[FYI, Blog Feed is http://sociologisttina.weebly.com/2/feed]
In Naked Conversations, Robert Scoble & Shel Israel remark that blogs are booming these days because they, unlike Corporate America, exhibit "Openness & Honesty & Cool."
Well, as Meatloaf would say, "2 out of 3 ain't bad."
You know, I'm considered "rough around the edges." I've never been cool, although it's something that I have definitely wanted to be, especially in high school.
The other time I was inspired by Cool was after watching co-star in the movie Kissing Jessica Stein. That cute brunette who was actually kissing her? She was definitely Cool, both on screen and off. This beautiful, sexually open-minded, artistic, empowered, loving, caring woman (or at least in the role she played) was definitely Cool, and a role model for me. This wonderful characterological amalgam was, in my limited experience, unprecedented, and very inspiring.
So, there are at least 2 possiblities: I can either become cool, or learn to believe (accept?) than I can be happy and have what I want in life (i.e., "be successful"-- ohhh, the dreaded phrase! Scourge of my life!) without being cool.
A lot of online celebrities and other "successful people" are cool, so perhaps it is something I need to work on. Any tips on just how to do that would be greatly appreciated.
Blog feed is http://sociologisttina.weebly.com/2/feed
"Life is very hard. And there is no sane reason to believe it will, at some point, get easier. So why do we keep going? I don’t know. This fascinates me."
~ Penelope Trunk, "How to Write About Your Life"
Well, she may be a brilliant writer and entrepreneur (in fact, I do believe she is, and greatly admire her for this), Penelope is no paragon of wisdom when it comes to Life, not to mention Love.
Yes, and this helps explain why her life is more interesting than happy.
Scientific evidence strongly suggests that this is a false dilemma. Why? Because
both are essential elements in the lives of the happiest people. These are just two out of the five strengths possessed by the happiest people, curiosity and hope. The other three are gratitude, zest, and love.
No surprise there, love.
This refers to one's proclivity toward reciprocal, intimate (though not necessarily sexual) relationships.
In any case, with all her fascination for happiness she thereby thwarts happiness at every turn with that one belief, that there is no sane reason to believe that life will be any easier or better in the future than it is today. Unfortunately, not only is such a belief antithetical to happiness, it is perhaps the single most accurate predictor of suicide, another fascination of our dear Penelope's.
Regina Spektor's words here are apt, and I think describe a salubrious approach:
This is how it works
You're young until you're not
You love until you don't
You try until you can't
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath...
A healing song, if ever there was. Listen to it here.
Ahhhh, the old head/heart dilemma. This one has cost me dearly in my life. It can be a lifelong struggle, although I do believe I'm making progress.
At any rate, I was recently in a philosophical counseling/relationship education session with a young woman in this kind of quandary.
It seems the previous girlfriend of her current boyfriend of 3 years has gotten a hold of her. Let's call my client Janine. It turns out that the former girlfriend (let's call her Dacie-- I'm personally repulsed by the crude term "ex-") was being romanced by her boyfriend (let's call him Ted) all during the first year of Ted's and Janine's relationship, which all of this time has been presumed to be monogamous. And although it's true Ted never has sex with the former girlfriend, it seems that this was due to lack of opportunity more than anything, as she was the rejector.
But romance Dacie Ted did during that first year with Janine, in the form of flowers, candy, cards, invitations to getaways and bed & breakfasts, lingerie, etc. Dacie never responded much to these gifts, although she did choose to keep the tangible ones.
Well, Janine brought this up to Ted directly (good move), and Ted now says he only wants to see Janine.
Her question for me, as you might expect: should she trust him?
Many (including Janine's friends) have adviced Janine to "trust your heart": "Deep down, do you think he loves you?" they ask.
Janine, obviously confused, torn, and scared to trust her heart, brought the question to me.
I personally think that "deep down" is overrated. Even if he does love her "deep down," how does that translate into having the kind of relationship that Janine truly wants?
I emphatically don't agree with this advise. Why? Because Janine had been trusting Ted up until this point, and is understandably is in shock upon hearing the news of his betrayal during the first year. She has loved Ted during most of their courtship. He says he loves her. But the Ted that she has known is not the same Ted who has been dating her.
The Ted she loves was, in her mind, not capable of this kind of behavior. Now she learns that in fact he is.
Yes, two years have past since then, and his claim is of love and allegiance.
Talk is cheap. Relationships are difficult enough without major betrayals coming into play during the first year of courtship.
But it gets worse. Not only has Janine been shocked with this news, but she has been informed by Ted he done with the sort of "romancing" he shared with Dacie because "it didn't work."
He now expects Janine, loving girlfiend that she is, to accept this.
Now Janine, bless her heart, is the down-to-earth type. It never even occurred to her to expect sentimental presents as signs of devotion. But now she's re-thinking everything.
I think that this is perfectly reasonable. After all, although Janine doesn't see flowers and the like as signs of love, Ted obviously does. His refusal to share them with her is is likely a maneuver to protect his heart (not to mention his wallet) from further loss. Or worse, he truly felt more for the unavailable Dacie, and hopelessly in love, he showed it.
I think he's giving her good reasons to regard this relationship as an insecure one-- one which is perhaps based more on availability and convenience rather than feelings of love and devotion.
After all, where is the commitment (other than to monogamy, which more advantages him than her).
If she followed her heart, she would trust him. After all, she can barely fathom that this was going on. Her impulse is to trust because she's trustworthy.
Shirley Glass, the late expert on infidelity, points out that this the mistake that betrayed lovers make: judging your partner's behavior based upon your own character. A straying partner bases his behavior and decisions not your character and inclinations, but on his own, and based on these differences, he may well be inclined to behave in ways that you would not.
You would do well to remember that.
Mandy Aftel, author of Your Life Is A Story points out that all relationship conflicts can be traced back to a misreading of character. Unforunately, Janine's relationship appears to be a shining example of that.
She would do well to acknowledge her mistake now, painful as it may be, rather than later, when it the pain will be that much worse.
If she "trusted her heart," she'd likely hang in there-- and live to sorely regret it later.
I don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I'm 48 years old.*
Successful author Barbara Sher says that it's because I'm a Scanner. That's basically a person who has lots of interests. Not only is this nothing to be ashamed of, but, she points out, it puts me in good company with people like Ben Franklin, the Renaissance men who were so appreciated here and abroad over two centuries ago.
Scanners are very happy, interesting, enthusiastic people, according to Sher, but often they have nothing to show for it.
Yes, that would be me.
Talked to my sometimes-close-friend, sometimes-mentor, sometimes-I don't-know-what-to-do-with-him friend Avi (a pseudonym, but in any case, he looks like an Isreali), he said said that no, I'm not a Scanner. When I asked him why not, he said that I go deeply into things.
That's also true, but it's may be that Avi misunderstands the concept.
This scanner/depth tendency perhaps makes me like those Survivor Personalities -- people with seemingly contradictory characteristics who cope well and are resilient under adverse conditions.
Perhaps so, but it often doesn't feel like I'm coping well. No wonder. Often I'm under rather adverse conditions.
* OK, so I'm a Sociologist and a Holistic Practitioner, but the first isn't paying me directly, and the second pays only in a very limited way.
"People living deeply have no fear of death."
She died this week 33 years ago, on January 14th, 1977. She was born February 21st, 1903.
"I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing."
It seems certain that she really believed this.
More Pearls of her Wisdom:
"Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living."
"Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death."
"Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity and stumble from defeat to defeat."
"Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings."
"The only abnormality is the incapacity to love."
"There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
[The above is perhaps her most famous quote.]
"We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls."
She was a true FreeThinking Mystic, and an inspiration. She lives still.
Because she's so exquisitely transparent, understanding Penelope Trunk's love relationship provides us with a wonderful example of how we may be getting in our own way when it comes to love.
We can all learn from this. I've done it many times too-- until I learned.
Here's a woman who is brilliantly successful in business, yet has an approach to love relationships (or so it appears) that's basically self-defeating. Yet, brilliant as she is, she doesn't realize this. According to her, she has an "anger problem." Oh, and BTW, her boyfriend wants us all to know that he makes her feel loved.
Right. And I'm sure that she feels even more loved (and perhaps even more importantly, lovable) when he breaks up with her over and over again. But she has an anger problem. Even her co-workers say so.
Could it be that her supposedly crabby frame of mind is the result of treatment from a love partner that keeps her on edge with the constant threat of abandonment? Add to the mix being a single mother of two, unresolved issues with her children's father, and what I can only imagine to be tremendous pressure at work to keep up her glowing record of success for the company. Furthermore, by her own admission, her friendships aren't "normal": contacts with those she does consider friends are very few and far between.
Umm... wouldn't you be crabby?
Read the book I Like Myself! (written for actual 5-year olds, with the most adorable illustrations to match!) which has a profound and much needed message for all ages. To wit:
No matter is if they stop and stare,
can make me feel that what they see
is all there really is to me.
I'm memorizing the whole book, a great exercise for both my brain and my heart.
The message in I Like Myself! is a precious reminder of an idea that runs counter to the one we are fed daily through our culture, the mainstream media, and for many of us, our families. Thankfully, the counter-notion that "Normal is Overrated" is finally taking hold.
Karen Bauemont's sweet gem-of-a-book really gets the point across on a gut level, regardless of your age.
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. -- Helen Keller
I've decided that this quote-- which I've tried to live by for the better part of my adult life-- also applies to getting my blog going. I have quite a lot to say (just try speaking to me!), but I fear committing it to "paper" [i.e., blog] for literally all the world to see.
However, I'm unusual in that I've just about always had the courage of my convictions, but I'm often lacking is the conviction of my courage.
It's time for that to change!
It's time for me to start talking my walk! (Or at least blogging it!)
So see, there! Now I've started for literally all the world to see.
So see, there! Now I've started!
FreeThinking Mystic : One who combines critical thinking with intuition & heart in order to act as the person they wish to be. [working definition]