I feel like “wherever you go….there you stay.”

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    Hello and thank you.

    Back story…44yo female in a relationship for 5 years. I lost my job a while back and my boyfriend is on disability. Unfortunately, it’s not paycheck to paycheck, it is day to day.  Estranged family…they hate me.  My dad was terminally ill and is maybe-probably deceased, Mom completed suicide. woes me, so many people have less luck

    long term sobriety and attended Buddhist Teachings for many years.  Life sort of mattered, I had self-respect and was not bitter.  Then the snowball happened and I just gave up.

    when is too late?  How do you put the pieces back together?

    I took a very modest income that funds homeless persons and gives fresh starts.   I love this a someone who faced challenges with homelessness.   I could really thrive without the temper and wrath of my boss….but I have no alternatives.

    I have been listening to Sharon Salzberg and Tara Brach lately, and have managed to gain so much in the last month.

    I know life is hard…I know I have soooo much to be grateful for and there is beauty everywhere.

    This is honesty to strangers, because anonymously admitting you are a dumpster fire is easier that way.  I do not want to sound like a petulant pity party  – I want to find peace

    Why do I feel so ugly inside?  How do you start to heal. And, on that note, I have been receiving professional help for some time.  But it is lacking.   And I know I have an innate nature to achieve loving kindness

    Can someone send a map…




    Dear Mary:

    “Why do I feel so ugly inside?”, you asked.

    Maybe you feel ugly inside because you were taught at an early age that you were that. Young children believe the parent, no matter what it is the parent says. A child is not able to evaluate what a parent says, to determine whether it is true or not. A child believes.

    When what we believe is not true in reality, we suffer. We live in conflict, knowing on some level one thing, believing the other. “Wherever you go… there you stay”- wherever you go, whether you have a job or not, rich or poor, what you believe stays.

    I hope you post again. I would like to communicate with you further.




    Ok and wow. Mind blowing and much needed support. I feel like nobody wants a train wreck in their life, especially when that’s the mirror image from a youth of shame, guilt, and abuse.

    So I became still and really focused on what you said, teachings, experiences (negative and the stolen moments of true inner peace snatched up when they occur), and what needs to change. I came to the knowledge that I refuse and reflect any niceties or complements.  I would not know what to do or even how to process the genuine well wishes. This is absolute learned behavior and survival mode.  Also, the pure essence of change was devastating when I want to control or hold on to anything….I hate being insecure.

    Even when you know its abuse, if you have never heard I Love You, you keep bailing them out of jail due to that deficiency from my youth.

    But I also know I have outgrown that zip code.  I am lucky enough to have opportunities of service in my life and a lot to learn.  And mostly more to un-learn.

    I do think I could use a therapeutic hand in cognition, and want to heal.  But I think I will strive to find someone who is on the path of Dharma and Loving Kindness.

    I am very grateful for your response.





    Dear Mary:

    I can relate to “stolen moments of true inner peace snatched up when they occur” within “a youth of shame, guilt, and abuse”- shame, guilt, and abuse has been my experience and those stolen moments as well. Those stolen moments I spent daydreaming about a different kind of life.

    You wrote, “Even when you know it’s abuse… you keep bailing them out of jail”- you mean bailing your parents out of jail literally, figuratively.. can you explain?

    I didn’t understand “I have grown that zip code”. I hope you can explain it to me.




    * didn’t reflect under Topics



    Oh, typos!!

    i would bail my significant alcoholic or/ and or abusive boyfriends out alllllll the time. I could not bare to be alone, and at that time thought that was my worth. And on that, built a foundation on sand that was made of twigs and straw.

    A lot of trauma was happening during my formative years…all types. PTSD types. I sought affection anywhere.  And if someone showed me affection, no matter how toxic, I was in love.  What a pattern of self destruction.

    i meant that I do not have to stay in that zip code or living space of Mara(sp?), helplessness, desperation, and pain because I am moving forward now. So even though inevitable flowing change…I want to be in a more safe space.


    Talk to to you soon. Work is calling!!



    Dear Mary:

    “Work I calling!”- meaning you are employed?

    You wrote: “I could not bare to be alone, if someone showed me affection, no matter how toxic, I was in love”- it is amazing how much of a social animals we humans are, inherently, born that way, can’t choose otherwise. We truly do need people, and the first person we desperately need is a parent, the one holding us when we are babies.

    When a baby is being held, it finds comfort in it, in those powerful hands holding it. Otherwise, the baby will fall, being helpless that way. If the hands are thorny and prick the baby’s skin, it will take the discomfort of course, because it is better than falling and dying.

    As adults we have some say about what hands are holding us. We don’t have to settle for thorny hands that hurt us.






    i am sorry for the late reply. There were a few reasons. Work, mostly. I work in recovery services in a program that finds and provides apartments for persons that are homeless that live with mental illness.

    I am completing my Case Manager training, which covers all aspects of assistance and empowering people to acclimate to living in an apartment….they are nicer than my home!!  That makes me happy, because I remember the long journey of overcoming homelessness.

    This is very outside the box for me, as I have worked mostly as an addiction specialist or co-occurring addiction and mental illness.  This is very different.  It is definitely hard to stay in the moment, when you are trying to help 23 people meet their needs. But there is nothing I’d rather do. Finishing that training and THATS a mixed bag. My immediate manager often looks for reasons to fight…and she goes for blood. At first, I thought I had been blessed beyond belief. Then, two weeks later, the fog lifted as she is constantly interrupting and I thought…really thought I was being respectful and requested she allow me to finish answering a question. She took me in the office about an hour after the meeting and tore me up. She let me know where I stood in the food line, and how it would play out in her department.

    I am the type of person to admit when I am wrong, or do not apply my filter, but I honestly just wanted to finish my sentence, it was very pertinent, and applied to everyone in the department meeting. The discussion was about the division of funding for government programs and I just wanted to finish saying that the government were releasing 45 million dollars to combat the opioid epidemic and were funding programs for low level offenders to be released to safe housing.

    So, after she kind of lifted that veil, even though she accused me of having an attitude, which I can, but did not, and apologized profusely for the misunderstanding, she continued her ruthless attack.

    I have a couple of bumper stickers on my car..I obviously need to remove, that peacefully share about my choice in government leadership and one on equality.  She has attempted to start multiple difficult conversations about how her mother legally entered this government, all others, even refugees facing separation or death should also do as her mother did. She ceaselessly tells me I believe is fake news and how there is no injustice, racism, basically I am wrong to feel compassion and should pray.   Her much repetitive philosophy is awaiting the return of Jesus, which may trigger family feelings, as well as constant stealth practice of being calm and accepting.  I am constantly attempting loving kindness. I do like her, respect her as a person and professional,  but have been “told my place” and no longer share about anything not related to work or that could be misunderstood or seem to reflect my perspective.

    As for today, it’s just another day. I live with extreme anxiety with crippling panic attacks and clinical depression. I can not communicate with my boyfriend of 5 years about anything difficult because screaming is his default. That in turn, makes me panic.

    He is disabled and does not work.  He claims to take care of things at home….he does not.  I brought up something today that unleashed hell.


    I am am so stuck. I do not make enough to live independently, have pets and can not find a way out. I make too much for government assistance and would have trouble with the pets if I could. I could live in a very sketchy place alone, but would prefer to not have PTSD flashbacks about things that happen when your choices are limited to probable sexual abuse or crime.


    I see see the beautiful person inside, and wish she could help herself the way she helps the people she helps achieve all their dreams at work.


    I am am a Debby downer.  How are you?  I’m sorry I did not ask.




    Dear Mary:

    I am fine, thank you. What is a “Debby downer”?

    Read  like your boss and boyfriend are aggressive, I wish it wasn’t so.

    You wrote about your boyfriend, “He claims to take care of things.. he does not. I brought up something today that unleashed hell”- can you elaborate on this one incident of “unleashed hell”:what did you say, what did he say, what did you say then, what did he.. who shouted, who did what?





    Hi Mary

    Came across the following and thought about your posts.  I’m of two minds myself, I understand the advice of being in moment and I know its a truth, but sometimes I want to scream when I hear it.. Perhaps your in a similar space as the reference “wherever you go there your stay/are” – its the solution and the problem

    It is one of life’s greatest ironies that, no matter how much we want to be different, wherever we go, there we are. There’s just no getting away from ourselves. Go on holiday — there we are. Win the lottery — there we are. Move overseas — there we are. Wherever we look, we are looking out of the same pair of eyes; whatever we do, it’s still the same body doing it.

    In the attempt to get away from being with ourselves, we search for something or someone to make us happy; the grass constantly appears greener someplace else. But in every relationship and every situation, there we are again.

    Meanwhile, our mind is like a drunken monkey doing its best to distract us by jumping from thought to fear to drama to anything that will keep us trapped in an endless round of worries and concerns… “What if this happens… what if I fail… if only it could be like it was in the past… what will the future be like… I have to to get to a psychic for help…”

    We are like a musk deer that has a wonderful smell in its belly yet searches the forest for that smell. Wherever it goes, there’s the smell — but the deer can’t see it, so it has no idea where the smell is to be found. In the same way, we believe happiness is somewhere — anywhere —other than here, and spend all our time looking for it, without realizing it is already with us.

    “If you aren’t in the moment, 
you are either looking forward to uncertainty, or back to pain and regret. —Jim Carrey

    All we have to do is stop. Just stop. For right now, this very moment, is all there is. Nothing else is going on. Nothing else is happening. There’s nowhere to go. And being right here with ourselves is exactly where we want to be, because when we are fully here, this moment becomes the most precious, delightful, enjoyable and outrageous moment there is.

    It is immensely liberating to realize that nothing more is required of us than to just be fully here now. What a relief! Finally, we can really experience this reality just as it is, without expectation, prejudice or longing. Someone once asked Ed if he had ever experienced another dimension. He replied, “Have you experienced this one?” Have you noticed the dew on a spider’s web, the taste of honey or your own heartbeat?

    “Life is now. There was never a time when your life was not now, nor will there ever be.” —Eckhart Tolle

    When we are fully present, the world in which we live becomes extraordinary, as if being seen and heard and touched for the first time, for we are without preconceived ideas or desires. There is just the experience. Like a child making the unknown known, we are simply with what is, while also impelled to know it more intimately, to explore and understand, even to become it.

    Such presence defies our limited understanding of the world; it takes us out of the logical, rational mind and into a place of just being, without judgment or idea of what should be. Stepping out of the thinking and conceptual mind, however, doesn’t mean stepping into nowhere or nothing; it doesn’t mean that there is no connection to a worldly reality. We do not become disconnected or cast adrift. Rather, it is stepping into sanity and, more importantly, into even greater connectedness.

    As evolution does not go backwards, so life can never be the way it was. Being in the moment means having the courage to know we will never be someone other than who we are and that who we are is absolutely wonderful, just as we are. Simply being still in this moment, without attachment to or thought of before or after, invites a deep sense of completion, that there really is nowhere else we need to go. It is impossible to think of somewhere else as being better — the grass is vividly green exactly where we are. – Ed and Deb Shapiro


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