Ashamed to be human

I don’t want to live in a world where people do things purposely to hurt others. This shit has GOT TO STOP!! Let me tell you a story.

I did not get permission to talk about the person I am going to write about so I will call her Nicole. I was talking to Nicole on the phone and she told me one of the most horrible things I have ever heard.

She is not in good health so she spends a lot of time in the house. Unfortunately she is not able to work so she lives with her parents. It was Sunday and her parents went to church as they always do. They came home and a little later there was a knock at the door. Her brother and his in-laws had come over. Her brother lost his wife a number of years ago but continues his relationship with his deceased wife’s family.

Nicole usually stays in her room and avoids her family. They are terrible, toxic people. On Sunday, her Dad managed to lure her out of the room. She was in the living room with them and after a few minutes, her father starts to put her down in front of everyone. He told them she was a disappointment, a loser, and a waste of life. Keep in mind, this is less than two hours after they left church.

Nicole started bawling her eyes out and ran out of the room crying. I spent a fair amount of time on the phone with Nicole trying to calm her down and reassuring her that he was just an asshole and none of it was true.

That has to be one of the most terrible things I have ever heard. This reprehensible behavior made me ashamed to be human. I apologized to Nicole and reminded her that if there are people that awful there must be people equally as awesome.

This shit has got to stop now. I no longer want to live in a world where people do things to hurt others maliciously. What possible reason could there be for doing something like that other than being a complete and total asshole?

A friend asked me recently what word I would want to be remembered by at the end of my life. I was indeed able to answer quickly, in a single word: compassion.

People, we have got to stop this shit. If we do not make the conscious choice, right now, to start treating everyone and everything with compassion then we are lost. Humanity is without hope. There is no way we can fix our problems as humans and as a society without starting to show compassion to everyone and everything.

We particularly need to show compassion to those who anger us, hurt us, disagree with us, or in general rub us the wrong way.

Remember, everyone does everything they do for a reason. It may not be a reason you agree with or a reason you like but you absolutely should take a moment and step back and try to imagine what it is is like to be them, not in the biased way we think they are thinking but really try to take their side for a moment. I think you will find that it is much easier to understand why people do the things they do when you truly try to look at things from their point of view.

I am not saying this is going to make everything all right. I am not saying this is going to make everything better. Sometimes you might end up drawing the conclusion that they are just evil, pure and simple, or it was just bad luck.

There is no arguing this point. This is reality and what I am saying is an axiom. Without compassion we are doomed. The next time you want to lash out, the next time something you hate makes you angry, take a moment and ask yourself why their behavior is what it is.

I am not sure I will ever be able to make sense of a parent who does things deliberately to hurt their child. To me this is one of those times I end up coming to the conclusion that they are evil. I know her father’s history and there are indeed things in it that cause him to act that way. His father used to hold him down and torment him. What I do not understand is being so loveless and heartless that you would perpetuate that to your child.

I guess some people are just weak-minded or do not have the strength to overcome the things that have happened to them. I guess it is foreign to me because I actively choose to never make people feel the way I had been made to feel by the people who have hurt me in my life.

Remember, people, love and compassion are the only way we are going to heal ourselves, our society, each other and our environment.

Every single one of us needs to make the choice, this very second, to actively show compassion to everyone and everything around us. We need to decide to show the people we care about that we care. You never know how a single smile could change a life.

I read a story the other day that touched me. I don’t remember the specifics, but there was a young lady who always seemed to drive when her and her boyfriend would go out. She thought it was strange that he would look around and smile at everyone he could. Some people liked it and smiled back, others thought it was strange and rolled their eyes. He would smile at everyone in the restaurant, literally everyone he would get near.

She thought it was a kind of strange and one day decided to ask him about it. His answer was that he had read a study that said most of the people who had attempted suicide and changed their mind said that the smile of stranger is what did the trick. He said after he read that he decided to smile at absolutely everyone he got near because if it all takes is a smile to save a life he wanted to save as many as he could.

That really struck me. We need to be mindful of our actions and how they affect others. As soon as we do this and we begin to love all of our fellow humans whether they agree with us, hurt us, or love us the world will change and be a much happier place.

Thanks for reading.

Peace, love, and happiness always,

K

Today I failed…

Honestly, I have really been getting tired of reading about how life revolves around burning man for two months. No offense to my friends, many of whom are the quintessential burners. I am talking before ticket sales longevity.

For this reason I figured starting today I would lay off of Facebook for a while so as to avoid reading about it. It just gets daunting you know?

Well, I failed at that and out of habit jumped on Facebook today. That was my first mistake. The second was reading meme photos. I am so damned analytical that automagically, when I see something that is false, and I can prove it is false, I jump in.

Well I jumped in today and got drawn into an argument. I am not proud of myself right now. I resorted to my usual, masterful (if I do say so myself), and very effective method of debating. As usually happens, after a bit, the person I was arguing with began to implode and started hurling personal insults. I made a mistake and allowed myself to be drawn in.

I won’t go into details but out of weakness, I resorted to insulting the person. Hindsight being 20/20, I am ashamed I did this. This is not me. I know better.

I know people do things because of what has happened to them. Rarely is malevolence the cause, though it does happen and does exist. Hurt people, hurt people and for a moment I forgot this. Instead of looking on this person with compassion and sympathy, I once again chose anger and overpowering. I thought I left that guy behind a long time ago.

How am I supposed to teach anyone anything when I can’t even follow my own advice?

The truth is, the only time we truly fail, is when we refuse to recognize and take responsibility for our actions. The only time we truly lose our humanity is when we give in to our ego and start keeping score again. This person acting out of anger and hurt towards me says nothing about me, my opinion, or who I am. I need to do a better job of remembering that and remembering to take into account that the other person must have had a rough life too. I know that is why *I* used to behave that way.

I decided to do the right thing and though the argument was long over, I finished it with the following comment directed at the person I was arguing with:

 

You know, I have given it some thought. Someone or something obviously hurt you to make you act this way. I consider ***** a close friend and I would never do anything to hurt him. In fact, I would defend him with my last blow if I had to. If you have a pile of federal legal shit on you then by proxy, by reporting what you did, I hurt him.
 
For those two reasons I am going to do the right thing here and just leave this here.
 
I am not going to preach or try to make any points. I don’t need or want you to agree with me, you are entitled to your opinion.
 
What I am going to do is tell you I wish you the best in all of your future endeavors and hope that you find inner peace.
 
My apologies for the insults. That is not who I am and I had a weak moment. There is no excuse for that. I should have kept my calm demeanor and not unleashed on you.
 
Take care of yourself and I wish you the best in everything you do.
 
Peace, love and happiness,
 
K
Folks, the best piece of advice I have ever given you is about to come. Please, I beg you, take it to heart and use them as words to live by. If we all do this, the world will be a much happier and more loving place. Here is the advice:
It is never too late to remember who you are and take responsibility for your actions. No matter how unpleasant that may be, living with knowing that you hurt someone else is going to hurt you in the long run. Remember, hurt people, hurt people and we all act out from time to time.
I hope everyone is able to find that place that allows them to remember all of our humanity, stop keeping score, and be happy.
Peace, love, and happiness always,
K

 

There absolutely is evil in the world…

don’t succumb to it. I had a wonderful conversation with a gentleman I met on Facebook today. I was looking through things on my news feed and I saw a photo with a skull in it that caught my eye. I read the meme text in the photo and out of the corner of my eye saw a discussion about dark souls.

The exact wording of the comment makes no difference for the purposes of this story. What does make a difference though was that the response to the comment was someone saying they do not believe there is such a thing as a dark soul.

This person believes all souls are good. Well, for those of you that know me you know this is the type of thing I have to jump in on. Those of you who know me well or read my writing often know that I firmly believe that the very second you use the word all or the word every to describe something you are almost always wrong.

Well when I jumped into the conversation I explained that our very reality is held together not only by positive forces but by negative ones as well and to deny the existence of the negative was in my opinion ludicrous or equivalent to walking through life with blinders on.

We had a very polite discourse over the existence of evil souls. I explained to him that I had experienced it first hand through a very close personal relationship I have.

Over the course of the conversation we were able to express respect for each other’s viewpoint and finally found that we agree, no matter what our beliefs are, that the world would be a much better place if we concentrated on loving as much as we can as opposed to hating and being fearful.

I have digressed from the major point of my piece now. I will attempt to return to my point.

There sure as hell is evil in the world. To deny it is simply ludicrous. Unfortunately, for us to have the insanely beautiful and benevolent, we must have the insanely evil and malevolent. There just is no way around it. This is called the universal balance and it governs all things. I will write another piece on this another time.

The trick is to not let the existence of the malevolent create fear and hate in us. We need to accept that it exists, that it is a part of life and be aware that it is out there.

That does not mean we should or need to live our lives looking for it. In fact we should do exactly the opposite. The only way for us to beat the hate is to refuse to live in fear. We can take the power away.

How do we do that? By loving everything. By loving ourselves, the world around us, and yes, even the evil that exists. We need to work toward appreciating the evil/negative. If we learn to appreciate the negative experience for what it is, the balance of beauty, then we can begin to lead a happier life.

Don’t deny the negative exists, try to experience when it arrives, appreciate it for what it is and turn the energy it creates into something positive. You can use that negative experience as a reminder not cause that same experience in others.

I think it is also important to note that we should NEVER deny that the negative exists to anyone who tells us it does. This is overwriting their experience and denying them their feelings. Imagine for a moment what it feels like to be told you did not experience something you know you did. Personally, I have had a lot of things I experienced denied to me. It feels terrible to have your experiences overwritten and to be told what you did feel or how you should feel.

Just remember, that acknowledging the existence of the negative does not mean you have to succumb to it or be fearful of it. It actually moves you toward acceptance and using the negative energy to accomplish good by being the change you would like to see in the world.

 

Peace, love, and happiness always,

 

K

Why do I have to like my body?

This is an interesting question that just popped into my head. Why is it a requirement that I have to like my body. Why is it required that I be comfortable in it or be proud of it?

There seems to be this mantra in alternative culture that everything has to be ok. If you don’t like your job change it, if you don’t like the way you look change it, blah, blah, blah.

There is apparently some societal standard that we have to make things ok. I am not sure where it came from and I think we are all falling victim to this mantra and we don’t even realize it.

For instance, I have been very sensitive about my appearance lately. I hate my body. I hate it with a passion. If I did not need it to interact physically with the things in this reality, I would shed it in a heartbeat even if it meant I couldn’t have a new one. I hate how it looks, I hate how it feels, I hate that I am judged by the personification that accompanies my consciousness. I can’t stand how slow neurokinetics are. I can’t stand how slow neuromuscular reaction times are in humans. In short, I can’t stand how slow this body is in comparison to how fast my mind works.

I have something to tell you. It is ok to NOT be ok. It is ok to be broken, it is ok to operate outside average parameters. You don’t have to be “ok”. I know this is confusing but the summation is it is ok to not be ok with something.

I guess the best way I can explain it is this. The societal standard for the need to be ok is exemplified by the fact that when we see someone who does not fit our definition of “ok” we try to help them fit our definition of ok. This does not make us bad people, this makes us human and means we have fallen victim to the things we are taught. There is nothing wrong with that. We just need to wake up, realize what we are doing, and stop it.

How do we try to make them fit our definition of ok? We try to reverse or fix the thing that we see as them not being ok. Take my absolute hatred for my body. Whenever I talk about it the people who care about me try to make me feel attractive by complimenting me. Telling me they love my body, telling me they think I am attractive, sexy, brilliant, etc.

They don’t mean to but they are trying to overwrite my reality. No matter what you tell me you think or feel about my appearance, it is not going to help. I really appreciate the gesture and I love that you care so much you want me to feel better but please, stop calling attention to it.

Imagine having a magnifying glass, one that only magnifies things you hate. You never use this magnifying glass to look at your own body because you already know absolutely everything that is wrong with it by heart. You keep it locked away but you tell the people you love and trust that you have it and you are ok with the fact that you have it, you have just had it in your pocket for so long that you are ok with it being there and are ok with how it works.

This makes sense, it is being ok with the fact that you are not ok. I am absolutely fine with the fact that I hate my body and hate the fact that I need to have one to interact with the ones I love and do the things that I want to do. I have come to accept it. I have passed the fighting it phase and have become truly ok with it.

Back to the magnifying glass. For some reason though, having that magnifying glass in your pocket that magnifies your flaws really bothers the people who care about you. Most of them don’t have one. In fact, most of the people I know are fine running around naked in almost all situations.

They of course feel like this is normal. It is normal for them. Where they fail is, they do not realize it is not normal for me. They want me to feel good about my body like they feel about theirs. The problem is I just don’t and complimenting me and trying to convince me that this shit pile of meat I am trapped in is good or attractive or whatever does nothing but amplify even more the things that are wrong with it.

You see what they don’t understand is, when people tell you nice things about the body you hate, you don’t believe them. Your brain immediately tells you that they are lying to make you feel better. Their intentions are good but they end up doing a ton more damage than you ever could on your own.

What they do not realize is, the proper answer is, “There is no requirement for you to like your body, if you don’t like it that is fine, I still like you.” I guess the problem is they do not realize *I* am NOT my body. My body is a meat covered endoskeleton that I drive around this reality and use to interact with it and the things in it.

Well, I have digressed quite a bit, gotten lost, changed tense and perspective, and just generally written a shoddy article here. What I am hoping is that with a judicious lack of editing you can see that I am sharing with you one of my most internal feelings. I am being genuine and vulnerable with you when I say you do not have to be “ok”. It is alright not to be ok.

What we need to do is learn to accept everyone as they are. We need to learn to help them when asked. We should not force our help or fixing onto other people. A lot of the time we can do a lot more damage than good that way. What we need to do is accept all states of mind and learn to help others when they ask.

Sure, we can ask if someone would like assistance but if they ask us not to help then we shouldn’t. Just remember, when you are complimenting a person who hates their body, you might just be magnifying the things they hate in their head by shining a spotlight on them.

Remember, love people as they are not as you think they should be. You don’t need to fix the suffering, all you need to do is be willing to hold space, allow them to have and experience their emotions and most of all make damned sure you are not trying to overwrite their reality no matter how benevolent you feel you are being.

Peace, love, and happiness always,

K

 

Don’t bullshit people, especially those you care about

Hello everyone, sorry I have been gone so long. There was a vacation in there and some other things. Those of you who know me personally know what those other things are already.

caution_sign_no_bullshit_zone_stickerI wanted to share something that came into my head the other day. Someone I care about very much has been feeling down. I don’t have permission to talk about it so I am not going to get too specific or mention names. The person I am talking about feels like they are not where they should be on a project they have been working on for the past year.

I was very supportive and was not lying when I said I was impressed with the amount of progress they made. The uncomfortable part was that it was obvious that it was time for me to tell them something that was not going to make them feel better but had to be said.

You see, I had to say “well, I think a big part of the problem is you keep starting to step over the finish line and you find a reason to take a left turn”. It is never fun to tell someone you care about that they seem to be one of their bigger problems. The project, in this case, is done and ready to go. It has been for months. The problem is the person I am talking about always finds something that “needs to be tweaked” before the launch and advertising can happen.

 

I finally had to say “stop taking left turns and just do it, you launch a product then perfect it, not perfect it then launch it. Look, it took Microsoft virtually 40 years to perfect their product after they released it”.

If you truly care about someone then you will find yourself at times telling them what they want to hear. Other times you will find yourself telling them what they want you to tell them and then other times you will find yourself having to tell them something they need to hear. Unfortunately at times, the something they need to hear is going to be something you do not want to say or they do not want to hear.

I hate this phrase but man up and do it. Tell them what they need to hear not what they want to hear. Tell them because you care and trust them to react in a calm loving way because they care about you too.

You can trust them to say thank you and take it to heart. Most people will see it as constructive criticism.

Use the skills we have talked about in the past and offer the criticism in a loving thoughtful way. Soften the blow some if you can. After all, it is not easy to accept criticism so we should be mindful about how we offer it to everyone, not just the people we care about.

You see we have a responsibility to our fellow man to be honest, open, and vulnerable with them. This means that at times, we are going to have to tell people what they do not want to hear albeit with tact, grace, and love. Just a friendly reminder that above all we have this responsibility to our friends, and families…the people we love the most.

Peace, love, and happiness always,

 

K

Is it important to support the people you care about?

You bet your sweet ass it is. I know someone who is having a hard time right now. She has a business that is starting to grow by itself. It is a controversial field and she is an introvert. She does NOT like to be in the spotlight.

The problem is, the very nature of her business is going to do exactly that. In all likelihood in a very major way and fast to boot. We have had long talks about the fear. It is very real and serious for her.

I realized in providing support today, how important it was for me to impress this upon you. I told her that I would be there for her through thick and thin. Of course there was a lot more detail than that but that is not important.

What is important is that I talk about how much value you can add to the lives of those you care about by supporting them in the things they do. You can empower them to achieve their goals simply by letting them know you care whether or not they succeed and that should something go wrong you will be there to help them through it in whatever way you can.

We all have fears. At times they keep us from achieving the things we set out to do. When we are supported by our peers and loved ones it can make taking that leap seem a lot less scary.

It is much easier to reach for the stars if you know there will be someone there to help catch you if you fall or at least dust off, pick up, and continue moving forward. By supporting our peers and loved ones we bond with them. We create interpersonal relationships that last a lifetime, we create a partnerships that are greater than the sum of their parts.

Take the time today to sit down and think about your friends, family, and acquaintances. Try to think of ways you can be supportive of them. Maybe not all of them at once but choose the one who needs it most and extend your hand in love and support.

You might just be surprised by how much stronger you feel from being strong for someone else.

Most importantly, don’t be afraid. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. We all have to take risks and sometimes we get hurt. Cherish the times you get hurt, they will make the successes that much sweeter.

Peace, love, and happiness always,

K

We all have times of weakness…today it was my turn!

ExplodingHeadScannersHello everyone. This is one of those posts I really prefer not to write. When I start out with that phrase, it means I screwed up. I don’t think anyone likes to screw up, least of all, me. I have very high standards for myself these days and it irks me a little bit that I let this happen today.

A few days ago I posted a photo of a sticker that was being posted on certain local businesses here in Austin. The only thing I said was “WOW” and posted the photo. I wrote only that comment because I had no idea what the purpose of the sticker was or how it got there. I just felt like people should see it. To be honest I didn’t even have an opinion on it because I knew nothing about it.

Well as it turns out it was part of an anti-gentrification campaign here in Austin. In my opinion it was a horribly executed campaign. That is just my opinion and in the grand scheme of things, it does not amount to a hill of beans but it is mine nonetheless.

As it turns out apparently I have a good friend in common with the person who placed the stickers. My friend, who I will call Jane since I have not asked if I could write about her, posted an article about the stickers on Facebook today. I saw the article and I wrote a simple comment…”This was horribly executed”.

Well, apparently the person who placed the stickers saw my comment and decided to chime into the discussion. In a comment dripping with condescension, he pointed me toward an interview he did and ordered me to listen to it so I could adjust my beliefs to be more in line with his. He also took the time to order Jane to talk to me to “explain” what was going on to me because I obviously did not understand.

To make a long story short, I imploded then went supernova, my own personal big bang. My comment went from that one line to a long string of expletives and insults in less than a microsecond. I was fucking pissed off and honestly had every right to be.

I don’t know why but I took his horrible tone and demeanor to heart without considering the source. Without considering what he had been through in his life. Without considering the fact that he has obviously experienced trauma in his life and has not been able to deal with it properly. In short, I forgot he has a history and life of his own. Shit…that is in chapter one of my book.

Today, I yet again, gave someone else the power to put me into an emotional state I did not want to be in. He triggered me plain and simple. The fastest way to anger me is to speak to me like I am a 6 year old who needs to have things mansplained or kidsplained.

I am an adult. I have the ability to reason, think critically, and form my own decisions based on facts and my personal observations and experience. It angers me when people speak to me like I am a dullard or ignorant. In fact, I can think of few things that anger me more. That is something I need to work on. I think in that area, on some level, I am still seeking validation and I have no need to. I know the only validation that matters is my own. I digress.

I am a little disappointed that it took almost two hours after hitting that emotional state to calm down and realize I had flown off the handle. I am a bit disappointed that it took me that long to realize that he is just acting out from the damage he has experienced in his life. Rather ironically, he probably spoke to me like that for the same reason I verbally exploded at him…he was looking for validation and I gave him the exact opposite. I still completely disagree with him and stand firmly on my opinion, I just need to remember that he is still stuck in the rabbit hole.

The occurrences of today made me ask a very important question. How can I help anyone else achieve a more enlightened state of mind when I have breakdowns like this? Aren’t I supposed to have all my shit together all of the time and never make a mistake? Isn’t that what leaders and teachers do?

I gave this some thought and arrived at a very important conclusion. I realized, it is extremely important for me to share my failures with you. During our journey toward enlightenment we are all going to fail multiple times without warning. I don’t want anyone to think I am perfect. I want them to see the truth, that I am an individual who makes mistakes just like everyone else does. I am average Joe.

I think it is important that you all know and remember that I am having the same issues on my journey that you are on yours and together, I think we can work through them and all continue our journey to a long, happy, loving, healthy life successfully.

One more thing, remember, when you fail, when you fall, when you screw up, don’t beat yourself up. Step back, analyze, make adjustments, implement them and move on. Don’t forget to admit and accept them as well. It will be just another step on the path to happiness and will help others around you be a little happier too. Joy seems to be contagious. More on that in another post.

 

Peace, love, and happiness always,

K

I am really feeling better already

About three years ago. Actually it was almost exactly three years ago, I met someone I hit it off with right away. Her name is Rusty Blazenhoff. I got a package in the mail from her today that she told me she had shipped to me a few days ago.

As you can see in the previous post, I was having a rough day today. I was feeling all the hurt, sadness, and oppression in the world and it was causing me to be even more sensitive. So much so that when I saw a quote from a famous comedian today I took offense to it.

Well as is the case with me at times, I stood up and said “Hey this is actually REALLY fucked up y’all.” Well what ensued was a healthy debate with my friends about what I took issue with about the quote. I found myself being saddened by the position of some of my friends. I found myself learning things about them that saddened me.

Now let me stop you there. I wasn’t saddened by the things I learned because I felt it was wrong for them to feel them, I felt saddened because for some reason it reminded me of how bad I used to feel when I felt the same way. I guess I let this leak out into the world some today because I was buckling under the pressure. That is something I really need to work on.

Well, now that I have digressed, let me get back on course.

After I opened the package, I sent Rusty a message and let her know it had arrived. I can’t explain why but I decided to make a comment about how my day had gone in one of my messages to her. What this led to was a 2.5 hour long conversation with her about life, love, perspective, emotion, empathy, learning, sharing, and helping others.

I can’t thank her enough. I love her so much, she is the best adopted brother a guy could hope for. She helped me get back to center. She and I see the world through almost identical eyes. We share a very similar past and very similar experiences. She helped me remember all of the things I am supposed to be teaching everyone else.

We talked about good things. She reminded me that not everything in the world is shit and that even though the suffering and grief I was receiving was real, that there is a shit ton of good in the world too. We talked about her wonderful daughter. It reminded me that there is someone right in front of me who has a very good chance of growing up not broken. She reminded me of my niece who will in all likelihood grow up unharmed and loved by her entire family. She reminded me that not so long ago women could not vote. She reminded me that not so long ago black people couldn’t vote or eat in the same restaurant as others. She reminded me that not so long ago people OWNED people.

Then she reminded me of how far we have come. She reminded me of the immutable voice of the Internet and how the voice of what is right eventually always wins. She reminded me that things are moving forward and getting better. Most importantly, indirectly, she reminded me that I was stuck in the microscopic view again.

She helped me remember to zoom out and feel the entire universe as a whole. She reminded me that universally, there is a balance and that balance must be maintained. What does this mean?

In a single phrase…shit happens and you have to accept it and move on. Unfortunately people suffer and things go wrong. Unfortunately suffering for some reason is an easier emotion to receive from others than joy. Unfortunately sometimes there is more suffering than joy.

The important part to remember is that everything happens and is the way it is because that is the only way it could have happened or have been.

To my brother Rusty, you are awesome and I love you more than I could express. I feel very blessed to have you in my life. To the rest of my friends, I love you all very much. I know you all put up with a lot of shit from me because I over analyze everything. I know you end up in debates with me a lot because I like to reanalyze and tend to enjoy debate. THANK YOU for doing it.

I appreciate my friendship with every single one of you. I argue with you because I value your opinion and believe it or not, I consider every word you are saying and in quite a few cases have ended up changing my views a little. Most importantly what I would like to say to you is thank you for accepting me for who I am and how I am. Thank you for arguing with me. Thank you for not being afraid to stand up. Thank you for being honest with me and telling me when you think I am being an ass. I promise you that even though I seem like I am being an argumentative jackass or picking fights with you at times, I really have nothing but the utmost respect and love for you. If I didn’t I wouldn’t argue with you, I would just move on.

Claire, Ashley, I swear you two are my heroes. I might not even put up with the kind of shit from me you put up with from me. Thank you for taking the time to listen and talk to me and thank you for taking me seriously.

Claire, I hope I can be your straight gay boyfriend for years to come.

Oh and did I mention? Rusty has two of the most awesome pieces of media I have seen. If you know me (you are reading this so at this stage you most likely do) you know I do not read unless it is technical or an analysis.

Let me say this I read BOTH yes BOTH of these and not just because I think she is awesome but because the content is fantastic. She has an amazing perspective on the digital age and won’t let you forget how you grew up. It is refreshing, upbeat, cutting edge and nostalgic all at once. I guess you could say they ARE Rusty :). Give her a read, you won’t regret it.

Read her awesome culture blog here: http://www.blazenfluff.com

Sign up for her inbox zine here: http://www.electricdreaming.com

Peace, love, and happiness always,

K

Having a rough day

You won’t see me often write a post without a lesson but today I must. Today is one of those days where I feel all the sadness, hurt, and injustice happening in the world as if I was being forced to watch it.

It is not easy being a sensitive person. It is not easy watching your friends do, say, or support things that you feel are terribly wrong. It is even harder to have to debate with them on why these things that are universally accepted as bad are bad. The icing on the cake is when they will not even admit you have a point whether or not they agree.

I made a decision today to not make any big decisions. When I get like this I can’t make clear well informed decisions. I am biased by the fact that I feel like the world is crushing me. I feel like the universe has a jackboot on my head and is pouring negative into my ear. I don’t do negative anymore. You really can find good in absolutely everything if you try.

I find myself not liking things about the people I really care about today. Luckily I am emotionally skilled enough to take responsibility for those feelings and the fact that they do NOT mean my friends are bad people. They just don’t agree with me sometimes and that is ok. That is one of the reasons I love them. They are all smart, wonderful caring people and I don’t like thinking negative things about them.

When I get into these types of spaces I just want to crawl in a hole and let the world fall apart. I think the most important thing though is to make sure you are not doing things when in this state, that hurt others.

It is important to remember when you are feeling down, depressed, stressed or angry that the things you do and say do not go away when you feel better and you could do severe and permanent damage to relationships and people. This is not a lesson, this is me trying to remind myself of the right way to handle this state of mind.

I have to ask myself though, why are people defending these things? Why are people defending statements that are so obviously wrong and hurtful to so many people? How could the people I care about think the things they are telling me?

Maybe this is one of those cases where the answer is obvious only because I have done a lot of work to get to the mental space where I understand. Maybe I am too literal. Maybe I speak on the “perfect world” scenario too much. I don’t know what the issue is but there is one and it might just be me.

Today is the type of day where you want to cry your eyes out because you feel, hear, and see the world suffering around you and the people you care about seem to be defending things that contribute to that suffering.

I guess the lesson I am using and not learning today is be emotionally aware and take responsibility for those emotions. Well, today, I am certainly getting a lot of practice on that front and only doing a so-so job.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day and there will be much more love and happiness in the world than there is today.

So many people tell me they want my life. So many people tell me they want to be me or as much like me as they can.

Let me tell you something, you see mostly the good. Spend some time in this state of mind feeling the sorrow of the entire universe piled up on your head and shoulders and tell me then if you still want to be me :). Something tells me you may not.

Peace, love and happiness always,

 

K

Expressing your feelings when you’re hurt

This popped into my head as an important topic as I was recently hurt by someone I care about. Believe me, my friends, I know what it feels like to be hurt. As a hyper-emotional individual, I get hurt easily and often.hurt

I try to take responsibility for my reactions to things. I always analyze my feelings and their origin before allowing myself to have a reaction to them. Believe me this is not an easy task.

There are a few things you should keep in mind when deciding to voice your hurt to your partner.

First and foremost, you need to remember that 99 times out of 100, your partner did not deliberately do what they did to hurt you. I know this is much easier said than done when you are hurt. You are experiencing feelings of anger, sadness, depression, betrayal, neglect, or something else negative and powerful. The reason you need to remember this is because the actions you take when you are hurt do not erase themselves when you feel better. It is very easy to fall into a trap where you say or do something that is hurtful and you end up regretting it later. Unfortunately, by that point, it can never be taken back. Trust me, you will never regret not having said something hateful or hurtful to your partner.

First and foremost, you need to remember that 99 times out of 100, your partner did not deliberately do what they did to hurt you.

Secondly, take time to assess how you are really feeling. A lot of the time, the feelings you perceive at the onset are not the same feelings you realize you have later; they are more like symptoms. For instance, right after you get hurt you will usually experience anger and sadness. After a few hours, or a day, you might find that the real problem was a feeling of abandonment, slight, or disregard. It is extremely important when communicating your hurt to your partner that you first understand what it is you are feeling. I know it sounds silly, but you might be surprised at how this turns out for you. We all misidentify our emotions at one time or another. What makes you emotionally advanced is knowing this and taking the time to evaluate.

We all misidentify our emotions at one time or another. What makes you emotionally advanced is knowing this and taking the time to evaluate.

Third, you need to address your partner calmly with respect and compassion. This is going to be emotional for both of you. This does not mean you cannot cry, get upset, or express yourself; it means you need to be honest about how you are feeling and try to remember that your partner is going to have feelings too. In a lot of cases, those feelings are not going to be good. They are going to, in all likelihood, feel bad for hurting you. I think you will find it is easier to express how you feel when you keep the feelings of your partner in mind as you communicate. If nothing else, it will serve as an example of how to interact without hurting someone when you have an issue. I have said it before and I will say it again: “hurt people, hurt people.”

Fourth, take responsibility. It is very rare when something wrong in a relationship is caused by a single party. Take responsibility for your feelings. Take responsibility for the reactions you have. Maybe instead of “this is how you made me feel,” you could try “because I have been through X, I tend to be like Y and when you behave like you did yesterday it hurts me, and I don’t like being hurt by or angry at you, let’s figure out how we can work together to keep this from happening again.” Just because you take responsibility for your part or your emotions does not mean that you are conceding the right to hurt you to your partner. It shows that you have taken the time to evaluate your feelings. It shows that you have considered their feelings and respect them. I know this sounds new age but the fact is, if you work things out and take responsibility, you can spend more time having sex instead of arguing. I think most people would like that.

Just because you take responsibility for your part or your emotions does not mean that you are conceding the right to hurt you to your partner. It shows that you have taken the time to evaluate your feelings.

Fifth, make sure you are willing to do your part to help your partner heal or change. If it is a one-time thing and it does not happen again, great. Let it go and get past it. You have dealt with it, your partner understands how they made you feel, and it is time to just let it go and be forgotten. It is just another piece of who you are. If there is something that needs to be changed, offer to help. Offer to do what you can, in a healthy way, to make it easier for them to change. See if there is a behavior you can change in compromise that will make it easier for them to make adjustments. Also, no matter what, don’t forget to give them time to work on it. Not many things or people change overnight.

Your partner needs to know that you expect to be hurt by them. Let them know you do not expect them to be perfect, and when they hurt you, you still love them anyway.

Finally and most importantly, make sure your partner knows how much you love, respect, and cherish them. Your partner needs to know that you expect to be hurt by them. Let them know you do not expect them to be perfect, and when they hurt you, you still love them anyway (assuming you still do). You can be supportive while you are asserting yourself. You can be supportive while telling your partner you do not like their behavior and it hurts you. Being supportive is all about letting the other person know that regardless of whether or not you agree or feel the same as they do, you still love and respect them.

Think about how you would like your partner to come to you when they have a problem with you. Next, take the time to think about how they like to have issues brought up to them and then to do the best you can to respect everyone’s wishes.

Remember, don’t hide how you feel. When you are hurt and sweep it under the rug it may stop hurting but it does not stop festering and eventually, it will come out later and be thrown on the pile in an argument and that is not a good thing to do to someone you love.

 

Peace, love and happiness always,

K