So I can’t sit own and let the time of my real being take me, for if I try and for a moment can see no direction, cannot tell where I am going, I am filled with panic, scared of emptiness. I am driven and must always look to the far horizons. ~ Joanna Field
For most of my life it seemed that I was afraid of still serenity, uncomfortable of just having nothing to do, and having to make no plans. I seemed to be happiest if there was a great deal going on around me, as though I was in the midst of a raging storm.
I have come to believe that this was a manifestation of what was going on inside my own mind, that I was driven by a mixture of perfectionism and fear of failure.
My focus seemed to be on what I didn’t have; materially, intellectually, and spiritually. My glass was always half empty, never half full.
Perhaps that was not such a good place to be.
Instead of bemoaning what I don’t have and the things I feel are wrong with my life, I am changing my attitude to celebrate what I do have.
Today I have an infinite number of choices, and they all begin with me having a positive outlook. The decisions I make today will have a direct bearing on how meaningful and mindful my life will be.
I am reminded of some words by Ralf Waldo Emerson; This time, like all times, is a very good one if we but know what to do with it.
Today I will try to do some good and mindful things with my time.
Today I will be peaceful amid the storms.
To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the lunatic prisoner was you. ~ Louis B. Smedes.
There has never been much forgiveness in my life, and mostly I have been very unforgiving of myself. I expect to cope, whatever happens, and be a high achiever. At times I can act like a lunatic.
This has led me into a very disruptive pattern in my life. A pattern which others can often recognise better than I can. These words of advice were sent to me a couple of days ago, by a very good friend. This is how she describes my life.
- High on Life …… very optimistic….. on top of the world.
- Sexual buzz is strong.
- I forget all the things that were said when I tried to confront past problems and issues
- Minor irritation sets in when I don’t feel appreciated. I become resentful and mistrustful.
- I start looking for the hidden dark meaning in things said, or not said. Become more distrustful, and often angry ~ often very angry with myself.
- Get totally pissed-off when feelings, emotions, and thoughts that have no basis in truth fill my mind. Start to apply twisted logic to situations and conversations.
- Voices in my mind tell me to escape, say ‘Fuck It All’, and then I will have a drink or 10.
- Go missing from the world for days at a time, during which something very bad will happen.
That’s been the pattern of my life for a very long time. I need to recognise it, and cut it off at the neck when the darker, depressive thoughts begin.
I agree with my friend that I need to try to live with inner peace, mindfulness, and serenity.
Escaping into booze is no solution.
Marmaduke lives very peacefully
Insomnia turns an earthly paradise into a place of torture.
If you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes of getting into bed and turning off the lights, if you toss and turn and wake up several times in the night, if you don’t wake up feeling instantly refreshed and ready to hit the ground running, then you are not getting enough good sleep.
Scientific studies show that for good health almost everyone needs 7 or 8 hours of good sleep, every single night of their adult lives. Not getting enough good sleep does really bad things to you.
Just some of the bad effects of lack of sleep are; depression, diabetes, fatigue, heart diseases, heart attack, high blood pressure, poor immune system leading to illness, impulsive behaviours, irritability, paranoia, stroke, suicidal thoughts, and Death.
All of us know exactly that some of the things some of us do from time to time will prevent us from sleeping well at night; not getting enough fresh air and exercise during the day, drinking too much booze, eating late at night, using social media late at night, not going to bed at the same time every night, staying in bed late at weekends, having unresolved issues that prey on our mind, having an untreated mental illness, having our bedroom too warm, too noisy, and not dark enough, being in a dysfunctional relationship, hanging out in bars, casual sex…..
I’ve got a bad case of the 3.00 am guilts ~ you know, when you lie in bed awake and replay all those things you didn’t do right? Because, as we all know, nothing solves insomnia like a nice warm glass of regret, depression, paranoia, and self-loathing. ~ D. D. Barant.
Some things that most of us do will disrupt our internal body clock, our circadian rhythm, and prevent us from getting a decent night’s sleep, for night after night after night. Who knew that our internal body clock is so important to good sleep and good health? If you do stuff that
fucks up disrupts your internal body clock, resulting in a lack of good sleep, you will seriously damage your physical, mental, and spiritual health and fitness.
All the things that will help ensure that we will always have a good night’s sleep are so
bleeding obvious that a child of 5, or 6, or 7 already knows them, instinctively.
- Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends and vacations.
- Get plenty of fresh air and exercise. Get out and walk for an hour a day, (10,000 steps), but not too late in the day.
- Get plenty of sunlight during the day ~ tricky if you live in northern England like me, (or Canada, or Alaska, or Scandinavia…).
- Avoid caffeine later in the day. It’s a stimulant, and the caffeine in a cup of coffee will take about 6 or 8 hours to wear off.
- Do not smoke. Nicotine is a stimulant, smoking affects your breathing, you will get nicotine withdrawal through the night and wake up, you will have nightmares for years after you stop smoking. Smokers never sleep well.
- Booze. Don’t drink to much, especially late at night. A glass of wine / hard booze just before you go to bed will stop you from getting a decent night’s rest. Trust me, people who drink late at night, most nights, are three parts of the
smeggingway to being an alcoholic.
- Do not eat late at night. Don’t eat anything much for a couple of hours before bed-time.
- Don’t take a nap after three in the afternoon.
- Have a relaxing hot bath just before bed-time. Light some candles, play some relaxing music, turn off your racing mind.
- Have a dark bedroom, quiet bedroom, cool bedroom, gadget free bedroom, and no
fuckingblue light from your phone / tablet / computer shining all night.
- Forget all the bad things from the day, especially the ignorant
son of a bitchperson who cut you up on the freeway on your way to work.
- Finally, if you just cannot get to sleep, then don’t just lie in bed fretting. If you really cannot sleep, get up and do something else instead, (but none of the bad things listed above).
One thing that some doctors say will result in a restored sleep cycle and better sleep is using marijuana, pot, cannabis. There are some serious downside risks to the cannabis user, such as; anxiety, breathing problems, poor coordination, damaging a child in the womb, hallucinations, heart attacks, impaired thinking and cognitive functions, nausea, road traffic accidents, smoking anything is a known health risk, suicide, paranoia and schizophrenia, being arrested, losing your job, and Death. All other drugs you can take to help you sleep are worse than marijuana, especially in the longer term. (Anyhow, I would never sleep with anyone who uses drugs. Come to that, I wouldn’t have lunch with a drug user.)
Some say that going without sleep for night after night is dangerous. And, that eventually going without sleep will kill you, after 11 days or so. All I know is that not sleeping is very, very unpleasant.
you may be able to tell that I didn’t sleep well last night
A wise man doesn’t try to get what he doesn’t want.
Many people don’t know what they want out of life, and many of them struggle to find a way to discover their true needs, want, desires, and dreams. Even if you know what you most need, want, desire, and dream of having ~ well, whatever it is might be very difficult, or almost impossible to acquire. This applies especially to friendship, love, sexual desire….. in fact anything that relies upon another person doing what you want is always going to be an almost impossible dream. You have no control whatsoever over what another person thinks, feels, likes, dislikes, loves, or hates.
Your most important “want” should be the one you can control. ~ Shannon L. Alder.
You cannot make her / him love you, desire you, or even like you.
It follows therefore, that in our journey through life, at some point we should work out what we truly, honestly, realistically need, want, desire, or dream of having.
And this is where most of us come unstuck. We have no idea what it is that we want ~ other than our life goes on pretty much as it has always gone on, without us having to think about it too much, or wandering too far outside of our own comfort zones.
We Just Do Not Know What We Really Want.
However, all of us, or almost all of us, know what we don’t like about our life. Almost all of us know exactly what we hate about our lives. Most of us know exactly who and what we want to walk away from, and after that never, ever, keep in touch.
Some of us can tell exactly when there’s an elephant in the room ~ we know when there are important issues that are not being discussed with our significant other, and instead all we ever seem to talk about is meaningless trivia.
Many of us know that our wants, needs, desires, and important dreams are not being fulfilled. We know that we are frustrated and unfulfilled.
Therefore, as a first step to knowing what you really want, write down what you know you don’t want. Write down what you don’t like about your life. Write down what you hate about your life.
Be honest. Be brutally honest with yourself.
Do not censor yourself ~ just write down what comes into your head.
Don’t over-think things, just write, whatever it is and however bad it seems.
You will have to force yourself to confront the real and damaging issues in your most private life, instead of just focusing on fluffy easy minor annoyances.
Most likely you will not complete your list of dislikes and hates in one short attempt. Keep your list safe, and add to it whenever you think of something else that disturbs your quest for a fulfilling inner peace.
And, most importantly, DO NOT let anyone else see this list of the things and people you hate and what you hate about them.
For example, your partner / wife / husband may not be happy to know that you think she / he is as sexually responsive as a wooden plank. You know what, if I had a significant other / partner / wife like that, then I’d hate that too. (Trust me, I’d hate it, I’ve been there.)
Most likely, if you’re brutally honest with yourself, sex will feature heavily on your list of things that aren’t going right for you. After that, probably your job, your home life, your friends, health, fitness, enjoyment…..
My current list of things I don’t like / hate about my life has 34 things on it, and I’m telling nobody what they are.
But now I have a good idea of what I don’t want, I can start to get what I do want, by any means necessary. (As long as the means I use are legal, honest, and ethical, I will do whatever it takes to get what I truly need, want, desire, and dream about.)
When you know what you want, and you want it bad enough, you will find a way to get it. ~ Jim Rohn
Some say that success is getting what you want. And that happiness is getting what you need. All I know is that I’m damn certain what I don’t want in my life.
I would like to go back to California again
If you confidently believe in yourself, you can do anything.
Sometimes our lives can suck, and having a life filled with problems and pain can leach any self-confidence you ever had right out of you. But, without self-confidence we are useless in life. Without self-confidence we become diffident, hesitant, inward-looking, and pretty crappy at everything we might try to do. Without self-confidence we worry, fret, and fail.
In fact, without self-confidence we may not want to do anything at all, just in case it all goes badly wrong. Not doing, not turning up for life, sitting alone and lonely in your own space ~ well that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and destroys whatever vestige of confidence you may have had left.
Remember this truth; To be good at what you do, you first have to do.
Self-confidence is a skill, and like any other skill it can be learned, and relearned. Fear of failure is a skill, stop learning and relearning it.
Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
The road towards true self-confidence has only a few steps along the way.
- Know who you are. Self-awareness is something we should all work at, and the more you work at it, the more you will know your true self. Hey, I know exactly who I am, my name is Jack Collier.
- Be comfortable and happy with who you are ~ and if you’re not happy with yourself, then work at changing yourself to be a better version of you. Lose that weight, exercise and get fitter, spend time on personal grooming, dress well in clothes that flatter you, go back to school….. The only person we can really change is ourselves.
- Be OK with what you do. So your job sucks, and the people at work treat you like shit, so look for a better and better-paid job. You owe no loyalty whatsoever to the people you work for, nor the people you work with. Don’t just quit your job, instead use your time at work and their facilities as assets in your job-search. Better still, start working for yourself. The really successful people in life are never wage-slaves.
- Be cool with where you are heading. You may not even know where you’re going, but go somewhere. The longest journey begins with the first baby steps, and you won’t know if you’re going in the wrong direction if you’re going nowhere. I know where I’m going ~ for a start I’m going to leverage this JackCollier7 blog into a best-selling self-improvement book.
- Do not ever give up after one failure. In fact, do not accept failure. Everybody fails from time to time, mostly because other people aren’t smart enough to see just how good you really are. JK Rowling, the best selling author of the Harry Potter books, was turned down by 12 publishers before Bloomsbury picked up the rights to her first manuscript for just £1,500. Today JK Rowling is worth around $1 billion.
- Remember that nobody will believe in you unless you believe in you. If you don’t believe in yourself, then act like hell and fake self-belief.
- Remember that life is filled with opportunities and choices, never stop looking and learning to find the opportunities that enhance your self-belief, self-confidence, self-worth, and self-empowerment. The more choices you have, the more self-motivated you will become.
You are the Captain of your own ship, and you are the master of your fate, so step up and impress yourself, impress everyone around you, and if they aren’t utterly impressed by the new self-confident you, then move on because it’s their loss, not yours.
Some say that before embarking on anything new, you must first believe that you can do it. And, that you must honestly ask yourself if whatever you’re going to do will work. All I know is that I ask myself if it’s going to be worth it.
always be open, honest, and self-aware
you can’t get to the moon if you don’t try
You can never get away from where you’ve been.
We cannot change the past, we can only change the ways feel think and feel about the past. Most people have brutal, painful, and regrettable memories of their past. Events from the past have created who we are today, and events from the past will affect us today, tomorrow, next week, next year, and maybe until the day we die and beyond…..
Some of us may say that we are OK with the past, that things that happened in our childhood and adolescence do not haunt us at all. But beware, even if you are not aware of it, everything that you have experienced in the past; good, bad, terrible, traumatic, joyful, boring….. is affecting your sub-conscious today.
Nobody, up to and including you and me, is completely at peace with their past. We cannot, and should not, forget the past. Our past creates in us feelings of anxiety, bitterness, disappointment, doubt, guilt, fear, frustration, hurt, regret, rejection, sadness….. and most of us recall and remember the negatives from our past more than we focus on the positives.
Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. ~ Chuck Palahniuk
Some of us try to run away from our past; changing where we live, drifting from one relationship to another, changing jobs, drinking too much, taking drugs, attempting suicide, and metaphorically running away to join the circus. But none of that running away ever works, for wherever we go we take the past with us. (Even if a suicide attempt fails it will most likely do irreparable damage to the body, mind, and spirit.)
For some of us it’s even worse, because we are also affected by the past of someone who is very close to us, and emotions created by someone else’s past are incredibly difficult to deal with. This is doubly so if our ‘friend’ hasn’t themselves fully come to terms with their own past.
To be cool with the past we must first be motivated to deal with the past. We need to understand what really happened in the past, not just some biased half-memories that we use to fuel our negative emotions today. Try to find out what really happened in the past. Be willing to talk about and fully explore issues from the past. Stop pretending that everything from the past is fine, when most likely it isn’t. Acknowledge your true feelings, whether they be loss, hurt, shame, anger…..
You can accept or reject the way you are treated by other people, but until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed. ~ Iyanla Vazant.
Depending how deeply the past affects us, we may need help to come to terms with what happened, how it affected us, and who we are today because of the past. Speaking to family and friends may help, you may need to see your doctor or a therapist, you may talk with your priest or spiritual adviser, you may need something like hypnosis, or you may just need to really meditate, read inspirational books, listen to motivational lectures, or just go for a long walk in the sunshine.
With any luck we may find out that the past is better than we feared. But, no matter if the past is better or worse than we think we remember, we cannot move on from something we don’t understand and we refuse to accept.
That’s the past for you. Not only does it come back at the most unexpected and inconvenient times, but it’s set in stone. ~ Jeffery Deaver.
There may well be things from the past that need resolution. This might be very difficult, but the longest journey starts with the first baby-step. Be honest. Be self-aware. Be kind with yourself. Seek to understand yourself. Be kind and understanding towards others. And, give yourself time to heal.
A ship does not sail with yesterday’s wind. ~ Louis L’Amour
Some say that we can become cool with the past by keeping a positive outlook and a strong determination to succeed in finding joy instead of negative emotions. And, that the past only exists in our memories and imagination. All I know is that the past isn’t actually here.
If what you’re doing isn’t working,
then do something else instead.
Paranoia; an extreme feeling that people are lying to me.
There is no such thing as paranoia. Your worst fears can come true at any moment. ~ Hunter S. Thompson.
We are all conditioned by our past. We have all been conditioned by society. We have all learned to be afraid. Our parents, our carers, our siblings, and all of society taught us to be afraid.
We learned negative thought, and we learned character defects like; anxiety, cowardice, denial, distrust, evasiveness, frustration, guilt, hatred, immorality, insecurity, pessimism, possessiveness, promiscuity, self-pity, and worry. All of these character defects are manifestations of fear.
It has been a massive shock to me to realise and accept just how afraid I have been for most of my life.
My greatest fear ~ fear of abandonment. I was a small, premature baby, placed in an incubator immediately after birth. Before I was five years old my maternal grandmother, my principal carer, left me. She had passed away.
My second greatest fear ~ that people are lying to me. My parents didn’t tell me that my nan had died, I thought she had abandoned me. My parents’ lying by omission, and telling me half-truths, destroyed my capacity to trust anyone.
Half a truth is often a great lie. ~ Benjamin Franklin
My third greatest fear ~ that I am not good enough, that I do everything wrong, that I am useless. I thought my nan had left me because I had been a bad boy, that I just wasn’t good enough for her anymore. Since then I have always felt second-best.
Because of that trauma in my formative years I have always been afraid of getting things wrong, and of being mocked for making mistakes. I have been morbidly afraid of rejection, which has resulted in all of my relationships with women becoming utterly dysfunctional. I am deeply afraid of developing a close relationship with an attractive and sexual woman.
Good girls go to heaven, Bad girls go everywhere. ~ Mae West
Because of my childhood trauma, I believe that every women I have had a close relationship with has lied to me, and I am afraid that negative belief also means that I cannot even know truth from falsehoods. In my own life I attempt to be dedicated to the truth, but to be a truthful man in a world of liars is to live in a very scary place. And, as we all know, everybody lies all the time.
Keeping secrets from someone is no different from lying to them. It’s still dishonest. And I am deeply afraid of dishonesty.
Perhaps due to the traumas I experienced before I was 5 years old, for most of my life I have suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder, which is a serious mental illness that brings with it it’s very own set of fears. Happily, I am mostly in recovery from BPD.
Some say that we are all afraid of change because we fear the unknown. And that our fears are there to protect us from really bad things happening to us. All I know is that if I keep on doing what I’ve always done, then I’ll get what I always got.
I don’t believe in fate or destiny. I believe in various degrees of fear, paranoia, and abandonment. ~ Henry Rollins.
To recover from paranoia and fear I am working on healing the causes of my problems, rather than the symptoms.
no matter how much you deceive yourself,
you have to know that she has always lied to you.
True realism is a willingness to reveal and accept the truth.
Scientific studies, and my own bitter experiences, have shown me that one of the character traits necessary for a man / person to be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually strong, stable, and resilient is Realism.
Being too pessimistic is depressing, being too optimistic means that you are easily disappointed and crushed, and being too idealistic is to search for unrealistic perfection. Being realistic means that you accept the reality of the world as it is, rather than as you imagine it to be.
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects the wind to change; the realist adjusts the sails. ~ William Arthur Ward.
It seems that being realistic tends to mean that you’re also deep, grounded, mindful, compassionate, able to deal with adversity, are not easily disappointed, and recover quickly from whatever shit the world throws your way.
To be realistic is to be self-aware and be fully cognisant of your own wants, needs, desires, and dreams. Being fully self-aware means that you do not easily fall prey to self-deceit ~ you don’t much lie to yourself, nor to others.
Realistic people also have good situational awareness, they are grounded in the truth of any given situation, seeing things for what they actually are, rather than they would wish them to be. They have a solid sense of time and place. They read people easily, and they are not reliant on a specific other person for their happiness. Most people don’t have your happiness at the top of their agenda.
It is a healthy approach not to expect persons to turn out precisely how you would have wished. ~ Criss Jami
There are 3.2 billion women in the world, so why should a realistic guy tie their happiness to just one particular uncaring and unavailable woman ~ no matter what.
One key feature of a realistic person is that they will always have some sort of written plan / plans in place to achieve their wants, needs, desires, and dreams. Realists know that unless they do something then nothing happens. To live life you first have to show up. Realists make the very most of any opportunity that comes their way. Realists take action to make things happen, they do not wait for things to happen to them. Realists tend to devote enough time and effort to whatever task lies in front of them.
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. ~ Abraham Lincoln.
A realist will also have more free will than any other type of person. This is because they are prepared to say ‘No’. Every time you blindly agree with other people means that you have taken away your own free will.
Realists have a particular type of personality ~ they are physical, sceptical, jealous of their own time and space, independent, practical, clear-headed, good in an emergency, objective, non-judgmental, taciturn, and easy going.
But you don’t have to possess all of those character traits to be a realist ~ perhaps they are attributes we should aspire to.
Some say that a realist believes that some things are worth fighting for. And, that a realist will have a flexible plan for winning their battles. All I know is that to be a realist means showing up for the fight ~ it means showing up for Life.
Practical Realism 1.01 ~ First Know Yourself.
remember you’re supposed to be draining the swamp, not fighting with the alligators
From time to time the darkness would overwhelm me.
It turns out that I am an emotional being, which is an unwanted paradigm shift for a taciturn and repressed English guy like me. And yet, for much of my recent life I have been completely defined and driven by powerful emotions.
From time to time my psyche would spiral down a dark hole into a place where I became angry, jealous, manipulative, paranoid, resentful, unreasonable… filled with negative thoughts and feelings.
These emotions would hit me out of nowhere, coming from deep within my subconscious mind, usually when my conscious guard was down ~ because I was tired, stressed, had been drinking, or someone close had lied to me, or perhaps just because something had gone slightly wrong in my life.
And these intense, darkly negative emotions could often drive a complete change in my personality, turning me from a rational and sociable man into an irrational and dangerous Mr. Hyde.
One thing you can’t hide ~ is when you’re crippled inside. ~ John Lennon.
The reality is that intensely negative and darkly dangerous emotions are driven by fear, and in my case probably a paranoid fear of abandonment created by the Borderline Personality Disorder I have suffered from for most of my life.
Fear is powerful, deep, affecting the most primeval part of our psyche, what Freud calls the id. And fear generates the equally powerful fight or flight reflex. At my darkest I would fight by attacking people verbally and in writing, and run away into a bottle of booze. Neither of these reflex actions was in the least useful to me.
What I needed was a strategy which allowed me to accept my negative emotions without allowing their destructive power to ruin my relationships and my life ~ wanting to find a suitable way to check out of life is not good.
What I needed was to be more emotionally stable and resilient.
It turns out that emotionally resilient people have some important things in common. Emotionally stable and resilient people;
- Are Realists. Grounded. Optimists are soon disappointed and easily lose hope. Realists make the best they can of the ‘Now’.
- Have Faith. Believe in something greater than themselves, something greater than whatever bad situation they may find themselves in.
- Are extremely and radically creative.
- Have a support network of close friends, doctors, counsellors, 12-step groups…
- Have a great, but usually weird and warped, sense of humour.
These are all things that I could invent for myself. I can grow and develop these character traits that actually exist in all of us. Each day I have been able to further manifest these character traits within myself. Every hour I have become more emotionally stable and resilient.
One ought to hold onto one’s heart; for if one lets it go, one soon loses control of the head too. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche.
Life goes on, and I do not have to allow my emotions to control me.
Although my emotions are an important part of me, I AM NOT MY EMOTIONS.
Some say that negative emotions have an important role to play in a happy life. And that negative emotions are telling you that you need to change and transform yourself. All I know is that you can turn things around and control how your emotions affect you.
Life does not have to be perfect to be good.