"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Sunday, 7 September 2014

It's All in Your Head

The inability to forget is infinitely more devastating than the inability to remember  (Mark Twain)

Something that always amazes me is how ideas come together when I deeply desire understanding, and then pay attention to what happens next. On Thursday Jules posted on the topic of avoiding. It got me thinking about how doing something small and positive has always worked better for me than fussing over a big seemingly impossible problem. This was the beginning of some synchronicity. 

As my previous post will attest, I've been feeling agitated and down for the past few days. Thursday morning was a low spot, but overall it hasn't been very good for many days. Yesterday morning, I chatted online with a wonderful girlfriend, and felt a lot better, but realized that after a while my mood was headed downhill yet again. As I wrote to her later, it dawned on me that when she and I were online together, it was as if I was transitioned already. I was me and this body I dislike was not an issue at all. I needed to believe in my power to be the same person all the time so that no matter what people see when they look at me, that person inside can be me.

Then, more synchronicity:

As frequent visitors here will recall, golf is an important part of my recreational life. Yesterday afternoon, after the revelation I mentioned above  I was wandering around the public library in town, just putting in time while waiting for my sweetie, and happened to see a book I've meant to read. "Golf is Not a Game of Perfect" by Dr. Bob Rotella. I signed it out but didn't open it until this morning, when I read:

"NOT MANY PEOPLE think that their state of mind is a matter of choice. But I believe it is. Unfortunately, major branches of psychology and psychiatry during this century have helped promote the notion that we are all in some sense victims—victims of insensitive parents, victims of poverty, victims of abuse, victims of implacable genes. Our state of mind, therefore, is someone else’s responsibility. This kind of psychology is very appealing to many academics. It gives them endless opportunities to pretend they know what makes an individual miserable and unsuccessful. It appeals as well to a lot of unhappy people. It gives them an excuse for their misery. It permits them to evade the responsibility for their own lives."

followed by

"people by and large become what they think about themselves"

That really hit home. 

I have only just started reading this book, but as you can tell, Dr Rotella has my attention. If it helps me improve my golf game, that will be a bonus. 


  1. Feeling better *and* a better short game? Sounds like a winner. :c)

    Hope you're feeling better...


  2. Hi Halle
    I agree it’s all in the mind, but as far as golf is concerned maybe we think too much about it!!
    Here is my little composition, a ‘Golfing lament” for you
    Golf ball responds to its golfing master
    Golf devil sows thoughts of disaster
    Until one finds a temporary respite
    Thoughts now on a positive light
    Why couldn’t I do that before?
    Don’t think! Play! Score!
    I’ll use my new insight
    To make the call
    Don’t think

    1. Lindsay you certainly have captured the mental side of the game there. :-)

  3. On a light note, I can't resist sharing Mark Twain's definition of golf: "a good walk wasted." (I suspect you disagree...) :D

    == Cass

  4. Playing the role of the victim, "can't move on in life", "! need closure (which I'm not going to get, so there!)" and other postures must one of the ego's best-loved game-playing roles. And how so utterly destructive and pointless.

    On another note, I loved Cassidy's Mark Twain quote.

    1. Ah, closure... That happens when someone lower the lid for the last time doesn't it?
      I've often wondered what old Sam Clemens would make of the game now with so many people riding around the course in buggies!

    2. Good point, Halle. :D

      Mark Twain is my all-time favorite writer. Here are a few quotes that have inspired and comforted me, particularly since I began transitioning:

      “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

      “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

      “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

      He was - is - a treasure. :c)

      == Cass

  5. Thank you so much for these gems. He was one who understood the human condition very well and turned his clever mind to making it better. We need more like him today don't we?


  6. "people by and large become what they think about themselves"....I was a victim of this very thing for a very long time and no truer words have been spoken. The good news is that it works in the positive sense as well!!....Joanna

  7. Oh Halle, I hope I'll have something to say on your next post. I always read you. Thank you for being here/there.

    1. Dear Ellena, I do wish more of the friends who stop by here regularly but feel they have nothing to add would do what you have done today! Oh, and if they can leave me such a compliment it would be even more appreciated! Thank you.

  8. Why did Mark Twain not say:
    Remembering is more devastating than forgetting? or am I misunderstanding the quote?
    At first I did not agree at all but after pondering this for a bit, I don't know what to think because I don't know all that I have completely forgotten - the bad and the good. I can't weigh one against the other.

    I hope no one comes back to the comments here. I constantly make a fool of myself.

    1. From the point of view of clarity, your statement is clear and equivalent to the longer version. Mark Twain was a writer and a speaker in his time. I suspect this quote is taken from a speech or an article. Having heard some of his speeches or articles spoken on stage, it seems likely that the original context went something like this:
      " When one gets to a certain age, a common complaint is one's inability to recall names, or recent events. In my case, I would suggest that the inability to forget is much more devastating that the inability to remember."

      Once more I find myself telling you that I find everything you write very sensible indeed! Oh, and don't worry, nobody ever reads this stuff Ellena... we are safe to make fools of ourselves here whenever it suits us. :-)