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Choices wisdom from movies

GuiltAndShame posted 2/9/2020 19:58 PM

From the movie “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”. Near the end, Harry is bothered by the similarities between himself and the evil Voldemort. Harry wonders if he belongs in the Gryffindor house, and whether he is truly good or evil. Dumbledore points out why Harry is different than Voldemort, based on Harry’s request (choice) to be in Gryffindor house during the sorting ceremony, saying “It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices.”

From the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”, when Indiana meets the knight guarding the holy grail, the knight says “You must choose, but choose wisely. For as the true Grail will bring you life, the false Grail will take it from you.”

Our choices make us who we are, who others see when they look at us or think about us. We are in control of our choices. When faced with a choice, we must pause to consider how each choice will affect our image. Bad choices can take our respect, honor, happiness, love, even life.

Our choices show what we truly are.
Choose wisely.

Zugzwang posted 2/10/2020 06:46 AM

So agree. Our choices and actions make us who we are. Do bad things and you become a bad person. That is why I say all cheaters are bad and cruel. When you stop cheating, lying, minimizing, manipulating, and the list of character traits that go with it...you become better to good. One always is as high as their weakest character trait. You can do all the good in the world you can muster, you still are only as good as the one person you choose to hurt. The person you are hurting doesn't care if you are a saint in other areas of your life. That is why I don't subscribe to good people doing bad mistakes. That is why I don't subscribe to the whole "we are only human" stuff. No, we aren't. We should be striving to be better than only human because it is possible to not give in to the "only human" what people call "sinful" choices.

MrsWalloped posted 2/10/2020 07:08 AM

you still are only as good as the one person you choose to hurt.

I really disagree with this. And it didn’t come easy to me to get to a place where I disagree. I thought like this for a long time.

I understand what you’re saying and the point you’re making. I agree that our choices is what makes us who we are. But I am more than the one person I hurt. Maybe from that person’s perspective it’s true. But I am not only as good or bad as that.

Zugzwang posted 2/12/2020 06:34 AM

Don't you think that is a total disregard for the person you would be choosing to hurt? To dismiss them and focus on only the good in order to feel okay about yourself? To me that is what I see when people say what you are saying. That they can't humble themselves to feel comfortable at the level of the person they are choosing to hurt and define themselves at that level in order to become better. It just seems like not accepting the ugly and really owning it. It just seems like rugsweeping to me and hiding from the bad in order to live with yourself.

MrsWalloped posted 2/12/2020 07:24 AM


I’m sorry but I think you made a lot of assumptions that aren’t true or fair.

Don't you think that is a total disregard for the person you would be choosing to hurt? To dismiss them and focus on only the good in order to feel okay about yourself?
No. I’m not perfect and I slip up often but my main focus for the past 4 years has been the opposite of what you’re saying. My focus has been recognizing who I hurt, working on myself to address many things that allowed me to hurt him and to help him and atone. I don’t only focus on the good. But I’ve learned that I have to recognize and accept the good too. I’m not only the bad. It’s not one extreme or the other.

That they can't humble themselves to feel comfortable at the level of the person they are choosing to hurt and define themselves at that level in order to become better.

You call it humbling yourself. I call it toxic shame and unhealthy thought patterns. That’s from my work with my therapist on CBT. I had to reframe my thinking away from what you’re suggesting. I can humble myself but I also don’t need to define myself as only the bad.

It just seems like not accepting the ugly and really owning it. It just seems like rugsweeping to me and hiding from the bad in order to live with yourself.

No. I own the bad and I also learned to own the good. The easy part for me was to be the bad person and wallow in that. There’s an appropriate thread now about the shame spiral and that where this line of thinking leads to. Thinking you’re ugly and bad only prevents you from healing and doing the hard work on yourself and to help your BS. If you’re so evil and bad then what’s the point? You’re a lost cause anyway. The hard part is to own the bad things but not be so selfish as to make yourself out to be just that bad person.

There’s a big difference between understanding and owning the horrible thing I did and defining myself by only that measure.

hikingout posted 2/12/2020 10:06 AM

I meant to comment earlier, but I disagree with it being forever true as well.

I do think there is a middle ground between what the two of your are saying though. I think in that time after DDAY, prior to the long hard work, the ephipanies, the working to make amends, you are still defined by your most recent past.

But, as we get further and further out, you hav the option to change what the most immediate past is and who you are. You will never be able to take back what you did, and you will always have that accountability over it. I will always be defined by those behaviors in that I know I am capable of them, that they happened, that they forever changed our marriage.

But, if I can be defined by that, I can also be defined by all the changes I have made, the work I have done, and the behaviors I now exhibit.

It just depends on where you are on in the spectrum (I would say timeline but I don't think always the work happens at the same rate among WS) as to how you look at it. But overcoming shame and feeling like you can be redeemed is as important for our BS as it is for us.

[This message edited by hikingout at 10:06 AM, February 12th (Wednesday)]

DaddyDom posted 2/12/2020 11:28 AM

you still are only as good as the one person you choose to hurt.

This is a really interesting phrase, and question.

I personally feel that we are as good as we choose and allow ourselves to be. The goal is to wake up every day and try to be the best person we can be, and not hurt anyone. However it is entirely possible to be the best person you can, and still hurt others... for example, in politics, I might feel strongly about a certain policy and support it, while another person might disagree and resent me for supporting it. That's something we can't help, and I don't think it reflects on our self-value. However you used an interesting word in there, which is who we CHOOSE to hurt. And if we are actively choosing to hurt someone (talking about the present, not the past), then how can we possibly be our best selves?

I don't think it is dismissive to see yourself as a good person when you've hurt others in the past. I do think that if you are hurting someone in the present, then you really need to think about why that is being allowed and how/why you reconcile your self-value with the fact that you are choosing to hurt someone. I also think that your self-view of being good or bad is a personal one. In other words, knowing who I am is one thing, while asking someone that I've hurt or abused, either now or in the past, to see me as "good", is not something I should be asking them to do. We shouldn't be judging ourselves based on the opinions of others anyway, whether we hurt them or not.

TiredSoul2017 posted 2/12/2020 13:06 PM

From "Some kind of wonderful". The main character (Eric Stoltz) finally gets to go out with the popular woman of his dreams. But his best friend (a female) is secretly in love with him. He dates the popular girl and uses his savings to buy her diamonds. Popular dream girls realizes that she doesn't love this guy who clearly loves her and that she just bounces from guy to guy so she isn't alone. This statement she made I have said a million times over my life and I am sure will impart this wisdom on my own kids. She says to Eric Stoltz "I would rather be alone for the right reasons then with someone for the wrong reasons".

A DAMN MEN

Zugzwang posted 2/12/2020 16:16 PM

I don’t only focus on the good. But I’ve learned that I have to recognize and accept the good too. I’m not only the bad. It’s not one extreme or the other.

Now. I was speaking at the time of still doing the actions of hurting and shortly after Dday. Before owning it. What you wrote made me think of when it was still going on. Before owning it. Not as in argument of who and what you have done. Just in general of the description and POV. You have done the work and owned it.

I call it toxic shame and unhealthy thought patterns.
Only if you choose to feel self pity and wallow in it. Which at that point to me isn't shame. IDK. What many are calling as a shame spiral or even descriptions of what their BS make them feel years out just isn't the same to me as shame. It is depression or self pity, self hate or abuse.. Humbling is getting down to the lowest person you have hurt and sit beside them to feel remorse and empathy.

I don't mean this to attack you. You moved forward and accepted and owned it. You chose to become more than being the bad person choosing to hurt people.

If you’re so evil and bad then what’s the point? You’re a lost cause anyway.
No, you can change. When you choose to change you aren't doing bad things and being a bad person. I guess this is just me just defining that you can't just dismiss the bad to focus on only the good in order to move forward. I don't mean to accuse you of this. I know you didn't. Some do though, and they don't understand why they are stuck.

You will never be able to take back what you did, and you will always have that accountability over it
Agree, that is why I don't believe in calling myself former. I was a cheater. I have that label along with others. Like a bumper sticker on my ass. I am not afraid of it. I am not really ashamed of it as much anymore either because I chose to not be that anymore and worked to become someone different. I can take some pride in myself for choosing the hard road. For choosing to accept and change it. That makes the fear of it disappear.

thatbpguy posted 2/12/2020 18:19 PM

So agree. Our choices and actions make us who we are. Do bad things and you become a bad person. That is why I say all cheaters are bad and cruel. When you stop cheating, lying, minimizing, manipulating, and the list of character traits that go with it...you become better to good. One always is as high as their weakest character trait. You can do all the good in the world you can muster, you still are only as good as the one person you choose to hurt. The person you are hurting doesn't care if you are a saint in other areas of your life. That is why I don't subscribe to good people doing bad mistakes. That is why I don't subscribe to the whole "we are only human" stuff. No, we aren't. We should be striving to be better than only human because it is possible to not give in to the "only human" what people call "sinful" choices.

Didn't see a stop sign....

Taking this post as a whole, I agree with it. We choose our path in life (that we are in control of). Betraying is a choice. One can also choose to not betray (or betray again) and dedicate themselves to changing that aspect that is within them.

GTeamReboot posted 2/13/2020 07:11 AM

Accidental duplicate deleted!

[This message edited by GTeamReboot at 9:25 PM, February 13th (Thursday)]

GTeamReboot posted 2/13/2020 07:11 AM

New here and still learning the rules. I think as BS I’m allowed to post? I’ll delete if not!

This topic caught my eye because of an experience I had with FWH at the movies. We were watching Frozen 2 with our two daughters. Listen to the song “The Next Right Thing” through the ears of a WS, or really a recovering couple in general. He reached over and grabbed my hand with tears in his eyes and commented on it later.

He struggles with the shame spiral sometimes, though it’s early months for us. I struggle with hearing people praise what a great father and husband he is for a wide bunch of reasons that are true. They don’t know who he was for those months he cheated. Reconciling two awful realities that co-existed is hard work. I suppose I simply decide that the good things he did and was during that time don’t “count” because at that time he was defined by his lowest actions. But I can’t let it stay that way if he is doing the genuine work. So if his lowest action now is shedding a tear during a kids movie, I’ll recognize that.

JBWD posted 2/14/2020 23:11 PM

I think continuing to try and parse “good and flawed/inherently bad” is likely a waste of energy. There may be some utility in trying to assess the character of a questionable partner, but this comes to mind-

We do not statically exist. As “beings” there are a lot of dynamic characteristics that exist on a continuum. How many cheaters here ever woke up as adolescents and thought “I’d really like to destroy someone’s sense of well-being someday...”

We continually change and adapt to our environment and our conditions. The healthy approach is to live a life of integrity where we may fluctuate in some characteristics but remain steadfast to consistent, right principles. Anyone here who cheated fell short. We grow, we learn. Some don’t. But those qualities always change, adapt, mutate.

I have a hard time pinning down what remains immutable in me. The principles I wanted to uphold- I failed. But I know I have made changes that make those failures an object lesson in my past. And I further know that more failures await. But they won’t remain.

Brokenlifer posted 2/19/2020 21:27 PM

Have my feelings on this clear but,

If you don't think it's worth calling people good or bad, fair enough. Don't thi I that's what this post is about. The fact is that it many people do think in terms of this, like in the movie and there's nothing wrong wrong with thi king like this, it's no that different to any other personality descriptors.

But this:.

We shouldn't be judging ourselves based on the opinions of others anyway, whether we hurt them or not.
is simply inaccurate. It does matter and makea a difference, whether we hurt people to our character and therefore how we judge ourselves. Especially the people we PROMISE and VOW not to hurt deliberately our own selfish pleasures.

It's one thing to say we should fill our own bucket and love ourselves, and another to suggest that our actions towards others and their opinions of them shouldn't affect how we judges oursleves. No one is or should be that confident in their OWN opinion. After all we're talking about betraying people that know us best/have spent the most time with us, who love us but we're not supposed to take their opinions into account?

Everyone cares what people think, just to varying degrees. The degree of your spouse matters, or else we wouldn't need relationships or affirmation or for our spouse to meet our needs.

If you hurt your spouse on PURPOSE then at the time of doing so you were a bad person. Good people do not hurt people deliberately let, alone people they claim to love, who love them. Let alone, people who use that person's love and trust against them to continue hurting them.

That just doesn't make sense. By that argument and the one that people are more than the one person they hurt (let's not forget that one person is the closest one to you (NOT OP specifically) who you promised not to hurt so they are not 'just' one person and to say it this way does dismiss their significance in your life and yours in theirs and the damage you did to theirs), by these arguments rapists and murders can claim to be good people.

And let not get caught up in semantics of equating rapists to WS, who by the way don't let their BS have full consent by cheating on them and do traumatised them sexually, it's just example. We can use stealing if that's better for you, what the WS steal is much more valuable then items, like decades of life, front hair BS.

Good people don't do that. Because that's a horrible thing to do. And I question why one would want to do things like that, which DOES RUIN and I mean RUIN their spouses life, or end it with STDs, and still call themselves as good person.

Because as pointless as you think this 'labelling' may be, it obviously gives the WS some comfort if they're so determined to think of themselves as a good person, despite what their BS thinks and feels. You know, the person who is literally suffering from the consequences more due to the fact that they didn't chose them, if not for the fact that it will hurt them for longer (forever, ask me how I know).

It matters, owning up to our actions and changing the way we behave is affect what kind of people we are. We are our actions, we are how we treat people, how we keep our word about how we'll treat our family. We don't begrudge children who've been mistreated the right to determine what kind of people their parents are and I think this is because people rightly hold parents accountable for how they treat their children (as they are vulnerable) in their care.

For me, that goes for spouses as well. They are in our care. When we don't give them the full information they ate vulnerable because of that, if not for the fact that they are human. Maybe that helps others who don't get it from a spouse point of view. But honestly, I would judge the way someone's treats anyone, if we aren't our actions then we aren't anything, because our good intentions alone certainly don't make us good people.

We judge ourselves as employees, our moods, our marriages, everything as good or bad. It's not different for people.

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