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By December 13, 2011 72 Comments Read More →

Don’t Think About The Tigers!

I am always fascinated by the way we use our thoughts and our language — both are extremely powerful tools, both have equally as much power to help us as to hinder us, depending on the way we use them. In the vast majority of cases, people have little idea of just how much control they actually do have over their experiences — and even less understanding about how to do something to positively influence how they’re feeling. And you know the strangest thing? Most people are so acutely aware of what they don’t want that they’ve forgotten what it is they do want — which is why so many remain stuck.

Not so long ago I was working with a lady who’d had some pretty rough experiences. She’d already told me that she felt unloved, unsupported and useless. The interesting thing about the session is what happened when I asked her to imagine her ideal life, when she could be do and have the things she said she wanted. She started off well, listing things like a loving relationship and a happy home, but in order to describe it better she explained the things she didn’t want:

“I really don’t want to stay in this job — it makes me feel as if I don’t matter” ”¦hmmm”¦ “I don’t like my house either, it’s too small, too untidy and I feel uncomfortable there” ”¦.okay”¦. “My family is certainly not the way I’d like them to be! They judge me all the time, they make me feel useless — sometimes I wonder if they even notice me at all!”

And of course she went straight back in to describing in great detail how rotten she felt and how terrible her life was — even though she’d already told me earlier about the things that were wrong! Whenever this happens my inner smile grows wider, because I know beyond question that my coaching session is going to be a success. I know that I’m going to be able to help the person I’m with, and that in turn makes me happy.

So ok, you may be thinking, what’s that all about then? And what’s my point?

Internal Google

My point is this. The human brain works somewhat like a computer search engine. It is, if you like, our internal Google, and is extremely obedient to every instruction we give it. Our brain cannot differentiate between positive or negative. Good or bad. Do or do not. It just does. It has to find a reference in order to make sense of any situation or instruction it’s given, and our thoughts become our experiences. So explaining the things we don’t want or telling someone not to do something, has exactly the opposite effect.

For example, have you ever witnessed this kind of interaction between a mother and child? The child is carefully walking across the room balancing a cup of juice. The mother, aware of the dangers, says “Don’t drop that!”  The child looks up, loses concentration and”¦ drops it.

As another example, how about I give you this direct instruction: Don’t think about the tigers. Do NOT think about the tigers. OK? Absolutely under no circumstance are you to think about the tigers — particularly not the pink tigers wearing bowler hats and wellington boots!

Now — what have you got in your head? I’ll bet you’ve got tigers of some sort. Some of you may even have pictures of pink tigers in hats and boots. And yet… what was my original instruction? It was to NOT think about tigers — but you did! You thought about exactly the things I asked you not to think about – because your own internal Google had to find a reference in order to make sense of what I was saying.

It’s like the mother and child scenario — by telling the child not to drop the drink, guess what? The drink is dropped — because that’s what the child’s internal Google search engine found in response to the mother’s instructions.

You Can Choose

None of this is rocket science — some of the best things in life are usually incredibly simple. The thing is, though, I’ve discovered that very few people actually grasp the fact that although they may be striving towards something positive, because they’re so clear about what they don’t like about their life, they’re unconsciously keeping themselves stuck in the very place they say they don’t like!

When I first learned about this idea many years ago, I was surprised about how tricky it was for me to actually list the things I’d like to have in my life without slipping in to the trap of describing the things I didn’t like. This was the kind of dialogue that went on in my head:

“I’d like a home in the country, where my son is away from the London fumes because it makes him sick”

Can you see what I was doing? I was instructing my thoughts to bring up the images of my son being sick — and thereby messing with my dream to live in the countryside. Doh! So I’d change it:

“I’d like a home in the country where my son is healthy and happy” — and once I was clear on that, I’d make it even stronger by turning it into an affirmation:

“My son and I are living in a beautiful home in the country, and we are healthy and happy”

For a long time I would have internal tussles as I gradually learned to train my thoughts to concentrate on the things I chose to bring in to my life. And guess what happened? As my thoughts became clearer, and my internal Google kept searching out the good stuff — I automatically felt happier. Yes, even before I achieved the things that at that time were just a dream. And because I felt happier, I was more open to positive opportunities and more able to take action as a result. Incidentally, we moved to a beautiful home in the country less than six months after I started monitoring my thoughts.

You’ve heard the phrase “be careful what you wish for””¦? Well, so far as I’m concerned, every thought we have, every word we utter, is a wish — and a confirmation that this is indeed the wish we have chosen. So that’s why I so consciously do my best to choose exactly what I say and what I think.

Because I am certain that our thoughts really do influence our reality — and no matter what has happened, or who is trying to control us, nothing and nobody can ever control our thoughts. For me, it was the conscious freedom of my thoughts that helped me to heal my pain, and it’s that same conscious thinking that now continue to help me create the life of my dreams.

Hey, I don’t get it right all the time — far from it. And I also have my gloomy times as you already know. The thing is, though, by remembering about the tigers, I can pull myself back on track and get my thoughts and feelings back in gear. And you know what? It works.

As for that lady I talked about at the beginning of this article? Well, once I’d explained about the tigers and we’d done a couple of exercises together, she was totally able to imagine the life of her dreams in absolute detail. As she described it to me, her face lit up and her entire body lifted. She left the session looking younger and taller – and since then she’s reported back about some amazingly positive shifts she’s already experienced.

So my Lovefraud friends, until next week, just remember”¦ don’t think about the good stuff”¦ do NOT think about the good stuff! Certainly don’t even consider all the wonderful things that are coming to you right now”¦

You see? It does work doesn’t it?

😉


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72 Comments on "Don’t Think About The Tigers!"

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Hello! I don’t think I’ve commented in your blogs much before. I’ve been lucky enough to avoid the habit of thinking about what I don’t want. I’ve never been unhappy, despite everything that’s happened to me. I can’t imagine how depressing it must be to think of yourself as useless or unlovable. I hope the people that believe that change their ways of thinking and perceiving signals. 🙁

I also found the Internal Google hilarious. I ALWAYS find myself in that situation where I want to warn somebody, but I don’t want to jinx it. *spills soda* Nooo! ^_^ Also, it is better to have an Internal Goggle than an Internal Wiki. An Internal Wiki can be altered by anybody and is easily changed. Not good.

My mom and I always practiced these thoughts. My mom and I are enjoying a Christmas and we are both healthy and happy. Almost the same as your example up there. *points* I did mess up a few times by saying I don’t want to be in the hospital. I don’t want… That perspective is to negatively-focused for me now. I very much believe in a positive attitude effecting performance.

Take Tim Tebow for a popular example. He has a great attitude going in to every Football(American) game. He has never been the best, but his attitude has always remained positive when concerning his efforts and his team’s performance. They have won the last six or so games. I think a negative attitude would have halted their performance. I also went in to an exam today with a positive attitude, despite not having a whole lot of confidence. I aced that test. A! ^_^

Everybody: Hello peeps! *waves*

Good article, Mel, and great comment Near!!!!!

Hello Happiness!

You know, Mel, I just love you. I love your attitude and the vibrancy that comes through in your post.

You are absolutely on to something. I am going to really work on having this view of life.

Lately, I’ve been crying how I don’t want to hurt anymore or I don’t want to feel the devastating pain. What I need to start saying to myself is, “What great things are happening for me in my life RIGHT NOW.” Because I know there are many blessings that fill my life. The past is the past, but the here and now are what sustains me.

It’s all about gratitude. Thank You!

Dear Mel, mgreat article. So many times we are told to “be positive” Derrrr how?
Near, it’s great that you are a look on the bright side person. Associate with “radiators” some one once said to me.( I was on a course for teachers). Rise above the “negs” they drag you down to their level!
Mel…..your words radiate from the page in such an inspiring yet simple way. Beautiful! Thank you.

Mel, it’s a good post. Thank you.

Athena

Thank you Mel – my philosophy EXACTLY! Although, I have to admit, whilst still in the Superspath’s thrall and then the Aftermath, it was difficult – nah, actually, for a while there it was IMPOSSIBLE, if I’m really honest – to remember this, much less action it.

I went to trial with Superspath 10 days ago, thinking positive thoughts, knowing that the general outcome would be a win for me (it was), knowing that I would keep my home (I did), knowing that my barrister would bury the monster with the undeniable evidence I had carefully gathered and kept all these years (he didn’t have to – it only took 40 minutes in the witness box and being grilled over only 2 issues, both of which were taken from his OWN evidence – we never even got to all the juicy stuff I had collected – for Superspath to crash and burn).

I walked out of there with a good overall result and the knowledge that Superspath’s final toe-claw-hold on my life was forever disenegaged. But in the weeks leading UP to that trial hearing, I had already been experiencing positve feedback from my universe.

About 2 weeks prior, I had reached a kind of “Zen” point (no, I’m not a buddhist, just can’t think how else to describe it) where I no longer became anxious when contemplating the upcoming trial. I became the most calm, still and focussed I have ever been in my life. People commented that I was looking less ill, more pretty and so serene. Strange considering I was about to have a show-down I didn’t ask for or want with a spath I never wanted to see again for as long as I lived….

Around that same time, I became the recipient of some unexpected and extra-ordinary acts of human kindness. A neighbour gave me a $140 voucher to have my hair done so that I could feel confident in court; she knew I was broke and could not afford to pay a hairdresser myself. The staff at the subpoena office at the court refused to charge me for $60 worth of photocopying I had done there, saying that I was a nice lady and that I should not have to pay when it was not my application (it was Superspath’s). Then, the barrister I had initially thought I had hired but who then turned out to cost 3 times more than my friends had managed to scrape together to lend me to hire him, so was not going to take my case, unexpectedly contacted me one week out from trial and asked me to meet with him; after which he took my case for a third of his usual fee with the result that Superspath was crucified by this dynamo of a legal man before lunchtime on Day 1 of what was to have been a 3 day trial and the whole case settled that same day.

So no – I WON’T be thinking about the amazing plans I have for my bright and beautiful future : )

Excellent post Mel!
But easier said than done. I won’t be thinking about tigers, I won’t!!
🙂

Sorry to burst your tiger’s bubble, but there’s more to it than that. Without others or any kind of support, good things will not happen no matter how many good, positive thoughts you have or actions you take, or how strong you faith is/was. I lost everything, but before that I had a vision and belief that I could escape and build a new, safe life with my boys.

I did what was right. I sought counseling, went to church, reached out to others; prayed, read, memorized and meditated on scriptures; had, kept and acted on my faith in God; planned my escape and worked hard to keep it up. In the end, nothing I did, believed or thought mattered. I still lost it all. Including my health.

I wrote the following this morning. I’m pretty much at the end of my rope, and just trying to stay alive to see my kids at least one more time in my lifetime:

I can’t believe I’m contemplating this ”“ but I might go back. I am willing to die just to see my kids again. THIS is why battered and abused women go back to their abusive husbands/boyfriends. Because of abandonment by all people and systems that SAY they will help you, but when push comes to shove and you’re begging for help ”“ you either get no help, or worse those same people will go out of their way to make things even worse for you. All family members, friends, attorneys, judges, police officers, counselors, CFS workers and supervisors, employers, my church, EVERYONE has turned their backs on me and either abandoned or betrayed me.

There is no more hope. There is no freedom or escape from an abusive husband if you have children. I lost ALL my belongings, ALL my family members, ALL my friends, my job, AND MY COUNTRY. That’s right ”“ even my original country of birth dumped me, canceled my citizenship for staying away for too long. It doesn’t matter that I didn’t have the freedom to come and keep up my country relationship in person. I’m still waiting (alone, in that country) to see if my country will take me back.

Noone calls me, or even emails me. And yes, I have been going out regularly to social events to make new friends and meet people. It’s just that there’s no follow-up with anyone. I try, but again I fail. How do I establish trust with others when I’ve been betrayed? Why should I go through all the work of establishing relationships when I’ve been abandoned by so many?

So, no support of any kind from anyone. And my kids are being ‘raised’ by an abusive (including sexual abuse of both me AND at least one if not all of my boys) ex-husband and his elderly, sick mom who created him to begin with. Wouldn’t it be better if I was there to at least buffer some of this? I tried to leave and take them with me. I failed. So now there is currently NO protection in place for my children. None.

And don’t tell me about church, faith or counselors. There were LOTS of times where just a simple favor ”“ just being there for me, being willing to testify to what they’ve seen, being willing to document, being willing to listen to and believe me and what they’re seeing, and JUST DO THEIR JOBS would have helped, and maybe even avoided all this suffering to begin with.

When you stand up to evil, but no one else stands with you, evil will destroy you.

Just to clarify some points, since I never ‘told my story’, I did not try to leave the country with my boys. I knew that was impossible. I first tried to stay in the area, and do everything legally correct and build my new life within all the parameters/walls/obstacles put into place by the judicial system within the U.S. I only moved to my home country (although they might still kick me out, I’m waiting to see) when I found out that my ex-husband was planning to do something that would lead to the loss of my life. I made the choice at the time that it would be better for my boys if I was alive for them a bit later on, than if I were to die under those circumstances. I guess I’m waffling on that choice.

Onebody. Some wounds impossible to heal. Like lost arm or leg. One can learn function without it. It is same about me – no one calls or emails me, i go out and meet people, but what’s the point? I cant tell my story and connect to the people emotionally in a meaningful way. I just exist like a strange and unnecesary item in this cruel universe.

Onebody
Just to validate you, you had the same experience I did. I lost everything. Well, I didn’t lose my country but I lost EVERYTHING else, including the one person I endured abuse for, my daughter. JUSTICE is rare so I’ve learned to not expect it. Karma is a line of carp that people spout to try to make you feel better. I’m not vengeful so Karma doesn’t mean carp to me.

I did hold on to my moral integrity and eventually I have regained my dignity. It has been a long road to recovering from crazyville but I am on solid ground b/c of my faith in God. The only other choice was to live for hell and that’s no choice at all…. that’s what “THEY” do.

If you go back, it will be different b/c it will be worse. I am sorry for that. Yes I understand why people return when there are kids involved. But it is ONLY my opinion and you will have to take whatever consequences you CHOOSE, but I’d like to encourage you to take care of yourself so you can be ABLE to rescue your children. You aren’t in that place yet and you will definitely NOT be if you go back. That is THEIR only hope. Sad, so sad situation but that’s what is now.

If it’s possible to share resolve and strength, this is the place to find it. I send my prayers to add to yours.
Katy

SarahPL
I agree with the FEELING of what’s the point. I am alone, old, the opportunities of my young years are past and my health is kaput b/c of the stresses of my spath.

But I notice my life is BETTER than it was with him and I do get to CHOOSE, even if the menu isn’t as full as it was a few years ago. The one thing I KNOW: when I was with my husband, there was NO HOPE AT ALL. Now that I am free of him (almost divorced, barring complications), at least he can’t stop me from finding my own way in the world. THAT was worth leaving him.

I think the rest will come, the emotional connections, the point of living. Please Hold on, better is coming. May take a while but it is COMING B/c it’s now possible….

Onebody,
What you describe is familiar to many of us. It’s what the spath planned for us. Loss of family is especially hard.

Since I couldn’t change what happened, I changed the way I looked at it. I hated losing my family when I found out that they were spaths, but I was glad to finally understand that they were toxic and remove myself from them.

I like to think of this horrible experience as the Universe speaking to me about what I needed to understand. I was a pathological giver, I was assuming responsibilities that were not my own, I was refusing to recognize evil. There are lots more things I could list that I was doing wrong.

Losing all these things is a little like dying. When you die, you lose everything but your soul. The spath was trying to take that too but he didn’t prevail. So I see this as a near death experience where I actually passed through to the other side and got a second chance at life. I did lose everything, but that’s just what happens when you die. Being born again means struggling again to find your identity. I hope I do it right this time.

Thank you for your kind words. It’s just hard to be without anyone, especially my children right now. It’s really hard to accept that I can’t do anything about my and their situation. I know that I have to work on myself, and have done some work, but sometimes I crash. And doubt myself. And think I should have just stayed and died. It would have been easier. I’m not good with suffering anymore.

I say I lost my family, but they never were really there for me to begin with. My brother who betrayed me – that one hurts the most. He’s just as bad as my ex. Maybe even worse, since he’s coming over here in a few weeks. Not to my area of the country, but he can still do a lot of damage to me. I did break NC about a month ago to email him to let him know that if he does share information with my ex and I find out, then I’ll send his emails to all my other family members over here that are familiar with my situation (including his part in it) to basically ‘out’ him. I hope he fears losing that mask.

When I first moved here, I did think of it as a second chance at life. It’s just that my kids are not part of it, and are suffering in the meantime. I can’t deal with that. I also discovered that I’m too broken to relate to others normally. Too much has happened. I’m in too much pain. How do you start over with those limitations?

I also deal with anger that I did everything the best way, with looking towards God, the Bible, prayer as what and how I should do things within my life. Then this is what happens? Over many years of struggling and suffering? I’m not going to completely lose my faith, but it’s hard to choose life if it only includes suffering.

The reason I won’t let go of faith is because I did die (although the doctor denies it) during my 6 hour surgery about a year ago. I was in a different place, and was accepted by my (many years dead) family there. There are really streets of pure gold – which is very dark in color but helps to give a beautiful light from its reflections. Until then, I never could picture what that would look like – which says a lot because I’m an artist. I was angry that I got sent back when I woke up from surgery. I’m even more upset now. I was sent back to suffer some more. And it is more than I can handle. Why?

Sorry for my rambling. It’s a really hard time for me right now. I’m in northern europe, so it’s possible that the lack of light could also be affecting my outlook on things – on top of everything else. Thank you for hearing me out.

Dear Onebody,

I’m sorry you have gone through such a horrible ordeal with your X and your children….and betrayal by your family as well. Many of us here have had similar betrayals from family members.

Dr. Viktor Frankl wrote a wonderful book after he was released from the Nazi death camps called “Man’s Search for Meaning” after he also lost EV EVERYTHING except his soul. After I read that little book I realized that there are people who have lost more than I have, and that those people not only survived but THRIVED and that we CAN FIND MEANING IN OUR LIVES NO MATTER WHAT we have lost.

It’s tough! Believe me, I know, and all the other posters here on this blog also know HOW TOUGH it is to lose everything they value in life, but we have the CHOICE TO RECOVER, and we CAN and WE WILL!!!! No matter how much we lose, as long as we are alive we have the power to recover IF WE WILL JUST REACH OUT AND USE IT! BELIEVE IN IT!!!!

One body, you poor poor thing. What the heck can someone say to that tale of hell at the hands of your ex?

For what it’s worth ….. Forget the light of northern europe ..you don’t really need to make excuses for feeling at the end of your tether. I’m so sorry that you’re on your own. Don’t give up. Please.
We have a saying here,
“You never know what’s round the corner”

The only way is up when you’ve hit rock bottom.
Strength !!!!!!!

Onebody. You said – Sorry for my rambling.
Never say “sorry”. we have fundamental right – to tell how we feel and to tell our histories. I want to yell towards all the world about what happened to me. sharing heals -after reading your story, I know I am not alone. It happens. I live exactly the same way. Your story was an amazing gift to me. Thanks.

Dear Ox Drover. I disagree completely with you on that book. The author “lost everything except his soul” – he was adult man, but think about kids raised by sociopaths, their souls are taken away and broken right from the very beginning…
Not to speak, that the author remarried after catastrophe, hi memuars were welcomed. And many of us share our histories only on anonymous forums. And some still say “sorry”about that.

Sarah have you read the book? Dr. Frankl was imprisoned in the Nazi prison labor camp as a slave for about 4 years. His wife was burned in the ovens, he lost his life’s work ( a manuscript he had hidden in his coat) all his friends and family, his home and 100% of his possessions, he only maintained his life and soul….and yet, the man found MEANING IN LIFE in spite of that. He REFUSED to let them take his soul. His book is about the differences between how some people act/.think even though the conditions are the same, some give up and die, some give up their souls and become like their Nazi masters and practiced painful things on their fellow captives, others became stronger and better, more compassionate people.

We can’t control what happens to us, what the psychopaths do, and unlike Dr. Frankl, we do have the option to get away from them, but even he had a choice on how the psychopaths effected him, how they effected his SOUL. We all do. We can allow it to embitter us or make us better. He chose to make it better, to find meaning in life even under the circumstances.

Even kids who are horribly abused as children have a CHOICE. Thank God that not all of the children raised by dysfunctional parents BECOME dysfunctional and abusers.

SarahPL
There are people on here who were raised by sociopaths and pedophiles and yet they are NOT sociopaths or pedophiles. They LOVE and respect and cherish others. It is a CHOICE and even as little kids, the children know they are dif than their spath family members, and know HOW they are dif, probably know it better than most adults.

I had no choice. I felt it is all my personal fault. I had absolutely no slightest choice or support. I was scared to death and tried to please everyone. I just start to recover. Now I am 39. I just start to realize what happened in my life. Before – I had no choice. You both wrong.
And some of my friend – severely abused not for 4, but for 18 years. At 18, kicked out of home – no friends, no relatives, no parental support – no social skills. Just broken soul. And, in contrast to Frankl, they are not even allowed to speak about their tragedies.
You hurt me by what you said. I felt so worthless that I almostt prostituted myself. And I had no choice.

Sarah…you have a choice now. Your not that child any more. What you gona do? Carry all that round with you for ever?

Love your inner child. Keep her/him in your heart and every once in a while give that child some love

Peace to you

Sarah, I’m not sure why you think WE are saying that what happened to you was YOUR FAULT. YOU said “I felt it is all my personal fault” and many of us felt that it was our fault until we LEARNED BETTER, that what was done to us was NOT our fault.

Unlike Dr. Frankl, though, we are not hemmed in by barbed wire fences and gun towers to shoot us if we try to escape the psychopaths, we have the choice to leave and not let them destroy us. Even if we were hemmed in, like Dr. Frankl, we can keep our souls intact, we do not have to give up our souls, no matter how intense the abuse is.

I wish you healing and peace. Read the articles here in the archives, learn about psychopaths, and learn about healing. Knowledge is power, and we take back our power when we learn about psychopaths and healing! God bless.

I read a book about boy, who was raised as a dog. Now he is in clinic, and he will never get out of there.
And you speak about “choice”???
I tought at least here, in this forum, I will find some support.

“Unlike Dr. Frankl, though, we are not hemmed in by barbed wire fences and gun towers to shoot us if we try to escape the psychopaths.”
For kids, it is worse, they totally dependent on their parents and they cant escape. And, in contrast to Frankl, they are not adults, they are just kids. Their parents blame them and they think – oh, it is my fault.
And, in contrast to Frankl, they keep silent and ashamed for the rest of their lives.

Sarah,

What’s your point about “support”? What is it that you want us to say?

I too have read about some children raised like dogs in cages or worse. There is nothing that we on this blog can do to help them or support them except to pray for them.

Were you raised in a cage by a psychopath? If so, then I suggest that you get some professional counseling immediately.

If you are seeking a support group because of another kind of encounter with a psychopath then I suggest that you indicate to us what kind of “support” you are seeking.

Ye but you’re 39!!!! It happened so now what? You have to draw a line somewhere! Am not sure if you’re angry for all children who are abused or angry that you were. Both of which are bloody good reasons for being seriously farked off with everyone. Yes children think it’s my fault…..then they grow up and they think … Or say f** k you and go NC

For abused kids, it is hard to keep their souls intact, they feel helpless and they are without a choice.
So Dr Frankl, who was mature man, is wrong example.

I think Ox was trying to give you an example of an adult who had lost everything at the hands of evil. You Are an adult

Sarah,

would you please tell us what it is in the way of “support” that you want? Is it for us to say that an abused child has no choice ever, even when they grow up?

I still am not clear what it is that you object to about Dr. Frankl’s book that you have not even apparently read.

SarahPL
What we offer might be wrong for you but it is not wrong for those of us who were in the control of spaths for our entire childhoods. We can offer empathy and supportand encouragement but you have your part too, to disclose what you need.

Please know that while this site is for support and encouragement and healing, it is NOT a substitute for professional guidance. I think that is the place you need to start. On the main page of the LoveFraud site is a link for resources guide, click that link and the next page, mid center, is a Search button for The LoveFraud Professional Resources Guide. All my best to you on your journey. It is TERRIBLY painful but there is life on the other end.

Sarah ~

Have you ever read any of Dave Pelzer’s books – “A Child Called It”, “The Lost Boy” & “A Man Named Dave”.

Dave Pelzer suffered unspeakable abuse as a child then went on to travel throughout the country inspiring hope in countless individuals. He received commendations from Presidents Regan, Bush and Clinton and in 1994 was the only American to receive The Outstanding Young Persons of the World Award.

He overcame the horrors of child abuse and went on to inspire others.

He would be a very good example.

Milo, Yes, I have read those books….good example. There are great examples of every aged person overcoming abuse if we just look for them.

I read one a while back about a kid who was lobotomized by a quack doctor who did 1,000s of these operations (like was done to Joe Kennedy’s daughter). The boy was about age 12 when it happened, but he actually was able to lead a happy and successful life afterward due to the fact he WAS so young when it was done to him. Talk about ABUSE! The guy’s step mother hated him and had this done and the father didn’t realize what was being done to his son. They actually held the kid down and went in through the eye with a knitting needle-like instrument into the pre-frontal area and “waved” the needle back and forth to destroy brain tissue more or less at random. This doctor was eventually discredited but only after he had wrecked thousands of lives to one extent or another in the name of “science.”

I loved this article, and it is one of my favorite articles here. I think the mind is so much more powerful than we give it credit for. We can use its power to direct our thoughts and energies, which will, in turn, magnetize what we think about into our lives. There are too many examples of this “secret” working in my own life to put into a single post. I grew up in an abusive family with narcissist/spaths/pedophiles, and all around bad people. I refuse to let this define me and set the course for my future. I have learned many lessons from my difficult life, and I intend to use those lessons to make better choices and to mentor other people.

There are so many things in life we have no control over. Certain things happened to us that we couldn’t help. But we can change how we think about those events. For instance, we can say, “No one has ever loved me; therefore, I’m destined to be worthless and unloved.” Or we could say, “Boy did I get off to a horrible start in life. It can only get better from here.” It’s all perspective. It’s all how we assign meaning to events. This is what Victor Frankl – whose wife was murdered and who was tortured for years in a concentration camp – is talking about.

Sometimes I do battle with my thoughts. For instance, I tell myself (and this is very depressing) “If only my parents had loved me, I would have so much richer, happier, and fuller of a life. I would have been a lawyer or doctor instead of a massage therapist.” or “I wonder how happy normal people live their lives, and will I ever be like them?” These thoughts really bring me down. So I tell myself that I can never know the answers to these questions. All I can do is be the best person I can be and do what makes me happy TODAY. And think about what will make me happy tomorrow. Pretty soon, my spirits are lifted and good things are coming into my life.

I have been slowly letting go of my poverty mentality this year – thinking, worrying, and stressing over money. Instead, I have thought about things I’d like to do and places I’d like to go. As if by a miracle, once I decided to do those things, the money is just coming in. I’m starting to just trust the universe to support the things I want to do in life, like travel or volunteer work.

To be fair, though, I have not always felt this way. It took many years and a lot of soul searching to stop being a victim. I found that whatever I stressed over (like poverty, for instance) was what I got more of. We are all really beautiful rays of light, but most of us just do not see it. Yes, it’s good to have people in our lives to reflect our beauty back to us. But let’s face it, if we’re not open to receiving the positive feedback – if we don’t trust it or can’t receive it, the help and support will just pass us by and we will deflect it. So there is a step we need to take even BEFORE we receive help from others. That is to BELIEVE that these people can help us. This requires to some degree a positive regard for ourselves and faith that things can get better. This is something we can direct our minds and hearts to believe. We are SO powerful.

Hugs to all,
Star

P.S. Milo, I have read all of Dave Pelzer’s books, and he is one of my heroes.

Have you guys ever read the book, “As Nature Made Him”? It’s the story of a boy who was raised as a girl, on the recommendation of a spath doctor, because the boy accidentally lost his penis at a very young age in a circumcision instrument. He lived a MISERABLE life, not understanding what was wrong with him. When he was finally told the truth, he underwent mastectomies from the years of female hormone treatments, and had genital surgeries to try to rebuild male sex organs. He eventually married a woman with kids (he couldn’t have any because doctors had removed his testicles trying to turn him into a woman). He went on to marry and live a happy and successful life. I have not heard of ANY type of abuse that cannot be overcome.

Stargazer,

I agree with you about the way we think about things and having a positive attitude versus a defeatest attitude, however, some people seem to take the “positive” attitude to the level of “magical thinking” in which case, no matter how positive their attitude is, IT AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN.

No matter how badly I want to be an NBA star and make 22 million dollars per year and how I imagine myself to be growing, I am NOT going to grow up to 7 ft. tall and be able to throw a basket ball with great precision. LOL (I realize that is hyperbole but just making an absurd point) so having a “positive attitude” is one thing and being “DELUSION” is another.

We should all set reasonable goals for ourselves and find what we really want to do in our lives, what we want to accomplish and head toward and work toward those goals. Also keep in mind that the goals I set for myself at age 18 are not the same goals that I would work toward today (even if I were age 18 but knew what I know now! LOL And as we go through life our goals, and our basic desires change as we learn and grown through the years. While it is important to me to have enough money to pay the light bill, I do not care at all about a new upscale car or being wealthy. If I won the lotto my life would not change very much at all.

So I encourage myself to have an “up beat” attitude and think positively and be at peace, I still don’t imagine or even want to try to focus on something that is pretty well not likely to happen. Well, off to see the Wizard, you guys keep it between the ditches and throw a gray rock at any passing troll! (((hugs)))

Yeah, Oxy, I don’t really have any idea on how you draw the line between a realistic goal and magical thinking. If someone had ever told me I’d be the lead singer in a rock band, or live in Europe for a year with no money, I would have thought they were nuts. I think a lot of people don’t think big because they are so used to people telling them that their dreams are unrealistic and out of their reach. I honestly believe that what you can dream, you can achieve. But if you have any self-doubt, that doubt will sabotage you. People can only get in life what they can visualize. There are many outside-the-box solutions for seemingly impossible problems. But to think outside the box, you have to drop your limited thinking about what is possible and what is impossible.

One of my recent massage teachers and mentor of mine told the class that the only reason we cannot walk through walls is that we have a collective belief that we can’t. There are people in native american culture who do all kinds of strange things like shape shifting and astral travel. But they don’t have the same limiting beliefs about time and space we have in our culture.

I tend to think of delusional/magical thinking as a trait of someone who is disordered. In that case, I would agree – I think meditation and visualization work for people who are basically healthy and intact mentally. I don’t know if it works for people who are disordered. Although, it’s a fascinating study how a spath can often get what they want through their own willpower and yet they are the most disordered people out there.

Star,
the human race got where it is today because of magical thinking. Imagine a cave man wishing he could fly. Or a Roman soldier wondering what people on the other side of the world are doing. If either of these guys ever mentioned such things to their wives or friends, they would be the laughing stock for being “out of touch with reality”. Yet today, people do both things every day, because we have the knowledge to accomplish it. Yet it took a “dreamer” to imagine it first.

My spath, unfortunately, is a perfect example of magical thinking. He never attended school past the 6th grade, yet he taught himself to play guitar, so he could play in rock bands and earn money. He taught himself to weld, so he could get a better job. He taught himself to fly a helicopter so he could kill a guy and steal his copter. He taught himself to design machines in AutoCad so he could con people out of money…

um, where was I going with this… ?
I lost my focus.

Oh yeah, the moral of the story is: where there’s a psychopathic-will, there’s a way, but we don’t have to be evil to make our dreams come true. 🙂

LOL I am one of the biggest out-of-the-box dreamers I know. When I bought my first condo in the ghetto, I had a vision of how I wanted to remodel it – my color scheme was really different from the earth tones everyone loves here in Colorado. I put in lilac carpets, a black and white checkerboard kitchen floor with PURPLE countertops, and red furniture. I had a lilac carpeted cat tree “growing” out of the middle of the living room floor. EVERYONE told me not to do it. They said I would NEVER sell my home with those colors. Well, would you believe that when I listed it, I had people fighting over it? There was actually a bidding war. It sold for the highest price of any condo that had ever sold there. It was a one-bedroom and sold for more than the 3-bedrooms. I have long ago stopped listening to people’s fear-based advice about what I can and can’t do. Do you know how many people think I’m crazy for wanting to move to Costa Rica with no retirement? Or for even wanting to move there at all? I say, watch me do it. I would NEVER tell a sincere person that they cannot achieve their dreams. If a fat old bald man really wants to be a ballerina, I say go for it! You never know what the pursuit of your dreams will lead you to.

Well, Star I’m glad you got your condo sold with that decor, sometimes things like that do work out….but I think I’ll pass on walking through walls or being a ballerina and will stay on what I think is a less delusional course. Moving to CR if that is what you want is not an unreasonable or an impossible goal, and if that is what you want, go for it….it is YOUR life. YOU get to make the choices and the consequences of those choices are also yours. We all have that same right and privilege to make our own decisions and some of them will come out okay and some will probably stink! LOL 🙂

Oxy,
did you ever see the video of the girl with no arms or legs?
She’s a dancer.
Not kidding. She loves music and movement so much that she dances with what she has and does it exceptionally well.

I’ll see if I can find the video.

Oxy, I just hope in your practical thinking, you don’t limit yourself in what is possible for your life. By calling things that seem impossible “delusional”, you limit your thinking. Everyone does this.

Sky I saw the man who had no legs and no arms and he was a motivational speaker. He was quite adept at taking care of himself. I worked for several years with people with head and spinal cord injuries and amputations and so have known some amazing people who have over come some terrible situations.

The thing is though, that no matter how much someone “believes” in something, there is no way to raise the dead or grow a new arm, you have to do with what you have that is within the science of reason and physics. If someone wants to believe that they have flown to the moon, or that aliens came down and abducted them, that’s okay with me, but I’m gonna stick with more reasonable and verifiable goals.

I agree that most of the progress in this world was made by people who were dissatisfied with the status quo. I’m reading a book now on”the discoverers” by Daniel J.Boorstin and the first chapters are on the “invention” of TIME and clocks, and how that impacted on sea travel and navigation in different cultures. Interesting stuff.

I think the imaginations that are pushing the research into the human minds is wonderful, and I hope that at some point there can be some agreement on what psychopathy is and a treatment for it, just as there are now treatments for depression, bi-polar, and other mental illnesses and abnormalities. Someone has to imagine that there can be a treatment and then work on finding that treatment, but JUST WISHING IT WAS SO isn’t gonna make it magically appear.

No matter how much I WISH or visualize my son Patrick growing a conscience it AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN….not at this stage in his life. Dr. Leedom trying to teach her young son empathy and compassion in spite of the fact that he has a psychopathic father’s DNA in his genes MAY VERY WELL MAKE A DIFFERENCE, but she started when the child was an infant…..and she isn’t just wishing it, but working very hard to model that behavior.

So I try to keep a positive attitude but I try not to be delusional either. 🙂

Star,

(head shaking here) No, I don’t think I am limiting myself in my practicality….not at all. In fact, I think I keep myself from wasting my time on things that are not going to happen.

I can wish I was 7 ft tall and dream about being 7 ft tall, and focus all my energy, my power and my thinking on this dream, and if it doesn’t come true, then I will be so disappointed that nothing in life will have meaning because I want so badly to be 7 ft. tall and be an NBA star and I just KNOW that if I put more energy into believing I am 7 ft tall it will come true.

Nah, I don’t think I am limiting myself at all. Just focusing on the things I CAN accomplish and not wasting time on the others.

Well, maybe we (at least I) have bastardized the message of this article, which is NOT to say that you always get what you wish for. I think it is saying that what you focus your energy and thoughts on you will get more of. For instance, if you are constantly worrying about your health, this will set a series of events in motion that will probably affect your health. Stress and worry alone can affect health. If you constantly focus on poverty, you are more likely to be too tight with your money and withhold things from yourself that would enhance your life, make you happier, and possibly bring more money into your life.

People who spend a lot of time thinking about things that make them unhappy, will continue to magnetize more unhappiness and vice versa. I think it’s not just the thoughts that have power, but the feeling that goes with the thoughts. This is really different from a non-disordered person wishing they were 7-feet tall. I don’t know any mentally healthy people who do that.

But take as an example two types of people who want to lose weight. Person A focuses on how fat they are and how miserable they are being fat, how difficult it will be to diet and exercise, and how impossible it is. Person B visualizes being thin, gets a really positive feeling of all the confidence they will have, how much more active they will be and how all they have to do is remember this when they have food cravings. Which one is more likely to become thin? I think that’s all the article is saying.

However, there are people who are visionaries and who dream the impossible. Without those people, as Sky said, our civilization as we know it would not exist.

Oxy,

Definition of “synchronicity”: I was just typing an e-mail to an old friend in another state at around 10:30pm, and telling him, “You really have to read “The Discoverers”, by Daniel Boorstin. It’s right up your alley, and definitely one of the best books I’ve read in the last ten years.” (This was before I read your post, which was apparently written at almost exactly the same time!)

I swear, this happens to me all the time on this site – really weird. Mr. Jung, call your office!

Anyhow, it is an amazing book. Keep reading and you won’t be disappointed!

Constantine, I told you a long time ago that our tastes in books and philosophy run in the same rut! LOL I’ve also read a great deal of Jung and I can’t make a great deal of sense out of it….in fact, I have a very elderly friend who was actually a close friend of his and know several people who are very much “into” Jung, even one guy who is a Jungian therapist, but there’s a lot of “hocus pocus” about the philosophy that I just can’t buy with the left side of my brain! LOL

Synchronicity happens though, kind of like “sheet happens” but that doesn’t prove causation.

I thought I would take a bit of a break in reading about psychopaths and I thought the Boorstin book was a good one for some light reading….I am also reading “Ahab’s Wife” which so far is a pretty good book, but the style of the writing (much like Moby Dick) is tiresome after a while and though the story is good, I have to rest from the style a while—thus the Boorstin book. I haven’t read ALL his books but several and I have never failed to enjoy them.

Star I DO AGREE with your above post! We do need the visionaries, the people who think outside the “box” and who are dissatisfied with the status quo,, those are the ones who make changes, but they don’t do it with imagining magic, only with hard work as well as vision. Sometimes, like Columbus they don’t quite hit the mark, but the trying, at least, helps those who come after them.

Oxy, visionaries rarely do the hard work themselves because this is not what they are cut out for. There are other people who are more suited to carry out the details of the plan. And visionaries are not necessarily good people (look at Hitler).

I told my co-worker today about a line of shoes I designed in a dream one night. She thought it was a cool idea and encouraged me to go to the local design school to see if someone could make the prototype of it. Of course if I were ever lucky enough to sell my idea, I wouldn’t be the one making the shoes. It would just be my idea. 🙂 The hard work for a visionary is getting other people to buy their idea.

Oh, and you have a point Star. But I think Oxy does as well. For that matter, I know someone who takes the “positive thinking” stuff a bit far – so that every time I get the sniffles, it’s because something was wrong with my thinking process! Maybe they’re right, but I find it mildly annoying to always have things reduced to a mystical formula that conveniently makes every misfortune MY fault! Even if it’s true on one level, I also think that sometimes people just get the sniffles.

More seriously, one has to watch falling into the “blame the victim” mentality, where every poor, sick or underprivileged person is the way they are simply because they MADE themselves that way (i.e., their negative thoughts brought the negative realities, etc. And a lot of TV “self-help types” seem to imply this.). Again, this might be true to a certain extent, and in certain cases; but in others, I think there are a host of other facters that come into play.

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