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    Hi Faber

    Relationships can be complicated yet maybe also simple, the key perhaps is paying attention and taking a breathe when we feel ourselves panicking.

    I recently completed a Book by Fredrik Backman ‘Anxious People’. A complex simple story about a lot of things but maybe mostly about how we are all need and rely (co-depend) on others, even if we don’t always know how. Being co-dependent can be the most beautiful of experiences someone ever has and also the most painful.

    I think here of fathers and sons… my father recently passing… In memory I wonder about the times I was dependent and times I was depended on, sometimes failing yet I trust most times… good enough, doing the best we could. The bitter and the sweet giving life its flavor, maybe the error we make, if their is a error, is in the way we measure.

    I like the way the book begins.. I wonder if it might not be a good way to start our stories.

    “This story is about a lot of things, but mostly about idiots. So it needs saying from the outset that it’s always very easy to declare that other people are idiots, but only if you forget how idiotically difficult being human is. Especially if you have other people you’re trying to be a reasonably good human being for. ”


    • This reply was modified 20 hours, 27 minutes ago by Peter.

    To further elaborate: Like attracts like but also repels and some of our “ghosts” – fears and hurts – picked up from our past will feed off each other and grow, developing into a negative codependency or  our “ghosts” will shine a light on each other, fade and move forward. In the process both are likely to happen

    • This reply was modified 4 days, 20 hours ago by Peter.

    This reply has been reported for inappropriate content.

    So Im struggling to understand: how can we know if we have a healthy indicator of unmet needs in a relationship VS we’re being unreasonably needy and totally codependent?

    Hi Faber

    My understanding with regards to codependent behavior is that at some levels it is always present in relationships. At its best each person inspires the other towards their betters self’s. A loving relationship with health boundaries a safe place to heal and grow.

    Negative codependency stifles growth enabling people to remain stuck in unhealth behaviors.  The challenge is that we bring our best and our worst with us into relationship, the relationship the crucible in which everything is mixed together and the task is to sort out the wheat “from the chaff”.  Like attracts like but also repels and some of our “ghosts”  fears and hurts picked up from our past will sometimes feed off each other and create a negative codependency.

    Reading your post the thought that came to mind is that each of you may be speaking a different “language” of love. How you experienced being loved and how you expect others to “hear” you as you express your love.  The book ‘The five languages of Love’ may be a interesting read. The intention is to become conscious of ones language and their partners and work together to become bilingual.


    Hi Emily
    Thanks for sharing your story. It doesn’t sound ‘crazy’ to me at all.  I’m sorry for your loss.

    I’m glad your reaching out and taking steps to deal with your experience. I wish I had some thing to say that would help you, all I have to offer is encouragement to keep taking those steps.

    I am reminded of something I read in ‘Learning to Fall: The Blessings of an Imperfect Life’ by Philip Simmons, that has at time created space for me to breath

    We are all—all of us—falling. We are all, now, this moment, in the midst of that descent, fallen from heights that may now seem only a dimly remembered dream, falling toward a depth we can only imagine, glimpsed beneath the water’s surface shimmer. And so let us pray that if we are falling from grace, dear G_d let us also fall <i>with </i>grace,<i> to</i> grace. If we are falling toward pain and weakness, let us also fall toward sweetness and strength. If we are falling toward death, let us also fall toward life. –


    Be kind to your self, I wish you well

    Deep peace of the running wave to you.
    Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
    Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
    Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
    Deep peace of the gentle night to you.
    Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.
    Deep peace from the Son of Peace to you,
    Deep peace, deep peace..




    It sounds like your struggle with uncertainty my be moving into the director of depression (it did for me) so I’m glad your taking steps. Well done.

    I like listing to the sound of waves to help me to sleep when such anxieties arise. It also help when I stop worrying about not sleeping.  I would get in a state were I was worrying about worrying, feeling bad about feeling bad… really unhelpful but in hind site funny? (I can say that now, but not at the time) I still do that, worry about worry, wishing if only this or that…, but am quick to notice and instead of beating my self up, acknowledge the feelings, and do something. Getting a glass of water is often enough to ‘reset’.

    Other helpful advise I was given. Uncertainty is linked to Fear and more often then not a Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. (F.E.A.R) That is why when you shine a light on fear (be present in the moment) it disappears.

    I was also told about the Rule of Charity which goes: If there are many possible explanations for a experience you have, and its not possible to determine which possibility is the more likely, or your not going to invest time to determine which is most likely, then choose the better story.  I have avoided a lot of worry, hurt feelings and the waste of time of ‘being offended’ with being kind to others as well as myself. (Not wishful thinking, but a honest check to see if we need to do something about what we think/feel happened or is happening or we are upset about what we imagine happened or might happen. – note the latter tends to move us into the past or future, seldom the present moment)

    Lastly, That we work for that which no work is required. The calm and grace you seek is already within, the only requirement is to say Yes. Just as it takes a healthy ego to let of of ego, control, fear…. we have to work to get to saying yes to life as it is which allovers us to engage it with intention, without forcing it) And so we return home.

    We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time. – TS Elliot

    If that resonates in anyway you may enjoy  ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho

    Anyway I wish you the best. There is a time for all things, be kind to yourself.


    Hi Richard

    In my own confrontation with the problem of certainty I discovered more often then not it involved the ego desire to control life.

    I learned that there is a difference between being certain and acting with certainty and that we often confuse the two. What I mean is that we can act confidently even in the face of not knowing, and even find pleasure in that.   To act confidently in the face of no knowing how thing will turn out. This is not a arrogant confidence, but a humble confidence, eyes open and flexible. A adaptable confidence in the face of uncertainty.

    You are ‘still here’, and this is a indication that you have handled everything that has happened to you, much of which I suspect was unexpected, some of which un-wanted and mourned, and some perhaps where you were pleasantly surprised. Thus, is life. If history is the best predictor of the future, you will continue to handle the uncertainty that is life. You may even find certainty overrated. All things in balance.  – fear is to courage as doubt/uncertainty is to faith… is it a matter of trust? In yourself, in others, in life, in love…?

    The Life of Pi has interesting things to say about Doubt and uncertainty.

    “Doubt is useful for a while. We must all pass through the garden of Gethsemane. If Christ played with doubt, so must we. If Christ spent an anguished night in prayer, if He burst out from the Cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” then surely we are also permitted doubt. But we must move on. To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.. If you live in doubt you won’t get anywhere because you don’t move in any direction”


    “We must put our confidence in truth.  But that does not mean sitting back and waiting for the truth (certainty) to shine from above, as one might sit back and wait for the day to break. It means following with devoted obedience the truth we have seen as true, with the entire confidence that G_d (Life) will correct, clear, and redirect our vision, to the perception of a freer and deeper truth.

    Go with the truth you have, and let it carry you into collision with the life, and then you will learn something.” And maybe even find yourself happy.


    Hi Dee

    My experience in relationships should always be where I am evolving and growing? The experience should be an ebb and flow? Where there is conflict and pushback concerning love whether it be from me or the other person are key signals that should alert me?

    I think your story cough my attention because its something I also wonder about. When do we know when were asking for to much or not enough. In relationship we seek out a ebb and flow of balance.  I think that feeling of being alone and sadness that you describe so well is a alert that something is out of balance.

    Knowing what it is that we authentically need is one thing. Learning how to ask for what we need in relationship is another. Both require work and a relationship ought to be a safe place to do that work (play with that balance). Of course even here balance and discernment is required. Few enjoy a relationship which is under constant analyses and work.  (I like the perspective of play here. Few things tends to be either or. Healthy flexible boundaries, there is a time for all things)

    Counseling I suspect could help, personal and or couple. Not about blame, we all fail each other in some ways. Its a question of about better if better is possible. I related to your feeling of loneliness you described and I can’t believe that is the best we should expect from relationship and doubt Love/Life will accept loneliness as growth.


    I get it Dee. The fear of losing what you have, those moments of attention, when you imagine that maybe this time it will last…
    I understand loneliness, the worst is feeling alone even when your with those you care about.

    I don’t normally respond to relationship posts. I will say this. relationships are a crucible in which the self is revealed. We well confront the best and worse of ourselves.  Try not to attach your sense of self to what is revealed, the purpose is to learn and grow. If their is no growth the experience of love becomes tainted, stuck and LOVE will push back.


    May I ask how you experience the giving and receiving love?
    I ask because most of us assume we know what love is but my observation is that we don’t and so accept less then what we deserve.  Or worse don’t believe we deserve better. Better the experience we know then the uncertainty without it?

    In my life, there’s been heartache and pain
    I don’t know if I can face it again
    Can’t stop now, I’ve traveled so far
    To change this lonely life
    I wanna know what love is

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by Peter.

    Well done Patrick!


    I apologize that the above is so abstract and likely unhelpful.

    I have spent so long saying no to life and trying to fix it. Trying to make life  conform to how I thought it should be. Following the rules in hope of a future reward… so never being in the moment. Judging, measuring and getting it wrong more often then not, Its exhausting.
    The challenge today is staying engaged with life and avoiding the trap of indifference. To say Yes, and lean on Yes even when I am uncertain.

    You may find the book, “Learning to Fall: The Blessings of an Imperfect Life” by Philip Simmons, helpful.

    Philip found away to say Yes to life and engage it even as he was dying.

    Now I find myself in late August, with the nights cool and the crickets thick in the fields. Already the first blighted leaves glow scarlet on the red maples. It’s a season of fullness and sweet longings made sweeter now by the fact that I can’t be sure I’ll see this time of the year again…

    We have all suffered, and will suffer, our own falls. The fall from youthful ideals, the waning of physical strength, the failure of a cherished hope, the loss of our near and dear, the fall into injury or sickness, and late or soon, the fall to our certain ends. We have no choice but to fall, and little say as to the time or the means.

    Perhaps, however, we do have some say in the manner of our falling. That is, perhaps we have a say in matters of style. As kids we all played the game of leaping from a diving board or dock, and before hitting the water striking some outrageous or goofy pose: axe-murderer, Washington crossing the Delaware, rabid dog. Maybe it comes to no more than this. But I’d like to think that learning to fall is more than merely a matter of posing, more than an opportunity to play it for laughs. In fact, I would have it that in the way of our falling we have the opportunity to express our essential humanity…

    Here is where we go wrong. For at its deepest level’s life is not a problem, but a mystery. The distinction, which I borrow from the philosopher Gabriel Marcel, is fundamental: problems are to be solved, true mysteries are not. Personally, I wish I could have learned this lesson more easily—without, perhaps, having to give up my tennis game. But each of us finds his or her own way to mystery. At one time or another, each of us confronts an experience so powerful, bewildering, joyous, or terrifying that all our efforts to see it as a “problem” are futile. Each of us is brought to the cliff’s edge. At such moments we can either back away in bitterness or confusion, or leap forward into mystery. And what does mystery ask of us? Only that we be in its presence, that we fully, consciously, hand ourselves over. That is all, and that is everything. We can participate in mystery only by letting go of solutions. This letting go is the first lesson of falling, and the hardest….

    We are all—all of us—falling. We are all, now, this moment, in the midst of that descent, fallen from heights that may now seem only a dimly remembered dream, falling toward a depth we can only imagine, glimpsed beneath the water’s surface shimmer. And so let us pray that if we are falling from grace, dear G_d let us also fall with grace, to grace. If we are falling toward pain and weakness, let us also fall toward sweetness and strength. If we are falling toward death, let us also fall toward life.


    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by Peter.

    Hi Kilian

    One of the questions all wisdom traditions ask, if not always directly, is how to respond to life as it is. The reality of LIFE is that it requires the sacrifice of life. That is is wonder and horror, its beauty and ugliness. Spring dies to Summer, Summer dies to Fall, Fall dies to Winter and Winter dies to Spring. There is a time for all things

    Jesus suggested that we follow him. Most teachings assume that that means following the rules and all will be well.  That Jesus becoming Christ through his death and resurrection died for our failings/sins so that we do not have to.  In my opinion I feel this misses the mark as such teachings tend to answer the question of how to respond to life as it it as a No. We broke Life (we broke what G_d created good) but can fix it by following the rules.  And we can fix it without having to ‘die’ . How many are hurt and lose there ‘faith’ when following the rules life still does not conform to their expectations.

    Life is not broken!

    Jesus clearly answers the question of how to respond to life as it is with a unequivocal YES and includes the cross. includes death. Psychologically/metaphorically every life transition, child to adult to senior involves a kind of death and reresection. One might argue that the reality of every breath we take involves birth, death and reresection. Every breath Christ’s breath, and on step further Love.

    No easy task. Our response to the question of how to respond to ‘life as it is’ creates so many more questions. Perhaps at the top of the list the problem of Good and Evil which is really the problem of opposites (duality).

    The knowledge of good and evil  is not the same thing as having knowledge of what is good and what is evil in the moment.   If we are honest with ourselves we often get it wrong. Note our first response to the knowledge of good and evil (the problem of opposites) is shame. Shame for being naked (our true selves) which we cover up with our various personas, projections and illusions.

    It is in the tension we experience when confronting what appear to be opposites that creates consciousness and often depends on the point of which we measure.  What is warm and good moment is measured as cold and bad in the next…. The cost of awareness of life and poor measurements/judgments, is the loss of the garden, even though we never left it. We just can’t see it, or face it, as it is.

    Does good and evil exist as opposites or are they so interconnected that one cannot be separated from the other?

    Gautama realizes his Buddhahood as he sits under the tree and is confronted with the wonder and horror of Life as it is. The Buddha response, pointing his finger and touching the ground. Good and Evil dissolve, Duality is a illusion, life is this present moment, Engage it as it is. Gautama response a resounding YES to life as it is, it wonder and its horror. (As in Christianly many mistake the answer as a No – a nullification of the self  turning to a negation of life).

    Life is the cycle of life and death and we desire to stop spinning and suffering. The irony being its the answer of No that keeps the cycle (suffering) spinning. Yes, life and death no longer opposites but intimately entangled within each other dissolve…,  The ‘All’, The void which contains all things, Love… words disappear. Life is in us and we are in Life.

    Point your finger and touch the ground, this moment, as it is, do we dare say Yes?  Laugh, cry, sing, shout… (avoid the trap of indifference which turn’s the Yes into a No. ) Yes a detachment from outcomes while being engaged in Life as it is. Eyes wide open.


    The word God is often mistaken for G_d. The finger that points to the moon mistaken for the moon. Words that should be transparent to the transcendent mistaken for what cannot be bounded by words. When you use the word God do you imagine a being or being itself?

    Fear is to courage as doubt is to faith. Doubt and faith not opposites but intimately entangled within each other. Some mistake faith with being certain, however there is a difference in being certain of what you think/believe and acting with a certainty while not knowing. Faith is exercised in times of uncertainty. Can you say Yes to uncertainty?

    We are all of us falling, and so falling let us fall to grace with grace.

    Why does the Buddha laugh?


    Hi Relic

    We fall in love, we fall out of love…  it seams we are always falling and so if we are falling let us hope that we fall with grace to grace.  What is this love that can be falling into and out off?

    I can’t give advice about your experience but would like to take a shot at the question you asked

    Does Buddhism promote deep commitment to marriage, deep backbone through hard times, showing up in all the ways emotionally and being warm, kind and caring?

    I think and feel that in its intended form it does. The practice leading to being fully present to oneself and others.

    My observations however is that the practice often leads to indifference rather then the intended ‘detachment’  and engagement with life. The middle way is a difficult balance.

    Sitting quietly by a lake its a great experience, engaging in life from a place of stillness not so easy. Life is messy and when starting the practice one might not be aware of the desire to remain at the lake and mistake that for engagement with life and being present to what shows up. Such detachment were nothing is allowed to touch us often becomes indifference

    TS Eliot put it this way

    “At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
    Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
    But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
    Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
    Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
    There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.” ― T.S. Eliot

    Being still, we discover becomes the source of movement, fully present to life, we dance.


    May I ask why you chose the handle Relic?

    Relic: an object surviving from an earlier time, especially one of historical or sentimental interest but now outmoded.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Peter.

    Hi Nycartist

    I  relate with your struggle to find better ways to communicate especially in these charged times.  I to often retreat to silence but then feel as I’m not be honest. Its a work in progress.

    I am impressed that when  your post was flagged (I think due to a misunderstanding) it didn’t silence you!

    Today’s Blog post was interesting: How to know if you should speak your mind



    Hi Anoob

    Your correct, managing does not mean control, though managing can become an tool of control. And your right the practice of healthy detachment (boundaries)  can be difficult to develop let alone put into practice in the moment. But that’s why its a practice.

    Your on the right track wanting to find a better way to respond to your emotions rather then react to them. Be kind to yourself as you work towards that goal. As you learn better do better. What more can we ask of ourselves or others.

    I wish you well

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