Showing posts from 2013

My Last Day of 2013, Celebrating Holidays, and the Joys of Personal Growth

The Sun Behind the Trees A picture from today Looking back on the year 2013, I can say that all in all this year was the best year of my life so far. I feel I’ve accomplished a lot this year, and made my life better than it was before. I won’t bore you with much detail, but, among other things, I’m especially happy with my personal growth. The thing with self-work is that it may be very difficult in the beginning, but the more you grow, the easier the process gets. Don’t get me wrong, it’s never easy, but when your self-esteem grows, when you feel safer, when you become more aware, when you have intellectual, emotional, and moral clarity, then even in hard times and difficult situations your emotions don’t overwhelm you, you consciously understand what’s going on in you and around you, you understand reality better and accept it, you are able to handle stress better, make more rational decisions, take better care of yourself, and be a much more mature person in general. After doi

Holiday Depression and Stress

The holiday season is a cheerful or ordinary time for some and a depressing or stressful period for many. It’s advertised by the culture as a joyous time of the year, but since most of the society is extremely anxious, depressed, and dissociated, a lot of people’s anxiety and depression creep to the surface. A person is expected – by others or by themselves – to feel happiness, vitality, connection with others, and gratitude. But many actually feel anxiety, loneliness, tiredness, sadness, shame, guilt, hate, confusion, and hopelessness. A person looks around and (falsely) perceives others as being happy: singing songs, buying gifts, spending time with their families and friends, eating, drinking, and partying. They look at themselves and at his or her emotional state, and they feel bad and confused. A lot of people feel guilty and shameful that they don't feel happy. “It seems that everybody’s having fun, but I feel depressed.” “What is wrong with me?” “Everyone’s enjoying their

The Psychology of the Horror/Thriller Genre – A Look at "Dexter," "The Fall," "Silent Hill 2," and "Identity"

This blog post is mostly for my own amusement, but I hope others will find some value in it, too. In my adolescence and adult years, I was always drawn to horror/mystery/thriller type of TV shows, movies, and video games. In the past, playing horror video games gave me the opportunity to unconsciously connect with the fear, confusion, hurt, despair, anger, and terror that was inside of me – because that's what I was feeling in my childhood, adolescence, and even in my adulthood. By playing horror video games, I could recreate these unpleasant feelings in a controlled environment where I could fight my inner and especially outer demons, and actually defeat them. In a virtual world, I wasn't completely helpless and powerless like I was in real life; I had some control. I got something similar out of TV shows and movies, too – I got to feel these unpleasant, unprocessed, and very familiar emotions, and not to feel alone with them. That's how repetition compulsion works. W

The Difficulties of Journaling – And Some Useful Tips

Yesterday, on the Self-Archeology Facebook page one person posted a comment saying that it’s very hard for them to keep a journal. I’ve heard similar things from my clients, friends, acquaintances, and I’ve had difficulties with journaling myself, so I decided to talk about this topic in more detail. There are different ways to journal . For example, some people much prefer an audio log or video log to a written/typed journal. So, it might be useful to experiment and see what fits you the best. What stops you from journaling? I found it to be true that the main difficulty people have with journaling is fear . Here, I will talk about some of the most common fears. Sometimes people are afraid that they are not doing it right , that they don’t know HOW to journal. There’s no right or wrong way to do it . Everything you say is important and might be useful in some way. And nobody will punish you, laugh at you, humiliate you, or hurt you if you don't do it "optimally.&quo

Analyzing Art for Self-Exploration

“Vogel Selbsterkenntnis” (“Bird of Self-Knowledge”) Today, I would like to talk about art and how we can use different pieces of art for self-exploration. I use the term art very loosely here; it involves literature, music, movies, paintings, photography, video games, sculpture, etc. Probably most of us notice that for some reason we like a particular song, movie, painting, picture, fictional character, and so on. It connects with us on a psycho-emotional level. Sometimes we can even name exactly what it triggers in us and what it means to us. For example, we hear a song and we consciously think, “Oh, this song reminds me of a day I met my first girlfriend.” Or, “When I was watching this movie, I could connect with the sadness protagonist was feeling when his dog died, because my dog is dead too.” I mentioned this in my video where I analyze three of Eminem’s songs – often people like something or connect with something without even exploring why, but I would argue there's a

The Importance of Appreciation (For a Child)

Today, I saw this picture on Facebook saying, “When a child gives you a gift, even if it’s a rock they just picked up, exude gratitude. It might be the only thing they have to give, and they have chosen to give it to you.” This got me thinking about how parents forget to show or decide not to show, or just don’t feel gratitude and appreciation to their child. I remember one instance from my own childhood…. When I was little, on various holidays, days like my mother’s birthday or Mother’s Day, I gave my mother hand-made gifts: drawings, cutouts, or similar things children make. And on my own birthdays or holidays like Christmas I didn’t always get what I wanted. One time I wanted something specific for one of these occasions. I don’t remember what my wish was, but I didn’t get it. My mother gave me something else. I was very, very sad and disappointed that I didn't get what desired. I expressed my sadness and disappointment to my mother. And she replied by saying something l

8 Reasons Why People Deny Childhood Trauma and Its Results

Why do people think they had a good, normal childhood, or deny childhood trauma and its results altogether? I often hear people say things like: My childhood was normal.  Yes, there were some good things and some bad things – but that's life. My mother got sad, distant, or angry when I didn't perform well or acted badly, and my father sometimes hit me with a belt – but it was for my own good. All of this helped me to become a better person – and I'm thankful for it.  Yes, sometimes I feel depressed, very lonely, or empty – but we all feel like that.  My parents were strict, but they loved me and I turned out fine.  Yes, some people experienced a lot of abuse growing up, but I was never traumatized, and I don't have any inner wounds. I look at people, and I can very easily see the symptoms of childhood trauma. I see children being abused, and I see grownups with numerous inner wounds that resulted from being traumatized. It’s obvious to me. I see chil

The Origins of Discrimination (VIDEO)

This is my newest video on how children learn to discriminate and to have prejudices. It was blocked on YouTube so I uploaded it on Dailymotion. The Origins of Discrimination by selfarcheology

A Self-Archeological Trip to My Childhood Locality

As you can tell from the title of this blog post, it will be a more personal one. Yesterday I visited my grandparents’ town where I spent a lot of time in my childhood and adolescence. I haven’t been there for about 4 years. I walked around for about 30-40 minutes. A lot has changed – renovations, new buildings, new people. It’s a very small town, so I was able to visit a lot of familiar places. I experienced a shroud of memories and a wide range of emotions. My memories were both pleasant and unpleasant – and I felt them in my mind and in my body. Emotionally, I felt great sadness, grief, nostalgia, child-like worrylessness, relief, loneliness, hurt, fear…. And because now I know how to soak my memories and emotions in, without them overwhelming me and without me blocking them, I just let in the thoughts that came up, and let myself feel whatever emotions followed those thoughts. Since I didn’t have my journal with me (or its substitute, like iPad), I recorded an audio log on

Nathaniel Branden on Self-Esteem, Pleasure and Escapism

The following text is from Nathaniel Branden's book "The Psychology of Self-Esteem." Self-esteem and pleasure Pleasure, for man, is not a luxury, but a profound psychological need. Pleasure (in the widest sense of the term) is a metaphysical concomitant of life, the reward and consequence of successful action—just as pain is the insignia of failure, destruction, death. Through the state of enjoyment, man experiences the value of life, the sense that life is worth living, worth struggling to maintain. In order to live, man must act to achieve values. Pleasure or enjoyment is at once an emotional payment for successful action and an incentive to continue acting. Further, because of the metaphysical meaning of pleasure to man, the state of enjoyment gives him a direct experience of his own efficacy, of his competence to deal with reality, to achieve his values, to live. Implicitly contained in the experience of pleasure is the feeling: "I am in control of m