Sunday, February 24, 2013

Datin's Inferno: Why Love is Literally Hell


Many people are familiar with the 5 stages of  Grief  as first proposed by Kubler-Ross...these stages include:
1. Denial and Isolation
2. Anger
3. Bargaining
4. Depression

And Finally...

5. Acceptance 

Now, I certainly agree that in dealing with loss in my own life, I can see these where I may have at some point walked through each of these stages.  But I have to admit...I think someone might have beat Kebbler-Elf to the punch with a model that makes a lot more sense...at least when it comes to the loss of something like a relationship.  Many have told me that a breakup can be as difficult to get over as a death....having experienced both....I can tell you that in MY opinion....I don't think I totally agree with that....and mostly for one reason....

Typically the person who died, leaving you alone, didn't do it on purpose.

In this way...a breakup includes another component that death typically does not...

Rejection.

It is for this reason and others that I again say I may have found a more effective model than the 5 Stages of Grief for explaining the kind of process we go through after the decimation of a long term relationship.  Maybe you will agree...maybe you won't....

In Dante's Inferno our hero travails the 9 Circles of Hell....

I like this metaphor better for several reasons...the least of them being that this process often has felt like an internment in Hell and less like a "process" to me at times.

Circle #1: LIMBO: No not the fun party game where he with the least amount of back-bones wins....we are talking about the place in Hell for spirits that don't know what the Hell is going on. Limbo is No-mans land...Limbo is a place where souls wander for eons on end without destination, purpose, goal, or any foreseeable end. 

Right after a relationship ends...you may feel as though you are stuck in Limbo. You may be going about your normal everyday routine...and to the world around you, it may appear as though you are fine...but inside you are empty...you are a lost soul with no direction or purpose or end goal.  The life that previously felt as though it held SO much meaning now feels totally meaningless...and this probably due to the fact that while you were in your relationship, you had made that person the meaning of your life. This is obviously a dangerous risk that we take when we enter such relationships.  You don't wanna half-ass it and not emotionally invest...but it would appear that you also need to keep a certain level of your life separate from you partner...less they up and leave you without any purpose remaining, and unless you can find some sort of new purpose...then you are doomed to wander in Limbo for the remainder of your days...

Circle #2: LUST: So....we've all done that thing when we break up or are broken up with somebody and we tell ourselves that we are never ever Ever EVER EVER EVER going to hook up with that person again.....

And then we do....over...and over....and...over again.
 ( Just so we are crystal clear...we are NOT talking about my current situation. That is in the category of DONE done where there is no dog returning to its own vomit)

But prior to the DONE done stage...

All it takes is a lonely night...a moment of weakness...a gnawing feeling of insecurity and we are right back in their arms doing things we swore we would never do again.

This is not always the case however....some instead choose to go out and exact their lustful revenge upon an unsuspecting victim.  We call these victims "Rebounds" and they unfortunately bare most of our frustrations in the area of sexual projections...

"I'll show (insert Ex's name here).....I'll go make out with EVERYONE on the 3rd floor..AND...that hot co-worker that has been flirting with me for months...AND....his/her best friend!!!....AND...his/her..brother/sister....Yeah! That'll show (insert Ex's name here)!!!"

This method has NEVER worked for me.  I did it once....and I regret it to this day. I would like to say that I at least enjoyed myself while in the moment...but that would be a lie.  The guy had the body of a Greek God and was more than willing to try and do whatever it took to get my mind off my Ex....but all I felt was the hollowness and the lack of legitimate emotions. This guy didn't care about me...and for some people that's totally cool. No judgements here. I'm just saying it doesn't do much to float my boat.

You can spend the rest of your life hooking up with everyone in the world in an attempt to spite your Ex...but more than likely...at the end of day...you are still wishing that you were hooking up with the person you actually cared about.

Circle #3: GLUTTONY: Ah Gluttony....the most indulgent of the stages.  This is the stage where you fruitlessly yet nevertheless fervently attempt to fill that HUGE GAPING HOLE in your heart and your soul..by going out and filling it with anything and anyone who you think will fit.  The most common and most temporarily satisfying for many is to use Food to numb the pain and fill the void.  You go from being a 80/20 eater (meaning 80% of the time you eat healthy nutritious food and then the other 20% of the time you allow yourself to indulge in the more "naughty" foods)...to the 100% eating pattern where you basically eat Anything...Anytime...Anywhere.  At some point, you will wake up in a pile of pizza boxes with Sixlets crammed in spaces you didn't know you had, and sweating Mnt. Dew and wondering how the hell it is even possible to have consumed an entire Costco Rotisserie Chicken and a Gallon of ice cream and still be living.

I knew something was up when my Popcorn addiction came back with the force of a Tropical Storm....I think it was the moment after I had consumed the equivalent of 3 Extra Large Tubs of movie theater popcorn during the course of one afternoon that I stopped to consider.....Perhaps I'm not really physically hungry right now....and maybe...no matter how much popcorn I eat...I am never going to feel full in the way I want to.

Well that sucks.

Ah well...there is always that stash of 62 boxes of Twinkies I put away.... I bet THAT will do the trick!

This stage may also include going out and buying things that you hope will fill that hole. Clothes, Shoes, A pet monkey....(I will name him Captain Throws-My-Poop and he will be my best friend)...I don't know...whatever does it for you.  The expression might be different...but the end result is the same....you can stick baby carrots in the remote control and hope it provides power sufficient for you to operate it...much the same way you can hope that a pair of new skinny jeans is going to fill the emotional void that has been left by the absence of someone you loved and cared deeply about....but I think we all know how both these scenarios are going to turn out.

Also...you probably shouldn't be buying skinny jeans right now....given your current eating habits and all.

 6 CIRCLES to GO!!! Wanna keep following me through Datings Inferno??

Thursday, February 14, 2013

S.A.V.E Valentines Day

Now...I think we can all agree that if anyone has a "right" to detest this most lovey of holidays...it is yours truly. And really...I'm sure many of you expected me to go on some pseudo-philosophical rant about how Valentines is nothing more than a commercialized conspiracy set forth by the greeting card and candy companies and perpetuated by the media and our unrealistic expectations of love and romance.

But I'm not gonna do that.

Let me tell you why I love this holiday.

Recently, my step father celebrated his 60th birthday. We had a big party for him and one of his kids put together a slide show of his life set to his favorite music.  My mother and my step father have been married for close to 9 years I think....they got together when I was around the age of 21, so I didn't grow up with him as a father figure. That being said...he has been an amazing example of what it means to be not only a father, but also a man, and I thank God that he came into our lives.

But more than for me...I am grateful that he found my Mom.

My parents marriage was...a little tumultuous...to say the least. This is not the right place to air the dirty laundry of my parents relationship...so I will sum it up by saying that when then finally divorced when I was about 18 years old...it was a relief. And as I understand it...my step dad didn't have it much easier. Sometimes 2 well intentioned people are still not able to make a marriage work. Sometimes it never even gets to marriage...

For those of us who bare the scars from loves battlefield, it is very easy to become cynical about Love and therefor...not a great fan of a day that focuses on it.

But then....I look at my mom and my step dad....

It might have taken them a long time to find each other...but they did.  I am sure my mom as a young 24 year old bride never imagined that she would have to go through a emotional roller-coaster complete with 5 kids in order to finally find the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with.  As I watched the slide show of my step dads life, it finally came to the part where he met my mom. As pictures of their courtship and wedding day flashed by I suddenly felt overwhelmed with emotion and tears streamed from my eyes.

I'm sure my mother thought it was because I was hurting due to the recent events with my ex...and that I was sad that I didn't have that kind of relationship in my life. This is very much the attitude that I think most people would expect me to have today...

This was and is not the case.

The reason I was crying was because I was SO happy and SO grateful that my mom had found the love of her life....that they had found each other. Even if it did take almost 50 years.

I may be single....but I love seeing people in love. It use to make me bitter because they had something I so desperately wanted...but then when I stopped and thought about it, I realized how selfish I was being.  These people who walk around with their S.A.D (Single Awareness Day) badges and shirts make me SAD. I would never begrudge someone their sweetheart. I would never want someone to be alone.....everyone deserves to find their companion....and I want to believe that everyone includes me...when and if that day ever comes.

So this Valentines Day instead of being S.A.D.  I'm gonna S.A.V.E instead. I'm gonna be a Single Advocating Valentines Enthusiasm!!!

Happy Valentines Everyone...and to my sweetheart....wherever you are =)    

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Someone to Fall Back On

Years ago a sweet boy (who is now happily married) thought he was in love with me....but unfortunately I did not return the feelings. I loved him...but as a dear friend. He didn't get upset and tell me to piss off...he stayed and has remained a true friend to me. At the time he told about his feelings for me he sent me the link to a song called Someone to Fall Back On by Jason Robert Brown. Here are the lyrics....

I'll never be
A knight in armor
With a sword in hand,
Or a Kamikaze fighter;
Don't count on me
To storm the barricades
And take a stand,
Or hold my ground;
You'll never see
Any scars or wounds-

I don't walk on coals,
I won't walk on water:
I am no prince,
I am no saint,
I am not anyone's wildest dream,
But I can stand behind
And be someone to fall back on.

Some comedy -
You're bruised and beaten down
And I'm the one
Who's looking for a favor.
Still, honestly,
You don't believe me
But the things I have
Are the things you need.
You look at me
Like I don't make sense,
Like a waste of time,
Like it serves no purpose -

I am no prince,
I am no saint,
And if that's what you believe you need,
You're wrong - you don't need much,
You need someone to fall back on...

And I'll be that:
I'll take your side.
If I'm the only one,
I'm used to that.
I've been alone,
I'd rather be
The half of us,
The least of you,
The best of me.

And I will be
I'll Your prince,
I'll be your saint,
I will go crashing through fences
In your name. I will, I swear -
I'll be someone to fall back on!
I'll be the one who waits,
And for as long as you'll let me,
I will be the one you need.
I'll be someone to fall back on:
Your prince,
Your saint,
The one you believe you need
I'll be - I'll be
Someone to fall back on.


FIRST....Let me tell you why I originally hated this song.

When I first heard this song I felt like the message it was sending was that whoever was signing this song was basically asking the recipient to "settle" on him. What a totally unattractive UN-romantic notion.  Almost as if he were saying..Look, I know I am not at ALL the guy you want...but you should just be with me anyway. I think not.

NOW....Let me tell you why I Love this song years later.

The singer isn't telling the recipient to lower her standards and "give in" or "settle" on him. What he is saying has more to do with the unrealistic expectations we sometimes set forth when we look for "the one".  I'm going to assume that all of us...from time to time...might feel like the ugly duckling among the swans or the runt among the alphas.  We look around at the ideals of what men and women ought to be and we find that we simply do not measure up.  For men...there is this idea that they have to be The White Knight who rides in on his trusty steed and saves the day.  As women...there is this idea that we are to be the delicate and virtuous flower who has been spending her days in nothing less but total preparation for the day our White Knight arrives.

The thing is....these are called Fairy Tales for a reason. Last time I checked...there are no such thing as Fairies (As Tinker-Bell falls down dead)....and last time I checked.....we are all imperfect beings...far from the expectation of White Knights and Princesses.

So when he says that he doesn't walk on coals or walk on water....that he is no prince and no saint....he isn't saying I'm a loser baby so why don't you date me? He is saying that he is not some ideal of some impossible standard of perfection that nobody can possibly live up to. Oh certainly we try...we all TRY and be that person we all think we should be....but how long can we really keep that up? How many stories have we heard about marriages that end because one partner can't keep up the facade? So when he says that if that is what you think you need you are wrong....he is saying...I may not be perfect...but I'm real. The good...the bad....the imperfection...all of it...this is me.

And if only a person were able to accept them for everything they are, and everything they will never be....then that person would BECOME their prince ..would BECOME their saint.

Sometimes what we think we need is perfection....we couldn't be more wrong. I don't want perfection....I am far from perfect. In many ways I identify with the singer....I am not anyone wildest dreams....I'm not going to be gracing the silver screen or strutting the cat walk anytime soon. I may bit a quirky and a little unique...but I am also amazing. I have SO much to offer someone...the least of all these things being my fierce loyalty and patience for the imperfection of the ones I love.

We don't need perfection....we just need someone who loves us enough to always be there....someone who will always be on our side....

Someone to fall back on....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=lHaBW90q8gM&feature=endscreen


 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Maybe Not sa Much "God Material"

Well..looks like another sleepless night. Maybe if I wax philosophical for a bit my mind will surrender and I can get some sleep.....

I have the privilege of living with a aunt of mine while I attempt to finish up my schooling.  She is an incredible woman and I look up to her in so many ways.  This lady is a real powerhouse, but also has a heart of gold. She must...after all she took me in didn't she?

Tonight I had the opportunity to sit in on their Family Home Evening after a tasty home cooked meal.  The lesson was on the 3 degrees of glory and who is going to be occupying them.  I always love this lesson....it reminds me how little we really know about anything...lol. It's all sort of open for interpretation in some regards, and I do not wish to get into any sort of doctrinal debate THANK  YOU very much.  Wanna know my favorite part of this lesson? It is when you come to these two scriptures:

  
 16 Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in amarriage; but are appointed angels in bheaven, which angels are ministering cservants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory.
 17 For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are aangels of God forever and ever.

Allow me to be a bit tongue n' cheek for a moment will you?

I have always been sort of a lone wolf as it were...though that doesn't mean that I don't long for that special someone to come into my life. Truth be told...I think I might end up one of those above mentioned "They" who are never given in marriage. Sure I could marry any Joe Shmoe just fulfill this particular eternal quota.....but I really don't wanna. Like I have said before....I want to be so stupid in love with the guy I end up with that it makes me question why I ever thought about settling. BUT! if that day never comes...well....

I don't know about you guys...but this attending angel gig doesn't seem so bad.

I know the end goal of this whole thing is to become Gods and Goddesses and create worlds of our own that we can fill with countless children...but what if....what if you would rather just.....not do all those things?

Perhaps it is my immaturity speaking....perhaps it is my insecurity....but has anyone else out there in the wide world of Mormons thought....Gee, I don't know if I'm cut out for the whole God thing. Granted...it may be eons until we reach that point...and because of this obvious lack of foresight on my part...I totally reserve the right to change my mind....but what if?.....what if that urge..that desire to create worlds without end never comes?

God knows I am a simple creature...a minimalist...and a free spirit. I'm wacky and a little ...well...different.  I can just see me in the pre-mortal life.....While everyone else is picking out world templates and discussing whether they should have 6 or 10 trillion kids....I was probably off somewhere talking to the animals or singing with the birds Snow White style. I would like to think that there might have been a handsome guy up there who found this behavior charming and endearing....but that might be asking a bit too much.

This could simply be a major case of Peter Pan Syndrome....but I really don't think it is all there is to it. And hey...if the scriptures say that there will be people up there who never get married...chances are it is because they didn't WANT to. I'm guessing opportunity and lack of options aren't going to be a problem on the other side.  So who then are these mysterious few who opt out of the whole God thing? And why do we speak about them as if they have somehow failed? Not everyone wants to run a corporation or country, or world for that matter. Some of us would prefer a simple life where we can be of use to those around us.

And who knows what "administering" means anyway. Maybe it means performer yes? In a way...that is what I am right now.  I don't belong to anyone and nobody belongs to me (as Johnny boy says).  So in a way, I belong to the world. I sing and dance and write and bring you some level of entertainment (hopefully). And you know what? IF that was all I was ever able to do....that would be OK.  

The world needs a good laugh every now and then =)

Here's to the angels!!!


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Why Good little Mormon Girls Go Bad

Years ago a good friend of mine was living in Hollywood...you know...trying out the whole famous thing.  This friend is probably one of the more beautiful women I have ever known and as such...has always attracted VERY attractive men.  At one point, this friend even dated a now A-list celebrity. I am not going to name names, but you wouldn't have to Google him to know who he is.  Their courtship was short lived however and my friend soon moved to Utah and shortly after that we became friends.  Several years after she had moved to Utah she got a text message from said same actor informing her that he would be coming to Utah for some reason (I think filming) and wondering if she knew any "Good Little Mormon Girls" she could set him up with.  She conveyed all of this to me, whereupon I inquired quite quizzically..."Why would he want a good little Mormon girl?".......

My friend informed me that said actor LOVED the naive Mormon girls because they were so "easy to corrupt".

No foolin.

To go along with that....since they have kept themselves clean all of their lives...well...you can probably finish the rest....

We have all heard the stereo-type of the Bishops Daughter.  Same as the Preachers Girl if we were any other Christian domination.  The idea is  that these good little girls who have kept themselves clean ALL their lives are really the wildest at heart...and once they let loose...boy howdy.

You wanna know what I think? I don't think these girls were any more inherently wild than any other girl out there.  I don't even think they are purposely trying to be rebellious for the sake of spiting their oppressive fathers like you see so often portrayed in the movies......"I'll show you Pa! I'll go out and sleep with the ENTIRE football, basketball, hockey, and debate team! I'll contract 17 new kinds of STD's too while I'm at it! That'll teach ya to try and teach me morals and such!".

MMmmmmmmm.....not sa much.

You wanna know what I think is more likely going on? I see it much like someone who is ALWAYS on a diet.  We as humans have a biological drive for food. We are particularly drawn to high caloric and quick carbs (hence why they taste so good).  This is much like our biological need for sex. So let's say that you are CONSTANTLY telling yourself that junk food ( i.e. EVERYTHING DELICIOUS IN THIS WORLD) is Bad and because it is so Bad you are not allowed to have them.  Sure you can hold out for a time...you nibble your carrot stick while your friends are taking down entire cheesecakes.....but even if you are able to resist...you are gonna go home that night and dream about the things you wish you could be eating.  You might have some friends that are supportive....but you are also going to have those friends who tell you that you are being silly and that "life is short so you should enjoy it while you can"....some might tell you that you are a mindless lemming to follow such a strict "diet" set forth by a bunch of old men who are completely out of touch with reality and trying to oppress your right to cheese fries and overall enjoyment of life.  

Drawing the parallel?

The longer you diet and the longer you see everyone around you indulging the more insane with desire you become.  We live in a world where images of food/sex are everywhere we turn.  But here is where we mark the difference between the two.

When it comes to food, we obviously can't abstain.  We need food to live, and so the best course most would agree would be to live a life of balance and moderation.  So you eat your veggies and and your chicken breast, but every so often....you also eat a freakin' cookie. Cuz if you don't allow yourself an indulgence once in awhile...all it does is make you want that forbidden thing even more!!

Sometimes we confuse the WANTING of the thing with the THING itself.

And so it is with good little Mormon girls.

We are taught our whole lives to abstain from sex...or anything like unto sex.  For many girls this isn't an issue because they get married before they even really understand what sex is. But for those girls who own a TV or a computer or eyes....it soon becomes clear that sex is a HUGE part of today's culture....All the kids are doing it....literally.  And even IF you live in the merry ol' land of OZ also known as the bubble, also known as Utah, where "nobody who is LDS is having sex before marriage"....*cough cough*......it STILL doesn't save you from the fact that sex is a biological drive that probably WOULD exist inside a vacuum OR if you were raised in the wilderness by a pack of ferrule cats.  But the fact that sex is:

A. Biologically Driven   
B. Socially Taboo
C. Spiritually "Condemnable"

Only serves to make it THAT much more alluring.  Now it has become that dark seedy secret thing that we mustn't think, speak, or act upon. Quell those feelings!!!! QUELL THEM I SAY!!!  Don't think about all those wild wonderful things that you see on TV or hear your friends talking about.  Never mind the fact that sex has been utterly turned into a thing of recreation much like racquet-ball. Even if sex was meant to be shared only between 2 people who deeply love one another, I think we can all agree that this is NOT the scenario in which sex is portrayed in MOST of our media.....the porn industry aside even.

So again.....you take a naive girl who has been sheltered from exploring her sexuality...add a heaping spoonful of the world telling her that she is basically the ONLY one not enjoying the most AWESOME thing EVER!!!...and sprinkle in the allure of doing something "naughty" or simply for the sake of doing what you have been told not to...and you've got a recipe for a good girl gone wild.

Just so we are clear.

I DO NOT judge anyone who chooses to have sex before marriage...be it with one person or one hundred. The sexuality and intimate practices of other people are none of my business.  My philosophy is as long as you are being safe and not putting other peoples lives in danger...then live and let live.  The reasons I have personally chosen to abstain from the act has more to do with rational and practical arguments and less to do with the fact that I believe God would "damn" me if I did....which I don't really believe in the first place. But that is perhaps another discussion for another day.  I guess it just has always bothered me that people assume that the reason I have chosen abstinence is merely due to my Mormon background and faith. If it WERE...as is the case for many LDS people that would be FINE. There is NOTHING wrong with doing something good because you believe it to be the right thing.  However, if you are doing something good for the wrong reasons...the chances of you being able to keep it up for very long without eventually giving in or becoming totally bitter and disenchanted with the thing you thought you were doing it for or in the name of or for the sake of....... are well...not too good.

What I find to be the most tragic part of this are those who have built up sex to be the end-all be-all of creation. They buy into the hype of the movies and locker room talk and that curiosity starts to grow in direct proportion to their need to "deny" themselves of this dark yet alluring thing. And then one day...after they can no longer force themselves to choke down one more proverbial celery stick...they snap! And as the scriptures say.....Great was the fall thereof.  Like any person who has "messed up" on their diet.

"Dang it! I messed up and ate one cookie...well...guess I might as well eat the whole bag! My diet is shot anyway!"

"Dang it! I messed and and did such and such with a guy...well..guess I might as well just see what the big freaking deal is all about! My virtue is shot anyway!" (As if virtue is like a bottle rocket that once fired is rendered totally useless and void)

These people often come to that the entire bag of cookies didn't taste as good as they thought it would.  They realize that the night after the entire bag of cookies they feel worse then they did before they indulged.  And maybe they don't feel guilty per say...but they simply realize that all the hype and mystery they had built up about those cookies now seems so very.....unimpressive. Delicious yes....but hardly earth shattering.

I do not speak these things from experience...but from the testimony of Mormon AND non-Mormon alike.

As with all things in life, we need to be sure we are being honest with ourselves about why we are doing them.  We must be true to ourselves...no matter what path that takes us down.

In conclusion, I would invite you to listen to a song I feel illustrates this concept of being seduced by the forbidden. It is a personal favorite of mine. Enjoy.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOrm0lBitcQ

How do you hyperlink these darn things anyway???


Friday, February 8, 2013

Inside my Mind: The Painting

*The following is an excerpt from a very long free writing session. A free writing session is one in which I sit down without a particular topic in mind and then I just write. I write as if I am the only one who will ever read it...because typically I am. I don't very often share things that come from free writing for a couple reasons....The first is that it is so raw and unrestricted that I worry people might be put off by it...The second reason is that it is probably some of the most "speaks to my heart" writing I can do....and honestly...it scares me to think that someone would read it and misunderstand or think negatively about me because of it. That being said...I have decided to share a portion of my writings with you today. I have left is as is (one big flowing paragraph) on purpose. Sorry if that makes it harder to read, but it helps you to see how my mind works when I just let it go. Please be gentle*

 Sometimes I really think that life is just like a giant painting and we are all running around giving our interpretations of it to each other....looking for someone who's interpretation seems to echo our own.  We like that because it makes us feel like our interpretation is right...or good...or correct...and we want to feel right...or good..or correct. I think that this is why we are afraid of, or mistreat or belittle those who interpret the painting differently.  Their interpretation makes us feel like our interpretation might be "wrong"...after all, there can't possibly be more than one right interpretation right? Right is right and wrong is wrong....2 plus 2 is 4 no matter how much you want it to be 12. And if you say that the point or purpose of life is this...and I say it is that...then where does that leave us? Which one of us is right? Maybe neither one of us is right. So we go around and recruit, we fill our lives with people who agree with our interpretations. We do this because the more people who agree with us, the safer we feel in believing what we believe.  Sometimes I think that we didn't even get to choose our interpretation.  Sometimes I think that we were born inside of an interpretation already in progress.  Sometimes it seems like even if we wanted to make another interpretation, we wouldn't be able to...even though we might try and convince ourselves that we could.  Sometimes I wonder how much of me is really me and how much is the interpretation of the painting I was born into.  I wonder what I would have been like if I had been born 100 years ago, or as a man, or in Africa.  How would I see the world? How would I see myself? Love? God? Sex? Humor? Who would I be if I wasn't me? This is the kind of thinking that makes other people uncomfortable. This is the kind of thinking that I keep to myself most of the time. It is not as though these thoughts consume my every waking moment....it is more like they burn like a candle inside of my belly and every once in awhile the flame rises up into my throat and I just wanna let it out like some sort of metaphorical dragons fire. I want to yell "Am I the ONLY person in the world who ever has thoughts like these???". I know I'm not....they are called poets....philosophers....and most people believe these kinds of people are wasting their lives in pursuit of roads with no destinations. After all...where could these thoughts possibly lead you? They won't feed you...or the world...they won't buy you a car or bare you children...they just lead to other thoughts.  Thank God for thoughts.  Sometimes I love being in my mind. Sometimes the things I see in my mind are SO beautiful that it makes me feel....tingly all over...sometimes I won't even really comprehend what the thought was...but it will send shivers down my spine.  It is the same way I feel when I listen to haunting music or when I'm driving late at night and I know that even though the streets are empty, that I'm not really alone. I look at all the lights coming through the windows of a thousand homes and I wonder....What is your life like? Are you a family? Are you happy? What are you struggling with right now? What do you dream about when you sleep? What is your story? Oh how I love a good story.  I wish that I could live a thousand different lives at a thousand different points in time and as a thousand different kinds of people. And that is where my mind takes me....that is why I go out of my way to spend time with those who aren't like me. I don't have to do what they do...I don't even have to walk a mile in their shoes...I just want to hear their story...I want to know their interpretation of the painting.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

You are Only Attractive in My Mind

As we all know by now, I am a HUGE advocate for the idea that "reality" resides not outside of us in the tangible world, but in the meat sack between our ears.

Now I'm not saying that there is no such thing as matter.  I believe that the chair I am sitting in is real and solid enough for sitting purposes, however, the reality or meaning, value, interpretation, and so forth of that chair resides somewhere inside of me.  Personally I don't give much thought to chairs, unless they are really comfortable or really terrible *cough* nesting chairs.

Chairs aside, I have been giving a lot of thought to this whole "reality is what I say it is" concept as of late.  So often it is SO easy to be a victim of our own circumstances.  We find ourselves in a job we hate, or in a toxic relationship, or dumped by our boyfriends of almost 3 years for a girl he has only known for 3 months.......in theory.

When these crappy things happen we might feel like the whole thing (including how we feel) is out of our control.  I don't know if I believe that is entirely true. I think we have more power in these situations than we think. But that is not the topic for today....well...not EXACTLY anyway.

Have you ever met someone and thought...Gee, you are attractive...but your style of clothing, the way you do your hair, or the way you carry yourself, is somehow off-putting to me.  In a way, what you are really saying is that objectively you fit within the superficial standard of "attractiveness", but subjectively you don't fit into my reality of what it means to be "attractive".

Let me give you an example.

I once knew a guy who wanted to date me, but who I wasn't really attracted to. He was a decent enough guy, I just didn't feel that spark. However, I saw a ton of raw untapped "potential" in him and felt a deep desire to be his dating Yoda as it were.  So I took this boy and molded him into MY version of attractive.  We put him in clothes that weren't his original style and grew his hair out to a length that he didn't particularly care for, and I even gave him tips on how to act when he was around women.  By nature, he tended to be a bit ....shall we say.....smothering?.....when it came to a girl he had interest in.  I taught him the art of Courting Like You Don't Care and encouraged him to just give it a try and see what happened.

This was a slow process that took several years to really implement, but eventually, I no longer had to help him along.  He could pick out his own clothes and to be honest, his style mixed with my influence turned out to be a hip combination.  He learned how to style his hair to give it that sexy sort of bad-boy meets the soulful poet look, and he even dialed down the intensity level in his pursuit of women.

In fairness, I don't know that I can really take much credit for his transformation.  I may have been in the background shouting suggestions, but ultimately it was he who made the choice and subsequent actions that morphed him into the suave lady-killing man I know today.

If I were to have met him today on the street and never knew that other guy he was, I would totally be interested in dating him.

Ridiculous right???????

He is fundamentally the SAME guy that he was when I first met him. His face is the SAME, his body is the SAME, his humor is the SAME, his likes, dislikes, and disposition are all basically the SAME, but for whatever reason, I was unable to step outside of my "reality" of what it "means" to be "attractive". It wasn't until he conformed to my reality that I "saw" him in that light.

This got me to thinking....how many great guys have I missed out on amazing relationships with because I wasn't able to see past my own reality? Granted, the unfortunate part in all of this is that even though you may recognize that your reality is only reality to you...it doesn't change the fact that your reality is your reality.  I could try and like someone who I'm not attracted to (I call that my dating in my early 20's) but I can almost guarantee that the outcome is going to be that I don't feel that drive to be with them.

I don't think this always superficial stuff by the way. I think you can have an idea of how someone is and then get to know them and then experience a shift in reality and go...whoa...you are nowhere near the person I thought /constructed you in my reality to be.

Personally, I LOVE a good paradigm shift. I love stuff, people, ideas, that throw my well constructed version of reality totally off kilter. You know why I love those moments? Because they serve as PROOF to me that indeed, there is no ONE "true" reality. And if there is no one true reality, then that means I can make my reality whatever I want it to be. You can't really fudge with facts and truth, but there is a whole world of fudging to be done in the grey area we call 99.9% of everything we believe to be "truth" in this world.

Kinda fun right?

So what do you want your reality to look like?