a single rose can be my garden ~ a single friend, my world
Many believe that just because they spend a lot of time with someone, then they are friends. Or if they are lovers, then they must also be friends. Or if they just like being with someone, then they must be friends. Perhaps, and perhaps real and true friendship means much more than that.
Generally, two people are drawn together for some very simple and constantly repeating reasons. And the most common of these is that they are co-workers. It’s difficult to spend 8 hours a day with someone without wanting them to be your friend. There are also some good reasons to be friends with your co-workers; like it gives you someone to go to lunch with. On the other hand, I’ve worked very closely with people I hated ~ just couldn’t stand them, and outside of working together saw and spoke to them as little as possible.
Common interests also bring people together, for example liking the same sport, pastime, or hobby. I became friendly with some people I went to a group with, but whether we were real friends is another matter. I also became friends with some guys I played golf with, but outside of a liking golf we had few other things in common, (except we came from the same socio-economic background).
Common interests include some things that will never create true friendships; ‘drinking buddies’, drugs, gambling, casual sex, stealing….. generally things that people do after dark.
Shared values also bring people together, and here the list is long and strange. We can include; truth and honesty, thrift and generosity, the church, religion, human rights, charitable causes, politics, green issues, animal protection, belief in a flat Earth, belief in UFOs, belief in extra-terrestrial civilisations, belief in past lives….. The thing is, if people share the same values they also tend to create groups to support their values and special interests. But, shared values are not enough to create a true friendship, they just bring people together.
Conversely, if two people have very divergent values they can never become true friends.
Of course, one reason people might say they are friends is if they are having sex. Fucking someone doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re friends ~ probably people who just have sex are not real friends. Some marriages might have good sex in them without the partners being true friends.
As far as I’m concerned, before yesterday I was never a true and honest friend with anyone, ever. I suffer from a serious mental illness called Borderline Personality Disorder, and unless and until you are recovering from that you cannot ever be a real friend to anyone ~ there is just to much boiling shit going on in your mind. Today I know I am recovering from my illness, and today I hope I have 3 friends. Three is a good number.
Some say that honest people never hear the truth. And that very honest people are very impolite. All I know is that real friendship is based on honesty, openness, and trust.
today there is a garden in my life
It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.
Lies of omission, half-truths, fabrications, exaggerations, deceptions, excuses, white lies, broken promises, black bold-faced lies, or just saying nothing at all.
Lies are easy on social media and by telephone ~ it’s harder to look a person in the eye and tell a black bold-faced lie. Only sociopaths and very practiced deceivers can do that with real conviction. There are plenty of practiced deceivers around.
Hardly anybody trusts anyone anymore. Hardly anyone is committed to truth.
Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters. ~ Albert Einstein.
Mostly I expect people to lie to me, and mostly I don’t care. I have been lied to far too many times to care very much anymore. The cold-hearted people who have lied to me have diminished themselves more than they have hurt me. Now, with few exceptions I do not allow anyone close enough to me for their lies to matter.
Because of all those lies, I do not trust easily anymore. A broken trust is as cold as the sea in winter.
Life is lonely and bitter without trust. Everyone has to trust the one they care for, and when that trust is broken the taste is bitter and hearts grow cold.
Most good relationships are built on mutual trust and respect. ~ Mona Sutphen
A couple of days ago I told a very close friend, my best friend, that I knew she had lied to me. She did not deny the fact ~ how could she? Everybody lies.
What does it matter that she did not deny that she has lied to me?
More importantly, why did I say that I knew she had lied to me? That achieves nothing good in a relationship.
I’m afraid it’s a hangover from my suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, where I sabotaged and destroyed every relationship and friendship I’ve ever had. Telling someone you care for that you know she has lied to you goes a fair way towards destroying a relationship.
I need to do much, much better than that. My friend deserves much much better than that from me. I deserve much better for myself than that kind of stupid comment. It shows no mindfulness whatsoever.
I’m afraid that, because of the inclement weather, I am spending far too much time alone brooding in the garret. It isn’t good for me, and I know I need to walk near the sea and meditate. I know need to accept people as they are, and not expect them to be the way I wish them to be. I need to accept that sometimes there is a good reason that people have lied to me.
The world is as it is, and not as I would wish it to be. But, perhaps with a lot of effort I can turn this situation around and get past my paranoia.
Do fish know when it’s raining?
Imagine for a moment that you are a goldfish. Let your mind wander and spiral inwards. You live in a small goldfish bowl, on a table, in the corner of a room. That’s all you can see. Everything you see is by looking through goldfish eyes, first through water, and then curved glass. Your world is going to look spherical and distorted. If you don’t work very hard on your memory then you will forget everything within three seconds. If you train really hard you might remember things for up to five months. By human standards, you’re going to have a very strange and very limited understanding of the Cosmos.
Nothing is quite what it appears to be, when it’s only with your eyes you see. ~ N’Zuri Za Austin
In absolute terms, when you stop imagining that you’re a goldfish your understanding of the cosmos doesn’t get a whole lot better. Each of us has only a small and distorted view of ourselves, the people we think we know, the world we live in, and out to the edges of time and space. We see through a glass, darkly.
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. ~ Marcus Aurelius.
However, a goldfish is probably blissfully unaware that there is a multiverse beyond its bowl and the room it can see. A goldfish most likely doesn’t agonise over the past, think about the present, or worry much about the future. A goldfish does not have much knowledge, does not bemoan its ignorance, and does not seek for reality. Most of us human beings do think of the past, try to make the most of the present, and make plans for the future.
Making our plans for the future can only be an imperfect and ephemeral endeavour at best ~ there are just too many variables, a host of outside influences, and the very strong likelihood that other people will not do as we would wish or expect them to. More often than not we will find ourselves reacting to events, rather than controlling them. But we are not goldfish. To some extent we are in control of our own destiny. To a great extent we are in control of our own minds.
To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe. ~ Anatole France
We can choose what we think, we can change what we believe, and we can decide how we will react and respond to the things that happen to us. We do not have to swim around in little circles with our mouths opening and closing mindlessly. We do not have to forget most things within three seconds. Uniquely some of us learn to accept that there is a difference between what we see, the things we believe to be true, and reality.
The map is not the territory. ~ Alfred Korzybski
To become the very best version of you that you can ever be, you must first begin to leave aside childish thoughts and beliefs. You must learn to distinguish between what is false and what is real; between what is truth and what is a popular lie. As 90% of the people you will ever meet are jerks, wazzocks, and fools for 90% of the time, if you take the path to truth you will be walking a lonely road. Many people never learn that what they believe probably isn’t reality, truth, congruent, tenable, or even probable.
Most people go through life living in a goldfish bowl of their own making, too afraid to see the truth beyond their own little world, unwilling to remember the truth of their own past, and hence unable to learn from their triumphs and disasters. Most people are happy to move around in little circles opening and closing their mouths constantly and pointlessly. What we all need is a little moral courage to seek and face the truth of painful reality.
It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare. ~ Mark Twain.
Because you are reading this you probably just about know the next step on the path you must take towards becoming the best version of you that you can ever be. But just for a while look inwards, imagine your world is as limited as that of a goldfish in a bowl. Eventually your soul will make it clear what should most matter to you, and what you need to do next on your life’s journey to ultimate truth and reality.
Look where you have been; view where you are at; seek where you want to be. ~ Gwendolyn Moore
The paradox is that the less we look out into the world, the more we see of ourselves.
these thoughts are mine and mine alone
A lot of people seem to see only what they want to see a lot of the time. Even people who should know better; sports referees, scientists, leaders of big businesses, religious leaders, politicians.., have a selective blindness when it comes to clearly seeing things they would prefer to ignore. Are people really blind to the facts so often, or are most people routinely deceiving themselves?
From my own experience, I can tell you that lying to yourself, self-deception, seeing things through rose-tinted spectacles, is the easiest lie of all. I spent most of my life believing that my own lies to myself were true.
Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who routinely lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love. ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
But, not seeing the truth of one’s own situation means that one’s life is built on a foundation of sand.
I can see more clearly now. Now my eyes are wide open and not clouded by self-deceptions. To truly live a good life, to try do what is right more often than doing what is easy, to really care about others, we must first of all know who we are. I discovered that I could not love the man I saw in the mirror, I could not live as a hollow man, I could not go through the rest of my life as a shadow. I had to know myself. And to know myself, first of all I had to fully accept the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. You know what? Sometimes accepting the truth is unbelievably painful.
Many people say that today’s social relationships are superficial. Perhaps that is because so few of us are open and honest with one another. How many will tell their loved ones ‘little white lies’ on the grounds that telling the whole truth would be hurtful? That may be socially acceptable, and it may arise from the seemingly good reason that the truth is going to big create problems, but ‘little white lies’ are still lies.
In the last few weeks I have come to believe that most lies are the result of fear. We tell ‘little white lies’ because we fear the consequences of telling the truth to our loved ones. We refuse to see what is right in front of us because we are afraid of what that means. It may be that I believed my own lies to myself because I was afraid to accept the pain of the real truths about who I
am used to be.
Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears. ~ Rudyard Kipling.
The first of the four Noble Truths is that Life is Suffering. Or, if you like; Life is Difficult and Painful. For some reason I have been able to accept that First Noble Truth, and now I can accept who I am, and now I can search for my own ultimate truth. With acceptance of myself I can now accept, understand, and begin to love others.
Many speak of love. I firmly believe there can be no love without truth.
Honest humility says that I am not a better man than any other. But, today I may be a far better man than I used to be.
these opinions are mine and mine alone.
Everybody lies all the time. Lies of commission, lies of omission, white lies, black lies, lies to assuage your feelings, lies to deceive you, lies that will hurt you. The people you care for the most lie to you, your lover lies to you, people in positions of power lie to you, people you don’t even know lie to you, you lie to yourself.
Above all don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love. ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The lies that bind the tightest are those you tell yourself.
It doesn’t matter. Being lied to does not matter. If you truly want to know the truth, then just look inside yourself, the truth is in your soul. You can look though the tangled webs of dark deceit, the traps set by others, and see the things you always knew to be honest, real, and true.
Needing and wanting the brutal and unpolished truth is a rare thing indeed. All of us always know the real truth, but we do not want to listen to the truth, acknowledge it, accept it, or understand it. It is human to want to believe the lie, if the lie is a warmer, kinder, less dangerous thing than brutal honesty.
The truth hurts.
Better to get hurt by the truth than comforted with a lie. ~ Khaled Hosseini
Life can be cruel. Your heart will be broken over and over again. Feelings of crushing disappointment and loss over someone you love and care for will happen. You will be betrayed. People will lie, cheat, and steal from you. The ones you once loved will try to destroy you. It does not matter. Nobody can make you feel anything. Your feelings are your own feelings.
What practical use is all this?
In practical terms, remember this; Information does not have to be true to be useful.
The lies people tell reveal their innermost selves. Stop listening to the lies, instead take a good look at the liar. Liars reveal Everything of themselves in their lies. Everything you could ever want or need to know is just below the surface of the lie. You don’t even have to look very hard. To know the real truth, just accept the things you already know.
You already know the truth, all you need to do is to accept the truth.
But, be very careful, this is a great revelation and a great power. To use it wisely we must first make the utmost effort to stop lying to ourselves. How do we do that difficult thing?
Allow your innermost self the gift of honest love for your own self, for without true self-love we are all liars.
Alone at Dawn’s Early Light
There is a time between midnight and dawn when the world holds its breath.
Those who are awake are mostly illuminated by the glow from a laptop screen. They may have some humanity or they may be too involved in a game. Some have to be reminded that there is a real world.
Before the early light of dawn turns night into day, the music of the night reaches to the deepest and darkest recesses of the soul.
Tenderness and compassion live here.
The only evil in the world is in the mind of man.
Man believes that it’s him against the world.
This is when a man grieves for his lost love. This is when a man lies to himself and tortures with imaginings. This is when men may turn to the bottle.
Eventually, with patience, the truth will emerge. The truth is never as bad as our own imaginings.
The werewolves come and go at our own bidding.
We come to realise that we always knew the truth.
From there, it’s not far back to sanity and peace.
words and picture by jack collier