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How to find Hope

I am very much in "the fog of fear" as John calls it; actually, it's more like a cesspool. As much as try to hold on to hope, it slips away so quickly. As much as I would like to trust life, or be patient, I just don't seem to be able to.

Increasing fear is causing increasing neurotic methods of trying to avoid whatever makes me feel fear, which in turn is causing increasing hatred and bitterness, which is causing me to be more and more callous and selfish and unconcerned about the suffering of anybody else but myself. I have hardly any control anymore over my reactions and mental state. Somebody says something trying to be helpful, but it causes a fearful reaction in me which makes me mean to them and stop talking to them.

I am not interested in life. I don't see how life can bring happiness. I don't want to hurt inside anymore. I don't want to be a bad person because of the hurt inside making me cold.

I have no interest anymore in doing the looking. It seems pointless somehow. But I am almost more confused now than ever. I'm confused all the time. I can't think clearly or express my thoughts, I can't make decisions. I know what I am, and I can see now that I'm always here, But I don't really notice me being here hardly ever, I don't have apperceptions of me hardly at all unless I make the forced effort. "I" and mind seem to be functionally equivalent.

I haven't gained more clarity or skillfulness at anything. Fog--or maybe "Acidic Fog"--is a good description of it. Everything is murky and pervaded with stinging fear and confusion. There seems to be no way out of it. All thought is distorted and clouded by the fear.

I just want the fear-fog to be lifted. Or I want hope that the fear will soon lift....hope to sustain me in surviving this recovery period. As I am now, I am so naked and alone. Torment comes and there's nothing to turn me away from it, nothing to help me see it through. But even when the fear departs, it's hard for me to see how life can be happy.

I am finding that I am unable to function sufficiently in daily life. I am not really able to pay the bills right now, I am not able to maintain my relationships, I am not able to be responsible enough to keep my practical affairs in order. I am always trying to escape the tormented feelings. I don't want to face anything. I only avoid proactivity and discipline.

That's where I'm at right now. That's my progress report. I don't know what else to say. I don't know whether to post this, but posting it and reading responses is better than sitting alone in hopelessness.

Gerrit

gerrit,

have you ever tried to get a direct experience of the you-ness of you? I know that you know it's always there. I know that you know the right direction in which to look. But have you tried with all the energy of your hatred and confusion to actually get an experience of this feeling-knowing-whatever?

There is a reason in my words. I've noticed recently that while I was doing the looking for quite a long time I somehow was not fully into it. My relationship with the act was that of a consumer. I gave only a part of my attention to the me-ness and waited for the pure gold in return. Don't get me wrong, I was doing it quite often but I just didn't really try to EXPERIENCE what it's really like to be me.

Looking at yourself to be happy is one thing.

Looking at yourself to get a direct experience of yourself is another affair.

May be that will help.

P.S. Your state is also known to me. May be I will return to it. If I die in misery at least I'll try to find solace in the fact that I am not alone. So if the looking doesn't work, I'll see you in Hell. smily

Yes, I follow you

My friend, the Dude,

ElDuderino

Have you ever tried to get a direct experience of the you-ness of you? I know that you know it's always there. I know that you know the right direction in which to look. But have you tried with all the energy of your hatred and confusion to actually get an experience of this feeling-knowing-whatever?

There is a reason in my words. I've noticed recently that while I was doing the looking for quite a long time I somehow was not fully into it. My relationship with the act was that of a consumer. I gave only a part of my attention to the me-ness and waited for the pure gold in return. Don't get me wrong, I was doing it quite often but I just didn't really try to EXPERIENCE what it's really like to be me.

I seriously believe that I've done exactly that...that I've put everything else aside, even all expectations, and just looked. And, unless deluded, I believe with all my available heart that I've seen me and now consciously know me (despite the fact that we aren't looking to see, we're just looking to look, I know).

But I certainly and totally understand what you're saying, from experience, and appreciate the advice to watch out for that pitfall.

ElDuderino

Looking at yourself to be happy is one thing.

Looking at yourself to get a direct experience of yourself is another affair.

Again, I think I get this. And, funny enough, having seen that the act of looking does not correlate well to happiness, that is probably one reason why I have mostly lost interest in doing the looking. The only benefits are long-term but far away, which is ok I guess, if I can just hold out.

ElDuderino

P.S. Your state is also known to me. May be I will return to it. If I die in misery at least I'll try to find solace in the fact that I am not alone. So if the looking doesn't work, I'll see you in Hell smily

Hahaha, the best words of support yet! Take care Nick, you're awesome.

Gerrit

How to find hope

gerrit

How do I find hope?

I am very much in "the fog of fear" as John calls it; actually, it's more like a cesspool. As much as try to hold on to hope, it slips away so quickly. As much as I would like to trust life, or be patient, I just don't seem to be able to.

Increasing fear is causing increasing neurotic methods of trying to avoid whatever makes me feel fear, which in turn is causing increasing hatred and bitterness, which is causing me to be more and more callous and selfish and unconcerned about the suffering of anybody else but myself. I have hardly any control anymore over my reactions and mental state. Somebody says something trying to be helpful, but it causes a fearful reaction in me which makes me mean to them and stop talking to them.

I am not interested in life. I don't see how life can bring happiness. I don't want to hurt inside anymore. I don't want to be a bad person because of the hurt inside making me cold.

I have no interest anymore in doing the looking. It seems pointless somehow. But I am almost more confused now than ever. I'm confused all the time. I can't think clearly or express my thoughts, I can't make decisions. I know what I am, and I can see now that I'm always here, But I don't really notice me being here hardly ever, I don't have apperceptions of me hardly at all unless I make the forced effort. "I" and mind seem to be functionally equivalent.

I haven't gained more clarity or skillfulness at anything. Fog--or maybe "Acidic Fog"--is a good description of it. Everything is murky and pervaded with stinging fear and confusion. There seems to be no way out of it. All thought is distorted and clouded by the fear.

I just want the fear-fog to be lifted. Or I want hope that the fear will soon lift....hope to sustain me in surviving this recovery period. As I am now, I am so naked and alone. Torment comes and there's nothing to turn me away from it, nothing to help me see it through. But even when the fear departs, it's hard for me to see how life can be happy.

I am finding that I am unable to function sufficiently in daily life. I am not really able to pay the bills right now, I am not able to maintain my relationships, I am not able to be responsible enough to keep my practical affairs in order. I am always trying to escape the tormented feelings. I don't want to face anything. I only avoid proactivity and discipline.

That's where I'm at right now. That's my progress report. I don't know what else to say. I don't know whether to post this, but posting it and reading responses is better than sitting alone in hopelessness.

Gerrit

Dear Gerrit,

Everything I think to respond with sounds trite to me in view of your pain. But here are my 2-cents worth, anyway. In my experience, hope cannot be found or manufactured. Hope seems to arise of its own accord when we see a ray of light. I have one suggestion only: Find a way to be especially kind to yourself during this period. Allow yourself to feel exactly what you are feeling and not do exactly what you are not doing. And wait for the ray of light. One thing about life you can count on: things will change and we have no control over it. For what it is worth, my ray of hope is this: Life always has our best interest at heart, even when we don't. Lera Jane

Gerritt, I can certainly relate to your schlumpy situation. Hopelessness, extreme agitation with everything and everyone, even all of this looking, forums etc. I remain skeptical that the looking thing is working for me. I listen to the podcasts once in a while and feel a bit more inspired, then back to hopelessness and so on. This is really not fun. It is especially not nice when we may be have some existential stress, but to top it off, the financial and relationship stresses compound everything and it feels desparate....I know this very well.

Pretty much everything I come across lately including John's information points to 'self-reliance'. I keep that in mind and sometimes we just have to choose to be kind to ourselves through these dark times. Go out for a nature walk, do some of our favorite activities, get a massage, be kind, be gentle.....let go of trying so hard.

Hope you move through the heaviness of this schlumpiness....

Gail

Hi Gerrit,

Thanks for you post. It gave me hope even though I wasn't looking or feeling the need for it. I remember vaguely a quote about hope, can't remember by who, that described the idea: It said that it wasn't so much a conviction that something will turnout right, but more a certainty that something makes sense, regardless of the outcome. It seems to me that the looking makes sense to you, regardless of your feelings about it, or the outcomes your experiencing now. If it didn't I doubt you would have made the effort to communicate.

What you describe makes sense from my perspective. I had very similar experiences of my own. Every understanding I had prior to the looking has been turned on its head. That experience initially brought about for me the same circumstances that you describe.

Your mention of "increasing fear" helped me to realize that for me the fear of life had actually lost its foothold, which caused a panic in my automated protection system, which felt like increasing fear.

Your experience has helped me to realize a new and more useful definition of hope, Thanks! I'm sure that you'll come to see how much hope you actually have in time, though I'd bet that it wont mean whatever it means to you now. Old ideas and useless definitions and protection practices died hard for me, as they seem to be for you, and ironically that gives me hope. Hang in there man! "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what your gonna get."

Always in love

Mike

Dear Gerritt

My experience is that once I looked at myself the recovery was underway, there were certain aspects of my personality which I wasn't even aware of which surfaced and still do... I too felt totally helpless, mainly a deep self-pity, fear of violence, neediness for love , attention..overwhelming anxiety etc. etc.it's been 3 years and as I look back it's been like this... One day I would realize... What the hell where did that one go? Really it's that amazing. The mindfullness on the breath is helpful too but really it is just patience. At some point the tables turn and the background sense of 'me' becomes the foreground and the chaos of the personality is just not problematic. I may still feel a sensation or emotion arising but my attention doesn't feel so drawn to go there. It's so hard to describe but the looking really is foolproof, it's just 'me' I'm looking at and I'm always here, the same as the 'you' you are looking at.(enough pronouns for you, ha!)

Much love, thanks for all you share,

Maureen

Maureen I

Dear Gerritt

..I may still feel a sensation or emotion arising but my attention doesn't feel so drawn to go there... It's so hard to describe but the looking really is foolproof, it's just 'me' I'm looking at and i'm always here..the same as the 'you' you are looking at..

much love , thanks for all you share.

Maureen

Great post Maureen, this has been my experience as well. Old habits, thinking, ways of being that didn't really serve me just fell to the wayside. You are correct, the Looking is foolproof, and this is good news... smily

Just saying hello and thank you

Hi Gerrit

I want to echo what Lera Jane said about trying to be kind to yourself as this period unfolds. Try to make room for whatever you are feeling without judging it or yourself... it will move .

I do want to tell you how much I have appreciated your presence on the forums. I don't say lots but I read the posts quite a bit and your words have been very helpful to me and I want to thank you for that. Take good care.

Paul

thanks everyone

lerajane

Dear Gerrit,

Everything I think to respond with sounds trite to me in view of your pain. But here are my 2-cents worth, anyway. In my experience, hope cannot be found or manufactured. Hope seems to arise of its own accord when we see a ray of light. I have one suggestion only: Find a way to be especially kind to yourself during this period. Allow yourself to feel exactly what you are feeling and not do exactly what you are not doing. And wait for the ray of light. One thing about life you can count on: things will change and we have no control over it. For what it is worth, my ray of hope is this: Life always has our best interest at heart, even when we don't. Lera Jane

Thank you very much, Lera. Your care matters to me, and your sensitivity in not wanting to give me trite responses means a lot. I wish I could be kinder to myself, but it's hard. What I'm often feeling is intense terror and self-hatred, so allowing that only seems to make it worse. I don't know, maybe I'm not even able to allow it. I wish I could believe that life has our interests at heart; I used to.

Maureen I

Dear Gerritt

My experience is that once I looked at myself the recovery was underway, there were certain aspects of my personality which I wasn't even aware of which surfaced and still do. I too felt totally helpless, mainly a deep self-pity, fear of violence, neediness for love, attentio, overwhelming anxiety etc. etc. It's been 3 years and as I look back it's been like this, one day I would realize. W, what the hell where did that one go? Really it's that amazing... the mindfullness on the breath is helpful too but really it is just patience ..at some point the tables turn and the background sense of 'me' becomes the foreground and the chaos of the personality is just not problematic... I may still feel a sensation or emotion arising but my attention doesn't feel so drawn to go there...it's so hard to describe but the looking really is foolproof, it's just 'me' I'm looking at and I'm always here The same as the 'you' you are looking at. (enough pronouns for you, ha!)

Much love, thanks for all you share.

What can I say? Thank you so much. You offer a really encouraging and confirming report. I'll try to hang in there.

Mike Helsher

It seems to me that the looking makes sense to you, regardless of your feelings about it, or the outcomes your experiencing now. If it didn't I doubt you would have made the effort to communicate.

What you describe makes sense from my perspective. I had very similar experiences of my own. Every understanding I had prior to the looking has been turned on its head. That experience initially brought about for me the same circumstances that you describe.

Your mention of "increasing fear" helped me to realize that for me the fear of life had actually lost its foothold, which caused a panic in my automated protection system, which felt like increasing fear.

Thanks, Mike. You're right, for my own reasons I still hold the looking as being different than anything else in the world. I see it as the only way I know to see me, which is the most primal truth. Even if the looking does nothing in the end, I still revere it as being the gold nugget hidden within all the spiritual teachings because glimpsing myself is as far as I can go, I think. There's nothing beyond me.

GailH

Gerrit, I can certainly relate to your schlumpy situation. Hopelessness, extreme agitation with everything and everyone, even all of this looking, forums etc. I remain skeptical that the looking thing is working for me. I listen to the podcasts once in a while and feel a bit more inspired, then back to hopelessness and so on. This is really not fun. It is especially not nice when we may be have some existential stress, but to top it off, the financial and relationship stresses compound everything and it feels desparate. I know this very well.

Pretty much everything I come across lately including John's information points to 'self-reliance'. I keep that in mind and sometimes we just have to choose to be kind to ourselves through these dark times. Go out for a nature walk, do some of our favorite activities, get a massage, be kind, be gentle, let go of trying so hard.

Hope you move through the heaviness of this schlumpiness.

Thank you Gail. I know you're in a somewhat similar place right now. We're both kind of petulant children in this forum who won't be contented with most reassurances, lol.

I am taking up the self-reliance thing lately. Not in terms of being kind to myself, but in terms of forcing myself to abandon self-pity and only allow positive attitudes. Despite being afraid of psychological medications, I'm probably going to get some anti-anxiety pills or something.

Great appreciation toward all. I hope so much that I'll come around. I can feel so much natural inherent love and light and joy inside that has wanted to burst out for so long, but that has been throttled by the fear all this time. How nice it would be if I could one day have that barrier removed and open my heart up to the world. I hope that's more than just fantasy.

Gerrit

Reflection

gerrit

How nice it would be if I could one day have that barrier removed and open my heart up to the world. Gerrit

Dear Gerrit,

... I think maybe you just did.

With love,

Dawn

 

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