Forum Replies Created
July 20, 2014 at 7:41 pm #61348
If you were to bring these feelings out in the open, and if he left his girlfriend for you, how would that feel? Would your mind be more at peace? More turbulent? If you were to leave the gym? Cut contact? Peace? Turbulence?
When faced with such situation it can be helpful to imagine it through in a safe way and really feel the consequence of bringing our thoughts/feelings to action. Usually, a call for skillful action will arise feelings of peacefulness. And a call for unskillful action will arise feelings of unease, further suffering, spinning.
For me, when seeing something through in such a way, it becomes a matter of derermination. Such as, if this were to happen, the feelings would be worse, no release, thus time to let it go. And if further desires arise, it is a matter of remembering the intention. It then becomes a response of acceptance, rather than a reaction of “oh, I want him, he wants me…” that leads the mind to unease, suffering, spinning, attachment to he did this or that. And on the other side, if that were to happen, the feelings would be easier, I would be content with myself, glad, more peaceful.
Another thing that comes to heart is what you said that he does not talk about his girlfriend. Have you considered (or did) asking about her, casual things? Perhaps if you see that he sparkles when talking about her, your own desire may lessen. When we wish genuine happiness for others (him, his girlfriend) it opens up a wide space within our hearts that in a way “pushes out,” purifies any other unpleasant emotions.
If it is a build up of energy over the last 18 months, is there a way to release it so that it will be peaceful, easy, rather than painful? Self-nurturing? Meditation on metta?
Dear sister, I feel your pain. No one can give you the answer but your own heart, and it already knows what it is. Consider sitting with it and truly seeing it, then accepting it, whatever it may be.
May your heart sparkle with joy, and your mind feel peace 🙂
P.S. Men (people) sometimes go cold for various reasons. He may have car/work/family trouble or simply be constipated 😉 I am not trying to negate what you are seeing, simply saying there could be other reasons for behaviors. If nothing else, seeing things this way, infinite possibilities, helps put our own mind at ease. Be easy sister, gentle, try not to attach meaning to everything you see.July 16, 2014 at 1:22 pm #61071
You are welcome. No need to despair, and no rush in making any decisions 🙂 From what I see, you are exactly on the right path, mindful, open, considerate and learning about yourself, emotions, people.
Something else came to heart … he is a personal trainer and part of his job is to be kind and friendly with everyone. It is possible there are slight reciprocated feelings but at the same time it is possible they are only perceived. This is normal, usual, lovable. Attraction is normal between people, especially when they have been in a close relationship for a prolonged period of time. The trick is, and the heart of it all, to notice it, let is pass, and know when it is skillful to act on it and when it is not skillful to act on it. That is the practice, and perhaps part of the lesson in this scenario. As we learn to observe our own emotions/thoughts we become more attuned to such subtleties. Then, we can enjoy the relationship in a healthy way. Say to ourselves “yes I find this person attractive but the relationship will remain strictly platonic.” And you enjoy the gym, something that gives you comfort, nourishment… what I see is that you already trust yourself to remain platonic 🙂 Now, it is just a matter of strengthening that view and yes, finding peace within.
One day, you will look back to all this and laugh, there is always a path to joy, and you are already on it, dear sister 🙂
With much warmth,
HelenJuly 16, 2014 at 8:36 am #61044
Great advice from others. One thing came to heart and prompted me to add on a little 🙂 You say you would like to try meditation and “block out” thoughts of him. As a fellow traveller, I suggest this meditation manual: Mindfulness in Plain English (http://www.mindfulvalley.org/files/books/mindfulness_plain_english.pdf). It describes in very clear terms what meditation is and how it works, how it can help when different thoughts/felings arise. To ease our suffering, sometimes, often, the most calming thing we can do is just watch what thoughts/emotions arise, allow them to be without adding any impressions to them, and then watch them pass, dissolve. Like waves in the ocean. Even though it seems difficult, for me, this is one of the greatest tools when turbulent emotions, attachments, arise. And they do, they never stop because that is what life is all about, a playground with infinite experiences 🙂
What I see with you is a mindfulness, openess to the whole of the situation, considering how everyone feels, you, him, his girlfriend. Perhaps it is true that another trainer would be better to avoid this painful situation. But also perhaps, consider this situation is exactly where you need to be in order to learn how to cultivate peace within 🙂 And please know that I am not advocating inactivity, on the contrary, much activity first within, then on the outside. When you discover an inner calmness you may not want to change trainer, gym, etc… or you may want to do that. The difference is that the decision will be made out of choice rather than a feeling of “having to because it is so difficult.”
Much warmth to you sister, may you discover you inner light 🙂
HelenJuly 12, 2014 at 4:39 am #60672
Here’s another one: The Heart of Zen (http://www.amazon.com/The-Heart-Zen-Enlightenment-Liberation/dp/1583947647#) and the Mondo Zen Manual (http://www.mondozen.org/_literature_104890/Mondo_Zen_Training_Manual_April_2012) to guide one through the practice referred to in the book.
HelenFebruary 25, 2014 at 4:34 am #51713
In addition to the other heartfelt responses, here is a book recommendation: Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hanson (http://www.amazon.com/Buddhas-Brain-Practical-Neuroscience-Happiness-ebook/dp/B003TU29WU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393330571&sr=1-1&keywords=buddhas+brain).
I personally found this one very helpful as it gives step to step instructions on how to change old patterns as well as why they occur. Sciency, useable, incredibly insightful especially for someone who is already on the path. The appendix also has useful information about diet and supplements that help the brain clear so to say in order to be able to make subtle changes and see things as they are easier. The diet and supplements work; I have been following the regimen for a year and a half and can see the difference in my mental patterns.
If you still find it difficult to recognize certain patterns or apply the teachings on your own, a sangha, online or in person (or a therapist as Mark suggested) can be very beneficial. And finally, I wholeheartedly agree with Matt that these things need space and with time, patience, compassion towards yourself, the clouds will settle, be scattered away, and your beautiful inner sun will shine brightly 🙂
May you have joy in your heart and clarity in your mind.
HelenJanuary 22, 2014 at 5:39 am #49520
In addition to the other heartfelt responses, I will add something that I hope will help you put this in another perspective.
My husband and I have an aquaintance who is a swinger. He is an incredibly “nice guy,” handsome, friendly, open conversationalist, charming, giving, you name it. He also loves to make love to women, many, many, many women, in a way that you described. This seemed incomprehensible to me so I asked him how he can do this, what does this mean to him. He said he views sex the same as dancing. He sees someone he would like to dance with, he dances fully enjoying the dance, and then he moves on to dance with someone else. Sometimes he dances with same women but mostly with many others. And he said he loves this lifestyle and would not change it for anything.
To most people sex is viewed much differently. It is an extention and expression of deep love between two people. When that level of intimacy occurs, you bear yourself so to say to another person and let them see inside of you, which you don’t do with just anyone. So when you engage with someone who views sex differently, it naturally “messes with your mind.” Rest assured that it is not personal, it is not you, it is nothing that you did, and you are not in any way undesirable or unattractive. It is just that he may view sex as a dance and you do not.
When people come to me for advice about sex and relationships, I always tell them to take their time. To know someone takes longer than just a few days or a few weeks. Take the time to see if your views allign, if this is someone you want to share yourself with in such a deep way. Everyone is different but knowing yourself helps engage with others in ways that are healthy for you.
I hope this brings you comfort and a little more knowledge.
Much light and warmth to you,
HelenJanuary 21, 2014 at 9:24 am #49476
Thank you much for that 🙂 Yes, I would be interested in healing energy and to learn more from you. You have been a great inspiration and guide. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I am looking into local Buddhist sanghas as well and there is a meetup group in my area that I have been considering joining.
Thank you again and I look forward to hearing from you via email.
With light and warmth,
HelenJanuary 20, 2014 at 6:11 pm #49456
Thank you lightsource. I wholeheartedly agree that Tiny Buddha would be enriched if Matt wrote an article for the main site; so much of his wisdom, depth, and warmth would be shared with many who don’t participate in/read the forum 🙂
Love and peace to you as well.
HelenJanuary 20, 2014 at 3:21 pm #49433
Yes, Metta Meditation, or Loving Kindness. The best one that was recommended to me was by Sharon Salzberg (http://youtu.be/W3uLqt69VyI). There are others and you can explore and try different ones until you find one that feels good for you 🙂
I can relate to feeling bad about yourself, and sometimes feel awkward giving love fully to others (possibly fear of how it will be received). Yes, you are right the best process of transforming that feeling is to first be kind to yourself, nurture yourself (put your own oxygen mask first) and little by little it will start to radiate out naturally.
It may sound silly but sometimes you need to give yourself a hug, a gentle massage on your feet, arms, face, so you can feel that precious physical touch. Set an intention of loving kindness towards yourself as you do that. Tell yourself you are precious (yes, you are :)), just as you would do to a small child. As you do that, it may feel awkward at first, and that’s ok. You may also well up with emotion, that’s ok too, let it out. Continue to pour out love, it is inside of you just waiting to come out.
Also, make a date with yourself, if you like to curl up with a book and some soft music, do that. Cook a nice meal, treat yourself to a candlelit dinner. I always remind myself that I am my own best friend and need to treat myself as such. As you slowly strenghten that love and affection towards yourself, you will be able to start doing the same with others. Nadia first, sweet Nadia 🙂
Hugs to you and may your heart fill with love and affection.
With light and warmth,
HelenJanuary 20, 2014 at 12:30 pm #49415
Yes, I am beginning to see it. I was contemplating on that today as well, promises sometimes cannot be kept because circumstances change but if we keep that loving intention, that is what matters most, just like you said. I am thinking too much about everything now, creating a thought maze, need to just drop it and breathe. Need to just be. In the now.
You have indeed been blessed with great teachers 🙂 If you don’t mind me asking, did you seek out a teacher? For me, all the conclusions I made came naturally, over time, but I feel at a point now where I need a little more guidance and would welcome a teacher.
With light and warmth,
HelenJanuary 20, 2014 at 8:09 am #49404
All you say is true. The issue was my perceived inactivity; I do not have any expectations for her to change (I know that is not up to me) and I also know it is not personal because she is this way with everyone else. The pain I felt was my pain, not because of her actions per say but because of my perception of her actions. Changing my perception made the pain subdue, knowing what is what, made the pain subdue/dissapear. Every time she comes, she is greeted by a good dhamma friend, as you do with your friend of similar disposition.
What you said about waiting patiently is key, and that is what my heart tells me to do. However, she expressed she would like for me to initiate more and I said I would think about it and try. So in a way I gave my word as well, “think about it and try.” True to my word, I am thinking about it. True to my word, I did try. She also expressed to me that she was “dumped” by friends before because of this cancelation issue (she is well aware of it) and I gave her my word I would not do that. This to me is law, I will always be there for her when she comes to me, with open arms and heart.
The trick, I believe here, is to appease myself that I am true to MY word. I did think about it, now is time to let that go. I did try to initiate, now is time to let that go too. I will always be there for her when she comes to me, that is already set and stable in my heart.
I truly believe in “teaching” by example and nourishing goodness in my heart. When I face such situations that make me question my “goodness” they are difficult. However, each resolution strenghtens that resolve to remain of right speech, action and mindfulness.
Thank you again, brother, for your time, wisdom and compassion. I am awed at how stable your heart is and how many minds you can help find a path to joy 🙂
With light and warmth,
HelenJanuary 19, 2014 at 2:03 pm #49373
This is all sitting well and I have a sense of peace about future connections. There is one specific present tangle that is still giving me trouble:
I have a friend who cancells on me almost constantly (various reasons) when we make plans, usually at the very last minute. While I display understanding and compassion for her as a fellow human being, I am struggling with my basic principle of “keep your word” and the pain each cancellation brings. I stopped asking her to do anything together but when she asks, I accept if I can, and about 3/4 of the time she cancells (I no longer hold her to her word so the pain is much subdued). I talked to her about it, letting her know this hurts but that I still value our friendship. She said she is struggling with anxiety and will try to be more considerate (when we do get together our connection flows beautifully, equal exchange). So, I offer compassion and understanding again (I don’t recall ever getting angry at her nor has she ever gotten angry at me). I no longer initiate interactions and the struggle comes in choosing compassion for myself (not to hurt when she cancells) and her, who expressed she would like for me to initiate more (and who is herself suffering in her own way). I want to initiate and I don’t want to initiate at the same time.
I do the metta meditation including her but I think this is a purely internal struggle. “Am I being a good friend? Am I valued as a friend?”January 19, 2014 at 8:29 am #49334
Thank you for sharing this 🙂 It is wonderful to read sucess strories after suffering. As I read the forums I always wonder how the people came through their pain and like to see stories of “working through” and joyful outcomes.
I am so glad you are writing a book – sharing your story will one day touch someone and change thier world.
May your light shine bright and bring joy to many others.
With light and warmth from a fellow traveller,
HelenJanuary 19, 2014 at 4:55 am #49330
This is good, this is really good, thank you again 🙂
Here is what came to awareness after reading your words…
Powerlesness – yes! There was a sense of powerlesness all along but no awareness of it. Now that it’s on the surface, I can recognize it for what it is and make small changes in my actions until it dissipates. Because being with clear head is having power over one’s facilities 🙂
Imperfect beings – this is so too. Perhaps because of my other tangle there was an inbeded sense to seek perfection, thus it extended to beings around me as well. Just recognizing that this is an imposibility, because everything is everchanging, with a little practice this view can be completely dropped.
Duality/Accept the paradox and use distinct heartsong – how incidental it is that both my big tangles have this in common 🙂 This one takes a little more work because it is preceived as “internal.” I have been recognizing/contemplating the non-self ever since you brought it up in my other tangle. In small ways, when “I” am sitting on the couch or working with a challenging customer, intentionally broadening the “view” to see “us” as a collection of same particles interacting in this moment helps dissipate “feelings” that arrise. It gives such a clear sense of what is what and how unimportant the carrying of stones becomes. A peace is starting to flow in, little by little, and “I” remain a constant compassion.
Dramatic – oh boy! This is so. It arrises from perceptions about occurences and making them too significant. Sure, they have a meaning/lesson but there is no reason to hold on to them so tightly. Awareness now is to drop attachment to memories and allow rebirth, growth, give room for new experiences.
Expressing – I am questioning to what degree this was an issue. Opening up, once initiated, just naturally flows for me (like here). It may be in the initial step, recognizing how and when to start. It also may have to do with perceptions of “roles”. For 11 years, in my work, my role is of a “supervisor” and in the very beginning there was an expectation not to share too much. But what I discovered is that sharing actually has a better effect, because we are all so similar in the core. As well, I do not hold shame for any previous experiences/feelings so sharing is not a percieved burden. Aditionally, I have been seeing me in the “role” of counselor – many people are naturally drawn to me in life for comfort and counsel. I refrained from seeing me in the role of someone who also needs counsel from time to time. Thus another duality, both a little girl with a broken heart and the wise coach. It’s OK, all normal, all lovable, as you said 🙂
Playfulness – this, I actually set as an intention recently, to play more. Up til now, I was still perceiving me as an adult playing. With the image you gave, it brought on a welcome shift in perception to child mode. Yes, I do remember as a kid, the heart innocence, the simple spontenaity of connection. And as I play with my daughter with legos on the floor or dancing and singing in the living room, the child within fully awakens. If I can do this with her, I can do this with other adults, awaken the inner child. Also, I do give that exact suggestion to my own daughter – perhaps I am giving it to myself at the same time 🙂
Another thing that helps with this tangle is to emulate. As long as I can remember, being an observer, I have been recognizing in others behaviors/states that are “favorable.” As I see those, I learn an adapt/incorporate those behaviors in myself. Step further in emulating, for this tangle, is to be aware of what feels good for me that others do, and give that to others. For instance, I see how my husband naturally interacts with others, just like you said he hears something interesting they say and gently adds on, he also compliments when he sees something nice in others. As I started doing this, the light that shines in the other person is amazing, every time. It not only makes them feel good, but me too.
Finally, I will take to heart something I always tell orhers: “Enjoy the journey without thinking of the destination.” It does not matter if a deep friendship is formed or not, what matters is the quailty of the interaction here and now. It also does not matter if there is one friend or a hundred, what matters is the quality of the friendship.
What a beautiful way to start the day 🙂
Thank you again, dear brother, for sharing and helping me see into my heart.
With light and warmth,
HelenJanuary 18, 2014 at 5:13 am #49312
I have pulled away a little from the forum to introvert but your suffering compells me to reply. I know this suffering really well, first hand, the whirlwind of emotion and thought a sociopath can put a soul in is like nothing else. There is no logic, no reason, no emphaty, no compassion, it is unthinkable. Having gone through 3 years of dealing with someone like this, I will agree with Pip and say what was my saving grace was to control myself, namely not read what he wrote, not respond, not offer anything he could grab on to and continue with his behavior. I also had to release my reigns so to say and trust those around me, my parents, my lawyer, the courts, and let them respond succinctly keeping him away from me. When you find youself in this kind of nightmare, it is so important to self-nurture as much as you can. In a way find normalcy and joy in your life independent of this individual. Try to look at it as just another bump to cross, as hard as this may be, once you shift your thinking a little bit, the feelings of peace will start to come. If you nurture yourself so, you will be able to remain strong and calm when you do have to deal with him. When he sees that he no longer has power over you, he will start to pull away, you will become “boring, not a challenge.” My heart goes out to you, dear sister, but your light is strong, you will get past this, just as I have.
To expand on what HeidiPaz said, here is a small tip on how to identify these types of people. Listen to your heart, the gut heart. When a heart is so full of compassion these dark creatures are drawn to this light like moths to a flame. They tell lies, but they can’t “feel” like a normal person feels. One thing that was a clue for me was when my heart opened up to him, he did not see it, he continued to “work” on me with his lies. If I had listened to this tiny hunch, and if I had known this type of person existed, I would have run from him. The past cannot be changed and I am grateful for any experience that comes my way because it helps me grow and mold into the person that I am now, and share with others here and there 🙂
May you have peace, may you have strenght, may you keep joy in your heart.
With light and warmth,