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Time & Authenticity. Friday January 8, 2016

Last week I talked about how I believe we need to 'show weakness to gain strength'. When we have the courage to show weakness this can determine the nature of the relationship; whether it is safe or not, allowing us to be our true authentic selves.

I believe, that we are all predominately looking for contentment or happiness and this can only be achieved if we are firstly true to ourselves (often the hardest step) and then able to show that authentic self. This can then attract those who are 'kindred spirits' who accept all of us and of course, allows us to accept all of them.

At the root of much of this is the need for shared values. When there is no alignment of those in a relationship I see it a bit like a radio channel, very uncomfortable if not fully on the station, due to all the interference.

In this digital world of course, there is almost no tuning. Are our lives becoming the same? Instant access, instant answers, instant dating, and instant everything!

Research clearly shows that to live longer and happier, we need to live together. In one comment to last week's blog I stated – 'to go fast, go alone – to go far, go together'. This is at a time when more and more of us live alone, some out of choice and others due to relationship breakup or other circumstances.

There is therefore, for our own health, the need to spend time to truly get to know people, in whatever setting.

This is also the case at work, if the business is truly going to become sustainable. Only sustainable relationships (both internal and external), will create sustainable businesses.

We will only ever build true and sharing relationships with those we trust, those we can be vulnerable with. And at the root of trust, is taking the time to be able to listen, at times possibly without any response from your own 'view', unless asked for. So the phrase I offer this week is; 'If you do not have time, it is not important enough'.

When we say we don't have time it is almost always simply an excuse and to a high degree inauthentic. What might be more truthful is to offer that there are other things more important in the time you have. Or simply that you do not want to do it. This is one way of being vulnerable and open.

How courageous are we about not using time as an excuse and without angst possibly saying 'no' and happy to explain why? Are you prepared to take time, to build deep and meaningful relationships where vulnerable conversation is possible?

A Moodscope member

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

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LillyPet Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 4:56am

Morning Les ( couldn't sleep!)
This blog is so timely it's uncanny! I had a meeting with management yesterday to disuss some of these very issues.
It took enormous courage on my part, as their management style is very authoritarian rather than authentic, but I was direct and frank about that.
I was told that being a manager was not about popularity. My point of view was that it was about authenticity and equality, a two way relationship.
Notes were being made and I have no idea whether I made things worse for myself or better for the good of the whole team. I would like to think the latter, but that would need the management to reflect and be willing to shift from a powerbased way of communicating, to an authentic and genuine way based on trust. It seems like a huge and almost impossible challenge, but I've made a step forward by being the change I want to see (thank you Frankie! :)).
I didnt hide my vulnerability but made sure that my inner strength and hope for positivity were communicated too. I can't be attached to the outcome or hope to change others, but I can stick to my values and find the courage to express them. Asking for help was vital. I had support from Moodscopers and my union.
Thank you so much for this inspiring blog Les. I did invest alot of time to prepare for this daunting conversation, but maybe I need to make time to let collegues see more of the real me, rather than withdrawing and worrying.
Hopes for finding inner light and letting it shine to all. :) LP xx

Sheena Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 8:04am

Lillypet - How brave! So good to hear that your self respect is more important than going along with an outdated workplace style, It's a pity more people can't see that this is so relevant to wellbeing. Sheena

Hopeful One Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 8:16am

Hi LilyPet- I am sure you are doing the right thing as you will be able to live with your conscious which I think is important for one's mental health.But you face that eternal human dilemma-to cooperate or to compete? You want your management to have cooperative stance but they have a competitive stance. I hope they will see that there is more to be gained by being cooperative.

LillyPet Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 8:23am

Here here Sheena! Thank you LP x

LillyPet Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 8:26am

So true HO I'll keep going in the only way I know how, it's so good to hear from people who agree! Thank you! LP x

danielle Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 8:27am

LP how very brave of you - I am proud of you for standing up for what is right and being authentic, leading by perfect example xxxx

Anonymous Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 9:09am

How exhausted you must feel today Lilly.But it's done and well done. Good luck today going into work. What you did yesterday is the most difficult thing to do at work, challenge your managers' way of doing things. I am glad to read that you were supported by your union. Onwards and upwards from now on Lilly!! J xx

Les Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 2:31pm

Hi LillyPet - I'm just checking in for the first time today.....powerful stuff!! // There comes a time, I believe, when everyone has to choose between morals and money (job, material security, career et al) // I guess you've arrived there......when you start to find your inner strength. // two things comes to mind - 1) if you do stay strong - other things in your life will change......even your relationships - even your marriage can - as you ARE becoming someone different for them!!! Be prepared for that.....I have often seen it as people I work with realise who they truly are and stop being 'nice' to be true to themselves. Not rude - just authentic! 2) Also realise that if you have been 'nice' in the past - you should also 'show that weakness' by saying that you were not really being true to yourself in the past - otherwise that 'shift' in you seems kinda out of place.....and people will see you as doing something strange!! Only you know it is NOT strange - but the only person who 'knew' this in the past was you! // How long did you 'live with' & fit into that authoritarian style and say nothing? // When we often start jobs we want to fit in to keep the job and be 'nice'.......and we thus 'lose' ourselves. // Which is why I work with organisational an interview, we need to interview the company as much as they interview us.....if we 'dare' to want to be true to ourselves.

Norman Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 2:41pm

LP: this is scarily familiar. Although my place is a co-operative, in practice the management committee is never full so it is too easy for anyone to get on it. I have constant problems with micro-management, and there is an underlying bullying culture. At the same time I try to manage professionally, identifying what motivates staff and using these things to reward good performance. As I result I am squeezed. I seem to have regular confrontations with the cttee and individuals within it and it gets very tiring and depressing! My union official feels that it is "not an industrial relations matter" i.e. it doesn't involve collective bargaining. I have spent my whole career making co-operatives work and promoting co-operative against competitive culture, but this I feel is beyond me. I need to leave but can't afford not to have a job to go to. So well done for tackling the issue. I agree totally with your approach which I consider to be modern and professional against your employers antediluvian thinking. "Nils illegitimi Carborundum!" (don't let the b*st*rds grind you down!)

Anonymous Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 3:07pm

It's so difficult to be true to ourselves and not nice in a bullying work culture especially when one has to work to support a family. Your words are wise Les but the work place is a unique scenario. I think the answer is not to work for a boss/management structure but work for yourself.Be your own boss. It seems that more and more people can do this with today's technology and more and more people are.The days of the bullying boss and competitive hierarchy are numbered. Jul

Les Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 4:53pm

Hi Jul - Hmmmmmm...interesting.....I wonder if the real challenge is to seek to create a compassionate workplace.....otherwise we all end up working alone......something I have done for 11.5 years and something I would like to 'end' by working with others and creating on-going developing relationships... As a wee thought...I don't think the workplace is unique.....for me, it is simply a bigger 'organism' - as is the family, community, church et al.....the organisations voted the UK Best Places To Work by its employees, are FAR more profitable and sustainable than any on the FTSE 100 list. // They have leaders - most orhers have managers.

LillyPet Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 11:27pm

...and thank you for your recent lovely comments Danielle, they have been very much appreciated. LPxxx

LillyPet Sat, Jan 9th 2016 @ 12:56am

Thanks for your interesting comments guys, plenty of thoughts to mull over. I think alot of people suffer in silence so as not to lose the security of their jobs and workplace stress I'm sure is a major contributing factor in poor mental health. LP xx

Eva Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 6:47am

Well done LP I hope the meeting produces positive effects.

LillyPet Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 8:26am

Thanks Sheena! LP x

LillyPet Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 8:27am

Sorry, thanks Eva! :) xx

Soulmansblue Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 7:58am

Hi Les,

Very interesting Blog. Having read it I had to change my definition of not having the time, because I never do!

I though don't often say no when asked for help, so I started to wonder how I managed to find the time if I didn't have any. Just as you said I prioritised. The only problem then is that I find I am always playing catchup!

I honestly don't have enough time, so I end-up not doing things that I had planned to do for myself. How I would cope if I was able to work, I don't know. Thanks for the blog it was very well thought out and gave me pause for thought.

danielle Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 8:30am

good to see you today soulmansblue! Love the poem :) xx

Les Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 2:37pm

Hi Soulmansblue - evocative name.... // Aye - its a toughie and I would offer that most people do 'lose' themselves as they run around seeking to please others while forgetting themselves and thus, in a way 'not' serving others truly, as the spirit they bring, is one of needing to please others to feels safe and yet to be able to stand in their own value set and sometimes say no and to say why its a no, would empower others to find their authentic self - as a deeper conversation would emerge. // Real change and self-awareness comes from those deeper conversations that most, I would say do not take the time to have. Also see below....

Soulmansblue Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 6:31pm

Like-wise Danielle. I'm trying more to get involved rather than just login and do my scoring and logout!

Soulmansblue Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 8:05am

I hope you all don't mind but I took a trip down memory and wondered back to the time of the loss of one of my [man's] best friends, a dog called Tulsa who I lost many moons ago.

The following is probly the saddest poem that I ever wrote, but yet it remembers the happiest times. I thought I would share it with you:

This is a poem written by Tulsa... Labrador/Retriever, through me, in remembrance of his wonderful life. All the good times we had with him throughout his long life. He will always be remembered with love...


Remember me always, I will be near,
Filling the dreams, you have in the night,
Through all the memories, stored in your heart,
I will always, be a part of your life.

Now turn pack the pages, to the start of the book,
Remember the chaos, when I first arrived,
Only too eager, to go for a walk,
When in disgrace, not so easily caught.

Always remember precious thoughts of the past,
Who ripped the lino, whilst you were all out!!
Who was the one, who demolished the flowers!!
Who was there waiting, when you all came home!!

I stole the hearts, of all those around,
I was the one, who was everyone’s friend,
Always so faithful, and ever so true,
Glad to have spent, my whole life with you.

All the sad faces, when I had to leave,
Now you’ve a new friend, I’m ever so pleased,
From the tip of my nose, to the end of my tail,
Thanking you all, for such a wonderful life.


This poem now exists here and as a framed picture on the mantel piece. Tulsa you will never be forgotten, he brought love to everyone's heart.

Hopeful One Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 8:20am

Hi Soulmansblue- man that's cool! Watch out Les we have competition!

LillyPet Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 8:32am

Such a beautiful poem, it could have been a blog! Thank you for sharing your treasured memories with us. LP x

Les Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 2:50pm

The words are deep, And full of emotion. The meaning full, Like a honey filled potion. The amount of time, You spent 'listening' to him. Was the respect for Tulsa Tho'times could be grim. The flowers would grow again, The lino would be replaced, He was always faithful and true, Your forgiveness was his grace. True friendship, Is about compassion. True dialogue, Should not be rationed. True feelings, Should always be shared. True thoughts, Should always be dared. We 'listen' to our pets, With a caring heart. Its always a hurt, When you have to part. When we talk about dogs - we talk about a man's best friend.....not a woman's...although of course we mean both. They 'truly' listen to us and forgive and often show more compassion than any human....they 'feel' our feelings before we know it.. Animals are wise (EQ) Humans are clever! (IQ) Fab stuff Soulmansblue

Soulmansblue Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 6:13pm

Thanks All for that feedback. Hmm, Competition no I doubt it, but be warned I thrive on competition! Les what you write makes the reader concentrate and think. It draws you in as you try to crasp it's full meaning. You don't want to read everthing that gives itself away to easily. really good stuff. Hopeful One, I think I've not paid enough attention to what you have written, so I think I had better pay closer attention! At the end of the day is matters not whether we be a poet or not. It was what we contribute and support each other. The writing can be 'plane' and still effect us and take off on a journey we weren't expecting. It is only really since I became chronically depressed that I have been able to write with comparative ease. It just flows and I can't turn the tap off. It used to take me like six months whenever I tried to write a song or anything. That reminds me I have just sent Caroline my latest to see if she would put it up as a blog. It's called 'The Ebb and Flow of Life.'

Les Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 6:36pm

Hi Soulmansblue...........COOL stuff....and thank you for your words. // I can feel them flow.... // I would say also that only through my depression have I gone 'inside' more to explore who I am and become clearer about what I feel. // In some ways I believe that depression is that 'black box' that too is a connection with this wonderful quote that I did a previous blog to... // "Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift." Mary Oliver

Anonymous Mon, Jan 11th 2016 @ 3:37am

"Thank you for sharing your treasured memories with us." This made me remember my own beloved dogs.

Sheena Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 8:19am

Good morning Les,

It's your comment "If you do not have time, it's not important enough" that is so true for me ,,,

I find myself constantly stating 'I don't do busy' - for me this means 'mono-tasking' and believing what needs to be done will fit in. I find that I now rightly/wrongly think that when s.o. else says they are busy that it means 'I don't have time for you'. That's fine, and I now reciprocate by not wasting my time there!

It seems a very modern rudeness to constantly tell those around one to 'go away' - as in 'I am busy (you clearly have nothing to do!)'.

We must all value ourselves and make our own priorities.


Les Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 2:54pm

Hi Sheena - There are of course times when we 'do' have time and usually that will be the amount of trust we have for that person and how they have treated and respected us in the past. // The challenge I find is being courageous enough at the first asking to have a deeper conversation to 'know' what it is right for me to say - in that moment! // As I offered last week - as Brene Brown so clearly stated for me - “You can choose courage or you can choose comfort. But you cannot have both.”

Hopeful One Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 8:30am

Hi Les- thanks for that. They say it is a busy man who always finds the time. Is that because such an individual sees that you are important enough?. When someone says to me that they have no time I have always taken it to mean that one is not interested in you but is too polite to say so.One should strive to find the time but not at the expense of 'me time'

Les Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 2:59pm

Hi Ho - There is a phrase I often use - 'If you want something done, give it to someone busy.' // I mean here of course someone who achieves and is not just lost in 'busyness'. // I think its also about being open and honest about why you don't have time - and therein lies the real challenge for me - not aggressively - simply that you have things that are more important, or that, in the past, you have helped, but to no avail! // If someone says to you, they have no time - then is the time to create a deeper conversation....???

Alice Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 9:22am

So many wonderful elements to be this blog. So beautifully written too. Much food for thought. Little pearls of wisdom to be chewed over, savoured and digested. All those interweaving thoughts buzzing round my head. Authenticity, LP's great bravery, sharing of values, giving time (and a proper ear) and building strong enduring relationships. Thank you for this Les.

Les Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 3:02pm

Hi Alice - Thank you....and for sure....chewed, savoured and many of us eat too quickly to enjoy and 'use' our food? // How many of us build relationships too quickly and grab what we want...?? // How many of us take 'be' and not just 'do'........ Human-doings (IQ) / Human-beings (EQ) and Being-human (SQ)....????

The Gardener Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 11:15am

Dear Les - I hope things have changed for the better in the workplace. For some years I worked as a 'temp' all round London airport. I was never called in because there was a sudden extra 'work load' but to clear up messes caused by inefficient management and staff 'fighting their corner' It's difficult now, when everybody has a PC on their desk to go back to typewriter times. The filing clerk (branch of major UK industry) had THE typewriter to do the labels. She went home at lunch time to let the dog out. I used the type-writer in the meantime. She was so incensed that she stopped going home so I did not use the machine. The women went to the loo in twos - when I went in they were always slanging another member of the staff. Women bosses (apologies to the excellent ones who exist) were the worst - they were either tough and distant to show they were like the guys, or over-chummie, all girls together. One place (a branch of another 'big' name) had me there a third of the year - for their PAYE and statistics. All the directors from head office in the North came down for a major meeting - I did statistics and a trial budget - the manageress forgot to print them out! The BBC was best - no names, but each person - PR for nature programmes, sport, light entertainment, Arts was doing something 'on the side'. A 'big boss' came round - everybody being industrious except the temp, who was doing tapestry, I had so little to do. I was not asked back. If I'd been typing, even on my own account, it would have been OK. I was sorry - because what I did and saw there was most illuminating. 'Having no time' I find is a tactic for avoiding communication - might mean commitment - sounds bitter but in my situation people just don't want to know - and I know their lives - setting aside half an hour now and again to chat to someone lonely, or, like me virtually tied to the house, might be interesting for them as well. As I walk round town or drive through the villages the TV is always on.

Les Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 3:09pm

Hi TG - be the change you want to see in the world (Gandhi)- without any need for the outcome that you desire...... such is true change made and instantly the world changes when you do. Looking back in life doesn't help you move forward.....its like looking in the rear view mirror while you are driving! Very occasionally needed - usually only when reflection is required....???? What small step can you make each day to move and accept your situation or change it?

Kim Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 11:50am

Hello there. My name is Kim and I have been reading the Moodscope blogs and find myself so impressed and humbled with the writing, responses, different perspectives and camaraderie in this group. One day I would like to contribute but do not know how to write my own blog as there is only a comment or a reply to someone else's comment for me to expand on. Could someone kindly point me in the right direction as to where I can write one of my own to share and get feedback on. Is the option available using a mobile phone? Thanks in advance.

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 2:38pm

Hi Kim, we'd love to receive a blog from you. All you need to do is email it to me at Caroline

Les Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 3:10pm

Hi Kim - great to hear from you. // Write from the heart!

Soulmansblue Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 6:17pm

Hi Kim, I too have only just started to contribute and like you have beeen standing back. Go for it! Whatever you write in your blog will be appreciated and responded to with respect and understanding. As you have already seen we are not hear to tear each other apart, we are here to give each other support and offer help when we can. So welcome.

Anonymous Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 1:34pm

Dear Kim
You should contact Caroline at
I am sure she will reply here to you aswell.
It would be great to read your blog!

Hitchhiker Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 2:32pm

Another great blog Les! I found your paragraph about contentment and happiness coming from first being true to yourself and then being able to show that true self, as an apt description of this moodscope community. It is great to connect here because we can share both our struggles and strengths. Not too many places I feel openly comfortable saying : I'm stuck in bed today or i wasted my whole week on the internet! Actually, I have been getting out of bed, but still stuck in my head! Journal writing and combing the internet for understanding about depression and anxiety are comforting, but may not be the best use of my time!! I do what needs doing for my kids, but still pretty stuck. Getting there tho? I am hopeful! Which is a huge step up from despair so I give myself credit there!

Thinking a lot today about courage - does anyone else write down the moodscope quotes of the day in their journal? The quote today is actually from Brene Brown (there is a typo, it says Brent) but it goes SO well with your blog Les! "You can choose courage or you can choose comfort. You cannot have both". It takes alot of courage to blog and comment here. But as Les said, challenge is in having those vulnerable, meaningful conversations, but alas in real life too! Gotta get going on that.

Hats off to you LillyPet for being in the arena! You embody alot of what Les and Brene Brown are talking about. Her TED talks are super! She also says that what one needs is someone in your corner to pick you up after the battle. I think Moodscope does that so well!! And today the poem by Soulmansblue. gave me a sense of that. Dogs, loving friends, give us that unconditional acceptance. You are safe. And even when our safe havens are dead, their memory can still stoke our courage, so thanks for posting that memory.

Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement as always dear moodscopers!

Les Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 3:17pm

Hi Hitchhiker - Fab stuff.....aye Brene's new book 'Rising Strong'.....talks about falling and rising and having friends.... // I didn't notice Caroline had used the Brene quote... :-) // Thanks for your alignment and input.

Norman Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 2:47pm

Les, I often find myself saying "telling me it is a priority doesn't MAKE it a priority: you make it a priority by telling me what I DON'T have to do instead..."

Les Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 3:18pm

Hi Norman - good stuff - 'The most important decision in life is to decide what's important'.

Anonymous Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 3:19pm

Hi again Les. I found the bit in your reply to Lilly above where you said that people will find her strange if she manages to be true to herself and therefore not as nice as she used to be. I find that people who know me well prefer the nice me to the true to myself me. I think this is because they are so used to the nice me that as you say they are surprised and confused to see a different side to me. (The latter happens very infrequently as I am usually too tired to be anything but nice with all that entails)
I would be interested to read a blog about this.I can't write it as I need to learn more about it. I could write about how being nice and not true to myself has harmed me in the past but not for a while and anyway I am not sure about my view on it all!I still think that being nice is or should be acceptable as a personality trait. Julx

Les Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 3:54pm

Hi Jul - Your last sentence says it all.... Why 'should' it be acceptable...if are slowly losing you or are too tired to create those meaningful deeper dialogues. I go back to Brene's quote that Caroline used today and I use above...... “You can choose courage or you can choose comfort. But you cannot have both.” // Nice is about comfort and courage is about, for me, real care. // And hey, for sure at times comfort may be right.............yet for me, it should not be your default! // I believe it is occasionally a choice......when the situation merits it....which will be if we are all 'nice' - who is real?

Soulmansblue Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 6:28pm

Hi Anonymous, Being true to yourself can be as simple as saying 'No!' instead of 'Yes!' when you mean 'No!' That is simply standing up for yourself. It isn't a case of being unkind or classed as not nice. I used to be like that always saying 'Yes!' when I meant 'No!' especially at work, I never stood up for myself! Now I try to but it is a case of getting the balance right. there are times when you'd rather say no, but giving your help and being nice is far more important than thinking of yourself. Life is not easy, it's not meant to be. I am struggling with my character presently. It has changed/altered a lot over the last 24 months. Mostly I feel for the better, but at times the old character wants back in and I don't like what I see. It's hard to get things right and at times you can do the wrong thing while trying to be nice and you get it in the neck. All you can do Anonymous is give of your best, try and stay true to yourself and still be nice and help others along the way. You can be whatever you want to be, but at times it is best to bend a little and let things flow past with ease. that way you can get back to being true to you quicker and no one will probably even notice that you stepped out of character. I hope I've not been too far off the mark, but take care and yes be true to yourself, anything less will cause you hurt and that's not nice!

The Gardener Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 4:03pm

I always seem to get the wrong end of the stick with Les. My reply was, I thought, pertinent to co-operation/getting on in the work-place - not looking backwards, except in the context of seemingly worsening working conditions - bullying, harrassment, even - France Telecom I think it was - a spate of suicides. 'Looking in the rear mirror'. I thought we were supposed to LEARN from the past, not hanker after it - the fact that people do not take notice of historical events (notably politicians) means that mistakes are repeated with interest. Must read Les's blogs more closely.

Les Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 4:24pm

Hi TG - what is the INTENT of your writing? // What have you learned from your past? // As we learn from everyday life and thus become more self should rarely need to look in the rear view mirror. // I don't think you get the wrong end of the stick - I believe you often see it from a different perspective. // What you could consider - Is that lens of life useful to you? // What are you learning from that way of life you now have - and are you changing anything to be more comfortable with yourself and the life you are leading? The issue is never 'out there' - I believe it is always 'in here' mater what your circumstances. I wonder if your last sentence above should read......'must reflect on how I feel about Les's blogs' before responding....? // Just a we all learn from our thoughts and a greater self-awareness....continually.....

The Gardener Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 4:26pm

Re-reading replies - Lily Pet and Norman focus almost totally on the issue - lack of courage (more often subtle warnings not to 'rock the boat') lead to unhappiness and often, I'm sure, depression

Hitchhiker Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 5:30pm

I agree that lack of courage leads to depression, but I would argue that lack of comfort perhaps drives depression even more!! And so Les, while I agree that being nice shouldn't be your default, i think that being comfortable should be! Or at least should be when we are home with family and friends or even just hanging out with our own selves inside our brain. If those spaces are uncomfortable, living 24/7 in the arena, for me, is the direct road to depression. Feel safe. Feel comfortable. Cultivate those. So that when courage is necessary, (which I agree is often very often in todays world) you will be able to respond. And I just have to add, Norman I loved the "Latin " quote - yet another facet to courage - tempered with humor and self kindness, it is fierce! Cheers and thanks for giving us all so much to think about today Les!

Les Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 6:26pm

Hi Hitchhiker - Cool stuff..... The key for me is that one has taken courage to enable those relationships to be 'comfortable' to start with - where you have shown your authentic true self - as then - no matter the daily differences - you are also comfortable to be uncomfortable and even to disagree and be OK about that. // Those crucial relationships should also be the ones that support you when, by being truly you, you may leave or be sacked from a job, at the cost of what would be more materialistic security. //

The Gardener Fri, Jan 8th 2016 @ 8:37pm

Hitchhiker 'feeling safe' - Mr Gs illness leads him to be scared of everything.Les says 'be comfortable with yourself'. This has to come about by reducing fear in my OH as much as possible (I'd written fear 'of', that has just started) - by creating an ambience in which he knows where I am. All the people who scorned my efforts are changing their minds - Mr G is actually 'positive' about his new dwelling - all done in the face of the most enormous odds. Self-awareness is very much on the outside - I am 'putting up' with the current real privations - but, oh I can't help longing (rear mirror, if you like, Les) for a chance to wear nice clothes, make-up, do my hair, cheerful restaurant and a nice bottle of wine and not to have to drive silly distances. HO is much more reticent than I am. He is technically 'free' but a freedom he would not have wanted, and one that I shall face sooner or later. I am making, I hope, the very best of what I have, but, to my shame, 'cracking' physically and emotionally. Carpe diem with a vengeance. Enough from me for one day!

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