Avoiding Twisted Thinking

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Curt Sunshine
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Re: Avoiding Twisted Thinking

Post by Curt Sunshine » 10 Dec 2010, 15:58

DA, I never said you were wrong or completely off base. I simply said it's a good idea for ALL of us to examine how we react to something like this, since it is a great mirror for us to understand our natural inclinations better. It's hard to change something we don't recognize.

I do the same thing almost subconsciously now in most cases, even when I'm not reading something that is controversial in any way. Before I respond, I consider how I am responding - then I write an initial response - then I edit my response with these types of things in mind and trying to visualize how those reading my words will take them. Sometimes I am very blunt; sometimes I am more gentle; I rarely "hint" at things; etc. I still screw up regularly by mis-reading and mis-stating things, but I do it far less often than in the past.

It really is a great exercise for EVERYONE - which is all I said.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

doug
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Re: Avoiding Twisted Thinking

Post by doug » 10 Dec 2010, 23:54

cwald wrote: I think these suggestions could be great strategies to help one obtain peace. I see them being transitional strategies from Fowler stage 4 to Fowler stage 5. What bothered me though, in my initial read, was that I'm firmly in stage 4, and they seemed "apologetic" and manipulative to me - like something my bishop might say to KEEP me in a stage 3 mode, rather than what one would say to help a person travel from stage 4 to stage 5. I'm sure that that was the intent from Heber, but I see why some here would be cynical about it, and call foul on the church's stance on so many of the issue, ie, the black and white. I mean it's easy to say things here on this board that there is no black and white, and we don't have to believe it or leave it --- but then we have a huge portion of the membership who believe just that and GBH statement back's up their opinion - IT IS taught in the church - even if it is NOT the doctrine. Most members I know would be OFFENDED if I told them it's not black and white, right or wrong - and they would probably quote the "woe until those who call evil good, and good evil..."
cwald, whatever interpretation or emphasis those steps may have been given here in this thread, their original intent was to help people who suffer from depression to overcome it. Cognitive therapy (the technical term for the method embodied by those steps) has been shown to be a very effective tool, and quite often an alternative to prescription anti-depressive medications. Of course, I'm essentially parroting what Dr Burns says in his own book (see my comment above), but for various reasons I tend to believe him.
The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also. -- Mark Twain

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cwald
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Re: Avoiding Twisted Thinking

Post by cwald » 11 Dec 2010, 12:25

doug wrote:
cwald, whatever interpretation or emphasis those steps may have been given here in this thread, their original intent was to help people who suffer from depression to overcome it. Cognitive therapy (the technical term for the method embodied by those steps) has been shown to be a very effective tool, and quite often an alternative to prescription anti-depressive medications. Of course, I'm essentially parroting what Dr Burns says in his own book (see my comment above), but for various reasons I tend to believe him.
Yes. And I think the intent of the post was to describe what we as individual can do to cope. I was just responding to the DA and CG comments about "using twisted thinking to determine how the church's uses twisted thinking". (which I think is a valid point)

I think these are good strategies to find peace, and I will leave it at that.
  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

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jwald
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Re: Avoiding Twisted Thinking

Post by jwald » 11 Dec 2010, 12:52

Wow! I've used all of these types of thinking at one time or another in my life. Seeing them listed like that will help me self-examine when I get negative about things. Thanks for posting them.
Jumping to conclusions (mind reading), emotional reasoning, and should statements, seem to be my biggest hurdles right now. Should statements kept me living in the past trying to fix what can't be fixed. My thinking recently when it comes to "Should I or shouldn't I?", is to do what I need to do, pay the price (if one is required) and move on with my life. It has helped tremendously to shift my thinking that way. :smile:

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stealthbishop
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Re: Avoiding Twisted Thinking

Post by stealthbishop » 15 Dec 2010, 09:59

Thanks Heber13. This is awesome!

I also see all or nothing thinking connected with the Fall and the partaking of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden parable.

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Heber13
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Re: Avoiding Twisted Thinking

Post by Heber13 » 16 Dec 2010, 07:28

I enjoy reading all these responses, it is good for me to hear the experiences and thoughts of all of you. Thanks for sharing.

What I am learning is that there is more than one way to perceive things, process things, and respond to things. And because of that complex variation, it is difficult to claim what is "right" and what is "wrong" - only what I come to believe. As I accept and become more comfortable with that, the more I see the church is what it is, and I choose to make it what I want.

I agree with DA, and cannot argue with the examples provided, that they propagate twisted thinking for some people. But I would also suggest that the same statements quoted, for other people, propagate healthy, uplifting, and loving thoughts that build spirituality.

When a quote or experience in the church strikes a chord with me and I internalize the quote/experience as a negative influence to my spirituality, my brother can hear/experience the exact same thing and tell me I'm wrong, that it is not negative, but positive. GBH black/white quote is true. JFS teaching morality is God's way to find happiness, even if the Ensign teaches families should be respected for telling their sons to come home dead rather than immoral.

To my brother, those messages are uplifting and he appreciates them. He claims they are truth to him.

My point is that to avoid twisted thinking, I think I need to also avoid black/white thinking (those GBH statements are bad for everyone), should's (the ensign should not be teaching members those damaging teachings), or other types of twisted thinking aimed at the church or others...and just be more comfortable recognizing things exist in the world outside my control, but I will control my thinking regardless.
[Not hinting or targeting anyone or any responses on the board...just sharing my thoughts].

I do not think I am more right than my brother, just that for me, that is who I am and what I think. I have strong opinions on some topics, and so far I have found a place in the church for me, and they accommodate me. And so I try to accommodate them.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Heber13
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Re: Avoiding Twisted Thinking

Post by Heber13 » 16 Dec 2010, 10:03

canadiangirl wrote:I'll add a few shoulds I have heard frequently in my career as an LDS woman. We should: read our scriptures daily, pray 3 times a day, keep a neat and tidy home that resembles the temple a house of order, plant a garden, become a scriptorian, have family prayer morning and night, bake whole wheat bread from scratch weekly, can produce from the garden, monthly if not weekly temple attendance, say yes to every calling, magnify that calling, write in your journal, do your geneology oops I mean family history, read the ensign, have lots of babies, get your VT done by the 1st of the month, etc
Good comments Canada.

For me, I started recognizing the danger when the "shoulds" were coming from other people, or what I thought others expected I should do, and put such angst on those that I pressured myself to try to be all things to all people...that was when I set myself up for failure.

I also think spending brain power worrying about the past things I think I "should" have done were damaging because I can't change the past. As Doug said it well:
doug wrote:We did what we did because of who we were at the time we did it. I think the point is to recognize that and move on.
Jwald said it well also:
jwald wrote:My thinking recently when it comes to "Should I or shouldn't I?", is to do what I need to do, pay the price (if one is required) and move on with my life. It has helped tremendously to shift my thinking that way.
This is where the doctrine of repentance becomes a healthy thing and not a guilt-driven thing.

What about shoulds that I think for the future? Are there healthy shoulds, if they come from me and they are for helping me avoid future behaviors I know might cause me pain and suffering?

My hypothetical situation of my daughter drinking, once done, is in the past...move on. But if she learns from it and she thinks that is something she shouldn't do anymore, and that gives her confidence on making decisions in the future...isn't that a good thing for her? [in case your wondering, it really is a hypothetical situation...I haven't had to deal with this...I'm just using it as an example].

What do you think? Future shoulds...are they helpful or harmful?
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Heber13
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Re: Avoiding Twisted Thinking

Post by Heber13 » 16 Dec 2010, 10:35

cwald wrote:I think these suggestions could be great strategies to help one obtain peace. I see them being transitional strategies from Fowler stage 4 to Fowler stage 5. What bothered me though, in my initial read, was that I'm firmly in stage 4, and they seemed "apologetic" and manipulative to me - like something my bishop might say to KEEP me in a stage 3 mode, rather than what one would say to help a person travel from stage 4 to stage 5. I'm sure that that was the intent from Heber, but I see why some here would be cynical about it, and call foul on the church's stance on so many of the issue, ie, the black and white.
Thanks for the benefit of the doubt...because I sincerely had no agenda...just sharing something I read and how it struck me...but really wanting to hear other's (and your) opinion on it as well. I really wasn't trying to influence or be "apologetic"...just laying it out there for us to discuss. There have been times when I was guilty of mind-reading others, thinking they were trying to manipulate me into staying Stage 3 as if that is a bad thing, when others might just be trying to help me out of love. However, many times, I have experienced manipulation, so from experience from imperfect leaders, our mind-reading comes from our past experiences that influence our current perceptions.

I like the tie-in with Fowler's stages.
cwald wrote:I think these kind of "twisted thinking" concepts are what contribute to a person finally transcending from stage 3 to stage 4 --- which really, IMO, is a GOOD thing, after the fact.
I have thought for a long time if my leaving stage 3 was a "good" thing...and so far, I do think it ended up good for me in some ways, not so in other ways, but I don't think it is the "right" thing that everyone must go through or have happen to them. I like more of what Ekhart Tolle explains, that it just is. We write the story from it on whether that is good or not good for us, and my story has been pretty good so far...even if with lots of bumps along the way.
cwald wrote:I suppose the challenge, is now that I am in stage 4, I have to modify my "twisted thinking" back if I ever want to obtain a stage 5. The problem with that, is I have no time for apologetic, half-truths and slanted mental gymnastics - I'm not patient enough for that kind of nonsense - which is what I see this kind of modified thinking is trying to achieve-- which is probably part of the whole twisted thinking concept that Heber was referring to to begin with.

It's a vicious cycle.
Yes, I thinking it changes the way we think and the way we see things. As Enstein put it:
The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.
There is the paradigm shift that seems to need to take place.

I guess we do seem to do mental gymnastics to deal with things like TR interviews, or other things...but if it is done with sincerity and honesty, it can be one way to do it. And in some ways, the new way of thinking becomes much more powerful to me personally than my prior 37 years of life when I doubted nothing in the church (what the brethren said was truth...that was sufficient to me in stage 3). Nowadays I fluctuate between stages 4 and 5 and I find greater meaning to things, and so I write the story that it has been a "good" thing for more, and if others are happy staying in stage 3, that's great for them.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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cwald
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Re: Avoiding Twisted Thinking

Post by cwald » 16 Dec 2010, 10:57

One cannot really believe that there is never a time for should and should nots. We have to have them. I should go to work today. I should pay my bills.

I guess, it's what we have done in the LDS culture that is the big problem here, that Canadagirl is talking about. The LDS leaders SHOULD NOT have to tell us everything that we SHOULD be doing.

Look, I taught my kid that she should not date until she was 16. She turns 16 in 4 months. Last week, after reading this thread, I talked to her about dating and told her that she was mature enough and prepared enough that she could date if she wants to. I gave her some pros and cons, and then told her that she SHOULD think about it and pray about it and she SHOULD make her own decision.

Is this kind of thinking and belief system really too much to ask from the church? Here are the principles, you work it out with the Lord --- and let's get over all this ancient Israelite, traditional, cultural, commandments that have taken over our every detail of our personal lives and church experience.
  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

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Heber13
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Re: Avoiding Twisted Thinking

Post by Heber13 » 16 Dec 2010, 11:06

cwald wrote:Is this kind of thinking and belief system really too much to ask from the church? Here are the principles, you work it out with the Lord --- and let's get over all this ancient Israelite, traditional, cultural, commandments that have taken over our every detail of our personal lives and church experience.
I think that is a great way to raise your daughter. I did the same and am proud of my girl who is making good choices because she wants to, not because the FSOY says she has to.

I honestly think your approach is more of what I see in the doctrines of the gospel...and all these rules are from people who want to be given the law. It reminds me of Book of Mormon stories when the people wanted a king, so there is order, even if they sacrifice freedoms for that order. It can be a dangerous thing...but it can bring organization (like the correlation efforts).
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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