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The need to re-balance. Wednesday February 19, 2014

"You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him." Leo Aikman

This quote came to mind as I looked through the Moodscope blogs and comments.

How often are we triggered by something that someone quite innocently says and then we react in a way that is far more revealing about ourselves?

Some, or even much of what is written, especially on Moodscope, are personal experiences, or offers of what has helped in what can be very emotional situations.

Each person that writes is opening their own soul, and showing vulnerability which can take personal courage to put words on a page for others to read and at times comment on.

The Moodscope community is certainly one where there is I believe a sense of sharing where people are often 'serving' others with their wise and supportive comments and replies.

I have noticed that some comments seem to be in response to a feeling that has emerged inside that person due to their understanding of what they have just read from perhaps a slightly coloured or hurt place in which they sit.

All too often we can almost 'react' to something which may well be close to our sensitivity, which can show our imbalance or vulnerability to be able to deal with whatever is emotionally disturbing us in the first place.

The key to me in any constructive comment, is to either build on what has already been said, or to offer another alternative that enriches the possibilities of a solution or moving on from a different perspective, especially in the emotional areas so richly mined by Moodscope users.

We can often see the Moodscope community 'in action' - when the first comment is sometimes 'reactive' and almost an attack at what has been written (no one in this community writes I'm sure to put anyone down) and this is immediately followed by others who are not imbalanced by the blog, stepping in to offer words of comfort, or even an alternative viewpoint to re-balance the blog.

When we write emotionally, in a less balanced state, we may be 'revealing' much of the disturbance that may have drawn us to want to do daily Moodscope in the first place.

Any such reaction, is quite possibly more revealing about themselves and their own challenges, than the writer of the original blog who has taken time and courage to openly 'show themselves'. And with the community we have, usually by the end of the comments, balance has been restored.

A bit like life really and in the challenges of mental health, ideally a bit like the internal conversations we all have in our heads, where hopefully after being knocked off balance we re-balance.

And for many of us, it is through our trusted friends and family this re-balancing conversation is sought - as the people who love us, forgive us for any imbalanced outburst and walk this ongoing journey of re-balancing with us.

A Moodscope user.

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Anonymous Wed, Feb 19th 2014 @ 7:19am

Thank you for this blog it is brilliant. Action and reaction,the power of words and thoughts . It is great to share wisdom and views on Moodscope and helps me greatly to keep perspective and see the bigger picture. There will always be negatives in life but with Moodscope we all try hard to finish with a positive!

Anonymous Wed, Feb 19th 2014 @ 9:36am

The comments posted on here, to me, enable a slightly different/reinforcement of what has initially been said. Getting brain cells working is always good in my eyes. And, yes, the community of Moodscopers are supportive and positive.

Julia Wed, Feb 19th 2014 @ 11:56am

I think on Moodscope we all should feel free to express our feelings and emotions, opinions etc without judgement from anyone. We may regret what we write sometimes but as Les says this usually rights itself one way or another. Generally knee jerk reactions to things in life are not good but on a forum like this, it is easy to write the first thing that comes in to one's mind and I think this should be encouraged. We are not all super intelligent nor do we have the time to think things through rationally but need to express how we feel instantly without being made to feel silly or that we have written something not quite right. (There is always the moderator who will not allow unsuitable comments but I doubt if this sanction is used much) Les says that usually negative posts and comments reflect the writer's low mood at that particular time (where they are coming from) and I agree with this to a point but not always. Sometimes people's comments reflect how they really feel on good days and bad. They may not agree with the blog or other comments and should be able to express their opinions without fear of hurting the writer or being made to feel that they are suffering badly that day and don't really mean what they say. As Lex, the entertrainer is always saying and I endorse 100% we should all try to be kind to each other and we do come across as a very caring kind community. However that kindness should extend and embrace different opinions without the fear of any unkind backlash. "Express yourself. Don't Repress yourself" (Madonna. Human Nature. 1995!)

Anonymous Wed, Feb 19th 2014 @ 3:49pm

I wonder if this could be seen differently…

I like the fact that peeps can express themselves here and that different opinions are all totally valid.

What this blog reminded me of is how I react as opposed to respond when under stress/anxiety/depression... I flare, fire up and vocalize with the first thoughts that hit my little brain, generally if I go away and simmer down I come up with other options that might have been a better response, generally be less hurtful to those around me and produce a more satisfactory end result... Since learning that I can control that reaction and change it into a response by keeping my mouth shut and allowing myself thinking time before I talk/write, I generally (unless caught off guard) manage to respond with a balanced view point these days - the fireworks certainly don't go off as much.

So although I understand your views above, and I know this post wasn't saying respond rather than react directly, that’s what it said to me/reminded me of. And I like that message as it's helped me so much in feeling better about myself day to day.

I agree also about the reaction potentially showing the vulnerability of the person who made it, if I look at my own reactions generally it's because of something that I lack in or feel badly about myself rather than the person who I am reacting to.

I try to respond these days rather than react.

Julia Wed, Feb 19th 2014 @ 4:11pm

Yes I totally understand what you are saying and I do think it's better to take a step back most of the time. I too react very differently to things on a good day and express myself probably in a much more measured way on those days. You put it all very tactfully anonymous!

Anonymous Wed, Feb 19th 2014 @ 11:20pm

Taking the concept of people's comments being revealing about themselves I would imagine this blog, although not written in a personal way, is potentially revealing of the author.
I got the feeling that the author may be sensitive to criticism, which is something I can relate to myself. I think it's a very well written exploration of the motivations behind how we express ourselves but I felt it seemed to be saying that people shouldn't just comment without it being constructive in any way. I felt it seemed dismissive of such comments as if the person commenting was lacking an awareness of themselves.
I agree with the sentiment that it is best to offer constructive comments but I don't think other comments should be discouraged. Yes, people who write about personal experiences are often leaving themselves vulnerable but it would be a disservice to their education in life to deny any negative emotional response or disagreement. We all have to learn how to deal with such disagreement and I think the last paragraph is a great example of how this re-balance can be achieved.
I agree with Julia's comment above.
None of us are totally self-aware, even if our education in such matters is greater than others. I think, as much as we can, we need to act out of compassion for each other but sometimes there is a greater, short-term need to express our emotional response.

Anonymous Wed, Feb 19th 2014 @ 11:36pm

One other thought as a progression:
I think all of our comments and actions are potentially revealing of ourselves. I'm not sure it's possible to take ourselves out the situation completely.
I believe all our actions are influenced by what has gone before, like thousands of millions of ripples on water.
I don't believe in free will. I believe that our 'choices' are the only ones we could have ever made. That could be a depressing thought but I think it's also a positive one in that it makes it easier to forgive ourselves and that forgiveness makes it easier to change.

Julia Thu, Feb 20th 2014 @ 8:33am

It is so good to read your comments. You expressed what I wanted to say so much better than I was able to yesterday. I was going to add that my thoughts and opinions don't really change just because I am having a good (or a bad day) but on good days, I write perhaps in a more measured way. I do think it's important that all contributors to the site feel able to express themselves however bad they feel and in a way that perhaps just gets it off their chest there and then. I agree about our choices. I look back over the choices I have made and although some may not be the same choices I would make now or at different period of my life, at the time those choices seemed to me to be the "right" ones for me. Thank you.

Anonymous Thu, Feb 20th 2014 @ 10:29am

"I don't believe in free will. I believe that our 'choices' are the only ones we could have ever made. That could be a depressing thought but I think it's also a positive one in that it makes it easier to forgive ourselves and that forgiveness makes it easier to change." Anonymous, this is very healing. When i start to have regrets that are twisting me up inside, i try to remember why i made particular choices, and usually realize that they were the right....or only...choices i could have made at the time. I gave a very big sigh of release reading your words. Thanks so much!

Anonymous Thu, Feb 20th 2014 @ 5:23pm

Thanks Julia and Anon. I'm so glad to read your comments :-) What a boost it is for someone to understand where you're coming from and for what you've said to have helped in some way.
I was worrying a bit (as I normally do in my over-analytical way) about what my comment on this blog was saying about myself i.e. was I being negative.
On the free will point: It's great to hear you, too, have some comfort from this concept. Indeed, I don't think there are right or wrong choices. Only the ones we make and in that sense they are all right.
Expanding on it can become controversial as you would have to say that any 'choice' including people who commit terrible crimes was the only action they were capable of taking. Even so, I still believe in this and I think, although society quite rightly needs a rule of law to function, and that there has to be a punishment for crimes in order to enforce the healing concept of justice, this belief of no free will only encourages us to try to understand what is behind each persons actions and what has led them to this point. And, in turn, we may then think twice before we judge (although judging people allows us to simplify life and that makes it a hard impulse to break because we have to embrace the uncertainty).

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