Tag Archives: commitment

Be Nice, dammit!

Being honest with yourself can be one of the hardest things you can do. The ability to see who you are and sit with it in peace is something I believe few of us acheive in our lifetimes. Most of us who do not sit on mountain tops, get glimpses now and then generally try to avoid the less than ideal stuff that comes up.wpid-img_991120245608510.jpeg

Recently, I was thinking about how difficult I find people. I really want to play well with others, but sometimes I am so completely overwhelmed by how toxic people can be. How much they are willing to hurt others for some perceived gain. It disheartens me. It is not as though we can walk away from every person like this. We have to work with them, live with them if they are family, associate with them if they are in an organization we volunteer.

I find myself often very depressed and anxious around these people. They suck the life out of everything and seriously decrease my creativity and joy. To make matters worse, they aren’t responsive to communicating about the problem and often try to blame it on you. It’s a real cespool of our worst human traits.

Personally, I have a hard time letting go of the feelings that arise from this because I feel trapped and uncomfortable. I don’t trust them and feel treated during our interactions. It plain sucks. To make a bad situation worse, it takes a hit on my self-esteem because I feel like a failure for not being able to handle the situation and create peace and harmony. I feel like the other person is saying, I don’t think you’re worth it to make things work. I feel resentful and angry then on top of helpless to advocate for change. A recipe for depression.

I’m curious to know if others have had similar experiences and at what they did.

For me, this one of the most challenging aspects of myself. I feel deeply, my skin is far thinner than people realize, and I have a hard time finding a way to positively interact with those who are unkind in this way. It eats me alive and I obsess over the “why!?!”

So I wondered if there are fellow empaths out there who have advice for me on not having it consume me.frustration

I suppose because it is considered unfashionable to “need” anyone nowadays, I have even tried to divorce myself from my own needs inside in romantic relationships. Fact is I’d like to have someone to take care of me. Sometimes, I feel like I’m the only one looking out for myself. I have tried to make due with unloving men telling myself I can give that to myself and I don’t need that. That’s bullshit! You need to have both if you’re in a relationship. I miss feeling the safety of another person I can count on besides myself.

Nowadays it seems like everyone considers the other disposable. It is as if people try to pretend they need less connection than they really do. We all try to act like we’re ok when we’re lonely as hell and desperate for connection. Fewer and fewer people want to risk their own vulnerability. They keep people at arms length with texting and chatting electronically, but won’t expect themselves to act with courage towards one another.

Once upon a time, before technology became our life line to others, people actually faced challenges and people head on. Yeah it was tough, but it built character. You learned, by doing, what you could handle and as time went on you actually grew as a person. We talked things out and took for granted we’d be together, so the only two options were to be miserable together or work it out together.

The problem now is that now people don’t make that assumption and so their relationship is always on the line. You CANNOT build a relationship with someone when you are always willing walk away during challenges. No one could relax in this situation. With the constant threat of it ending, both people are not all in or committed. It is like being in a relationship that doesn’t exist.

Maybe it is nostalgia clouding my memories, but I remember it being easier to be in a relationship and to work things out with people. Now I just find myself digusted most of the time with how people treat one another.

Thoughts? Advice?

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What’s Your Type?

There was this awesome line in an ok movie I just saw called “Brightest Star”.  During a conversation between these two guys; one who was stuck on this one girl and didn’t want anyone else and another who couldn’t take any one woman seriously. It went something like this,

Guy 1: Are you still stuck on the girl?

Guy 2: Yeah man, isn’t it ever hard for you to get over a girl?

Guy 3: No, not really.  I see it this way. It’s not so much THE GIRL. It’s more like each girl is just another one on the path to the next one.

I thought, BAM that’s it!  There ARE two kinds of guys and it’s NOT how we typically categorize the types.

It’s not just: Type 1: the monogomous Type 2: the whore.  

It’s more like: Type 1: The guy who really put his heart into the woman he was with, so he grieves when she’s gone.  Type 2: They guy who moves on quickly because he was never invested that much anyway.

I guess I want a guy who really invests his heart, and soul too, not just a monogamous paycheck.

The more I think about it, a lot of people are monogamous for a lot of reasons. It doesn’t mean they’re really into you. They can be comfortable, have kids with you, financially dependent, etc. So, while being a one-woman-man is super important, that’s really only half the equation.

If man’s history is such that they move on so quickly to” the next girl on the path”, where does that leave you right now?  Not very stable or very special at all. How likely is it that he will stick around when times are tough? Very unlikely. Ya can’t build much on a quicksand foundation.

So here’s the rub — if you want to be with someone who will be there “through good times AND bad, sickness and health”, then pick the guy that is already built to last. Date the guy that actually WANTS things to work and would do all it takes to make it work.

Cause there’s no way you’ll turn Type 2 into Type 1.  You can’t make a man decent, he has to show up that way.

-with love from aneternaltraveler 😉

“I never stopped believing it’s gotta be you, it’s just gotta be me too.”

The Formula for Success

Pessimist vs OptimistDuring childhood we were read fairy tales to show us a world of possibilities; that we could do anything no matter what. We dreamed of the kind of person we would be someday.  Memories of those stories kept us motivated to carry on when the bullies came, the name calling started, the awkwardness of puberty set in. We knew that someday we’d be the hero/ine. We’d come out on top.

Funny how just when you’re old enough to be able to make fairytales come true, you’re told that you’re living in a fantasy world and it is time to grow up. As a result, you spend the next stage of your life coping with the disillusionment, certain you were cheated out of your shot at happiness, and trying to find workarounds.

It seems like the most successful people somehow manage to weave the two together.

Take Steve Jobs, who was quoted saying, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”  I interpret this to mean that it is great to have a dream, but the successful dreamer sticks with the dream until it is brought into reality.  This can be applied to more than our careers.  It is a way of life. A way of thinking.

Ask yourself this question.

When your optimism for achieving a goal runs out, what do you have left to get you there?

A lot of people will change the goal when their tolerance for waiting for “someday” fades out. They will say, oh well I guess it wasn’t meant to be. On to the next thing (which they hope will be easier to achieve). Successful people persevere with the same goal until it is reached. They dream big, take small steps and simply arrive.

For a long time in my life I thought that I was a very scattered person in terms of my goals. I felt like I had many things I wanted to achieve and they weren’t necessarily related. I often thought I was a failure because of this. I realized later that what you see on the surface is not necessarily the actual goal you are chasing. When I looked deeper, I saw the golden thread that weaved it all together.

Let me give you some examples of what I mean by inviting you on a journey though a part of my life – my college career.

I love to sing. I heard there were tryouts for the coveted spot of lead vocalist of the Big Band. I was a freshman and everyone told me not to bother auditioning because a freshman never gets selected. There were plenty of advanced musicians with more experience and know-how to choose from. I auditioned my heart and soul that day and poured years of pain and passion into every note as I sang a jazzy version of “Summertime” from the opera Porgy and Bess. A week later, I learned that I got the spot. I was the first freshman to do so and I led the way for the next ones.

I was proud but then I thought, what in the world did that have to do with being a Biology major?

The years went on and in my Senior year I wanted an independent study in the Biology dept., but my research idea was dropped by the lead researcher at the last minute due to changing priorities. I was now facing the new reality of failing out of school since that was my whole grade that semester. So, what did I do? I nagged the hell out of every department head in the Science building; Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, with the belief that someone had a project they wanted to get off the ground and were waiting for someone like me to come along and bring it to fruition. Finally, a Physical Chemistry professor took a bite and I said yes, even though I knew it would require some serious crash courses in advanced Microbiology and an understanding of laser technology even before I could begin! So, I found more professors willing to take a chance on me and teach me on the side what I needed to know. I asked for an extension and worked through the summer. I completed the project and not only did I successfully answer the research questions, but I also took it a step further and ended up creating a Biochemistry Lab that was used to help students understand more deeply how this enzyme worked for years to come.

So what’s the point of these examples? How do these seemingly unrelated goals relate to the core message of this post?

Here’s how…lying beneath everything I’ve done my whole life is a burning desire for answers and an unrelenting drive to use my potential to help others reach theirs. I believe this is my purpose. This is what motivates every decision I make and every goal I set. And in that way, no matter what I do on the surface, underneath the main goal remains the same.

Persevering each step of the way is from a commitment to arrive at the destination I’m driven towards. When I’m at my best I can feel the creative sparks flying everywhere. I am dreaming big AND I am making it happen even when people say it is impossible. This is sometimes called, Flow. It occurs every time our passion and purpose align in perfect harmony and we stop thinking and simply do.

You don’t have to compromise your dream of being the hero/ine in your own life just because you’re an adult and there are responsibilities. The greatest responsibility you have is to yourself.

Don’t let anyone ever convince you that growing up equals giving up.

— with love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Top 11 Reasons to Bail on a Relationship: SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO?

turn the page or close the book

For a long time, I used to think that I was terrible at relationships because of my divorces, but the flip side of divorce can be a much greater understanding of what works in a relationship and what doesn’t. Of course the caveat is that you must actually take the time and make the effort to breakdown, grieve, get real with yourself and come out the other side with peace AND understanding.

So when I did this and then ventured back out into the dating world, I had a whole different view on myself, my needs, and my expectations in a relationship. I knew what values needed to be in place, the kind of emotional connection necessary, the humor, attitude, character, etc. that would work best for me.

I had learned to take care of myself which was terrifying at first, but became a source of great empowerment to me. I didn’t need someone to complete me. I discovered that I am already whole.

If you’re anything like me you love lists. So compact and to the point.  So here’s my list of the TOP 11 Reasons You Need to Bail on A Relationship. As a side note, this can of course apply to female partners as well, but I am writing from the perspective of a hetero female 😉

1. He doesn’t comfort you in your worst moments. He actually often makes it worse by arguing with you, laughing at you or showing no emotion or inappropriate emotion.

2. He thinks of himself first and leaves you what’s left or nothing at all.

3. He thinks that s/he can buy your love to make up for the lack of emotional intimacy.

4. You can’t imagine him caring for you if you were old, sick, or dying. In fact you might imagine him trying to get sympathy in public and treating like garbage behind closed doors.

5. He makes you feel worse about yourself when you’re together and brings out the worst in you. You are not growing emotionally or spiritually with him.

6. You spend more time talking about the relationship than enjoying being in one.

7. The bad times start to outweigh the good and hardly a day or two goes by without conflict.

8. Nothing ever gets resolved because he manipulates the situation with threats (suicide, leaving, withholding etc.), putdowns, avoidance, playing dumb (gaslighting), managing down your expectations by teaching you that fighting with him isn’t worth the trouble so you better start expecting less.

9. He’s over 30 and still afraid of what his family thinks about him, you or your relationship.  He puts more effort into making sure they are comfortable instead of you. He makes you look bad in front of his family. This man will not have your back (unless of course it suits him). He is not a reliable partner. Good time, yeah! Bad times….not so much.

10. He has a history of cheating while in a committed relationship. Whether or not he cheats on YOU sexually, I guarantee you that this kind of behavior is a whole mindset that is based on superficiality, entitlement and instant gratification. This is not a guy who goes the distance. He won’t keep promises he makes no matter how often he says so.

11. If his words don’t match his actions, judge the actions. That’s what counts.

Commitment is great, but make sure it is to someone who is really committed to your happiness too.

Would you add anything based on your experience?

with love from aneternaltraveler 😉

You’re Nobody’s Fool: Realistic Optimism

can or cant you're rightIn a culture whose mantra has become, “what you believe, you conceive”, we could use a cold bucket of reality to wake us up every once in a while. While I tend to look on the bright side of things, I wouldn’t consider myself an optimist.  Quite frankly, I think these definitions are too oversimplified to be helpful.

I think we can all agree that being a “Debby or Dan Downer” with things in life can be just as bad as expecting to shit out rainbows for breakfast everyday. Total realism, on the other hand, is like a dry piece toast; edible but not enjoyable. Extremes in any form are not healthy, no matter which way you slice it.

I like to think of myself as a Realistic Optimist which I define as, someone who goes into a situation filled with the hope of a good outcome, but who is realistic enough to know when enough evidence to the contrary says it is is time to walk away.

So, I find promoting the idea that “what we believe we can make true” without any caveatsOptimist-Pessimist-Realist-Quote is both irresponsible and untrue.  For example, no matter how much we may believe and conjure up all our will power, hope, and commitment towards changing someone, we cannot make an individual do something they don’t want to do.  We cannot make them change.  We cannot make someone care. We cannot force love. None of these things are possible through the power of thought.

You don’t need to put up with someone’s crap just because you want to show how positive you are. Or how kind you are. Or how loving. Here’s another newsflash, they are not going to change for you. They are an asshole despite you. You sticking around will only wear you out. It will not cause them to change.

I promise you that they will not wake up one day and say, WOW!! Because she’s/he’s stuck around all this time while I’ve busted up every boundary she/he has, taken all my shenanigans in stride, and given her/himself up for me, I’m TOTALLY READY TO SUDDENLY BECOME (WO)MAN OF HER/HIS DREAMS NOW.

Bengen_optimist_pessimist_realist
Translation: (L-R) My glass is half full. My glass is half empty. My glass is half past eight 🙂 Good German Humor..

It is fine to give someone chances, but have a time limit in mind.  Showing yourself less love will not make someone change unless you want that someone to be YOU. You have not been put on this earth to martyr yourself.  You don’t have to stay in a place that sucks. You can do better. It may not feel like it at first, but being alone is better than having your soul sucked out by someone else who means you and the relationship no good.

What do you think?

with love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Empty promises, dangling carrots, and other forms of general assholery

empty-promisesI have been thinking a lot about people who promise you that they will change but keep stringing you along instead. This can be profoundly painful in romantic relationships.  While we as women love to talk a lot as a way to work through things, we sometimes end up with assclowns who talk up a storm too and never deliver.  One of the major differences between men and women is that men don’t talk  endlessly about what they are going to do. They just do it. When a man wants something, he goes and gets it.  If he says he’s going to make it right, he makes it right.

If you want to know the character of a man look at his ACTIONS. 

For example, if the two of you are still talking about the same issues months down the road that he promised to fix months ago and nothing has been resolved, there’s a bigger problem than you realize. You may be with the dreaded man-who-talks-too-much-and-doesn’t-follow-through. Are you at the point where you are exhausted trying to verbally communicate?  Maybe you can’t understand why he can’t understand. Maybe you’re even screaming at the top of your lungs thinking he’ll hear you better, or keeping yourself up late at night in pointless arguments until you’re too exhausted to speak, or taking some space to recuperate hoping he’ll start to value you more, etc., It’s all just a version of waiting and hoping he’ll give enough of a shit to suddenly turn into a caring, loving man and stop the nonsense.

To quote the great Natalie Lue in her article Even if They’ve Changed it Doesn’t Matter. You’ve Changed Too,

Stop the madness. This isn’t what ‘love’ feels or looks like. They’re just not that special and you’re not that desperate. Love involves a lot of ‘doing’ and without actions that reflect the love, it’s like being cloaked in hot air. Even if they do move on to someone else, this is not how you want love – trying to use an emotional battering ram to squeeze effort out of them that others do willingly.

That last line reallymean what you promise hits me.  “Trying to use an emotional battering ram to squeeze effort out of them that others do willingly“.

I mean if a man says he wants something, he’ll do it. Period. If he tells you, I’ll change this or that. He’ll change it if he values and respects you and doesn’t want to lose you. End of story.  If he doesn’t make good, then you have to value and respect yourself enough to call it quits and walk away.

If you stay when he doesn’t deliver and listen to the excuses and empty promises from men who talk too much, and don’t do enough, then you teach them that their shady behavior and half-assed efforts are good enough to keep you in place. They don’t have to change. They will do the bare minimum to keep you around.  An apology here and there. A promise of a bright future. Offer something they can do in lieu of what you want in order to keep you in a holding pattern.  It’s manipulation.  They hope you’ll think to yourself, “well he did do this nice thing, maybe he’s not that bad.”  Maybe I should hang in a little longer, give him another chance, find a new excuse for him. It also has the nice additional benefit of  ensuring that he keeps you off the market and all to himself. Of course this solidifies his position of bare minimum behavior, because you’re not going anywhere.

All you’re doing is compromising your own happiness by letting him get away with general assholery. Funny how you’re willing to make sacrifices for him that he’s not willing to make for you. 

good intentions vs characterYou deserve to be with a man who wants to do for you and DOES what he SAYS he’ll do.  Words must match actions.  Always look at the ACTIONS of a man. Even if there are NO WORDS. You deserve a man who will appreciate your giving, loving, caring nature.  But you are wasting your time if you’re trying to turn a cockroach into a prince. Let go of the fairytale and go find yourself the real deal.  Remember as the 90’s taught us ladies, you’re not an exception to any rule. He will not suddenly become a better person and your happiness shouldn’t depend on him being someone else. Go find someone else that actually has the characteristics you want.  A good man will have the character of someone who doesn’t play games or talk your ear off with empty promises. He’ll show up right and he wouldn’t risk doing anything that might make you leave. It’s WHO HE IS not who you hope he’ll become.

If he’s not that into you, I guarantee there is someone out there who is.  Release the beast that you’re with and free yourself up to meet your prince. Because if you stick around waiting for change, the only thing that’s going to change is your own self-esteem as you sink lower into a pit of despair and self-hate. You are fabulous and you deserve to be with someone who treats you like he thinks so too.

 

What do you think?

 

with love from aneternaltraveler 😉

 

All Talk, No Action

ImageToo often we get distracted by the pretty sounding words that spill out so easily from another person’s mouth.  We are kept in place and held up from creating meaningful relationships with people who go beyond words and show you how they feel.

How often have you encountered someone who says things like,

“I miss you”

“I love you”

“We should get together”

“I support you”

…but they make no effort to show you?

You can say you love me, you miss me, you want to get together, or whatever else you want, but if you don’t make the effort and show me, then you may as well not say it at all.  

When you base your decisions and life choices on people who offer little more than words, you are denying yourself a world of genuine happiness and authenticity.

Do you have friendships with people who say they miss you, but never make and effort to see you?  Are you in a romantic relationship where the person says, I love and support you, but there is no evidence that this is the case or they even sabotage your efforts when the time for action comes?  Are you that person?  Think long and hard.  This is not a dress rehearsal.  You get one shot at life.

How many times have you ignored the lack of evidence and continued to hang on to the words instead?  How long have you been waiting for the other person to make it happen?  How much space have you given people in your life that don’t demonstrate that they value you in theirs?  Have you ever been the one to give someone false hope?

Friendships, romantic relationships, professional relationships require effort from all parties involved in order to be successful for all parties involved.  Every time you allow someone to stay “rent free” (that is; all talk, no action) in your life, you are diminishing your own happiness and giving space to emotional freeloaders.  The same applies for those who string people along to avoid taking action in their own lives.  You don’t get a free pass.

ImageTo turn it all around, begin by just noticing the people in your life that are following through on what they say and those who are not.  Just take notice.  You’ll be surprised how just seeing the lack of evidence will give you a reality check in your life.

When you’re ready to make the change into a life filled with people who SHOW you, not just TELL you, here’s a little “empowerment mantra” I developed which you can borrow to keep you on track:

“Please understand that in order for me to take you seriously, you’ll have to make an actual effort to bring your said desire into reality with me.  Please also understand that the available space in my life is only reserved for those who will follow-through.”

You can have the life you want, but it all starts with taking off the blinders in your current reality and making the effort yourself to focus on quality of life.

——Please share your thoughts on how your life changed when you got real about the “talkers” vs. the “doers” in your life.—–

–With love from aneternaltraveler 😉