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Gavin

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  • #159322
    Gavin
    Participant

    Hi Pearce,

    It’s very true to say that I probably undervalue my art, but then doesn’t every artist.. I suspect for many that problem is the basis for the well of improvement which we seek to tap into. I also have that passive rejection of praise and enthusiasm from others. Even though underneath the regular day job, I can call myself an artist with some measure of success in having a handful of real published book covers to my name, the chaos which I find myself in seemingly assures that I will always trip myself up and irrationally be the architect of my “doom” at some point. It’s been a fairly traumatic time over the last year with my partner dealing with her cancer diagnosis, the events of which took me away from my art and which have left me too depleted to even try and find my creative joy. As to carrying what I need, well I certainly try not to look for happiness outside. That is the first lesson I learned in getting myself out of a big hole which plagued my teenage and best youthful years.. as the saying goes you can’t get those back but you can try and make the most of what’s left. Even now I seem to be failing at the latter because of a wish to keep what I have and not let it go, and even then let it go for what? Why does the comfortable world which you make around you always become a prison? True freedom would perhaps be too chaotic for me, though it may yet come to that in the same way it came to Stephen Strange (sadly without the superpowers.. lol). Looking at it now it seems as though my internal happiness relies upon constantly shifting my perceptions and almost destroying everything I build – some stress seems to come from resisting that urge, as much as it endures from me doing exactly that on occasion. Whether it’s a dissatisfaction with what is, or feeling that I have to get away from something which has become corrupted, even when you know that it will hurt others to do so, seems to be an ever present threat. Even now I’m caught in a trap between my own sanity and not hurting a person I love and care about – whilst ever I remain without destroying that I know that I can say that I do care, As for the art I have no idea when that will surface again. It was my only hope for some salvation and getting me out of the unproductive, fish up a tree job that I seem to hold down somehow. There are, as you might imagine from my words above, times when I wish it would all go away without hurting anyone else in the process. I’m sorry to hear you labour with PTSD. I don’t mean that in a patronising or pitiful way, but genuinely as one unknown human to another – suffering is as the heart of what makes us and yet is all the more unwelcome in spite of that. Personally I tend to think there are better ways of finding oneself, by our community than to have that “journey” be left to the unreasoning, sharper edge of life. I hope you are faring well with it – without underestimating your struggles, it sounds pretty positive and if it is so then I will be thankful for that on your behalf. It seems perhaps fitting that I should apply Buddhist principles to life since the best course of action at present seems to be not by doing, but by laying low and being patient, and allowing things to pass. This is perhaps the source of my discontent as much as any.. the not knowing when it may be best to act and when not to. I often have trouble acting since I’m not the entrepreneurial type, otherwise I might be the artist I always imagined I might be, rather than the slave to what seems to be my only realistic source of income, much less the amount I pull in for my pain, which frankly probably isn’t that much. Time to lay low with it for now I think. They keep saying that things change and nothing stays the same forever, but they never add that this is usually sits within a framework of things getting worse every year, rather than better. You can tell I’m tired can’t you? Lol. Hopefully this will pass too.

    • This reply was modified 5 years ago by Gavin.
    #159042
    Gavin
    Participant

    Hi Anita.. Thanks for the share hehe. The drying up of creativity is certainly a side to it, although my partners illness has detracted somewhat from the pattern of creativity and workflow which was present before this situation arose. I’ve always been a bit on and off with my flow, but even amidst an explicable low, this feels a lot like far from being a dip is somewhat more sustained. The one thing I do know is that whenever I get frustrated by an avenue of creativity my immediate recourse is to switch from one thread to another, say painting to music, sometimes even using that as a deliberate tactic to blindside my stubborn side. Of late, that being the last few months, I’ve had no inspiration or desire to pick anything up with any meaning or intent. Perhaps it is the personal dip, and I can’t see past it for the moment. Also the shift in the regular work routine isn’t helping since there is some upheaval happening and they’re being very non-communicative.. I find I’m just not in a happy place, as if I’m having to just carry on regardless and not really in a place I can be happy or give up on. Truly a trap at present.

    #66673
    Gavin
    Participant

    Hi Steve,

    Way ahead of you bud.. but thank you for your time and thoughts on this. I think we’re often prone to focussing too much and thinking too much about matters such as this – as you say, breathing into it and just getting on with life is the way forwards. Thanks again 🙂

    Gav

    #65094
    Gavin
    Participant

    Thanks Fries.. I suspect there’s a lot to go at here! It’s a strange place to be, but I don’t think it’s anything really related to sex as such.. I just would really like to reconnect with that feeling of love again. Maybe I’m seeing it through nostalgia, and I won’t feel it the same way again, as I have done in the past ?! Who knows.. We’ll see I suppose

    #57442
    Gavin
    Participant

    Not a problem tulips.. I hope you’re doing alright 🙂 best of luck!

    #56751
    Gavin
    Participant

    Hi Jara.. I’ve been there – losing a sense of purpose. In fact I think I’m still in that bucket! hehe. It sounds as though you have at least part of a handle on what is wrong – first I’d recommend escaping the internet for a while. Try to put some distance between yourself and any destructive repeating cycles. I think that whatever is ticking over in your mind and heart will be eased if you can get yourself away from things for a bit, with one very important ingredient – enjoy the outdoors and look for the beauty in things inside and around you, the things which are important for you. Find those things that define who you are and focus on everything that’s good within and around you. It’s for sure that you cannot realistically be any good to anyone without first being good and sound within yourself, so take the time to build your strengths. You don’t mention anything about friends around you, off the internet? It’s possible that you don’t have many and I suppose since you haven’t mentioned anyone then I’ll have to assume that is the case for the moment, but that’s okay – me neither. I spend about 95% of my personal time in my own company, even when I find myself surrounded by other people. For me that’s just the way it is, so believe me when I say there’s nothing wrong with or weird about solitude. My ultimate advice? Just take things one day at a time, and believe in yourself as you look for what’s important to you, but whatever you do I’d say lessen your time looking on the net for so many answers and try to spend some time connecting with the better part of your surroundings, and try to find what’s important to you – what makes you tick? What gets you (or maybe used to get you) excited? Maybe there’s something new out there?

    #56749
    Gavin
    Participant

    Hi Mike.. That’s a thorny one.. How ever did you manage to get steamrollered like that? It’s okay, it happens when the heart is left unchecked. To be honest it sounds like you have a tendency to drift in life. That’s okay because I do too, but not at the expense of my heart or others. I think you said it yourself – you “hang out with her out of convenience, and it’s a job”. You know, if you know you don’t love her Mike then the answer is really simple – don’t do it. Let’s be honest.. looking to your future with one eye on your health, walking into something like that (maybe because there’s nothing else?) is no way to live, and ultimately it’s not fair on anyone – you, her or the kids on either side. My advice from the choices you give? Run, and I don’t say that often.

    #56661
    Gavin
    Participant

    Hi Tulips,

    Well I have to admit from the outset I can’t really say that I’ve experienced the same things directly (can anyone truly say that of any experience?) but you seem to be suffering somewhat under a similar weight to a lot of people. It sounds as though you’re doing tremendously well – to be mindful enough to see when you trip up is not just a very good sign in itself, but also goes to show what great strength you actually have, even though I suspect you repeatedly feel quite the opposite. Probably the first thing I would suggest is the art of letting go of the stress around the element of control which you mention. Even when life may be considered “perfect” by every reasonable definition, life is never all that controllable.. not really, but you know what?! That’s okay. For my money I’d say that handling any situation with humility and lack of expectation not only makes the momentary experience more authentic, but it also in itself helps to reinforce the real lack of importance to control. Life can carry a beautiful randomness to it, and I’d probably say roll with life moment by moment, and don’t be hard on yourself.. not for a moment in return. The fact that your circumstances are compounded by AA recovery means that it will be hard I’m sure, though it definitely sounds like you have a positive outlook on this aspect, and that’s a better, longer lasting position than one of looking for and struggling over control. Make no mistake either – we’re all deserving of love. That love has to first come to ourselves from within, which sounds like a scary thing, but in truth it sounds as though you have a good measure of that already too, since you’re in here and out there dealing with your feelings and talking, and that’s a very encouraging thing. Rome wasn’t built in a day! As with everything about helping to make life beautiful, you have to find what really makes you tick and play to that strength. The more you can focus on the things you like, and the more you can notice around you that’s beautiful, the better you will feel. It will take time and it sounds like you are handling some pretty big feelings at the moment, feelings which are overwhelming you but that’s okay too. The one thing I think I can relate to if nothing else is a sense of emotional chaos. I’ve found that the only thing to do with that is let go, again as with the issue of control. Allow for what is, allow it to be and allow it to pass. The passage of time is a great healer on the weary mind. I sense anxiety in you, but I’d say just lean into what you’re feeling and know that you’re handling it as best as you can – I think your mind knows what it’s doing, just help it a little by being kind to yourself. With time and a little wind in your sails, who knows where your little trail of connected dots may lead? All the best for now!

    #56620
    Gavin
    Participant

    Hi Leah.. This is a perennial problem for people isn’t it!? That’s perhaps your key there. Many people feel like this – probably more than you feel there are, and certainly more than you can see on the outside from your “inside”. I’ve struggled with this same feeling you’re troubled with for the longest time, but I’ll let you into a secret about how to break that cycle. Look inwards. Look at the little things you like and enjoy in life, beyond relationships – a nice bite to eat, a good film, book, a visit to a museum.. I know you’ve maybe done some or all these before as acts of distraction and felt it’s not really worked, but have you been truly present in your mind whilst doing “it”, or have you been worrying about the other stuff too much to really experience the moment?

    There is a hell of a lot of energy expounded in the world, trying to shape us into being the good little worker ants that we should be – distracted by worries about whether we’re enjoying enough sport, as rich, good looking and/or successful as all the the rich and famous people we ought to be obsessing over. I’m not assuming you’re so similarly compelled by these attributes of life, but this is merely to illustrate the distractions which we have to tolerate, and the mindfulness with which we have to treat such psychological bombardment. I mean it’s genuinely hard enough to cope with the little things that get under our skin and niggle at us without being told we aren’t good enough by the corporate machinations too, yes? So, the solution is to just let it all go.. Don’t worry about what is happening with other people – their lives may not be the bed of roses they appear to be. You know, a surprising number of those people you see about you are probably worrying that they’re in the wrong relationship, not really feeling that which they appear to be, maybe even struggling to find the words to tell their perfect looking other half that they want to call it a day!? Better to not worry about them and focus on the things which make you happy – by that I mean your innate talents. What and who are you? If you could do or be anything (and that’s not limited to pure ambition), what would you become? Chances are there is more than one string to your bow, so try turning your hand to a few of those things, as you feel. I’m creative, so I bounce between writing, drawing, photography and making music. I too am single and wouldn’t “kick love out of bed” so to speak (and nearly 43 to boot!), but when you plunge your soul into the things that make you feel good, trust me when I say that leaves little room in your heart and mind for the brooding resentment which creeps in when you aren’t being mindful. If it does slip into your mind again (and it will) take the time to step back and refocus your reasoning. Focus on your strengths and trust that this will buoy you enough to feel better about life around you. See the smallest beauty in things around you.. All of this will change how you react inside and by virtue of that how you appear to others. Best of luck with things! Let me know how it goes!? *^^*

    #55744
    Gavin
    Participant

    Wow.. this is a complex one isn’t it.. Firstly I’m sorry for your loss over Mimi. It’s hard to lose anyone, and it never helps when issues in life seem to collude and combine their impact. I have to say it seems like there are a few things going on here, but it does sound as though you two have something good. Your own flip between relationship and single status whilst knowing you like your own space is something I can relate to, and given that we’re brought up (should that be indoctrinated?) to believe that we should be in relationships and having kiddies etc.. just compounds problems when you try to ascertain how you feel about yourself and how you perceive your own life. I will start by saying that I don’t think there is just the “one, special person” for anyone. We are all ourselves the sum of many different personality pieces, so it’s only natural that there will be a lot of different people to whom we have greater or lesser compatibility. It does certainly seem as though he is a good alignment though, judging by how you both feel, so take heart in that. So how do we get closer to the issue? Well, I think the only way I can try and help is by being brave and looking a little closer at the two of you as people – for what my own thoughts may be worth.. sadly I too have neither a magic spell or superpowers.

    That you yourself are okay in your own space is not something to be underestimated these days. When one of the “right people” does come along I think it’s something of a culture shock for people who are okay in their own space, so I’d say that’s worth reflecting upon (for those who are clingy I would say almost any possible relationship would be perceived more as a dream come true, and they’ll launch themselves into it with no time for inner reflection – I’m pretty confident in this thought because I’ve been there. I have been that clingy person!). Anyway, I’d say that no matter how confident anyone might be within their self, a relationship will always cause a certain rise in personal anxiety – that’s your mindful sense of your own half of responsibility in the relationship. I’m almost sure you’ll have been there with these thoughts though. In a sense my saying that is maybe just me looking back at myself as I reply to this, since I’ve changed over the years from inadvertently clingy to more secure and independent!

    For his own behaviour I’m imagining that he’s come from a background where he’s perhaps not been as confident or comfortable in being on his own, and rightly or wrongly he’s been in and out of relationships which have all inflicted random effects upon him – maybe left him feeling even more unsteady about what constitutes a good relationship, and how he might react with a partner – then the two of you magically meet! You do say he’s had a lot more relationships, so I’d say it’s possible that his own sense of inner security is likely to have taken a bit of an unfortunate beating. Any paranoia may simply stem from the patterns he’s known up to now. Maybe before your first split he was nurturing a sense of disbelief in the brilliance of the situation, and some measure of panic that he may stand to lose you just as easily as he may have lost other relationships? Was it his behaviour that split previous relationships, or did he just experience a run of relationships which unfolded badly and left him with a few scary scars? When such feelings do begin to interfere with a relationship (not to mention those compound matters outside the relationship, such as work) I think it’s understandable that things would get mistrustful on both sides. I’m guessing your anger issues are going to make it difficult for things to go smoothly when you talk over fraught matters. For that side of the issue I’d say some introspection is needed (you probably feel this) – not a happy task uncovering things like that, but if I were you (and knowing something of anger issues myself) giving yourself the ability to just pause and allow his words to be heard without instinctively judging and replying emotively would give you space to hold that anger instinct in check and think compassionately about what he’s saying and how you might better reply. I too have had personal experience with the possibility of bipolar. Whether I am or not isn’t something which has been resolved since I haven’t felt it necessary to explore this any deeper than it was at the time, when I had a bad episode of stress a few years back. Buddhist principles have levelled me enough for me to find that space and peace of mind. I would hope that it would be so useful to other people! I assume as you’re here that you practice some “present moment mindfulness” yourself?

    Your friends? Well, maybe how your friends have reacted to your relationship has been causing a bit of chaos in your thoughts too? Their initial surprise would be one thing, and they even seem to have been supportive of it initially since you seem to indicate that they perceived the change in you as positive, so I wouldn’t worry too much about how they feel about the two of you splitting up and getting back together. It’s different for everyone and not all roads are smooth, nor do I believe that anything can be inferred by how rough or smooth any relationship goes – they’re all different. I think in the end it’s just whether you feel personally that it’s worth it. It seems that you do since you’re here talking about it! So whilst it may be prudent to use their feelings as a way of balancing your perspective I wouldn’t allow them to affect your choices. I wouldn’t seek to cause any hassles between you and your friends, but you seem to be very much more focussed upon the importance of matters between yourself and your other half over their opinions, and rightly so really since it is your life! Their opinion can carry some value, but I’m not convinced that’s a significant problem to worry about in the here and now.

    In the end there seems to be a great deal of care and respect between you two, in spite of the way things unfold. It feels as though there is greatness behind some unhelpful, instinctive habits (his apparent insecurity and your own frustrations). Do the issues surface because you aren’t able to spend enough time together? I feel that your career aspirations might not leave much time. I would try to stop the break up/get back together habit. You don’t say how many times this has happened but it feels like it might be more than a few times and may have become a “go to” habit in itself which the two of you keep falling into – maybe because there’s no one to help mitigate your issues.. it doesn’t sound like there is and that’s probably why you’re here!? I would do all you can to reassure him that your heart is in the right place. Even if he isn’t feeling insecure it’s a nice thing to hear, and I can’t think that it can do anything except pull you closer. I don’t know if this has been helpful – I’ve tried to juggle this as best as I can for an unprofessional reply, but please feel free to come back and let me know your thoughts. 🙂

    #55741
    Gavin
    Participant

    Those are unfortunate working hours aren’t they.. :o/ Well, I think judging by your reflections and response that filling some of your time with personal pursuits and enthusiasms seems to be at least a bit of a way forwards. I don’t think it’s the whole solution though. You do still need to sit and have a chat over things I think, and I know it’s probably difficult for him to change working hours, but that might be something that could be looked into on a longer term basis. For now I’d just address your concerns together, see what can be done to help the two of you with more time together, or maybe it’s even just a case of looking inwardly at what you can do to help yourself feel a bit more fulfilled and conversely see where that takes the two of you! For certain you might look at infusing the time you do have together with better quality!? That’s the fastest, best solution to any social situation lacking in volume! Good luck! Keep in touch and let us know how it goes. Any more problems or thoughts, add them here too! Glad to help, and nice words Moon! 🙂

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 3 months ago by Gavin.
    #55735
    Gavin
    Participant

    I’d like to pry a little on a couple of things if that’s ok.. Firstly your work schedules – how much do they compromise your time together? Secondly, how do you and your boyfriend define relationships? I’m making a bit of an assumption that you’re steeped in Buddhism somewhat, but just in case I’d pause to wonder whether you’re focussed too much on him and the things which are blocking connection between the two of you, and allowing them to foster stress between the two of you.. I’m not placing any blame anywhere, but I’m guessing maybe you don’t look much towards the things you like about life yourself, such as hobbies or the things that make you “you”? I can understand how you would naturally focus on the issue of problem connections between the two of you if you do feel that’s missing though, and how it would exacerbate things. How does your boyfriend feel about how the two of you stand? It sounds like you really just need to make some time for the two of you to just sit and talk things through. Depending upon your circumstances and plans as they stand, maybe it’s time for the two of you to up stakes or at least make those plans to do that travelling you’d like to do? 🙂

    #55694
    Gavin
    Participant

    Hi Chelsea.. Maybe you and your boyfriend need to spend some time just connecting more? Do you feel as if you have too comfortable a relationship with your other half, meaning do you consciously perceive one another in your lives or just bump into each other as a matter of course? Not really taking one another for granted as such, but maybe it’s something to think over – do you do lots of things together that are the same or similar to the things which brought you together in the first place? Maybe a few little connectivity exercises such as those might coax things into life? Am I anywhere near the mark? hehe

    #53740
    Gavin
    Participant

    Yeah we’re on the same page – I use awesome all the time too J.. Worry not 🙂 If you ever get caught short for the word in Japan, it’s “sugoi!” (soo-goy-ee).. That’s my anime side coming out lol 😉 Have a lovely evening/day!! All this international contact leaves you all over the time.. Makes you very grateful for mindfulness lol

    #53702
    Gavin
    Participant

    Thanks J.. I’ve not been awesome before (is that better than “walnut cake awesome”?) – I’ll take you up on the half-walnut half-carrot cake idea in lieu of your mud cake! One day I’ll get there and try that.. Thanks for the well wishes and I hope you have a great weekend too!!

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 40 total)