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Thread: So, this is happening...

  1. #11
    Silver Member JamesDE's Avatar
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    Eckhart Tolle is a German born spiritual teacher who wrote a book titled ďThe Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual EnlightenmentĒ. Itís a guide on how to handle every day stress and ďÖ the importance of living in the present moment and transcending thoughts of the past and futureĒ (Wikipedia, [Register to see the link] ). I have read it only once, and I intend to read it again. It roots in a ďbelief system based on living in the present momentĒ. The anxieties of the past and future prevent us from focusing on who we are today; creating the roots of our emotional issues. Our ego is our denial and destruction. Finding oneself from the past isnít possible, we must arrive into the present, the now, for the now has always been who we are. In addition, the future can prevent us from living in the now, as we anticipate difficulties ahead. Waiting, expecting, hoping, is a state of mind we must allow ourselves to snap out of (Tolle, Wikipedia). Iím struggling. Itís part of the healing process. But this weekend was awesome.

    My best friend of over 25 years visited me, and it was exactly what I needed. Heís going through struggles as well, and his struggles make me feel my struggles are sub-par. Misery loves company, but this wasnít a weekend for that. He lives in another state, but his job was not kind and he found himself out of work. As he stresses to find a job, he returned to my area looking for work and wanted to hang out for a few days, and I was more than willing to offer an extra room. He has been a friend of over 25 years, Iíve known him since I graduated college, and we know each other on an equal level. Heís someone Iíve always admired for his ability to land on his feet. Unfortunately, his landings are not always quickly. His calm demeanor is inspiring, he never stresses outwardly; but surprisingly, I think he needed me more than I needed him. Over the past two days, we recovered past laughter which drove our bonding over the years. We ate bar food, drank beer, included my twenty-year-old son and taught him nuances of our interactions, hidden from him by the innocence of younger years. It was a bonding time for the three of us. The unintended falling into the moments of now arrived instantly, and was compounded with the inclusion of my son. My son learned minor nuances about friendship as men, as he was included in interactive discussions of our approach towards life. Later, after my son left to spend time with his mother (Iím divorced), my friend and I spent time at a favorite bar, drinking, discussing, and later smoking cigars. No clue what we were doing next, changing our minds and direction of destination every half hour, just taking each moment and acting on it in a way that served us best. For me, it was really good to see him find a moment of peace, and for him, he was glad to be there as we both escaped from our inner selfís. It was the process of experiencing the now, living it, allowing it to guide us, and letting the future exist as it arrives. This weekend flew by.

    When returning to my car, after taking my friend back to where he is staying this week, the silence inside of it was quite loud. The stale smell of cigar smoke from the past day lingered. I donít smoke, but this weekend was an exception for the both of us, and the smell was a trigger that the weekend is nearing an end. I started to feel the old electric feelings going through my legs again, knowing tomorrow is another day in which I need to remain strong inside. Words started billowing through my head like the smoke of yesterdayís cigars, circling around in an unproductive way. I was starting to process it again. I had to remind myself of this book. One of the things I reminded myself is, we predestine our future by leaving the moments of now and allowing anxiety of what hasnít happened to take over. We are who we are because of our past, but it doesnít define us. It has just brought us here. I need to live without regret, within reason, stay in the now, and allow the future to show me what it will be, instead of predicting and forcing what I expect of it.

    I just re-read the introduction of The Power of Now, where Tolle recalls the reason his book came into existence. In younger years he was tormented with the misery and anxiety of his childhood. He felt he couldnít live with himself any longer. Iíll leave the content of his introduction for your discovery, but after he came to realize who he is, he claims he found deep peace and bliss. People would tell him they want what he has. His response, ďYou have it already. You just canít feel it because your mind is making too much noise.Ē Itís time I start to silence my thoughts. I hope that doesnít mean I lose desire to type them here, but I do know, itís time I allow the silence to speak and appreciate the moments of now.

  2. #12
    Silver Member JamesDE's Avatar
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    After graduating from college, I went to a city my brother was living in to attend a job fair. I distinctly remember the first day there, as I was driving and switching stations on the radio in search of something to listen to. Back then your only options were a radio or cassette player as your in-car entertainment. Cell phones existed, but more for business and the elite, and certainly had no entertainment value other than an extremely basic game, if at all. Regardless, as I was changing stations, I stumbled on two D.J.ís Don and Mike. The had a reverb sound, making their voices sound as if they had a small echo, and their energy was more than I had experienced my entire life of radio, living in small towns. I was instantly curious, and hooked in no time at all. Their delivery of content was remarkable. Callers were engaging because of the banter with the DJís, their directness was shocking, and the games they would play with the callers had me laughing all day. I remember one time when they convinced a woman to put her husbandís bowling ball in the dryer and turn it on with the phone next to it, just so they could hear what it sounded like. I think they gave her $100 or less. Phone jeopardy, honk for cash, and the hilarious impersonations Mike would do as some celebrity, while Don asked ridiculous questions to him, were off the charts funny for me. I went so far as to connect a VCR to my radio so I could listen to the entire show after work. Don and Mike were a huge success. Not as popular as Howard Stern, but for me, their humor was more my style.

    The other day I was getting ready for work and they came to mind. I remembered how they started the show with a collage of sound bits which then bled into them starting the show by talking over a song by Apollo 440, ďCanít stop the rockĒ. I like the song a lot, and much like a Pavlov dog to the sound of a bell at dinner time, the song got me excited. I decided to listen to the song this day, and that same feeling returned. It made me miss those days. And, as you already expect, it also made me think back to my recent breakup. See, Don and Mike had a long run, but after Donís wife died in a car crash, their career together started a slow spiral into a final separation. Although the radio was always entertaining, it turned into a syndication with the same company as the Howard Stern show. A political battle with Howards Stern started, as Howard refused to allow them to have any level of success close to his, and things turned ugly. Howard was simply better at building and maintaining listeners, and Don and Mike were the much weaker dogs in the battle. Later fights with Opie and Anthony occurred, and then later a slow decline in their ability to work with each other as well. They now have individual pod-casts. I have gone off and on listening to The Mike OíMeara show, but he is too reflective of what once was, and Don charges for his show, which Iím not willing to pay for. I wish Don was free, however, as his style of humor I gravitate towards. But, either way, you kind of end up with the feeling that itís just not the same anymore. I think my breakup has similarities to this.

    I still go through pangs of anger over how my breakup occurred. I know you saw the inevitable end, as I tried to remain friends. If so, Iíll tell you now we are still friends, and I sometimes wonder what it would be like if we tried again. But, like Don and Mike, it would be an attempt to keep the show alive in some respect, but just not the same. That could be good, but Iím not sure it would be. I still think she did the breakup in the most gentle and loving way possible, as no breakup is easy and is never equal to both sides. Iím still angry at times, but the acceptance and ability to move on is stronger each day, and I appreciate what we had. If Don and Mike were to have a reunion show one day, I would be the first to listen. Unfortunately, as exciting as that might be at the time, years back Don was interviewed about the possibility of doing such a thing, and he said he wouldnít do that because the show would simply suck. I hate to think of it, but getting back together for us would likely be the same thing. Itís best to leave it behind as a fun memory. This entry feels a little less focused than the ones before, and the final thoughts are clunky, but tonight I needed to get it out into writing. I think what Iím saying is, for myself, the future is ahead of me and itís time to focus more in that direction. I will always look back at these days with various feelings, and I hope I look back at them with the same fondness I do of the old days listening to Don and Mike.

  3. #13
    Silver Member JamesDE's Avatar
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    This weekend I went to a ďLock and KeyĒ singles event. In case you arenít familiar with this type of event, the women are given a lock on a chain to wear around their neck, and the men a key. The objective is for the opposite sexes to meet each other and find out if they have a matching key and lock set. If so, you return the lock and key, earn a ticket for small prizes at the end of the event, and are given new locks and keys. And, if you are interested in each other, the ice was broken for you already. As I was driving to the event, I resisted the urge to turn around and accept that Iím still not over my breakup. In a way, it was good I went, in another, Iím sorry I did.

    When I arrived at the event, it was what I feared. Not a big turn-out, more men than women, and a somewhat lame atmosphere. As I looked around, a few women had already gravitated towards people they felt comfortable around, and outside on the balcony, men were sitting alone with a beer and their cell phone in their hands. I wanted to leave immediately, but since I was there, I decided the best approach was to convince myself I was going to enjoy myself and not care what happens. I turned my cell phone off, put it in my pocket, and decided not to turn it on again until I was on my way home. That was a positive approach which worked well.

    As the night continued, I approached every woman, attempted to unlock their locks, and started a conversation asking who they are, follow-up questions, etc. Most women were receptive, a few uninterested, but I was in a relaxed mindset and the beer was my wingman. I also noticed the guys who were previously sitting alone started to mingle, women were receptive to their approaches, and those who were the least confident happened to have the most success with unlocking locks. One of the most reclusive in the group had stated, ďUnlocking these locks is almost like work for meĒ, as he had the most luck out of any of us. It turned out to be a fun time. And I met Lexi.

    Lexi is an interesting woman. Sheís older than me, which isnít an issue, but is someone Iím not attracted to. However, she and I clicked in many ways as we continued to talk through the night. And each time I tried to move on to other groups, I found her by my side again. I flirted, made slightly inappropriate jokes, and left the conversation hanging while looking into her eyes, and she enjoyed every moment. At the end of the event, everyone gathered, prizes were given for winning ticket draws, and I wanted to leave like everyone else had, but she wouldnít let the conversation end. It was the exactly what I needed to finally get away from the aggravation and hurt of the past month. Even though I wasnít attracted, I was drawn to her desire to hang on to every moment she could in our conversations. We left the event, but stayed at the venue until 1 am, talking about everything. By 1:30 am, had had my most recent passionate ďlast first kissĒ, and she still wasnít letting me leave easily. I had an hour drive home and I just wanted to get some sleep, but she was hooked and I was getting dangerously frisky. Luckily, she accepted my comment that it was time to stop before it got out of hand, and by 2:30 or so am, my head was on my own pillow at last, and I instantly crashed into a deep sleep. Although I wanted sex, I was relieved it didn't happen.

    This morning I was taking my son back to college and he wanted me to listen to a song he likes. Itís a remake of Simon and Garfunkelís Sounds of Silence by Disturbed. He says he likes it better than the original, so I asked him to play it. Although well done, I felt it was an overly aggressive approach to an elegant song, slightly over sung. It wasnít my flavor of music. After dropping him off, Lexi and I met up again at a local brewery for a second date. The dinner was nice, but I realized it was starting to feel like the song I had listened to earlier. I enjoyed the previous night, but trying to date so soon is equivalent to attempting zip-lining after having arm surgery, and Iím forcing something Iím not into. I still need more time. Evidently my emotions are still raw, Iím still in shock my relationship was turned off with a flick of a switch, and now Iíve dragged a wonderful soul into the pit of my desire to just get away from my past. Now I need to find a way to cut this line kindly, yet I just donít know how to do it. Lexi wants to know when we can meet again and is kissing even more passionately. Tonight I feel ugly.

    (On a side note, I've noticed I've frequently used "sole" instead of "soul". My apologies to anyone who reads this and is bothered by it...)
    Last edited by JamesDE; 09-29-2019 at 10:52 PM.

  4. #14
    Silver Member JamesDE's Avatar
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    Where am I today? So, itís been a while since Iíve updated this blog. Itís kind of a mix between not feeling like writing about my situation and not wanting to. In short, Angie and I are still ďfriendsĒ, if you want to call it that; but once her heart moved in a new direction, the intensity of this friendship appears to have dissipated like the heat on a cast-iron skillet, slowly and progressively, until the cold returns as if it was never used in the first place. We speak, but mostly ďGood morningĒí, with occasional discussions out of obligatory effort to keep it friendly in the office. Feels frustrating, because the whole relationship was based off the friendship, but Iíve been unfriended, blocked from messenger, thrown out. ďSoul mateĒ friend no more. Feels like it the whole thing was a stairway to heaven lie, but I should have known better. I really should have.

    Went out with someone new the other week, which went well and felt like a refreshing re-start. She was fun and energetic. I discovered itís not easy to transition into a new situation without pulling ghost habits of the past. Delivery of comments, jokes, and flirtations felt clunky, but still received as intended. I discovered I needed to learn a new discussion pattern that worked for her, to keep the conversations natural. That wasnít difficult to do, but made me question if it wasnít a natural fit in the first place. Gun shy maybe? Jaded? Not sure. Capricorns are cautious. Weíve gone out a few times since, and itís been fun, yet Iím still not sure where this one is going to go. I like her, with hesitations. Sheís attractive, nice shape, and she has an edge to her I find Iím drawn to. However, I still donít feel the natural ďclickĒ like in past relationships. Almost slightly forced. I think sheís also struggling with separating past habits from building new ones as well. After three dates, you might think that would be answered. I mean, it was a third date, so at this point I should be more certain, but Iím not.

    I think the biggest question I have at this point, is why am I trying to date? I really like being single. I like doing my own thing, being alone to get things done, and spending time with my kids doing whatever we choose to do. Itís not like I canít do that with someone new, but I may not want someone in that mix right now. Like anyone else, I miss affection, sex, adult conversations, etc., but I donítí miss it so much Iím willing to risk settling. And I certainly donítí miss the over-head that existing in past relationships either. Itís Christmas, which is a time when single people tend to yearn for someone in their lives, but Iím not sure I do. Iíll see where this one goes for now, but if it doesnít go anywhere, Iím going to see if life drops someone in my orbit and enjoy being alone in the meantime.

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  6. #15
    Silver Member JamesDE's Avatar
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    Iím not sure where Iím going with this one. Iím struggling with the idea of a new relationship. Iím done speaking about my most recent relationship, it can stay in the history books where it belongs, but I fear it has jaded my trust and is affecting my ability to move forward with a new one. This new girl is a good person, a dedicated mother, sincere worker, and is very much into building what we have started. Sounds perfect, right? It has completely erased any pangs or desires of the past, which is what I needed; but I wonder if Iím rebounding or actually interested in moving into another relationship? There are a few things that have me a little on edge with this one, which makes me wonder if Iím cautiously moving forward or pre-maturely waiting for red flags to run from. My complete trust the last time was a clear mistake, and itís too soon to place trust in something new, but am I approaching a fear of trust? Itís not just trusting her, itís also trust in myself, which has me even more concerned. Sounds clichť, but Iím not sure I trust myself to trust her. Could be what makes me think I enjoy being single.

    I have a good friend of many years who once told me, when it comes to relationships, Iím either all in or all out. My friend and I met when I started my first job out of college and we quickly turned into best friends. He knows everything about my relationships since we met, and frequently reminds me of my mistakes and habits of the past, in jest. In jest primarily because itís a sense of entertainment for him. He finds it amusing to talk about the various situations Iíve placed myself in, and enjoys the embarrassment it causes in me. But what are best friends for, right? So, apparently there is little middle ground with me, but that appears to be exactly where I am right now; in the center of a questionable middle ground. Itís clearly still early, but Iím not sure I picture myself going all in. Iím not comfortably uncomfortable right now, I think Iím more sex driven, and the sex is new only so long. He thinks Iím over-analyzing my situation and should just go with it and see what happens. Go with it and see what happens? If you ask me, that has been a root of my issues of the past. It has been permission to myself to let my guard down, go all in, maybe even over-trust. He argues my issue is I donít take assertive action to leave immediately at the point when no return becomes clear? Heís right, I donít let go quickly, but who does when you arenít the one with someone new? My struggle right now is Iím not sure if can stay in the uncertain zone very long to discover trust, or if I should quickly pull the plug and go all out where Iím comfortable.

    It sucks. I long for a relationship, but I donít like the work of the start up of one. Age, laziness, or fear, not sure, but should it be work though? I am concerned about leading this one on. She's cute, kind, sexy, and I donít want to be someone she regrets meeting and placing her trust in.
    Last edited by JamesDE; 12-18-2019 at 11:49 AM.

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