By in Random

Do You Live in a Filtered or Fostered State?

(Author's Note: To define what I mean by "filtered" and "fostered," I use them as adjectives, in a somewhat figurative way, to describe an action taken on a person by self or others. Filter: To pass through another's view of acceptable to remove unwanted behavior. Foster: Encourage or cultivate development of something good or genuine. I use the word, "state," to suggest a state of being, thinking, or behaving.)

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Often times, I second-guess myself. I begin to doubt who I am, what I do, and how I do it. It really is crazy-making, and it does not always serve me well.

I regularly take self-inventory surrounding how I live and work, and put my message and stories out. Of course, each of us has a unique personality. That personality needs to be fostered, not filtered.

I have critics, as we all do.

In the filtered state, we lose sight of who we are at the very core. Sometimes we are filtered by others, and the situations in which we find ourselves. At other times, we filter ourselves, having learned behaviors that may certainly serve us in some ways. Eventually, it can become problematic, because we are busy trying to make others happy.

In a fostered state, we are genuine, and on the road to maximum potential. Ideally, we would have others foster this in us from our earliest of experiences. However, those whose job it is to help us grow, have been filtered themselves, and place the same filters on us. We see the world through their eyes, and think we are being the best part of self. When we reach great successes (maximum potential for some), there seems to be little to no joy or meaning in having done so.

We begin to see that we MUST be the ones to foster it in ourselves. We must take responsibility, and choose accordingly. We choose different behavior, and to associate with different people. We find a passion for what we want to do, and start on the path to truth, happiness, authenticity and discovery of it all along the way.

Critics, be damned!

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© Copyright 2015 - Coral Levang. All Rights Reserved. Updated from an original written and posted for Bubblews on May 3, 2014, and removed by the author.

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Image Credit » by geralt

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morilla wrote on June 23, 2015, 6:31 AM

It's the greatest gift bestowed on mankind by God and the one which got us into trouble - the ability to choose. The reality is that there are times when we must filter. Times when we are filtered, whether we're aware of it or not. Fostering? It should always be that we try to remain 'true to ourselves' or, as the Bible puts it... "Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide." (Psalms 26:1)

rescuegal wrote on June 23, 2015, 8:10 AM

People who are closest to us often want to define us and think we should be who they are and live our life the way they do. When we aren't true to ourselves, we seek the approval of others. It took me until age 50 to realize who I am. Life would have been a lot easier if I could have figured that out at age 18.

scheng1 wrote on June 23, 2015, 8:34 AM

With the way the country is run in the US, sooner or later the people will feel like they are in a slavery state.

MegL wrote on June 23, 2015, 8:42 AM

I wasn't sure what to expect when I saw the title on this and your post is thought provoking. I had to read the first three sentences a couple of times, which is unusual for me (unless I REALISE I have made a mistake in understanding, LOL). Yes, I understand what you are saying about filtering. I think we must all have had that done and are doing it to our children and grandchildren all the time, those are probably the scripts we all have going on in our heads all the time telling us how to behave in any situation (eg you must brush your teeth before bed, don't go into town without your coat, etc). Fostering - now that's the one that is causing me to pause and I think it is because of the meaning it has been given - in this country (UK) anyway - with children in foster homes. Fostering does mean to help grow something, yet the vision I have of foster homes is often that they may be safe but not necessarily very nurturing, though I am sure some are. I suppose I understand what you are saying by choosing two different words, reactive and proactive. In the reactive state (filtered), we accept what we have been told and act accordingly (react). In the proactive state (fostered) we choose what we want to accept or reject and live our lives proactively by choosing the way we want to go, not reactively reacting with or against what we have been told.

msiduri wrote on June 23, 2015, 8:46 AM

One of the things I noticed when I was working for a large company was that there were thing you could not say or do. You had to act like a robot. Once in a while the handed out an "anonymous" survey as to how we felt about the company (after asking our location and how long we'd worked for the company—yeah, anonymous). My survey just never made it back to the pile. Most people's responses were "rosy" all the way down. "I want to work here all my life." The whole atmosphere was stultifying. "We like to hear from you. Just don't tell us anything different from what we're already saying." "We have an open door policy." Which of course meant, the front door is open and if you have an problems, take them out there.

msiduri wrote on June 23, 2015, 8:48 AM

Really think that's likely? As opposed to places like North Korea?

paigea wrote on June 23, 2015, 9:19 AM

I think the daily grind of life (earning income, bills, etc.) prevented me from fostering and nurturing my biggest desires or "gifts". That and just plain old procrastination some times.

CoralLevang wrote on June 23, 2015, 9:46 AM

MegL Thank you for your post. I have added a note in the beginning, which I hope clears that up for those whose literal definitions would not make sense of the more figurative definitions I intended. I will address the content of your comment this evening, as I will with the others.

Thanks again.

CoralLevang wrote on June 23, 2015, 9:55 AM

scheng1 I have tried to avoid discussion with you on past posts, because I believe in freedom of speech and I know we come from different cultures, but I cannot remain quiet anymore. I must ask you this question: Why is it that you are so insistent to point out so much fault in me, or the United States? It seems that much of what you comment is deliberately intended to be offensive, call attention to my qualities, or to show an air of superiority? I would appreciate a response, as I'd like to understand you better. Thank you.

Last Edited: June 23, 2015, 9:59 AM

CoralLevang wrote on June 23, 2015, 9:56 AM

msiduri I was thinking something very similar. Thank you.

hanvanmeegerin wrote on June 23, 2015, 11:18 AM

Corallevang ,

This is definitely a thought provoking piece. You describe a tough road to journey on, but all of us travelers need to make this trek.

For what it's worth, I believe that you are a multi-faceted writer that has awesome talent. You share articulate pieces often drawn from your personal experiences. You are definitely a survivor and I admire how you have shared your personal and medical obstacles and how you have worked to overcome them.

As for The United States, though it is much need of repair, Merle Haggard has a fitting song titled "The Fightin' Side of Me." Here is one line of the song:

"When they're runnin' down my country, hoss,
They're walkin' on the fightin' side of me."

Keep up the great work!

Your fan and friend,

Last Edited: June 24, 2015, 10:51 AM

Kasman wrote on June 23, 2015, 2:49 PM

Most of the time I live in a confused state! What does the world want from me? What do I want from the world? I generally bumble along fitting in as far as possible but occasionally i feel like a square peg in a round hole!

AliCanary wrote on June 24, 2015, 6:09 PM

On one hand, it's not necessarily a bad thing to think about how your words might be taken and rephrase things so as not to cause offense unnecessarily because of poor communication. On the other hand, one mustn't be AFRAID to express one's self honestly.

seren3 wrote on June 24, 2015, 7:31 PM

CoralLevang So true! I have been following some nurture-yourself videos and the lead-in is " taking responsibility for your own well-being..." which is a good reminder. Filtering is occasionally helpful but said it well.

CoralLevang wrote on July 1, 2015, 8:00 PM

morilla Though I do not likely have the same explanation as you do, I agree that the ability to choose can be a double-edged sword, most definitely! Knowledge and experience (hopefully) gives us the discernment necessary to recognize what situations and people may be better left alone. Unfortunately, so many of us must learn the hard(est) way!

CoralLevang wrote on July 1, 2015, 8:02 PM

*laughs* I had to laugh, &AbbyG . My mother used to ask me regularly as a kid, "What the hell makes you think about sh** like this?" I didn't have an answer, except to ask her, "Why is this a problem?" She used to think I was being a smarta$$ to do so. I wasn't. I was being serious.

CoralLevang wrote on July 1, 2015, 8:04 PM

rescuegal Ain't that the truth! I started the process in earnest, about 7 years earlier than that, but didn't start to really "get it" until about the same time. Now, it's about fine-tuning it. Aren't you glad we still have a chance to learn new tricks? emoticon :winking:

CoralLevang wrote on July 1, 2015, 8:06 PM

scheng1 I was not sure if you had read my response to this message, but I really do hope to understand what your intention is. I value good discussion.

CoralLevang wrote on July 1, 2015, 8:19 PM

hanvanmeegerin Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. I have often said, "We are in the same war and that war is LIFE. Only are battles are a bit unique to us."

Your kudos make me a bit uncomfortable, though I certainly appreciate them. I tell my own stories, because I cannot tell anyone else's stories very well. Besides, I believe that by sharing one's own stories, the listener/reader will draw their own meaning based on how they relate to them. Some are just not ready to hear them. It will not stop me from the telling. But I am not much different from anyone one else, who has a story to tell. Yet, I thank you. It is nice to hear when someone appreciates that I have poured out my soul.

I am a patriotic, it is true, though I am not blindly so. Patriotism means a lot to me, based on when I grew up and what I believed in as I had my own experiences. I do not have an all-or-nothing view of country, patriotism, democracy or freedom. Because we are all humans, we come to an understanding, then we have an opportunity to challenge those understandings. All a matter of choice, and willingness. I have always wanted to understand others when they tend to be rather dogmatic in their thinking. I once was told that I was "too pragmatic to be a good military member." At the time, it hurt my feelings, because they likened pragmatism to being wishy-washy.

I will always advocate for the freedom for all to speak their mind or piece. I do expect that I will be given the same respect, especially when I will fight for their right to do so. emoticon :winking:
Thanks, Han.

CoralLevang wrote on July 1, 2015, 8:23 PM

msiduri Unfortunately, most people fear the result/consequence of what may happen if they are true to their ideals. It may not be comfortable to walk away when things don't work for you, or let go and told you aren't wanted anymore. But I would rather that than become an empty shell who is miserable. When it stops working, we need to learn to let go. One of the hardest things to do in life, because of the guilt, shame and other negatives that have been heaped on us in our lives.

CoralLevang wrote on July 1, 2015, 8:25 PM

paigea As long as you have life, it offers you opportunity to do some things differently, if you want to. It's about figuring out a way to do so.

CoralLevang wrote on July 1, 2015, 8:26 PM

Kasman LOL You just described my life. And I'm a damned hexagon who doesn't fit anywhere, really. I've often said that I am "complex, not really complicated."

CoralLevang wrote on July 1, 2015, 8:29 PM

AliCanary This is an "amen" moment. It's all about balance, and being willing to look at things differently. And, as you said, getting over the fear of being expressive, not matter what the reception is, and not being sucked into the toxic arguments.

CoralLevang wrote on July 1, 2015, 8:31 PM

Thank you, seren3 . That reminder is the best.... taking responsibility of one's own self, and releasing self from the responsibility for another person's happiness or unhappiness. We can so easily get bound up in that, based on upbringing and cultural expectations.

hanvanmeegerin wrote on July 2, 2015, 12:10 AM

CoralLevang I'm just one reader that is a small fish, but I try to give positive feedback when I can. I will also stand up to and against those with opposing view points. I think debate is good and that people can and should be able to do this in a civilized manner. Many people can, but sadly some cannot. I think your stories and messages are valuable and though I didn't think you would, I didn't want to see you get knocked off message, because you had detractor on your hands.

CoralLevang wrote on July 2, 2015, 1:19 AM

hanvanmeegerin Dankjewel!