You can do that on your own time, because I'm posting funny pictures today. New post on Wednesday. Happy New Year!
Monday, December 31, 2012
You can do that on your own time, because I'm posting funny pictures today. New post on Wednesday. Happy New Year!
Friday, December 28, 2012
You've posted before about not trusting most therapists. While I didn't start out that way, a couple of bad experiences with therapy have made me distrustful, even cynical, about trying again. I have some major life issues I haven't been able to get past on my own and I would love to find someone who can help me. Neither the counselor I saw in uni nor the one I saw shortly after seemed to know what to do with me (the first said this to me; the second just repeatedly pushed a label and treatment option I didn't think was right for me and acted like a condescending ass). I'm quite embarrassed and ashamed about the main reason I'm seeking "help" in the first place and hate the notion of having to explain it over and over to different people. Because of this, I dread the "shop around" advice I've heard so often about finding a therapist. It's hard enough to get myself to go through with this initial contact stuff even once. In the past, I've put too much hope in one person and continued with them longer than I should have, partly because I wanted so much not to have to seek out someone else.
It's now been over three years since I last tried. It was never an easy thing to do to begin with, and now with all the bad memories I have, I keep picturing similar things happening and don't want to bother. I'm wondering how you'd suggest I approach this if I decide to go through with it again. What should I look for in deciding whom to contact? What questions should I ask and what should I look for in the answers? I'm afraid I'm going to be too quiet and passive to be able to advocate for myself much. How can I stand up for myself in the face of someone who's supposed to be The Expert in the situation? I have a damn hard time doing that, even when I strongly believe the "expert" is full of it.
THINK ABOUT IT THIS way. You have a goal, and you were met with certain obstacles. So all you need to do is pinpoint what the obstacle was. Then you'll know how to overcome it.
- What you're seeking treatment for, generally.
- Your hesitations: you were in therapy before and your therapist pushed a certain treatment on you that you didn't want and didn't listen to you. I would state what you didn't like about it (the treatment, not the therapist ;) specifically. Was it too intellectual? Too abstract? Did it neglect your emotions? Not delve into your past enough? Delve into your past too much?
- A few questions for them to answer: (1) Would you feel comfortable treating me, or is this outside of your skill set? (2) How would you approach treatment? (3) Do you offer a free consultation?
Thursday, December 27, 2012
I have been struggling with sexual anxiety since I first became sexually active (three years ago, at 20). The anxiety gives me ED. It ultimately lead to the end of my first long-term relationship. My gf at the time was supportive, but the emotional fallout ultimately ruined things. My second relationship went better, and the ED didn't present itself until a few months in. However, the sexual portions of the relationship had started off with the use of Viagra. As soon as things became emotionally rocky though, the ED kicked in hardcore, and caused an early end.
Two years later, I have started seeing a very attractive and wonderful woman, and I think it is all coming to an end, again, because of the anxiety and ED. I have had difficulty achieving erections already, even with the use of Viagra. She has never been demeaning, and has helped me to overcome the issue in most occasions. Her patience is running thin though, and it's understandable.
Now here's the clincher. I don't think this is just related to plain old anxiety about achieving an erection. My anxiety is related to being able to achieve long-lasting and meaningful relationships, and social interactions in general. For instance, I have achieved this one through my sexuality. So if I can’t have sex, I lose a meaningful relationship. Pressure much? Also, my social life (and self-esteem) is in a sorry state of affairs, and the closer I become to a woman, the more I worry about my incompetence and inability to maintain intimacy. So we're not just dealing with performance anxiety, it has to do with all sorts of anxiety! And it's all self-feeding!
So before throwing a grenade at this relationship, like I have before, I was wondering if you might have any advice on what the best way to navigate this multi-headed monster might be.
Sexually frustrated in California
Monday, December 24, 2012
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Monday, December 17, 2012
For the past 2 years, I've been completely addicted to the internet. Reddit, Facebook, Facebook, News, forums, Lifehacker...it's been a trip. And it's sucked up all my time. I stopped investing in myself in a lot of key ways. I stopped reading about topics I found interesting and meaningful--things like Buddhism, self-helpy junk (that realistically, I would have probably stopped reading anyway because it's all the same), books on history, psychology, and whatever the hell I'm interested in that very second. I stopped exercising. I stopped going out with friends. And I stopped writing too, in my journals and in this beautiful blog.
It makes sense. The internet is monetized through advertisement, and advertisement is triggered by pageviews, so websites have incentive to make you keep visiting over and over, as much as possible. But at what cost? Our social lives? Our well-being(s)? Our mediocre blogs and adoring fans?
Well, this week I gave up Facebook. A month ago I gave up the news (that was hard, but it's relieving). You may see me post here a little more often in the coming months. And yes, I realize this is part of the internet, but hopefully a less addictive part. Mind you, I never advertise and never will.
What do you think? Facebook? News? Does it enrich our life or detract from it?
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Buddha made templates too, but his templates were philosophical. He said that your problems in life can be understood through a simple formula. You get attached to things, meaning that you get desperate to control them, to make sure they happen or don't happen. That makes you obsessed, and that makes you think and detach from your body and from your surroundings, the elusive "present moment." That present moment is where you find joy. So if you want joy, look at your attachments.
The template works for a lot of things. It helps you make sense of your relationships. Your career. Your body. Your future. Because we attach to all these things.
Addressing your attachments is tricky. You don't just mentally say "OKAY, THIS IS WHO I AM, I'M GOING TO BE AN ASSHOLE AND THAT'S THAT." No. And you don't just TRY and do this thing called acceptance so you can be happier, because the reason you're doing all that is because you're still attached to feeling different and to some private, idealized conception of yourself.
Attachments dissolve when you tame your mind and listen. Listen in a very deep and meaningful way.
I'm not perfect. I'm not unattached. I'm not happy all the time. But I have my moments where my attachments dissolve and where I'm quiet inside. In those moments I realize the value of nonattachment and the value of the Buddha's teachings. And I'm compelled, by some unexplainable force, to share that with others.
Want to submit a question or topic? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Monday, October 8, 2012
Monday, September 24, 2012
there a lot of frauds out there in the spiritual slash healing world. I would almost consider myself 1 of them except for 1 thing. actually 2 things. first, I don't claim to be an expert in anything. second, and more importantly, I don't claim to be able to do anything.
a lot of spiritual frauds will tell you that they can do something to fix you or improve you, but that's all bullshit. because no 1 can really fix you. the only person that can really change something is yourself. insight may help you but it can never actually finish the job.
the other part is that you don't actually need any fixing. I'm at the real difference between a genuine teacher and a fraud. of fraud makes money by suggesting or implying that you are damaged and in need of repair. what a real spiritual teacher teaches you that you don't have anything wrong with you to begin with. that single fundamental insights makes all the difference.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
You hear about crazy possessive mother-in-laws, psychotic aggressive mother-in-laws, and about the mother-in-laws who just show their hatred outright or by ignoring the daughter in law that "stole their son away". But...but, but, but what about the mother in law who is extremely nice and welcoming to your face but back stabs you every chance she gets? Yes...I'm talking about the PASSIVE AGGRESSOR.
I've known this woman for five years and she's never once reached out to me, but she hasn't ever been rude to me either. However I've recently discovered that she is constantly talking behind my back, or will be passive aggressive to get her point across that she doesn't like me. If I confront her, she will act as though I'm being crazy and deny everything. If I don't confront her, I feel like I am going to claw her face off with rage the next time I see her (Kidding...of course.) This is totally foreign to me -- what do I do?!?
Friday, August 31, 2012
Say you're on an island and you decided you need to get off. At the end of the beach is a speed boat with weird controls and a possibly fucked up motor. The speed boat is fast, but the ride is horrible. You'll fall off periodically. Also, sharks are in the water. Did I mention sharks?
If you were patient and scoured the island more thoroughly, you'd probably find something better, like a raft. The raft is less exciting than a speed boat, but it's a lot more comfortable and you won't fall off. You just sit back and relax and float in the right direction. The sharks aren't interested in your raft.
A lot of people opt for the speed boat. Sometimes they crave the excitement and get bored with the raft. Or, they don't realize there's another option. Or, they're just impatient or worried the raft doesn't exist. The raft may not exist for everyone, and it's possible that some people are quite happy living on the island. But for most people, the raft is there, and being a kind, decent person helps increase your odds.
So if you find yourself on the speedboat, circle back and find your raft. And if you're already in the middle of the ocean, then get started building one. Because in the long run, a smooth ride will help you cultivate peace inside, and that's what will matter more than anything.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
I've been dating my boyfriend now for four months. In the beginning of our relationship, he would text me everyday! I would always wake up to a "good morning baby" and we would text throughout the day and no matter what, at the end of the day he would always say goodnight! He would always send me random i love yous, check up on me and tell me how much he missed me! This went on for about 2 months until he lost his job in July. After that, he would barely text me. If i didn't text him, we wouldn't talk that whole day! He told me that he was just stressed out and he didn't want to take it out on me and that he loved me so much. That gave me some closure i guess.
What i should mention is that my boyfriend is an EXTREME GAMER! After he lost his job, he finally had time for them so now he plays them NON-STOP. Now i know why he doesn't answer me a lot anymore and why he barely texts me during the day! Its the damn computer games. He'd rather sit home and play them than hang out or talk to me and this breaks my heart into pieces. I confronted him about it the other day and all he said was no and that he doesn't put video games before me and that he loves me!
My boyfriend is a big live streamer which means, anyone can go to the site and watch him play. The other night i went on caught him talking to a girl! Later, we were in the car and out of nowhere he brought up that a person that was trolling his friend trolled him but instead of saying 'her', he said 'him'. That's what got me upset because i knew that his friend was a girl! I love my boyfriend so much and i don't want to lose him but i don't want him to lie to me! I want him to stop putting video games before me!
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
No one has ever been able to really give me any "great" advice on this matter, so I thought I'd see if you could. When I was six months old, my drunkard of a mother left. I had a very happy childhood nonetheless and because I had an amazing father and grandparents, I never really thought much of not having a mother or cared where she was (prison).
She has tried getting into contact with me several times these last few years and every time I even start to warm up to the idea, she falls off the wagon again. I find her pathetic not because of her addiction, but because of this sudden animosity I feel towards her. I am unsure how to come at peace with her, or how to really accept the fact that I don't have a mother figure to talk to anymore. I have a step mother but she is of no use, and often acts like a child. She can be fine at some points, but most of the time is just concerned with her children.
Monday, August 13, 2012
I just graduated college with a degree in Economics, however, I can't help but feel like a helpless 22 year old, not knowing what to do with the rest of his life. I love playing sports and guitar, though not that good enough to become pro in either. I really don't know what the next step in my life would be, and I feel like I'm having a quarter-life crisis. Any advice? Thanks!
Got a question? Click here.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
I have a very important question: at what age do you think should we have our kids acquainted with the horrors of animal agriculture? Thank you.
I DON'T THINK KIDS should be exposed to any horrors. Once they reach their teens, it's a different story. But I do advocate teaching kids about compassion and respect for life.
Animal farming view animals as products or goods and I think it's our job to make sure that we humanize (funny word) animals as much as possible. We have to create relationships between animals and kids so they feel close to them and personalize them. That's why we don't eat dogs or cats or horses. We form attachments to them. It's also the reason why we have wars. We dehumanize each other (i.e., objectify), become estranged from one another (geographically, intellectually, emotionally), and then have no problem destroying each other. That's why Gordon Allport, a very famous social psychologist, thought the answer to reducing intergroup violence was simply contact. Contact makes people interact and get to know one another, forming relationships and intimacy. It's the reason having community centers (and the urban planners who design them) are so critical today. Urban planning and overcrowding is a major problem today, and I think the primary reason we have so many random shootings. (I'll get off my soapbox now.)
There's a wonderful book called Why We Don't Eat Animals that is really phenomenal and sends the right message for kids: that animals have emotions and inflicting harm is wrong. I support that message 100%.
Monday, August 6, 2012
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Friday, July 6, 2012
Monday, July 2, 2012
I've graduated from college six months ago and have yet to find a job. I've relocated across the country away from all of my friends and family about two months ago, and thus far have yet to meet anyone at all. I'm starting to have anxiety, stress, and anger and have begun to take it out on my new hubby. I feel very much unlike myself and have no idea how to make things better, and I can feel myself slipping into a bitter depression. Any suggestions?
Thanks for the likes and shares. If you have a question, go here.
Friday, June 15, 2012
Since you can answer any question... why do you think women change and men don't? To understand that would help relationships immensely. Thanks.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
It's from that place that I try to guide myself and guide others. It's the only thing I know that will never steer me wrong with absolute certainty. It's the place I try to tap into when writing here on this blog.
At various times throughout the lifetime of this blog, I've thought about closing shop for various reasons. But I'm glad I didn't, and I really appreciate everything I've received from writing this blog and the people who have written in. Thank you.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
We began having fights like normal but we really started hitting some trouble last year when it started becoming a constant thing. They can range from idiotic pointless fights to his girl-friends or exes. I know he's faithful; I'm just a jealous person.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
And what about the self-esteem? What if I feel I am completely useless and no one will ever like me?
I'M A FIRM BELIEVER that self-esteem is something that everyone already has. Therefore, self-esteem isn't something you need to work to get, but something you need to work to uncover.
Monday, June 4, 2012
I really need a word of advice. I have been in relationship for 10 years and I truly love the guy. He's been openly cheating on me all these time but because I was so happy with him I tolerated that. I hoped we would get married, but he's recently married somebody else. I'm 37 years old and alone. I'm crazily in love with him and I can't control my emotions. I'm depressed all the time, I cry (even at work and when other people are around) and I hate the girl he's married. It's been a year and I still haven't moved on... What should i do? I don't want to be miserable and lonely any longer...
THIS IS A SITUATION where you need to be aware of the difference between reality and perception. We tend to think that our perception is the same as reality, but there are lots of times when our perception gets distorted. One of those situations in being in love. When you fall into love (which is kind of like infatuation) your body and brain are going nuts. Neurons are firing, hormones are releases, and your emotions are all over the place. One of the key things that happen when you're in love is that you do things to preserve the relationship. There are obvious things, and then there are subtle things.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
It's happened once before, and it's starting to happen again: I seem to be doing this thing when I date men with kids, where I admire and love that they are so committed to their kids. It makes me respect them and even like them more. I think I can deal with it. Then, a little into the relationship, I start resenting the kids and the attention the man gives them and the way they impact our relationship (logistics, attention, time distribution). It happened in my last relationship where eventually just couldn't stand the kids and even the fact that he had kids with another woman. The kids did nothing wrong, the man did nothing wrong, and I did nothing wrong in order to bring on these feelings in me. I just went from liking them and finding them wonderful, to resenting the heck out of them and feeling extremely insecure.
I'm starting to date a man with one older kid (in her early twenties), who should be on her way to becoming independent, but I'm noticing that he seems to coddle her. What are your thoughts on this, and is this something I should work through (by myself or with a professional), or should I end the relationship with him and forget about dating men with kids?
SO IT SOUND LIKE you're attracted to his sense of loyalty, but get disappointed when you realize that the loyalty primarily belongs to his children. The truth is, I don't think that's ever really going to change. He can be loyal to you, sure, but his primary loyalty will always be to his children. I think most parents are like that even when they stay married.
It seems like you want a guy to make you the primary target of his devotion and loyalty. Nothing wrong with that, but we it should be recognized and acknowledged so you can see the conflict you're having in plain view: you want something that most likely, you won't be able to get from this person.
I haven't had much luck changing my fundamental needs, nor do I think they should be changed in your case. Rather than injecting yourself into situations like these that are destined for conflict and disappointment, I think you'd be better off looking for that same quality of loyalty in other, single men. I assure you it's out there.
Got a question? Go here.
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Recently I've found myself in a relationship. The first really important one in a very long time. It's going well and I feel very secure and happy, except when I have to deal with facebook. I have to say it's been almost 4 years since my last very serious relationship and I don't remember having to deal with these sorts of things. You know what I mean... pictures of exes and your current bf hanging out with the ex gf doing stuff that people who are together do.
It seems strange to me that while I don't feel threatened, it still makes we feel kind of weird. Early on in our relationship I did mention to my current beau that his ex sure did seem to be interested in everything he posted. His solution - validate my feelings and cut his ex of his fb. It's not what I expected, but that's what happened. I suppose I was satisfied. He really is wonderful and creative, but I'm wondering if it's normal to feel a little inferior of your partner's exes simply because of fb. It's kind of dumb........................right?
Friday, May 18, 2012
Thursday, May 10, 2012
The person you already are isn't conceptual, so if you're thinking "I'm caring, I'm funny, I'm word savvy" you're on the wrong track. If you're using adjectives, you're not talking about who you already are, you're talking about a conceptual, mental image of who you are, and that only exists in thought.
The person you are is happening right now. It exists outside of language. You can feel it right now. When you breathe and just sit here, looking at your monitor, that's who you already are. When you slowly start to feel the tensions in your body and the strange feelings they associate with, that's who you already are. When you simple exist with no particular goal, not to analyze, not to find an answer, not to get anywhere, that's who you already are.
Self-improvement is a hoax. You can't really improve yourself because all virtue comes from becoming who you already are, not anyone else.
Got a question? Go here.
Monday, May 7, 2012
Then there're my other friends who seem to be drifting from job to job. They don't really build much from one job to the next, but seem to move from island to island. It's less certain and much more volatile. They won't have pensions and probably won't have retirement accounts either.
I sometimes wonder whether this is the new model for living...just trying to get what we can in a world that sees employees as products rather than people. It's sad to say, but it's hard to deny. People are treated as tools that fulfill a certain job. There's still some camaraderie, sure, but it's not like a family or an army unit. In those groups people rescue one another. They did things together and built deep relationships and loyalties. You would stick up for your fellow troops. Now things are different. It's not easy to build strong loyalties in an atmosphere that encourages dispensing people in the name of efficiency and other bullshit values that should never trump basic humanity.
I don't think we can change the system. We can just change how we would do things if we were in power.
Friday, April 27, 2012
In some ways, it's really helped me. Planning and strategy are involved in everything you do. You can use it to predict people, predict your environment, the economy, your business, and your life. To some degree, you always need to be aware of what's happening in case you need to make an adjustment. When circumstances change, your strategy may need to change too. Like me. I went to law school but it wasn't until afterwards that I started to learn more about myself and my values and the kinds of things I want to accomplish that were in line with those values. My original strategy--be a lawyer, make some money, have a family--had to adjust.
Another nice thing about compulsive strategizing is that there's a niche for you in a business. If you're good at strategy, at reading situations and finding solutions, you can land yourself a job as a strategist or business guy. That's nice.
But there's also a down side to it. You don't always have a person in your group to implement your wonderful plans for you. Example: your personal life. In your personal life you can get stuck in stages of planning. I know because I do. You hesitate to act for fear of choosing the wrong path, and when you do act, you don't fully commit. That can happen in your job, in relationships, even in your personal interests. These things require commitment to develop properly.
So how about you? Compulsive planner? Professional life strategist?
Question? Go here.
Friday, April 13, 2012
I was wondering what to do about my situation with my boyfriend (he's 22 and I'm 18). We have been together for around 4 months now and he's a great bf. The only issue I have is that whenever I drive to see him he will be playing his video games and hardly if at all acknowledge me. Recently I came over to his house to spend a few nights and that's when the video games and ignoring start. He also will ditch me to go to his friends house or even when we have decided or made a plan (just the two of us) he will cancel it or bring his friend along.
I'm not sure what to do at this point either. I told him how I felt about it and he kinda felt bad but he does this all day. He plays video games instead of looking for a job (we have a baby on the way and I already have college and two jobs to boot).
Monday, April 9, 2012
Anxiety, Zen, and Enlightenment
Thursday, April 5, 2012
I met a guy who I really get along with. He has a five year old and 2 older daughters, 25 and 32. I'm younger than he is and have never had kids. The 5 year old loves me to bits but the older girls are harder to deal with.
IT SOUNDS TO ME like your boyfriend has an issue with boundaries. He's letting him oldest daughter (and her kids) do what they want with the place, and letting his younger daughter take up his time--time you consider "yours." Why is that? These things have multiple causes. Maybe, as a single dad, he's letting his children do what they want to keep them happy and close. Maybe he never had boundaries himself. Maybe he likes feeling useful. And then, maybe it's part of an implied bargain as you suggested.
Got a question? Ask here.
Monday, April 2, 2012
My boyfriend and I keep fighting. It is almost a year. I believe it is always me. Three years ago I broke up with my ex-fiance who I found out was cheating on me so now I have trust issues. However, back when I first started dating my boyfriend he went to a concert with some girl behind my back and I just recently found this out within the last two months through a photo on Facebook. He swears nothing happened, but yet he ignored me the entire night and made me believe he was with his sister. Today, he texted me asking if I was at work. His phone died but I didn't know and kept asking why. Eventually he texted me back and then ignored me. I'm fucking up my life because of the emotional drama. Granted this was my fault, but still.
Every time we fight, I am told I am a horrible cleaner. On Saturday, I cleaned because his daughter was coming. He got back and he was being a jerk so I was texting my mom trying to figure out why he bought her here if he wasn't feeling well. He threw my phone across the room and broke it in front of his daughter. I was shaking. I cry often. The emotional drama is taking a toll. Every time we get back on track something else happens. He always threatens that he will leave. He just has no where to go and almost everything in the apartment is mine. I already know I'm not getting money back for the car I paid for.
Second, he's very on-edge. He goes from normal to agitated very quickly, and when he does, he's putting you down very harshly, telling you you're incompetent and disposable. Now his anger has turned from verbal to physical. It's abusive, and it's totally inexcusable.
The fact that it keeps happening over and over isn't your fault. There are lots of factors that contribute to fights like these. The main issue, as I see it, is that you guys trigger something unstable in one another. That may be because of your past, but more likely it's because of the way you talk to each other and the way you've hurt each other. Bickering, yelling, stonewalling, and ignoring might look like little things by themselves, but over time the accumulate and cause damage. They start to automatically trigger emotions like resentment and anger even when nothing is happening. If you're not good at managing those feelings they're going to make your interactions with each other more hostile.
Here's the bottom line. It sounds like he's using you and abusing you. This kind of abuse is dangerous because it erodes your self esteem which compromises your common sense. Don't let it drag out any longer. Move one and find a warm therapist to talk to about what happened with this guy and your ex and you'll be fine.
Wanna ask something? Go here.