly and have getting better at self-criticism, even in times when a potent emotion might be encouraging me to evade otherwise. In addition, the rubberducking has also been improving my speaking skills and is slowly altering some bad habits, which not only increases the ease of my expression but also makes it more aesthetically pleasing. Finally, writing the list of good things has been making me much more aware of how much value and virtue exists in my life and has been increasing my immunity to the bad and resolve to defeat it. In fact, while the situation in my life may be the same as it was several months ago, anti-values and all, I'm starting to feel more and more like I'm living in a fortunate universe, causing me to increase in wealth of spirit.

Best of all, these means have been working to undo some irrational premises I held about friendships in the past. Friendships had for years held a certain aura of "unreality" around them to me, so while I was aware that I valued a particular person or set of people I would not be motivated to cultivate or enjoy those values since they didn't feel fully real. Since I held the malevolent universe premise back then I thought losing friends was an inevitable fact of life, so I only mildly enjoyed my friends until my behavior formed a self-fulfilling prophecy and ended the association. Now that I know better and am making good changes to my self I am much more keenly aware of and attached to the good people in my life, and now seeing that my values are achievable I am moved to continue nurturing these relations and see how they can be sustained over my life. I am still ignorant and unpracticed in these matters, but this dramatic change in my perspective is a good indication that my subconscious is starting to act better in accordance with my consciously held worldview. Times are bad and evil people are in incredible excess in our world right now, but my view of freewill and of an indifferent metaphysical universe makes me entirely concentrated and expectant of the good in life. I know my ability to find great people may be limited given the present state of the culture, but I can't help but to expect and desire it everywhere since I see so much potential for it. There is no set "destiny" for suffering and evil.

But my strivings aren't over yet. While I may be getting closer to my ideal, moral perfection still has yet to be achieved. Additionally, there are still changes I need to make in my emotional being and held practices, especially that in thinking. For instance, if I feel a bit of physical pain I noticed that I then become desirous of sympathy, which I detect as a hint of leftover second-handedness. With my journal writing, list of good things, and rubberducking I can easily combat these irrational traits by becoming more easily aware of them, more able to construct solutions, and more determined to put my knowledge to practice. As I improve myself, I become both more competent and efficient in furthering myself even more beyond that.

From here, to help my aspirations, I think it would be best to explicitly identify what in I view to be in essence my ideal self. Right now my ideas are only half-formed and disconnected from each other, so I don't have a complete view of what I want to make myself. Thinking and plans are underway.

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