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In addition to the other kindly words offered, consider that the issue you seem to be wrestling with is shame. Consider that your family lied to you. They said, in words and emotions, that if you had a different nose, different ears, and different skin, they would accept you, love you, and be kind to you. This is simply not true. They were unkind, unloving, and unaccepting because of issues inside them. Like bullies, they had inner garbage, stress, and used whatever excuses they could find to express that inner stress. If you nose didn’t give them excuse, they would have picked something different. Maybe you smiled too much, hips too wide or too skinny, feet too small or too big, hair too long or too short. The issue was never you, it was their need to pick on someone, make themselves feel better by laughing at pointing at something. And there you were.
This feeling of shame is a very natural and normal result. Feeling disconnected because of something we are, have, or have done. As though there is a maze in front of us, a carrot. If only (something) were different, I would be worthy of kind connection.
The problem with such a maze is it is false. You can’t be disconnected, can’t earn acceptance from others. They accept or reject based on their own internal workings. The right nose, ears, lips, hips, skin, being a virgin…. none of that would stop a bully from finding an excuse to try to lift themselves up by stepping on your face.
If you can see a little glimmer here, I highly recommend you consider reading “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown. She has studied shame extensively, and has some great and inspiring things that she shares on the subject. She also has a TED talk that might also strike a chord, if you’re interested.
Finally, when we feel disconnected, there are a great many things we often try in order to find connection. Surgery, sex partners, self berating… All normal, usual, lovable, and do not put a stain on your beauty. They reveal it. Look at how much effort you have put into trying to find answers! You’ve never given up. Marvelous!
I can understand the desire not to judge her, and that’s a good one, a noble desire. There is no need for judging her. Rather, consider the difference between “she was a vindictive person” and “that was a vindictive action”. Good people sometimes do bad things when they feel despair. This isn’t for the book, though, its for the boy.
Do you love yourself, Kaz? You analyze yourself, follow your desires, but do you feel warmth and happiness when you look in the mirror? Do you think love is something that has to be earned?
Consider that when a star collapses, it condenses into a black hole. Light, space, matter, time, all become irrelevant when they meet that gravity.
What she did was incredibly hurtful, vindictive, manipulative and cruel. To you, dear friend. You broke up with her, and in response, she turned herself into a black hole in your heart. Luckily, love does in fact have the power to escape the gravity. And forgiveness is the key. You have to forgive her for being so selfish. For being so cruel. For being so manipulative. For sucking away 10 years of your life. She used herself as a bomb to hurt you, and it worked. You don’t deserve to carry such a burden, no one does.
The guilt and analytical defenses for the guilt make perfect sense, and yet do not settle the black hole. They are only that crutch. It’s like a cycle of question mark to exclamation point, neither one accurate, an endless loop. The solution, sit, breathe, notice the guilt as a result of her manipulation hooking you, forgive her for doing that to you, and cry it out.
I can tell you feel like this wound, the black hole, you carry is never ending, but don’t despair, friend, it can heal if you let it. Your analytical habit is keeping the wound open, because you came to the wrong conclusion. Cycling around with the question “what did I do to her”, instead of “what did she do to me?”
May your heart touch upon the center of truth, find authentic grief, cry it out, and be free.
When I read and sat with your story, I was reminded of a story.
Once there was a young boy who had a magical book. Whenever he encountered discomfort, he could open this book and write scientific dissertation on the nature of the experience. Over time, he became very dependant on using this book, and it became filled with many, many stories. The book got heavy.
However, he found out that he could open the book and pull out stories from it anytime, and people seemed to enjoy the book. So he became confident in the nature of the book. But always, when engaging with others, he placed the book between himself and the other, a distance, holding them at arms length. Now, this wasn’t just a foolish move, there was a sense of protection to the action. However, the boy also felt alone, unloved, unseen, unheard. He was more of a book salesman, believing in the book, but not in himself.
Most people didn’t notice. At the surface, the book looked like a person, acted like a person, had a smiley face on the cover and everything. But the boy wasn’t happy. Knew something was wrong. But also didn’t know what to do about it, kept looking in the book for answers, some secret story, some data gone overlooked that lead him to such a place.
But some people noticed. One person, standing from across the room, noticed he was a very charming book salesman, but in looking past the book and onto the boy, that the boy was very sad and lonely. He went up to the boy, told him a story about a magical book, gave him a hug, and told him he could set the book down, surrendering it, and just talk. That’s when the boy would be able to escape the certainty of a book already written.
You are not going overboard, you’re climbing back into your own boat. He has shown you his true colors, that if he isn’t getting what he wants, he manipulates and belittles, threatens and becomes violent. Leaving him may be exactly the thing he needs to hit bottom and get help. Regardless, you have to do what is right for you. This is just a hump, a hill, and it makes sense that it would be scary. You’re on the cusp of freedom, dear sister, and have done the good work to prepare yourself for the flight. Breathe, jump.
May favorable winds carry you toward saftey and home.
MattJune 16, 2015 at 5:25 am in reply to: When we mess up, how to forgive ourselves and make positive changes? #78313
(My phone started acting up, had to post mid-post)
Spending time sitting accepting, and understanding the natural quality of these intense emotions will help with the holes. Not a baby throwing a tantrum, a rose showing her thorn. Normal. Beautiful.
The second step is doing better with self nurturing activities. When we don’t self nurture, we become sluggish, compressed, feeling like giving up on our own happiness. Laziness. Procrastinating. Like, we don’t have the fuel to make anything right, so we go into the garden and eat some worms in self pity. This is also normal, and self nurturing provides the fuel we need to make lasting positive change. It bails the water out of the boat and opens its sails.
For this, consider adding nurturing activities to your daily life. My favorite is metta meditation. Metta is the feeling of warm kindness, and helps reach deep into the subconscious and rekindle our love. Consider searching “Sharon Salzberg guided metta meditation” on YouTube. Consider a gratitude journal, writing every day about things in your life that sparkle, things you are grateful for, everyday blessings that get ignored. There are many others, such as walking in nature, listening to its sounds, seeing its motion. Expressing yourself with a brush, instrument or other mediums. Taking a bath with candles and aromatherapy. Help yourself find a tender space, and rest, recharge, rejuvenate your warm heart. Let the outside and inside conditions move you toward opening up the space.
Finally, consider following through on your boundaries toward that man. As you grow more self nurturing, your boundaries toward him will be more easily enforced, but you will need to use your willpower. You know he isn’t worth it, so when his crocodile smile comes around, his sweet tasting poison enters your view, don’t be fooled. He stabs it in, and your body does not like it, experiences pain after the pleasure, so do what you need to do to keep your little boat safe. You’re worth protecting, a marvelous piece of nature, a good hearted being. Don’t let charisma pu you away from what you know is right.
MattJune 16, 2015 at 5:04 am in reply to: When we mess up, how to forgive ourselves and make positive changes? #78312
I’m sorry for your suffering, and empathize with the feeling of a sinking boat. Sometimes when we become confused and overwhelmed, there is a sense of being stuck in an unworkable pattern or environment. This feeling can be very convincing, but it is never true, is just a feeling. Taking certain steps can raise the boat and get us moving again. A few things came to heart as I read your story.
Anger. A very fiery emotion, very explosive. But not unnatural. Rather, it is exactly natural, very normal, and reveals the issue, but is not in itself the issue. Consider: imagine someone stabbed you with a poisoned knife. The knife itself is sharp, and cuts deep. And then there is the poison, which brings much confusion. The knife here represents the boundary, the decision not to let him in again, and the poison is the feeling of being crazy when it hurts.
Consider: when our boundaries are invaded, stepped past, and ignored, our body responds very naturally with aggression. The anger you’re experiencing is normal, usual, a protective force that comes up to prepare you to fight off an attack. Like a knife sliding past your defenses, into your skin, and the wound radiates a fiery scream. All normal, all usual, all exactly a natural result.
Then, in addition to the knife blade, there is poison. He is charming, smiling, political, and venomous, and points his finger at your anger and calls you crazy. It’s not just him, many people (yourself included) call female fire crazy and irrational. As though a woman in pain, and screaming, is somehow broken or low for screaming. For having a feral, animal protective force that gets in the way of being a pretty little china doll. The result is a feeling like something is wrong with you for being so emotional.
But this is not yours, dear sister. There is nothing wrong with your emotions, they are working correctly. When you’re inna situation that dishonors you, your body responds with fire to alert you or others that serious shit is happening.
This combination pokes the hole in your boat. You feel angry, and ashamed that you feel angry. Meanwhile, because you feel like you are sinking, you remain more vulnerable to his charms, and so get more holes poked in your boat. Compounding that is the social isolation, where he tells people how crazy you are for not just taking the dagger with a smile. But don’t despair, dear friend, there is always a path toward joy. Always a way to fix the boat, and start rowing toward the sunrise.
The first step is validating your own emotions, accepting them, like we would give tender love to a child that is crying after falling down and skinning their knee. Of course the emotions well up. You’ve had some difficult history, and have been stepped on by yourself and others. Very natural to make mistakes like that, and the resulting emotions are automatic, unavoidable. You need hugs, not judgements. You need your warm arms to surround yourself, encompassing, validating, understanding, comforting. Consider: any wise and empathic being in your social environment, upon hearing him tell his tales of your hotness would see him as the twisted one. Like hearing a racist speak, the heart does not get on board with false and toxic words and think less of the race. If someone out there hears his charming poison and thinks less of you, that’s their weakness. Their ignorance at the fire and claws momma bear has to protect her beautiful daughters from trespass. The rose has thorns for a reason. Not crazy. Protective.June 14, 2015 at 3:55 pm in reply to: Moving Out While He Is Away: Spineless? Or Realistic? #78207
No, it is not spineless to move out suddenly without warning him. He has given you plenty of reason for you not to trust him to take it well, or let you leave safely, and you need to do what you can to protect yourself from his unhealthy reactions. To me, he sounds like ugly bluster, and may not do anything but crumple up and whimper. But its not worth the risk, your description of him is deeply disturbing.
Buddha gave a secret of nature to us, saying “being is sustained by fuel”. To understand this secret, we only need to stand bravely and look at our automatic reactions. Consider how you come from a disturbing and unfortunate past. Many reasons were there for you to cry, many people and situations that smacked into your heart, leaving much pain in their wake.
So now, when your dad goes to kiss you, it echoes from those past moments. Those echoes are from the fuel, the old goop and gunk and bruises. But the reaction is only a reflex, and that reflex fades with time and continued self loving steps. Said differently, being abused in the past forced a fuel of anxiety into you, and you will only have startle reactions until the fuel is exhausted. There is no need to fear that you will always flinch when dad tries to give love. No need to fear that something is forever broken or missing or wrong with you. Just a normal woman, learning to love herself more and more each day. And with each passing day, the fuel is consumed and erodes the reflexes.
And consider, my dear friend, that those reflexes are actually quite marvelous. You didn’t just bow down, roll over, and give up. Inside you, the force of love that was always protecting you became that fuel, held deep inside. Like, when dad went to kiss you, you responded with protection, removal, like slapping his lips away from you. Sure, in that moment it wasn’t necessary, but it sure shows a strength of a passionate woman, ready to defend her boarders. Wonderful!
Finally, be extra patient with yourself as you let go of the past. Instead of being afraid that another shoe will drop, consider: even though it hurt, you survived many shoes dropping already. And here you are, learning to self love anyway. Here you are, not having given up on humankind, and looking for connection and grace. You, dear sister, inspire my belief in the enduring nature of the heart.
I was not confused about your message lengths to her. I don’t mean to be overly sharp, but you’re being a little thick and not taking the hint. She doesn’t want you prying into her inner realm, so stop it. It’s not your business to make her into someone you think she should be, friend, so leave her alone.
“I just want her to….”
Too bad! She doesn’t have to do what you want. Get it?
That being said, she doesn’t seem to be that great at setting boundaries, but respect them anyway. See?
Consider searching YouTube for “The Science of Awkwardness”. You seem to be over inflating the importance of your position in other people’s story. Ego boosts our own importance, creating foolish internal dialoge imagining them saying “hey everyone, gather around so we can watch pranit123’s imperfect dancing and laugh and point.” Said differently, the other people in the dance hall are either 1) busy dancing or 2) busy with their own fears of dancing awkwardly, or 3) thinking about what they are going to have for breakfast.
Congratulations on taking some steps toward dismantling your hate and bitterness. Anger is a very seductive emotion, and when compounded by loneliness and injustice, its no wonder that a good heart would sour. Consider that forgiving the actions of others produces freedom and happiness for ourselves, so the quest you’re on is really not about your son or his friends, but rather a quest to rekindle your own happiness.
It sounds to me like you formed some hefty attachment to your son’s friend. You relied on him, came to depend on him, and not just for his handyman skills. In some ways, perhaps he stood in proxy for your husband (I’m sorry for your loss), and so his leaving and unskillfull breakup with you triggered all sorts of inner stuff.
Consider that he is not your son, and so his girlfriend’s concerns and issues with the connection are not completely unfounded. If your husband had had a close female friend where “I love you”s were exchanged, perhaps you would have had concerns? Especially if boundaries were fuzzy?
To find authentic forgiveness, to let go of this situation so you can again find your inner smile, consider first giving lots of hugs to the anger. Make space for it, validate it, embrace it as a natural result of grabbing on tightly to the thoughts of being wronged. Like clenching our hand around a hot ember, a tight fist around painful experiences doesn’t really hurt anyone but ourselves as it brings its intense heat to our body. We have the thought that clenching tightly somehow makes us ready to launch justice on the betrayal, but really all that happens is our hand gets scorched, burnt. As you hug and validate the very natural anger you experience, work to unclench your fist around the thoughts. Let there be space around them. Let them slide on past.
Consider: if you had 30 friends, would you be as upset? Does all the emotional turmoil surrounding that boy really have to do with him? My guess is there are some tears you didn’t shed, distracted by his presence, that really need to come out and flow behind you. Emotional stuff is perhaps stuck inside, and needs to be blown out, wept out, flailed out, worked out.
Finally, consider a healing prayer. “Whatever causes and conditions went into the blooming and fading of our close friendship, may we both be free of any hurt feelings that remain, and be left with open hearted gratitude for what we had.” There are a great many beautiful things that are obscured by your anger, dear friend, and holding this prayer, rather than the thoughts of injustice, could perhaps help much of that beauty show itself again. If said with even half the passion and enthusiasm behind your anger, those car shows should be fun again in no time.
If at first you don’t succeed, ask, ask again? Consider: you kept probing, and she said no thank you. Why she said no thank you is not really any of your business, and will continue to drain you if you keep seeking answers. This includes making up answers in your brain trying to make her fit into what you think she should do, what a normal being does, the need for introspection, and all those other crafty excuses your mind develops to keep probing.
Said differently, you have been spending too much time on her side, and little time on your side. This causes you to be depressed, because who is giving tender attention to Abhishek? Not Abhishek! That big fat question mark of a mystery is one you resolve by walking away from the mystery.
The vision I got is one of a boy that poked his finger into the center of a flower bud, frustrated that it wouldn’t bloom, so he kept poking and poking. No lessons there, friend. Move on.
You definitely seemed to pick up what I was putting down. One thing that was perhaps understated, and not reflected in your response, was the mask-free nakedness and courage in the heartfelt time together. It’s not a matter of time spent, its a matter of truth shared. Like, without filters, sharing the sparkles and agitations. He wore too much cologne last night, the dinner he prepared was really delicious and unexpected, you felt insecure wearing the new shirt today and he didn’t comment on it, he left the toilet seat up and you sat in water, when you saw his calves it made you horny, when he texted you while at work it made you laugh out loud. That kind of thing. Not rapid fire like that (that’s just for examples), but patiently, like unwrapping treasure. How is the connection to him striking you? How is the connection to you striking him?
Heartfelt connection is what drives long term attraction. Consider: in the beginning stages of connecting with another, there is a newness, a freshness to their body that creates a lot of attraction. Over time, that attraction naturally diminishes. Like, a brand new car is amazing at first, but over time is just “that old thing”.
Luckily, heartfelt connection more than makes up for that. We are constantly growing and changing, and when we are sharing that growth and change with one another, a deeper, more nurturing attraction happens. This is why him saying things that have been on his chest increased his feeling of attraction. Said differently, his level of desire has nothing to do with your physical beauty. He is falsly associating a non-causal relationship. Like, thinking the symptom is the disease. Oops, no biggie. I’m positive you have plenty of amazing and dazzling womanly features. Sometimes its just difficult to see across a gap.
To close the gap, consider spending more time courageously heart to heart. Such as, drop the filters, become naked before each other, saying what you think and feel. Drop the masks, let it flow out. It may be disorienting, but it gets easier with practice. For instance “I do not find you attractive anymore.” Met by “that hurts my feelings, I’m feeling less beautiful right now” met by “I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but I’m confused about what to do” met by “let’s talk out whatever this wall is between us, we’ll figure it out” and so on and so forth.
What I have seen, the distance isn’t caused by anything lasting, just two people afraid and pulling back, the goop of daily stress clouding the vision between you two. So take a breath, open up, and dive toward. The goop that comes up can just flow behind you, seen as a side effect of the distance, rather than some enduring problem. Like, the more you two connect directly, the more attractive you appear to one another, the more passion arises, so even if he starts with “you seem ugly right now”, its more like puss than truth. Even for him.
Also, be sure to ask him what his fantasies are, and tell him yours. There are probably a great many things he’d like you to do that you would love to do, but he is afraid to ask. And vice versa.