I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
and you’re not in this world to live up to mine
I didn’t expect her to do that at the dinner table
One of the reasons my life was such a mess was that I had some expectations from a relationship that were no longer being met. I was and am far too attached to a woman, and being in love with a woman always leads to expectations, and in my experience expectations always leads to bitter disappointments. Those disappointments were making me very confused, is it infatuation, lust, desire, love, an emotional need, or a dysfunctional friendship? And how does a normal guy find a way through that Dionysian maze?
Expectation is the root of all heartache. ~ Shakespeare
No matter how hard I tried I could not free myself of the expectation that I deserved an emotional, sensual and sexual friendship where the love I thought I felt was returned freely and fully. That is the big danger of having expectations, often they are unrealistic, often they lead us to believe that we deserve something or someone, and quite often our expectations are a million miles from the reality of any given situation.
Also expectations are passive, we don’t need to actually do anything to have huge expectations. Expectations are the result of feelings, and I should know that feelings are often false and the result of twisted programming hard wired into our subconscious mind before we were seven years of age. Feelings are not real, and our feelings often have fuck all to do with what’s going on in the real world.
We should never blame people for disappointing us, we should blame ourselves for expecting too much from them, or expecting things from them that they can’t give to us, or don’t want to give us. We should never blame others for our own negative feelings of anger, jealousy, misery, resentment, sadness….. Our feelings belong only to ourselves, we should own them, and if our feelings are distressing us don’t try to change the world, that’s too difficult, we should change ourselves instead.
Expectations can be as trivial as expecting a nice day, as important as expecting a pay rise at work, or as destructive as thinking you love someone who doesn’t love you. Unrequited love is incredibly painful, trust me, I know.
We always want what we can’t have, life is so cruel that way.
Some say that if we don’t expect the good things from life then all we will ever get is dross. And that we have a right to expect to get what we want the most. All I know is that I’m still trying to find a way to stop loving someone. You’d think a man would know.
and I expected a great beach-front hotel
Christmas is a time for remembering, forgiving, and loving.
Not all of us have only good memories of the past. Some of us have been holding on to feelings of upset, anger, hurt, rejection, jealousy….. perhaps going back years. But our memory of the past is only the joy inside our tears. No memory is either good or bad, it is our feelings created by those memories that may be either positive or negative. I have carried around with me the weight of the world in negative feelings about the past ~ and it’s time to let them go. It’s time to forgive, and replace those negative feelings with genuine love. It’s time to embrace the beautiful new dawn Christmas brings.
Forgiveness does not mean the other person was right, or that we have to forget what they have done, but forgiving lets us live a more positive and fuller life. And, mostly if we have been carrying around a deep hurt it means that whomsoever damaged us was someone we cared for very deeply. Only those we love can really hurt us.
By forgiving we allow ourselves to move on. We release ourselves from a self-imposed paranoid prison of upset, anger, hurt, rejection, jealousy….. and those negative feelings slowly poison us, taking away our ability to love anyone, including ourselves. It was important for me to understand that I needed to forgive others for the sake of my own mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
True forgiveness isn’t easy, it isn’t weak, or proof that we weren’t really hurt, or that it was us who were in the wrong. True forgiveness and returning to love is a sign of emotional maturity and strength ~ the strength to move on with your life.
True forgiveness goes hand in hand with learning to trust again, to love again, to leave behind the mistrust and paranoia. To create a successful life I needed to truly and honestly forgive others who have hurt me.
How we forgive is something else. It may be that the person we need to forgive is dead, in which case the forgiveness is in our own minds ~ or if you pray it may be that you say a prayer for whoever hurt you so deeply. If they’re still around you may decide to reach out to that person; maybe call them, or send an email, or more personally write a proper letter. But, be aware of two things; #1 your forgiveness must be true and genuine, not filled with if’s and but’s….. #2 don’t reach out to whoever hurt you if by doing so you hurt them or make their life difficult, it might not be a good idea to reach out to your ex if they are in a new relationship.
However, if you can, and you truly and genuinely forgive, then find a way to say to whoever hurt you that you love them, (maybe not in those words). Don’t say you forgive them, that’s judgemental and implies that they were wrong. They may well have been very wrong, but true forgiveness means that we don’t have to rub their noses in it. If whoever hurt you asks for your forgiveness, then give it, honestly, openly, and truthfully.
Some say that being hurt is what you get for loving someone. And that you can’t trust anyone, not ever. All I know is that forgiveness is cathartic and lets us love again.
allow your heart to mend
forgive and love again
the value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he receives
Christmas is a time for giving, for being generous and kind, without expectation of anything in return. Yet, who among us even understands the meaning of true generosity?
I used to believe that I was generous, but my generosity usually involved money; always paying the bill in bars and restaurants for example. But, as I would usually go to bars and restaurants with a woman, my behaviour was only to be expected, real men always pick up the tab. And many guys would expect sex in return anyway. That is not being generous, that’s being a jerk.
Generosity shouldn’t only involve hard cash, real generosity means being accepting, charitable, compassionate, understanding ~ being kind in thought, word, and commonplace deeds. Real generosity does not expect or seek repayment. Real generosity isn’t just giving a couple of coins to a homeless person; it’s stopping to talk with him, asking how he is and trying to understand his situation, maybe giving him a hot drink, or help him in some other practical way. The truly generous give their time to others.
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. ~ Churchill
Generosity and Kindness aren’t all about money any time either, it’s about being thoughtful and caring, without seeking or having any expectation of repayment. Remembering to thank people, doing something tangible and practical for people; for example feeding the cat for your neighbour, without ever asking for anything in return ~ that is being kind and generous.
You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. ~ John Bunyan.
Generosity and kindness don’t involve putting in the extra hours at work so that you will receive a glowing report, and maybe a raise in pay. Generosity would be putting in the extra hours at work helping your coworker who is struggling to finish their work on time. Or perhaps telling their boss how hard they’re working, being complementary and kind when you don’t need to.
Real success in life is being the person who gives and helps others, without thinking about yourself. By that measure there are not many successful people in this world. Most think of themselves first, last, and always. Most people are kind and polite only to those who can do them some good in return, and most people suck up to their boss while stabbing their colleagues in the back. Back in the day I lived in the very cut-throat world of international banking, yet even then I was perhaps generous and kind; for example I would tell clients that I couldn’t do what they wanted, but I know another bank who can. Not many would sent a client to another provider who could do a better job.
At this time of year it behoves us to be generous and kind, and that isn’t measured in the value of the gifts we give. Be accepting, charitable, compassionate, kind, thoughtful, understanding ~ then you’re being generous.
give a single rose you have picked from your own garden
if you remember people, then they will remember you
don’t just be one of the crowd
This is the time of year that most of us think back and remember old friends we haven’t seen for years, or even family members we hardly ever meet. I’m reminded of that with every Christmas card I write, and by each one I receive. Every year I am glad that I keep a Christmas card list, with up to date names and addresses, and that I take the trouble to send a card to everyone on the list. And like many people nowadays I add a few lines about what my year has been like.
You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. ~ Dale Carnigie
There are some places I can go where I am almost certain to be recognised by someone I haven’t seen in years ~ and then I have to dredge through the corridors of my mind to put a name to the face. I’s actually surprising and delightful when someone you haven’t met for a long time shows that they remember you ~ and it’s cool to be able to show the same courtesy.
It may seem insignificant but, if you remember people, they will remember you and that’s essential if you want to be successful in Life and Love. Some may find this easy, if they have the kind of photographic memory that can recall faces, names, places, and events ~ but we can all do this too with just a little work. Back in the day I used to keep a notebook; names and a few personal details of the interesting people I met. If you’re a guy it’s doubly essential that you remember the women you meet.
The most important thing is to listen ~ stop talking, let other people talk for a change, and really listen. That doesn’t mean saying nothing, a real man’s role in a conversation is to ask questions and encourage the other person, (or people), to share things about themselves. Look for things that truly matter to them. You will learn so much more about people if you try this, and when I was a deliberately good listener I learned a hell of a lot about myself too.
But, FFS, don’t make notes where others can see you writing stuff down. That will get you into trouble ~ you may even get your face slapped. I did.
If your notebook is to have any point, then you have to do something with it, preferably at the end of every day. These days the best thing to do would be to create some kind of a database or computerised directory, even if it’s just simple stuff like partner’s name, children’s names, birthdays, where they work, what they’re vitally interested in….. Back in the day I had a card index. These days I have a Christmas card list.
Some say that it’s pointless remembering people because you may never meet them again. And that listening to other people talk is incredibly boring. All I know is that I used to be the best there ever was, because I remembered people.
if you want to be successful in Love
the at least get her name right
from discord, find harmony
When you are in harmony with yourself, four things are aligned: what you do, what you say, what you think, and what you feel. In those mindful moments, things flow without any sense of stress, tension, or negativity. Your senses, feelings, and emotions fit together and your life has less anxiety, depression, guilt, upset, and stress.
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. ~ Gandhi
Being in harmony with yourself and others is all about being authentic, honest, open, kind, trusting, loving, reliable, and at peace with yourself. It is hard to be at peace with the people, places, and creatures around you when you yourself are not at peace. It is impossible to be at one with nature when you are not at one with yourself. Your heart and your brain should be in harmony.
He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe. ~ Marcus Aurelius
Sadly, most people never experience long-lasting harmony in their lives. Most chase after material gain, instant gratification, and transitory relationships.
To be in harmony is to do the simple things right, and to the very best of your ability, energy, and strength;
- If you want to stay sober, then stop drinking booze ~ don’t think you can ever take just one drink once in a while because you can’t.
- If you want to stop smoking, then stop going through the motions and get serious about never, ever, smoking another cigarette.
- If you want to lose weight and be fitter and healthier, then eat and drink well, and get plenty of fresh air and exercise.
- If you promise to help someone, then remember to be there for them and do the things you promised.
- If you think someone is being unkind and toxic, then stop pretending that all is well between the two of you. Share what you truly think and feel, and then do something about that relationship.
- If you feel anxious, depressed, and sad, then recognise and accept the emotions ~ in fact whatever emotions you feel, recognise and accept them. But, if you want to feel better, then start acting as if you are 100%
If you want the grace to live your own life, in your own time, then be strong enough to live in harmony with yourself and others and all of nature. Be authentic, honest, and open. Some toxic and untrustworthy people will pull away from you, but if you do all this you can expect to have more authentic, honest, open, kind, trusting, loving, and peaceful friendships and relationships.
Some say one thing while they are thinking and feeling the opposite. And most people lie, cheat, and steal. All I know is we compose our own harmonies in our lives.
to enjoy the scent of a rose
you must first brave the thorns
if you aim to be perfect you will disappoint everyone
For me to say ‘I don’t know’ is a big thing, it takes guts on my part, but I know it’s an immensely positive thing and a clear sign that I am taking the world very seriously and myself not so much. Sometimes knowing when I don’t know all the answers, and being honest about it, is the best thing I can do to honour those I care for. I aim t be perfect, and because of that people end up being disappointed. Yet, when I admit my blind spots, people flock to support me.
I know that some act as if they know what to do when, in reality, they are hopelessly out of their depth. They try to project confidence in what they are doing or saying, when what they really need is a lot of help.
As it goes that’s not me. Most of the time I have most of the answers. If I was in Orange County and there was a big earthquake I would know exactly what to do, despite my never having been in an earthquake before. If I were on a cruise and the ship caught on fire I would know what to do, or if I was in a plane crash I would know what to do to survive and thrive. The thing is there are not so many options and not so many courses of action.
It gets more complicated when it comes to interpersonal relationships. Yes, I know what to do, but usually I am reluctant to do it because I’m a nice guy. When events challenge me it is tempting to fight back and hold firm to my ethics and morals, what I say I believe in. But, I am reluctant to walk away and tell a wayward person to fuck off and never speak to me again.
Life is unpredictable and uncertain. And I know that I can never be right all the time. Sometimes the best thing I can do is chill, step back, and admit this is one time I don’t have all the answers. Sometimes there is no benefit in my being stubborn, judgemental, and closed-minded. Successful men are flexible, adaptable, and open to the ideas of others. Really successful men know when to ask for help.
Some say that only the weak will admit they were wrong. And that the only mistake Canute made was to try to hold back the sea on a rising tide. All I know is that when I try to be perfect I disappoint everyone.
pictures have bugger-all to do with the text
except they’re women trying to be perfect
with perseverance and endurance you can survive any storm
Nobody sane wants to suffer a doddering old age when you can’t remember anything or anyone. And certainly nobody wants to become an early victim of Alzheimer’s or Dementia.
Maybe most of us have had a parent or elderly relative who has suffered from memory loss, disorientation, poor judgement, mood swings, and a complete inability to live an independently normal life. To a certain extent maybe that can be expected and accepted when the sufferer in in their 80s or so, but why should it be? And why should anyone expect or accept the early onset of what should be a disease of the elderly such as Alzheimer’s Disease?
The fact is we can take steps to protect and, if necessary, repair our cognitive abilities. It’s not rocket science, look any website such as cognitive vitality and you will see that the things that we need to do to protect ourselves against things like dementia are exactly the same things we should be doing to live a healthy life. In order, and without even checking my information, these are;
- Stop smoking completely, (and vaping is even worse than smoking). Smoking will kill you in so many ways, but if you last long enough it will kill your brain.
- Don’t ever use drugs like pot, cocaine, heroin, (and don’t kid yourself that once in a while is OK). Don’t abuse prescription drugs, in fact as far as possible stop taking prescription drugs.
- Stop drinking, get sober, give up the booze, (and don’t even try to tell me that you can control your drinking). Drinking will also kill you in so many ways, but if you last long enough it will kill your brain.
- Eat for your brain. There is strong evidence that the right kind of diet will promote brain health. To begin with, stop eating canned food, processed food, and fast foods. Check out websites like Purple Almond Wellness.
- Get enough good quality sleep. Keep a regular bedtime 365 days a year, do not sleep in at weekends. Do not take sleeping medication, you should never need it.
- Take lots of fresh air, exercise, and sunshine. You know that you need to walk for your circulation to work properly? If you try the 10,000 steps a day thing you will sleep alright.
- Lose whatever causes you stress. You know that too much stress could kill you? It will certainly shorten your life expectancy and make you prone to nasty diseases such as cancer.
- Be active in mind and spirit. Keep learning, meet new people, get a hobby, do stuff. If you sit there drinking beer and watching sports TV your body weight is going to balloon and your IQ is going to plummet.
- Get really, really physically healthy. This is a big topic, so learn how to do it, start with a website like seven fitness tips for improved physical health. And don’t just sit there, get up and do things.
Some say that their lifestyle is fine. And that it’s OK to always drive the mile to the store and back. All I know is that the average American is killing themselves, and if they’re unlucky they’ll live long enough to kill their brain first.
being upset is no reason to;
drink, use drugs, smoke…
to be passive is to let others decide for you
Some of you may know that I have been emotionally, mentally, and spiritually sick for quite a while, but that over the last few days I have been recovering from the personality disorder that ails me. I had another sign of that recovery today when I had a couple of very unpleasant situations to deal with, and I dealt with them effectively and assertively.
What I’m going to tell you isn’t something I’ve picked up off the web, or read in a book ~ I guess it harks back to when I operated at the highest levels in the fields of international banking and finance. Today I used that accumulated knowledge, with a little something extra added from my recent life experiences. In short I was extremely assertive and sorted things out without being aggressive.
To be assertive you must first of all make damn certain there is something wrong. To be assertive when there’s nothing actually wrong, or about to go wrong, is just to make yourself look like a jerk.
Then figure out exactly what is is that went wrong, is wrong, is about to go wrong, or just isn’t happening at all.
Find the most senior appropriate person you have access to who might just be able to do something about your issue.
Tell that person succinctly, but with enough detail for them to fully understand, exactly what the problem is.
Tell them exactly what you want them to do about it; just saying ‘I want you to do something about it…..’ is being passive aggressive and not assertive.
Tell them when you expect the appropriate action to have been taken and the results you want to see. Give them a time limit.
Tell them what will happen if they don’t do what you want them to do ~ but don’t threaten violence, that’s just being aggressive.
Tell them again what you’ve just told them, but this time summarise the whole thing in as few words as possible.
To be assertive requires intelligence, energy, determination, and a willingness to go out on a limb. Being assertive does not require aggression, machismo, raised voices, or female seductiveness. Maybe a little charm helps in the right situations.
Assertiveness works to help you get what you want, need, and desire in every single situation you can think of.
I also know how to utterly and completely deflect assertiveness when it’s used on me, but maybe I’ll tell you that another day.
Some say that assertiveness means carrying a big stick. And that assertive people say no to almost everything. All I know is that if I want it enough, true assertiveness will get me everything I desire.
this is not assertiveness
just violence and aggression
there is no in-between, it is either all or nothing
sometimes you just explode
Our personalities stem from deep within our subconscious and are everything about the way we feel, react, and act. A personality disorder is when parts of our personality cause problems in our lives. A personality disorder will adversely affect how you cope with life, deal with relationships, how you behave every second of every day, and how you feel. There is no cure.
The symptoms of a personality disorder may be treatable, but the underlying damage to your personality is not. Because there is no cure, any treatment has to be long-term and specific to the individual concerned. For example, some personality disorders respond well to medication, (Bi-Polar Disorder), while for others medication is both useless and probably dangerous, (Borderline Personality Disorder).
The men in white coats now believe that personality disorders are hard-wired into whoever is unfortunate enough to suffer one of the 10 different disorders, and they say that’s about one in twenty of the population. (Personally I believe that far more than 5% of people are living with a serious personality disorder.) The theory is that is you have a personality disorder you will never be able to shake off its symptoms. This is not true.
Personality Disorders are most likely incurable, but the symptoms can be managed.
- Crisis management. Self-harm and suicide is common among sufferers of a personality disorder. I have Borderline Personality Disorder, (BPD), and about 10% of all those who suffer from BPD kill themselves. At times you may be hospitalised for your own safety and because you are a danger to others.
- Medication. There are some drugs to help sufferers of depression, anxiety, mood-swings, and psychosis. Medication does not treat the underlying personality disorder, merely the symptoms. Mostly antipsychotic medication is no more effective than a placebo, and has horrible side-effects.
- Talking Therapy. Depending on where you live there may be a few talking treatments that just might help suffers of a personality disorder. These include art therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive analytic therapy, and dialectical behaviour therapy.
- Sheltered living. Some suffers of personality disorders have such difficulty in dealing with everyday life that spending a long period in a therapeutic community is the only way they are able to cope at all.
- Learning about your illness. The likelihood is that anyone suffering from a personality disorder spends a lot of time in the confusion of not knowing WTF is happening to them. If you learn, then you know, you may understand, and then you may be able to recover.
- Self-Directed therapy. The chances of me receiving any suitable treatment in my lifetime are just about zero. Therefore my only recourse is to use self-help. Luckily self-help treatment for personality disorders does work ~ if you do the hard work, every single
fuckingday of your life.
- Avoidance behaviours. Most sufferers of a personality disorder are / or have been into alcohol abuse, drug misuse, gambling, compulsive shopping, unsafe casual sex, never leaving home…..
Some say that if you have a personality disorder you may as well just curl up and die. And that extreme avoidance behaviour is the way to go. All I know is that if you do the hard work you can get over the sh*t and be happier.
never leaving home is one solution
it is NOT a viable long-term solution
the heart is a strange beast and not ruled by logic
if all you have is a lonely beach…..
Nobody is rational about emotions ~ that’s why they’re called emotions. And yet, I am handling my extreme and chaotic emotions quite rationally.
Feelings cannot be ignored, no matter how unjust or ungrateful they seem. ~ Anne Frank
Feelings cannot be ignored, and yet I am ignoring some incredibly powerful feelings that boil like black lava with in me.
I suffer from a very serious mental malady which creates wild, extreme, and powerful mood swings, and yet outwardly I am calm and grounded.
I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in-between. ~ Sylvia Path.
The Borderline Personality Disorder, (BPD), that torments me creates extreme and instant feelings; anger, bitterness, disconnectedness, fear, guilt, insecurity, jealousy, loneliness, lust, paranoia, rejection, resentment….. and a kaleidoscope of all of those and more. Yet, through putting in the hard work I do not now often react to these negative feelings, nor act upon my intricately-constructed negative thoughts.
Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness. ~ James Thurber
In the very recent past I would oft give my negative feelings and darkest thoughts free rein, and that never ever made things better, reacting to negative feelings and acting upon my darkest thoughts always, always, made everything in my life much worse. About 10% of everyone who has suffered from BPD commits suicide, and a greater number die from the near-suicides of such things as alcoholism, drug addiction, and risky, impulsive behaviors like promiscuous casual sex with strangers and insane driving. Those with personality disorders also have a higher than average risk of ‘lifestyle illnesses’ such as cancers, pancreatitis, cirrhosis, strokes, and heart attacks.
For me, when the inner emotional pain got bad I would retreat into the self-destructive oblivion of alcohol ~ which is very akin to temporary suicide.
In my lowest moments, the only reason I didn’t commit suicide was that I knew I wouldn’t be able to drink any more if I was dead. ~ Eric Clapton
Three very simple stratagems have relieved me of the torture and torment I have suffered for as long as I can remember.
- Learning and understanding everything I could about my personal personality disorder.
- Delaying my reaction to negative feelings, and delaying taking any action following my darkest and most evil nightmare thoughts. If I delay long enough the darkness passes.
- Keeping busy and avoiding idleness, even if doing something was outside of my comfort-zones.
To recover from Borderline Personality Disorder I have had to embrace change.
We have to be honest about what we want and take risks rather than lie to ourselves and make excuses to stay in our comfort zone. ~ Roy T. Bennett.
Some say that the emotion that can break your heart is the one that heals it. And that there is nothing they can do but to follow their heart. All I know is that it’s a good thing that I’ve finally found a way to control myself.
eventually the night comes
and with the night come the nightmares