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The good, the bad and the ugly. Tuesday January 3, 2017

Are you struggling to hear all the “Happy New Year” wishes and secretly can’t wait for this period to be passed? No? Just me then.

I am aware that turning the calendar over one day doesn’t erase all that has gone before and the ‘miserable’ side of me can feel irritated that at New Year we experience a barrage of positive wishes. We exist a whole 365 days a year after all!

I feel huge pressure about the expectations that others and I put on myself. This year I will be; healthier than before, more social, more fun loving, more spontaneous or just ‘more’. What is ‘more’? I interpret it to be ‘better’ than before, less difficult, less serious, less depressed... and yet all these parts of me are me and need attention.

I find myself thinking about the parts of me that others would like to change and the parts that I would like to lose too. However, I recognise that I, like many others, are a complex mixture of all of our parts – the good, the bad and the ugly.

This reminds me of Raymond Meredith Belbin who writes about ‘Team Roles’ and describes how we all have a ‘team role’ which describes how we behave based on our personalities and talents.

When Belbin describes each role he explains that each has a ‘strength’ and also it’s opposite, which he calls an ‘allowable weakness’. In fact he goes as far to say that if we focus on improving our ‘allowable weakness’ we are in danger of diluting our strength. Wow! Imagine if we were to allow ourselves the luxury of accepting all of our parts, even our allowable weaknesses?

So my fellow Moodscopers – what I wish you this New Year is that you find the courage to embrace all of your parts and give particular attention to those ‘allowable weaknesses’. Let us all accept all our parts with tolerance, acceptance and maybe eventually compassion.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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DAVE Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 7:34am

Hi Anne,
Thank you for your thoughts.
I believe that we are no different to all others struggling with all types of adversity. I am at the late afternoon of my life...I have up until 10years spent hours and hours searching the reasons for Bipolar and sought many remedies, all of which, basically were either placebo or I was led to believe that it was a cure all for this type of adversity.

But in these last 10 years, maybe because I've matured to the extent that all events, both good and not so good are observed through the eyes and ears, end up logged somewhere in the depths of the mind. These recordings are replayed as we witness the identical part of these good and not so good events, they replay over and over in our minds.
These events of interacting with others are the very lifeline that shapes our individual persona.....Very very few of these encounters give us enough power to remain self contained, self reliant, and self confident.

The events that are the BUILDING BLOCKS and foundation stones are those which, when we think more of other people. How we can 'LOOSE ourselves in the service of another'. Generally we witness those whose lives we have brought happiness.....In so doing... It is OUR heart which is effected.
What we have experienced through our own EYES is the love reflected in the recipients EYES...A love of someone like you whose shown empathy in 'reaching out' and GIVING of yourself in time and talent.

We have the EYES, the MIND, the EARS and the HEART, these FOUR organs have more significance when used as were DESIGNED.
How we use them can In my opinion affect WITHOUT doubt OUR MOOD, much more than any prescribed medication...I'm not saying that these legal meds are superfluous, they do have a place.

But stepping away from the 'Groove of our daily adversity' will give us more satisfaction and joy, taking us away AUTOMATICALLY to an elevated positive lifestyle, which give us the purpose to LIVE and find TRUE happiness, rather than dwelling on 'POOR ME' and all types of negativity which attracts those of us who constantly focus on our all ailments which will 'in this state if mind'' continue to 'PULL US DOWN To THE DEPTHS OF DESPAIR !
Let look Outwards and not Inwards and start to live a life full of love for one another.
God bless Dave.

Lex Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 8:55am

This is deep and a highly valued reflection, Dave. Perhaps, using the metaphor of 'Janus' looking both ways, there is scope for looking out and inwards in equal measure. Perhaps, just perhaps, balance is achieved this way. As is the inside, so is the outside; as is the outside, so is the inside. Macrocosm, microcosm.

Anne Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 3:59pm

Hi Dave Thank you for providing such a rich and thought provoking response. I have read your share a number of times and I keep coming back to the words 'individual persona' and 'purpose to LIVE' and 'find TRUE Happiness' I particularly appreciate the encouragement to look outwards and not inwards, if this results in a life with unconditional love for one another, than I for one will be focusing on this as a goal... Thanks again Dave

Hopeful One Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 8:30am

Hi Anne- thank you for an interesting stimulating blog.Your last para really resonates with me. In fact I think that is the key to keep the 'inside' in harmony no matter what is happening on the 'outside'. I would go as far as to say that our happiness lies 'within' and not 'outside' This might explain why people continue to be unhappy when ,on the face of it, they seem to have everything in terms of wealth relationships etc-it seems they have neglected their 'inside'.

Here is today's laugh.

Four ladies are having brunch together. The first one tells her friends, "My son is a priest. When he walks into a room, everyone calls him 'Father'." The second woman chirps, "My son is a Bishop. Whenever he walks into a room, people say, 'Your Grace'." The third Catholic woman says smugly, "My son is a Cardinal. Whenever he walks into a room, people say, 'Your Eminence'." The fourth lady sips her coffee in silence. The first three women give her this subtle "Well.....?" She replies, "My son is a gorgeous, 6'3", hard bodied stripper. When he walks into a room, the women say, 'Oh my God...'

Lex Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 8:51am

Ha ha ha ha, I've got a new friend who'd appreciate that... and he's not religious! ;0)

Anne Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 5:13pm

Thanks for your reply Hopeful one - particularly the joke, along with the reminder that it is about balancing what is going on on in the inside with what is happening externally too... Here's to balance in all things

Eva Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 8:31am

Hi Anne I very much like your sentiment to embrace all aspects of our character. I myself don't feel pressure at this time of year, the new year resolution has never impacted, I can't acknowledge it as something worthwhile doing, I'd rather decide to do something about health/ambition when the time is right. It's not a conscious reaction to the tradition it's just never meant anything to me, I guess I see it as a marketing tool and as such one I can ignore quite happily.

Anne Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 5:16pm

Hi Eva I am glad to hear you don't feel the pressure of this time of year, this is something I aspire to... I don't think it is the marketing tool per se that is a pressure, it is the willing surrendering of what feels right to go along with the masses.. For those who feel this is right, great... for me, I want to feel more resilience in being true to my truth

Lex Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 8:49am

I do love the idea, Anne, of allowing myself a weakness. It reminds me of the wonderful role ofJulia Sawalha as Miss Dorcas Lane in "Lark Rise to Candleford" and her catchphrase of this being, " one weakness." Of course, if you saw the series, she played that card numerous times - all with an alternative weakness. Here's to a string of enjoyable weaknesses this year - relished, accepted and acknowledged for what they are.

Orangeblossom Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 8:52am

Thanks for your blog Anne. I enjoyed it very much. Self-acceptance is a battle for me. I think that I accept myself and then the situation changes and I no longer accept myself as I am. For me it is a continuous process.

Anne Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 5:19pm

Thank you for commenting Orangeblossom... This was my first blog and my 'fear' of it not speaking to anyone, has held me back for months from writing and submitting anything.... I feel encouraged! Maybe I could write about 'fear' and how 'acceptance' might be the antidote! ;-)

Leah Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 9:03am

An insightful blog? Are you the same Anne who a few days was worrying if her blog would be good enough?
You have given me a lot to think about. I allow myself many weaknesses.

Anne Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 5:21pm

Hi Leah... YES!! I be the same Anne who you encouraged to write and just submit something. It was the 'kick' (a gentle kick) I needed to encourage me to write, rewrite and just submit! Caroline was most kind and generously said that this blog would be shared... Now it's done and out there - it's not so scary after all! THANKS for your encouragement, blogs and feedback - it means a lot :-)

The Gardener Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 10:28am

First, thanks to the lovely people yesterday who offered me soup. Mulled wine more useful - very cold here, half the property has no heating (could not afford it anyway) so have rescued snow boots from the dump bag. My weakness is a major one - finding a philosophy to remain calm when Mr G comes home - my 'holiday' as in 'respite' has been very fruitful - so busy trying to keep a bit of it for the future. I have not wished Mr G Happy New Year - advised to keep firmly away from hospital during respite - if I visit only upsets us both (several people here have had to deal with that highly emotional problem, I think). Re New Year wishes, you should live in France. I once tried to establish what was the 'cut off' point to 'Bonnee Annees' 'Meilleur voeux' etc. Vague idea end January definitely the end. I will often do the greeting several times - with people who can't remember if they have met me yet in 2017 and decide better to do it again to make sure. Then there is the 'toughie', the 'voeux' of the Mayor. Really, a State of the Union telling us all they achieved last year. Can take up to an hour, there are no chairs, and you risk, depending how many you attend, being stuffed yet again with 'galette des rois'. Flaky pastry with a filling of frangipane, destined for Epiphany, and with little china figures inside for 'luck', not always lucky on the teeth. The recipient of the china figure gets to wear the crown. HO, again, love it.Bit different here, priest from the Cameroons, first week on Christian name terms, 'tutoyer' (familiar form of 'you' for non French speakers) and kissing

Mary Wednesday Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 11:23am

My one weakness..... is that I am weak.... As a Belbin teamworker (I think that's one of them) I see everyone's side in an argument and am for peace at almost any price. On the other hand, every team I have ever been on is happy and productive. Maybe this reluctance to avoid confrontation is an allowable weakness.... although, being married to another teamworker means that sometimes we don't resolve things that really need resolving...

Anne Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 5:25pm

Hi Mary Wednesday Thanks for commenting on the blog...and for sharing you are teamworker - excellent! A teamworker is essential, they are the salve in a team full of grit and irritation! Yes, there is an allowable weakness, in that under pressure a Teamworker will not make a decision (to avoid upsetting anyone)...but they are the 'glue' in a team, that make things function and function well... If you married another teamworker, then harmony could be yours! :-)

Norman Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 12:11pm

Anne, many thanks for that post. I am a "plant" and a "shaper." I am not a "completer-finisher." Those people irritate me to bits, the irritation made even worse by the realisation that I need them if I am ever to get anything done...

Anne Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 5:26pm

This made me smile least you recognise your irritation AND that you need the CF too... that in itself is an insight some Plant/Shaper's wouldn't see!

The Gardener Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 2:01pm

Lex, thanks for the reminder about Dorcas Lane - catchphrase never palled - that impish face as she said the 'only' weakness. Mary - admitting to being weak? Many people say they don't know how I carry on - they could not do it. But I bet that faced with my circumstances most people would cope - an inner strength emerges (no choice in most cases) and the fact that whatever hell you are going through that person is/was near and dear to you. The actress Sarah Miles was at a health farm when I was there (a rare treat) she had a well-pulicised tempestuous marriage with Robert Bolt, the playwright -he had a stroke and she looked after him - and kept a very low profile. Just been to hospital despite respite - Mr G's white corpuscles very low - they wanted his history - he has had his stick removed for laying about the nurses - what is my future? The word 'weakness' is forbidden

The Gardener Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 2:11pm

Didn't mean to comment - slip of the keys

Anne Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 5:32pm

Hello The Gardener... I am glad you had a 'slip of the keys' sounds like it might be a good way to get 'stuff out' rather than keep it in?! I hope the 'slip' helped? Clearly you have a BIG dose of inner strength and it is sustaining you (and MR G) at a time when others can't imagine how they would be able to do what you do and to do it so tirelessly... If you decide 'weakness' is forbidden...what might you accept? I wonder if you might allow yourself to feel vulnerable, scared and wobbly...all of which require COURAGE to even think let alone say... Be gentle with yourself where you can and I hope that we (Me and other Moodscopers) hear/read more from you in the day's ahead...

Michael Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 5:39pm

My greatest weakness is that I don't know my own strength!

Michael Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 5:47pm

On a more serious note. The apparent weakness of depression has ripped off a lot of my blinkers.
Seeing life as it really is minus rose tinted glasses. Seeing through conditioning, belief etc etc. It gives us a chance to wipe the slate clean, start anew. Then only add back in the things I decide are useful rather than those dictated by the group consciousness.

The Gardener Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 5:56pm

Thanks Anna - I do feel 'scared and wobbly', but not really vulnerable because of the incredible back up I get. At lowest ebb before Christmas there was a 'tactful' rescue operation, the chemist even offering to stay the night with me. Struggling with practical details - bitterly cold, and still battling with a house with TWO central heating systems, and no money for clocks to set them - have to run downstairs in morning, set boiler to have kitchen warm for Mr G, having set the upstairs one for the nurses to deal with him. I really need to eat, and eat well - but like so many old people it becomes a chore - not going out - again, cold, and any restaurant open will be 'hungover'. Heigh-ho, a nice Kir and life should look better.

Anne Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 9:02pm

Hi again the Gardener - I feel some relief and gratitude for the 'tactful rescue operation', it sounds like you have some good folks around you. Sometimes it is the smallest things, the things that others might not even notice that make all the difference... Hang on in there, accept help if and when it comes and I hope that you, Mr G and the central heating systems ALL get the attention they need to help navigate the current circumstances Be gentle in all things..

Jane Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 6:01pm

Thank your for the insightful words Anne. I have tried more and more over the past few weeks to be authentic and therefore show more of my real self whom I believe to be quite weak, silly even. To still be accepted by others is wonderful but self love is needed first for courage. I'm still working hard on this one! My brother died a few days before Christmas. My other brother, in comforting me, told me how much my brother had loved me. Then he said 'everyone loves Jane, accept for Jane herself.' These words have stayed with me.

Anne Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 9:12pm

Hello Jane
You are right, self love really needs to come first and whilst it sounds simple, it's not easy...

I was sorry to read of your bereavement, death at any time is painful, and at Christmas it can feel as if the 'clocks all stand still'.
Whilst your other brother sought to share how loved you are, it is interesting how the words both 'gave and took away', offering a 'gift' of affirmation, acceptance and love but one that also could be heard as you somehow not measuring up and being able to love yourself...
Hell! Loving ourselves is one of the most difficult things that we can do...

I wondered if you have come across Brene Brown? She has written a number of books and she also has some TED talks on the net which are worth a watch if you haven't seen them. She writes about vulnerability, courage, compassion and there is a quote that sums things up nicely;

“I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.” ? Brené Brown

Please be gentle with yourself Jane and take the good from what you heard your brother say and leave the rest... I often find that I am a harder critic of myself than anyone else would ever be. It's a daily challenge, but I work on seeing myself as a good friend might - with a big dose of acceptance, humour, humanity and compassion. When I adopt that position - it gives me hope....

Jane Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 9:57pm

Dear Anne, thank you so much for taking the time to reply in such a caring and thoughtful way. Yes I know Brene Brown but have not listened to her for a while. This is a timely reminder to me to hear/read her words again. I'm so glad you work on giving yourself the gift of a good friend Anne and I shall try to remember to do the same. Thank you xx

Anne Wed, Jan 4th 2017 @ 9:01am

Enjoy Brene and remember, BE gentle x

Salt Water Mum Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 9:18pm

Thank you and Well done anne on your first blog.

Dear Jane, I want to send you a ginormous virtual hug. Your words and your brother's words have moved me. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss.
Please take care of your lovely self.


Anne Wed, Jan 4th 2017 @ 9:02am

Thank you Salt Water Mum (fab name!).. setting a 'plan' (NOT a goal) to write others too x

Jane Tue, Jan 3rd 2017 @ 9:59pm

Dear SWM, your ginormous virtual hug has lifted my heart. Thank you so, so much. I'm sending one right back now to show you how grateful I am xx

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