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Confusing warm fuzzy feelings with love!
November 9, 1999
6:53 pm
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VRJ
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hey, the Diversity Director at work gave me the greatest idea, and lent me the Lego to go with it - I give each table a bag of Lego and give them 10 minutes to build something. She uses it to demonstrate her diversity theme. I know I can talk about things like working together, resolving conflict, learning from eac other, etc - community things. Yahoo, and it will take them away from just sitting there and staring at me while I talk.

November 10, 1999
5:01 pm
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VRJ.
I know what it feel like having a group of people "staring at" you. I was a lecturer for eleven years at a local technology institute.

I totally agree that getting them involved in "doing something" is good. I must admit that I don't quite see what is the outcome that you are trying to achieve after they have built their 'creations'. Sure, you will demonstrate the diversity in the creativity of the group. How long is the seminar?

Perhaps an interesting idea would be to present the group with the "big pile of lego" and set the specific group task of building a "bridge" between the seat of two chairs or the top of two boxes(18 inches high).

The Objective:

The objective of this exercise would be for the group to observe the group dynamics and to observe and gain insight into their individual behaviours when interacting within a group of people.

The Strategy:
Give the group absolutely minimal instructions. Give the time allowed and the simple instruction "You all together, go build me a bridge between the top of those two boxes using those lego blocks." Then as the convener stand back and let them go.

After the bridge building exercise is over, the group could gather in a big circle to discuss their experiences. The discussion could be focused (by you) onto such issues as: who was (were) the natural leader(s)in the group? How did they lead - type of leadership; authoritarian, task or people orientated, etc? Why did others follow? Why did some not want to follow? How did the individuals feel about the seemingly trivial nature of the task? Why did they feel that way? How was conflict resolved? Was there any negative feelings arising within individuals? Why? The ego, and its manifestations? What were the positive aspects of the experience? Who was happy to work within the group at the task and why? Who would rather work alone on the task and why? What did the whole exercise have to do with living as a Christian? How would Christ have participated in the exercise? Did love play a part in the exercise? If so how was it manifested? What actions were loving actions? Which were not? By what criteria were the actions judged as being loving? Was there any Agape - unconditional and conditioning love - or was there only Philo - conditional love? Was anyone acting out of 'love' but not feeling good? Why did it not feel good? and On and on and on........ VRJ, you sure will make 'em think.

It has been my experience that, in a non-threatening environment, people love sharing their beliefs, feelings and experiences with others. The group discussion would be quite an interesting experience for all.

Hope this helps. Let us know how you get on.

November 22, 1999
6:03 pm
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Hi, the retreat went great. And I wasn't even nervous. I guess I was so busy that my time snuck up on me. The only part I really didn't like was doing skits. I don't like charades either. I guess I just don't like pretending and being on display. It only happened once on the weekend though and the rest was good. I'm still pretty tired though, and I've already had one good nights sleep.

November 23, 1999
3:42 pm
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VRJ.

Good for you. It is very tiring isn't it. I was a full time teacher for 11 years teaching subjects in the Advanced Diploma of Engineering (Electronic Systems) and (Computer Systems) courses at the SouthBank Institute of Technical and Further Education in Brisbane Qld, Australia. After a three hour class, I usually felt drained. By the end of the week I was exhausted. I got used to the stress level. But burn out is inevitable unless one backs off a little.

Few people realise how demanding teaching really is until they try it on. The teacher is always in the firing line, so to speak.

When is the next one?

November 24, 1999
6:58 pm
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April - but we have monthly meetings and we have several meetings this week to review etc. Yes, I was /am exhausted. I also teach horsemanship sometimes but don't find it nearly as tiring. I guess I'm more used to that.
Funny, we read through the evaluations last night and one commented on how confident I was. Maybe I am a good actor haha.
You would fit right in where I work - the telecommunications utility, with your electronics and computer experience. I used to be a recruiter and hired many electronics techs, electronic systems engineers, programmers, lan admins, etc. We actually do some work through our international division in your neck of the woods - New Zealand (Saturn) and Phillipines.

November 24, 1999
7:15 pm
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and I see you have also figured out that T=S and B=JC, interesting

November 26, 1999
4:17 pm
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VRJ.

I think that there is quite a bit of acting in teaching. No matter how you feel you have to be positive, creative and entertaining. As for having confidence, it is an absolute prerequisite. Students can sniff out the slightest unsuredness. They want to believe that they have access to an infallible human being. It is a hell of an expectation to live up to. I used to tell the students that on a good day, I make at least 5 mistakes in each class. The class was then wide awake with each student trying to out do each other to spot the five or more mistakes. Then I would keep a tally of my mistakes on the board. When I got to 4, I would then start saying that the fifth mistake was only a quarter of a mistake and so on. The class used to roar with frustration as I would approach 5 exponentially; never actually getting there. It was a great game to keep their attention and take the pressure of me. Teaching really highlights our neuroses for us. Assuming that we want to learn about ourselves and grow, it is a great way to progress in self knowledge and knowledge of human behaviour.

Thanks for your response about God being a hare Krishna. I visited the Hare Krishna temple in Bombay in 1983. I was appalled by the wastage of food there whilst others outside were hungry. Maybe I didn't see the real picture, I'm not sure.

During your seminar, was there a lot of intimate sharing going on?

I had the very unpleasant job of washing the underwear of my 90 year old senile and slightly incontinent father. I couldn't bring myself to ask anyone else to do it. As I was hand washing the worst, I felt awful yet I realised that I was performing a true act of love. As the oldest sibling and the only son, I am fighting to keep my dad out of a nursing home; this eventuality was always his greatest fear. I am trying to help my father avoid suffering. While washing dad's clothes, I felt a sense of upliftment over and above my feeling of repugnance. I guess you mothers have had this experience many times when cleaning bubby up after an 'accident'. I don't have very much feeling for my dad. He was always abusive physically and emotionally to me as a child and a young adult. I have long forgiven him and see him as only one of the many lost and suffering humans on this planet. I see any act of love towards my dad is not based on my relationship with a loving father. There is no reciprocity here at all. It is much more generalized. I see my father as a very needy human being.

I 'see' that 'love' is not a feeling but a conscious sharing in the humanity of another with as much compassion, support and understanding as is possible, given our own limitations.

Self-love would seem to demand the same attitude towards ourselves. How often I fail on that account. How about you?

November 26, 1999
8:22 pm
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Yes, there was a lot of intimate sharing during the weekend. The people are broken into small groups (4 or 5 people) for the weekend. The talks are given to the larger group but activities are mainly in the small groups so they get to know each other quite well. At some point in the weekend everyone is pushed a bit beyond their comfort zone (not intentionally I don't think but who knows. The format is consistent in all of western Canada)and I think that brings out supportive behaviour in the others. There is a lot of emotion (laughter, tears of joy and of pain, compassion, etc.)all weekend. At the end, before the final celebration, the participants (Live-Inners we call them, the retreat is called a Live In)are given the opportunity to share if they wish. I have seen many tears from both men and women as well as elation.
I'm not a mother so I don't know how that feels but I have a grandmother that I looked after until she got very sick 2 years ago and went into a nursing home. It is sad. I know they look after her physical needs very well and are always cheerful but it's just not a place that I think encourages a person to live. She's really not like my grandmother anymore except for brief moments. I'll be going to see her tomorrow. I can still see a smile when she sees me so that makes it worth it.
And no, I do not treat myself with as much love as I deserve. I am getting better, having gone back and looked at how I sort of progressed into codependency and am now progressing out. I am treating it as a challenge. Just last night my bf hugged me and stuck his hand in my pocket and pulled out whatever papers I had in there. I told him that was no longer acceptable, I don't go in his pockets. I guess he was upset even though I didn't see it. I called tonight and he was brrr cold then finally told me why and said I should watch that I don't swing too far the other way and become boundary prone and why do I have boundaries with him when I didn't with other guys and it makes him think I have something to hide. Now, I'm looking at that like he's trying to suck me back into the game so I must have an action plan. I'm doing well at not reacting anymore and taking the time to think about it. I will come up with something to satisfy both of us. But see, I never just concentrate on my needs. "sharing in the humanity of another with as much
compassion, support and understanding as is possible" I think you've done it again. I have ideas! Got to go. I'll be back.

November 27, 1999
3:55 pm
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VRJ. Thanks for your response.

Talking about your bf's reaction to your 'admonishment' of him, you said, "....he was brrr cold then finally told me why and said I should watch that I don't swing too far the other way and become boundary prone and why do I have boundaries with him when I didn't with other guys and it makes him think I have something to hide." He is obviously trying to manipulate you into behaving a certain way. What do you think it is that he is trying to achieve?

I think that this kind of tension and struggle is common within relationships. It seems that in one way or another one or both parties are always consciously or unconsciously trying to subtly cooerce the other partner into a mindset that guarantees their own needs fulfilment.

The question is: What are these needs for which we struggle for fulfilment??

November 28, 1999
9:59 am
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Yes Tez, I agree, he was trying to manipulate me. Without going in to the reasons that I believe this, I think he is afraid of losing control. And I think he believes that unless he is in control he will get hurt and/or I will leave. Another thing I think he is trying to achieve is to get me to react or do something that he can blame me for, i.e., take the pressure off him. Yesterday morning I talked to him and said that regarding not having boundaries with others in the past, instead of feeling upset that I have them with him he should be glad that he will be the recipient of a healthy person. And, I recognize he's been lied to before, so I said anytime he wants to know what's in my pockets, just to ask. He didn't have to much to say about that but he came over for supper last night, was very quiet, but wouldn't talk about whatever was bothering him. He had me promise that if he came over in the evening, I would make sure that it didn't progress to sex (we are avoiding that until we get other difficulties worked out). But, right after supper, he said he had a headache and wanted to lie down, but not on the couch, on the bed, and asked me to lie with him. So I'm thinking 'what's this all about?" So, I just ensured that all clothes remained on, let him rest, then he went home, still not very communicative. I think he's just trying to push me to revert to old behaviours.
You said < << It seems that in one way or another one or both parties are always consciously or unconsciously trying to subtly cooerce the other partner into a mindset that guarantees their own needs fulfilment. >>>
Probably true but pretty sad considering we shouldn't use others to get our needs fulfilled. Of course we should look for support, understanding, etc. but happiness is in ourselves, a decision. I am trying very hard to accept the process and not try to project my expectations and desires onto him. It is very hard in my impatience but I make much better decisions (and arguements) when I take the time to think and not react. For example, last night I didn't push him to talk when he was quiet. It is up to him to bring whatever it is up. That is a drastic change from my old behaviour of pushing to get whatever it is out and dealt with (or argued about as it always seemed to work). Then he would accuse me of trying to control, or of emotional behaviour.
Anyway, while lieing down, we did have a good conversation just about things going on in our lives, and I felt good about that. As I stay calmer and more detached and mor accepting of the process, I find I am more confident in my decisions and content with how it is. I think he, on the other hand, is feeling more anxious because I am not reacting in the old way and is trying to push me into a reaction. And perhaps, as you say, I am still trying to coerce him into meeting my needs. But I think if I am it is to coerce him into having a healthy relationship with me and I have trouble disagreeing with that. Any comments? I think there may be some thinking to be done around that idea.
You also said >>>The question is: What are these needs for which we struggle for fulfilment?? < << Do you think they are common to all or individual? I am trying to figure out both of our 'needs' now. Some of his include control (so he doesn't get hurt), control (so he doesn't get abandoned). I think understanding the motivations behind the need can keep me loving and understanding of him instead of just disliking the behaviour it brings out. And then I have more appropriate responses. E.g., he wants to know what's in my pockets so if he asks, I'll show him. He is getting what he says he wants - to see what's in there and my boundary isn't being crossed. I think the operative phrase is 'what he says he wants' because he wasn't totally happy with that solution and should have been if it was really what he wanted. My guess is that he really thinks he needs the control to do whatever to ensure that I'm not hiding things from him. Another thing he's upset about is the fact that I changed the locks on my house when we split up last summer and I haven't given him a new key yet. He has brought up the fact that it upsets him a few times but just in passing and made a few sarcastic comments about it, but we haven't really discussed it , and I'm leaving it until he wants to. I don't think he'll have an argument when we do because I'd bet he'll say he thinks maybe I'm hiding things, etc. The real reason is that I was dismantling part of the 'rollercoaster'. A couple of times, when he got angry, he would come to my house during the day when I wasn't home, and remove everything of his or even related to him. It was very devastating to come home to that. I have just made it so can't happen again. I can't see how he can argue with that, even if it doesn't suit his 'needs'. I think many of us (myself included) don't recognize what our true needs really are. We confuse them with wants and desires, and then further confuse ourselves by gearing our actions and thought to meeting the wants and desires. If we really looked for the need and geared all thought and actions toward that our wants and desires would fall into line. Instead, we work toward imagined wants and desires, producing dysfunctional thought and action, and never meet our needs. I am certainly not totally healthy yet but I can really see, the healthier I get, the more uncomfortable he becomes. And when I slip back, I can feel my own power slip away a bit. It is unsettling but at least now I can see and feel it happening, and so think about it and change my behaviour. The one thought that comes to me quite a bit is that if I really do love him then I should give him a healthy person to interract with, whether he can adjust to that or not. And, if I love myself, I have to accept that he might not be able to, or choose to, and still go on with my own life. This is where my faith comes in. I trust that God wants us together and I am trying to cooperate. I just have to pray that he cooperates too. Is faith a need? By the way, is it tomorrow in Australia or yesterday?

November 29, 1999
5:10 pm
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VRJ.
You said, "…But I think if I am it is to coerce him into having a healthy relationship with me and I have trouble disagreeing with that. Any comments? …"

Wow! This is a delicate issue here and it does require some deep thought. From my perspective, coercion and manipulation, even though for the best of intentions, always leads to feelings - no matter how slight - of oppression in the recipient. Relationships seem to work best when both partners feel free to be themselves in a ‘safe’ environment. I am not intending to be judgmental in any shape or form here. It is simply an issue of what seems to work in the long term and what doesn’t.

I think that you were on a very good path when you said , "…while lying down, we did have a good conversation just about things going on in our lives, and I felt good about that. As I stay calmer and more detached and more accepting of the process, I find I am more confident in my decisions and content with how it is." I think the key to finding happiness is about embracing the process. Whether one judges a process to be ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is very often dependent on whether one feels that one’s ‘wants’ - if not needs - are being met; such judgements are very subjective to one’s belief systems. This is not to imply that we should not try to influence the process to meet our common goals. The key word here is ‘common’. This implies a harmonious interactive process in establishing that commonality of goals. Even though common goals are put in place, the focus can still be maintained on the process of attaining those goals. Acceptance of outcomes, as being justified by the process, seems to be a prerequisite for peace of mind.

Talking about needs, you asked, "Do you think they are common to all or individual?" I suspect that our needs are indeed common. However, the manifestation of the needs varies considerably and often the actual need is quite well disguised even from ourselves . You illustrated this very well when you said, " …I think the operative phrase is 'what he says he wants' because he wasn't totally happy with that solution and should have been if it was really what he wanted…. I think many of us (myself included) don't recognize what our true needs really are. We confuse them with wants and desires, and then further confuse ourselves by gearing our actions and thought to meeting the wants and desires." I totally agree!

You said, "…My guess is that he really thinks he needs the control to do whatever to ensure that I'm not hiding things from him…" If you are right, this implies that he doesn’t trust you implicitly. If this implication is correct and unwarranted, then I suspect that it comes from deep seated distrust of his mother. I base this statement on your remarks about his fear of abandonment. I believe that many men never successfully negotiated the mother-child separation stage and have a permanent emotional memory of women as being untrustworthy. I further believe that this individuation transition is more difficult to make for boys than girls. In regard to your bf, what are your thoughts about the validity of these above statements?

You said, "the healthier I get, the more uncomfortable he becomes." He seems to need to know that you ‘need’ him. When you show him that you need him does he feels more secure? When you appear to be self sufficient does he feel fear of abandonment? It sounds like he is playing old childhood emotional memory tapes over and over. What do you think?

You said, "…The real reason is that I was dismantling part of the 'rollercoaster'..." Does this mean that you felt ‘out of control’ then? Do you feel that now you are in control of the relationship? You further said, "And when I slip back, I can feel my own power slip away a bit." Are you involved in a power struggle? Is this at all a possibility? It is bloody hard for us humans to stop trying to ‘control’ our environment isn’t it.

You said, "The one thought that comes to me quite a bit is that if I really do love him then I should give him a healthy person to interact with, whether he can adjust to that or not." This brings one of my strong beliefs to mind. I feel that for an act of mine to be loving, I must first believe that the performance of the act is in the best interests of all parties involved. In my opinion, if an act is not in the best interests of at least one person in the interaction including the self, then it does not qualify as an act of love. Thus if the act of striving for your own mental health is in your opinion in both your and your bf’s best interests then it is indeed an act of love.

You said, " And, if I love myself, I have to accept that he might not be able to, or choose to, and still go on with my own life." Yes, I agree. The outcome, whichever way it goes, is justified by the loving process!

You said, "This is where my faith comes in. I trust that God wants us together and I am trying to cooperate. I just have to pray that he cooperates too. Is faith a need?" In my opinion, faith is an absolute necessity to good mental health. Everyone lives by beliefs; they are the criteria by which we make decisions on an instant by instant basis. Faith in the ‘truth’ of those beliefs sustains our belief in our own efficacy and competence to live life; the very bulwarks of our self-esteem. To seriously doubt the high probability of the validity of one’s own beliefs is to doubt one’s own ability to deal with life’s issues as they surface; fear of the future is the inevitable result of such self-doubt. This is not to imply that I believe that what I know, I know with absolute certainty; I now think in terms of probabilities only.

What God ‘wants’ is another much deeper issue. I personally don’t believe that God ‘wants’ for anything at all. I believe that God has no needs; I believe that God just ‘is’. Beyond time and space there is an ‘Isness’ which we call God. I believe that we - the whole human race - are the all knowing Mind of God knowing all human experiences through us. Only we humans suffer from the illusions of both space and time. I doubt that animals have a long term sense of the future. Yet our illusory ignorance is absolutely necessary in order for us to feel, think and ‘know’ as we do in this smorgasboard of life. How else could ‘God’ know fear, love, hate etc, etc. One could ask why God would want to experience the negatives. Why not? They are only negative to us because of our subjective judgements based on our own illusion of vulnerability! What does God want? I believe that God wants what ‘is’. God’s will is always done. Since He has got what He wants, He wants for nothing! There is no injustice in the world; for everything is God doing things with and to God. Whether you are making love with your bf or having a falling out, God is in relationship with God. What a great game; the ‘loving’ dance of Shiva. All in ‘Our’ best interests!

"By the way, is it tomorrow in Australia or yesterday?" Yesterday here is your today, your tomorrow is our today. We are one step ahead of you. 🙂

And... ‘Tomorrow’ is the ‘today’ that we feared coming ‘yesterday’. All time is illusion. Amen 🙂

November 29, 1999
10:33 pm
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< <<<<, "…My guess is that he really thinks he needs the control to do whatever to ensure that I'm not hiding things from him…" If you are right, this implies that he doesn’t trust you implicitly. If this implication is correct and unwarranted, then I suspect that it comes from deep seated distrust of his mother. I base this statement on your remarks about his fear of abandonment. I believe that many men never successfully negotiated the mother-child separation stage and have a permanent emotional memory of women as being untrustworthy. I further believe that this individuation transition is more difficult to make for boys than girls. In regard to your bf, what are your thoughts about the validity of these above statements>>>>>
Absolutely! He has several female friends that he refuses to introduce me to. I have said that as long as everything was out in the open I had no problem with him having them as friends and that is reasonable. he out and out said 'well, they wouldn't be reasonable'. Weird. I think he gets a false feeling of being needed from them (your other comment). Regarding his mother. He doesn't speak to her. I have never met his family. They live 1000 miles away. He is trying lately, with my prodding, to reestablish contact with his father but refuses to have anything to do with his mother. (by the way, they both drink) The only thing I can get out of him is that she once told him he was a bad father. which brings me to his exwife (from 20 years ago). She left him several times and he says only came back the last time to get pregnant. Who knows! In the last relationship , several years before me, the woman was also sleeping with someone else he says. In the only other relationship he had, he says he doesn't know what happened but they stay in contact.
He doesn't trust me at all. And, truthfully, without justification. Says it's the men he doesn't trust but it's obvious it's me. There isn't much I can do about it. In my prior warped thinking I would try to reassure him and explain and explain, of course to no avail. Now that I am thinking clearer, I see that it is totally his warped reactions from his warped thinking. I no longer mope and stew when he gets depressed about his imaginings or my past which he used to bring up (it wasn't that bad). I really believe he wants me to erase any and every thing regarding other men in my past. Right. I'll just wave my magic wand. Not really funny but I no longer let him make me feel guilt. He even used to go as far as to say 'why didn't you know that someone like me would come into your life and behave accordingly?' woohoo!!! A fortune teller too he wants me to be!

< <<<>>>>

yes again. If I pull back he comes running. The dance you know. Then he's all apologetic for a short time but soon becomes critical, secretive and judgmental again. The problem now (I think) is that I'm not dancing the same dance. He seems confused. I'm not reacting like I 'should'. He has been getting even more witholding and weird. I guess he feels he needs to push even harder to get me back where I 'belong'. I am actually finding the process stimulating and interesting. Holidays are coming up. Should be fun. Haven't had a good one since he came along. Never had a bad one before I met him. But, I know they will be fine this year because I no longer have any expectations of him. When he springs the bad news, which he will, it won't affect me one way or the other.

>>>>>You said, "…The real reason is that I was dismantling part of the 'rollercoaster'..." Does this mean that
you felt ‘out of control’ then? Do you feel that now you are in control of the relationship? You further said,
"And when I slip back, I can feel my own power slip away a bit." Are you involved in a power struggle? Is
this at all a possibility? It is bloody hard for us humans to stop trying to ‘control’ our environment isn’t it. < <<<< Yes, when I left him (the first and only time), changed the locks, etc. I felt like a giant thumb was lifted off my head, which means to me, getting control over my life back. Dismantling the rollercoaster means that he can no longer come into my house when I'm not home and take everything related to him out. It really made me feel sick, like the down side of the rollercoaster. Maybe I would be ok now but I'm not willing to try it just yet. I don't think I am in a power struggle over him, but only to retain my own power, which I allowed him to have for a time. The only power/control I see in myself is trying to rush the process to my preconceived notion of completion. But I am stopping that and trying to enjoy the process to whatever outcome. <<<< Thus if the act of striving for your own mental health is in your opinion in both your and your bf’s best interests then it is indeed an act of love. >>>>
Absolutely - staying sick only serves to perpetuate and condone his sickness. Becoming healthy improves me and my relationship to the world and God and myself and forces him to become healthy or find another sick person.

I'll have to think more about the God stuff you wrote. I totally agree with everything is God doing to God, but I also believe that the God in us is a good spark. Perhaps I must then believe that Satan is the bad influence and fear is the tool he uses.

Good night for now - good morning to you. Have a nice day. The time is illusary thing is something I've believed as well. Even in our own unknowing ways we can make time and have experienced time as being of different durations. E.g., 1 hour can be long or very short depending on our attitude.

November 30, 1999
8:59 pm
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VRJ
29-Nov-99

Talking about your bf, you said, "…He has several female friends that he refuses to introduce me to. I have said that as long as everything was out in the open I had no problem with him having them as friends and that is reasonable. he out and out said 'well, they wouldn't be reasonable'. Weird."

From his blatant and open ‘secrecy’, it sounds like he is trying to emotionally blackmail you by implying that he has access to other ‘mommies’ if you don’t want to play his game.

Also, I believe that many men are actually unfaithful - I am not implying that your bf is unfaithful to you - because their insecurity ‘demands’ that they have spare ‘mommies’ in case they are ‘abandoned’ by their main ‘mom’(their wife or girl friend). In addition to the emotional blackmail, it may be that all his women friends also fulfil this need for potential ‘spare’ security ‘blankets’(see the cartoon Linus). He sounds to me like he has a very ‘needy’ little boy in side of him. Your later comments, about the style of his parenting that he received, add further weight to the probability of the existence of emotional ‘fear of abandonment’ memories within his psyche that drive his behaviour.

Talking about your bf’s previous relationship, you said, "In the only other relationship he had, he says he doesn't know what happened but they stay in contact." It sounds like he can’t let go of his previous ‘mom’ after she ‘abandoned’ him.

You said, "He doesn't trust me at all. ...And, truthfully, without justification " - He probably doesn’t trust any woman not to hurt or leave him. The justification in his mind is most probably unconsciously coming from his real or imagined abandonment by his mother in childhood.

"Says it's the men he doesn't trust but it's obvious it's me." I wouldn’t take it too personally if I were you. Easily said, eh! You continued, "There isn't much I can do about it." Well… Perhaps you could very subtly hint at some therapy. Of course, you would have to be very careful not to suggest that he has the problem. He would most likely take that as rejection of him. Perhaps you could say that it is you that has the problem (which in one sense is true) and he could be a big help to you by participating in therapy together; with him as an ‘aid’ for the therapist in treating ‘your problem’. The rest is up to a skilled therapist to gently expose his emotional problems bye the bye as part of ‘treating’ you. What do you think about the possibilities of that approach working? Perhaps to be negotiated after the next breakup/reconciliation (push-pull)?

You said, "I really believe he wants me to erase any and every thing regarding other men in my past. Right. I'll just wave my magic wand." It is not your past that is the problem; it is his in that he re-experiences over and over as emotional memories of rejection that are triggered by you as you interact with him in a most innocent and normal way.

You said, "If I pull back he comes running. The dance you know." I call it the push-pull game. It takes two to play. You added, "The problem now (I think) is that I'm not dancing the same dance. He seems confused. I'm not reacting like I 'should'." The problem is if you stop playing he has no choice but to seek a partner who will play that tragic game. Good therapy is his main hope. It may take a disaster in his life before he realises that he needs it though. Please don’t think that marriage, children or cohabitation will make him feel more secure; it won’t.

You said, "He has been getting even more withholding and weird." He is playing the push-pull game by punishing you for your unwanted behaviour (pushing you away). He most probably is unaware that he is doing this though and would probably deny it if confronted with it. You knew this when you said, "I guess he feels he needs to push even harder to get me back where I 'belong'." I agree.

You said, "When he springs the bad news, which he will, it won't affect me one way or the other." You can look at this a few ways. If he breaks it off with you it could be his strategy of just ‘upping the stakes’ in his futile and tragic game to make you play the part of his long gone ‘mom’ in his memory banks. Now you can take the view that you no longer want to continue in this relationship and refuse to communicate in any way after he leaves. Who would blame you. Or, you might just decide that the relationship is worth saving and just sit back and wait for his next move for reconciliation - which I feel sure will come once again; The assumption here being that you may gain the bargaining power to insist on joint therapy at that point in time. However, if he is coerced, he may not be amenable to therapeutic process. This is your ‘Rubicon’; deciding if you want the relationship at all. How much do you want the relationship to work ? The game of listing pros and cons , eh!

You said, " I felt like a giant thumb was lifted off my head, which means to me, getting control over my life back. …….. It really made me feel sick, like the down side of the rollercoaster….. but only to retain my own power, which I allowed him to have for a time." I sense that, like your bf, you may have an unresolved parental issue here as well. Were your own parents strict and controlling people? Did your father up and leave your mother at some time in your childhood? I’m guessing here. It seems to me that you felt overpowered by your bf’s demands of you while with you; yet his sudden and unannounced departure made you feel very rejected and abandoned yourself. You seem to have experienced two very mixed and contrary emotions; one of being glad, the other terribly fearful to the point of sickness that the relationship seemed to be over.

You said, "…staying sick only serves to perpetuate and condone his sickness. Becoming healthy improves me and my relationship to the world and God and myself and forces him to become healthy or find another sick person." I totally concur with this statement. You see the situation as win-win for you and also for him if he so chooses. That’s love! You obviously are wise beyond your years.

About that God stuff: I won’t inundate you with my concepts of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ right now - unless you indicate the need. I think that you have enough on your plate at the moment dealing with the concept of ‘love’ in your present relationship.

December 1, 1999
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Hi there,

You said "their insecurity 'demands' that they have spare 'mommies' in case they are 'abandoned' by their
main 'mom'"

I tend to agree. He runs to talk to one of them, all codependent from what I can gather, if we have problems. I really believe he is not unfaithful in deed, but I do believe he is unfaithful in thought and emotion, and I've told him so.

You daid "Well… Perhaps you could very subtly hint at some therapy. Of course, you would have to be very careful not to suggest that he has the problem. He would most likely take that as rejection of him. Perhaps you could say that it is you that has the problem (which in one sense is true) and he could be a big help to you by participating in therapy together; with him as an 'aid' for the therapist in treating 'your problem'. The rest is up to a skilled therapist to gently expose his emotional problems bye the bye as part of 'treating' you. What do you think about the possibilities of that approach working? Perhaps to be negotiated after the next breakup/reconciliation

I have asked he refuses to go with me. I ended up going to the counselor he had seen. It seemed logical to me but he flipped and never went back to the guy and now says he is unprofessional and worse. I think he may see another but from what I can gather, he is manipulating the counselor as well. Your approach is slightly different and I think I may try it next time. From this, you can understand that, yes, I do want to save the relationship. Somehow, I can always see the God in him. And, believe it or not, this is the first time I've ever experienced the rollercoaster/pushpull or whatever. Maybe I just never gave my heart away before.

You said "." It is not your past that is the problem; it is his in that he re-experiences over and over as emotional memories of rejection that are triggered by you as you interact him in a most innocent and normal way.

Yes, often even after intimacy he gets depressed. That's one reason I'm not doing that right now.

I don't know how he will realize he has problems with mother/women and what they are. This is one of those cases where I think God must show it to him and he must listen for it to happen. I pray a lot. And I get anyone else I can to pray as well.

You said " The problem is if you stop playing he has no choice but to seek a partner who will play that tragic game. Good therapy is his main hope. It may take a disaster in his life before he realises that he needs it though. Please don't think that marriage, children or cohabitation will make him feel more secure; it won't. "

I'm beginning to agree. I have thought a few times that he finally 'got it' but it was always short lived and he reverted quickly. I don't know what a disaster to him would be though. If I did, I would cause it.hahaha I'm not convinced leaving him would do it. It might seem to because he would go into the 'get closer' phase but wouldn't it validate his belief that that is what was going to happen right from the beginning? And, we don't live together, etc. and have no plans to right now. We have both agreed on that until the right time.

I said "When he springs the bad news, which he will, it won't affect me one way or the other". I guess not totally true. He has had something to talk about for a couple of weeks but every time I've asked he doesn't want to talk. Just says it's about us. Well, last night, he said he would stop by at 9:30 tonight because he had something to talk about. He is on call (his job - hydro) today so that means he can't stay long, calls will be waiting. I've been so calm lately but for some reason that threw me off. I'm very nervous about what it could be. That's good I guess because it shows me I still have work to do on myself. I will just listen, try not to react, and think about my response. If it's not too late, I'll let you know.

You said "" I sense that, like your bf, you may have an unresolved parental issue here as well. Were your own parents strict and controlling people? Did your father up and leave your mother at some time in your childhood? I'm guessing here. It seems to me that you felt overpowered by your bf's demands of you while with you; yet his sudden and unannounced departure made you feel very rejected and abandoned yourself. You seem to have experienced two very mixed and contrary emotions; one of being glad, the other terribly fearful to the point of sickness that the relationship seemed to be over. "

Thanks. My mother is controlling and critical, disguised as love and concern. Don't get me wrong, I think she does love me and I her but she also uses that guise to allow her to manipulate, etc. My father was the good guy, who gave us what we wanted if mom didn't. Now that I'm old(er), I can see how that really undermined her. He is more passive aggressive than she even. I got straight A's in school for one example. He would joke about it, wondering how that happened. Great for my self esteem! And I didn't even know it was happening. I'm still battling that one - that good things I do are not flukes, that I deserve praise, etc. My father left my mother when I was 21 so I don't know how much effect it had except that they never fought, I never suspected they weren't happy, until a year or so before he left. Looking back I can see signs. Maybe that was hard on me in the fact that he left even though it was good (in my mind). Maybe I fear it even when it's not happening. My bf says I'm always scared he's leaving. I'm trying not to be, I do know I will survive, and I am getting better. I realize that we are two sick people. I don't think he does yet. But, like I said, the only truly loving thing for all concerned is to get myself healthy. And I'm working at it. And see improvement. The fact that I can now see the manipulation, boundary crossing, etc. is allowing me to stay calmer and react far differently. And, I also try to remember that what he does and says come from his fears. Unconditional love is hard but so freeing at the same time.

I'm happy when you point out things in me. It helps me to learn.

December 2, 1999
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VRJ.
You sound like you really are well on the way to recovery. Realising that one is sick (as I realise that I still am) and that its OK to be exactly how we are at any instant is a major factor in recovery.

Every time that I start to think that I have 'got it all together' life delivers me a 'whammy'. My head spins. I take ten steps back and wonder what the hell happened. I have to frantically 'nurture' the terrified 2 year old boy that resides within exactly as I would a terribly frightened 2 year old little son. Outwardly, I might seem self assured; inside I am in frantic parent mode, trying to figure out what happened and how to best support 'my little fella'.

I realise that 'my terrified little boy' will never, never grow up. However my 'self-parenting' skills will improve and are doing so quite noticeably.

However, last night I had a tripple whammy. My 'little boy' flew into a blind rage. I am presently in damage control mode. I am telling the 'little fella' that its OK. I am assuring 'him' that it was not 'his fault' that 'he' is as 'he' is. I am also telling the adult 'parenting' part of me that, given the circumstances, 'he' could not have foreseen the eruption coming and thereby prepare the 'little fella'. 'We' have quite a hilarious drama going on in my head. 🙂

Practice makes perfect though. This self-parenting therapeutic approach seems to be working for me most of the time.

Please keep me informed as to how your practicing of real love in your relationship is progressing. It is amazing how acting in a loving way can sometimes feel so bad.

December 4, 1999
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Wow! I haven't got to this child/parent thing yet. It's really very interesting listening to you describe it. Perhaps I sometimes do it unconsciously but it would be good to see and understand it as you describe it. A triple whammy blind rage, eh? I think I'm happy I wasn't around to see that.

And yes, acting in a loving way can feel bad. My last few days have been interesting. The last night I wrote, he picked me up and took me on a 'tour'. First stop was outside an XXX video store where he said 'this is not a place I frequent, nor do I watch them', then The Love Shop where he said 'some men would like their women to dress like that, others like me are aroused by love, no matter what you are wearing', then the casino a place 'that I (meaning me) never want to be in' (I'm in GA in case I didn't tell you), then past a hooker, where he said ' I have never bought one. How would you like it if I had told you that whenever I had the urge I used to get one', , then past a bar where he said 'this is a meat market. I don't go to places like this', then past his house and a nearby house where an ex of mine used to live where he said 'how do you think I felt when I went by here wondering if you and he had been together here', then through a bad area of the city where he said 'here is where your ex's girlfriend is living now that he has dumped her. How would you like to raise a child here?' then to a nice area where he showed me two houses that were nice but not quite right, then the right one. Right because it is on one level (I have trouble with stairs), then past some vacant lots in the same area where a school used to be and they are now selling, and said 'I could build that house here'. Then home and asked 'Did you learn anything?' I pretty much kept my mouth shut. Or I might have laughed. I guess his point was 'this is what you could have had and this is what you can have.' I know it's his insecurities speaking but sometimes it's hard not to get defensive when he's giving his lectures about my oh so bad past and how lucky I should feel to have him. I know where I was and am and I know it took what I was to get me to what I am. I don't think he sees that. He's too busy trying to prove how lucky I am.
Then the whammy. Now I understand what the past 2 weeks were about - the quietness, bringing me flowers, etc. He hands me my birthday gift and when I ask why because it's not until the 13th he says 'because I'm not going to be here'. Of course I asked where and when etc, he said 'maybe leaving Saturday, going to BC to see my dad and my cousin's in the hospital and then I don't know where. This is a guy who accounts for every penny in his pocket. He also said that God told him to go. I asked when he would be back. No answer. I asked if he needed a ride to the airport. No answer. Then I asked if anyone was going with him and he said 'not that I know of'. I pretty much let it go. I suspect he is going to Calgary with one of his female friends that he seems to look after for part of the time at least. When we split up in the summer, he went with her because she was going for some kind of medical treatment. It's about time for a six month check up. This is one of the ones that he refuses to introduce me to and he had admitted if I did something like that he would be irate. So he said he would call before he left but all I got was a message yesterday morning to have a nice day. I'm assuming he left. I'm wondering what the appropriate response here is. Any ideas? I'm thinking I should try not to get upset at all and stay real calm when he gets back. I think he deserves a kick in the butt but that will be what he expects. Perhaps indifference will be wiser. What is real love in this case? Letting him know he's crossed the line or detaching and watching. I think the most effective is not to do what he expects which is flip out. And yet I have trouble with not letting him know how I feel about it. And you know, it's not even the actions that are what hurt me the worst. It's the deception. I do think I'm going to have to start off the new millenium with a harder stand. I've been trying to heal myself and hoping that he comes along. But if I don't see some improvement soon, I'm human, and I'm not sure how long I have to wait. I guess I'll know when the time comes. I just hope I'll do it maturely and calmly if I have to and not in a 'blind rage'.
Speaking about how acting in a loving way can sometimes feel bad, I tend to think that when you are sure you are acting in a loving way, no matter how difficult the action may be, you will be at peace. That is what I am striving for, and fighting my little child all the way. Arranging a little tour of my own wouldn't be very mature would it.

December 5, 1999
4:48 pm
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VRJ.
Do you really want this guy? Or is he only a hedge against loneliness? He is obviously allowing his 'little boy' to govern his life. It is very immature of him. He is definitely playing a silly power game that is bound to backfire on him.

"I'm wondering what the appropriate response here is. Any ideas?.......What is real love in this case?" Well... from an outside perspective with no emotional investment involved, it is easy for me to give advice. But I do not have to pay the emotional price.

Here goes. I think that as always honesty is the best policy. The truth will set us free. I believe that the greatest gift that we can give to another is to share our 'truth' with them. I guess compassion dictates that we do this as gently as possible. This implies that first of all we have to get honest with ourselves. This is very difficult. You see, it seems to me that most of us lie to ourselves in a futile attempt to protect ourselves from emotional pain. In the end we only make more pain for ourselves and others.

He is obviously engaged in a punitive exercise to bludgeon you into submission. I would give him the big push right now. I would sit down and right him a letter detailing 'my truth' about the relationship and the unsatisfactory nature of his manipulating and childish behaviour. I would tell him that as of now the relationship is finished and that only his promise to attend joint therapy sessions immediately will suffice to initiate a reconciliation.

I would tell him that you want an open, honest and transparent relationship and that he obviously is unable to 'deliver' this at this stage. Therefore, as trust is lacking, I would terminate the courtship and wish all the best in his future relationships.

"I think the most effective is not to do what he expects which is flip out." I agree. Flipping out is self defeating; I speak with vast experience here 🙂

"Speaking about how acting in a loving way can sometimes feel bad, I tend to think that when you are sure you are acting in a loving way, no matter how difficult the action may be, you will be at peace." Yes, it is a kind of tranquility in the eye of the cyclone; peace amidst the turmoil.

What I had in mind here is best exemplified by your present circumstances. What is in both your and your bf's best interests is 'tough' love. I doubt that it wil feel good for either of you. What does that entail, is a good question.

"Arranging a little tour of my own wouldn't be very mature would it." No. Remember, we cannot change anybody except ourselves. We are kidding ourselves if we think anyone can or will change quickly. All that will change in the short term is their manipulating behaviour and that usually doesn't last. If you want change in your bf you are in for the long haul. Is it worth it?

If you were able to step outside of yourself and look as an outsider into your relationship, what action do you think you should take that would be in the best long term interests of BOTH yourself and your bf? What criteria will you use in deciding that?

That course of action - whatever it may be - is the loving thing for you to do, irrespective of how it might feel when you do it. In my opinion, leaving either party out of the equation isn't loving.

Wow! You really have a lot of thinking to do. Writing the bf a letter - irrespective of whether you post it or not - will help clarify your thinking by removing some of the self-deception - if any exists. I would try to eradicate any 'blaming' from such a letter; I would strive for as much objective 'truth' as I could.

I did this some 12 years ago, in terminating a very painful relationship in which I was totally addicted to this sadistic woman who really 'loved' my 'love' for her and who got her 'jollies' by seeing how much pain she could inflict on me without losing me. She admitted it in the end. I broke it off and grovelled back in excess of 20 times. I am not a groveller by nature. She used to try to get me to look in her eyes so she could see my pain; she actually told me this verbally. Sick, eh! I actually posted the three A4 size page letter to her. That finished the relationship. She couldn't handle the truth, and it set me free of her. Whether you post your letter or not, I think you should still write one too.

What do you think you will do?

December 6, 1999
7:55 pm
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Hi Tez,

I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do. I guess I have a couple of weeks to figure it out. Right now I'm going back and forth. First, thinking I should just stay calm, detach, not even ask about his trip, see what he decides to tell. But then my emotional side rears up and I think, am I really capable if carrying that off. And then my anger surfaces and I think who the f… does he think he is, then my controlling side says what if he doesn't even realize what he's doing, I have to tell him. And then I remember that he's doing what he's doing out of fear. Then my love says have perseverance, be gentle. Then I remember that I need to love myself as well. Unconditional love, unconditional positive regard?

VRJ. Do you really want this guy? Yes. Or is he only a hedge against loneliness? Don't think so

"He is obviously engaged in a punitive exercise to bludgeon you into submission. I would give him the big push right now. I would sit down and right him a letter detailing 'my truth' about the relationship and the unsatisfactory nature of his manipulating and childish behaviour. I would tell him that as of now the
relationship is finished and that only his promise to attend joint therapy sessions immediately will suffice to initiate a reconciliation.

I would tell him that you want an open, honest and transparent relationship and that he obviously is unable to 'deliver' this at this stage. Therefore, as trust is lacking, I would terminate the courtship and wish all the best in his future relationships. " Read below.

"If you want change in your bf you are in for the long haul. Is it worth it?" Something tells me so.

" If you were able to step outside of yourself and look as an outsider into your relationship, what action do you think you should take that would be in the best long term interests of BOTH yourself and your bf? What criteria will you use in deciding that? As a reaction I would say 'get out'. See below again. I really don't have anywhere else I want to be right now". And perhaps I am learning from this.

"Whether you post your letter or not, I think you should still write one too." For some weird reason, even though I had been given diaries throughout my life, I never wrote in them. But within a couple of months of this relationship starting, I started a journal, so I have a lot of 'letters'. Some were even written as letters.

What do you think you will do?

I wonder what my response should be? I guess I have a few weeks to figure it out. Unconditional love. How to do it? God loves me and desires me to be happy and healthy. But he also wants the same for him. But I can't figure out if that means just accepting things with an open heart or putting my foot down about things that appear to be unacceptable. It usually doesn't work to try to change someone, especially if they aren't ready and still in denial. I am more leaning to letting God show him. But I also have to cooperate with God. I wish I was sure about what he wants me to do. I need to pray some more for wisdom and clarity and courage I think.

What not to do - flipping out is wrong and won't help for sure, so that is out. Telling him it's over is not what I want, but is it what God wants. I don't think so but is that my desire or His, I'm not sure. Grant and I seem to be so suited for each other, and such perfect foils for each other for it not to be meant to be. But does it take telling him it's over to get him to hit bottom and realize what he has to do? I somehow am getting the feeling that it's not my job to get through to him. Unless it is by just giving him unconditional love and acceptance. That seems like the opposite of what it will take to get through to him but I have discovered so many paradoxes lately that it seems as probable a solution as any, maybe more so.

But is that loving? To him? To me? To God?

First God - If I am to emulate Jesus - Jesus would accept him as he is, and where he is. Acceptance and forgiveness can create a tremendous response in people. Yet, Jesus had no trouble telling people off if they needed to be told off. But, I am not Jesus and don't know what is in the heart of any man. I can guess. Confusion, fear, love, and guilt. But, is it my duty to point out how he's hurting me? I don't think so. I believe he knows he's doing it! Pointing it out and/or getting angry would only allow him to use that as a way of deflecting the blame off of himself and onto me, and perpetuate the illness. And that would defeat the whole purpose. So, I think I have to leave the guiding to God. And concentrate on loving God myself.

Next, me. What is loving to me? Is it loving to allow him to treat me as he has? No, unless I practice detachment, so that it does not have any effect on me. Let him act as he will but don't let it affect me. I guess that does not necessarily appear to be a loving 'action' in itself, but the result puts me at peace which is loving. I deserve happiness. And the clarity that I just saw this very moment says that perhaps this is the lesson to how I am going to really find happiness from within myself. There is a purpose to how things have gone. I don't need him (or anyone) to give me happiness, respect or worth. I already have it. And noone can take it away from me unless I give it away.

And finally, what is loving to him? It isn't loving to allow him to remain unhealthy if there is something I can do. For some reason, I don't feel that telling him to hit the road is the answer. I think it would just validate his belief that it was bound to happen and perpetuate his belief in his wisdom and correctness.

What can I or should I do that will either help him toward health or invalidate his old way of thinking. If it's not my job to guide and tell him what's wrong with him (and do I really know? Even though I think I do.) what is my job? Here are my thoughts
- Just to be me and work on getting me to health
- Pray. If we truly are all connected, then the right person will appear in his path at the right time to help him along.
- Calmly listen and watch and absorb what he says and does and don't react in a way he expects. Then he will have no choice but to deal with his guilt and shame because he won't have my reaction to deflect to.
- It's not for me to demand openness and honesty and trust. It's for him to give it of his own free will. That is the only way it will be truly given.
- And, I guess I must give the same to him, irregardless of whether I know I will get it back. Maybe he doesn't know what they are, has never had them modelled and has to see them in action.

Anyway, those are my thoughts for now. I have some time yet. The task I can see for me will be to learn to control my emotions. Because, whenever I let them take over I react big time, even just thinking about it now almost throws me into one of those rages and I find it hard to believe I can pull off what I wrote above. I think I'm going to try to quit smoking today. You guys and your numbers got me thinking. Dec. 6th = 6 + 6 and 6, a good day to be defiant. And a good way to learn to control my emotions that I'm sure will surface.
heehee, how long did it take you to read this? I never get writer's block.

December 6, 1999
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"Even the dumbest of animals respond to love, why not men?"

December 8, 1999
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VRJ. Your response seems to indicate to me that you have already thought everything through and know what you have to do.

You said "… way to learn to control my emotions". You, like myself, really only have one problem in life and that is gaining control of our behaviour when in a state of emotional arousal. We do the very things that we don’t want to do, and we refrain from doing that which we know we should. "O miserable man; who will save us from ourselves." 🙂

I have discovered that there are at least two ‘captains’ trying to steer my ship at any one time. One is an immature and very fearful little boy who knows nothing about love whatever, conditional or otherwise. This ‘little fella’ is always trying to ward off any danger that he perceives to his well being or any threat to his needs being fulfilled. His main weapons are emotional blackmail and anger as a means of threatening others. Despite his young age he is very powerfully built and is almost unstoppable.

Now the other’ captain’ is a very thoughtful person who works from a cognitive standpoint always. He understands the concepts of unconditional and conditional love very well. The problem is that this intellectual captain has little or no understanding of the emotional captain's behaviour. He is very slightly built and has very little physical strength.

So there is a constant struggle between the two captains at the helm trying to steer the ship and manage the crew. The problem is once the emotional captain has his emotional mind made up nothing is going to stop him steering the ship his way. The intellectual captain has only his intellectual cunning to convince the emotional captain to go back to sleep and let him take over the ship.

There is a third party, the ship owner, who is in a quandry. He needs to get these two captains working effectively together. He has to somehow stop the intellectual captain from listening to and taking notice of the contradictory dictates of the older ship hands when they tell him how things ought to be. They claim that their years of experience at having been captains themselves gives them that right.

The ship owner often talks to the intellectual captain telling him that he cannot reason with the emotional captain, who is completely without thinking abilities. He also tells the intellectual captain that trying to frighten the emotional captain with explanations of the dangers of emotional behaviour will only produce the very unwanted behaviour that will wreck the ship. Yet still the intellectual captain despite many successful experiences of getting control of the ship by lulling the emotional captain off to sleep by support and nurture, seems to forget himself and screams verbal abuse at the emotional captain therein waking him up from his sleep.

Worse than that the intellectual captain thinks up possible dangers in his imagination and then tells the crew who pass the word back to the drowsy emotional captain bringing him to full consciousness. Then the war begins all over again.

What will the ship owner do? Appeal to the shipyard designers and manufacturers for help? No, they would only help with advice pertaining to the ship. They would also point out that both captains have ‘free’ will. They might sympathise and advise more care when picking captains, and crew next time. However that would be in another contractual period not this one. Hmmmmm! Perhaps the best course of action is for the ship owner to consult the experts on human emotional and cognitive processes in an attempt to gain understanding of both captains. Perhaps then the intellectual captain can somehow be shown how to control his thoughtful, imaginative and verbal behaviour in such a way as to keep the troublesome unteachable, and incorrigible emotional captain asleep.

The regulations state that the ship must have an emotional and an intellectual captain. What do you think that the ship owner can do? Advise the intellectual captain to imprison the emotional captain, in the ship’s brig? Let the emotional captain have free reign and let him wreck the ship in an attempt to teach the ‘thick wit’ a lesson? Or advise the intellectual captain to use the strength of the emotional captain by teaching the intellectual captain how to skilfully soothe the emotional captain therein deactivating the ‘little fella’ when his power is not needed or wanted?

The question is: how to soothe the savage beast, the impulsive id, the fearful inner child, the emotions of fear, the ‘shadow’ , Satan, or whatever other name you wish to give the destructive forces within????????

Resorting to God in an appeal for help in overcoming a process that God ultimately initiated Himself and allows to continue? Surely such a God if He were unconditionally loving would not let anything happen to us that was not in our best interests. Is it that God is not either all knowing, or all powerful, or unconditionally loving? Is it possible that God exists and is all three and yet still everything that happens to us is in our best interests?

This line of thinking always seems to lead to this question. If the answer is, ‘yes’ then the only way that I can see that makes any sense is that we are that God in ignorance of that fact and that since we are eternal beings nothing can thus harm us anyway. If this is so, then it’s all just part of a great cosmic game. In which case however you and your bf interact together is OK. However he 'is', is OK. However you 'are' or decide how you 'want to be' is OK. Its OK if we think that we are not OK. All is OK! The emotional captain can now go back to sleep!

December 8, 1999
7:20 pm
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VRJ
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That was sooo good, and funny at the same time, or maybe my sense of humour is warped. Good advice. I'm going to try to look at that little shrieking girl who likes to monopolize the conversation.

Here's one.

We are like atrain, with only one car. The engine is truth. The car is faith or belief in the truth. The caboose is emotion that results.

Only truth can pull the train. If you put either of the others first you will go nowhere. Or somewhere veeerrry weird.

Have to go to GA tonight. I'll write more later.

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