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    Hi Drizzle

    If you were responding to someone who had a similar experience and had treated you “childishly” what would you say to them? Would you forgive them and hope they learned from the experience and grew. Could you create space for them to do better now that they have become better or would you judge them and put them in a box?

    The person we find the most difficult to forgive is ourselves.



    Hi Marina

    How do you manage your expectations in this kind of situation? Is it possible not to expect anything?

    I don’t think having expectations is a problem. IMO they help us pay attention and set healthy boundaries.  The problem is when our expectations become ridged and so we then try to ‘make it’ happen. Instead entering into the flow of relationship we confuse the expectation as the relationship.

    “In relationship, now we dance this way , now that, sometimes with a heavy beat, sometimes with a lightness and grace ever flowing freely. Now they become the dance, now the dance becomes them. The goal is not to confuse the type of dance they are doing with the fact they are dancing. ” GZ

    We can have expectations however with mindfulness we do not have to attach ourselves to our expectations. We stay open, paying attention to our healthy boundaries, ready to spin and twirl, laugh and cry, and change direction when the moment suggests it.

    Its important to note that when we  detached our selves from our expectations that its not indifference. Instead we remain fully engaged with life as it shows up without trying to control things, which is may be what clinging to expectations is.



    Hi Rooo

    Great questions. Love is a word we tend use without really reflecting on what we mean when we are using it. The word Love become even more complicated when we add a qualifier such as unconditional. My observations have been that many people mistake unconditional love with unconditional allowing. You can quickly see how such a expectation of unconditional love might end. Poor boundaries and a loss of sense of self.

    When I asked myself how and when I experienced being loved it was at times when I was “seen” and that who I was and what I did and say mattered. Such experiences also gave me a sense of meaning and purpose. It occurred to me that meaning and purpose must be attributes of the experience of love which would mean that accountability and responsibility where also attributes of the experience of love.  If I want to experience love I am also asking that who I am and what I do matters and to matter I must be allowed to be held accountable for who I am and what I do. If I was never held accountable nothing I did would lead to a experience of meaning or purpose.

    For me unconditional love involves the concepts of meaning, purpose and accountability which might sound like a paradox but it isn’t. Perhaps you have already learned that sometimes love – unconditional love – meant having to end a relationship.

    The command to Love our neighbors as our self is interesting as it begs the question, how is it that we love our selves and how does that influence our ability to love others.

    If were honest with ourselves we don’t always like ourselves and we can be very hard on ourselves. Is this how we love others?   Probably not. I suspect your more likely to give others the benefit of the doubt and generally want them to succeed. Such is a clue to how one loves oneself . We don’t have to always like ourselves but we love ourselves when we hold ourselves accountable while giving ourselves the benefit of the doubt creating space to do and be better when we learn better without harsh judgments or labeling ourselves as being those judgments. (you are not your experiences you have experiences)

    Had the command been to Like our neighbors… that would be hard. Thank goodness Love does not require us to always have to like those we love or always having to like ourselves. Such a understanding that you can love someone even during those times when you don’t like them (the experience of the moment) frees you and others from a lot of unnecessary suffering.

    We love ourselves and we love others when we witness others and ourselves as we are, the good and the bad, while creating space for doing better when learning better even as we holding ourselves and others accountable (boundaries) so that we might experience meaning, purpose and being loved.

    Maybe none of that made any sense…. I recommend the book  ‘How to Be an Adult in Love – Letting love in Safely and Showing it Recklessly’ by David Richo

    We were made to love and be loved. Loving ourselves and others is in our genetic code. It’s nothing other than the purpose of our lives—but knowing that doesn’t make it easy to do. We find it a challenge to love ourselves. We might have a hard time letting love in from others: recognizing it, accepting it. We’re often afraid of getting hurt. It is also sometimes scary for us to share love with those around us—and love that isn’t shared leaves us feeling flat and unfulfilled.We explore ways to love ourselves without guilt and with generosity. We learn how to love others with awareness of our boundaries. We confront our fears of love and loving. We embrace the spiritual challenge of letting our scope of love expand. Then love is a caring connection, unconditional, universal, and joyous. – David Richo

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by  Peter.


    Hi Tristan

    What if I turn out to be not a very nice person? What if that’s the reason I shut myself away on a subconscious level?

    I was once told that if someone asks themselves if they are crazy then they probably aren’t. Apparently when your crazy you don’t notice your crazy so won’t ask the question 🙂 I suspect the same is true here.

    I just have to find the determination to stick with meditation as it seems quite a lot to take in as i’m feeling drained from negativity.

    There are all manner of methods of meditation. A good place to start is when you notice your feeling negative create some space to step back as a observer of the negativity. Often just a few moments is enough to allow the thoughts and feelings to flow, vice becoming blocked, and soon you will notice your breathing change on its own.  Its fascinating that a change in how be breathe can change the intensity of how we feel.  “Its not the breathes you take but how you Breathe”

    I’m impressed your doing the work  and I suspect you will discover possibilities that you never yet imagined.



    Hi Emelie

    Its very easy to settle. I had dreamed of travel yet have rooted myself even more to where I am. But I’m ok with that, its my path… and I like having the dream as a dream. Not all dreams need to be realized.

    I like what Joseph Campbell has to say about “following your bliss” Even the struggle along the way is part of it, adding more depth to the experience. Everything you learned along the way will show its useful – just as the small animals and such help the hero along the way 🙂

    “If the path before you is clear, you are probably on someone else’s.” Joseph Campbell

    In the La Queste del Saint Graal –  All of the knights are sitting around the Round Table.  No one is allowed to “eat” until an adventure has occurred…. In those days adventures happened all the time so no one was going to get hungry and sure enough the Grail reveals itself to the Knights — not fully or clearly — but covered with a giant, radiant cloth.  Then, it withdraws — disappearing and leaving all the Knights in desperate awe.

    One of the Knights rises and says, “I propose that we should all go in quest of that Grail to behold it unveiled.”

    The Knights then decide something very interesting.  They vow to each other that they will not go forth in a group, that doing such would be a disgrace.  Instead, a pact is created.  From here, each Knight will venture into the forest at the point of his choosing, when it is darkest and a point where there is no Path.

    According to Campbell, the lesson of the story is a way to live life, to follow one’s bliss.  “To live blissfully each of us must enter the forest at its darkest point, where there is no path.  Where there is a way or a path, it belongs to someone else, it’s theirs and not our own.” – Each of us is a unique phenomenon —

    Pathways to Bliss by  Joseph Campbel (Recommend Read)



    When people tell me I have to do things for me and me only, to figure out what I want, it always comes down to this: I want to be part of a healthy relationship, I want a family of my own.

    I’m not sure what that advice means. It is important to pay attention to the things that engage and inspire us however that more often then not involves engagement with others. I prefer to think in terms of he middle way. Helping and working with others is an excellent way in determining what it is we want for ourselves, which an attitude of “only for me” might get in the way of.

    Perhaps your friends meant that it is important that your actions come from an authentic part of yourself. Its understandable with your current changes that you’re not sure who that is yet, and that’s ok. Exciting even, as it opens the doors to possibilities.

    My observations have been that discovering those as yet unknown parts of ourselves come from engagement with life as it show up, eyes open and strong boundaries, but without trying to force it to conform to ‘the way is must/should be…(which would be a strange thing to do when you aren’t even sure what you ‘want’… we all do it anyway)

    That said having a goal of being part of a healthy relationship is a good one. A place to start is to understand for yourself what that would look like. What do you expect from yourself with regards to relationship? What are the exceptions you have for a potential partner? Lots of people have the goal yet few do the work.

    You might find the Book by David Richo ‘How to be a Adult in Relationships’ helpful. It is a wonderful guide



    Well you’re not alone in your fear of death, they even have a term for it “thanatophobia”.

    The reality of death has been a major topic of philosophy, phycology, theology…  Joseph Campbell research into the myths we live by suggested that the knowledge of our death is The concern that defines Life. Which might seem like a paradox but isn’t.

    My understanding of his work is that behind the fear of death is a fear of Life. Life as it is. The knowledge that Life is motion that requires the sacrifice of Life. Life eats Life. Death and Life not opposites as if they could be separated but intimately connected. Each breath you take is a sacrifice of life for life. (death, resurrection, a reincarnation)

    Life is a horrific wonder. That is Life’s wonder and it horror. Campbell argues that there are three attitudes, conscious or unconscious, that we take to that Truth. (the Solutions are my thoughts)

    1. No: Life should not be, let me off the ride. Solution, detach and dissolve ego, no ego no I no suffering, no death – no life.
    2. Maybe: Life is broken, but we can fix it. Solution, join the side of Good, follow the rules, fight evil, death will be overcome and life fixed.
    3. Yes: Life as it is, the sacrifice of Life for Life is Love: Solution. There is no problem to solve, Engage in Life as it shows up. A yes with gratitude.

    If you can get to a place where you can authentically say Yes to Life as it is the existential fear of death that you experience will fade away.

    Interestingly religions are often interpreted in all three ways depending on the perspective taken. My feeling is that the deeper you go into the theology the intention of all religion is to get to Yes. Just my opinion. However that means that many of the practices of the religions can be confusing so may not help you get over your fear of death.

    As your issue appears to be essential you could read up on your philosophy. I can save you time by stating all philosophy ends in the absurd and the problem of language. Meaning forget it, embrace the absurd, have a good laugh at the joke and enjoy life.

    I suspect none of the above helped much. I’m not sure if your fear is a choice or not yet if your going to get over it, it will be because you choose to let it go.  Might as well save yourself from some suffering and let it go.

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


    Ah yes, fake it till you make it. That can work in certain situations, however my feeling is that its best to be genuine. That said learning to be better at communication and engaged with others takes practice so going in with the perspective of let’s see what works could be a less stressful approach then needing to be perfect every time. (A curse of being an introvert is a tendency to need to be perfect and not to “embarrass” ourselves.) Your written communication is very strong as is your engagement in your post, so you have a lot to work with.

    I always hated the ‘speak up more in meetings’ comment on my reviews. I have learned to speak up in a meeting when I have something to say but for the most part I play the role of active listener. Making eye contact every now and then with who ever is speaking, leaning towards them (not in a creepy way) and nodding and smiling when appropriate. In this way I remain engaged even when quite. Funny side affect, it has been pointed out to me that often in a meeting people will be “talking” to me.  To be candid I’m hard of hearing so I have to be a active listener but my managers don’t need to know that. ?

    You have additional challenge if your dealing with customers. Again, being an active listener can help with engagement. This is not about faking it but being genuine… assuming you care about your customers, which I bet you do. Such interactions are a great place to practice compassion while maintaining one’s personal boundaries. As an introvert you likely have developed a natural empathy and its ok to let that show.



    It reads to me as your not 100% sure what your boss means by being more engaged at work or what that might look like.

    I work with IT and introverts are more the norm then exception so its confusing to me that a manager would not recognize this reality… and its benefits.  (ref  ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking’  by Susan Cain)

    Is there anything specific about your work that your boss wants you to improve or is it all inter-personal issues? As an observer looking in you need more specific instruction and goals to work towards.

    At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society.

    In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.




    So sorry to hear about your loss. It breaks my heart



    Hi Priya

    What if… two words at the source of so much suffering. Would it help to know that 99% of our what ifs never happen? Or that of the “ifs” that did happen you dealt with and survived? Probably not. We feel what we feel. However, we don’t have to attach ourselves to the emotions or thoughts. Notice how past embarrassments faded in time. Other stuff happened, and your focus went else where.

    When I am embarrassed, I feel it, beat myself up, all the usual stuff… while holding in the back of my mind the realization that tomorrow I will be concerned about something else.  In this way I create the space to detach my focus from the event and move on. Allowing the moment to flow as all moments flow regardless of how we imagine we can grasp onto them.

    Also, the student is also likely embarrassed, maybe more so, and will want to keep it to themselves and pretend nothing happened.



    Hi Emelie

    Wow 5 different countries in a year. That must have been quite the experience and I can imagine how overwhelming it must be while your in it. When in the future you have a chance to look back I suspect you will discover that each experience taught you something valuable and that you have been able to use as you continue to grow.

    I’m always fascinated hearing stories how people ended up in the careers they landed on. More often then not the path they planed was not the path they took and they were happier for it. Life changes with every breath we take

    I’m not a fan of this search for happiness or plan to be happy someday in the future when everything will be how we imagined.

    If we are constantly planing for happiness we will never take time to be happy. And if we are constantly measuring our state of being, Am I happy now, what about now, Oh yes now… crap what happened to it. Why can’t I hold onto it. Maybe I can recreate the past… step in the same river twice…

    Better I think to embrace life as it shows up. Its OK to be worried and afraid. Notice it hasn’t stopped you from making changes and moving forward and that is brave. Also notice that you have handled everything that has come your way. Sure somethings you handled better then others either way you handled it and you will handle whatever else comes your way as well.

    Most people I know never leave their back yard, never take a chance. You, your out their doing it, your writing your story not having it written for you

    Today is your day.
    You’re off to Great Places!
    You’re off and away!

    You have brains in your head.
    You have feet in your shoes.
    You can steer yourself
    any direction you choose.
    You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
    And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go….

    Out there things can happen
    and frequently do
    to people as brainy
    and footsy as you.

    And then things start to happen,
    don’t worry. Don’t stew.
    Just go right along.
    You’ll start happening too….

    ― <span class=”authorOrTitle”>Dr. Seuss</span><span id=”quote_book_link_191139″></span>



    Hi monica

    Sorry your having a rough time of it lately. I think is pretty normal to see oneself from a younger perspective. For the longest time I saw myself though the eyes of my 18-year-old self especially when I when home for a visit and I would ask myself the same questions your asking. Perhaps because I was 18 when I left home.

    Jung taught that one of the tasks of becoming or individuation was to come to terms with the mother/father complex. This tends to come up at the age you are regardless of the type of parents we have.

    Basically, what I think this means is that as we enter adulthood we need to become our own mother and father – connect to the mother/father archetypes – allow that “energy” to resonate within ourselves vice outwardly… However you want to put it the task requires that we learn to nurture, discipline and protect ourselves.  One of the steps of this process is to get to a place where you can see your parents as individuals and not only mother and father. Individuals with hopes and dreams of there own as well as other imperfections.

    A great book by Cheryl Strayed called the Wild is example of a young woman going through the process after her mother dies to soon. In this case her mother was “to good” and Cherly was dependent on her to nurture her. Without her mother and no father in the picture she was at a loss as to how to nurture and be disciplined. At the end of her hero journey, a walk in the wild, she see her mother as she was and in that way developed a more healthy relationship to the archetype mother and better able to take care of her self



    Don’t get me wrong; I am absolutely terrified. And, in fact, I feel like I am quite far from being able to embrace uncertainty.

    Hi Emelie

    You made me smile as I very much relate. You might not realize it yet but you are leaping which was why your story reminded me of that book.

    It took me 4 years to come up with a plan so that I felt ready to leave the military.  Yet when I finally let go of the “trapeze bar’ it was a moment, literately a second. A terrifying moment but once I let go I was all in and focused as I went back to school not knowing how it was going to work out just that I needed to do it.

    When I look I sometimes wonder did it really take 4 years or was it just that moment of letting go. I don’t know. I have learned that change happens slowly then all at once. That we don’t tend to notice the small changes we make along the way before we leap. Its weird but it wasn’t the leap that turned out to be scary it was all those small changes I didn’t fully notice that was behind most of my anxiety and fear .

    Anyway I hope you keep documenting your process as you go about your transition. Will make for a good story one day.


    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by  Peter.


    There is an old joke about a guy stranded on top of the roof of his home after a flood. The guy prays to his god to save him as various boats come by to rescue him. The guy refuses saying he is waiting on his god to save him and eventuality he dies. When he faces his judgment he accuses his god as failing him to which the god replied I sent you the boats you just didn’t get in.

    I think what happens is that we expect our meaning, purpose, relationships, service to look a certain way and so refuse to get in the “boat” and engage in life as it shows up.

    There is a quote from T.S Eliot “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.”

    I suspect that we are always where we need to be in order to get to where were going. We only have to let go of our expectations of how we think life should show up for us to be able to see our path is the one we were already on.

    An instructor of a dance class I took made the self evident comment that whatever foot you are on is the right foot because it’s the only place you can start from to move to the next. Yet so many in the dance class would stop whenever we “made a mistake” when in dancing the only mistake is to stop.

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