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    Hi TeaK,

    Thank you for checking up on me. Also thank you for the suggestion, I’m watching right now and I appreciate it so much.

    I’m not doing that well. It’s been difficult to deal with my anxiety at school, it holds me back from my studies and making friends. So I’ve been feeling a bit lonely recently.

    There is something that bothers me almost every day. I’m not sure what it is, so I’m wondering if you know.

    I feel I care a lot about other people, more than I actually should. Now I’m not just talking about caring about what they think of me, which stems from my anxiety, but I care about them and want to connect with them. I feel this way with almost everyone I see, every single stranger I wonder how they are and spend so much time thinking about their life. Basically, I empathize with everyone super easily.

    I think this might stem from the fact that I crave a deep emotional connection with people. And also because I so badly want to feel fully understood and loved unconditionally. I’m not saying I am not understood and loved, I am! It’s just that I crave a super deep connection with people in hopes of being understood by them and also understanding them. I think this is because of my lack of self-worth and self-love. I know that no matter how hard I look, I’ll never find someone that fully understands me. Because it’s impossible to understand someone completely! I think I’m looking for this connection with myself.

    It’s really hard dealing with these thoughts because not a day goes by where I’m excessively empathizing with random strangers, without even saying a word to them. I just wonder how their life is, how they’re feeling, just based on actions. I get so caught up that I forget to take care of myself and think for myself! It’s almost like I get so immersed into their lives, I feel myself becoming them. This also happens unconsciously, I don’t mean to daydream and think about it, but I slip into one anyway.

    I’m not sure what this is and where it comes from exactly. I’ve tried looking it up and seeing if other people feel this same way. When I notice myself getting lost in someone’s life, I try to ground myself and think for myself. But it feels weird doing that, (maybe because I’m not used to it), or because I’m afraid to be alone. I’m not sure. I don’t mind being alone and by myself with my thoughts, I just want to feel appreciated and understood while I am alone. Similar to how my ex appreciated me. Sorry if this is confusing, I don’t know how to exactly explain it. Some nights I feel so much joy in my heart that I am basking in unconditional love and acceptance. This happens at night, when I am by myself, sometimes after meditating. I feel so much gratitude in my heart and everything makes sense. But lately, nothing has been making sense. Especially during the day, because I have to go outside and it’s frightening. So these thoughts all mix up and bother me every day.

    I’ve been trying to look for some resources and someone to talk to. It’s been so hard, I can’t afford a therapist and I’m looking for a counsellor that I can speak to that can empathize with me and just support me. Honestly, all I’m looking for is a strong support system. It’s been difficult so that’s why I’ve been feeling a bit lonely. To add on, I feel like some people in this world get so caught up with themselves and their lives that they forget how to empathize and be compassionate towards others. Some of my past counsellors were like this, as well as teachers, and it was disheartening for me because I realized the world is a cruel place sometimes.

    It’s hard feeling safe in public, I feel afraid and alone. It’s scary. This does not make me feel normal 🙁 because I feel like I’m the only anxious person in my entire classroom.

    I just need someone to empathize with me and understand me. It’s really scary doing that by yourself, I feel afraid talking to myself because I don’t know if those thoughts are mine or not.

    Sorry if this was messy, this was just a thought dump because this has been on my mind for ages. It’s hard to put these into words. Again, thank you for checking up on me. I had not responded because I was very busy with classes.


    In reply to: End off the Road!!


    Dear Javier,

    it’s good to read you had a productive therapy session, with lots of self-reflection and making a kind of inventory of where you are at mentally and emotionally. I am glad it helped you! And it’s also great that you’re going to mass, socializing with people, listening to their stories and how they’ve overcome their hardships. It’s so sweet that you primary school teacher recognized you, and that you opened up to her, expressing your appreciation and gratitude.

    To be honest, I have always felt ungrateful towards people who helped mold me.

    No wonder, since the most important people who molded you (your parents) did a poor job. Your father abused you, your mother failed to protect you from abuse. It’s no wonder you didn’t feel any gratitude to authority figures, including those who were good and kind, like your primary school teacher.

    In a response to Sarah’s question: “How are you protective and caring?”, you wrote:

    I always feel responsible for other peoples feelings. Especially towards my family, as I feel responsible for all their pain and hurting.  As a result, I go to great lengths to avoid conflicts, and seldom admit when my feelings are hurt.

    In trying to protect and care for others, you suppressed your own feelings and needs. You blamed yourself for your mother’s pain, when it wasn’t your fault at all. That’s what a child does – it always protects the parent, and blames themself, trying to change and become “better”, hoping that this would make the parent happy.

    From very early in your childhood, you thought that something was wrong with you, first when your father was beating you, and then when your mother wouldn’t protect you from him. You took responsibility for their abuse and lack of protection, you thought you were bad and deserved it. And then later when you started acting out, you kind of “proved” to yourself that you are indeed bad and deserve poor treatment.

    See how it goes? You were an innocent child who took the blame for being abused, believing there was something terribly wrong with you. And you lived your life with that false belief, acting out, doing drugs, not paying attention at school etc.

    How does it feel to protect and care?

    Honestly, it sucks big time. Because, it reminds me how neglected, hurt and tormented I was. And, I tend to start with the “what ifs”, “I wish”, and “Why wasn’t there anyone there for me”. The more I protect and care about my nieces, the more devastated and anxious I feel. Somehow, I see myself in them, my brittle inner-child that is broken into thousand pieces.  I get reminded of how brittle and weak I really am. A tiny bump in the road will break me.

    You indeed were neglected and hurt as a child, and you had no one to protect you. A small child left to his own devices in the midst of domestic violence is horrible indeed. That’s why you feel brittle and weak now. It’s the inner child in you. What you are doing now, with therapy and self-help and sharing here, is you’re strengthening your adult self. Your adult self isn’t helpless like your inner child is, it has resources to help you. So the task would be to strengthen your adult self, so you can defend and protect and care for your inner child.

    One way to strengthen your adult self is to understand and accept that it wasn’t your fault that the abuse happened. That you’re not inherently bad and worthless, that you didn’t deserve it. So you stop taking the blame and responsibility for other people abusing you. Specially for your parents abusing you, i.e. failing to protect you. This is how you will start protecting your inner child. If you believe you deserved the abuse, you cannot protect your inner child, and healing cannot happen. Can you see that?


    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by TeaK.

    Hi Anita,  I dont understand life, i dont get it. Im older now, i should have the opportunity to give support and guidance to younger people because ive made it. like my parents (except not like them) just to have the opportunity to say, here is what is going to happen! I think i always thought, if i just work harder, if i just put more effort in it will pay off. If im just nice and patient and believe that everything good happens to all of us and sometimes there are bad times, if i try harder, if i just try to squeeze myself into a certain personality maybe the guy wont leave, maybe the boss will treat me with respect, maybe the colleague wont be jealous. My dad raised me to not rock the boat, to keep my head down…it doesnt work, the jerks are out there laughing always.

    Lately, ive put so many hours in that i cant do more…its like the wolves are circling and salivating, its crazy right now. Im not the kind of person to react my emotions but im suffering for it..people just being abusive.

    For example: Im overrun with multiple clients, on top of that we are expected to bring in listings for new properties but there is no time, also to manage the sales process which can be over months. One client ive been helping has been SO much work that i honestly think my brain is being picked so that they can start their own business…at the same time i cant say that for sure but they wont make a decision, they want certainty in THEIR decision from me and i cant give it. Its stupid. Ive spent almost a month working with him, he brings a friend along and she scrutinizes everything i say, they ask me questions about my life, she was even leaning over my shoulder to see what i was texting on my phone during a visit, non of her business!!

    Another is an owner of a house, i am responsible for their contract which i fought hard to get but they are very arrogant, i warned my colleagues to be quick with feedback, seeing what kind of people they were and unfortunately one agent upset them so much that they called me and yelled down the phone that not only my colleague but I was unprofessional and that i had ALSO not been working well with them and they had had enough. They spoke to our manager who i was not able to warn in time because she would not answer her phone. After they finished yelling at everyone…i got a call some days later, much calmer and subdued asking to work with us again, but ONLY with me.  In other words, i now have to be available to take clients of my colleagues. This means i will still be the punching bag and my colleagues now dont want to send clients there in case i get paid something.

    So, my small wins.

    My gratitude today…if that is all there is for me in the world, was that an associate we work with a lot, “sort of” stood up for me today when i was chewed out by the latest angry, arrogant and greedy client who was “unhappy with the service”, he was furious almost out of nowhere…and i smell an unjustified complaint in order not to pay us..People are real slimebags that way.  Im supposed to be on holiday now but that doesnt matter.

    We were standing with the client and he was complaining. The associate said to me not to leave just yet then said to me in her language (which the client cant understand) that he was an A** and that she had so many difficulties with him, that it was almost over and repeated i was NOT to worry about what he was saying. Maybe she could tell i was worked half to death and couldnt take more. He stood to the side of us and i could tell he realised she was on my side. On the other hand, when speaking to him she didnt defend me, she just said the issues were not a problem. To me she said basically she had enough of him too and not to worry about it.

    When people are kind like this its such a shock.

    What is interesting about this person is that many years ago, i had made an amazing sale, possibly the highest our agency has made in the last 6 years, and just as the contracts were signed and everything was certain and i of course worked my ass off as everyone sulked and looked boss decided to give this associate a bit more money, which meant i had to receive less.  This was local politics or whatever, this woman asked and my boss agreed. I never forgot that, after that point my view of my boss changed, at that point i knew, i was part of the hamster wheel not a wonderful colleague.

    Today, as i felt weak and defeated and grateful this woman had said these things, all i could think about was, that this was a payout for that previous damage…..

    But yeah, small handouts of sympathy…do they lead to happy ever after? or just cover the wounds.

    Speaking of laughing jerks..while i wrote this, some of my esteemed colleagues were on whatsapp making veiled comments about my friends´success. It was obvious they were jealous and making little stabs at her, she reacted..not too strongly but made it known their comments were weird…its this kind of lack of support, lack of team and mean little comments that we both hate. The others are much more typical sales people…like men in a lockerroom (one is a woman). This by the way was way after working hours. Our boss´reaction? to say that we can expect adverse people in our environment and to keep believing in ourselves. While thats really a nice thought…if you SEE and HEAR bullying in your office, how would you deal with it? i think i would deal with it directly.




    Dear Makingtide,

    I understand how you feel. Although you accept that you have caused harm and pain to your wife over 25 years, the pain and hurt that you experience now is real too. With the little experience that I have, I can only advise what could change the situation quickly. You have to start living in gratitude. You have to practice chanting thank-you’s thousands of times a day. The chanting should not be mindless uttering of the words thank-you but you have to see the beauty of every situation, and every thing. You have to see the good in everything that is happening in your life now. Root out hatred from your being and let your heart open.  If practiced correctly this will quickly change you and the change would be palpable to your wife. Gratitude is magic. But you cannot cheat(lie to yourself) while practicing gratitude, doing so will nullify everything. You need patience too. Within sometime compassion will start flowing and you would be in a better place to make her happy and cherish her. God bless.


    Dear Anita

    Thank you for your meaningfully truthful message to me. You have this gift of clarity and getting to the guts of things.  I really like that!

    It is true that she could abuse us when we were kids as no one held her accountable. We were little and utterly vulnerable. No way to defend ourselves. Therefore easy for her to exploit within the walls of our house. Cane marks were hidden and I used to go to school with elastoplast in several parts of my arms to hide those bruises. She hit us to vent her anger – not to help us be better humans. Perhaps she did not understand how else to release her own frustration.

    Yes, what love is – in the bible – was not what we received then, and neither is that what we receive now.

    I think we continue to care for her – because of a sense of obligation and guilt. And also, forgiveness? Aren’t we meant to forgive someone?

    My 2 siblings (brothers) are looking after my mother now. They are in the same country. My twin brother lives with her and deals with her everyday.  I am the ony girl. And the youngest.  Hence, hugely disappointing for my mum that I now live a life independent of her.  And I have, in the past, told her what I thought about her abuse and affair with the married man.  I could do this as leaving her – to study and work in another country – has enabled me to look more objectively at our childhood. It is hard to comprehend how selfish she was as a mother – to abuse her children the way she did, and then to allow a man to further abuse her children.

    I have withdrawn “somewhat” emotionally from her since a few years ago after she did some unkind or cruel things to deliberately hurt me.

    It was then that I delved deeper into this abusive narc thing. So, I am fortunate that I did that – and at least, called a moderate halt to her abuse, albeit temporarily. I grew!

    The last time I visited her (about 2 years ago), she cooked me a fish knowing that I was allergic to it. She could have killed me. I was sick for a few days. I confronted her on that and she said that she “forgot” although a few days before that, she reminded me of my allergy to that very fish. I never know if she did that accidentally or deliberately. I am not in her head. My twin brother said that she never fed them that fish for years and it was only when I was back that she cooked that particular fish. The evidence points to her deliberately doing that – but maybe it was pure accident. It is utterly confusing Anita. I wonder if you have any thoughts on that?

    It is hard to see my mother objectively – so many mixed emotions, early conditioning, and the tether to my other family members that I love.

    With gratitude





    Dear Anita

    Thank you again – v v much – for your care and kind advice! You are a saint!

    Yes, you are right about what you said about injustice – thank you for correcting me!

    Also, thank you for sharing with me your own experience with your abusive mother.  I appreciate that v much!

    I look forward to reading your thoughtful messages Anita despite how tough they are. They force me to reflect deeply while reliving my rocky experiences with my mother. You have really helped me probe into my childhood and its effects on the adult me. No one has ever cared so much! You are a truly kind and generous person!

    Anita, what you have said is all so true. However I find it next to impossible to go no-contact with my mum. Sorry to disappoint. Instead, I think that I will write her messages to show that I still love her. She needs the assurances as she is now frail and elderly – and has health issues. She keeps wanting assurance from me that I still love her. She says that she prays for me every night and hopes that I return to being a Catholic – I was brought up as one but no longer believe.

    Perhaps she does love me in her own selfish way. Or perhaps I really want to believe that. While there are tiny moments of love or kindness towards me, they are largely swamped by her abuse.

    Each time she does the nasty on me, I would go no-contact and she would apologise. Although I realise that her apologies are her way of getting me back into her realm. And when I do, she starts being abusive again.

    She is like that, perhaps because of her own childhood and biology. I don’t know that it is her fault. She is unaware and has this inflated and false sense of herself. Hence I want to be a little compassionate – while protecting myself from her abuse.

    Given my now heightened sense of awareness (because of you!), I have my guard up and will be very calm and unemotional when I speak to her. Following on from what you wrote to me, I have been listening to a few videos/podcasts on narcs. They cannot change. They may not be bad people. They just can’t help being the way they are.

    With gratitude,









    Dear @TeaK,

    Thank you for your detailed input. I highly appreciate that.

    Actually, I think he did find me like his mother but he has a lot of trauma attached to her. She had a brain injury when he was 13 and since then she is totally dependent on his father. She struggles with short term memory and gets annoyed when people don’t entertain her. His family struggles a lot because of that and all the kids are truly traumatised. So that explains his annoyance when I was weak and needy, maybe it triggered him.

    He did tell me last year Nov (5 months after the breakup) that he thinks there is no one as kind, forgiving and wonderful as me. He said he thinks I am close to Jesus as a spiritual being and I am the most important person in his life. To be fair, he also had just asked me if I would allow him to have phone sex with a girl he met on Facebook. It was quite confusing. I felt like I am being tested. I said I have no right to say yes or no coz we aren’t together but he did not let go till I replied to him. I know he would not have been able to be calm if I was seeing someone (he accepted that) but he was quite jealous since the beginning. So I didn’t question that behaviour.

    I will go through the questions you asked now.


    “I felt really guilty when I didn’t get the job and he said No too.”

    I didn’t understand this: did he say No to you moving with him to his new location once you didn’t get the job you wanted?

    He said he did not mind me saying no to moving with him since I was caught in the moment. I was about to get a job I was dreaming of for a long time. He did feel unimportant but he would ask me to shut up every time I will apologise. That is the reason I told him to accept the job in the Middle East coz I was guilty of doing that to him.


    “I tried to talk to him about it so many times but he said he doesn’t care and it doesn’t matter. He said he had forgiven me”

    I don’t think he has forgiven you, and it has shown in his reluctance to talk about marriage and your future together. Also, he reluctantly followed you to Berlin, only to leave 20 days after you’ve arrived.

    Berlin was his plan. When he was about to come to visit me in my home country he made me write on a sheet that we will move to Berlin and we will have a wonderful life and pay my gratitude for that. But you are right, maybe he was reluctant and angry with me. I asked him so many times. I even asked him if we should see a couple’s therapist so that he could talk but he refused it. I was worried he might resent me but he didn’t want to talk about it.


    “It was the most devastating thing ever but he promised he will take short term opportunities and he will keep berlin his home base. I agreed but then he started keeping away from him since I was angry. I was angry that he left me alone in a place that was supposed to be home.”

    Here you sort of “betrayed” him again, because you agreed for him to take short-term jobs abroad, but then you felt angry at him. But I guess you were angry not because he left, but because he wouldn’t make any commitments regarding your future. You felt his hesitancy and it hurt you: ‘For someone who constantly kept talking about wanting to have a family with me, he was very hesitant about getting engaged.’

    I am sorry I made a mistake. He started ignoring me since he thought I would spoil his joy and that made me angry. I was mostly annoyed that he did not want to discuss our future. He wouldn’t even talk about how long did he want to work abroad. I would have appreciated it if he said I am going to be there for 2 years but he never had an answer. He would say is this not enough that I say I am committed. Tbh it is but then he made promises for starting a farm in Italy or work on a farm. Now I guess I was supposed to do it alone and he would come there for vacations. That was not what I signed up for. So yes it hurt me. You are spot on.


    “He used to come to visit me every 1.5 months for 5 days, in the house I set up for us and he would be enamoured by it saying that he loves that we have a home.

    He wanted me to build a home for him.”

    It’s like he saw you as the strong, capable mother, who’ll build a nice home for him. He appreciated the house in Berlin, but he still resented you. I think it shows that he saw you primarily as his care-taker and provider, and not as an equal partner. He loved that he has a home base, from where he can go out into the world and explore. You were a safety net for him, not an equal partner. And he didn’t want to get married to you, I suppose, because he resented you all along for being dependent on you so much.

    I don’t know if he resented me for being so dependent on me. He resented me when I would not like to do things his way. He always wanted to do everything together. He wanted me to be part of everything he did. Go to places he goes to, listen to songs he listens to, watch what he is watching. I explained to him a lot that it’s not bad that I do not enjoy doing everything with him but he was very stubborn about that. So I am still unsure about why did he resent me but you could be right. When he started pulling away his first statement was ” I don’t need you” to my statement I love you, need you and want you. I didn’t mean the word ‘need’ the same way he did but I was shocked at his response. Two weeks before this happened he was writing to me about how he is very lonely and wants to talk to me, while I was busy with my sister’s wedding.


    You are on point with the rest of the points. It brought a smile to my face. I guess it is the truth, I didn’t want to accept that he was expressing everything he resented me for. I am normally attracted to guys who are reserved. My ex was not that, he was different. He approached me when normally I am the one who would approach the guy. He was so sensitive and vulnerable it was refreshing. He would also tell me I am quite beautiful. In my past dating history, the guys would tell me I have a charming personality but they only fell in love with me once I started talking :). I do tend to put them on a pedestal and take the caretaker role. This one is a lesson too. I have only learned more about me after every relationship but I am also exhausted now. I mean will this self-improvement through relationship project ever stop. Anyway, I know it’s silly to say so. We keep growing and evolving as human beings but I tend to always look for my forever person and fail miserably. I need to let go of this idea and start to get out of this scarcity mentality.

    Only recently, I came to the conclusion that my ex did not love me. The breakup made me feel rejected. There was also a lot of gaslighting and that makes you question your existence when you are vulnerable. I feel I have better boundaries now and I would be able to make better choices.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read my long post. You made my day with this honest breakdown.





    In reply to: History on Repeat


    Dear Anita,

    We do have an air filter and you reminded me last night to close my window I forgot to close it to keep it cooler and smoke out. I woke up and my first clutter narrative thought was my mind is losing it going crazy with a deep sigh. And I cancelled this thought out by not believing it and thinking I am just going through some healing: because I am not self harming and I am talking about it and fear had no longer complete my hijack my brain.

    And I am able to successfully wake up early again. I did fall asleep later so I have maybe 6.5 hours of sleep and no coffee. I would just waking to a has station but if I leave mango he would bark and wake everyone. I might have some delivered but seems expensive. I have groceries being delivered this evening.

    So I have a friend of a friend I met and they need a place to stay before moving into new bought condo. My other friend just had kittens and they are moving to East coast soon. I use to nanny for this family. The person who needs housing is kind and to trade free housing he said he can give Harry love and watch him so I can take my work stuff and mango and spend a week at my friend’s while someone watches Harry. He has a pet snake python that is also needing temp home. So I welcomed him and snake can rest on my art desks I’ll just Move everything off. I will leave on 18th. So I do have a wish come true a way to leave somewhere safe and be with loved ones.

    I am thinking of tattooing over self harming scars and maybe a base of my throat tattoo with an om symbol. My scars are my hip to the top of my right boob which is what bothers me most. A scars reminding me of battles lost I want to see if as battles won because no more scars.  An om symbol to speak of peace and a reflection that my voice is valued I value my voice.

    Mango likes to push his nose on my thigh when I am sitting like a little push to say hi I want to play or come onto your lap. It is really cute and way better than play biting lol .

    I am grateful to share experiences with you Anita and I hope we can take deep breaths to open space in our hearts for future gratitude.

    I hope we have the best day we can. It already feels empowering to be awake so early I’ll try to find some coffee.

    Best wishes,



    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Zeeza.

    In reply to: End off the Road!!

    It is possible! God is guiding you. Have faith and love yourself. Also so what if you fail at something or people misunderstand you? What matters is your character. What good can you do from this? Who will you help? Happiness can be yours in this moment too if you see your worth. Everything’s going to be okay. You survived and will continue to survive. You never truly failed. You are allowed to be human. I had a suicide attempt once too. I get it. Do you think anyone has it all together? Perfect is a myth. It’s a lie. No one is perfect. But you are a beautiful person who can do good with your second chance at life. You’ve made me feel good that I can be useful to someone. I’m a self help writer trying to inspire others and your gratitude towards me made me feel like maybe I am able to do good too. Thank you. It’s 2am here so I’m going to bed. Try some journaling. Let me know what you need.


    In reply to: End off the Road!!


    Thank you, Sarah and TeaK,

    Word can’t express my gratitude! This forum is the only thing I have. My mother couldn’t see my pain, she wanted to help me, to heal me, but my brothers didn’t want her to endure any more unnecessary pain. As I thought I couldn’t hurt my mother more, I managed to take away her peace and simultaneously scarred her for life. Your prayers have saved me, but unfortunately, my stupid decision has consequences. Due to the OD, my liver is damaged and is not functioning well. In addition, I got severe sepsis. Just like my brain, my whole body is now poisoned.

    I just want you to keep praying for me and please keep helping people that need you and that can be saved and healed.

    As I have hit the lowest possible point in life, and every breath is painful, I’m just waiting for my body to give up on me. I have no plans for any second attempts, as it was too dreadful and the toxicity withdrawals from the opioids numbed my central nervous systems temporarily. The doctors said I was very lucky, since the number of opioids I took, was four times the dosage it takes to permanently put me in a vegetative state. My biggest fear is to be stuck in a vegetative state.

    Now, I’m off all SSRI medications, and melatonin(for sleep) and B12, hence, time stands still. My body aches and I have a burning sensation in my head constantly, giving me continuously brain fog.

    The worst thing is that I have scarred and hurt my dearest and nearest. My nieces, that I love like my own daughters, and my mother and brothers are terrified and very concerned for my well being. I don’t want to hurt them anymore. Please pray for them!



    In reply to: History on Repeat


    Dear Anita,

    The dog food brand is blue wilderness maybe they have a cat brand as well.

    The honesty I shared went well. The owner of the lab spoke with me to come up with solutions and  expressed gratitude for bringing it up.

    And yes thank you Anita that makes sense that my mom projected her insecurities out on me when she was struggling to be sober.

    I love your perspective on what it means to more courageous. By self trust to share ideas.

    Best wishes


    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by Zeeza.

    In reply to: History on Repeat


    Dear Anita,

    I think I finally picked a location that would be easy to move with my animals, affordable, and relatively safe. I called a bunch of places. I also realize this is not the ideal time of year to move with rent usually being the highest in the summer. So maybe I can find a place by September.

    I recently put the mirror back out and Mango is barking at his reflection. I tell him dat you bud. He is silly.

    I like the idea of this area because I had spent time there for community college and felt like that was the most positive mindset. It is about an hour from where I live now so it is not a drastic change to move to portland or out of state.

    Thank you for helping me face reality clearly and succinctly. I do have moments where I am afraid to be alone and I have made it so with this pandemic and life events where I turn to my bf instead of others for things so I think this distance is needed.

    I found a random love letter I wrote to myself for when I forget what makes me happy or who I am. It felt so foreign to find it and I don’t remember writing it. I also found a QA and I answered the question who are my heros? Casper, viktor frankl, and now in the present I would like to add Dear Anita. You have added so much compassion, empathy, and coping skills for Tiny Buddha I hope you know your Energy and Efforts are Appreciated.

    I think I will start journaling again more regularly in one book so I can keep better track of gratitude and emotions. It seems like I stop communicating within and then explode with emotions? This thread has been a safe place to learn how to speak empathetically with myself and try to decipher logic within emotions. I am hoping to do more of this on my own so when we do catch up we can catch up as friends. I feel bad sharing so much and if I have a fear of being alone it is like I have a fear of being alone with myself because it can feel like a stranger.

    I titled it Radiance


    “Singing in the day is a familiar day indeed.
    Playing the music mapped out in my mind of a spiritual home.
    I do have enough time. My feelings and thoughts matter and I belong. I take good care of my animals and care deeply for my friends. I am enough. Failing forward to supernova growth.

    Optimizing the tools and energy to love myself just as deeply. The traces of infinity is to let as much love in as one lets out. And of course to always remember that there are infinite possibilities and infinite perspectives and my heartmindbody fusion is the center of balance to discover my truth. In this wisdom I am protected. Bright blue light lucidly engraving the way. So I am writing this future love letter to myself. For those mornings or days I feel confused or emotionally numb. I will guide myself gently with the thoughtful plan and solutions I have created.

    Time for reading loved books, Time to play with animals, color in gradients, create sticker art, and sewing my own expressions of empowered resilience.

    I want to feel the blissful urgency of the sunrise expressing the crossover of now. The excitement of playing with my war paint (makeup*) in the morning and opening my body up to peace.The enthralling creativity of unraveling newness. Filling my stomach with love is to eat all the colors (veggies and fruits are colorful*). Laughing with a friends<3

    I want to become a lighthouse of love rippling throughout space time. A safe place to heal. Even through the darkest days this fire burns always. I forgive myself and feel the spaciousness grow around me; to build new roads to travel.

    My emotions are signals of connection. To change, radical acceptance, or communicate my yes and no. Share my valued voice.

    My seeds, to plant, are almost ready. I have outlined the black and white logistics and aligned resources. The art business schedule can start when I feel crystal clear confidence. Unshakeable why and self-belief. Energy and power comes from our choice of beliefs. Our magic is in our deep rooted intentions. I intend to live courageously so when I die I give myself the greatest gift of all, an unchained soul. (fear didn’t hold me back*)

    Or perhaps I practice more by myself being comfortable championing authenticity and compassion. Leaders lead by taking care. By making it safe to do so.
    The universe speaks to me because I am also part of universe. ”

    Thank you for listening Anita, I hope you are enjoying the sunny summer and your hands are healing well too.


    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by Zeeza.
    C. R. Smith

    Thank you so much for your kindness in responding to me.  It is nice to be heard. I would say beauty in nature and beauty in people are two very different things. Beauty is super important in life; why would we have eyes if not to experience the beauty of our amazing planet? There is no denying that experiencing the beauty of nature makes one’s life better. BUT it is the internal experience while in the presence of beauty which really matters. So, yes, there are invisible things at play. And I agree that I can appreciate what beauty there is here. But what I was wondering, and this applies to so many things,  if aspects of your life really are not great. Or say an essential need is not being met (and maybe having access to beautiful places IS an essential need), should one still just BE and stop TRYING to CHANGE THINGS or  should one seek a change? As I’ve been thinking of this, it does seem if you are experiencing anxiety and desperation, it is best to embrace the present with all its imperfections, and when one is at peace, the best path will present itself.

    My loneliness: That was really just an aside, but it definitely is making my life less fulfilling and rewarding. I also feel shame about it. I appreciate you saying you want to try to connect with me. I feel a connection, even though it’s virtual. I don’t know where to start on this one. A big issue is  that I spent the first 35 years of my life deeply enmeshed in a religion which gave me immense meaning and security. Everything in my life was geared toward that religion. I had many great friends in the religion. Then I found out the religion was not based on true events. I tried to continue to be part of the religion, but I felt so hypocritical. Losing the religion stripped me of  my security and sense of meaning. I also have trouble truly feeling a connection with others because they don’t share those essential life experiences that came through my religion. One thing that has hurt me also, I think, is having my two sons grow up and leave home. Being a mother gave me meaning (although I was very depressed then, too). But I feel if I embrace the idea that I am still a mom, and they are my children, and this will always be one of the most meaningful things I have done, I feel more confident and at peace.

    Work: Those were great suggestions I gave! I do agree with them. But I am definitely NOT 60% okay with my job. I keep my job because it pays quite well, I work from home, and my hours are completely flexible. But my work provides no fulfillment. I don’t feel good about accomplishing anything. I don’t experience flow hardly ever. So it like I am living a lie to do my job. I often have to sleep in the middle of the day to “come down” from the show I am putting on for everyone.  On one hand I do try to do a good job, and my students really like me, so I feel sort of okay about that. But since it is a lie, I feel pretty horrible about it. I have tried to do other things, but it’s hard to replace the salary and the  work from home and the flexibility. I read the woman who writes Brain Pickings 7 Keys to a Happy Life, and she says never do something only for money, prestige or to assuage guilt. I would say I do my job only for money, and I do feel it has hurt my spiritual growth. I started selling real estate on the side. That has been sort of okay, but I really don’t like trying to say the right thing in the right way to get someone to let me help them buy or sell a house. HOWEVER I think I am going to try to totally be okay with my life and job  as is and see what happens. I will try to practice gratitude, self-discipline, self-care, etc., and I will try focusing on my students rather than the curriculum and see what happens. I feel good about this plan.

    Thank you for listening to me! If you have more questions or ideas, I would love to hear them.


    Dear C. R. Smith:

    1. About the place where you live and the topic of physical looks, you wrote today: “it is UGLY here. One of my greatest joys in life has been to simply walk in beautiful places…. I live in Kansas, and it is literally ranked as one of the ugliest states if not the ugliest state in America… I feel like I am living in a dump. I don’t like the grass, I don’t like the dirt, the state is too poor to beautify anything, and it is flat”.

    More than 4 years ago, on March 2017, you wrote about the same topic (physical looks) in your reply to a member: “I think about the people I’ve known that I respect.. Their looks have NOTHING to do with why I value them… Again, their value has nothing to do with their looks… LOOKS ARE IRRELEVANT. It is hard for me to remember this. I must remind myself of it 20 times an hour. But, it is true. I would be so much happier if I could truly embrace it… Think about everything that makes life meaningful. Almost all of it is invisible”.

    I know that back in March 2017 you referred to the physical look of the human body, and today, you referred to the physical look of a place. But in principle, if “everything that makes life meaningful.. is invisible”- perhaps you can find an invisible meaning to living where you are. Back in 2017, you had to remind yourself of this principle 20 times an hour- maybe you didn’t remind yourself of this principle for a long time (?)

    2. About your job, human behavior and loneliness, you wrote today: “My job, which I really don’t like either..  Another issue is people…  there are a lot of uneducated, foul people, as well. I feel in another state I would be around people I can relate to better. And I am lonely beyond belief (though I seem to be lonely no matter where I live)”.

    More than 7 years ago, in April 2014, you wrote about the same topic: “I am 48 and am still looking for my right career! However.. We have the power to help others in any job by the way we do our work with pride and honor and by the way we treat our coworkers and customers. Truly giving to others is a matter of who you are, not what you do… No job is going to be 100% perfect! Often we feel that if only I can find the right job, I will be 100% happy! It’s not true! No job will make you totally happy. Shoot for something that feels like at least 60% of the time you will be enjoying your daily tasks. Also, being so obsessed with finding the perfect job is pretty much the opposite of living with acceptance and gratitude”-

    – I wonder if you remember to still “work with pride and honor”, if you forgot that “truly giving to others” matters so much. Maybe you forgot to be okay with the 60%. Maybe you need to revive your principle of “living with acceptance and gratitude” (?)

    You shared back in 2014, that you earned your master’s degree in counseling, that what drew you to counseling was “more a desire to understand and heal” yourself, that to “really help others”, that you wanted to be a counselor, but “I found out that good counselors make connections with others easily, and that is not me. I only truly connect with a very few people, and the clients I worked with sensed this”-

    – I suppose that your loneliness (“I seem to be lonely no matter where I live”) is about often not feeling truly connected with other people. I wish I could read more from you about this topic: connecting with other people. I guess in bringing this up, I am trying to virtually, but truly, connect with you.



    C. R. Smith

    I’m not sure if this is the right forum for this topic, but here it goes.

    Like many here, I am not happy with my current situation!  I am trying to live a simpler life. I make just enough money to get by. I moved to an inexpensive area so I could more easily live within my means. So I have a really nice house in a nice area for this town, but it is UGLY here. One of my greatest joys in life has been to simply walk in beautiful places. Where I lived previously, every time I made a gratitude list it would mention something about the beautiful sky or the beautiful world. Well, I can’t say that here. I live in Kansas, and it is literally ranked as one of the ugliest states if not the ugliest state in America.  My  backyard and my street are lovely-ish, but that’s about it. it depresses me no matter where I go. I feel like I am living in a dump. I don’t like the grass, I don’t like the dirt, the state is too poor to beautify anything, and it is flat.

    At the same time, I see people here suggesting practicing nonaction and acceptance. I feel I need to move. I do not want to live the rest of my life in an ugly place. BUT I feel extremely anxious at the thought of moving. The other thing is, everywhere else is much more expensive and I would not be able to live as simply anywhere else. My job, which I really don’t like either, is virtual so I can live anywhere.  Another issue is people. There are some wonderfully kind, good people here. But there are a lot of uneducated, foul people, as well. I feel in another state I would be around people I can relate to better. And I am lonely beyond belief (though I seem to be lonely no matter where I live).

    So my question is – how do you know when it is best to just let go and be, and how do you know when you need to make a change? My soul is aching for beauty. Do I listen, or do I quiet that yearning for now?


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