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Matt

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  • in reply to: am i asexual?? or is it the past haunting me?? #78905
    Matt
    Participant

    Glet,

    It is so very normal and usual for someone who has been abused to feel panicked about sex. There are many similarities between sexual abuse and sex… similar motions, similar body parts involved, similar sensations. These similarities can initiate a lot of distress.

    Have you ever considered finding a therapist to talk to about these panicked feelings? I was sexually abused too, and found great success in talking it out. It was like my abuser entered my house and made a mess of things, and the mess scared me, made feel broken, ashamed, different, isolated. With some tender direction, however, I was able to work it through, sort it out, and heal the emotional bruises and triggers.

    The main thing to know is that it’s OK. You’re ok. Nothing permanent to your uncomfortable emotions, nothing lasting, nothing broken. The distance you feel between your emotional and physical desire is very normal. Have you spoken to your partner about your past? You don’t have to, of course, if you don’t want to, or if the trust isn’t there. But if you do trust him, talking to him about it may help him understand your need to take things slow.

    Consider that the feral portion of sex is perhaps the smallest part, bodies humping, does mean little. However, sex is much, much more than that. It’s about intimacy, connection, trust, and togetherness.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    in reply to: Depression. Nobody to talk to. #78884
    Matt
    Participant

    Tulipsheepard,

    I’m sorry for your difficult times, and hope you find some strength. It’s normal to feel sad after a breakup, and hating the very natural sadness that happens puts an extra layer on top of the already difficult grief. It’s like hating crying, and so when the tears begin to come, we punch ourselves in the cheeks. So we have the sadness and also bruised cheeks.

    But the tears aren’t your enemy, friend, they’re part of the healing. They’re how we remember we’re human, have wonderful emotions, and the path we walked meant something to us. Such as, you tried really hard to make the relationship work, invested a lot of yourself into it, it mattered. And still, it broke. Of course there is sadness.

    Consider, your mom might have difficulty with sadness, and so she tries to whitewash you. “Oh, stop it, you’re fine”. Some folks have difficulty being compassionately responsive to other people’s pain. Is your friend like that too? If you have no one, consider looking for a grief counselor or grief support group. Of course, you’re welcome to share more here on TB, many great huggers and wise souls.

    Chin up, friend, your sadness reveals your beauty, it doesn’t obscure it.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    Matt
    Participant

    Lotusflower,

    When there is mud, we add the river. Soon it is a swamp, then a lake, then the ocean. The river, for me, is focused communication. One person speaks, one person listens, both being mindful and respectful, knowing the other being the main intention. Not fixing, not blaming, not stabbing, not judging, just sharing and knowing. The rest works out from there.

    I understand theoryland may feel safer, but mudland is where the nourishment rests. Said differently, for a lotus to blossom, she breaks the seed husk and open her roots to draw nourishment from the mud. Do you have the courage to do that? Here where its anonymous? With him? With a therapist?

    With warmth,
    Matt

    in reply to: What do you do for fun? (and other questions) #78784
    Matt
    Participant

    Nicole,

    With it being such a short time after your difficult breakup, its very normal to feel that hole. It’s like walking out of a loud dance club, and the silence and ear ringing feel unusual. Said differently, chaotic relationships produce a lot of mental and emtional noise that we become accustomed to, and when we leave them, the absence of the noise can be unsettling. Keep with the hobbies and interests and self care, and the hole goes away. It takes time, many hugs, many breaths.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    in reply to: Trying to fight through and losing #78765
    Matt
    Participant

    Phightphear,

    I’m sorry for your suffering, and know how desperate life can feel sometimes. It’s as though a heavy fog descends across everything, and joy, brightness, freshness…. nowhere to be found. Don’t despair, dear friend, there is always a path to blue skies, and reaching out for help was a great step in seeing that fog lifted.

    Consider that you’ve been through a few different kinds of stressful events. These events are like mosquito bites (sometimes pretty darn big mosquitoes). Consider that when the event happens, like being stabbed in the back, unkind words, a house fire, there is the initial bite and some blood sucked. This is like the immediate reaction, the startle or anger reflex, lasts just an intense moment. But then there is the welt, and it itches. We scratch and scratch, focus our attention there, and try to rub and tear at it in a way that produces relief from the itch. But the more we scratch, the more it itches, and soon we have bites and scratches.

    Said differently, consider that there are the initial moments that hurt, and then the depressed feeling that lingers on. We try to overcome the depression, ignore it, soldier on, but it doesn’t seem to go away. The depression is disorienting, confounding, and makes finding peace and freshness seem impossible.

    Now, on the surface, it may seem like a string of bad luck to be bitten by mosquitoes, and have itchy skin. However, its actually fortunate. Consider: people that have it easy do not meet the kind of challenge you’re going through. In Tibetan Buddhism, there is a notion of “the God realm”, where things are good and easy. Sunshine and roses all day. In that realm there is little challenge to ego, little cause for any growth. When the good times run out in the god realm (and they always do eventually), they crash into deep suffering. However, in the human realm we go through tribulation, and once we have found our smile in the face of the struggles, we find an inner resilience that cannot be lost.

    Here and now, though, with the fog heavy, finding that inner smile can seem almost impossible. However, its easier than you think. There are simply a few keys. The first: forgive the initial bite, accept them. Such as, forgive the house fire, the fiancé, the lost work friends. Who knows exactly what the causes were for those events, but you don’t need to know tonset it down, let them go, and move on. “I forgive you, choose to let the past pass.” The second key is stop scratching. Consider, the events have pushed you into your head. Thinking about yourself, what happened to you, what they did to you, how you feel, you, you, you, you. This self focus is like itching, and too much of it just tears up your skin. Said differently, after the initial event, you focused too much on the event, grabbed it, tightened your fist around it. To stop, instead let the itch be met with peace, space, openness. Like focusing on the 90% of the skin that doesn’t itch, instead of the 10% that does.

    To this end, its about self nurturing actions. Walks in nature, baths with candles, soft music, keeping a gratitude journal, exploring your inner artist, and meditation. Consider especially metta meditation. Metta is the feeling of warm friendliness, and is a direct counter energy to the fog. And, it can be grown with practice. A natural process, normal process, well walked path, reliable. Consider “Sharon Salzburg guided metta meditation” on YouTube. When we practice metta, we grow space around the itch so we don’t just automatically scratch. It shifts deep subconscious patterns, lifts the fog.

    Finally, just as it took time and many events to create the fog, it will take time and effort to lift it. Stick with the good work, its effective. A few weeks with more intentional acts of nurturing and metta mediation, and the fog will be noticably thinner.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    in reply to: Neighbor in Cult? #78731
    Matt
    Participant

    Inky,

    JWs can be such great teachers, as they have a religious, bible based spiritual materialism. Like, as you’ve noticed, ego ego ego, and anything that doesn’t fit is exiled, shamed, cut out. Like a cocoon they have to wrap themselves in. As though a nutcracker isn’t God. As though God wouldn’t be right there with the boy, eating yogurt alongside, happy and celebrating her wonderful creation. Instead, they concentrate on the fear, wield it in the name of holy righteousness and purity. Losing the trees in the forest, concentrating on being godly yet shutting out 75% of her creation.

    In my opinion, do exactly what you’ve been doing. If invited, open yourself up to your inner divinity and say whatever comes to heart when he preaches. “Wow, you sure seem to have become cultish. You ok?” Sure, fine, sounds good. “Jesus only wanted his apostles to do “the work”? Then why are you doing “the work”? Brilliant, a well thrown spear. I trust your goddessy vibration, that in the moment you are needed, you will know what to do.

    As far as the dreams, stress, and fear, consider that JW aren’t converting, so much as filling a need he had. Not in a functional way, but still their plug reached his empty socket. The conclusion I’ve drawn from experience with many JW, both preachy ones and kind ones, is that young people need strict rules until they grow up. Like, JW is like spiritual kindergarten, fulfilling a need in humanity. They are still divine, lovable, beautiful, doing their best to be spiritual beings in material plane. Weird, sure. Many clingings, sure. Like kids, they think they know it all, and have much, much to learn.

    But its not yours. Yours is the loving work of getting a present in the boys hands. To see and love the tree. And you do well, are sneaky and creatively brilliant. He felt loved, attended, and seen. There are certainly worse preoccupations his dad could have. Worse addictions.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    in reply to: How to cope with feeling hurt? #78673
    Matt
    Participant

    J,

    In addition to the other kindly aimed words, consider that you’re making their actions all about you. As you’ve been away from their toxic qualities, consider how happiness has opened up, and a feeling of freedom has been felt. Without that freedom, such as when agoraphobic and anxious, your actions become much more lashy and in survival mode. Right?

    So consider how brother and sister and mother all act out in various unskilled ways. These have little to nothing to do with you, and stem from their anxieties and agorophobic tendencies (or whatever form their suffering takes on.) Its not about you. It’s just them, doing what they do, trying to make everything the way they want it to be. You don’t owe them anything, such as going to the wedding, or letting the brother punch you. Your side is continuing to take the good actions in protecting your tenderness from their abusive qualities.

    Said differently, perhaps issue one: your birth family are telling you things about yourself that aren’t true, and you’re grabbing onto their words and stabbing yourself with them. Perhaps issue two: your mother and brother and sister are stressed and self absorbed, and you don’t want them to be, so you grab onto their actions that don’t coincide with how you want them to be, and in your brain, stab at them.

    The mantra or prayer that could help break apart this habit of yours is “Whatever the causes or conditions for your various behaviors, I choose to set down, abandon, forgive and move on.”

    Finally, consider that cutting contact with toxic people is not selfish, it follows the saying “do no harm”. Consider for instance, when your brother hit your husband, your brother’s fist and mind were also harmed. Not just you, husband, and kids. By putting distance, you prevent him from harming himself, too. Same with sis. Her bitter words hurt her. Same with mom.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    in reply to: Beating yourself up #78668
    Matt
    Participant

    Charles,

    Without more specific information about the nature of the deprication you’re experiencing, I’ll have to stay really archetypal. Consider first that pain isn’t a punishment, its there to make us alert. Next, consider how the thorns on a rosebush aren’t there to punish us, they’re there to bring pain when we don’t interact skillfully with it. Deprication usually stems from a misunderstanding of one of these two points. Either we feel pain, and become agitated with ourselves for feeling pain, or we are pricked by a thorn and feel that the rose is rejecting us somehow. With these false beliefs in place, we become confused and fault ourselves or others for our ignorant actions instead of accepting the lesson and learning.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    in reply to: How do you forget the insults of bitter exes? #78590
    Matt
    Participant

    Nicole,

    In addition to the other kindly aimed words, consider sitting with the words, see where they actually come from. It may not be obvious, but it seems like he was angry, saying fiery words to hurt you. Open people don’t do that, kind people don’t do that, wise people don’t do that. People that are suffering do that. People that don’t have inner space do that. Angry, vengeful emotions cause those kinds of words.

    Said differently, those words were harsh, and have nothing to do with you. They are from him, reveal his anger, his hatred. They reveal his suffering. As you touch upon that, forgive him. Choose to see him clearly, such as a man acting angrily, and then let it go. “Whatever the causes of you laying those words in my face, I forgive you.”

    As you choose directly and potently to forgive his tresspass, its gravity diminishes. Mainly, remember, those words aren’t about you. They’re about him, his side, his anger. It’s never too late to refuse his fiery gift.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    in reply to: Feeling Inadequate for Good Relationship #78550
    Matt
    Participant

    Sandy,

    To me, it sounds like a matter of postponing, putting off.

    Consider a metaphor of your living room. You go into your living room, and its a mess. Old papers on the table, food wrappers, old soda cans. Whew! Luckily, you can turn on the TV to distract yourself from the inevitable work of cleaning it up. Perhaps some TV will rekindle your desire to clean up. But you get into the TV program, and end up eating some more, drinking more soda, and so now the mess is bigger! So you turn up the TV extra loud so you don’t notice the mess. Pretty soon the TV is maxed out, and there is crud everywhere.

    The freedom from this is actually really simple. Cleaning up the crud first removes the heaviness that pushes us to escape. Like, perhaps if the living room was clean, TV or no TV, there is Sandy, smiling. And, its actually the cleaning that produces joy, anyway. Not some TV show. Or a relationship. See?

    Said differently, its good for you to find happiness just so you experience it, dear sister. Not just so you can up your value to a partner.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    in reply to: Being too lenient #78530
    Matt
    Participant

    JD,

    In keeping with the cake metaphor, consider that when you know cake is available, you might rush through the salad or not eat it at all. This leads to an upset stomach. We need salad, cake is a sweet option.

    More directly, sexual joy is a bright light, flashy, absorbing, an escape. However, its the light of self nurturing that actually moves us toward happiness. Perhaps as you’ve been having some flings, you’ve not been taking the quiet time you need to process your experiences? To find and open up the quiet warm space inside you?

    Most self indulgent behavior stems from this basic root. A sludgy feeling that goes away with a peak experience. Orgasm, cake, etc, cover up the sludgy feeling for awhile, so we jump from one to another. If we sit, rest, unwind, and then follow our inner intuition about what we actually need, the sludgy feeling disburses.

    Have you been keeping up with your gratitude journal? Still exercising? Still eating well? Still meditating? Still (insert JD’s path of health items here)? If you’ve been trading some of those to go have some hookups, that might be what’s causing the frown.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    in reply to: Am I on the right way? #78529
    Matt
    Participant

    Terkatt,

    All those good works you have been doing are certainly helpful in having a clean mental space. They will help clear the reactivness so you can respond to situations.

    Consider that the fear of the future is not really the issue. We naturally experience fear when we encounter the unknown. And “the future” is perhaps the biggest unknown of them all. The problem isn’t the fear, rather, its the reaction to the fear of scrambling for ground. Of trying to tell stories, examine data, project outcomes…. things that make us feel more secure, dismantle the fear.

    Instead, we can rest with the fear, befriend the fear, feel it inside us as we meet up with the blank canvas of the next breath, day, week, year. This is where we find our tender courage. Consider “pema chodron awakening compassion” on YouTube. She offers much more detail about this with eloquence and wisdom.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    in reply to: How to have both? #78527
    Matt
    Participant

    Cyd,

    What you’re experiencing is pretty normal, frequent enough it has a pointer called “the Madonna/whore complex”. Loving warmth and sexual passion seem mutually exclusive.

    The solution depends on how deeply it goes. Perhaps spend time acknowledging, resting with and accepting that every woman is a balance between motherly and minxly, just as every man is a balance between fatherly and studly. Both are good, fine, fun, healthy, part of the dance.

    Consider laying off the porn for awhile, as there is a lot of debasement that can increase the division. When sex gets linked to the objectification form of dominance, it makes it that much more difficult to resolve warmth vs passion.

    Consider reading about sacred sexuality. Sex isn’t just a game of boobs and boners and sense pleasures. Nor is it dirty or shameful. It’s a story of polar forces coming together into union, connecting, growing life. Perhaps some knowledge would help pull your perception of sex out of the shadow. If its there, of course.

    Finally, this can sometimes run quite deep, so if it continues to trouble you, consider getting some therapy. A good therapist could help you uncover the false belief or other root issue that keeps your energy from flowing more simply.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    in reply to: Motivation and me (primarily) #78521
    Matt
    Participant

    Kaz,

    You do not strike me as self absorbed, just a boy with a heavy book, looking for answers.

    I’m empathetic to your view that once specific conditions are met, then you would be able to love yourself. That feeling is called shame, as though qualities that you have prevent acceptance and love. Such as three missing teeth are a reason for your present self to be unlovable, and so some day, maybe love will be available if very specific things align.

    This is hogwash, false, an excuse to hide behind the book. An excuse to stay focused on the pages, and not on the boy. And it’s the boy that needs our tender attention, dear friend. The boy that thinks love is only available if he is perfect. That he has to perform correctly in order to be accepted. That boy needs fantastic and warm hugs, to know that he is seen and beautiful, mess and all. Stinky bits, flabby bits, sparkling bits, honed bits, all exactly true, all exactly what they are.

    That’s when the boy can let go of his habit of negative fixation. Focusing far too much attention on the missing pieces of his dream that he forgets to love the whole. And so, he grieves as he writes stories to try to earn something, become something, that he has been all along. Beautiful.

    Consider searching “brene brown TED talk”. Her song might bridge the gap between the boy and his book.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    in reply to: Motivation and me (primarily) #78481
    Matt
    Participant

    Kaz,

    How could the you in the mirror not be the real you? Isn’t reality already present?

    With warmth,
    Matt

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 1,400 total)