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Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 264 total)
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  • in reply to: Acceptance/Letting Go #75853

    Hey Matt,

    It’s good to see you are still alive, for now. I wonder if you’re getting any kind of help with these problems you describe (ie. the anhedonia, the suicide thoughts and the possible schizophrenia). You’re clearly facing some tough issues and I really hope you’ll get through them and learn to feel the good in life again.

    As for Buddhism, I’m not sure I agree that it’s about “accepting our losses and accepting a new life”. It’s more that any loss is not truly a loss at all because enduring happiness is not dependent on things that we can lose. True happiness, the good life according to the Buddha, and even enduring pleasure, come from within, through training the mind, and clinging to nothing. So letting go isn’t about accepting less, but about aiming for more. More peace, more joy, more happiness, and a lasting absence of suffering.

    In your example, the cancer patient is clinging to their walks in nature and heaping suffering on top of the undeniable pain of cancer. They tell themselves: I can’t be happy without my nature walks, life is useless without my nature walks. This clinging is the root of their suffering. Likewise the music lover is making themselves miserable by telling themselves the only music they want to hear is the type of music they’re not currently hearing. Rather than clinging to their hatred of the music currently playing, they could listen to it, be curious about it, or be at peace with it.

    But all this theory is just so much text on the page, and it doesn’t really tell us anything. What is going on with you, man? What do you hope to get from posting these long explanations justifying yourself? Are you interested in talking to us? I’d like to have a discussion but it’s impossible if all you do is these occasional drive by posts.

    I wish you well, Matt. Be well.

    in reply to: Unplanned Pregnancy #75756

    You do not have to be a mother if you do not want to.

    You do not have to have another abortion if you do not want to.

    It’s very hard to advise on this because this really is your call to make and nobody else’s. I don’t think there’s any shame or blame in having an abortion, but I’ve never had one. I don’t know, and can’t know, exactly what you went through, and what the emotional and psychological fallout has been for you.

    This is a tough decision. It’s OK to need time with it. And although the person making the choice is ultimately you, that doesn’t mean you have to make it alone. Talk to your partner, your doctor, a counsellor. What would need to be in place for you to have a baby, for adoption or to raise yourself, and to still live a good life? What would need to be in place for you to have an abortion, and still live a good life?

    I wish for you clarity, wisdom, and courage. And whatever you choose, I wish for a good life for you.

    in reply to: Considerations for a Life Alone #75755

    I think the single life is underrated by a lot of people. If you have interests and friends and family that keep you occupied and bring you flow and satisfaction, there’s nothing wrong with not participating in the coupling institutions. Batchelorhood has a long and veritable history.

    The only note I would make is that sometimes “meh” is a cover. Some things we honestly feel “meh” about, but at other times what’s going on is this: “I don’t want to feel what I’m feeling about this so I’m just going to cover it over with ‘meh’.” I don’t think it could hurt to honestly consider if that’s what’s going on, to welcome, as it were, whatever feeling might be under the “meh”. And if there’s nothing, then go live your life and don’t worry about romance. It’s not for everyone, and plenty of people do fine without it.

    in reply to: Love or let go? #75754

    Love and let go.

    It seems to me that the issue is not so much whether this guy and you get together or not (although I understand that’s what you’re worried about) but your attempts to open up more and share and connect with people. This can be difficult but it’s also very rewarding.

    I think that you’re a bit fixated on this particular person, because it’s the first time you’ve really connected with someone, and it feels like this is the only person you could ever connect to. But maybe there’s another lesson you could draw: that you’re not necessarily “meant to be alone”, that you can connect to people, that you like connecting to people and it’s worth making the effort and spending time with others and opening up even if it doesn’t always work out like a magic rainbow ride.

    You love this guy. That’s fine. That’s great! He’ll probably always be a little bit special to you. But let go of the idea that he’s the only special person out there. There are thousands. Keep mingling and you’ll find more of them.

    Good luck.

    in reply to: I'm So Lonely #75753

    There’s so much pain in your words. I’m so sorry. Loneliness is the worst, and it messes with your head. Here are some thoughts that may be difficult to take on at this point in time, but I’ll hope you’ll try them on on a hypothetical basis.

    Firstly, you have not already lost. That’s because this is not the 100m sprint. There is no finish line that somebody else got to before you. There’s not some kind of minimum level you have to reach at life or it’s game over. Life is just stuff that happens. Sometimes you’re down, sometimes you’re up, but as long as you stay on the ride there’s a chance. There is still hope. Things might turn out wonderfully. However old you are, you are still young.

    It sounds like it’s very hard for you to reach out to other people, or even be around other people. This is how loneliness creates more loneliness. To reverse the spiral, you may have to push yourself. Gather your courage and do what doesn’t come naturally.

    What are the things you still enjoy doing, that involve other people? Are there places or gatherings where that kind of thing happens? Is there a Meetup? Or, if there is currently nothing that brings you joy because everything is grey, think back to the things you used to enjoy. Even things you enjoyed as a kid. Is there a grown-up version of that? Most children’s activities have grown-up versions. Think of sports, bouldering or climbing, roleplaying games, drawing and painting, etc.

    It’s OK to start small. It’s OK to chicken out the first time, and the second time. It’s OK to come home and cry, or go home early. It’s OK to not know what to say. It’s OK to be awkward. Pay attention and you’ll find that a hell of a lot of us are awkward. Visit Captain Awkward for some stories of lonely people who managed to grow out of their loneliness and learned to trust and connect to people.

    I hope that you’ll come to believe that’s possible for you, too. Because it is. And I hope it’ll happen.

    in reply to: The Search for the Greatest Me and a Better World #75710

    Just to clarify what I was referring to:

    From your post, emphasis mine:

    In your 20s you don’t want to close many doors so I would say make sure to take a position of some sorts… Whether it be teach for america, a monastery, or if necessary a regular 9 to 5 job.. You could possibly push back graduation. Just don’t have a huge gap on your resume for years.


    Honestly man, everyone is so preoccupied with their life that they time to care about what you do … So just do what you think makes sense for your personality and financially.


    Its good you want to help other people. However realize alot of these jobs don’t pay very well go start (or ever)… Are you OK with that? Just realize if you are a professional volunteer that the super hot club girls won’t be interested. Money talks in the social scene once you’re out of school. Just telling you reality. The dating scene is a lot different out of college. You go from top of the world (senior) to bottom of the totum pole. Its a rough transition. Materialism in the US is rampant.

    [End quote]

    You’re talking to someone who’s expressed interest in being a monk, and who wants to get out of the standard life trap. It just seems weird to me that you’d tell him to make sure he worries about what his CV is going to look like. Or what the hot club girls are going to think.

    In other threads you show a preoccupation with rich and famous people which, frankly, baffles me. “Even the rich and famous get their hearts kicked around.” The statement is not untrue, but so what? And why would we expect otherwise? “Even plumbers get their hearts broken!” True, but — ???

    As for sexism, you regularly make sweeping statements about women as if they’re some kind of separate species, but what stuck in my craw was the hot club girl comment already quoted (There’s also a hot blonde casually mentioned — out of nowhere, there’s no hot blonde anywhere else in the thread — aggravating the situation):

    “Just realize if you are a professional volunteer that the super hot club girls won’t be interested.”

    This implies, unpleasantly, that super hot club girls are the only women worth having. Combined with your insistence, elsewhere, that your opinion is worth taking seriously because of how beautiful your wife is (and the girls you dated before her) betray a rather sexist attitude: a woman’s value can be reduced to her beauty, and success in life, or at least relationships, comes down to landing the most beautiful woman you can.

    If that’s your version of reality, I don’t like it. Yes, it offends me. I sincerely hope that you will stop saying these kinds of things.

    As for your questions:

    Is it not true that being in a serious romantic relationship can often cloud a very young person’s judgement?
    Is it not true that being in a serious career can cloud a very young person’s judgement? Or being part of a highly politicised group? Or going to a particular college? Is it not true that being in a serious romantic relationship can give a very young person invaluable life experiences and joy? Why do you feel the need to warn this particular person against romantic relationships, in particular?

    Is it not true that some women value material wealth above all?
    This is likely to be true, as women vary and value all kinds of stuff, like men do. Some percentage of people are wealth-driven, I accept this. But you are talking to someone who’s expressed interest in being a monk, or at least getting off the beaten track and giving the rat race a big middle finger. Why on earth would a person like that be interested in a woman who values material wealth above all? That is clearly not going to be a good match, so he doesn’t have to worry about those women. Why would you even bring them up? They have nothing to do with this situation.

    Is it not true that many men and women have selfish needs and wants in this world?
    Is it not true that we are here, on Tiny Buddha, because we are attracted to Buddhist teachings? Are we not all, in our varied ways, trying to be less selfish and ego-driven? CJ clearly is, he’s interested in helping people and making the world better. Why are you advising against being selfless, and reminding him to make sure he worries about that gap in his CV and what the hot club girls are going to think?

    in reply to: Catch 22 #75626

    How long are you going to be in professional contact with this person? If it’s just for a few months, just keep your mouth shut and keep things professional.

    If he’s a permanent addition to your professional contacts, you should seriously consider what it’s going to take for you to get over him. I have heard of cases where this sort of thing got rather out of hand. Don’t repress your feelings, feel them, welcome them, appreciate the special person that has entered your life – just don’t communicate them to him. You can enjoy an impossible crush just for what it is, sometimes.

    Good luck.

    in reply to: The Search for the Greatest Me and a Better World #75625

    Christopher, do you think it’s possible for you to dial down on the sexism in your posts? And on the rampant materialism, which may not be super appropriate in a Buddhist environment?

    in reply to: Obsessed from a young age #75623

    How do you let go? You practice. You keep practicing.

    I second Chris’s advice to read something more in depth than a feel-good online article on meditation. I would recommend mindfulness over the transcendental stuff though. It’s not easy to develop a practice but it can help immensely. Maybe there is a sitting group or a course in your area that you could join. Friendships are very valuable in learing HOW.

    Good luck.

    in reply to: What do I do now? #75502

    Wow. That is so rough. He clearly wants to be kind to you, but he just doesn’t want to be with you. I’m so sorry for your pain.

    What you do now is slowly put yourself back together one day at a time. At least you know it’s done and he’s not coming back, so you can close the door on any uncertainty even if you don’t know why things didn’t work out. You should know that it’s OK to still love him. It doesn’t mean you can’t live without him, it just means that your love for him is going to hurt for a while. But in the end, he has to be true to his heart, as well. You both tried, and it didn’t work. It was never going to work. You didn’t do anything wrong. You just weren’t right for each other.

    Make an effort to eat well, but be kind to yourself when that’s just not possible right now, and try again at the next meal. Try to go to sleep at a regular time, avoid coffee, do some exercise and all that stuff that’s supposed to help you sleep. But again, forgive yourself if you don’t manage it, and try again the next day.

    Keep making the effort. Keep going till the day is done. And then tackle the next day. You will love again. Life will regain its colour. Believe in life. All my best wishes.

    in reply to: The guy behaviour is confusing #75501

    You can bring this up. You don’t have to come on to a forum and ask strangers what’s going on in his mind. We don’t know. It’s not necessarily weird for him to be in touch with someone he knows well and who was very important to him at one point.

    You have some concerns about his relationship with this person, it’s clearly bothering you, so say so. Don’t accuse him of anything, don’t “question his honesty” or make a big scene, just say, “hey, I know we talked about this before, but I just have a funny feeling about this girl you used to be with. Can we talk some more about how you’re feeling about her and why you like talking to her so much? And can we talk about how you feel about me?”

    If you just talk about yourself and your feelings, he’ll hopefully respond in a supportive and reassuring way. If he’s dismissive and defensive, then maybe that’s more reason to worry, and then you can tell him that’s made you worry more. If you can work through this together, your relationship will be the stronger for it.

    in reply to: How to trust myself more and stop beating myself up? #75459

    Hey you,

    To be honest, you seem to have a decent handle on this situation. Yes, assertiveness rather than *~*kindness*~* (actually, avoidance and resentment) would have been a more helpful approach here. But you know what? It’s done. You handled it as best you could with the knowledge and experience available to you at that time, and you made it through ok. It was horrible, but here you are, and you have more knowledge now, and more experience, and you can practice assertiveness in the future.

    That’s all you need to do. If you start beating on yourself again, just give that self a time-out. Be like: “Hey, self, I don’t like it when you talk to me like that. I did what I did, and got the results that I got. I learned from it, and this case is now closed.”

    Let go. Keep letting go. Be kind to yourself, including your past self, who didn’t know how to handle the situation and was under a lot of pressure. She doesn’t need more judgement now for not handling everything as best as freaking possible. We all lose our temper sometimes. Past you was a human, and deserving of love despite occasional “mistakes”.

    I’m full of nothing but understanding and friendliness for past you, and I hope with time you can be, too.

    EDIT: I just wanted to make clear that this kind of *~*kindness*~* is exactly the kind I suffer from, and I have been in your shoes. It doesn’t mean my kindness isn’t valid or real, it is. It just means that I need to keep an eye on how I really feel when I’m doing someone else’s washing up, and picking up someone else’s socks from the livingroom floor. Kindness is a feeling. May it grow in you and me and all.

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 1 month ago by Will.
    in reply to: The Search for the Greatest Me and a Better World #75458

    Hey CJ,

    I read your thread title and thought, huh, that’s a little grandiose. And then I read your post and it made me smile. OK, so, it’s a lot grandiose, but you’re 23 and a little grandiosity can be forgiven in the “about the graduate from college”. And heck, for all I know, you’re headed for actual greatness. Could well be.

    So what are you going to do with this sense of restlessness, this resistence to entering the system (which seems inevitable), this longing for an escape hatch?

    Simple. You’re going to find an escape hatch, and you’re going to use it.

    There is no law that says you have to have 2.5 kids and a mortgage in five years. The world teems with other options, especially if you’ve got a financial safety net. Go do something interesting. Be a worker/volunteer in a third world country. Go build a school. Go vaccinate children in rural areas of Africa. Become a Thai forest monk. Go to Pakistan. Teach in India. Become a martial arts instructor and set up a program for inner city kids in your own country. If you want to make a difference, go and make a difference. You can. You, especially, can.

    People do this all the time. People like you. It’s an option. Yes, there will be obstacles, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Keep looking for possibilities and the obstacles will move aside for you. As you pursue these off the beaten track opportunities, you will meet other people who, like you, are not interested in the standard narrative and the picket fence lifestyle. People you will click with more readily, and who can challenge your mind to open further and learn more. You may even edge over that precipice to your revelation. I don’t know what that would be, but it’s possible. And it’s more likely to happen if you do something strange, than if you keep with the normal normal.

    Go do it, man.

    And you know, if you go do some stuff and it doesn’t quite work out, or you get homesick and just want to settle down, it’s not going to be too late to get an MBA and a mortgage and 2.5 kids. You can always go that way if it turns out you want to. So there’s really no need to rush going down that road now.

    Good luck.

    in reply to: I'm trying to break free from the pain of the past #75418

    Hey, I just discovered your other thread. I see Matt had some good advice for you. Seems like you have come a ways. Keep walking.

    I really don’t know what else to tell you. As long as you keep framing this pain as something other people did to you, you will not be free of it. As long as you think the only way to be free of pain would be to change the past, you will continue to hurt.

    Good luck, man, I got nothing more to say.

    in reply to: It ended four years ago; why am I still struggling? #75402

    It does sound like V. is a symbol to you of who you were when you were happy. If you’re in a relationship now and it’s not working, what does it need? What does a relationship that does work look like to you?

    She’s not going to make you happy. Addressing your problems, maybe making new friends, maybe just looking deeply into yourself for what you truly want and taking steps towards that is more likely to help.

    Good luck.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 264 total)