Archives for June 2014

27Jun

Controlling, Advice, One-upmanship, and other Relationship Killers

For some reason I am being crowded with people who want to tell me what to do, when, where and how to do things. There is an awful little voice in my head that says “see there’s proof, that you are not enough!” “You don’t make enough money, you aren’t a good enough mother, you aren’t a perfect accountant and you sure aren’t the best counselor I ever met.” This is the internal message.

I also don’t like the external message which is often mixed with resentment and sometimes, downright contempt. Honestly, disapproval or condescension is a turn off. If I have enough bad experiences with someone, I will find a way to get that person out of my life permanently. Even when someone gives me (unasked for) advice and direction lovingly, there is a point when I get tired of it.

For the most part, I think the following things about these people: 1. You are trying to prove you are in control. 2. You are trying to inflate your ego by presenting an idea that you know something that you believe (or hope) I do not know. 3. You are lonely and scared and showing people how ‘smart’ you are is your way of gaining confidence. 4. You want to dominate the conversation with your ‘wisdom’ and ‘knowledge’, thus ensuring attention that you are desperate for. 5. Sometimes, people have strong belief systems wherein they want reassurance thru selling their ideas to others, hoping to gain agreement for their belief systems: for example, parenting and dieting.

No matter how I think about it, I always walk away from these kind of discussions feeling annoyed. I tell people to their face, I don’t need your advice, sometimes I will couch it nicely like “you’re preaching to the choir”, meaning yes, I am already on top of this subject, or I may even be aggressive about it and say “please don’t repeat yourself, I-got-it-in-one.”

Truly, I am losing my patience with this kind of exchange. One person I know is *almost stalking me* so that she can demonstrate how rich and smart she is, another person I know cannot have a conversation with me without telling me that I have made an error and indeed, since this person is so much smarter, they could have told me how to correct myself, in advance of my error. I want people to know that whatever they see in me that makes them want to control and / or convince me of their intelligence – I sincerely apologize. I am not interested in supplanting anyone; or dominating anyone or in any other way competing with anyone.

One-upmanship truly is useless in relationships. The mere fact that I exist, may annoy or upset some people, I can’t and won’t apologize for that! I started this article discussing my internal conversation. My internal conversation is sometimes unworthy. When I make my internal conversation more worthy, then the external conversations are much less likely to annoy me. So there is this: you take care of yourself, stop trying to tell me what and how to live, work, and where to be. In exchange, I promise to work on my internal conversation such that your effect on me, does not force me to get you out of my life permanently.

22Jun

The Conversation About Free Will

Do we live in a universe of pre-destiny or self determination?  Do you know something because it is already true, or do you know it because you are determined to make it true?

Do you affect life or does life affect you?

It’s a complex combination that cannot be denied.  We want to think that our willpower can control the universe and we know that it cannot.  Failing that, we try to force thinking positive to overcome our situation.  When that does not work either, we find ourselves in our real place.  Our real place is the present.  We can work very hard and have enormous wealth, or we can do nothing special and have enormous wealth.  We can work at nothing and lose everything; we can work hard at everything and achieve nothing.  All of these things can happen.  We cannot say that we are in control.  We can increase our comfort and even our pleasure, but we cannot say how others will treat us, or how destiny will define us.

Victor Frankl made the observation (and in fact, had the experience) that in spite of a terrible and traumatic life situation, one can be true to self and hang onto one’s own free will of experience.  He met every day in the nazi prison with self determination to continue to be a good person.  Because he felt a purpose in living, he was able to survive unthinkable hardships.  Often, he was surrounded by other prisoners who cared for and supported each other; they did this by denying their captors the right to make them hurtful or hateful.  Their captors were capable of horrifying atrocities, but the majority of the prisoners avoided the hatred that would make them cruel to each other, they chose nurturing and caring for each other over the hate.

We want there to be an equation to life, yet, there is no such equation.  There is no reason for how life works out.  There is no equity and obviously no objective justice.  What can humans do?  As Eckhardt Tolle suggests, we must gain agreement with ourselves for acceptance of this moment.  There are bad situations and negative / hurtful humans around us, we cannot deny these facts.  We must have what we have, which is not always what we wish to have, or have worked to have.

20Jun

I do not think that it is noteworthy for people to say they are accepting and authentic, when what is really true is that they are powerful and/or wealthy and therefore live in a false environment that lacks genuine feedback.

A good example of this is Donald Trump.

15Jun

Theresa

I was trying a new hairdresser and so was introduced to Theresa.  We talked for several minutes before she blurted out that she had buried her husband 4 years before.  We talked for a bit longer.  She said that her husband was very healthy and only 67 when he died of a sudden heart attack.  She told me about what the doctors said to her, she thought that they were affected by her husband’s death because they had fear in their eyes when they talked about how he died.  No reason and no rhyme, he just had a heart attack.  Theresa told me that on the night that her husband died, the paramedics got there immediately and worked on her husband for a half hour, she said that she knew that he was gone and mused, almost to herself “the eyes change when you die, I mean you can tell when someone is gone.”

I could not give her what she was giving to me, I shared some about my mother’s death while in the intensive care unit, we remarked that my mother was the same age as her husband when she passed away.  I reassured her that not much can stop a heart attack that is meant to kill you.  Sometimes you partake of another’s lively loveliness and you know that you have not done your part to contribute to the exchange and that is how it was with her.  I have always seen myself the generous one, but her sharing was more profound than anything I was capable of.

I could not tell her that my children’s father had also died of his one and only heart attack at age 54.  I could not tell her about my husband who is also a widower.  I could not tell her anything about my current grief at all.

As we spoke about kids [and I mean 20-somethings] (I have many, she has none) I lamented that it seemed that kids nowadays are so dramatic, they are entirely too impatient.  My new friend Theresa said “I’ll tell you something, when you watch someone die in front of your eyes, it changes you, what matters to you is different after that.”  And I thought, yes.

So let the kids have their drama, that is so much easier and better than giving them real grief and I mean that.

12Jun

When Civilization Intrudes Into Nature

When Civilization Intrudes Upon Nature

10Jun

While You Endure Your Pain

I will not shy away from it, I will not be angered by it.  I will not leave you alone with it.

I do not want to feel your pain, yet it is inevitable, a force of nature, a by-product of profound love transmitted by many hearts.  Your pain forces itself into my psyche, not to be ignored or put away and saved away into a different place.  Your pain sits upon your heart and your shoulders and it is in your eyes.  There is no escape.

08Jun

Am I going to forget something? And if I do, what’s the worst that can happen?

I get so tense, I write some lists 2 or 3 times.  I am so worried that I will forget something that I literally duplicate my efforts to remember.  I am beginning to wonder what I am afraid of?  There has never been a time in my life where a loss of memorizing a grocery item would cause a life changing emergency.  So I am afraid of something, and I am not sure what it is.

This has caused me to begin letting things go.  So if I forget something, what is going to happen, will it matter, will anyone care?  So I think that remembering things is an effort and that effort should matter.  Which then leads me to the conclusion that if the effort does not matter, I should not make the effort.

This is a freeing concept.  If my effort will not matter, then I will not make an effort.  I am now allowed to put my efforts exclusively towards things that matter.  I can still make grocery lists, but the idea of getting tense because of a grocery list – is not present.

Leaving the mundane to the mundane is an excellent concept.  Drama belongs to things that matter, not to the mundane.

 

03Jun

The Bible says…

First, I wish folks would remember that the Bible was written by a bunch of old Jewish guys.  There is nothing wrong with old Jewish guys, but everyone would agree that old Jewish guys have a certain perspective.

Second, I wish folks would remember that the Bible was constructed by a bunch of old Catholic guys.  It was constructed to carefully deconstruct female power and human empowerment.  The point of the Bible as we know it was to interpret on behalf of the priests’ supremacy and power.  The old Catholic priests concerned with constructing the Bible discarded any gospel written by a woman.  Some of those narrations were lost to us forever and some were discovered centuries later.

The Bible was NOT handed down by God.  The ten commandments were handed down by God and certainly the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord’s Prayer and the Beatitudes were authored by Jesus Christ* – but the rest of it is a random selection of stories much like Aesop’s Fables.

If you believe in something, better not to say “The Bible says…”, better to say “This is what I most fervently believe.”  Try to be realistic and realize that your perspective is only your own.  You cannot define reality just by saying “The Bible says…” otherwise, all you are really doing is agreeing with a bunch of old Jewish and Catholic guys, who basically wanted to rule the world.

*I’m sure there are other works authored by Jesus Christ.

02Jun

*He is as close to Incompetent as he can possibly be and still Function* in his job.