You don’t have to be Inspirational to Make a Difference

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2 Responses

  1. Runa says:

    Dear Ivan,
    Thank you so much for this – It cannot have been easy to write this and be open about not being quite there yet –

    “Yet, for me, the ability to feel “inspired” by such articles has been replaced by a tendency to feel somewhat intimidated or ashamed, since I’ve not yet been able to overcome a few of my own garden variety demons.

    As wonderful as it is that there are so many people who can transcend, or feel inspired by those who transcend, the boundaries we face, there are also many of us who don’t find this so easy. Whether it’s only for a transient period, or whether it is just how we’re wired, the strength and courage required for such transcendence may be just too much to draw upon, particularly when we are depressed.”

    This part for me especially felt powerful because i can relate to the feelings of shame especially as sometimes the adversities read fay worse and yet they are able to transcend and I cant – does that make me a failure or even more of an outsider?? It does feel good to know that I am not alone, I dont mean it as a consolation thing but more that this struggle is not down to me failing but that its actually just part of the process and that the process though unique to individuals is still relative enough to be understood. Your article feels like a sense of permission for myself and I can only surmise for many others too, that its ok be in a place of struggle or difficulty with the whole thing. I am not even sure if I am making sense but I get the feeling you will know exactly what I mean.
    Thank you – Runa

    • ivanlc says:

      Hi Runa.

      Thanks so much for your heart-felt reply. Yes, you make perfect sense; sometimes it’s not so easy to express feelings – especially when they’re feelings you are really struggling with and which seem to conflict.

      You should take heart that just because YOU feel you can’t transcend a particular difficulty which someone else seems to have been able to do, we are all *different*.

      I’m reading a book at the moment called “Personality Types” by Don Richard Riso & Russ Hudson, which discusses the theory that each of our personalities is one of 9 types (there are subtypes which are a combination of the existing types, but there is still a finite number). Each of these types indicates the extents of our personalities, and predicts (quite accurately, it would seem) how we behave in various situations depending on how psychologically “healthy” or “unhealthy” we are at any given time.

      So for example, just as there are those who are born to lead or who don’t care what people think about them, there are others who do. I can’t imagine what it’s like to NOT care what people think about me, which restricts what I’m able to do as I don’t want to cause offence or be thought poorly of. But I’ve a friend who isn’t bothered by this (or at least, he only cares what people close to him think of him) and so is better able to do what he wants to do, uninhibited.

      He’s also relentlessly optimistic; when things go wrong he can deal with them and then put them behind him. Again, not my forte, sadly, but there you go(!)

      I think that often we have a tendency to believe that when we are struggling with something, no-one else is likely to be struggling with the same thing. This is why, as you said, we often feel alone. And of course, this feeling is only compounded by negative mental states such as depression.

      But recently, I’ve come to realise that with 6bn people on the planet, it’s *highly* unlikely that we’re alone in our pain; it’s just that usually we don’t come across others in our own geographical environments who feel as we do at the same time. (Or we find it difficult to share how we feel for fear of ridicule, shame or because we’re just not given to expressing our own (negative) feelings.)

      This is why I decided to write the post based on my own feelings/experiences and harness the expansive power of the internet to do the rest. ;o)

      I had hoped it might prompt responses from others, such as yourself, and would then help to give us all “permission” to just be who we are and feel able to focus on getting through life with whatever struggles we might have – which is already hard enough! Who then needs the additional trauma of self-castigation because we feel bad about NOT feeling the way we think we should…?

      So your reply, Runa, would seem to have had the reciprocal effect of helping both of us – and will hopefully help others in the same way. Thank you for that.

      I’ve a few more posts/articles that I want to write in coming weeks/months which, in the same vein, will discuss other topics with which I and, I assume, countless others would probably struggle in some shape or form and which I hope we, as an online community, can support each other with.


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