The weather here lately has been fantastic! Now, the weather is apart from our estimation of the day, right.
Today: more jacked up shit about relationships from someone who isn’t in one! LOL
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-=[ The Joyful Experiment ]=-
The Seven Factors of Awakening are mindfulness, investigation of phenomena, diligence, joy, ease, concentration, and letting go.
-- Thich Nhat Hanh
People think I’m kidding when I tell them that if they come to my workshop they may very likely leave their relationships.
It never fails. I have yet to hold a workshop where someone doesn’t tell me they left a relationship as a result of what they experienced in my workshop... this is true.
My workshops have nothing to do with relationships per se, but I used to think that part of the reason was that if you hold yourself to certain standards, you begin to hold others to the same standards and those that refuse or cannot be accountable, naturally fall by the wayside. I now realize that’s only part of the reason.
The other part is love. This is where it gets tricky, however. I hear people all the time say, “Today I love myself,” implying a past in which that wasn’t true. That’s cool, I can dig that. However, what I often find with such individuals is that they’re in love with their egos -- especially the dysfunctional parts of their ego. This is not cool. Let me put it this way: if what you love is the dysfunction, then how does that change anything for the better? I see a lot of angry people walking around these days, irreversibly in love with their anger. LOL!
Actually, loving in that way is not really love, it’s a form of clinging, something many of us (myself included) mistake for love. Loving yourself is important, but the real skill lies in exploring what you consider your self to be. For me (and this is part of my theoretical orientation <-- smart-sounding phrase), coming back to love meant that my sense of self changed as I let go of limiting beliefs about my self. How I perceive that mess of entanglements, coincidences, and floating pieces of conditioned debris I call “my self” today is very different from how I saw that nineteen years ago. For one thing, it includes more of my world: there’s me, my loved ones, my community, my state, my nation -- the world! I am not separate from all that.
Therefore, part of genuinely loving yourself is letting go of those parts that bring you unnecessary pain. When you love, there’s no clinging, there’s only freedom -- pure consciouness. We don’t see love in that way. We love somebody only if they agree to love us back. Or if we have someone that loves us, we guard that love as if it were a rare commodity. The upshot being that we sometimes live in fear of losing that love. For me, that’s not love, that’s a form of psychosis. If your relationship is based on mutual need, eventually that relationship will fail. any relationship not based on love is on shaky ground to begin with.
I’m sure by now someone reading this will be shaking his or head and thinking that I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about and they may be right. However, how has it worked for you otherwise? I am aware of the internet phenomenon in which people who respond are sometimes perfect beings, were raised without hang-ups, are in perfect relationships, or used to be in “bad” relationships, but no longer are, and are well-adjusted, highly realized human beings. If you’re one of these individuals, then you shouldn’t read my blog, this is for the rest of us deeply fragmented, clueless, and mistake-prone mere mortals.
Life, for me, is an experiment; joy its intended result.
You can approach life as an artist/ scientist. Scientists take action and then observe the results. If that action does not bring the desired effect, they keep changing the actions until they find one that brings the results that are wanted. With an approach like this, you can observe the results of your actions and in that way move toward the desired result.
Let’s assume the desired result is joy. If you are experiencing pain, you can change what you do. You can also note which actions result in joy and expand on that expression.
As an artist, you can paint the picture of your life. If there are some elements, colors, or textures that do not fit your artistic vision of life, then it’s probably not working for you. Artists take risks and experiment in order to get in touch with their inner expression. Take the artistic risk and get in touch inside.
Well, what ways have you tried in the past? How has going from one marriage to another, one relationship to another, worked for you? If your approach is to place the power of your vision externally (blaming others, God, etc.), the results -- joy -- will be limited by those outside factors. If your mood is dependent on whether it rains or not, for example, then it is safe to say that you’re going to be a crabby biatche a significant amount of the time.
Let's take loneliness. Oftentimes, we look for and stay in otherwise unrewarding relationships because we ant to avoid feeling lonely. Many people have confided in me that being with someone beats being lonely even if the relationship brings a lot of pain. My question then is: is that really true? How many times have you held someone in your arms and still feel a profound loneliness? Take a moment and look at everything you do and ask the question, “Does this bring me joy?” That is the only criteria to use, as you look at your life as an artistic scientist.