I am deeply disappointed in humanity these days. Many of us are, from both sides of the political divide, from many different religions and denominations, from those who claim non-religious spirituality, all the way to those who claim to be non religious. People of a wide variety of colors are all disappointed in humanity.
We have daily violence against minorities, LGBTQi, police. This is sickening.
One thing that disappoints me just as much as that, is the attitude that some have that their solution is the only answer. The one that bothers me the most is the attitude that we need Jesus.
I don’t need Jesus. I don’t need god. What I need is the ability to self reflect, admit to areas where I struggle, learn from my mistakes, and learn to accept differences in others WITHOUT trying to change them. This is called Self Awareness and would go a LONG way towards creating peace in the world.
Good without god. BUT – if you need god or Jesus to be good – I’m OK with that. I will protect your religious rights so long as it does not infringe on my rights to be non-religious.
I’ve changed a LOT since 2012 and I think that it is for the better. I’ve had a lot of personal / emotional growth and I can tell when I read old journal entries. Here’s a few concepts where I have changed my position:
- When my ex and I started admitting that we had a broken relationship I told him that I would “take better care of him.”
I now realize that I was taking too much responsibility for his happiness / unhappiness. I’m not in charge of anyone else’s happiness. I’m in charge of my own happiness. I know that now, but it was a very difficult lesson to learn. I believe it is because I am a “giver.” I felt like if someone was struggling, I needed to give. And if they were still struggling – I needed to give MORE. And if it didn’t work – there must be something wrong with me.
- I had the attitude that ANYthing can be fixed.
Since some people (who suffered similar problems as my ex and I) came through it stronger on the other side, I figured we should be able to do that too. I was not accounting for the vast number of variables that made our situation different from the ones who DID make it through stronger. Add to this, several books and web sites I read basically accused couples of lack of effort if they didn’t make it through with the marriage intact. I’ve learned that sometimes the best way to fix a broken relationship is to simply let go and that there is nothing wrong with that.
- I used to analyze my way out of trusting my instincts.
I have pretty good instincts, actually. I can sense when someone is tense or uncomfortable. I can sense when I’m feeling uncomfortable. I might not figure out what is causing it immediately, but I can reflect for a bit and determine the source of my discomfort. And I can usually tell when something seems “fishy.” But I also suffered from low self confidence, so didn’t trust my instincts. I have learned to key in on my body signals that tell me that something is wrong and act accordingly.
- I used to rely heavily on advice from others, even if it felt wrong to me.
This is very related to trusting my instincts, but with a twist of asking advice from others. People mean well, but if I had listened to friends – I would be missing out on a great relationship with a man I care deeply about. I believe it is because too many people play “games” or manipulate people instead of just being honest about their feelings. My friends were giving advise based on that fact, and hinting that I should just give up on him. I sensed that this man was not playing games with me and I never really gave up on him. Ok, there was that one time that I went for about 3 or 4 weeks dating someone else, all the while thinking of my guy, but we eventually reconnected. I am happy about that.
I didn’t know that this is something appealing to me that has been just off my radar for awhile. Maybe a LONG while. It is something I’ve desired in many ways, in many situations. It came to light during a text conversation with Jazz Guy last night. Jazz Guy is a musician I’ve had one date with, but we clicked immediately.
We were talking about reduced stress in life and he asked how I got to periods of reduced stress. I gave a few examples such as getting divorced, seeing a therapist (or life coach), and getting massage therapy about twice a month. He gave me a great compliment, in my opinion. He said “You are very transparent. I like that.”
Then it clicked for me. I’ve been fighting against NON-transparency for a long time. I never knew what my ex was thinking or feeling. Half the time I suspect he didn’t even know. Add to that the fact that I didn’t know what I was thinking or feeling half the time – and you have a BIG mess. It was very stressful and my sense of peace has steadily been returning since our divorce. That does not mean he is a bad person – it just means that we really were not good for each other.
Fast forward to the infancy of my dating life. It became clear very quickly that many people on dating sites play games with each other. Some people do it intentionally and others unthinkingly. I can tolerate the ones who do it unthinkingly and I can usually get a decent sense for when that is the case.
I never knew what game was being played at any given time, or what the rules were. I would ask advice from my girlfriends, but much of the time I felt like they were further encouraging me to play the games. My internal dialog didn’t help either:
- Don’t reveal your true intentions or true thoughts, or you’ll look too weak, or too strong.
- Don’t tell a guy what you really think because you may scare him off.
- Don’t send a message or text until he responds to your previous one or you’ll appear clingy.
I’m done playing games. I’m ready to increase the transparency in my life. But what does that mean?
When applied to ideology, transparency means: free from pretense or deceit, easily detected or seen through, readily understood. I think that the primary action I am going to focus on is to continue to share my honest feelings and thoughts.
I have had a long term fear of expressing my opinion in general, but especially when it is in disagreement with someone. I have gradually been working through it and have made my voice be heard lately. Some people probably think I’ve made it be heard too frequently and too loudly. And sometimes I come on too strong or too negatively, so that doesn’t help.
Between finding my voice and my passion for knowledge and sharing of said knowledge, I have upset a few people. But I have also started dialog between a few family members in the area of carefully considering the impact of far right religious views when mixed with politics. There IS such a thing as too far right, just like too far left can have negative impacts.
This is why I share the things I share. This is why I comment on posts that make no sense. Some of it is because I want to understand why someone thinks the way he or she does. And some of it is to share my point of view. It is never to convert a person to my way of thinking. In a balanced conversation, all parties will learn and grow, even if no one changes their original opinion.
We live in a society where it is considered negative to disagree. I think that I would have agreed with that as recent as a few months ago. I no longer agree with it though. I believe that it has set us back as a country. Some of us are afraid to speak up, most of us can’t do it in a helpful or well thought out way, and many of us shut others down if they disagree. I’ve had at least 2 family members unfriend me, a high school friend said she’s unfollowing me, and who knows how many have slipped through the cracks unnoticed?
Yet employers are in constant search for good problem solving skills and critical thinkers. How do we build these skills in a world that is too scared to disagree? Or too worried about being politically correct? Or too prone to join in verbal combat instead of discussion with a focus on understanding. Or just not willing to hear opposition.
I struggle finding balance, but if you are a person I know face-to-face, please understand what I’m saying here. And please feel free to reach out to me with questions or concerns.
Sometimes I’m not comfortable just being myself. But I’ve made a deal with myself recently to do that. I still have thoughts like, “is this what everyone else would do, say, or think?” But I’m getting over it quicker and quicker. I’m much more at peace in my head. More than I’ve been my whole life.
I took some time off to think (a.k.a. – wallow in self pity). Really, I did both. I wallowed for a bit, then I thought, wallowed some more, thought and then experienced some personal growth.
I am the type of person who is giving and willing to go with the flow of people around me. I’m a follower, not a leader. There’s not really a problem with these characteristics, unless a person lacks the ability to STOP the behavior when someone is taking advantage. That was me. I didn’t know how to prevent someone from taking advantage of me.
In many relationships, a pattern is formed pretty early where one person gets their way the majority of the time. It’s not that they’re self centered or rude, it is just that their partner never stopped the pattern – for whatever reason. Their partner never spoke up about their own needs. As time goes on, the person who rarely gets their way might get frustrated when he/she really has something important that they want to have go their way.
I believe that I’ve made progress over the last week in #1) recognizing a negative pattern I fall into in my relationships and #2) speaking up about my feelings in regards to the situation. Not just walking away from the problem and hope it gets better magically.
Speaking up about my needs and feelings will help to prevent people walking all over me, even when they don’t specifically intend to do it. Since I realized my pattern and understood what to do about it, I’ve felt an emotional burden lift. Then after I spoke to the individual I was having a problem with, I felt even better. No idea if the problem will go away, but at least I didn’t just ignore it in hopes it would magically go away.
I’ve always had dreams I could remember. Stress causes me to have more vivid dreams.
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* Dreaming that my ex was putting his man parts in my face. I think this has two meanings. Earlier in the divorce process it was my anxiety that he would pursue me intimately. After I knew about his girlfriend it was because I felt he was flaunting the new relationship in my face.
* This one is funny to me because it is opposite of my daydreaming. Last night I had a dream that he wanted me to meet her. She turned out to be plain Jane in appearance with a dull personality. In my daydreams she’s sexy, good looking, great personality, etc.
* More on the above dream. I asked if she knew who I was and she didn’t. This reflects my feelings that he is secretive and closed off.
* And more a still on that dream. I was on a blind date with a man who was getting WAY to close to me, but I was trying to be ok with that. Interpretation, maybe I’m not ready to date.
* Then a man I knew and liked showed up. He rescued me and we had a great time while the others watched on in boredom. He paid attention to me, made me laugh, flirted with me. This means that I’m wanting someone who pays attention to me. It may also mean that I’m showing my vindictive side because ex and his girlfriend were bored and paying more attention to me and my guy.
In response to Powerful Suggestion.
What’s the one piece of advice you wish someone had given you a year (or five, or ten…) ago?
My 3 to 5 year old self (never mind how many years ago that would be) would have benefited tremendously from this advice, “Don’t be afraid to express yourself.”
I have had an alarming mix of self repression with total lack of restraint in other areas of life; areas where one should have some restraint. I believe that the lack of restraint was there to balance out my repressed self expression. This pattern started at a very young age for me and was fully ingrained as my modus operandi by the time I was a young teen.
Some people do not need this push in the correct direction, but I needed it badly. I’ve been aware of this tendency for several years now, and awareness is the first step to healing. I still struggle daily, even with the little forms of expression that so many people are capable of without the least bit of thought.
I hesitate. I think about how expressing myself will upset the other person. Maybe they won’t like me. Maybe they’ll laugh at me. Maybe they’ll leave me. Maybe they’ll tell me I’m wrong to feel the way I do. Maybe they’ll tell me it is my fault. Maybe they’ll get defensive and argue, which will make me want to run and hide.
So, I try to express myself so that I own my own feelings and let the other person own their feelings.
Here’s some thoughts from others on this topic:
She Writes | UNHAPPY MARRIAGES: WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN DIVORCING YOUR SPOUSE
Basically Beyond Basic | Powerful Suggestion
the bookaholics rehab | Powerful Suggestion
The Wandering Poet | Daily prompt: Advice
from dusk to dawn…. | Advice about….. read the post…..
Journeyman | Powerful Suggestion -The Really Important Things in Life
The Jittery Goat
The WordPress C(h)ronicle | Powerful Suggestion
Bob’s Blog-O-Rama | Daily Prompt : Powerful Suggestion
The Ambitious Drifter | Good Advice?
My journey to qualify for the Boston Marathon…and everything in between… | Prompt: Powerful Suggestion
the FLAVORED word | A coffee enema? Say what?
Due Delight | Powerful Suggestion ; Love’s The Best
tuckedintoacorner | The Power of Suggestion
Sue’s Journey | Good Advice?
wannabedeenbuddy | Who listens?
RANDOM!!! | Powerful Suggestion
In response to I Can’t Stay Mad at You.
Do you hold grudges or do you believe in forgive and forget?
Hmmm – that depends. I almost never hold a grudge.
If it was a minor offense and it is the first time, or happens rarely – I forgive and forget.
I even forgive the BIG ones, but I don’t forget. If you hurt me, I will forgive you and hope that we can both learn from the experience. Forgiving the BIG ones does not mean that I will forget. I can’t learn anything from things I forget and neither can you.