Be OK with not being OK – an AI-generated article

As many others, I am fascinated by AI-generated images and text these days. (There has been a huge improvement in the publicly accessible AIs over the last months.)

What if I ask ChatGPT to write an article for me?

As so often, the result is surprisingly good although a bit conventional.

The two following sections are ChatGTP’s brief article on the benefits of being OK with not being OK, and some practical pointers on how we can move in that direction. I’ll follow it with my own reflections.

THE BENEFITS OF BEING OK WITH NOT BEING OK [ChatGTP]

Being okay with not being okay can have several benefits. Some of these include:

  1. Increased self-awareness: By accepting that it’s normal to have negative emotions and that it’s okay to not be okay, you can become more aware of your own emotional states and how they affect you.
  2. Reduced stress: Trying to suppress or ignore negative emotions can lead to increased stress and anxiety. By accepting that it’s okay to feel negative emotions, you can reduce the stress of trying to hide or deny them.
  3. Improved mental health: When you’re able to accept that it’s okay to not be okay, you can start to work through your negative emotions in a healthy way. This can lead to improved mental health and overall well-being.
  4. Increased empathy: When you’re okay with not being okay, you can be more empathetic towards others. By recognizing that everyone goes through difficult times, you can have more compassion for others and be a better friend and support for them.
  5. Improved relationships: When you’re okay with not being okay, you can be more vulnerable and authentic with others. This can lead to deeper and more meaningful connections with others.
  6. Greater self-compassion: When you’re okay with not being okay, you can be more compassionate and understanding towards yourself. This can lead to greater self-esteem and overall well-being.
  7. Better problem-solving ability: When you’re okay with not being okay, you can be more realistic and objective about your problems and find effective solutions to them.

HOW CAN I BE MORE OK WITH NOT BEING OK? [ChatGTP]

  1. Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness can help you become more aware of your thoughts and emotions in the present moment. This can help you accept and acknowledge your negative emotions, rather than trying to suppress them.
  2. Allow yourself to feel your emotions: Instead of trying to push away negative emotions, try to allow yourself to feel them. This doesn’t mean dwelling on them, but rather acknowledging their presence and allowing them to pass through you.
  3. Practice self-compassion: Be kind and understanding towards yourself when you’re not feeling okay. Remind yourself that everyone goes through difficult times, and it’s normal to have negative emotions.
  4. Talk to someone: Sometimes, talking to a friend or therapist can help you process and understand your emotions better. This can help you to understand that you’re not alone in your feelings and can help you to find ways to cope with them.
  5. Practice gratitude: Focusing on the things you are grateful for can help shift your focus away from negative emotions and towards positive thoughts.
  6. Engage in self-care: Taking care of yourself through activities such as exercise, yoga, meditation, or journaling can help you feel more grounded and centered, making it easier to process and accept negative emotions.
  7. Learn to let go: Sometimes, it’s not possible to change the situation that’s causing negative emotions. In this case, it’s important to learn to let go and accept that you can’t control everything.
  8. Find a healthy outlet: Finding a healthy way to express negative emotions, such as through writing, art, or exercise, can be a helpful tool to process and understand them.

Remember that it’s a process, it’s not something that you can achieve overnight. Be patient and compassionate with yourself and keep trying different things until you find something that works for you.

SOME REFLECTIONS

As I mentioned, I find these brief articles surprisingly good. These are pointers I find helpful for myself and would be happy to share with a friend or client.

Why are they so good? Because the AI has learned from the best produced by humans.

Why are they a bit conventional? For the same reason. They take the best of what’s out there in the mainstream.

Will AI replace humans? Not really. Humans still need to interact with the AI, craft good questions and input, and edit and quality-control the output. Also, the AI is fed by human creations. It’s dependent on the insights, experiences, and creations of humans.

Will AI essays be a problem in our educational system? (After all, students can create completely original and relatively high-quality works using AI.) Not necessarily, and if it’s a problem, that may be good. Supporting students by grading them – in this case based on essays – was always a poor way to do it. The existence of AI text-generators just requires teachers to be a bit more innovative. They can, for instance, ask students to first produce the best possible AI-generated text on a topic and then critique and evaluate it.

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Each part of us wants love and acceptance, and we are the only one who can give it to them

This is what “everyone” says, and it’s accurate in my experience.

We all have innumerable parts – or subpersonalitites, voices, or whatever we want to call them.

Each of these parts wants what we want. They want love, acceptance, understanding, a partnership.

We often try to find this in the world. And although it can work to some extent, it doesn’t really work. (If it seems to work, it’s because finding love from someone else allows us to more easily give it to ourselves and these parts of us.)

We are the only one who can give these parts of us what they really want. We are the only ones in a position to give them the love, acceptance, understanding and so on that they seek.

We are the only one in a position to be a guru, friend, parent, or lover to these parts of us.

David Steindl-Rast: May we never forget the crippled, wind-beaten trees, how they, too, bud, green and bloom

May we never forget the crippled, wind-beaten trees, how they, too, bud, green and bloom. May we, too, take courage to bloom where we are planted.

– Brother David Steindl-Rast

Everything in nature – plants, animals, ecosystems – quietly accepts their condition and circumstances and makes the best out of it.

We are part of nature. This is in us as well.

And because we are so fascinated by our thoughts, we sometimes get sidetracked. We get caught up in ideas of how it could have been or should have been, and mentally fight with what is.

Sometimes, one of the things most difficult for us humans is to remember and rediscover what all of nature, except us, already know and do, and what’s in our nature or know and do. And that is to bud, green, and bloom where we are planted, with the conditions and circumstances that are here.

After the initial struggle, most of us are able to make the best out of our circumstances. We haven’t completely forgotten. We know it makes sense. And yet, many of us also spend a good deal of time and energy on mentally fighting with what is.

I like that Steindl-Rast uses the word courage. It does take courage to shift out of this mental battle and instead allow what’s here. (It’s already allowed by life and here so it’s the only thing that makes sense.) It’s a kind of betrayal of old (apparently) useless mental dynamics learned from our parents and culture. It’s the courage to be as the rest of nature.

Acceptance and commitment

From the Optimum Health Clinic

This video is a reminder of the importance of acceptance and commitment if we want to change. He talks about chronic fatigue (CFS), and it also applies to change in general.

How does acceptance look to me? And specifically in the context of CFS?

I am more honest with myself about my situation. I let it sink in. I live according to my situation. (I make plans, regulate my activity etc. according to the limits and possibilities of living with a serious illness.) I also take care of (care for) the emotions and fears coming up in me when I am more honest with myself about my situation.

And how does commitment look?

I am committed to finding improvement. To explore best practices. Work with someone who has a good track record in helping people with CFS and uses a grounded and integral approach. Implement their recommendations. Stay with it. Make adjustments as I learn more and see what works for me.

I find it interesting to look at the comments to this video. Some comments (almost all as of writing this) seem a bit reactive and express something like “are you telling me I am not committed? I have been fighting this illness for years!”.

We may wish to heal, we may be distressed about it (sad, angry, hopeful, disappointed), we may try a lot in order to heal, but that’s different than acceptance and commitment. For instance, the word “fighting” in itself implies a lack of acceptance and an orientation that can get in the way of a deeper commitment.

To me, acceptance and commitment are quiet, deep, and gives a direction over the long term. And it’s an ongoing process, at least for me.

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Acceptance vs love

Some folks talk about acceptance, and there is something to it. At the same time, it can sound a little lukewarm and perhaps hiding a secret resistance and grudge.

What about love?

If there is no acceptance or love for what is, it’s because of images and thoughts I have that are taken as true. They are still uninvestigated. And as I investigate these thoughts, there is more clarity, and love is revealed. What thoughts previously called bad, wrong or unfortunate are now revealed as love. The responses these beliefs triggered in me – anger, sadness, grief, fear, frustration, resistance – are revealed as love. These labels, which may also appear not quite true, are revealed as love. The identification with these thoughts and images are revealed as love.

In this context, acceptance – as resistance – is a brilliant pointer. It points me to what’s left.