Top 5 Visited Posts of 2019

Be not the slave of your own past – plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with new self-respect, with new power, and with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Here are the Top 5 most visited posts in 2019.

#1: Drive-By Shaming

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Why do you and your mob get to call these men and women weak or chumps or stupid or victims of abuse?!

Perhaps you feel that about yourself and your life but you aren’t living their life. There is no wrong answer. Deal with your shit and let them deal theirs. Stop dumping your unaddressed and shitty issues in their garden.

Why don’t you be happy for them and encourage them instead of tearing them down? Planting fears? Seeding doubts?

You say the “cheater” lacks empathy, compassion, understanding, then call those repairing to re-pair chumps? You shame them?! And when they end up doing the natural and human thing and defend there lives you gaslight their experiences and suggest they are in denial, suffering trauma, a victim of abuse, or some other diagnosis you aren’t qualified to make?

FFS. Deal with your shit and stop projecting it onto other people…

Click here to read all of Drive-By Shaming, Posted on March 26, 2019

#2: Thoughts on the Six Kinds of Loneliness

In the wake of this experience, the loneliness backfills the vacuum of empty space where life resided. “If someone abandons us, we don’t want to be with the raw discomfort;” writes Chödrön. “Instead, we conjure up a familiar identity of ourselves as a hapless victim. Or we avoid the rawness by acting out and righteousness telling the person how messed up he or she is.”

As we all do who are angry, hurt, shame-filled and unskillful, “we automatically want to cover over the pain in one way or another,” adds Chödrön, “identifying with victory or victimhood.” I have at times alternated between both rolls in an attempt to avoid what seems like desperate, despair-inducing loneliness. I can not blame C for K for that. I am very clear it is my lack of emotional skill, experience, and training.

“Usually we regard loneliness as the enemy,” Chödrön writes.

And long before C, long before K, that is how I’ve often treated the loneliness in my life: always seeking someone or something to entertain, detract, defuse, or protect me from a feeling that I am learning isn’t actually the enemy but my thinking makes it so. “One can be lonely,” Katagiri Roshi, “and not be tossed away by it.”

And that is a truly novel thought.

Click here to read all of Thoughts on the Six Kinds of Loneliness, Posted on April 3, 2019

#3: Thoughts on Conflict Transformation (Five Parts)

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Getting to a point of transforming conflict requires me to “move in.” A process that is possible only through an attitude of generosity and a commitment to being non-judgemental. Qualities that are only achievable when I look inward towards my angle of approach to conflict instead of outward towards getting others to conform to my perspective. I label them as stubborn at best, arrogant at worse, when in reality it is me that is often dug in behind a firewall.

Click here to read Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4, and Part 5 of Thoughts on Conflict Transformation, Posted on January 21, 2019

#3: A Love Letter to the Betrayers: Suicide

Everyone copes with emotional experiences with the tools they have to work with. It isn’t an excuse but the sooner I find compassion for myself and my choices, the sooner I can embrace better choices. Shame is not an engine for sustaining change.

If we had different experiences perhaps we would have chosen differently but once the bell is struck it cannot be unstruck.

Frankly, Matt’s suicide wasn’t necessary…but I understand feeling like suicide is a viable option to recover dignity and honor, avoid pain and shame. I also realize there is no way of knowing the weight of the other injuries Matt carried every day or for how long.

Perhaps this moment in his life was simply the last straw, and the pain broke his willingness to keep trying.

I hope you keep trying. The pain is temporary.

Click here to read A Love Letter to the Betrayers: Suicide, Posted on August 19, 2019

#4: Thoughts on Unicorns, Chumps, & Other Mythological Creatures

The comfort of this echo chamber is too often members tell us what we want to hear and not what we need to hear. “Don’t make it worse by telling yourself stories about how you are a victim,” says Pema Chodron. “Drop the storyline and experience the disappointment. What happens if you escalate it with your storyline, it then turns into rage.” The victim panels’ mob mentality reinforces the rage in an attempt to avoid disappointment, hurt, loss, and pain. Happiness means getting to know disappointment.

Don’t oversimplify my point.

There is plenty of nuances…except entirely too many people aren’t interested in nuance except when it serves their pain. Any progress I have made is because I have chosen to lean into the patterns, sit with the loss, learn where I am unskillful and skillful, and seek out the internal conflicts I was avoiding.

Any progress I have made has been by choice.

Click here to read Thoughts on Unicorns, Chumps, & Other Mythological Creatures, Posted on March 23, 2019

#5: A Love Letter to The Betrayers

It is statistically unlikely you are unremorseful and proud of your choices. If so, you wouldn’t have lied or kept them secret. Guilt seeks punishment, and I watch over and over as people living with guilt seek out self-destructive approaches to living. If there is to be any recovery of our self-respect, power, or integrity that will mean we have to be willing to hurt and to hurt others. Reclaiming our integrity means disappointing others because what is best for them is not best for us. As a result, we will hurt others, there will be conflict, there will be loss and pain.

That isn’t bad or wrong or abusive. That is life. You can care about people and the relationships but you cannot care for them if it means abandoning your truths.

Their may never be forgiveness, acceptance, or approval. It’s unfortunate but not every relationship is intended to survive the fires.

You are more than the sum of your betrayal. Your relationships are more than the sum of the secrets and lies. You have a life worth living. Own what you did. Embrace who you are. All of this pain, suffering, fear, and shame is temporary if we face it. Together we can grow and learn.

Click here to read A Love Letter to The Betrayers, Posted on May 11, 2019

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