February 18, 2021 at 3:08 am #374796NarParticipant
I am sorry you are going through such difficult times. What you wrote here reminded me of what Dr Gabor Maté talked about in his talks and he referred to this quote of his mentor/teacher A.H. Almaas :
“Your conflicts, all the difficult things, the problematic situations in your life are not chance or haphazard. They are actually yours. They are specifically yours, designed specifically for you by a part of you that loves you more than anything else. The part of you that loves you more than anything else has created roadblocks to lead you to yourself. You are not going in the right direction unless there is something pricking you in the side, telling you, “Look here! This way!” That part of you loves you so much that it doesn’t want you to lose the chance. It will go to extreme measures to wake you up, it will make you suffer greatly if you don’t listen. What else can it do? That is its purpose.”
He also talked in his talks how some of his most terminally ill patients told him-they were thankful for their cancer, or some of the extreme physical or mental pain they had to endure as if it wasn’t for that pain, there would be no understanding and love.
The way i see it is pretty much the same. Our body is always telling us what is wrong with us emotionally or mentally and it manifests itself in many different ways (in extreme cases serious diseases), and it is up to you to listen to it or to shut it out further.
About your regrets around career and financial choices in life – i can honestly sympathise. Did you ever consider why you feel this way though? Why you feel like you had to be making 6 figures in your life and at 43 one couldn’t just be starting from scratch? what is wrong with that? who or what makes you think there is anything wrong with that?
I spent a lot of my time feeling guilt and shame for things i did or didn’t do in my life as well. But you know, feeling a lot of guilt is just an excuse not to act NOW.
And where to find strength- all the strength you could possibly have is within you waiting to be awakened. I think you should look for it inwardly not outwardly.
February 21, 2021 at 11:39 am #375030
- This reply was modified 4 months ago by Nar.
Thank you Peggy. I am a surviver. I do send out love into the universe. I don’t do it as a favor so I can get back something from it, but I hear silence in return. In fact, it often happens that I get adversity and hardship in return. Yet I don’t blame anyone or anything, hence my post, I don’t know where to find the strength. By strength I mean hope, desire, love, and other things that I want to have. I want to feel something positive. I want to look forward toward something fun and existing. It’s been ages since I had that kind of fun. I take care of my self and I try to be virtuous (from Stoic teachings) and I am also learning to let go (from Buddhist teachings), but I am only human. Sometimes all that is not enough. I stopped complaining. I am not asking for pity or a shoulder to cry on. I am just losing hope. But as I said, I am not complaining and I do thank you in earnestFebruary 21, 2021 at 11:41 am #375031
Unfortunately I don’t have anyone around who is that enlightened. And my friends are very good people, but I am not comfortable talking to them about any of this. I miss the bonding you are speaking off. I missing the human touch, physically and emotionally speaking. It’s been too long.February 21, 2021 at 11:45 am #375032
Thank you Rebecca. I know the book well. I am way more “advanced” than this book in terms of my movement towards enlightenment and many other things. I study Buddhism and Stoicism. I meditate and try to be in peace with my own existence, but with so many hardships to overcome, I often fail to accept the present, the real me, and everything that’s happening. I am not giving up. Nothing seems to help because I am waiting for something to come my way from the Universe. I think that’s my number one mistake. I am learning to let go of absolutely everything, but it’s been almost 4 years since I’ve been alone and I feel physically sick form it.February 21, 2021 at 11:48 am #375033
Thanks Nar. The whole looking inward concept is something I am doing a lot now through meditation. It helps a lot. I am looking deeper and deeper each time. It’s an amazing experience. I wish could hold on to it after meditation. I’ve turned around from being bitter and angry at the world to trying to send out “metta” unconditional love and well being to all beings and things. But it often leaves empty to the point of tears.February 21, 2021 at 2:16 pm #375038
You’ve been through a lot, you’ve faced major setbacks, you even had to battle cancer. You’re tired and exhausted (no wonder!), but you feel you cannot give yourself a break, you must be 100% disciplined and focused on staying healthy. You say your every day is scheduled and there’s no time for fooling around. Everything you do, every minute of your day, has to be purposeful and well spent. You say you feel like a robot and this regime actually makes you feel exhausted, but you believe you have to continue in order to stay healthy.
Dear Felix, you actually need to give yourself a break! Because in order to stay healthy, we need balance, and without fun and joy and relaxation, we aren’t in balance. Right now, you’re pushing yourself to be “perfect” in every sense, as a compensation for all the mistakes you made in the last 15 years. You feel you’ve messed up, and now you have to make up for it. That’s fine, it’s okay if we suddenly wake up and realize we haven’t lived our lives in the best possible way, and now we want to do things differently. However, we cannot go on without self-compassion. We cannot go on in a healthy, balanced, sustainable way.
So instead of pushing yourself to the limits and living like a stoic, I’d suggest introducing a bit more joy and fun in your healthy lifestyle. Pamper yourself a bit more. It doesn’t need to be self-indulgent, but simply nurturing, enjoyable, something that recharges your batteries instead of depleting them.
It takes a shift in perspective – from self-condemnation to self-compassion. Forgive yourself for your past mistakes. We all make mistakes, and we often don’t change until life forces us to. Life did force you, but you’ve learned your lessons, you’ve changed course. Now you can relax a bit and stop to smell the roses, as they say 😊
Good luck!February 22, 2021 at 4:45 pm #375077
Thanks, I do give myself breaks and I do take care of myself. I guess I am just as I mentioned before, a tired animal who was being chased by a pack of lions. I am not giving up or anything. The problem was that my methods of relaxation and recharging are not working because I am ALWAYS alone. My friends are busy with their families and we don’t see each other that often. Family isn’t helpful. I feel very lonely and if not for Covid, I would be more social, but everything is closed.February 23, 2021 at 12:41 am #375090
“I guess I am just as I mentioned before, a tired animal who was being chased by a pack of lions.”
Do you feel you’re still being chased by those lions or you feel you can relax now?February 23, 2021 at 2:50 pm #375121
I am not being chased any longer =) Good observation. I am in the rebuilding and “resting” phase now. The problem is that I am not 23, I am 43, and don’t have the luxury of relaxing too much because I still want to accomplish things, including rebuild my career and may be even have family, kids, and do something more with my life. The idea that I am 7 years away from 50 scares me not because I am afraid of getting old, but because it will be impossible to start a family at a particular point simply because of physical and culture limitations.February 23, 2021 at 6:12 pm #375154anitaParticipant
“My problem is the baggage I carry. I am punishing myself for all my past mistakes… I feel like I screwed up so badly that my life is over… the anger and the shame… like a sadomasochist I am continuing to punish myself”
You tried: “cardio 5 days a week.. road bike.. study daily… eat very healthy… I am trying hard… I am trying.. I am trying… Ate away my pain… interviewing for new job…weight loss through diet and exercise.. personal development through leaning about Stoicism and Buddhism, trying to meet a woman for a relationship… I am honestly trying hard now.. I meditate.. I am obsessed with road biking and hiking.. I am trying hard, but I feel empty.”
Cheryl Strayed: “Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal”.
anitaFebruary 24, 2021 at 12:28 am #375159
Realistically, for a guy 43 years old isn’t too old for anything, including starting a family. There are many men who had kids in their 50s and they live long enough for those kids to grow up and start their own families. Although it is harder to start a family later in life, due to physical limitations, as you say, it’s not impossible, and for many it’s worked just fine.
And another thing, it’s not just physical health that matters for a happy family, it’s also mental and emotional health. Now you’re much more mature and self-aware than 15 years ago, and you have a much better chance to sustain a happy marriage and have happy, healthy kids. Many immature young men end up having children and messing them up. You’re lot less likely to do that. So there’s even a benefit of starting a family when you’re more mature.
You also mention culture limitations. What exactly did you have in mind?February 24, 2021 at 2:24 am #375165NarParticipant
What would you like to hold on to after meditation? Do you think its possible to train yourself to love unconditionally and wish everyone’s well being? I am not sure how much you have gone into the question of meditation and I apologise if I say something that offends you, I am not sure by just saying or feeling that you send unconditional love, you actually do it. There is a true feeling and there is a heart filled with the things of the mind, aka same thinking disguised as feeling, wanting to feel something, aka illusion… most people start meditating without understanding themselves or how their minds work much first. I am talking out of my own experience. I spent 2 years meditating, reading and educating myself, even joined a Sangha and attended 2 a week group meditation. I was calm and content…that is on the surface, but deep down I was still boiling… and as soon as i stopped meditating, realised how much I was engaging in self-illusion. And i must understand what meditation actually is first.
Having said that, I am not saying meditating as most people do it doesn’t offer temporary relief or feeling good about life or yourself. but it is all that is-temporary and illusionary.
Some peace of mind comes only when you just no longer fear to look into the mirror and see yourself as you are, not as you WANT TO BE. that is the starting point.
I spent 3-4 years in total now without meditating and i think maybe soon when covid is over, i will be ready. I plan to try both Zazen and Vipassana (retreats) and incorporate one into my daily life.February 27, 2021 at 2:20 am #375350
In your posts you’ve mentioned several times that you’re hoping to get some positive feedback from the universe, but nothing is coming your way:
“I do send out love into the universe. I don’t do it as a favor so I can get back something from it, but I hear silence in return. In fact, it often happens that I get adversity and hardship in return.”
“It’s just been so stale lately that I don’t remember what it feels like when something cool or interesting comes my way because of a coincidence. I am trying to send out positive thoughts into the Universe and I really hope to get some feed back.”
“I am not giving up, but I haven’t had any good or positive news in a very long time. … I am just so tired of it all that I would do anything for something good, fun, exiting to happen.”
So it’s like you’re trying so hard, you’re giving your best, but no good news in return. You only hear crickets, or even worse, you experience more adversity. It’s like you’re saying: “please, I am doing my best, I am trying so hard to be a good person. Why don’t you show me some love in return, why don’t you show me that you care at least a little??”
It seems to me it’s how a child would talk to a parent. “I am trying to be a good boy, I am doing everything to please you. Why can’t you show me some love already??”
Does that ring a bell for you? Because what could be happening is that you’re subconsciously trying to please your parents (and now an external authority like God or the universe), but you feel you’re not good enough. You’re judging yourself harshly:
“I am trying to forgive myself, to be more precise, I am talking to myself about moving on, but like a sadomasochist I am continuing to punish myself.”
“I am trying to be patient, accepting, and loving of myself. I realize how important it is to love myself and be fair (from learning about Buddhism), but this alter-ego inside of me continues to punish me for effing up.”
One part of you knows – the rational part – that the key is to love and accept yourself. But the other is still judging you for being imperfect. That’s the inner critic, which is most likely the internalized voice of your parent(s). So there’s an inner child within you, which is being tormented by the voice of the harsh inner critic. What it needs is that you become a good, loving parent to that little boy. To stop judging him and pushing him to be better, but to love him and accept him just as he is, with no conditions. This will change the entire “constellation”, so to speak, and things will almost certainly start changing in your outer life too…March 7, 2021 at 9:54 pm #375743
Without replying to each item individually, here is what I have to say:
I am trying to learn to radically accept myself, who I am, my current situation in life, etc. I am trying and that is the honest truth. I am trying to work hard on things that need to be worked on and I don’t punish myself if I eat more over a few days or if a I skip a day of looking for a new job or studying. I am going with the flow and trying to enjoy life as it is, with all the good, had, and neutral things in life. I am using stoicism and buddhism to be a better person. It helps greatly. The problem? I am lost. I am beyond lost. I don’t know what to do next. I work in IT, but I want to leave it. I don’t know what else to do to make decent money so I am continuing to study IT because that’s my ticket to a better tomorrow. I hate it, but no other path has been revealed to me. I am hoping to meet someone and have a family again. It’s been a while since I’ve had a relationship. I am trying to rebuild my finances after my divorce and bankruptcy. I am doing what I can, but I feel lost. I am sorry to sound so negative, but the last few days have been really sad. I am not at all depressed or even sad. I am in a great mood and trying to be active as much as possible. In fact we hiked 7 tough miles today and did about 20000 steps. I eat healthy and see my friends… But I am lost. I have no sense of direction. People say, do what makes you happy. Riding my bike and hiking and reading and podcasts make me happy. Driving to nature makes me happy. Those things won’t make me money. I live in the real world with rent, bills, loans, etc. I am just lost. I hope this too shall pas.March 8, 2021 at 12:30 am #375749
I am sorry you’re suffering so much. But also – and I am saying this without my pride being offended or anything like that – you didn’t respond to anything I or other members suggested. You keep repeating that you’re trying, you’re doing everything you can, but you’re stuck. Now you say you aren’t punishing yourself for missteps (“I don’t punish myself if I eat more over a few days or if a I skip a day of looking for a new job or studying.“) But in previous posts, you did say you’re punishing yourself, perhaps not if you eat too much but about other things.
I offered a possible explanation of what might be going on, but you haven’t commented on it whatsoever. What do you think about it? Does it resonate? Or is it off the mark and you don’t feel like that at all? I won’t be offended if you think it doesn’t apply to you, I didn’t write it for myself, but to try to help you. But you completely ignored it. How come? It seems as if you’re desperate looking for help but at the same time rejecting it.