Monthly Archives: January 2009

On Sadness

On Sadness

I guess with happiness, tragedy must be in there somewhere. Fortunately I had the luck of being spared compounded tragedies in life until adulthood, but perhaps that has weakened me; Not having to go through death happening so close to home, especially not this sudden, really gave me a false idea of what life was. I could ask myself a million times, why? why? why? why now? why so soon?

Can’t I have a few more years, just a few, to enjoy this more…. to not have to feel like pieces are fading and gap are going to have to be filled with yet more pieces that will fade? I just want something to hold on to, to hold me up and catch me when I fall, to be there for and build upon, but life doesn’t work that way; it throws the whole range of itself at me at some point, and lately, when I least expect it. Try as I might to hide from life’s sirens, they find me, grab hold of my heart and clench it. If there was no love, we would never know the extent of how horrid this underlying sadness can be and would also be desensitized to its misery. So perhaps love is to blame…

Flakes and Blessings in Disguise

Flakes and Blessings in Disguise

“No doubt it is a beautiful harmony when doing and saying go together, and I do not want to deny that words are of greater authority and efficacy when actions follow.” – De Montaigne

(Have I used this quote before? I’m not sure…. It is one of my favorites, so I wouldn’t be surprised)

I love sudden realizations, especially ones that indicate where I’ve wasted time and energy or where I realize that I’ve made the right decision for myself. I am therefore freed of placing myself in that situation and blindly reacting to it again… or so I feel. One area that I noticed I was wrong and plain stupid was continuing to rely on a flake; not a corn flake, or frosted flake, or snow flake, but a human flake… one who makes promises and doesn’t intend to keep them or doesn’t even remember making them, and to my surprise many many times, doesn’t keep them.

At first I was angry that the promises, even simple ones weren’t being kept, but it wasn’t until way after the flake flaked out on me for the last time that I have come to terms with myself that I was the stupid one for not eradicating the flake out of my life long ago. I’ve known my actions had something to do with the ultimate flake-out, but I didn’t realize it was in my initial choice of a mate where I had drastically failed. I gave the flake more chances than any rational person would have, why? well, honestly, I saw so many other things that he did that were wonderful, but they honestly weren’t enough to hold it all together. Flaking out on one too many BIG things in someone else’s life definitely doesn’t win anyone a spot in the hall of fame no matter how many cool superficial activities one has done in the name of whoever.

So recently, after venting some pent up frustration over petty and childish incidents and instead of trying to figure out where I went wrong with specifics, I simply zoomed out and saw the flake for who he really is and how my not being strong enough to stand up for myself years ago has contributed to me wasting a lot of time and pointless heart ache on someone who I actually didn’t have the connection to that I had blindly thought I had. I cried for all the wrong reasons! How embarrassing is that?

As for him, any girl can have him, I’m not even going to pretend to care or ever be jealous of someone who simply inherited a flake from me and my dreams happen regardless of who I hold them to. So I’m free to live my life flake-free and be the coolest person the flake will forever miss out on, with friends I can count on, who enjoy my crazy antics and emotions and don’t mind going out of their way for me if I need their help.

So next time a flake tries to flake out of your life… let them go and move on to a non-flake who is hotter and not only better in bed, but doesn’t make you wait for the weekend to prove it to you.

Luck

Luck

I’m not much of a big money gambler so in my mind if there is ever a time when your whole manner of being (that is income, house payment, car, credit card bills, etc) relies exclusively upon trying to acquire more luck or positive energy to aid your hope of things turning out the way you want them to… then you know you’re in too far and what you are trying to do is actually not possible for you.

Following the Herd

Following the Herd

Since I’ve had the jolly of living the retired life along with my parents for the past too many months I have really realized how beneficial it is to take time to actually live my life as I would naturally do without all the external stuff stimulating me (job, lots of friends around, obligations, etc.), funny how in an instant I realized that I achieved yet another old goal that I had forgotten about. Something to smile about because now I can fully move on to other things.

Despite so many great books and stories written about people who go off away from their constant numbness of the life they’ve been thus far living, I don’t think people really realize what they are missing by constantly doing what is expected of them. A break from that really has done me well in restoring myself up to a fairly stress free platform, I owe that to the fact that I never got to the point of throwing everything away, I’ve managed to merely step aside briefly and continue on properly without being too haunted…. or if I am haunted by anything, I take pride in knowing that what haunts me is definitely a choice of mine that has allowed the haunting because I can use that haunting in my everyday life, such things drive people to be better people.

Perhaps I’ll move on to something that isn’t so obvious at least not to me at one point in time or another. I enjoy thinking about humans as if they are some other kind of animal… I ask myself, how are we like ants in an ant hill? like schools of fish, like a pack of dogs, like any animal structure really, and lately more so like a herd animal. Nietzsche was the first one who was able to explain this concept to me in a way that I understood the broad idea, not just know about it as one knows a trivia fact, but really understand it to the point of being aware of the aspects of life that are like living in a herd of animals. So what then? okay, I understand the comparison between humans and basic herd animals, what do I do with this new level of understanding how and why people relate to each other?

What I am going to do about something or how am I going to use it is the important part here. ‘Understanding’ is the foundation; to understand for me is to fully live this new understanding, to see it in the most basic aspects of life, like the beach, the mall, my house, etc. From there it is only inside of me and for my enjoyment, but now that I have embraced and felt this new way of looking at the world I cannot help but to express it, not just in a note like this one, but more by using it to solve problems and make things better. It is a systematic thing really, all done in the abstract screen of my mind; I zoom out on a situation and break down its fundamental parts and flaws then analyze its contents separate from each other, only then can I fully understand yet another underlying root in how things work. It is my method for being good things I do. Once you are aware of yourself can you actually apply it to other aspects of life, but those details from me are unnecessary, your life is far more interesting to you than mine is.

I read an interesting trivia fact that the human eye is pretty much blind while in motion, only when it is able to focus can it actually communicate to the brain what is in front of it. Our lives operate much like this. We cannot fully understand what we are doing or have done until we take some time out and mull over the pieces. Someone who is reading this says,” yeah duh, I do that on the weekend or vacations,” but dude, I must tell you that once you realize that you are doing what the rest of the people around you are doing, then you too are sucked in, and of course you like it, no one wants to believe that the system they have spent their whole lives striving for actually has very sick limbs.

Considering the education of the masses is only a few hundred years old, I’d say the most of us are still surfs or slaves only instead of directly beating us, we are ‘made use of’ by the constant usage of a higher power over us. Striving for happiness is how we have trained ourselves to stay in the mindset of slave or surf, work hard and give yourself up for the greater good of your life and you will be rewarded. I’ll win the lottery if I submit to this? brilliant, sign me up. Question to ask youself: are you blind to the fact you are in a herd and blind to the effect of yourself?

When You Know a Relationship is Dying

When You Know a Relationship is Dying

When you no longer feel comfortable going to the other party in the relationship (friends, more than friends, any kind of relationship) to fix a problem, express a worry, or get emotional support you need from them…. you tell everyone else about how it is lacking it instead. Or Vice versa, you hear about it from your mutual friends.

Or you bottle it all up and explode one day.

The Packaging of Life

The Packaging of Life

So there is a whole wealth of knowledge out there and we study it either diligently or grab it out of the time gust that blows by us, regardless we have to take notice of it and think about it in order for it to serve a purpose and be useful. I cannot state enough that no amount of education is worth the money and time if in some way one fails in their attempt to communicate that knowledge to the masses at hand, either indirectly or directly.

Anyways… on to the meat of things….. There are somethings that I cannot say any better than our predecessors, neither do I need to, but it is important to be reminded, so here it is:

“Perhaps we know more about the world than we used to and insofar as knowledge is prerequisite to understanding, that is all to the good. But knowledge is not as much a perquisite to understanding as in commonly supposed. We do not have to know everything about something in order to understand it; too many facts are often as much of an obstacle to understanding as too few. There is a sense in which we moderns are inundated with facts to the detriment of understanding.

One of the reasons for this situation is that the very media we have mentioned [radio, TV, etc.] are so designed as to making thinking seem unnecessary (though this is only an appearance). The packaging of intellectual positions and views is one of the most active enterprises of some of the best minds of our day. The viewer of television, the listener of radio, the reader of magazines, is presented with a whole complex of elements – all the way from ingenious rhetoric to carefully selected data and statistics – to make it easy for him to “make up his own mind” with the minimum of difficulty and effort. But the packaging is often done so effectively that the viewer, listener, or reader does not make up his own mind, somewhat like inserting a cassette into a cassette player. He then pushes a button and “plays back” the opinion whenever it seems appropriate to do so. He has performed acceptably without having had to think.” – Adler from ‘How to Read a Book’

My problem is that American life style relies too much on what package of life we choose for ourselves. It isn’t about the package or packages, it is what you do with your knowledge and how you put it together without letting others know what package you’ve purchased for yourself. It is easy to plug into the system, join a club or social group, go to school, work in a specific field… that is why we do it, because it is easy, especially when you can get positive feedback and be accepted by those around you. But what is the point of joining a group and uploading all their facts into your brain of you can’t apply it to everyday life without their logo on your T-Shirt or cheerleaders on your sideline. Perhaps I’m going off on a tangent… give me some space to come back into orbit….this gets better….

What really has got me going tonight was the above quote, which you have all heard the message from millions of times hopefully, and a friend of mine who pointed out that “we are the luckiest people in the world.”

And what are a lot of so called lucky people here doing? Watching shitty TV shows so they can numb themselves from reality by turning off their brains for far too many hours a day and possibly as a result drugging up the 4 year old because mommy is too tired to play with him since she was working all day to buy the big new TV. But at least she has something to mindlessly talk about at work the next day. How is that for a nice packaged life? You can buy that one too, on clearance in this market.

People are slaving themselves away all for an illusion of a packaged lifestyle that doesn’t exist. It doesn’t exist people, you can watch it on TV as much as you like but it ain’t you in that story, you are in your own story. So why not make it unique?

Hospitality

Hospitality

First and foremost when inviting people into your house you must come to terms with the guest on what is expected of them before or upon entry onto your property. If during the visit they overstep a boundary, politely let them know, if they continue to go against your wishes ask them to leave or do not invite them back. Understand that anything you give them of yours- for which you do not ask payment for upon delivery- is a gift. It is customary for frequent guests to bring something in trade for your hospitality but do not rely on this as a source of supplies. If you require something specific, like food or drink, then ask them before they arrive, or before they get too drunk to drive to the liquor store; good guests are more than happy to provide party supplies but it is up to the host to ask if supplies or funds are definitely required.

If at anytime you are unable to provide proper hospitality, then you need to stop inviting people into your space.

Improper hospitality includes:
-Assuming you can request anything of your guests because you provide a place for them to get together
-Providing food or drinks and after the fact telling guests they need to start paying you for them. It is your responsibility to make sure guests know ahead of time what is considered a gift and what isn’t. Everyone has different awareness of how large their contribution to the festivities should be.
-Sharing beyond your means. If something is beyond your means to share, DO NOT Share it. People understand this as long as you communicate it to them.
-Failing to take into account a guest’s contribution to the festivities (how many times has someone brought over a case of beer and only drank one, leaving the rest for later parties?) and focusing on your own monetary needs.
-Assuming guests who leave early and don’t drink as much need to contribute as much as guests who stay later and drink more.
-Relying on unspoken requirements for entry.

It is most difficult for a host to block the build up of a sense of ‘entitlement to respect’ from their guests. At that point, when a host seeks to exercise perceived power, the host has put themselves on a different level than their guests. This imbalance of perceived power makes true friendship impossible as guests are continuously pressured to do as the hosts desires under the guise of how long they have been “friends” and how long a guest has been invited over to utilize the host’s offered resources.

If a host demands compliance from a guest because of the longevity of their friendship…it is in the guest’s best interest to no longer choose to be a guest. If you meet at a bar and a friend needs help…..well…….that topic would be included in a different note titled: “On what makes a good friend.”

Restructuring Thought Programs

Restructuring Thought Programs

Being somewhat of an immensely yoga influenced person I find that it does help once in a while to step back from life and view it from a detached position so as better to see what is going on, especially in my mind. On a necessary occasion I like to try and think about nothing and not let any thought grab my attention no matter how badly I want to take hold of the reins and ride the thought into the sunset. By doing this I can see from the sidelines how the content of my life affects me.

I’ve known forever that I am a daydreamer, I love daydreaming. Daydreams are different to other thoughts in life because they are purely for entertainment purposes and ways to fill time while in meetings, brushing my teeth, walking around campus, trying to fall asleep at night, etc. Those are great but I have (in the somewhat recent past) developed a shift in my thinking. I’ve gotten in the habit of daydreaming on my life, my real life. I don’t make up pure fictional stories like I used to, I simply use the outside world as fuel for my everyday inner world, which I probably have always done, but I used to use more imaginary figures and places… (I spent 10 years with my nose in scifi/fantasy books… what do you expect?) Anyways, so I feel like I am drowning in my over active imagination, which consists of a multitude of events in my life that have never happened to me or probably won’t.

So taking a few-minute break from my thoughts was a great idea because it allowed thoughts to pop up on my mind screen and after instantly acknowledging them out of habit, I saved them for later, all before I grabbed hold of them which prevented them from fully being played out and reacted to. So you see… these thoughts that have often taken over my time, have only done so because I have allowed them to.

It isn’t easy fighting a mental program once the program has established itself and is propagating how it fulfills my needs, but sometimes enough is just enough. I have to stamp out useless thought programs fully to keep my mind strong.

Emotional Reactivity

Emotional Reactivity

I was just brutally awakened 30 some odd minutes ago (at 3:30ish) by the most horrid feeling of biting my own tongue, sure it happens once in a while but not usually while I’m sleeping and dreaming. I woke up in such a panic that I had to check and make sure I didn’t bite part of it off. All that pain and it didn’t even bleed… so unable to go back to sleep I have hopped on this here clicking-ticking modern-day do-hickey machine in an attempt to bore myself back to a sleeping state.

After my panic subsided, I lay awake trying not to think of anything too attention grabbing… of course I failed because my thoughts flowed to a chain of a few events that prove to me that some things never change.

The best example that I can come up with is this:

Imagine a kid whose mom is making… lets say… brownies. The mom is really busy making other things as well and the kid, lead by the smell of food, wanders in to the kitchen from whatever had been distracting him and asks nicely and sweetly if he can eat a spoonful of brownie batter. The mom hadn’t actually gotten that far in her cooking progress to have mixed the batter fully so she tells the kid that he must wait until she is ready. Annoyed because he had remembered to ask so nicely and doesn’t see why she can’t just mix up the batter instantly instead of first cleaning up the juice he just spilled, attending to the cookies in the oven so they don’t burn, pouring the spaghetti noodles into the colander so they don’t get too soggy, and also answering the phone that has just started ringing. Finally the batter is mixed and the kid is presented with a fork, not a spoon, of delightfully dripping chocolate… and he no longer wants to eat the batter. He is so focused on the fact that he didn’t get what he wanted, when he wanted it, and in the way he wanted it, especially since he asked in the way he had been trained to, he is now just throwing a fit and storms off into the other room, denying his mom the satisfaction of giving him the batter that she put on a fork especially for him. The mom, not worrying too much about the situation, (because, after all, it is a kid throwing a fit) figures she will just explain later that she just thought he wanted the batter and didn’t realize he had put so much hope in getting the specifics fulfilled at a specific time.

So now pretend that the kid in this story is actually an adult and just watch all the ridiculous points of the situation that flow through your head. My main point in making him an adult all of a sudden is noticing that he isn’t strong in himself. He was expecting, or hoping, to get what he wanted in the way he wanted it and once he didn’t get it that way, piss off. He used the situation to trigger an emotional reaction to it… the mom has seen this program before and though his attempts are perhaps to get her attention, he won’t get it until daddy comes home from work and tells him to go in and apologize to his mother, tell her that he loves her and he is sorry,then they can move on to explaining to him that he shouldn’t treat people as objects for his emotionally reactive needs.

This note connects back into a previous one of mine where I mentioned not letting emotions be controlled by the outside world… but in this situation it is a bit different because the emotions aren’t being lead by the outside world, they are getting their fix through it. It is creating a dependency on other people by using them as emotional security blankets. For me, personally, there is only so much of this left over childish, maybe a bit adolescent of behavior that I can stand. Hence my enjoyment of solitude (a byproduct of which, makes me notice these things in life). No real, healthy, genuine companionship with another person, should rely on one person using the other to get some sort of emotional fix because the other person doesn’t want to have to clean up someone else’s messes, they just want to hang out, have a good time, express themselves, talk about misinterpretations, get support and advice, do exciting things… I don’t know….anything, except be surrogate parent for someone to blindly react to.

Still Wearing the Mask of Who You Wish You Could Be

Still Wearing the Mask of Who You Wish You Could Be

But you’re not that person, not yet anyway. The thing with masks is that they can only be worn for so long and only really work when no emotions are being invested in the circumstance…. in my experience anyway.

Emotions are tricky, don’t believe for a second that they won’t change your mind for you or pull the wool over your eyes. Bodies have a way of getting what they want and your mind is only a function of how it achieves that.

So don’t fight it. The emotions involved will pull through and only damage your credibility if you are trying to hide them, how? Act overly friendly…. then suddenly…silence? Doing nothing is just as much communication as saying something.

That doesn’t work to solve any part of the situation…but it will keep the hole in you wide open, giving you that constant something to fight for and with, which, you have dug so deep that it would take creating a whole new you all over again to fill it and you are too lazy to cause that kind of conflict, why? Because you went and jumped right back into what you spent so much time and energy getting away from. “This time it will be different, this life is different, more agreeable”… no. You have only changed the object, you… you’ve just created an illusion for yourself to live in and in that illusion you can at least have what you are missing. So why fight it? Why use extremes in an attempt to manipulate the outside world when they can be seen through, you’re only making it worse for yourself.

There is no reason to keep it all pent up. it doesn’t matter how you feel or what you are thinking as long as you express it in some way to the only person with whom it matters to. You can express it to a total stranger and you’ll get your quick fix…. or jump beyond it.