January 1, 2015 Nevada City, CA
In exploring the dynamic of “This Isn’t It” at an ever deeper level, I have come to some realizations.
First, the whole notion that tomorrow will be better than today if I do something about it–work harder, fix something, or just get lucky–I can now see as a trick of the mind. The collapsing of the two distinctions, “satisfaction” and “how something is” into the notion of “I will be more satisfied if things look different, or better, than they look right now,” leaves me in a constant state of being dissatisfied now and under pressure to do something or fix something today. It is never ending, and robs me of being satisfied with the way things are now.
Of course I have many things I think about from this distorted context of “this isn’t it.” For example, I need to get better in my rowing or I need to accept my waning abilities better. I need to fix the mower or complete my taxes or start a promotional campaign to make things better. It is never ending as the satisfaction is never reached and as I grow older, it just seems more and more hopeless to go down that road. Something has to change.
The solution involves living in the paradox of being satisfied, grateful and appreciative of what I now have (I find I have to actually look for it) and enjoying the process of making tomorrow better than today, just because it is fun to do and gives me a sense of accomplishment. The satisfaction is always now in the doing, the living, the appreciation of my life now.
Second, I recently realized that all my life, I have had a pattern of looking for faults or flaws in the beautiful women I was attracted to. Once I saw that, I could also see how odd that was and how it has also led to a “not seeing the world and the women in it as beautiful.”
Possibly, by finding the flaws, I could then justify in my mind not “having” that woman. As if in some bizarre sort of primitive DNA programming, I was the alpha male and I wanted all the beautiful women for my harem, but I could pass on this one because I found some flaws.
This could be the source of a pattern of looking for what doesn’t work or isn’t up to my standards or needs to be corrected. Which means I have a hard time living from my preferred reality, or creating my preferred reality of finding and seeing and acknowledging beauty all around me–seeing the good aspects of the half-full (usually a lot more than half-full) glass.
Diane often says, “you could tell me I look beautiful” and even though I want to see Diane as beautiful all the time and know I should say it more often, it doesn’t occur to me. So this is a practice I need to take on to counteract my programmed normal (dysfunctional) way of operating.
The third aspect of “this isn’t it,” that I have just seen relates to the ‘phantom lover’ who has stood behind my female partners in the past. This phantom “ideal lover” would whisper to me that the woman I was with “wasn’t it.”
Now what is fascinating is that this “fantasy ideal phantom” wasn’t even fully defined! If I looked closely, I could not see her face, or exactly how tall she was, her hair or her body. So in actual fact, she was less formed than a phantom, yet she was always there as my ‘hold out’ for not fully committing to the relationship I was in.
I might see glimpses of aspects of “her” in the pictures of women in a magazine or in some woman in a restaurant or walking down the street, but of course never the entire perfect woman.
Luckily with Diane, I know that she is my chosen partner and I have often seen her as radiantly beautiful and I am grateful for the life we have together, so these dysfunctional patterns seem easier to see against the backdrop or perhaps the looking glass of our relationship.
I can see that these are all mind tricks, ways of taking me out of present time and fooling me into continuing to carry out patterns that do not give me the happiness and joy I want in my life.
When I am in the present moment with Diane, my life is full and I am happy. Our love making, after we clear away any upsets that have surfaced, is ecstatic.
So why can’t I just stay in the moment, why do I have to keep fighting my own mind? I do not know the answer other than to say that this seems to be our nature as human beings and our challenge to see if we can resolve the dilemma by straddling the paradox of NOW and a life lived in Time.
All the best for 2015
January 1, 2015, Nevada City, CA
An “Owie” in the kitchen
During 2014, Diane and I participated in a nine-month course to become more conscious about our money and our life directions. It is run by Dave Ellis, Lynne Twist, and Tammy White and we both found it excellent. They are doing it again in 2015 and if you want more information contact us.
As part of the course, we periodically go over our finances and our budget. Our end of the year time kept getting put off, so on New Year’s Eve, we finally set aside time for what turned into a two-hour process of making sure all expenditures were in the correct categories.
At the end of it, Diane expressed that she was disappointed because she didn’t want to do our accounting on New Year’s Eve and that she had hoped we would have a date and then go to a friend’s party. When she said it, she sounded annoyed, then slammed the door and went outside to put the chickens away for the night.
I felt a little blamed in the process, as if I had somehow forced us to do this long tedious process. But I was able to see that feeling blamed was just my old pattern when my partner or my mother was upset and that in this instance, we had worked together the whole time, and Diane had an opportunity to object to what we were doing at any time along the way. So I let that go.
When Diane returned a few minutes later, she said that she was not blaming me, but was just expressing her dissatisfaction with the lengthy process and on New Year’s Eve. She also stated her desire that in the future we should do it monthly rather than the three-month interval we had just accounted for.
I agreed that this was a good idea as well, so in the end, her slight upset led to a good outcome. We would have a better chance of correcting our spending if we were getting feedback once a month rather than every three months and it would take less time if we kept up with it each month.
In reflecting, I saw that because of our love and trust of one another, Diane has the space or permission to express feelings and desires that in the past would have been unconscious, covered up or ignored. And I can notice and let go of feeling blamed which Diane wasn’t doing. She was just expressing her pent up frustration, musing to herself out loud.
However, in the past this outburst could have resulted in some form of withdrawal by both of us. I would feel blamed and hurt, feel resentful and angry on top of the hurt and withdraw my affection and affinity. Diane could have retained the anger and blamed me, rather than seeing it was her unexpressed and unfilled expectation that was the source of her upset and then withdrawn her love and affection.
Instead we recognized that her outburst was a result of our deepening relationship and in essence it was an old wound of hers coming to the surface to be healed–all in the space our love creates for that to happen.
After we talked and cleared all this up, we then had one of the best love making dates ever, deeper, more in sync, and more ecstatic than previously. But I have to say that it is hard to codify the mindless space and the experience of being with each other in that beautiful way of making love.
So once again it confirmed for me that if we can keep letting the old patterns and wounds surface, talk about them and explore the mechanisms of our own minds, that it will lead to an ever deepening connection and more freedom to express ourselves just as we are.
By the way, we also made it to the party and had a great time. So Diane’s expectations were fulfilled after all!
All the best for 2015,