beyond these minimal components, there are other reasonable expectations in a relationship.
time. i have become increasingly aware of the scarcity of time. it is the only resource that us earthly bodies experience we can never retrieve, relive, revive, reconstruct; once it has passed it is never to be experienced again. the more days that pass the more picky i am becoming with whom and how i spend my fleeting moments. i can appreciate when people give me their time. we spend our lives busying ourselves, so to take some of that time to give to me is a gift. giving someone your time shows them how important you are to them. as a receiver of time, i try to appreciate in the moment that my companions could be doing nearly anything else with these moments they will never have again.
reciprocation... of time, energy, love, affections are all reasonable expectations. no one wants to have their figurative emotional bank over withdrawn. there should be a healthy give take in relationships. the most let down i have felt in my friendships have been from lack of reciprocation. there is a healthy dynamic of give and take in every relationship, and the big picture is more important than one instance of unreciprocated love. a long imbalance of goods and services (love and energy) can make a friendship tiring and draining.
equitable flexibility. i have found myself being inflexible too many times to count. the rigidness of my state is generally reflective of my current life situation. i hope that i have more flexibility when my life is less chaotic. and same goes for my human companions. it is acceptable in my book to have some rigidness in their time/energy reflecting situations in their lives. healthy friendships move back towards flexibility. healthy people realize their rigidness and move towards trying to be more flexible.
desire. in my friendships i desire to be desired. i like to feel like i am loved and my company is wanted. i like to show my friends that i miss them or am happy to connect with them, however brief. being wanted fulfills a part of my insecure human personality. i want you to want me.
quality. quality is an umbrella term that can apply to all states of being in the moment. maybe you don't have more than one afternoon a month or every three months, but the time and energy you do have to give or receive with a companion should have quality. i don't care to be with a person if they are not present in mind. similarly, i understand that i am not great company when i am preoccupied with other things. sharing time with a good friend can bring me to the present and out of my head, and i like to aid my friends in doing the same. quality can mean looking into your companion's eyes when they are speaking. laughing at the silliness. a lingering hug. quality spans many qualities and is a necessary component in my friendships
often i have a pathetic and undesirable feeling of both coveting and pity that brings me to dark contemptuous places- a feeling that no love i have experienced (outside of the love from the fruit of my loins) fulfills my need to be loved. i know as i write, and as i was thinking about writing this, that this thought is mania. i have had many soul mates-people and animal, with whom the spark, click, connection is undeniably unique and deep: some sort of unexplainable quantum entanglement. not always have these sparks meant everlasting undying connections for me. luckily, some of my soul companions have not faded. with some i have experienced connections so profound that to speculate that we have met beyond these physical bodies seems sensible.
i have found romantic relationships much more difficult to figure out. those exotic cocktails of chemicals coursing through my system confounds my understanding of breadth and existential universalities of the connectedness. similar doses of these chemicals are released when i have connected with non-romantic soul touchers. the common denominator between romantic and non-romantic connections? probably satisfying numerous pleasure points with a certain level of intensity, including but not limited to: intellectual stimulation, camaraderie, commonalities… all of the pleasurable connections i can think of have another common theme, a reflection of self. i find great satisfaction in projecting myself on to the canvas of another being's body.
considering this, how authentic are my connections when i find the most rewarding parts of connections with others reflections of myself?
can i expect to achieve profound connectedness with anyone else when all i am doing is looking for myself in them?
i should forgive myself- i think that the instinct, the biological desire to protect my genes and have them go on in time play a small role in my selfishness. other factors are protection of ego driven by my insecurities, and being an irrational-prefrontal cortex using creature- all forgivable.
this may also explain my aching heart---this ferocious bully of self that has berated me with insecurities for most of my life is part of the cause of itself. it is self and itself; bringing myself understanding has brought self and itself full circle.
i have been projecting my self-loveless (maybe not less, but clearly not enough) self onto others, expecting someone else to break me free from the feeling. only the self can help the self.
it is regretful that i have reached a point in my thinking that i have to question even my quantum entanglements. i am not certain i would want to figure out if all or any of my connections have been authentic beyond my selfish projections. instead i am happy to experience what i can with that understanding in consideration. also, i think i am ready to figure out how to project self love and learn to love others, truly love myself and others, independently.
“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ― Gautama Buddha
a rant, a plead, a way to ease my mind and feel like i did something:
you, like many people i know, had a less than exemplary start to life. although you never have had to want or need food, clothing or shelter, you have never felt loved. your parents are, from my experience, fucked up. right up there with bad parents. in some ways, from what i understand of your youth, your parents were not the worst. they gave you things. you had fun, technological relevant toys at your disposal.you also had some interesting travels and methods of travel. (your own family plane=the tops, man!) you were raised as an only child, and adored your older sibling who was being raised elsewhere, so you were lonely. you're so guarded, and at this point I'm not sure you're very much in touch with reality neither past nor present but you have given me times of lucidity, insight into your existence. when we were kids you let me know you liked coming to my house because my mom hugged you, and your parents didn't. of course your father didn't, he is the king of fucked up in your world. too brilliant to have social awareness? perhaps he has a tad less grey matter in his brain or retarded-brain-activation in his amygdala, either way he lacks empathy and understanding that good fathers do not. he has in no way ever accepted you; and that is wrong, fucked up, sad, damaging... you idolize him because of his intellect and are addicted to him because his abuse and emotional neglect. you're proud to be related to an actual genius. i think you should feel grateful you got some of that brain capability. but in my eyes he is nothing to idolize or revere, he is a coward who didn't do his son right. all that brain power and he couldn't figure that out. "gee, i should hug my son and tell him i love him even though it doesn't come naturally to me. i should go outside of my comfort zone to raise this little person i created to feel self-love." you can't even blame brilliance for your mom's inability to love you right. maybe she was scared of your dad? maybe she had a super weird and unfortunate childhood. she was not kind enough to you. she was not understanding enough. she did not get to know you enough. i will never understand her but i don't respect her and i kind of loath her.
you started experimenting with drugs when we were very young. before i had boobs you had eaten bunches of psilocybin, minimally. perhaps you had a void and a need to feel loved and drugs did that for you. perhaps you were a normal, smart, bored teenager (with a less than exemplary start to life) who decided to do some experimenting and it felt good. it felt better that the angst. you're a smart dude. and being smart isn't always easy. you can be too smart for your own good. you can get left behind by your peers and instructors because you're so far ahead. unfortunately, being intellectually far ahead doesn't usually coincide with rapid emotional growth. so, you opened the doors of perception and started enjoying it. who wouldn't. but that naivety died in our 20s.
i saw early in our long history that you didn't really love yourself. although you would never admit that because you haven't realized your self destructive choices are fueled by your self loathing, or to admit that to someone else would be "weak" and leave you vulnerable. another lovely gift from your parents. i mentioned above, i think you're super smart. i think you have many talents! you appreciate beauty in a way professional artists yearn for. you have a mechanical inclination: your hands understand metal, and many other mediums. you're so smart and when you're interested in something you are capable of absorbing so many complicated details about whatever that is. you are good at finding the things you need to build or take apart or create from scratch to satisfy the growing itch inside of you for that subject/project. but you are your worst critic. you are hopelessly searching for a love feeling…. for yourself. no one is ever good enough because you don't think you're good enough.
your parents have never liked me. i used to care about that so much! because of the deep and profound love i have for you in my heart, i want the people that you put on the pedestal in front of you to like me. but they don't . i know when you were a crackhead/pill addict and i imposed an intervention on you with your parents, you discredited my TRUTHFUL claims with lies. i'm not even going to speculate what you told them because only three people know what happened in the car ride home, but the picture you painted of me was that i was not authentic. but i was and i am still. i can't reach out to your parents to help you for several reasons.
1. i already held an intervention for you were you discredited my honesty.
2. they won't help you. they will chose to disregard my claims and not use their small fortune to make sure you don't lose your home, and pay for the treatment you absolutely need.
3. you would hate me forever. again. for the fifth time.
so, what do i do? no, first, why do i want to do something? what is my motivation? well, i think it is kind of a selfish motivation. i think that if you overdose or kill your organs from too many years of neglect, i am going to be super bummed. and i know myself. i will beat myself up for several subsequent decades wishing i had done something. i've lost a couple people, and the definitive end has so far driven me to be regretful. so, ruby-centrism may be at the core. perhaps you deserve someone to love you enough to care when you don't care enough. perhaps i know a couple people who think you deserve more than you're capable of giving yourself and deserve to gain the tools to give yourself a better life.
you have had many successes. too many successful projects and investigations of interest to list or name. i often wonder what you would do if you had sobriety. i wonder how long you've gone in adulthood without any mind altering substances. and what that felt like for you. i wish i knew the extent of your burden with losing yourself in altering substances. i don't know. but i have observed. very very closely at times and since our more youthful adventures, i have observed more distantly. my mind has kept little red flags in your file. and now that we are 30, i think it is safe to say i have observed some patterns. some self destructive, self-unloving patterns. it makes me sad. yes, i throw around what ifs. what if you were sober? would you be giggly? would your scenes be even more breathtaking? would you drink up life with gratitude and breathe in that fresh wonderful air and think, "i am content," and mean it? what would you be capable of? un-fucking-stoppable man!
but instead of an unstoppable, beauty indulging, content man, you continuously get so faded until you're a crippled version of the potential-you and are you fading. i haven't seen you sober in years, longterm-loved-friend. i don't wake up next to you but i assume you experience bouts of sobriety! you still get belligerently fucked up. you called me recently in this incoherent state, at 9 pm. you have called a mutual friend in a slurred mess of belligerence even more recently. our last encounter in person you were so low on something you looked like a sleeping robot. you moved like sludge and didn't giggle. i didn't see the spark in your eyes, your spirit so dulled. you had no passion. and it has been like that for a long time now. before the cancer. you were already addicted. and now after, you are too. it made me super sad just a second ago when i realized, you get the most fucked up out of anyone i really love.
i have more insight than i have lead on. your young and sweet but also frighteningly addicted girlfriend has told me more than you know. she's scared. scared for herself (she should be). scared for you. you, my longterm-loved-friend are an addict. i don't know the extent or all of the specifics. but i know with my heart and intellect that you are on the wrong side of drugs at 30. i know things you don't want me to know, and i kind of wish i didn't know. because, now i feel like if i don't do something, you might not ever get to experience yourself without drugs. this potentially super awesome person who has some inflection skills and who loves himself, truly loves himself. i feel like if i don't do anything you could definitely cease to be. and that would suck, because i hope you learn, you are worthy of love. you deserve to be more than your parents think you are. you deserve to be enough for you. you deserve to overcome the youth you were handed. your parents and choices as a child are not your fault, you carry the consequences, but you cannot control what happened. you deserve to let it go.
so what do i do? i write this letter. i let the other people privy to the information burden i hold read it and perhaps i give it to you. perhaps i just publish this and live with my feelings finally being outside of me. perhaps i give you this as a cover letter to a well researched body of text explaining self medicating, addictions, how organs work and treatment options. whatever i decide to do and i going to do it with loving kindness, with the right way, and right intentions.
1. live with loving kindness. to live in the moment takes practice. to then apply compassion to self and to others takes dedication ! find opportunities to surprise yourself by transforming unpleasant circumstances into avenues to apply loving kindness to yourself and others. realizing that we are all flawed and need to grown and having compassion for the self aids in nurturing the growth of self which allows us to be more compassionate towards others.
2. get to know yourself. acknowledge how you feel without imposing an opinion about it. there is no should. letting go of expectations of the mind and observing them can teach you about yourself. noting your behavior can give you inflection and direct you to understanding why you feel the way you do and perhaps, if the feeling is unpleasant, relieve yourself of the burden of the unpleasantness of the experience.
3. let go. after an experience, if you can't find a good place in your consciousness for it, let it go. let go of your pains. let go of your worries. let go of your anger. let go of your trauma. breathe in freshness and breathe out the baggage you carry. cry. talk. sleep. write. paint. play. build. rebuild. let the negativity out of you.
4. balance. there are infinitely large and infinitely small parts of everything. there are long term and short term effects of our actions. there exists dichotomy in nearly every part of our existence.
5. learn. nourish your mind with information. find subjects that interest you and dive in! or, test the waters with your toes, but find subjects that stimulate your mind and seek understanding about them.
6. read. make sure that part of information integration is from written words. your mind absorbs information in many different ways, but please don't skip reading because it is a task. reading will help your eyes and mind be sharp and keen.
7. add layers to your lenses. when you're seeking worldly facts, try to put yourself in the midst of the context and carry the value with you. you can use these values when evaluating circumstances. the more dynamic the lenses, the more dynamic the understanding.
8. make friends. human interaction is valuable in innumerable ways. on a chemical level, your reward system is equipped with hug-chemical-happiness. as many anthropologists and historians have concluded, humans desire community and acceptance.
9. trim the fat. you can't be friends with everyone you will ever meet. toxic or unhealthy relationships can be draining. there is a point that you have to cut out people who are unhealthy for you. relationships including family! i know many people who are in toxic relationships with their families and would be better off estranged. don't stay because you have to. evaluate circumstances and do what is best for the self.
10. centeredness is the flow. every point in this list and the subsequent points are to help the self become centered. mindfulness in key to centeredness and the flow.
11. enjoy your body. you have love handles. stretch marks. that scar on your face. your thighs should touch unless your thighs happen to not touch. your skin gets rough. put lotion on it. look at yourself naked in the mirror and tell yourself you're beautiful, because i promise you are. enjoy the pleasurable parts of your body. they are meant to be enjoyed. explore them and figure out how to feel more pleasure. you're wired to have enjoyable physical experiences, take advantage of that.
12. have innumerable orgasms. an orgasm is an autonomic nervous response. it releases oxytocin and endorphins (rewards) in your brain. we have evolved to have orgasms. do it. have sex. masturbate. if you're stressed. in pain. unhappy. feeling uncentered. have an orgasm.
13. enjoy the company of people you love. even when you're in the midst of an argument with a loved one, cherish them. try to remember you wouldn't be happy without them. life is fleeting and unpredictable so remain mindful of the company you keep and inviting the ability to enjoy it.
14. life goes on within you and without you. oh george. you were so wise. the ego is a powerful part of the mind. if left unchecked it will quickly become unhappy with anything it is not already incline d to enjoy. remain mindful that the world and everything exists whether or not you do.
15. enjoy the past. it has brought you to where you are now. life can be trying and unawesome things happen. but it lead you to you in the present. don't regret or pine of the past. enjoy it like your own personal movie, accessible whenever you desire. carry the morals of past experiences with you, not the baggage.
16. be an exemplary friend. give unabashedly to those you love. find ways to help them and love them and be there for them. give love. be love. remember that they don't eat any seafood or that they're allergic to cauliflower. engage with them about things they are into. call them every once in a while to remind them that you care. even if it's literally only to tell them that you care about them.
17. be an exemplary human. volunteer. bring more love into the world. foster something. give your time. pick up trash. all things you're capable of and will bring goodness to you via the world being a better place.
18. give back. whether it be to someone who gives to you or the earth. find ways to show gratitude for your life by giving back.
19. find the joys in doing things you don't want to do. watch your favorite mindless television while folding laundry. listen to the most epic upbeat playlist ever while you're doing cardio. bond with your family while you run errands. enjoy the coziness of huddling around a fire when it rains and you're camping. find the tolerable parts of uncomfortable situations. if you're forced to interact with an acquaintance you don't enjoy or getting your teeth pulled, find something you can hold on to that isn't uncomfortable and feel that in the forefront of your mind.
20. have reasonable expectations.
21. listen. people often want you to know things. listen without thinking about your retort. you will likely have time to remember what you wanted to contribute to the interaction. be mindful in listening and you'll hear more than you'd ever imagined.
22. smile. force a smile. find something that makes you happy. bring it to the front of consciousness and smile. keep your smile going and you will feel more happiness.
23. seek to be in tune with the self. you can smell a bear in the woods. you can hear the fluttering of insects around you. you can feel when you need to give yourself a break. tune into yourself.
24. eat beets. or kale. probably both. eat all sorts of nutritious foods. eat them more than you eat processed foods. your body will thank you for your entire life.
25. work out. get yourself worked into a shvitz. your body and mind will be more centered. working out is my prozac and my spinach. well, that and spinach.
26. get out of civilization and into the woods. i have never spent time in the woods and felt disconnected from my roots. getting away from civilization and letting nature teach you. nurture you. teach you lessons. feel the energy of being a part of the whole. remember conservationism. disconnect from technologies and the internet.
27. find things that make you happy and do them. paint. run. play music. garden. write. contemplate. do exercise. nap. spend time with those most important to you.
28. accept everyone. you don't need to like everyone, or every quality of everyone, but accept them for the entirety of selves. this includes yourself. accept yourself, your short comings and strong points. accepting yourself doesn't mean you shouldn't strive to be better, but is an acknowledgement of...
29. accept(ing) reality. the existence of the rainbow is dependent on the conical photoreceptors in your eyes; to animals with out cones, the rainbow does not exist. acknowledge reality. live in it. commit to change in the future if you'd like. always seek the whole picture. the micro picture. the macro picture. accept your existence for what it is, then work towards what you'd like it to be. i encourage you to seek rainbows and be in awe of how cool it is to have evolved to be able to create them.
30. accept change. learn to acknowledge the discomforts of change. learn to be at peace with impermanence. it is the only constant in our lives.