2022.01.12 Journal

* 30 minutes on the programming tutorial
* Day One of journaling about Apathy/Helplessness/Hopeless

* Meditation – Day 674
* Journaling – Day 17
* Yoga – Day 16

Reflections:: 8:26am I’ve been awake since around 7am. That’s later than I usually wake up, so I’m wondering if I have covid or something. My heart rate is 53, which is in my normal range, but a friend that I hung out with on Sunday messaged me saying that he tested positive after spending time with a group of other friends the previous day. So it’s very likely I was exposed on Sunday. This is the 4th time I’m aware of being in close exposure that I’m aware of and somehow have yet to test positive or exhibit symptoms so I’m assuming I must have already gotten it at this point and was asymptomatic, or I’ve just not gotten a high-enough exposure to get a breakthrough infection. I’m finding a noticeable increase in my awareness of when my mind wanders, which is I’m loving. Now I want to experiment with training myself to notice distractions before my mind wanders.

Apathy/ Helplessness/ Hopelessness – This is generally a state I don’t identify with that much because it’s part of my self-image to be action-oriented. However, given that it’s a necessary state one passes through when going from Guilt/Victimhood/Blame to Grief/ Sadness/ Regret & Depression, I’m operating under the assumption that it must serve a purpose, and if I look hard enough, I might find it in some areas that I’ve felt guilt about, where I’ve not yet felt grief. So thinking about the things I feel guilt around or felt strong feelings in general, let’s put them in a few buckets:

  • Feelings around Biological Family Relationships
    • Father
    • Mother
    • Sisters
    • Extended family
  • Feelings around social, non-family relationships
    • Sexual relationships
    • Romantic relationships
    • Platonic friendships
  • Feelings around work relationships
    • With people in positions of power over me
    • With people who are colleagues
    • With people who I have power over

And then with each of those situations, there are general buckets around how I interacted that cause strong feelings that I need to let go of later:

  • Times when I did or did not do something
  • Times I said or did not say something

And then the reasons why typically fall into:

  • I acted or did not act in a manner I am not proud of because I was scared and didn’t motivate myself to act in a courageous manner
  • I acted or did not act in a manner I am not proud of because I was not considerate or conscious enough to think of the option of acting in a conscientious manner

OK, so with those things listed above, I can follow a process to bring to light situations that I’m likely to have strong feelings around. For example, running down the first option in each section: Feelings around my father, when I did something, and acted in a manner I am not proud of because I was scared and didn’t motivate myself to act in a courageous manner. So here, I can think of telling him to go away and never contacting me again, instead of telling him he hurt my feelings. Let me pause for a bit and feel that. I just paused for about a minute. Yes, that is an option I did not consider as a kid. And given my home environment, that makes a lot of sense. My father clearly did not care about my mother’s feelings – he hurt her feelings all the time. She was often crying on the phone. And he didn’t exhibit any evidence to suggest he cared about my sisters’ or my feelings either. Actually, quite the opposite. So it seems positively adaptive that younger me would have not considered the option, or have considered it a few times, tried it, realize it didn’t get any positive feedback, and stopped considering it. That makes a lot of sense. So if there’s no point to expressing the feelings, there’s less of an incentive to be aware of them and consciously feel them in the first place. So of course someone in that state wouldn’t feel them. OK. And there’s a clear example of a situation where there was apathy around a situation of conditioned helplessness/ hopelessness. OK so between now and the next time I journal, I can sit in a space of feeling how I’ve thought that situation around not feeling or expressing emotions was “just the way things are” and rationalizing apathy/ helplessness/ hopelessness. 9:01am.

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