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Take my advice. Sunday November 8, 2015

I have a card in my shop that says take my advice, I am not using it. This makes me smile because it is so true for me and I assume for others as well.

Why is it so easy to give out my opinion on a range of issues and instruct others what to do, yet when it comes to receiving advice I find it very hard.

It seems so easy for me to advise others, to share my wise words,to listen very carefully and compassionately yet when I am given advice I sometimes find my mind closing and feeling a bit annoyed.

I think it is human nature to want to help others especially if they come to us seeking help. Being kind to others is seen as being generous and is respected by others, so we take time and effort to counsel others. However I know I treat myself very differently than I would a friend in need.

I would never tell a friend, or anyone who ask for my advice, "to get over it", "to stop being so lazy", "to think of others and stop being so self-absorbed" and "just think of all those people who are worse off than you."

Who would treat anyone like that, anyone they cared for, but that is how I treat/talk to myself and I am sure many others do too.

I once told a friend who had been feeling guilty over something trivial, to forgive herself as she was a compassionate person who did not deserve her harsh treatment. I have no such understanding for myself.

Advice always seems easier to give that to receive. Even in Moodscope I sometimes feel like a fraud because I can write kind reassuring words to others but am often impatient with myself.

Can you receive advice as easily as you give it?

Are you more a giver/receiver of advice?

A Moodscope member.

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

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Debs Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 7:42am

Such a lovely blog Leah and so so true. I spend so much time being supportive of friends, offering comfort, telling them to be compassionate with themselves, to practice self-care, not to get caught in thought. But do I listen to and take this advice myself? Seldom. I will push myself to do better, try harder, be more. I've been in a dip recently and my self-talk is worse than ever, I've found myself thinking I'm weak for 'not being better yet', I'm a failure because I 'can't manage my thoughts' and I'm not good enough because... well, too many reasons to list! I would never talk to another living soul like this, would hug them, tell them to be gentle and kind, remind them the thoughts are just a symptom, not reality and to let them float past like clouds. And I would tell them I loved them and was always here for them. It's time to start doing this for ourselves isn't it? Thank you lovely for bringing this up and be gentle on you today ;-) xxx

Bearofliddlebrain Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 1:06pm

Hiya Debs, just to say I do hope today is a brighter day for you and you are on the path upwards and out of the miserable dip. You are a kind and caring person to many peeps here on Moodscope as well as a loving mum to your liddle peeps...never forget that. Be gentle with yourself today, Bear hugs x

Debs Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 5:32pm

Thank you bear, I always feel like I've had a huge hug when I read your words. I'm really bad tonight... I've been drawing for two days which should be something that makes me feel most alive and at peace but I feel neither of those. I've had to hold the tears in all day and as soon as I left the class I just cried and cried. I want a break from this. I have a couple of good days then a few bad and it repeats like that on a continuous basis... Has done for years. I am due a period this week so that will be contributing but really I'm so tired of managing my mood. What have I eaten? Have I slept enough? have I done my yoga, meditation, running? Have I kept track of my thoughts and challenged them? Have I kept off alcohol and had enough omega 3? It's exhausting. I've been with a friend this weekend who is as happy as larry, eating chocolate, drinking wine, going to bed late and not a care in the world. I know comparison is the worst thing you can do but I do sometimes think 'why can't it be that easy?!' I'd just like to wake up without a knot in my stomach, wake up feeling joy and excitement about life. That's not too much is it? Sorry - I'm not good online company at the moment! But it's good to share with a group who care. You are all so lovely - thank you for being out there xxx

Leah Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 7:16pm

Deb I can relate to so much of what you have written as many others will too, especially about wanting to wake up feeling joy and excitement. Thank you for your honesty and willingness to be vulnerable. Big hugs and kind thoughts from across the

Debs Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 7:42pm

Thank you dear Leah, it seems such a simple thing doesn't it, joy? I swear my good days are so incredibly rich because I never ever take them for granted. I hear people moaning about traffic and bills and other small stuff and I can't understand because I am just happy to feel good. I've been reading about Alistair Campbell tonight and his journey with depression - really interesting reading and gave me a glimmer of hope! It's so essential to keep hoping isn't it? I can never ever give up, no matter how long it takes... xx

Leah Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 7:55pm

Debs, See how you are always thinking of others. The head of our biggest organisation for depression here, said that each morning when we wkae up we should be grateful we are alive as that is the greatest gift of all. For someone like me who often wake sup grumpy and confused and is not fit to be around till much later in the day, it seems like a hard thing to do! Do you find reading books about others help you? I used to love reading autobiographies especially about people overcoming adversity. We will all keep going and help each other along the way. You have such a gift of being open that helps others so remember that. Hugs

Bearofliddlebrain Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 8:13pm

Grab cuppa tea and sit down Debs , I feel an essay coming on here! ....You've been drawing for two days and it hasn't brought you peace?? Then stop it, stop it now! If this was a booked-in and paid-for activity, I can understand why you've gone ahead with it...otherwise, me thinks you are like my dishwashwash....on overload! Flipping 'eck woman...breathe, calm down and give yourself a break!! Then there's your list: have you eaten well, taken vitamins....not drunk alcohol, slept enough....? Am I starting to get a liddle chink of light shining through into Debsworld from Bearworld? Does everything have to happen today? If I was a betting peeps, I bet that if I had written this list of things I should be aspiring to - you would tell me to forget most of the list and concentrate on eating good things..then you don't need the vitamins; have a smidge of your friend's choccit...she should share, it's rude not to; get what sleep you are able to, when you can; stop worrying about your thoughts and do as HO says and let them come and float by. (Easier said than done, I know, but you're not on a all doesn't have to be accomplished today!). I don't know about you, but you are wearing ME out! Stop putting so much pressure on yourself. I've been having a bit of a day of it and haven't helped myself by watching Remembrance Sunday service - although I want to remember...almost ran out of tissues and had to revert to bog roll!!! Then I cried at a soppy film! I have pulled a muscle (or something that resembles one) behind my shoulder blade and have had trouble breathing and sniffing without pain! But still put myself through the soppy film etc! There now, you can stop laughing at what I must have looked like and give yourself Bear's winging its merry way over now.....x

Debs Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 8:17pm

Thank you Leah, I don't feel like I do think of others but thank you for saying it! I feel like depression keeps me incredibly self-absorbed which is deeply uncomfortable. I read voraciously ;-) I'm constantly reading stories of hope and triumph over adversity (particularly depression) and each time I feel a faint flicker. To hear that loads of famous people suffer depression is a relief - I have to keep reminding myself isn't not my fault, I'm not weak, I'm determined to keep going and one day I will use this condition for good In the world. I have also started to tell people that depression is part of my life and not get caught up with what they do with that information. I tend to feel an automatic judgement - I create a story in my head that they are labelling me weak and helpless. But when someone tells me they experience depression I think the opposite! I think how brave they are for talking about it and being vulnerable and how much that helps others... Hmmm - another case of needing to take my own advice me thinks! xxx

Leah Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 8:20pm

Bear, You have said it so well.Hugs x

Leah Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 8:55am

Debs thank for your lovely words. I suppose we could try RATG's advice and say we used to fin it hard to be kind to ourselves, and maybe start with small steps and try and rephrase one negative thought at a time. Remember that being in a dip is ok it is how we get out of it. Take care

Anonymous Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 9:17am

Hi Leah. I tend to give advice and really hardly ever receive any. I guess I don't ask for it directly. If on the rare occasions I talk about my worries to anyone, my words come out as a package with the advice and answers there. But sometimes someone (close to me) will say something that really helps. I think the main reason I find it hard to accept advice and feel slightly irritated with it is because I feel I know myself far more than anyone else does. I know the answers anyway! Well I think I do. I was raised in a very dysfunctional but loving family where I was the solid one who tried to keep the peace. It's stood me in good stead as far as being able to see the whole picture but your blog has made me realise Leah that maybe my advice might irritate some people, that why should I be the one giving advice and not opening myself up to receiving it. (Jul)

Leah Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 10:26am

your thoughtful comment makes a lot of sense. I think it is complicated but you have shown me insights and given me much to think about. Thanks.

Bearofliddlebrain Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 1:08pm

Hi Anon, you are so right when you say 'you are irritated by the advice of ithers' - I know I do this to myself...perhaps it IS because deep down, we know what we should be doing to and for ourselves!!

Norman Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 10:29am

Thanks for that Leah. I remember some time ago I was working as a business adviser and having all sorts of financial problems at home. Eventually the penny dropped and I drew up a financial forecast for Norman & Son as though I was a client. The problem then became obvious and I was able to take steps to turn the situation around. Sometimes we just have to take the knowledge from one part of our lives and use it elsewhere.

Anonymous Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 11:32am

Hello Norman. Good to see your name. Yes that's an interesting solution to a problem to look at another part of our lives and apply it. I am not sure when you were discharged. If your blog was current yesterday, then it must be today? Anyway Bon Courage or what would you say to yourself?! (Leah, you have started me on all sorts of thought processes. Good blog!)

Bearofliddlebrain Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 12:13pm

Hey, Norman.....just caught up on the last few entries in reply to your blog yesterday and I'm so pleased you are doing well keeping off the alcohol :) Husband had three pints last night whilst we were out and I designated myself as the driver so I couldn't imbibe!! Bottles fefefizzy water for me, woohoo!! It's often the easiest way for me to not drink!! Am so chuffed for you, you are doing really well. I also like what you have written above: sometimes by putting ourselves into someone else's situation, we get the lightbulb moment....and the solution becomes obvious!

Anonymous Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 12:29pm

Hi again Norman. Bear prompted me to look again at your blog yesterday and I see you have 11 dry days and counting.... Great stuff. It's good you are having a few days sick leave too rather then rushing back to work. A friend of mind told me once she felt quite superior when she was in a pub and drinking non alcoholic beer. Quite a good feeling I reckon.

Bearofliddlebrain Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 1:10pm

Yes!!! I have named that look - The superior-cat's a good look especially the day after when everyone else is hungover and you're not, lol!

Leah Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 10:33am

Thanks Norman that is something to consider. I appreciate your reply.

Bearofliddlebrain Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 12:19pm

Dear Leah,
How right you are here, again! I thought this was you - with the mention of the shop! Someone, somewhere had a great idea about writing that post card for print....I wonder if they ever really thought that they didn't take their own advice too??
I am so quilty m'lud...always doling out the advice...when it's called for, obviously....I sometimes think I probably over do it here on Moodscope, but if I'm quilty, then we all are!! The trouble is, we often don't see the wood for the trees!! If the same things that happen to me, were happening to someone else I would console, commiserate, help, understand, show kindness, do the physical things that help someone out of their situation...but those pesky trees get in the way when it's happening to me!

Probably not a great analogy, but I'm sure you'll be kind enough to forgive me and my fuddled brain this morning!!
Great to 'hear' from you, Leah.
Bear x

Leah Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 7:20pm

Bear, I enjoy reading your comments and how you always seem to know what to say to people as it shows you really listen and understand them. I know people here appreciate your compassionate words. Your brain seems very clear and insightful to me and not fuddled at all. Thanks so much.

Bearofliddlebrain Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 8:15pm

Hug x

Hopeful One Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 2:01pm

Hi Leah- really insightful post- But did I not read somewhere " Never give advice- the wise don't need it and fools won't heed it"?

Leah Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 7:20pm

Hopeful, I like that, wonder if it is made in a card.

The Gardener Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 3:10pm

People often ask me for advice - 'how do I have a garden like yours', first have the ideas. or let someone else have them, then TLC,the people who don't realise plants need water! 'Can I have the recipe for that dish'. You certainly can't, not secret, but usually I have no idea how it came about.I am inundated with advice, most of it negative, impractical or both. Mostly, 'you must rest'. Why? I'm not falling over. My mother, who rested steadily from 60 to 100 years, was always saying 'can't you sit down', because she, of course, was bored. The next person who says 'that will never work' will get what for. I could write a book on how to kill moles, treatment for a bad back,repairing the computer, 'getting a little man in' (now, I would like advice on how you 'find' a little man', One, from our worst Jeremiah (male) was not to climb ladders when you're over 70. In a house with 3.5 meters ceiling you need a step-up to get the salt. And where to go/not go on holiday! My ma again 'Isn't England good enough for you?' And, if not England 'there's trouble out there' (in our case she was often right, but we didn't let on). I don't want advice, I know I'm in a mess, I KNOW I started it all, with the best intentions. But grim faces and head shakings are not welcome. Come in and have a coffee, help me lug my plants away from possible frosts, tell me silly jokes, just be silly? This is reaction to two hours in a geriatric hospital - you come out thanking God for your faculties, then asking him why he allows so many of us to live in such woeful misery. I've just harvested my ornamental gourds, now they are crazy. Sorry about all this - I've phoned or e-mailed all my friends, so now I've turned to Moodscope - I am sure it was never designed as a confessional!

Frankie Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 3:38pm

Maybe not a confessional, dear Gardener; but certainly as a help and support - so if confessional is what helps you, then confess away my friend! I know that I am not the only one who loves reading your posts about your memories - you paint such wonderful pictures ... Frankie

Maria Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 3:46pm

Hi Gardener! Not doling out advice but a virtual hug from across the pond :)

Leah Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 7:27pm

Gardener, Just love your post so much wonderful advice or is it just common sense gleaned from years of experience. You have already written a book- if you put all your posts and blogs and other writing you have done together there would be a whimsical, wise, book full of stories and practical advice and history. "just be silly" that is advice I will take- Thanks again for brightening up my day. Take care. Too early for me to share a silly joke.

Bearofliddlebrain Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 8:32pm

In the name of...nah, only confession I have is to confess I have a joke: man walks into a mental hospital to see how things are run. He asks the doctor 'how do you decide who needs to remain here as a patient?' The doctor says ' ah that's quite easy. I fill up a bath with water and offer the person a teaspoon, a cup or a bucket and see what they do to empty the bath.' ' Aha', says the man, 'you are hoping they will choose the bucket of course!' The doctor shakes his head and replies ' Er no, sir, I would hope they would pull the plug out! Now would you like a bed by the window?' Sleep well, dear friends. N night! Bear x

the room above the garage Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 3:39pm

Good one Leah. Fraudster checking in! I regularly counsel my son with his anxiety, I'm amazed at what comes out my mouth. I was touched when he told me "you give good speeches". I might try writing to myself a la Norman & Son. Thank you x.

Leah Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 7:29pm

RATG, Thank ratg. Let me know how writing to yourself goes. Thinking of you.

Frankie Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 3:39pm

So, so true, Leah - thank-you - reassuring to know it's not just me! I think we often all feel the same way ... Frankie

Leah Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 7:30pm

Frankie, I suppose at least we are ware we do it so hopefully that is a start.

Maria Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 3:48pm

Thank you Leah for a very insightful post! Sometimes my "gremlin" voices keep me from hearing my "inner" voice. Trying to be kinder to myself...

Leah Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 7:31pm

Maria Thanks for your reply. That is true that one voice can be louder than the other. let me know how trying to be kinder works for you.

alistair Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 6:26pm

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Being aware of being self critical is something I find useful, also making comparisions. Good luck in being kinder to yourself and watching your thinking and feelings.

Leah Mon, Nov 9th 2015 @ 12:31am

Alistair thanks for your comment. It is easy to say I will be kinder the hard part is doing it.

Conbar Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 6:44pm

I have to honestly say that I am ope to all and any advice and try anything and everything to try to get me out of this. But it is hard not to name yourself for not being able to despite trying. Not knowing what is causing me to wake up daily with a panic attack is really frustrating, but keeping positive and always open for advice. I usually pass on anything that seems to have helped me. Thanks x

Leah Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 7:33pm

Conbar, Thanks for your thoughtful comment. It is good you are open for advice and are willing to help others.

Conbar Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 6:46pm

Sorry a few spelling mistakes there! Should be open not ope and blame not name! Whoops!

Leah Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 7:34pm

Conbar, Don't sorry about typos I am queen of typos- my blogs usually have a few even after I have gone through it with a find tooth comb!! I did not even notice yours.

Conbar Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 6:50pm

I have to honestly say that I am ope to all and any advice and try anything and everything to try to get me out of this. But it is hard not to name yourself for not being able to despite trying. Not knowing what is causing me to wake up daily with a panic attack is really frustrating, but keeping positive and always open for advice. I usually pass on anything that seems to have helped me. Thanks x

Conbar Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 6:51pm

Not sure how this got duplicated, sorry!

Leah Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 7:35pm

There are gremlins, so easy to do. i was going to say no need to say sorry but I wrote a blog about how I always say sorry. So that is a perfect example of me giving advice but not taking it!!

The Gardener Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 8:36pm

This is purely for the insomniacs. Just had a lonely (as in on my own) but pleasant meal, as I knew half the people in the restaurant. I thought so much about Leah's blog, and the giving and taking of advice. The story that follows may be a bit hard on the blokes, but it was the custom of the time. In the late 70's I was up for two travelling scholarships, and was awarded the one partly sponsored by a major bank. Being only the third woman to get this scholarship, and the first one to work on it outside the UK, there was massive publicity - pictures, writing, and being lunched. The most spectacular was in the city board room dining room of one of the big 'five' After about 3 double vodkas served in priceless Waterford Glass goblets I asked for the loo. Consternation. They did NOT have a ladies. The butler was called, and I presume I had the MD's private facilities, vaguely remember they were pretty palatial. The jollies over, we were 'briefed' and this is where I really do refer to Leah's blog. My mentors were a military gentleman, a big banana of the bank and a high up in our industry. Firstly, my programme, driving myself round France, Italy and Sicily doing my own interviewing. They were not even tactful in voicing that I was a poor weak woman. I said that husband and I had driven at night, in winter, pre motorways, in the snow, with 5 kids. I had a modern car and intended to stay in hotels. OK. Next? How was I to conduct the interviews? This was particularly daft, they had awarded me the scholarship for those countries - it was generous, but would not pay for interpreters. I spoke the languages, otherwise I would never have proposed such a plan. OK. Next? If I was going to drive myself, and do my own interviews, how would I produce a report (pre lap-tops, but the guys would dictate and give the tapes to their secs). I said I was an accomplished secretary. Feeling distinctly scathing of the male sex by then - they were SO condescending, off I went. Had a whale of a time - fell on to a boat at Palermo (not without major dramas) slept, and woke with the sun rising over the Isle of Ustica. Out came my faithful Olivetti and I tapped my way up the Italian coast. My report was greeted with huge interest by the press - but the establishment were pretty shocked and my report was never published. I re-read it the other day - with all the political rumblings that report is extremely topical for today. It's subject? Co-operation.

Bearofliddlebrain Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 9:00pm

Ah always so impressed with your've packed so much into your life...and still do!! I imagine you falling into a boat and waking up somewhere different the next day...none of those chaps would have had as much fun as you obviously did! Keep those stories coming! Bear x

Leah Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 9:08pm

Bear Great minds think a like- we both wrote keep the stories (coming)! within 6 mins of each other and only thousands of miles apart!

Norman Tue, Nov 10th 2015 @ 9:03pm

TG is that co-operation as in the co-operative movement or more generally? If the former I would be interested in reading it.

Leah Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 9:06pm

What a fascinating( I run out of adjectives to describe you comments) piece of writing. I can see it as a mini series- now who would you like to play your part?
My parents had an Olivetti and I had a Brother which I paid for myself when I first went to Uni.
I like the way the way you say you will really refer to Leah's blog- it isn't an essay, your comments and stories are so welcome. Those men would not know what had hot them, when they met you. Keep up the stories. Co-operation now there is a novel idea for business! Thanks gardener, only morning here so love reading all the comments.

LillyPet Sun, Nov 8th 2015 @ 9:52pm

Evening Leah, I definitely find it easier to give than receive, similarly with compliments. I do try to offer what has helped me, or what I have heard, just incase it helps.
In receiving advice, often we've heard it before, but the reminder helps. Often I find that there is a gem amongst the advice that I haven't come across before, or has been put in a way that suddenly makes sense.
In general though, yes I can pour lots of soothing supportive words out for others, but find myself feeling stuck with whatever is dragging me down. I really like the idea of flipping the problem around as if I were a someone else. What would I say to someone who I cared for and loved dearly? Than you Leah. LP :)

Leah Mon, Nov 9th 2015 @ 12:45am

Thanks again for a thoughtful comment. Some one once gave me this advice of how to give compliments. Pose it as a question. So instead of I like your new hairstyle, say where did you have your done, as it looks so good.

I like the idea of finding a gem among advice sometimes we either take it all or nothing when their could be some thing that will help us.

Nicco Mon, Nov 9th 2015 @ 3:28am

Thank you for your blog. It seems I'm not the only one to be rather hard on myself on occasion! Some advice my CB Therapist once gave me was to think what I would say to a friend if they came to me and told me the exact same thing I was worrying about, then to say those things to myself (in other words to take my own advice) - a much more compassionate way of dealing with one's self. I have found it to be of great benefit when I can apply it, but it's not always easy.

Leah Mon, Nov 9th 2015 @ 5:07am

Nicco thank you. That is good advice to treat yourself as you would a friend as I said in blog we would never shout and be angry at a friend. I suppose I know I am not a friend- was never great at role play. I am glad that it works for you. At least we are aware how we treat ourselves and that is at least a step in the right direction. Thanks again for taking time to reply.

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