Some thoughts on cognitive dissonance, soul friends, some links and a poll!
November recap - happy December!
Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Here’s what is in store in this recap:
A thought I’m processing on cognitive dissonance
A thought I’m loving on soul friends
What you guys have been processing this month
A poll on your feelings about the holidays
Some links I’m loving
A full recap & links to this month’s posts
A thought I’m processing [on cognitive dissonance]
In 1957, a guy named Leon Festinger theorized that there is a deep psychological discomfort that comes from having two ideas or beliefs that are seemingly inconsistent, and that people will make choices (and often enormous compromises) in order to minimize that dissonance.
You might have felt this before you make a decision: we have two things we want and we have to accept that we cannot have them both. Our desire to escape cognitive dissonance influences how we take in information: we can unconsciously control what information we want to take in in order to reduce dissonance. And Festinger’s theory is that this drive to reduce dissonance plays out big time in how we pick groups. If we can find other people who will think like us, we are able to reduce that discomfort.
When we feel inconsistent realities or beliefs, we do our best to erase one by emphasizing evidence or value for one over the other. But some (of my favorite humans) seem to have found a way to resist this impulse and embrace the dissonance. I have friends who highly value identifying their inconsistent beliefs - they want to consider different perspectives, and they are willing to poke holes in their frameworks.
Cognitive dissonance is uncomfortable but really helpful part of making healthy choices in life. When we separate ourselves from the opinions or views of those who see the world differently, we may feel safer, but we are not. When we join groups that all think and behave the same way, we may feel safer, but we are not.
So, one thing I’m over here working on is cultivating some good dissonance tolerance. I’m practicing holding ideas that are inconsistent in my mind and recognizing - these are inconsistent, and that makes me uncomfortable, but it’s okay. I can acknowledge that. I can take my time. I can figure out what I think without having to erase one of these to ease the distress.
A thought I’m loving [on soul friends]
One of my dearest people sent this to me on thanksgiving: “You are my Anam Cara!” and she explained to me the Celtic concept of soul friend:
“With the anam cara you could share your inner-most self, your mind and your heart. This friendship was an act of recognition and belonging. When you had an anam cara, your friendship cut across all convention, morality, and category. You were joined in an ancient and eternal way with the “friend of your soul.” The Celtic understanding did not set limitations of space or time on the soul. There is no cage for the soul. The soul is a divine light that flows into you and into your Other. This art of belonging awakened and fostered a deep and special companionship.”
What you guys are processing
“I can’t identify my feelings. it makes it difficult to help my kids identify theirs.”
This is a true thing. It also makes it difficult to avoid under-regulating or over-regulating emotions. 😬 If you’re an over-regulator it may take some kind/compassionate listening and checking in with yourself to start getting in touch with feelings. And if you’re an under-regulator, it may feel like a big mess of “overwhelmed.” Using a list of emotions can help!
“Life is too many things!!!”
“I don’t really forgive others, just create distance.”
So tough. Sometimes the distance helps with forgiveness. Often, forgiveness and creating distance are not mutually exclusive. So complicated!
“It’s MY holiday season too…and that’s ok”
This is true.
“My dad’s death back in August 2021”
I’m so sorry.
“Distance with family members esp around the holidays, routines, patience with growth.”
Ugh. So hard.
“Excited for a day when I can whittle this down and really answer this.”
Uh. Me too. I really just post about what I’m processing RIGHT NOW THIS INSTANT.
“Grief. Early widowhood. A lack of church / Christian support.”
I have so many feelings when I read this. I am so sorry. May Jesus succeed where friends have failed, and may His Spirit convict and change those friends. This kind of failure is deeply painful and deeply wrong.
Question for everyone:
Some links I’m loving
ADVENT PDF guide!! I am so so proud of this resource still. If you’ve never done my advent guide - let this be the year!
A product I’m curious about but resisting (cause it’s so expensive!)
Another product I’m curious about but resisting
A good reminder regarding codependency
A book I’m loving
A show I am talking about CONSTANTLY
What you missed this month
Below are some links to what I’ve shared this month! (Please note that some of my messier thoughts and musings are behind a paywall. You can read more about why I do that here, and feel free to upgrade your subscription to access them.)
The room next door - some thoughts on a complicated season with Jesus
Things took a turn - an update on my complicated season with Jesus!
Podcast-ish thing // Ep 1:12 - Dismantling self - some NXIVM tactics I see in the Church (an episode on how dangerous it is to be in a space where you are trained to systematically distrust yourself)
Thankful to be embodied - some thanksgiving love to this bodily experience and the God who became embodied
Brains are complicated - More NXIVM thoughts and why healing takes time
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