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  • in reply to: Losing my Mind! #32738

    i had an interesting experience with a lady i met on the FB group for the course i signed up for – creating a course from your story. She’s almost 70, and she’s worked through a LOT, and she’d posted saying she was having a hard time writing down her story. There was something about the way she said it, that made me leave a comment on her post and she contacted me, and we had two zoom chats, and she was excited about something. She had this thought that we could help each other somehow – that she could do stuff for me, in exchange for me helping her tell her story. I’m not exactly sure what all she had in mind. She is a professional graphics designer and knows how to build websites and stuff, and she wanted to help me get my blog up and running, started designing a logo for me, and all kinds of stuff that i hadn’t asked her for any kind of help with.

    Anyway. In the back of my mind, i was getting a bit stressed, because creating a logo is not a priority for me right now, and she was making designs and asking for feedback, etc. and i just wanted to tell her to lay off. But she’s an old woman, and she was excited, so i let it go.

    A few nights back, i was rather down, and she called, we had a chat, and she actually helped me focus a bit. And i messaged her on fb again later, and we messaged back and forth for a bit. the topic of church came up, and she said she hates religion, and especially Catholics. I wasn’t surprised, that seems to be a common sentiment, so i assumed she’d had some bad experiences with Catholics, and i told her i was sorry and said i’d actually found more healing in the Catholic church than anywhere else. And she responds with “yuk, yuk”.

    I thought that was an interesting response. and she said there was too much guilt and she’d had enough of that. I totally understood that, because that’s a common struggle. So, i shared how much of my guilt and shame i’ve gotten rid of since i started being raw and honest before God, and she said: “Ick!” She said she like chipmunks and dragonflies, and nature was good enough for her. And i told her, yes! Nature is Awesome. And i see all of nature as God’s gift to me, to enjoy to my heart’s content! And she says: “Blah”.

    Anyway – she said she can’t talk religion, so we stopped talking. Some hours later she sent me something to look at, which i didn’t have the energy to look at and she kept messaged me to ask what i thought of it, so i told her i’d look at it another time and it was getting late. (it was past 10pm). Next morning, i thought about our conversation, and i honestly couldn’t wrap my mind around it. I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t offended. I was thoroughly confused. I respect the experiences of others, no matter if it matches mine or is contrary to mine. I just wasn’t sure how to relate to her anymore, when she was just so disrespectful and contemptuous towards something that is the very core of my being.

    I could’ve continued having conversations with her, and ignored the whole thing, because it didn’t bother me at all. However, i knew i’d never be sharing anything of substance with her anymore. So, what’s the point of working together on each other’s stories? I felt it would be one-sided. She’d be free to throw up all over the place, because i’m excessively tolerant, and the things i value will never be honored by her. So, i told her i was confused by her contempt. She said she apologizes is if she’s offended me, but she thinks religion is disgusting, etc etc, and she said – i’m not judging you, just religion.

    I told her she’s free to feel whatever she wants to feel. And she assumed i was going to say: ‘but not free to express her feelings honestly’. I told her – she can express herself too, but it would have to be respectfully and without contempt and disgust. Because i don’t know how to talk to her when she’s ripping up a part of my heart. I told her it was the same as me telling her how disgusting and gross her husband was while insisting i wasn’t judging her but him.

    She said she was tired of being judged by people she was trying to help. I told her i feel the same way. And she blocked me.

    Well. that’s my most recent experience with a woman who wants to help others with her life story like i do. She was starting to stress me out in subtle ways that i couldn’t pinpoint. Her desire to help me was genuine and her interest in me was also genuine. But there was something unsettling that i wasn’t able to figure out. i think she wanted more than what i was willing to give, but i wasn’t sure what it was that she wanted. Anyway. I’m glad it’s over!

    ~~ vino

    in reply to: Losing my Mind! #32717

    If there is a wall, there is fear. It’s impossible to have 1 without the other. Just because you do not consciously FEEL the fear, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. I’m saying there IS fear, just by the simple fact you have an instant wall that goes up around these 3 groups of people. Why not live your life with an open heart to EVERYONE until they prove to you they are not a safe person?

    i wasn’t going to say more about this, but i remembered something. Some months back, perhaps it was a year back, i don’t remember, i gave away $500 to a man and his family, who fall into the category of these people that i am living in terror of, according to you. He promised he would pay me back twice what he borrowed because that’s the way his culture shows gratitude. I couldn’t have cared less. I did not give him my money because i was expecting twice the amount back. I did not give him my money because i believed his story. I also did not give him my money because i was rolling around in wealth at that time and wouldn’t miss $500. I gave him my money on the fraction of a chance that his story MIGHT be true and that they TRULY needed help, even though there wasn’t a single sign that he was telling me the truth.

    I never heard back from him. I wasn’t surprised. I’d given him a chance to prove himself and he failed. I took the loss. But i was already prepared to take the loss. So it didn’t bother me. But the choice was mine – if i hadn’t been willing to take the loss, i wouldn’t have allowed him to swindle me.

    Well, it just so happens that in the realm of relationships, i’ve decided i’m no longer willing to get swindled. I am not living in fear of these people. i just have no desire to be drained by them.

    The WALL between them in me is not of fear but of RESPECT. IF there is no mutual respect, there can be NO relationship. I’m not lowering my wall of self-respect, just so they can get close to me. There are many ways to find out if someone respects you. The simplest is in an exchange of thoughts and ideas. If i an unable to freely express my own because they are SO attached to their own, that they aren’t even slightly willing to accept that other points of view are legit – i don’t have time for them.

    As i mentioned in my previous post – my thoughts, ideas, interests, were always devalued in some way – MOST OFTEN by Indians, Ethiopians, etc.

    Here’s another thing i thought of while we were in the store today:

    i think it explains why i don’t care for deep relationships with women. Say i have a dozen red shirts and you have a dozen red shirts. All EXACTLY the same. Would i be interested in trading with you? no. We’ve got nothing of value to add to each other’s collection. What if you have a grey shirt and want one of my red shirts, but i don’t want a grey shirt? I’d give you one of my red shirts, but i wouldn’t take your grey shirt because it is of no value to me. To me, it would be clutter and i would treat it as such. it would be disrespectful of me to take your grey shirt and toss it in the trash. however, if i didn’t do that, in order to not be disrespectful to you, i would have added a burden to myself and i’d be carrying a shirt that i do not want, just to keep from disrespecting you. So, you could either take the red shirt for free, or just not trade with me. Either ways, there is still not an equal give and take, so it’s a limited relationship. The only time there’s a mutually beneficial relationship is if you have something that i want and i have something you want and we are both fully satisfied with our exchange.

    I’m not closed to a deeper relationship with women. But i have gained very little from my relationships with women. So, unless i’m feeling particularly generous or have an infinite supply of myself to toss around, i do not find it worthwhile to invest in my relationships with women, beyond a certain depth. Just like money – whatever i put out, i have to be prepared to lose it, because there’s no guarantee i’ll get it back. And i have the right to choose who i want to invest myself in. And i honestly don’t care if i don’t give everyone an equal chance to prove themselves to me. EVERY interaction is a potential for pain. Some people are worth the pain and some aren’t. I’ve decided that only 3 people are worth the pain in my life. So that means i’ve closed my door to EVERYONE in the world, except three. It’s not just women or Indians or Ethiopians. It’s EVERYONE, except three.

    God is the source of unconditional love, not me. last time i checked, i’m not God.

    ~~ vino

    in reply to: Losing my Mind! #32715

    If there is a wall, there is fear. It’s impossible to have 1 without the other. Just because you do not consciously FEEL the fear, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. I’m saying there IS fear, just by the simple fact you have an instant wall that goes up around these 3 groups of people. Why not live your life with an open heart to EVERYONE until they prove to you they are not a safe person? Maybe that is not the kind of person you want to be in this world. I don’t know.

    Ok. Wall = Fear to you. But it isn’t to me. If it is one of those Absolute Truth things like Everyone is worthy, then i’ll discover it for myself someday.

    Everybody is welcome into my Acquaintance level. BUT – i DO NOT have the time or the desire to go around filling up my Acquaintace zone, because i simply DO NOT have that much time and energy for building new relationship. Relationships take a LOT out of me, because i take them seriously, even a simple friendship. Anyone who wants to be friends with me, has to put in effort to build a friendship with me. I am NEVER going to invest in one-way relationships ever again. I value myself more than that, and my time too. In my ENTIRE LIFE – other than my nursing school friend Reeta, there hasn’t been a SINGLE OTHER INDIAN who saw any reason to invest in getting to know me better. Reeta has a place in my heart.

    I feel like i have said something similar before so i’ll stop. i’m tired of explaining myself to you. I have the right, just as anybody else, to have a preference for the kind of people i fill my life with. i am NOT OPEN to people who impoverish me.

    Where I am poking holes is…with women in particular, it goes beyond just defending…you shame and judge them. Because there is an inherent lack of trust and distaste towards women, which is full of fear and judgment, your goal to “defend” men, the voiceless in your mind, turns into making women bad and wrong in the process and this is the part I am poking at. Make sense?

    No. doesn’t make sense. I do not speak ill of women who treat others with respect and dignity.

    Do you really think JB cares? I mean, why is it selling his friendship by being physical with another man? If it is, then your friendship is pretty fragile or he actually does have romantic feelings for you but is not willing to actually do anything about it.

    It doesn’t matter to me if he cares or not, this has nothing to do with him! It has to do with the kind of men i’m open to in my life.

    Anyway – FM isn’t interested in getting to know me as a person. Thinking back to before i met JB – i was under the impression that if a man found me physically attractive, then i’d be able to build a relationship with him. So, that is what i got to test out with FM, and that’s why i agreed to a second date – i wanted to get to know him better to discover if we had anything in common. However, he wasn’t interested in conversations. He was more interested in getting more of what happened spontaneously the first time, and that’s the ONLY reason he asked me out a second time.

    So the only thing i’d be getting with FM would be some physical fun, and that seems cheap to me. With JB, i have a solid friendship, and no physical connection. I don’t want to have a different man in my life to meet every different needs. That’s just too stressful. I have to maintain as many relationships as i have needs, and who has the time and energy to do that?! So, everything that has to do with a relationship, has to come from one man – spiritual connection, mental, emotional and physical. there’s only 1 missing with JB.

    and since the 3 things that i DO have with JB have gotten quite deep, i don’t have the desire to get to know another man at this time. In other words, i don’t even have my friendship to offer to another man. Getting to know a person takes effort and energy, and i find that i am unable to create a connection with just curiosity about another person. There has to be a genuine interest and desire to know the person, behind my curiosity. Otherwise, i am wasting my time, and also the man’s time.

    Just something to consider…could it be possible that JB is a really good reason for you not to risk loving again?

    Actually, learning to love JB is the biggest risk i’ve ever taken. I get to test out how much love am i truly capable of putting out, if there is no return? I can’t think of a bigger risk than that.

    I mean…isn’t it possible that there is another man who can offer a deep friendship, AND make passionate love to you, AND open his heart fully and completely to you, AND make you feel like you are the most treasured, valuable person in his life?

    yes, it is entirely possible that there is such a man. I will know when i find him, from his genuine interest in getting to know me as a person and he won’t get distracted by spontaneous physical fireworks. In fact, physical fireworks should make him MORE interested in getting to know me as a person. But i’m not going to go in search of him, because that is a waste of my time.

    By committing your heart to JB, you are saying no to this potential…which is what you REALLY want.

    For now, yes. I need to see where it goes. Every time i get frustrated, it’s because i feel like it’s not going anywhere. And then something happens to jostle it again, and it goes deeper. I’ve never had any relationship survive any kind of stress before. So, this is a totally new experience for me. I’ve never understood it when people tell me that the conflicts they’ve had made their relationships stronger. We don’t exactly have conflicts, because we are very respectful of each other, however every once in a while, we do or say something really stupid and thoughtless and we hurt each other. Some weeks ago, i was sharing something with JB and he read things wrong and responded in a way that hurt me. The next morning, he wrote to me first, and said he’d been really tired and hadn’t thought about what he was saying. Instead of accepting that as an apology i simply told him his words had hurt me deeply. And he apologized. We seem to have a high tolerance for each others’ lapse in judgement.

    There are many, many, many other reasons why i value his friendship, and each of those reasons are unique, and i have never experienced them before in any other relationship. So, i have to see how far it goes. I’m glad i went off on a tangent with FM because it has renewed my commitment to JB!
    ~~ vino

    in reply to: Losing my Mind! #32709

    The level of shame and embarrassment you felt would me more appropriate if you got caught naked and cheating in your marriage or something – or got caught in a big lie – with the level of shame and embarrassment you felt, you would think you did something MAJORLY OFFENSIVE and hurtful to someone.

    EXACTLY!!! i think my Shame Wound opened up, and all the shame i’ve felt from the time i was a child poured out. In fact, i remember trying to analyze the nature of the shame while in the midst of it, and i specifically noticed that i was feeling like i had cheated on him and humiliated in him in public. Which i knew was a TOTAL LIE!!! But i couldn’t shake it off till he responded to me in the way he did.

    I do remember ONE other incident that was a major shame and embarrassment to me – it involved my monk friend. I was totally reveling in the attention he was giving me, and was completely consumed with a crush on him — which i told him about, because it would rear it’s ugly head and get in the way of our interactions – so i kept my feelings open before him. HOWEVER — i was on an orthodox forum and came across a post in which this woman was expressing her desires for a priest and although there are married orthodox priests, they have to get married before they become priests. They aren’t allowed to get married after. And if they’re widowed, they cannot remarry. SO – this woman was very concerned about this priest and was convinced that he needed her in his life so she could be the kind of support that he needed and she was being a total pain to him. I responded to her – and told her she was being really short-sighted and selfish, and if she truly loved him she wouldn’t do anything to make him dishonor the vows he’d taken. I could’ve stopped there, but no – i went on to share with her how i knew where she was coming from because i was head-over-heals with a monk! But i know not to act on it. I wish it was a post as short as what i just wrote! Fr M saw my post. It embarrassed And Humiliated him. I’d placed enough details in my post that IF anyone who know him saw it, they’d know i was talking about him. The ex also saw the post, and he told me it would embarrass Fr M if he saw it, and told me to get it removed – which i did. Fr M didn’t say anything to me for a month and then he mentioned it casually and i was mortified. I asked him why he hadn’t said anything right away, and he said he knew i’d be extremely embarrassed and humiliated if he said anything, so he let it go, but he wanted to eventually give me the opportunity to come clean with him, so i could TRULY get over it.

    AS much as i appreciated he way he handled it and the kindness he treated me with, i was buried in shame and i kept a copy of what i’d written and would re-read it every so often to see if the shame was gone – and it never left. Till years later. SO, i can see how some of those feelings came up again, even though what i shared with JB was super private and extremely small compared to what i did to FrM.

    Anyway — the reason what i said to JB was wrong is because of HOW i said it, not because of the content of what i said. I told him i didn’t care what his thoughts and feelings were on the matter, but i wanted to touch him and be touched by him, because i wanted to know how it felt. And he could only say no if i was gross to him (which i know full well that i’m not! so it was a fake exit). He couldn’t say NO without also saying i was gross to him. So he was forced to say yes. But that wasn’t the only reason he said yes. It’s also because he trusts and respects me SO Much that he doesn’t question me at all. No matter the nature of the thing i throw at him, he takes it seriously. The other day i was looking at some of the old pictures of him that he’d sent and realized i hadn’t seen a picture of him for a while, so i told him to send me some new pix because i was bored of the old ones. He had no idea what i meant, and replied with a question mark, BUT he also followed up with several pictures of what’s going on in his life, and asked if these pix were ones i’d seen before or not.

    This is what made me feel so much shame and guilt. I felt i was taking advantage of his receptiveness towards me for my own selfish experimentation. I don’t know why JB was able to ‘re-instate’ me in a way that Fr M couldn’t. But, later that day, he continued the conversation with me and brought up his own shame and how it cripples him and since he’d just helped remove MY Shame, it was easy to point out that God does the same for us and in a deeper, better way! IF it had been a situation in which he’d offended ME and i’d had to forgive him, he wouldn’t have been able to see how easy it is to forgive someone you love and restore their dignity. So, i’m glad it happened. Both for him, and for me!

    They absolutely can be all consuming and carry an incredibly strong judging energy. For those feelings to really anchor into a system, it takes a pretty strong story to attach yourself to. Have you explored the origin of your shame?

    this didn’t require any exploration. lol 🙂 The entire indian culture is built on shame and guilt. That’s the way they control each other! Both men and women use guilt and shame to control each other. Add a stressed out mother to the standard mode of opperation, and you have a situation in which every single interaction between a mother and her daughter is filled with the mother’s effort to instill shame and guilt in her daughter so her daughter will obey – not because the mother knows better and the daughter is being a fool – but in order to not embarrass and humiliate the family in public. There wasn’t anything my mom asked me to with the explanation that it was for MY GOOD. It was always about everyone else. But that’s how the entire cultural mindset is. You are born into a life of obligations and responsibilities and expectations. There is NOTHING in it for you. Of course, they invest in your physical wellbeing and you education, because they’re obligated to, and you’re supposed to return the favor – but it’s so devaluing of the individual.

    And since i was exposed to the whole world, and not just one culture, and i was curious and read a lot and made friends from around the world – it was harder and harder for her to control me. My brain was always exploring ideas and thoughts and interests, which were constantly dismissed as foolish, or fantasy, or childish, or irresponsible or some other thing that was annoying and irritating at best and pure disrespectful & hateful at worst.

    Cutting myself off from the Indian mindset and culture was my fight to freedom. there’s nothing wrong with obligations and responsibilities – in fact they are necessary for living a well-rounded life. But one has to be free to choose the obligations and responsibilities they want to shoulder. (besides the really basic ones like respecting other people’s lives and belongings. Nobody has the right to destroy another person’s life or property.)


    About the man from the other night. He convinced me to go on a date with him again tonight. He promised no hotel rooms. lol 🙂

    I found myself unable to say no to him, the minute he touched me. He was dropping me off, and he asked if he could kiss me goodnight. I said, no – but we could hug. So i went in for a hug. Then, when i was drawing back, he put his hand to my face. And all my buttons deactivated. It felt SO, SO, SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good, and i felt myself literally melting. So he asked me again if he could kiss me, and i said yes. And he drove off to an empty parking lot and we spent about a half hour in his car and he suggested getting a room, and i refused. But. oh his hands. it wasn’t just that i enjoyed the way he touched me, but i felt myself wanting to touch him too, and i couldn’t figure out WHY. he was practically a stranger. I didn’t even know his last name! I felt zero guilt and shame. And yet, this was clearly against the way i’d been brought up.

    I’ve figured out part of the reason that i feel no guilt and shame. It’s because i was overwhelmed and my emotions shut off. I’m still numb actually. The only thing i was able to feel was guilt and shame in my interaction with JB! this actually have me an excellent situation to examine things. And i’ve discovered the difference between feeling peaceful and feeling numb. But appear to be the same on the surface, however, in a peaceful state, your emotions are fully active, but you are in full control (or fully at peace with all the emotions even if they are out of control). With numbness, it appears you’re in control, but you’re not – because you can’t handle ANY emotion, and that’s why you’ve blocked them. I wasn’t prepared for how my body responded, so i shut off. I didn’t realize i had shut off because i was so connected to how my body was feeling – i kept looking for the slightest feeling of discomfort or unwillingness, but my body was all in. I’ve never been in a situation in which my body drove such a decision. there was no logic. No thoughts of anything. Just – this feels good, and i want more. I think i turned into an animal. lol 🙂

    Anyway – FM (i found out his last name last night!) can’t stop asking me out. So i’ve been searching for logical reasons to say no to him. And there aren’t any, except on tiny one, which i thought he’d think was silly and laugh at me for it. But he didn’t. I’ve never hidden anything from my kids and i couldn’t think of what to tell them, because i rarely ever go out and this would be the second time this week. After he made several suggestions of what i could tell them, he finally asked – would it really be bad to tell them that you’re going on a date? since you’re always honest before them, why not tell them the truth? I couldn’t escape the logic of his solution! and i don’t know why i didn’t think of it myself! But i wouldn’t have listened to him if he hadn’t treated my excuse as seriously as he did.

    Let’s explore this a bit. I’m not sure what this means exactly. JB is not available for a romantic relationship with you, yet you want a romantic relationship in your life. Why do you have to value 1 more than the other? JB is important of course, but so are your desires to be more intimate and close with a man. Can those both coexist equally?

    The reason i value JB’s friendship so much is because of the raw depth of honesty we’ve managed to achieve. and the support we’re able to provide each other. it is SO INCREDIBLY unique, and i can never give it up. So, in my mind – if i try to build a romantic relationship with another man, i’d have to put aside my friendship with JB – not cut it off – but it won’t go any further and any deeper, because i’d be building something else with another man. He may have a space where he can continue to share with me, but i won’t be sharing myself with him anymore, because it would be inappropriate. It would be like having an emotional affair. So it wouldn’t be respectful of the man i’m building a romantic relationship with.

    There’s also the fact surrounding all the tiny details in my meeting with JB that lead me to think it was the start of something HUGE. Mansions need deeper and stronger foundations than huts! JB isn’t seeing or dating anyone. He hasn’t been on any dating apps for 2 yrs. HE and i met during a very tiny window of time in which we were both on apps, with nothing serious on our minds. I wrote off dating sites because i wasn’t able to get the attention of men i was interested in, and he stopped, because his life headed into a tsunami. There’s no way he could’ve paid attention to creating ANY kind of new relationship.

    These are the events that followed our meeting – and they were all major — 3 wks after i started writing to him, the store i’d pledged my life to, was sold out from under me. That was thanksgiving 2019. In January, his mother got sick. In Feb his mother passed. In March, Covid happened. in May, George Floyd happened. And being a police officer, all of the major happenings in the country have affected him in a more direct way than they’ve affected me. He schedules regular diving trips throughout the year, which keeps him sane. ALL of his trips for 2020 were cancelled. So it wasn’t just the addition of a lot of new and unknown negatives, but there was the loss of positives. IF JB and i hadn’t met when we did, in the beginning of Nov 2019, we would never have met at all.

    I don’t believe that God would orchestrate such an unlikely meeting, with no greater purpose in mind than — than something that just ends, when i waltz off with another man. What are my reasons for going off with another man at this point? A physical connection? It seems like such a cheap thing to sell JB’s friendship for.

    That’s what i meant when i said my friendship with JB means more to me than a romantic relationship with another man. There’s absolutely no doubt he cares about me. More than any other friend i’ve ever had. I feel like i haven’t yet given him all that i am meant to give to him. IF he’s a soldier on a battlefield and i’m a a nurse – it would be wrong of me to leave him in the middle of my shift to satisfy my cravings for my lover. FM is probably going to say i’m overthinking. And he may be right. But, now is simply not the right time. I should never have gotten myself on a dating app again – however, i wouldn’t have known how wrong the timing was until i did it! lol 🙂

    it’s really odd to me, that even though i’m an over-thinker, i learn best by doing, not by thinking things through. i’m such an idiot. (and i say that lovingly, with no judgment against myself 🙂 )

    ~~ vino.

    in reply to: Losing my Mind! #32702

    Lessons from a Meme!

    So, JB and i ran into a mess. I was the one who caused it. I was emboldened by my experience with the man i went out with, and so, i told JB that the next time we met, we absolutely had to explore our physical connection, as long as he wasn’t grossed out by the thought of being touched by me. He said ok — but it sounded off. After several hours, i realized what i’d done. I had not given him room to say NO. I was so ashamed and embarrassed, but i wrote to him right away and asked him to forgive me for being so disrespectful of him.

    He said he understood, and he wasn’t mad, and that he forgave me, but the shame in me refused to budge. I’ve lived with shame a great deal, and of all bad feelings that’s the hardest one to shake off. It makes you feel gross and disgusting and you feel like everyone else sees you that way too, and if they don’t, it’s because they are just super kind people and they are taking pity on you. It makes you feel like you’ve lost the equal status in a relationship and feel like you have no right to say NO anymore, until you’ve met the requirements of your self-inflicted punishment for whatever period of time. All this time, the relationship suffers, because your friend has already re-instated your position, or maybe you never even fell from your position in the first place, and they don’t have a clue how to help you get rid of shame, because you are unable to accept their forgiveness, because you won’t forgive yourself!

    So – all day yesterday, i thought about all the ways in which i’d changed the dynamics of our relationship – i didn’t feel free to blurt things out to him – i felt like he wouldn’t want to hear from me. I wanted some kind of reassurance from him, but he’d already told me that we’re all good and his affection and respect for me hasn’t altered in the least bit. So, i felt trapped, and wondered how long it would take before my shame wore off and i could talk to him freely again. Well – last night, he sent me a picture of some really beautiful Catholic Churches. And today, he sent me a Catholic meme.

    Suddenly, i saw what was going on. This whole Catholic thing is a MASSIVE, DEEP Foundation in our relationship! It’s one place we can both go to at ANY time and be in 100% agreement, heart, mind, body and soul! When we first met and he insisted we were of different religions, i thought he was being excessively judgmental. But he wouldn’t have been able to share that meme with me if i hadn’t been Catholic, because it would’ve offended me. There would’ve been a MASSIVE, DEEP part of our lives, that would never have connected. But it’s the WAY he is Catholic that creates this connection. The man i went out with was also Catholic, and although he listened patiently to my whole story about how i fell in love with the Catholic Church, he wasn’t as excited about it as JB was. To JB, i was starting to fall in love with his deepest love, and so, the changes in me were exciting to him.

    The other man i connected with, who lives 70+ miles away and doesn’t see that as a long distance to travel to visit with me – we connect fully on our love for this Blessed country and politics. Politics, unfortunately, has become so polarizing, that it has almost become a core belief kind of thing. BUT – it is still a fickle area, and i’d never give myself to any political party with the depth and devotion and utter loyalty that i give to my Church. I don’t know if he’s a Catholic or not, but he’s a super awesome man, that’s for sure.

    Anyway, i saw that in any relationship there are several layers of compatability that are necessary, in order for the relationship to succeed, and for me, my spiritual life is foundational, so any relationship i have will have to be 100% matching in that area. Other areas – are like the walls of a house, they need to be strong, but it’s not a major issue if they fall. Not as major an issue as a cracked foundation.

    This made me wonder about my marriage, because we shared the same spiritual beliefs at the time we married, and when we switched churches, we did that together as well. SO — why was there no foundation?

    The difference is — JB & I are ‘exercising’ our foundation together – when we learn something new or we’re reminded of something that means a lot – we instantly share it with each other and we get much pleasure out of sharing spiritual stuff with each other. I also go to him with my doubts and questions and confusions, and even if he doesn’t know the answers, he engages with me and we pray about it or we dig for answers together. This is something that i NEVER did with the ex. I think our spiritual lives are a growing foundation, and we shouldn’t treat it like a solid, stone foundation, that’s set once when it’s in place. AS a part of our lives, it changes and grows as we grow and change. So we need to keep going back to it, and exploring it together, and sharing it together.

    So, thanks to the meme, i got some super cool insight into our relationship, and i wrote to him – and told him how i had been feeling afraid to write to him because of how this horrible shame is making me feel, and how thankful i am that he is able to share Catholic memes with me – which he wouldn’t have been able to do, if i hadn’t become Catholic! and he wrote back instantly, and said he understands shame, as he’s lived with it all his life, and he’d never pour that poison on to anyone else. he told me to never, ever, ever worry about any of our interactions, because his understanding is sky high. I must say — this is the fastest that i’ve seen shame flee from me! And next time, it will be even faster, because i won’t have to wait for JB to send me a meme so i can tell him my shame is making me afraid to talk to him. Maybe, shame won’t even have a chance to take root even for a minute!

    this brings me infinite joy! Now i know why JB’s friendship means more to me than being told i’m attractive, or connecting over love for our country… with JB, i get all three. I just never believed him — i thought he was just referring to my inside whenever he calls me beautiful Vino. and he might be. But why should he call me beautiful Vino at all? So, even if he IS only referring to my inside self and not my outer self — he DOES see me as beautiful too, and i’m a total idiot. lol 🙂

    Why are men so good to me? and so patient with me?! I am the luckiest woman in the world!

    ~~ vino

    in reply to: Losing my Mind! #32692

    If your thoughts, feelings and emotions are being stirred up, then aren’t you getting tangled up in something that isn’t directly happening to you?

    I see this as two different things. The stirring up of emotions is one thing. And getting tangled up in it is the second step – where you take things personally and it ruins your day. You cannot avoid having your emotions stirred up any more than you can prevent your shoes from getting dirty when you walk outside. It’s a natural response to what you see around you. You’d have to be completely inhuman to not feel anything at all. I value my feelings. They add color and depth to my life. But they don’t rule my life as they used to. i hope i never lose the ability to feel things!

    The picture in my mind is that you don’t feel safe with these kinds of people. Meaning, you naturally have defenses up against these kinds of people and that they would have to work much harder to ever be in your life compared to, let’s say a man.

    Ah. Ok. i don’t know how to clarify this for you, because i don’t know how to explain that i feel no fear of these people. You are right that they are going to have a harder time getting to be in my life. IN fact, it may be downright impossible.

    Think about your playlist. Do you play music that has no value to you? Are you afraid of the music that is NOT in your playlist? This is how i see people – we all sing our own tunes and we all sound like unique musical instrument. We can even play each other’s songs, but since our instruments are unique, so when we play someone else’s song, we will add our own tones and texture to it.

    For example – i honestly and sincerely do not like the sounds of traditional Indian and Ethiopian musical instruments. So, even if they play my favorite songs on those instruments, i’m not going to put it on my playlist! In other words – there’s nothing they can do to get me to listen to them. There’s no room for them in my life. It’s not a judgment against their value. It’s honoring my own. I am NEVER, EVER going to prevent anyone from singing their own songs, nor will i make them listen to mine.

    My song was not pleasing to Indians and Ethiopians from the time i was a child. They always looked at me, and treated me as a stranger. I’m not on their playlist. The feeling was mutual, and i didn’t find their songs pleasing either. So they’re not on my playlist. I will go to those who value my song. Why should i try to put myself into the lives of those whom i mean nothing to?

    In the past 2 weeks, i’ve been trying to get in touch with my friends, so i can finish my assignment of sharing my story with 10 people. Everyone is so busy with their own lives that they haven’t even had time to respond to my texts asking to set a time to talk! Should i be offended that they are busy?

    Contrast that with an unexpected phone call i got from JB, just to check in and see if i was doing ok, because i was sending messages that sounded really stressed out. I know for a fact that he works longer hours than any of the women i’ve been trying to contact. I am not upset with my friends for not having time for me, but i surely value JB more because he MAKES time for me! Seriously though, how long does it take to send a reply to a text?! But i live my life without them, just as they live theirs without me. So, even though i love them, i do not NEED them, and they do not NEED me. I am not on their minds, and they are not on mine.

    When i need help, i cannot go to them, because they don’t have a ton of room in their lives for me! I go to whoever has space for me. I do not like to burden people. But also – i become more reliant on those i go to most frequently, right? So the gap widens between me and those i don’t reach out to. The gap between me and Indians/Ethiopians is so wide that we might as well be on different planets.

    So – fear has nothing to do with the fact that these people are not a part of my lives. They just don’t exist for me, as i don’t exist for them.

    Here on this forum, of all the posts you have made, I have never once heard you stick up for women. I have only heard how they cannot be trusted and how they are harmful to men and how men need to be defended and spoken up for against the women complaining about them and the women ganging up against them. I’m not saying that isn’t true…I’m just saying it’s out of balance. If you were here talking about the injustices of mens’ behaviors towards women just as much….then I would feel like you are about defending ALL people equally and that you hold no biases against any particular race or gender…you are about fighting against the injustices in the world.

    You are right, i haven’t made a single post in favor of women. Not just on this forum, i haven’t done it anywhere else either. There are enough voices speaking up for them.

    I have shared my distrust and true feelings about women, only here, and with a few private friends, not in public forums. In fact, i limit my interaction in public forums because they’re too noisy and nobody is really seeking solutions on them, everyone just wants to voice their opinion.

    then I would feel like you are about defending ALL people equally and that you hold no biases

    i DO have biases. And i’m NOT about defending ALL people equally. I am about defending those who DON’T have anyone defending them. So depending on whose voice isn’t being heard at the moment, my focus will shift.

    For example – if i’m a judge and the problem involves an Indian man and an Indian woman – my focus would be on making sure the woman’s side is heard, because women tend to not be heard fully in India.

    IF it was between an Indian man and an American man – i’d make sure the American man is heard, because his voice is being wiped out by other ethnicities.

    If it’s between people of two different races – i would need to make sure the white person is heard, because white voices are being devalued.

    just a rough example. I don’t know how courts work. This is how my personal heart-court works. i defend whoever isn’t being defended.

    But – i will never treat anyone less than another because of their race or gender. i am not a person who sits on a fence. i HAVE taken sides. It’s the voiceless who needs a voice, not the one who’s perfectly fine screaming on their own.


    On another entirely different note – i had an experience last night.

    I got back on a dating site 10 days ago. I wasn’t going to sign up for a membership unless i found someone interesting enough to write to. From my experience on dating sites 2 years ago, i wasn’t expecting anyone to write to me. And i’d promised myself i wouldn’t humiliate myself again by writing to all the men i was attracted to, and being ignored by all of them. But i was willing to give it another go.

    I was suprised at the number of messages i received. Even from men that i actually found interesting and attractive! So i went out with one of them last night. I had a really good time. He said all the things that i’d never heard before, from a good man. He told me i was very attractive. i’ve only heard flattering words from creeps before, and i knew they were saying it to get into my pants. Or just to gross me out, idk. I’ve never had a normal man tell me i look good. He was easy to talk to. He actually listened to everything i said even though i wasn’t able to answer a simple question concisely. He summarized my one hour of blabbering into one sentence. I was impressed. I wish i could hire his brain to summarize my thoughts for me all the time.

    He’d asked me what i was looking for on that site. WE’ve concluded that i’m not looking for a relationship, and that i have absolutely no clue what i’m truly looking for. Basically, i’m wasting my time, and the time of everyone who writes to me!

    BUT – a few things that are clear in my mind now, so this experiment was also of great value to me — 1. there are many good men in this world, besides JB. They’re just as easy to trust and just as easy to be attracted to, and just as easy to talk to, and they ARE interested in relationships.

    2. I have no desire to build a second friendship with another man. It has to be a relationship or nothing.

    3. I value my friendship with JB more than i want a relationship with another man.

    What am i getting from JB?!

    Whatever it is, it became more delicious after last night. sigh.

    ~~ vino

    in reply to: Losing my Mind! #32655

    Wouldn’t you say that you have an unforgiving attitude in general towards women, Indians and Ethiopians? I know that you are open to anyone who comes into your life and holds up to your standards, regardless of their race or gender, but in general, your feelings towards these groups as a whole are instantly negative due to your personal experiences.

    yes, it sure sounds that way. i just know what they’re capable of, so i prefer to keep my distance from them. I an exceedingly grateful that i don’t have to live in India or Ethiopia. When i run into Ethiopians and Indians here, in the US – i treat them as i do every other stranger – with polite respect. I don’t go out of my way to avoid them, or seek them out. They’re just not a part of my life. (except in discussions like this. lol 🙂 )

    i don’t judge a woman as evil just because she’s a woman. I was never more helpful and kind to a male customer and less to a female one. Nor was a friendlier to a male customer than female one. Strangers are strangers, they all get equal polite and respectful treatment.

    Why not? Just because there is not a personal offense to you directly, if someone activates your anger, your hatred, your rage, your disgust, your judgment…you are being activated by their behavior. Would you not say there is something to forgive? Forgiving others’ limitations, their incompetence, their short-sidedness, their lack of understanding and awareness, their meanness, their judgments etc. are all things that need to be forgiven as they stir up your own emotions.

    I’m not really sure how to explain myself any differently than i did in the previous post. I tried to think of something that would activate all those intense emotions in me, and i can’t. The closest i’m coming is to what i heard a few days back about the animal shelters being overrun because people are abandoning pets which they got at the beginning of lockdowns in 2020. That makes me angry. But my anger is making me look for ways to help those shelters and the pets, it’s not raging against the heartless people. How does it halp me or anyone if i’m raging against foolish person? I don’t see any value in it. I’m not responsible for arresting such people or bringing them to justice or anything else. But if i can help those who are suffering because of one person’s dump actions, then, that’s what i’m going to be focusing my energy on. I care more about victims than perpetrators.

    IF i were still working as a nurse, and i got two patients – a person who beat up another and the person who got beat up – i would take care of both of them the same way. i wouldn’t clean the wounds of the aggressor in a way to cause him more pain. No matter how much i think he deserves every slash on his body, i will not increase the pain that he is in. I am a nurse and my job is to clean wounds and bind them up and make my patients comfortable. But the reason i’ve treated them both the same has nothing to do with forgiveness. I have not been hurt, therefore, i have nothing to forgive!

    I’m not sure what you mean when you say “you’re being activated by their behavior” — in what way? what kind of activation? i don’t sense any kind of activation. I become aware of an injustice, but that doesn’t fill me up with rage. Shock, yes. but not rage or hatred.

    I view forgiveness as releasing all negative thoughts/feelings/emotions around an event or person…whether direct or indirect.

    ok. I don’t get tangled up with things that don’t affect me directly. I don’t see that as my problem.

    Let’s just take Indians and Ethiopians for example. The way they treat women is something that hurts your heart and makes you angry. Their choices are activating anger in you, right? If you forgive their choices and let go of that anger, then think of how much happier and lighter you will feel?

    No – the way ‘i’ was treated hurt me and made me angry. I do not know all the details of how they treat every other woman, and i do not have the power to know this, nor do i have the power to protect anyone, even if i DID know. So it’s really distant from me, and it’s a total waste of myself to get tangled in it. Also, nobody has the power to hurt me anymore. i’m not a child. So i have no anger towards them. I’m just not going to be looking for my best friend or my future husband among them. That is all.

    You don’t trust women. You get angry when you believe women are teaming up against men and wanting to blame and shame men.

    Yes, the actions of women against men make me angry. But only specific ones that i surely KNOW about. I don’t look at every random woman and think: “I bet she treats men with contempt and disrespect.” — i don’t know that! But if i saw a woman treating a man in a bad way right in front of my face, then i’d know for sure. But it’s still not my place to forgive her, because i’m not the one who got hurt by her.

    I’m sincerely confused by the pictures in your mind. What are you picturing when i say that i don’t trust women, or Indians or Ethiopians?

    Wouldn’t you say that you could forgive the choice of those women who you believe are wanting to cause harm?

    You’re working with your definition of forgiveness. Mine has to do with action. I may not trust someone. But i do not treat them as they are any less than a person that i DO trust. The trust determines the degree to which i will allow them into my private spaces. And that HAS to be EARNED. The choices that other women make, have absolutely NOTHING to do with me. I don’t understand why you think i should get involved with things that do not affect me.

    To me…as long as there is a negative emotion that gets triggered by someone or something – if I am going to release that hate or judgment or whatever negative feelings I have…I need to forgive that person, that leader, that group, that event in order to move forward with clarity and not be influenced by heavy, negative emotions.

    This, i understand. i do this by distancing myself from that person, so i have more mental space to deal with the trigger. I’m also going to use that opportunity to examine the trigger and gather all previous experiences that created the same feelings and purge myself of all of them at once. I also understand the importance of not being influenced by heavy, negative emotions. the truth is, most people in the world do NOT affect me deeply, because i don’t know them and i don’t care to know them. I am happy with the dozen or so people in my life. OF those dozen, only 3 affect me deeply. My kids, and JB. They bring me the greatest joy and they also have the potential to being me the greatest pain. The rest of the people in the world really don’t matter to me. Should they? if so, why?

    I shared my story with another friend today. And she really liked it too. But she wanted to ‘make it better’. So i gave her what i wrote. And i was amused with her edits. It showed me all the ways in which she hadn’t understood what i’d said. lol 🙂 The most interesting thing was how she ‘translated’ what i said about my worth. I’d said that i trusted my friend’s perception of me – that i was worth being a friend to, even though i coudln’t understand why. She changed that to “ friend’s perception of me, that i was worthy. That i too could have friends, and be appreciated. Being a friend was critically important to me, even if i did not understand why.”

    It was really interesting to me how a few changes in the way things were worded, just sucked the power out of it for me! I don’t like the phrase: “I am worthy” It meant more to me, to be specific “I am worth being a friend to.” Also, she completely misunderstood what it is that ‘i didn’t understand’. SO i have to see how i can clarify that. The thing i didn’t understand was what made me worth being a friend to. So, i had to believe it was true, even though i lacked understanding. I also don’t know how she came up with ‘being a friend was important to me’. I’ve never doubted my own ability to BE a friend.

    Anyway – it was a fun exercise and i enjoyed the mangling of my words. lol 🙂 She was excited by it too. She’s a graphic designer, so she started creating logos and pictures to go with my story. lol 🙂

    ~~ vino

    in reply to: Losing my Mind! #32651

    how about that?! i posted a tiny message, and now i can see your post! i think i’ve found a foolproof way of getting back in!

    in reply to: Losing my Mind! #32650

    locked out again! lol 😀

    in reply to: Losing my Mind! #32631

    Let’s talk about forgiveness then. What is your definition of forgiveness? Since you seem to not be willing to forgive everybody and everything, then what qualifies as worth forgiving?

    Forgiveness is something that i can offer, only to someone who has directly offended or hurt me. I cannot forgive the abusers of others. To me, forgiveness is accepting what happened, taking my focus off the person who hurt me, and looking at myself, to see what i need to do to heal. It’s a process, like all other healing processes and there will be layers and layers and layers of it. My very first step might be that i no longer want to make that person pay for what they did. My second step might be to actually call 911 if i see them injured in an accident, even though i’d rather they just die. My third step might be to willing to offer help if i am able. And it can keep going deeper, till we actually become friends. I can stop the process at any level. The space where i have NOT forgiven, would be the space in which i am expending more energy on them than on myself and my own recovery. Any movement away from that person, and onto myself, is progress in the direction of forgiveness. So, i cannot forgive for someone else. I could help them forgive, the way i do it, because it is practical and doesn’t dismiss your feelings and emotions, and redirects your thoughts and actions towards something positive instead of being stuck in a dead end, poisonous space.

    I recently saw a post by a woman, who was asking for advice on how she could make her ex hurt. There was a lot of good advice, telling her, he sounded like the kind of person who wouldn’t feel anything anyway, but she was still so stuck on wanting to do something painful to him. This is an unforgiving attitude. I do not have an unforgiving attitude. It’s a waste of time, and it makes me the kind of person i don’t want to be. I want to be free of negativity in my life, and that requires me to let go of my negative emotions and feelings towards someone else, no matter how many legiitmate reasons i have for those feelings. It’s like my vessel analogy – i cannot have sources of poison inside of me and expect that i can give unpoisonous things to my children. Everything that comes out of me will be laced with that poison, so, i will essentially be poisoning those i love, no matter how good my intentions are So i have to merciliessly cut off all sources of poisonous thoughts and feelings within me – this is how i ‘forgive’. SO – i cannot forgive what someone has done to someone else. For others, i can only offer protection – like my children – i will stand between them and someone who would harm them.

    This was really difficult to do when i was married, because i saw their dad as someone who could harm them. So i protected them in a different way. I made sure that their relationship with me was super solid, so if they got hurt by him, they could still freely come to me. I never spoke to them about their dad or gave them any kind of advice on how to relate to him. When we watched shows, if there was a character that resembled their dad, i never pointed it out. I knew that my view of him was poisoned, and i didn’t want to pass on that poisoned view to them. I knew that the way they saw him could be entirely different different, and it would be true, based on THEIR experience with him. For the same reason, i never shared my issues with him with friends and family, because i wasn’t 100% sure of their ability to not be poisoned by my narrative. This was my practical act of forgiveness while i was still within the situation. I refused to bring him harm. I could’ve done it SO, SO, SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO easily! all i had to do was record stuff he said, or spread the emails he sent, or record all the stuff i found out about him online. OMG! it would’ve been SO EASY to utterly and totally destroy him! And i wouldn’t have had to speak a single lie! So during this whole time i hated him freely, so, my feeling were far from forgiving. that’s why i think forgiveness has to be looked at from a larger space than just feelings.

    Anyway. What’s your take on forgiveness?

    I will definitely read the Gottman book. I’m curious to know what it says. But i don’t believe that it is unbiased. 🙂 mostly because the conclusion of it seems to suggest that women don’t have equal power in a relationship. I’m curious to know why not? It’s just not logical. Anyway, we will discuss it after i’ve read the book!

    What a beautiful story!

    thank you! 🙂

    ~~ vino

    in reply to: Losing my Mind! #32614

    So…since you seem to be more forgiving towards men in general, are you willing to forgive the women who behave in a harmful way as well?

    No, no, No, Heidi! I am NOT More forgiving towards men! IF there’s a man who has sexually abused his child and a woman who has sexually abused her child, i see them BOTH THE SAME WAY! there’s no way, i’m going to forgive EITHER of them! but the way things are in society, the woman’s abuse is minimized because she’s a woman! And if the child she abused is a boy, people are not even going to believe he was abused! Of those who DO believe him, many will wonder why he didn’t enjoy it! And THIS is what i’m against! The crimes committed by women are being minimized! The crimes committed by minorities are being minimized! This is TOTALLY WRONG!

    i HATE people who abuse others, take advantage of others, or use others in any. I don’t care WHO they are! Those who are victims, HAVE to be protected and defended, even if they are rich, white men! Do you remember how Johnny Depp was falsly accused of abusing his partner? And it turned out that SHE was the one who was abusing him?! Why was everyone so quick to tear him up without proof?! IF he’d accused her, nobody would’ve believed him without proof. The same ‘innocent-till-guilty’ mindset isn’t extended towards men! Men are being treated as if they are guilty till proven innocent and woman are being treating as if they are innocent till proven guilty. I’m saying EVERYONE Should be treated as innocent till proven guitlty, becuase once you’ve messed up someone’s reputation, you cannot rebuild it. Why are people SO Quick to destroy someone’s life and livelihood and reputation, without taking the time to know the whole story?

    In truth, i am NOT giving men the benefit of the doubt as it appears to be I’m just more interested (than most women) to hear a man out, to fully get his side of the story! The reason i speak against indians and ethiopians is because i see in them, more of this energy that takes advantage of others. The idea that ‘all men are created equal’ is not a universal belief. and that automatically lends itself to whole groups of people being viewed as less than others. Like the genocide of the Tutsi people Rwanda in 1994.

    You are pigeonholing both men and women by making these generalized sweeping statements. We ALL have both male and female energy in us, right? So the male energy that is about performance and precision can easily exist in a woman. And the female energy that is about relationships can exist in a man. There are industry leaders, both male and female, that coach about business/performance as well as dating/relationships. Do you see something different?

    Am i really pigeonholing when i use generalized statements? everything you’ve stated – of women being incredible leaders and men being really good at relationships are the exception, not the rule. When i make a generalized statement, i’m not at all ruling out the exceptions.

    Just FYI, when a relationship goes belly up, science shows that men are mostly the ones responsible.

    Is this really true? i would need every nitty gritty detail on this before i give it any weight. Your primary connection with another human is your mother, from birth. A mother continues to have a greater influence on a child’s emotional development than the dad does. It’s a mother who usually takes care of the children when they are sick, and in other vulnerable states. So the bulk of what a child learns about relationships is from the mother! And in General (lol 🙂 ) — it takes boys longer to become confident in relationships than girls. In high school – i’m sure boys around the world are at least 2 yrs behind girls in figuring out how to communicate. I think everyone is the same in elementary school and early middle school. Then puberty hits and totally derails everyone, but girls regain their balance in relationships sooner. (If they have the right kind of support from their mothers.) or maybe there’s generally more support available for girls anyway, because puberty is more messy for girls and there’s more stuff we need help with. Boys are just left to figure it out on their own and because they don’t bleed, they don’t get any attention at all. But, all that crazy shift in hormones MUST really throw them off too, right? you know – i’ve never, ever actually thought about the effect of puberty on a boy, until just now!

    So beautifully said! You are such a great teacher! Me, being a trainer, I appreciate this analogy a lot! I love it!

    Thank you. i got that picture when i was going through massage therapy school! in the anatomy book, the muscular system was right after the skeletal, and as i went through the summary of functions, i thought there was a typo in the textbook because they were both the same, so i went back and looked at both lists closer and i was blown away by the beauty of it! how Most of the functions are identical, and yet, both systems are opposites in texture. It immediately made me think of men and women! this connects back with relationships and performance. Relationships require the softness and flexibility of a muscle, and Performance requires the strength and inflexibility of bones.

    BTW – the most successful men are the ones who’ve learned how to harness BOTH their male and female energies too! But their male energy leads.

    I met with one of the coaches – to help me write up my story. He got me to talk with a few good questions and as i talked, he wrote down the things that created structure out of my chaos! i was just blown away! In 45 minutes, he created a 2 min summary of my story that is SO FREAKY accurate that i’m totally in love with it! He still forced me to think of a specific person – and he said to just pick one for now and go for it, so i just described myself. Then he asked me if i’d be my own best client. At first i said yes, because i saw all my best qualities first. the next day, i realized that i’d be my own worst client, 12 yrs ago – because of my incredible lack of trust, especially towards women. So, i would never have learned from myself. lol 🙂

    So, my homework is to share my story with 10 friends and get their feedback. I called my first friend today and she said it was inspiring! And then she asked how she can learn more. And asked if she’d have to buy my course to learn more. I told her she’d be one of my beta testers. I wasn’t expecting that at all! how do you inspire someone with a 2 minute story?! He didn’t even tell me i had to be inspiring! he just wrote down the key things in what i was saying, and he organized it. I edited it so it sounded like me talking, but kept the length of it, and didn’t add any extra details. Before our call, i was sincerely overwhelmed and i was actually just going to tell him that i’d bitten off more than i could chew and i was going to just cut my losses and quit. And by the end of our talk, which was far too easy and relaxed, i was feeling like i can actually do this! And he hadn’t done anything specific to pump me up!! HOW?! I just can’t get over it!

    Here’s the story he helped me write:

    12 years ago, i hit rock bottom. I had been spiraling down gradually till i couldn’t get out of bed anymore. To force myself out of bed, I had to write down 3 things that i had no choice about getting done each day.

    I found a good Psychiatrist. Medicines and therapy provided some support, but didn’t build up my inner strength.
    So i kept searching for answers in EVERYTHING around me, fitness experts, songs, games, shows and movies, people, animals, books, articles, even the weather and the local news!
    All the information i gathered, inspired SO MANY ideas in me, and I experimented with as many of them as i could.
    I wanted to learn to support my body and mind and not work against it.
    I stopped suppressing the emotions that i thought were weak. And gave myself permission to feel things deeply, and express them freely – mostly in private and usually in writing. This relieved a lot of pressure, but it still wasn’t enough.

    I finally made the decision to trust one friend’s perception of me – that i was worth being a friend to, even if i couldn’t understand why. This changed everything. I put aside all negative perceptions of myself and simply observed how others treated me. I was sincerely surprised that 99% of the people i met were friendly and kind towards me! This opened me up to receive the goodness around me, and find my path to joy.

    Since that time, I have continued to grow and get stronger and i have never gone below that place where i thought i wasn’t worth being a friend to. I want to share my story, in hopes that i can help others also find value in their own lives and discover their own path to joy.

    I’m sure a female couch could’ve helped me just as well as he could. I think the reason he was able to help me is because his female energy is well activated and exercised. He never once made me feel like i wasn’t being truly heard and it showed in the notes he took that he truly DID hear me. But he never lost focus. And he was able to bring me into focus gently, and i never felt like i was being forced into a model. Even though he was using a model! lol 🙂 Before i met with him, i’d already watched the entire first module and all the video calls relating to it, and all of that made me feel like it was too soon for me to share my story. it’s incredible what a huge difference some focused time with a real PERSON makes!

    i’m starting to sound like a lot of successful people who keep saying they couldn’t have gotten to where they’re at without a coach! lol 🙂

    ~~ vino

    in reply to: Losing my Mind! #32556

    Interesting! How come? Where is there ANY evidence of such a thing existing for humanity that would make you believe this? If anything, I have found quite the opposite. The deeper I explore, the more variations to perspectives and “truths” show up. The more I learn, the more I realize I know nothing. I have not yet come across a single thing, on the face of this planet, that 100% of people can agree upon.

    Whether people agree with it or not, there ARE things that are 100% TRUE! For example – for the last two days, i’ve fallen back into the pit of worthlessness. Wouldn’t you say that my beliefs and perspectives of worthlessness are NOT TRUE?! However, i can point to ALL of the things in my life that prove that i AM worthless, and you cannot point to a single thing that proves to me that i DO have worth. Why is it that something that IS FULLY true for me, in every experience that i’ve had, STILL NOT BE THE TRUTH?!

    People form the beliefs that they have based on their experiences, right? All of these experiences are 100% true, right? And yet, the thoughts that form in the mind, can either be true, or not true. Why is it true if i say I have worth, and not true if i say i do NOT have worth?

    In the end, it was the very thing that destroyed me, that saved me. I had lost utter and total sense of worth because i believed everything i saw and heard and it all pointed to my worthlessness. So, when i made the decision to marry, i COMPLETELY ignored my OWN TRUTH (which was still completely honest and true – but i couldn’t trust it, because of how much i had devalued it) – and i relied on what OTHERS thought about him, to make my decision. By the time i made friends with his best friend (what are the chances that i’d be saved by HIS best friend! lol 😀 ) — my self-worth had eroded to such an extent that i couldn’t believe that i was good enough to be anyone’s friend. SO — i had to Close my eyes to MY TRUTH — and completely and fully trust Fr M’s TRUTH – which was, that i was worth being a friend to – and simply accept it, even though i couldn’t feel it or see it, or believe it. I took a leap of faith and chose to trust HIS TRUTH, because he was being good to me.

    For every lie that people are trapped in — there HAS to be an ABSOLUTE TRUTH that rescues them from it! Nothing destroys a lie like the WHOLE TRUTH!! in my case, even if i don’t have proof of the Truth according to my perceptions, just the fact that i accept that there is an ABSOLUTE TRUTH that i can TRUST – prevents me from falling as deep in the Pit of Worthlessness that I used to. I don’t look for ‘proof’ that i am worthy, because i know that whether there is visible proof or not, I am worthy. So the feelings pass, without crippling me. They DO slow me down. They DO hurt. Sometimes i try to find out why i’m feeling it again. Most times, i’m too tired, and i just cry.

    Maybe to you, you feel exactly the same, no matter which sentence you say.

    Yes – to me – “she was not emotionally strong enough to support me” is just a definition of WEAK. I suppose WEAK has negative connotations attached to it. To me, they both carry the same degree of negativity or neutrality. Weak simply means not strong enough. The reasons for her weakness could be many, but they are irrelevant. I was wrong to despise her for not being strong enough for me, because she is who she is, she cannot be stronger. I was most likely a heavier burden to bear than she was trained for. I know i’ve always felt like i was too heavy – even physically – and couldn’t lean on anyone else. I used to watch a cousin of mine sit on her dad’s lap. She was older than me. I never sat on my dad’s lap because i felt i was too big. He never invited me either. But my sister sat on his lap – but she was smaller than me. My cousin was thinner than me too, so — it all added up in my mind. I’m heavy physically. I’m heavy emotionally. I’m just too much of a burden, so no one is truly strong enough to support me and my baggage. (there’s no emotional charge in any of these things right now – but there used to be. It might come around again too. lol 🙂 )

    But we could go to the other perspective here as well that exists everywhere…men created this. Men have abused/used/raped/manipulated women for decades. Men are running this country and have suppressed women over and over and over again, through various forms of power. So if this perspective exists, would you not say that it’s pretty reasonable for women to stand up together?

    No. No perspective exists in absoluteness. For women to band together and destroy what men have built is the same as the French revolution. The poor were so blind with their hate for the rich that they couldn’t tell the difference between a GOOD rich man and a bad one. If they had been ANY better than the Rich, they would’ve been able to see the good in the rich. No matter how much freedom and power you give the poor, the honest truth is they do NOT have the skills to rule or organize or even THINK in the ways that the Rich do, that increases the prosperity and the value of the things they own. Isn’t that what this whole idea is of changing your mindset? IF you want to be rich, you have to know how the rich think and how they prioritize, how the use their time, etc etc. Some of these things that they know are intrinsic, and you can only learn from them by living with them.

    SO – i don’t support women standing together against men. That’s totally stupid and blind and lopsided. IF women stood for what is TRUE – then they have the support of all men who also see that Truth. And there ARE absolute truths! For example – unequal pay – that’s a total farse. It has nothing to do with the skills of a woman not being equal to the skills of a man. When you look at it from a purely business standpoint – isn’t it a greater risk to hire a woman who has children or who will go on to have children later? A healthy woman, WILL be divided in her priorities, and she WILL choose her children over her work in times of trouble. So, when a company hires a woman, they also need to have a back up plan for the times that woman cannot be at work. That back up plan may not be as good as her, so the quality of work at the company will suffer. Or the back up plan might cost more, because they are freelancing their services. IDK. I don’t run a business, but i’d think about such things if i did! I’m also not in support of being paid when you’re not working, so i’m not in support of extended maternity leave benefits. A woman on maternity leave is costing the company twice the amount and not contributing Anything to the company during that time. I don’t care what other countries do, it’s irrelevant. I think, in order to get money, you need to give something in return. It’s just weird to me to take money and not give anything back.

    Anyway. i know that’s a wormhole. BTW – i saw a woman giving advice to other women on how to make more money from the system. She explained how she gets a certain amount of money per child. However if both children are from the same father, the amount of money doesn’t double, because his income remains the same. So – she came up with a brilliant plan — she has a each child with a different man. She has a total of 6 children. And at the end of her video she says: “How come y’all don’t have different baby daddies?” This is not the mindset of a rich person. I Don’t know WHAT to call this kind of mindset! It’s so bloody brilliant, but it also keeps her forever in a situation of collecting handouts. I guess it works for her, so it’s all good, right?

    I wonder if we will ever be lead by both men and women.

    WE ARE! You even agreed to my last statement. lol 😀

    Beautifully said! I believe that whether in a male or female or whatever form you claim to be, if you lead with the heart and support your love/passion/kindness for others with high standards, productivity, precision etc. then the system would be unstoppable! In my circles, it’s always supported and claimed to “…..ask for the highest good of all.”

    Men and women lead in different ways and in different areas. RELATIONSHIPS are where women lead. So when relationships go belly up, the woman is most responsible. Because women KNOW stuff! Men lead in the world that requires performance and precision and focused goals. That’s the part that the current culture is trying to destroy by labelling it all as toxic patriarchy. it is NOT toxic. Without that strength and rigidity, society will be weak. Patriarchy is like the skeletal system of the society. Matriarchy is like the muscular system. They both provide form and movement AND protection for vital organs (the children and the elderly and the sick and the weak). We need strong bones AND strong muscles for a health body. When the bones get soft and the muscles get hard, you do NOT have a healthy body! Movement is no longer possible and the vital organs are in danger. Also, i think it’s interesting that when people work on strengthening their muscles (not hardening them, but strengthening them) – the bones also get stronger! Such a perfect relationship between bones and muscles. That’s how men and women should work together.

    ~~ vino

    in reply to: Losing my Mind! #32544

    It’s more educated than most, therefore I will poke holes in your beliefs because I know you can take it and I know you are interested. You will reject or accept the holes I attempt to poke in it and move on….which is exactly what an internally strong person should do. So hopefully this explains my perspective a bit better.

    Ah, ok! I’m good with poking holes. lol 🙂 if something isn’t poked from every direction, it hasn’t been tested fully, and the untested parts might be weak. So, it’s a good thing to poke things AND for hardcore people like Jordan Peterson – beat it to a pulp and see if it still stands…!

    it still is just my POV therefore it’s true only for me.
    i don’t fully agree with this, but it explains our foundational outlook. I believe that when things are beaten down to their core, we WILL find a foundation that is true for everyone, because it is as real as the sunrise and the sunset. (isn’t it interesting that even though we all know that the sun ISN’T rising or setting, we are ok with saying that it does because that’s how it looks to ALL of us?) i also believe that a person who HAS walked around the vase, they can’t help but have a more balanced view of things. They may tend to lean more to one side than other, but they are closer to the truth than someone who refuses to even acknowledge that there’s a different way to look at things.

    It’s interesting to me that you seem to think a protective energy is a wounded energy. is that really true? If i saw someone being bullied, and i step in to stop it, what kind of wound in me is causing me to intervene?

    Calling her WEAK has a wounded flavor to it and how you say it (as well as how you have mentioned this word in the past), there is a flavor of hatred here – not FULL hatred, but just a flavor – from my perspective of course. I could be wrong too. I will say that it’s incredibly hard to really get a sense about things through technology and only writing.

    I lost a friend over this, because she was so sure i hated my mother! lol 🙂 But, i think, with you, the issue is the fact that you can’t hear my voice. I can understand the ‘flavor of hate’. It’s the words i’m using. How else can i state that she was emotionally not strong enough to support me?

    Say i was in an accident and lost a few limbs. If someone asks me what happened, i’d tell them how i lost my limbs. It would be the same words that i use, at the time of the accident and 20 yrs later. However, when i share my accident after 20 years, my wounds have healed — there won’t be any physical pain in my voice. If i’ve done the work and dealt with the loss – there won’t be any emotional pain in my voice either. BUT – i’d still be using the exact same words, and i’d still be limbless.

    I think ’emotional limbs’, unlike physical ones, DO Grow back – but it’s very slow. And there has to be a good reason for it. I can have conversations with you because you do not have the ‘flavors’ of my mother. But if we met face to face, you might have something in you that is a flavor of my mother, and i might react to it. Then, i’d have to go back to the drawing board and work on that, because that’s a raw wound still.

    This is what happened with JB. He forced me to work through my pain with something basic – the name of the ex. But i so, so, so strongly wanted to connect with JB, that it was worth the pain of processing my trigger to the name. I haven’t met anyone with the flavors of my mother that i am desperate to create a connection with. I’m not desperate to connect with her either. I’ve learned to live without my limbs and even see the good they’ve brought into my life.

    So, i don’t hate her for destroying my ‘limbs’. They haven’t prevented me from making meaningful connections with people. And that’s all that matters to me. I don’t need to connect with a 100 people. I only needed to connect with my kids, and with JB. In all honesty, the degree to which i get annoyed and irritated by people has almost vanished, because of how content i am with my ‘primary connections’. And since they don’t annoy me as much as they used to, i have a much better relationship with everyone i run into. I just don’t see the need to get worked up about anything anymore. So, my relationship with my mom might actually grow back because of the healing i’m finding through being motivated to connect with JB! lol 😀

    Although I have traveled deeper into myself than most even know exists, I also know there are places in me I still have yet to discover. I know I am limitless in my depth, therefore I will never reach an “end.”

    This is true. I used to get upset at myself whenever i found myself getting my emotions stirred about a matter i’d already worked through. One day, i realized that i’m NOT in the same place as when i worked with that wound before. BUT – i had just encountered the same wound at a deeper level. it’s like a root. Some are wide and shallow, others are extremely deep and you’ll keep running into the deeper parts of it the lower down you go. I wonder if there are some wounds that are SO EXTREMELY deep that you cannot pull them out without killing the person? Like severely addicted people who cannot be detoxed without killing them?

    The fact that you are defending only one side, comes from wounded energy. This perspective is true for ALL HUMANS. There are very ugly perspectives for men AND women, but you only make it true for men.

    Only because men aren’t allowed to defend themselves anymore. Have you noticed that when a woman cries out, other women gather around her, and support her and scream with her? When a wounded man cries out, nobody comes to his defense, especially if his fight is with a woman. Men are in a lose-lose situation more often than not.

    All the people in this forum are women voicing their pain about men, right? IS there one for men to voice their pain about women? If there IS one, will men use it? None of the men that i know would! Men are like dogs – they’ll go hide someplace and lick their wounds and hope they heal. But it’s also not socially acceptable for men to spill their guts.

    Here’s what i’m noticing — there’s some kind of weird double standard in play that is separating people into who is allowed to freely voice injustices done to them and who isn’t allowed. There’s a gender divide – it’s more acceptable for women to complain and tear down men, and blame men for all their issues. There’s a race divide — it is more acceptable for minorities and non-white folks to ‘speak their truth’ and blame the whites for their own failures. There’s a socio-economic divide – it is more acceptable to blame the rich for their own success than blame the poor for their own choices. Why is there this stupid thought floating around that the rich are rich because they are taking advantage of the poor?! omg! SO ANNOYING! there’s a sexuality divide – it is acceptable to mock a ‘cis’ person to your heart’s content – and you can’t even accidentally misgender your own child, or you’re in danger of being jailed.

    I’m sure there’s a few more. But, i tend to speak in support of whoever isn’t being listened to. At this time, it’s going to mostly be white folks, men, and maybe any rich person who is being vilified for no reason. i look for the good in those who are being beaten up. And i speak up for that good. I don’t see women being beaten up by men. (in social media, or in my personal interactions.) People are quick to throw the baby out with the bath water.

    I had some thoughts about patriarchy, since you mentioned it in your older post. I was thinking about that for a while and i thought of something i hadn’t thought of before. (my instant reaction, btw, was to defend patriarchy, but i couldn’t think of how to it in less than 1000 words. lol 🙂 ) Anyway, my subconscious worked on it, and condensed it very nicely, and it looked good to me. SO, what i see is — Patriarchy and Matriarchy COEXIST. Patriarchy can only succeed with Matriarchy by it’s side. The way they complement each other is in their functions – the Patriarchy sets the standards for performance and the Matriarchy sets the standards for behavior. This is why they need each other. In the arena of work – performance is extremely important – because the lives of people could depend on it. So precision and skill is necessary. In the area of relationships, behavior is extremely important and the way you treat people determines your social belonging.

    Anyway – those are my thoughts. 🙂

    ~~ vino

    in reply to: Losing my Mind! #32531

    Hi Heidi!

    Wow! SO MUCH stuff in here! i’m just going to focus on the things that stuck out to me the most.

    The majority of women on this forum are in so much pain from all the men ghosting them, playing games, cheating etc.

    I’ve been learning that we create our own realities. is this only applicable to me? Or is it also applicable to these women? IF i am responsible for my own pain, are they not also responsible for their own? Why are there so many women being ghosted and being treated disrespectfully by men? What kind of mindset are these women operating from that they are all attracting these kind of men?

    Every single person has a different view of the flowers and therefore always has only a PIECE of the truth. So doesn’t that make every person’s perspective valuable? Of course you can see and recognize patterns and you are incredibly good at it…but they are still patterns that you can see from your perspective, therefore it doesn’t make those patterns true or not true for everyone…it makes it true for only you because you are the only one viewing it in your very unique way – and that is what makes it valuable TO YOU. Does this make sense?

    I’ve known this all my life. I made many enemies in nursing school, because the girls couldn’t figure out ‘whose side’ i was on. I was able to see many sides, because i wasn’t attached to any side. i DO have a few attachments, but i am aware of what they are. That is why i am able to set aside my views to listen closely to another person’s. It is because of this ability to set aside my beliefs and views that i went from being protestant to Orthodox to Catholic. I can examine facts without getting tangled up in emotions. I can examine my own beliefs just as i examine someone else’s. And i do so continuously, which is why i grow and my perspectives change at a much faster rate than most others.

    When i started writing to you, i was in the same place as those other women, who are in pain from men ghosting them, and confusing them, etc etc etc. I’ve chosen to use the pain that i experience to explore myself, and understand the nature of my wounds and needs. What are they doing with their pain?

    I’m curious though…were you able to receive what I said? That as you are pointing the finger at people who judge men for being something that you consider they don’t deserve to be judged for, you are at the same time being that very same person judging women. You say you don’t hate women, but I’m wondering…There are untouched places in you that you haven’t visited yet and there are feelings held in those spaces that leak out from time to time. There is a part of you that is absolutely open to women AND there is a part of you that carries the hurt and trauma about them. So you are “split” which is very normal when trauma lives in you.

    This is loaded. I am unable to receive what you say about me because it is not true. You seem to think that it is not possible for me to not hate women, because of what i’ve been through.

    Here’s my picture of myself: i see myself as a vessel — i was full of different kinds of pain and anger and unpleasant stuff bleeding into it from all the wounds – most of which i have forgotten. Because i had forgotten the details – i saw myself as full of murky, mixed up sludge. HOWEVER, what has been happening to me in the past year and half, since my return to Church, is that i have been flooded with ‘clean water’. The amount of Clean Water being poured into me is greater than the amount of sludge that was in me. As more and more Water pours into the sludge, the sludge dilutes, and gets flushed out. This makes the walls of the vessel visible and i see some wounds.

    JB highlighted some of those wounds for me, by the pain he triggered in me. I went into them and the Waters soothed and cleansed me. Those wounds stopped bleeding. This increased the surface area of healthier vessel walls in me. The Waters continue to flush out the sludge. Some wounds are so old that they are just dead scabs. They stopped bleeding a long time ago. These wounds i encounter as a memory that returns, but it no longer has any emotions attached to it. So, the Waters just remove the scabs. I know what hate feels like. the ex is the wound from which hate seeps out the most. I do not have any hate seeping out of my ‘mother wound’. The thing that seeps out of my ‘mother wound’ is distrust. Not distrust because she is a bad person, but distrust because she is a WEAK person.

    The distrust used to be mixed with disgust. But, the disgust has long since been diluted by the Waters and flushed out. Her weaknesses are not disgusting to me anymore. However, i am never going to go to her for emotional advice or support, because that’s an area of MY strength, not hers.

    I connect my wounds to individual person who seem connected to those wounds. So, i don’t hate ALL WOMEN in general. I don’t think i ever did. I think it was more disgust than hate. Hate has an element of fear in it, because the person you hate seems to be more powerful and capable of hurting you in some way. That’s the difference between my feelings toward the ex vs my mom. Hate has the ability to make you respond in docile way, in order to protect yourself. I never felt the need to protect myself from my mother or any other woman. To me, the less emotional control they had, the more weak they seemed to be, so the more they disgusted me.

    if you were to really dive deep into that space, my guess is, a hatred would rise up in you. How could it not with what you have been through…with both men and women.

    What you said here, truly surprised me. WHY should there be a hatred in the wounded places? I have been forgiving people relentlessly. You know why? Because they didn’t F’ng KNOW WHAT THEY WERE DOING to me! They are short sighted, weak minded, thoughtless and ignorant, incapable of soul searching, incapable of examining the effects of their own actions and words, too blind to see the pain in me, totally useless to me, and yet — they were not malicious, and evil and deliberately trying to destroy my life. IN other words – they gave me the best they had. So, i’ve turned to God, and asked him to heal my malnourished soul, because i sure as hell can’t rely on other malnourished humans to feed me! So i don’t hate them. Not even the handful who DID take advantage of me sexually. Those folks, still fill me with disgust, but not hate.

    the ex is the only one i hate because of his deliberate deception. He failed to tell me he was gay. And that makes me super angry, and i hate him for stealing the best years of my life. I don’t know if i would’ve made a different decision IF he’d told me he was gay, because back in those days, i didn’t even know what it meant to be gay. I’d never met anyone who was gay and never read about it, or heard others talk of it. So, he would’ve had to go into a lengthy explanation of what it means to be gay, and i wouldn’t have been able to understand it at all. The thing that WOULD’VE stopped me from marrying him, was IF i’d valued myself enough to respect my feelings towards him. His temper worried me. And also the way he twisted things in his mind, so he was defending others FROM me. I should never have stood for that, except that i valued everyone else’s point of view more than my own, at that point in my life. Anyway, that’s why i hate him.

    That’s also why i feel like my POV is being devalued when you say it’s just mine. YES, it is ABSOLUTELY mine! But not because i haven’t given due consideration to how everybody else sees the flowers in the vase. It was my OWN view that i rejected my whole life. I accepted everyone else’s as more real than mine, because i thought i was seeing things skewed, because it didn’t match what others saw. So now, when i am finally able to respect myself enough to stand by what i see, and i’m told – yeah, but that’s just your pov — i just exit the conversation, because i am not being given the same degree of respect that i gave others. I have learned to trust myself, more than i trust others.

    i don’t bother explaining myself to others. But you are a good listener.

    ~~ vino

    in reply to: Losing my Mind! #32512

    I understand this is your experience and perspective. Know that is not at all my experience or how people view the masculine/feminine in my circles. Both energies and genders are highly respected and honored as they should be. That’s how I choose to hear and speak about both energies and genders and I hope you will receive my intent that way.

    i understand your intent. i wouldn’t be having this conversation with you if i felt you did not honor the masculine energies or gender. I do not know what circles you live in. I am very sensitive to the energies that swirl about me in the average world. And i see men and anything masculine being dishonored, and anything good in men being labeled as a feminine thing continues to dishonor the male as if the male is incapable of good unless he is feminine.

    I would venture to say that this is just relative to the kind of people you meet. Since you inherently have a strong dislike towards women, your perspective is going to support what you need to believe about women and men in your life.

    I have a distrust towards women. That is different from dislike. Of all the women i’ve worked with in the past 5 or so years, there’s only 2 that rubbed me the wrong way that i DID dislike them. However, nobody else liked them either, so i was not out of synch with the others on the team. I always give the women i meet the benefit of the doubt. IF i didn’t, i wouldn’t have lasted on this forum and i would have zero respect for you.

    I still noticed a subtle difference between you and the other lady, and if you’d left instead of her, i wouldn’t be on here anymore. Also when you say that something is relative to my experience, do you not think it devalues my ability to see and recognize patterns?

    I’m sad this is your perspective as it’s part of all of us and was made just perfectly. I view the mind as incredibly powerful and innovative and amazing!

    I agree the mind is powerful and amazing. But it needs to be trained. Most people don’t train it. And that is why it bleeds all over the place.

    Again…I think I would say that everything you are describing is true for both genders, as it depends on the person.

    True. But the way they go about it is different. For example: Men express their love in silence and their anger in loudness. But Women express their anger in silence and their love just bubbles out all over the place very visibly. Of course, there’s differences based on personality, but, what do you think? In a generalized way, have you noticed that as well? I think it’s because men aren’t as practiced in expressing their tender side.

    And nobody likes to not be in control. So of course, everyone is going to develop their own ways of controlling their lives and those around them. I was thinking about women in places like India where men are given so much power and value in society than women. And yet, when you let them loose in a free society, it is women who hold on to the cultural ways more than the men do. So i was trying to figure that out. Of course, it’s just my own speculation. But I thought – maybe – women have figured out how to get their own way in a place that is so full of toxic masculinity – and they are extremely powerful, in extremely subtle ways. The West, in general, sees people from the East as a gentle, kind, loving and respectful people. So they are open towards the people and the ways of the East. But the people of the East have mastered the art of controlling each other, so far beneath the surface that there’s hardly a ripple on the surface. This maintains their status quo, and also gets them what they want!

    I realize I am taking a chance at triggering you here and maybe creating a defensive response by saying this. Hopefully, you will receive it in a way of just being open and that I am NOT judging at all. You hate others’ limited perspectives of men and the villainizing of men, yet you do that very same thing towards women. So really, you are doing and being and living with a mindset that you are so “hateful” of in others. Wouldn’t you say it makes you the same kind of person that you “hate?” Just something to consider and think about.

    I’m not triggered at all. But as i said above, i don’t HATE women. I just don’t trust them as much as i trust men. I don’t trust all men either. I am able to connect at a deeper level with men than with women. If i hated women, i wouldn’t connect with them at all. Do you feel like i hate you, when i get into such conversations with you? If i hated you, you’d feel it, i know! I know how my hatred tastes and feels in myself — it was INTENSE! So, i’ve been working on it. i don’t even hate the ex anymore. And he is worse than all the women i’ve known. lol 🙂

    This is an interesting perspective. How come you feel that if you had many lives, it would somehow diminish the worth of this life? Why can’t this life be fully and completely important, valuable and powerful, even if you had other lives?

    Because there’s no value in the good that comes out of me when it is just an expected part of a cycle of lives, and my own struggles, to find the meaning of life, and to make the difficult choices to choose life over death, loses significance. There’s no value in individuality if you’re just a part of a big mass of one life. I value the uniqueness of each individual.

    The eastern cultures do not value the individual. They value the family and the community more. You rise and fall together. That can be good but it also has it’s bad side. If i succeed, everyone in my family feels like they have the right to share in my success, whether they were a help or a hinderance in my success. There’s this massive sense of entitlement as a group. of course, sometimes, there is help too, but you have to know how to pull all the right strings so you are not taken advantage of, and get your fair share. i think the idea of living over and over and over again, diminishes the value of a single life in the same way as this mob mentality of the east does.

    What if you didn’t view this self sabotaging part as an enemy? In reality, any part of us that is sabotaging our happiness, success or whatever, is actually a part of us that is trying to protect us. It’s a part of us that holds the programs, beliefs and paradigms that are unhealed and full of lies. The lies are there in the first place because of traumas, hurts, social/cultural programming etc. So really, it’s not an enemy part of ourselves, it’s a part trying to help us and protect us, right?

    It’s not ‘my’ view – it’s whoever said ‘you’re your own worst enemy’ – the very first time. I’ve heard many people say it and it’s the generally accepted view of things. lol 🙂 And yes, it’s not a good way to look at things because you feel like you have to defeat and overpower your ‘enemy’ and of course, your ‘enemy’ is stronger, because they’ve had more years practicing their ways of life.

    I hope you never do!

    Thank you! 🙂

    Happy New Year, Heidi!! Thanks for all the hours you’ve spent engaging with me!! truly appreciate that!

    ~~ vino

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