We move in the direction of our expectations

Leila Raven Posted in General
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We move in the direction of our expectations is one of the tenets of Adlerian Psychology.

Our world views shape our experiences. Our beliefs about the world play a large part in forming our experiences. When we have strong beliefs our mind does it’s best to maintain those beliefs. Whether your belief is ‘women are bitches’ ‘men are untrustworthy’ ‘I am unlovable’ ‘people are stupid’, or anything really, your brain will do it’s best to maintain and enforce those beliefs.

There are a number of ways we do this. One of the main ways we do this is by engaging with people who will re-enforce our belief. We will tend to be attracted, consciously or more likely unconsciously, to people that will re-enforce what we already believe. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. What we believe is what we attract and what we are attracted to. This is often why we find negative repetitive patterns in our lives. Often this core belief developed from childhood when something negative occurred, it created a world view, a belief about the world or about people, men, or women, or self, and then we go through life confirming our theory.

The other part of this, is we will be super sensitive to anything that will confirm our beliefs. We will be consciously or more likely unconsciously, constantly looking for evidence from others that what we believe is true. We’ll tend to see what it is we’re looking for in order to validate our underlying beliefs. Instead of seeing the big picture when looking at people or situations we will focus on those details that confirm our world views.

Another aspect of this is that we will take direct actions in order to manipulate events so that our beliefs are validated. We will self-sabotage. This is usually completely unconscious. We will behave in ways that influence others to meet our expectations, taking actions to push others into the expected behaviours. If they are unable to be manipulated to fit the belief, they are usually passed over and more energy and attention is focused on people who do fulfill those beliefs.

Why do we do this? It comes from those events that shaped the belief originally, and wanting to be safe from them recurring, ironically, it does the opposite. The idea is almost if see the danger coming, we’ll protect ourselves, instead we’re looking so hard for that danger that instead of avoiding it, we find what we’re looking for.

What do we do with these beliefs? Let go of trying to find an empirical truth in them, as long as we’re focused on that element of the belief we will continue to make it true, for us. Instead, we need to honestly ask ourselves is this belief working for me? is it helping me, or is it hindering me?

If you can, try something else on for size. ‘Women are wonderful’, ‘men are trustworthy’, ‘I am lovable’, ‘people are smart’, or anything really, your brain will do it’s best to maintain and enforce those beliefs. We have the power to create wonderful things in our lives.

Live in Love

Feeling better

Leila Raven Posted in General
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I’ve been feeling a fair bit better the last couple of weeks, there’s been a definite change, less pain over-all by far.

I had a follow up with my family Dr. last week and the results from my bloodwork though not entirely normal, didn’t point to anything more than my fibromyalgia. I had some things come in as abnormal, but they were not far from the normal range.  It seems my immune system is a little over-reactive but not enough so to diagnose me with lupus or another autoimmune disorder above and beyond the fibromyalgia.

I still have an appt. for follow up with the rheumatologist in Oct. as well as with the neurologist at the MS clinic.

I also was given a referral for a physiotherapist to help with the exercise. I know I have to keep up with it, but when I was at the worst point of my flare-up, lasting for a couple of months where it was just getting worse and worse, exercise was unbearable. I know that as much as possible I need to push through and cope with the recovery pain I get even from gentle swimming. All the research shows that as painfull as it can be in the moment, that it will decrease over-all pain in the long run compared to people who don’t exercise.

The result is yesterday I was in the pool again after my long break from it. I managed half an hour of very leisurely laps, I had to break it down into two 15 minute sets with a break of 10 minutes inbetween. The worst part is trying to get out of the pool, my muscles are not happy to encounter gravity again when climbing the pool ladder. Today I’m really feeling it, I’m going to try to go every other day for a while, and not yet daily. I have a lot of recovery pain today, the muscles react as if I’d been doing 2 hours of intense martial arts and not 30 minutes of leisurely swimming. Unfortunately exaggerated muscle recovery pain is normal for many people with fibromyalgia and just something I will need to cope with.

I’m hoping the phsyiotherapist has experience with fibromyalgia and can help me work through some of my issues with pain and weakness in exercise.

Now that I have less pain, I’m not fighting to try to get to sleep at night, and I’m not waking up with pain throughout the night, or unable to get back to sleep again because of pain. Getting a regular nights sleep is such a phenomenal feeling when you’ve been without it for a while. I’ve also found my craving for sugar and caffiene is a lot less.

I had put my weight loss completely on the back burner while dealing with the increasing pain and symptoms I had throughout the summer. I had gotten down to around 180, but put 10lbs back on and have been hovering around 190. Now that I’m not so consumed with pain and pain management, I feel like I’m ready and able to focus again more on diet as well as exercise and go back to my previous goal and continue to bring my weight down.

I’ve got my fitday program back up and running, it’s a phenomenally helpful little software program that is an extension of what is offered at fitday I find keeping a record of my diet and exercise helps keep me on track.

Hopefully this slight remission will remain, or even better, hopefully things will continue to improve. It’s nice not to have pain screaming at me all the time, I still have constant pain but nothing compared to even a few weeks ago.

I’ve been writing a lot more too, here, and elsewhere, which is nice, but my wrists and hands are screaming at me for it now, so it’s time for bed.

Are you a kinky person? are you on Fetlife? if so, find me there too, my nick is Katt.

Thanks for those of you sending me ‘spoons’ they must be helping.

Verbal abuse, clinical definitions of various aspects of verbally abusive behaviors

Leila Raven Posted in General
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When I did my first work as a psychotherapist it was in a practicum setting where I was working as a counselor for a ‘women and violence’ program. Essentially dealing with current and/or past survivors of abuse. One of my focused areas of study was on dealing with and healing from abusive relationships.

Abusive behavior occurs not only in close interpersonal relationships but also in workplaces, schools, and other communities.

Verbal abuse is one of the more common forms of abuse that people face.

Verbal abuse can at times be more damaging than physical abuse, with longer lasting results on the psyches of those involved.

Verbal abuse is often trivialized in society in terms of how harmful it can be to a person’s mental and emotional health over a period of time. People who have experienced verbal abuse often feel deeply hurt, frightened, angered, and at the same time may have self doubt or guilt over their inner emotional reaction to the verbal abuse. They have internalized the idea that something so ‘trivial’ as words shouldn’t hurt them so much. The reality is it is so hurtful because it’s not so trivial.

If you experience hurt and upset over the words of another directed at yourself and/or people you care about, your feelings are valid, and important.

Verbal abuse is something we are all likely to experience at some time or another to some degree or another. Most of us have experienced hurt at the words of another.

There is a difference between verbal abuse and conflict. In conflict, each person wants something different, and in order to resolve the conflict, the people involved in the conflict discuss their wants, needs and reasons while seeking a solution.

Conflict tends to be solution focused, while verbal abuse tends to be about a means to an ends in itself, that of power and control.

Sometimes issues of conflict will devolve into situations of verbal abuse. Verbally abusive situations are not necessarily about one abuser, and one victim. There may be more than two parties involved, and one, two or all involved may be verbally abusive.

In general, laying ‘blame’ is not productive, and can be a form of verbal abuse itself. Focus should be on ending abusive behavior if one is engaging in it, or removing oneself from abusive behavior if one is the victim of it.

Verbal abuse is all about power and control. One person is seeking power and control over another or others, and gains that power by manipulating and controlling communication. Verbal abuse by its very nature, undermines the feelings, beliefs, perceptions and behavior of the victim or victims involved. Verbal abuse is damaging not only to those it is directed towards, but to those engaging in the abusive behaviors, and those not directly involved but witness to the abuse. Ongoing abuse is more damaging than isolated incidences of abuse.

Becoming aware of ongoing abuse issues in your life and taking positive measures to protect yourselves and others is an important step to empowering yourself in living a healthy life.

What is verbal abuse?

If you have been called stupid, a bitch, or any other put-down, you have been verbally abused.

Name calling is the most obvious form of verbal abuse and is not difficult for most of us to recognize, but verbal abuse takes many, more subtle forms as well.

Verbal abuse may be ‘disguised’ as jokes, or a form of humor, teasing, or sarcasm. Teasing can be a strong tactic of control. Even in it’s most innocent application, teasing is designed to trigger shame, to cause others to feel unsure or foolish, especially when the teaser asks “What’s the matter? Can’t you take a joke?”

Verbal abuse may take the form of ‘Withholding’ Essentially refusing to listen or to communicate in a positive fashion.

Verbal abuse may take the form of ‘Countering’ Not allowing you to have a different opinion or point of view. Invalidating your opinion or point of view, refusing to acknowledge your point of view or definitions and constantly countering them with their own.

Verbal abuse may take the form of ‘Discounting’ Treating your experiences and feelings as if they are worthless or meaningless.

Verbal abuse may take the form of ‘Blocking/Diverting’ These are forms of controlling communication by establishing what can/cannot be discussed and/or switching the topic.

Verbal abuse may take the form of ‘Accusing and Blaming’  Accusing you and/or others of wrongdoing or blaming you for his/her words, feelings or behaviors.

Verbal abuse may take the form of ‘Judging and Criticizing’ Judging you/others and then expressing that judgment in a critical way to you or others.

Verbal abuse may take the form of ‘Trivializing’ Indicating, directly or indirectly, that what you or others have done or said is not important.

Verbal abuse may take the form of ‘Undermining/Sabotaging’ Not only withholding emotional support from others, but making comments that are aimed at undermining self confidence, or implying that others are inadequate or lesser than in some way.

Verbal abuse may take the form of ‘Forgetting/Denial’
Declaring what occurred didn’t occur; denying your and others reality.

Verbal abuse may take the form of ‘Ordering’ Telling others what to do, and giving orders instead of asking respectfully for what he/she/others want. Denying the equality of others.

Verbal abuse may take the form of ‘Abusive Anger’  Irritable outbursts, sneering, arguing, temper tantrums, shouting, yelling, raging, explosiveness or sarcasm directed at you or others.

Of course we have all experienced these behaviors, and we all at some time or another have acted in such a way that falls under the above definitions. That does not make all of us verbal abusers. The important thing in identifying someone who is verbally abusive is a identifying that they use multiple tactics of verbally abusive controlling behavior, and they have a pattern of doing so consistently and repeatedly over time. Abuse often occurs in cycles.

You cannot resolve conflicts with someone who is abusive and whose agenda is not conflict resolution, but power and control.

The appropriate response to an abuser, is generally to disengage. To not accept abusive behavior from them. You may or may not want to call them on the behavior first. Calling someone on their abusive behavior will not work if they are in denial over their own behavior. It’s only valuable if there is some indication of recognition, responsibilty and willingness to change on the part of the abuser. Remove yourself from the line of fire.

If you recognize these behaviors in yourself or others. If you believe you or others are acting from a place of trying to exact power or control, ‘win’, rather than solve conflict, ask yourself what the results of being the perpetrator or victim of the verbal abuse is. Usually it’s an endless cycle of pain and nonsense. Are you continuing to engage in the cycle of abuse with others, as a victim, as a perpetrator or as both?

Recognize your behavior, accept and forgive yourself, move on and do something different, more productive, positive, and towards healing.

My personal advice. Just stop. Do something else. ‘Playing’ with a verbally abusive person is like playing with fire, the result is you get burned. Anything you do to try to quench the flame is going to be seen as a play at power and control and will just cause more heat and a brighter flame. It doesn’t matter if you feel you are coming from a positive place or not, sticking your hand over a flame will result in injury regardless of your positive attitude.

If you’re worried they or others will see your disengaging as a ‘win’ for them, or that they have gotten the upper hand. They’ve sucked you into their game and mindset of power and control, let it go, let them have it. It’s a fabrication. Real power and control in life is not about abuse, or winning in verbally abusive battles. The people that matter in life, and your own psyche, will recognize that the healthy and strong thing to do, is not engage in the abusive behavior, as a perpetrator, or as a victim.

Personality, world views and experience… understanding the negatives, creating the positives. Living in Love.

Leila Raven Posted in General
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I have a background in psychology and have always had an interest in human nature, in personality, and growth and healing. In happiness, and in love. Why? I think being happy, and living ‘in love’ is the most important thing there is. It’s the most important thing in my life, to be happy and want those I love to be happy.

I often wonder how to deal with negativity in my life, that which springs from within and without. Over the years I’ve learned some things, developed some beliefs around personality, happiness, negativity, positivity, choices, and empowerment. Some of the things I’ve learned through formal study, but mostly, from practical application.

Here are some of my thoughts on the matter..

Being actively negative begets negativity.

Not complex, but often very true. If someone has a negative view of the world and tends to be a negative person, suffers from mistrust, dishonesty, disloyalty, jealousy, envy, anger, temper, etc, they will tend to attract other people with similar or complimentary issues. Also, the lens through which they view the world is one of ‘negativity’, distorted that everywhere they look, what is seen is a projection of their own negative qualities.

In order to change, people coming from a world view and personality that is negative, have to first realize that a big part of this is their own perspective and view of the world that is creating the negativity in their lives. This doesn’t often happen, as there is frequently a large proponent of laying ‘blame’ elsewhere, and/or such a cynical world view as to believe that their negative view of the world is true and valid, and not distorted at all.

In therapy, if someone is open to exploring that such negativity is indeed largely internal, about world view, and something changeable, growth and healing does become possible. Usually self-reflection is encouraged. It is amazing to see that often if people list the top negative qualities they commonly encounter in the people around them, and are honest with themselves, they will see negative qualities they themselves possess. These distorted world views can be corrected. Jealous people can learn to foster an attitude of abundance, and learn to empathize and feel genuinely good for the other peoples good fortune. These positive feelings can be used as motivations to improving ones own life. Disloyal people are encouraged to try standing up for others, once loyalty to someone or something outside of self is learned, they become closer to having loyalty over disloyalty be their default response. Dishonest people are encouraged towards honesty, through the knowledge that lies invariably lead to more lies and more dishonesty, and eventually trouble. Also, often people can tell when someone lies or is dishonest, often intuitively and will distrust dishonest people, though they may not voice their distrust, it is there.

Basically, people are encourage to discover their negative issues, challenge them, and do the opposite, and foster positive change. Difficult, but not impossible. Practice is important.. it takes more than just an attitude adjustment, it takes changing actions which in turn changes attitude.

Becoming a better person with better values usually results in more positives in life and the lives of those around you. Trust, empathy, honesty, etc, fosters love and friendship. Deepens the love and respect in relationships. I don’t know which is the better benefit, that you learn to love people more when you let go of negativity, or that they love you more.

When people change the psychological view through which they percieve the world. Focus on the positives and release the negatives, their experience of the world changes. People become able to see how positive the people in their life really are. The beauty, love, and positive in their homes, relationships, communities, grows and is encouraged.

Another element to negativity in life, is that being passive and not assertive in the face of negativity allows negativity to flourish.

There are people that allow others to take advantage of them, manipulate, bully or abuse them. If you are unable to actively resist and say no to people, then there are negative people who will take advantage of that. The more you allow it, the more it escalates. In order to evade negativity from being a passive participant is to become assertive and not allow it.

Mistrusting intuition can allow negativity in the back door.

Sometimes, despite logic, your ‘gut’ tells you something about someone. Listening to one’s own intuition is a big step in avoiding negatives. However, if you have looked honestly at yourself and are coming from a strong place of negativity yourself, you may be sensing a reflection of self.  In general though, usually your intuition is right, trust yourself. If something or someone feels ‘negative’, you’re probably right on the money.

Negative people in your life.

Sometimes someone in your life, friend, partner, family member, may be influencing you negatively. Sometimes we can have a generally positive personality and outlook on life and mostly positive interpersonal relationships and experiences, but find ourselves enmeshed with one or two abusive, manipulative, degrading or otherwise negative people. If this is the case the most effective solution is to no longer interact with them. We can change ourselves, and our own negative world views, but we cannot change others. We can choose who we allow into our lives and to influence us. If you do have someone in your life in this role that you feel for whatever reason you cannot ‘cut out’ of your life, and choose to continue to interact with someone that is abusive, manipulative, degrading, or otherwise negative, then you need to always be aware of this negative influence. Do not let them take over your life or influence your thoughts and decisions. Don’t let them infect your own world view with their negativity. Find positive people to interact with. Learn to tune out their negativity and not let it affect you. Create space and spaces in your life where you do not tolerate negativity. You do not have to ‘consume’ negative material other people put out all the time, and if you choose to do so, deliberately recognizing it for what it is, and keeping positive through it is vital. You have control over how you frame it. The lens through which you see it.

Peoples thoughts, attitudes and behaviours are typically influenced by the people they spend the most time with.

The company people keep often reflects and influences our own attitudes and beliefs. Increasing positive, happy, uplifting people in our lives improves the quality of our lives, just as fostering positive qualities in ourselves improves the qualities of our interpersonal relationships.

Foster positive change in yourself. Surround yourself with positive people. Limit negative influences in your life. When confronted with negatives, be aware of them, and maintain your ‘positive’ self regardless.

To sum it up.

Live in Love.
It’s a choice, you have it.

A weird list

Leila Raven Posted in General
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I don’t feel like my brain is up to complex tricks like sentence structure, paragraphs, cohesive writing. But I have a lot of things on my mind.

Wolfe’s grandmother passed away last week, the service was today, religious, solemn, smiles, family, tears, wisdom, and nothing like the cycle of life and death to put things in perspective. I enjoyed the life and innocence of loud energy filled interuptive toddlers.

I had a lot of pain during the service, too much standing and sitting, my body prefers reclining, my hands decided to swell and turn purple. Wolfe was comparing their colour to the leather covers of the bibles in the church.

I have a new laptop. We can’t really afford it. Unfortunately that didn’t effect the fact that I accidentally poured kool aid on the old laptop.

None of the keys on my keypad are where they’re supposed to be, unfortunately, they’re not responsive to any suggestions I’ve made for them to configure to where my fingers expect them to be.

The service was today, I had two hours sleep last night… it was a heavy pain night. In our hurry this morning, I forgot to replace the doggy gate that protects the hall closet from illegal canine entry. I came home to find two of my favorite pairs of shoes where now deluxe puppy toys.  It didn’t bother me in the slightest. They’re in the trash… but you know what? they’re just shoes.

Buying, owning and wearing shoes makes me happy, apparently the destruction and loss of shoes is no biggy.

I had more blonde streaks put in my hair the other day. The blonde reminds me of being younger, makes me feel older, and reminiscent, I like it, and I don’t. I have hair conflict, probably why I shave it off regularly. Not sure if I’ll ever shave it off again.

Wolfe painted our front deck, twice, the hardware store mixed the colour wrong initially, now we love it. Having a home and doing little things to it feels lovely.

Last night I had weird bladder pain, it hurt to move, I had to get help to get to and from the bathroom, It’s scary when things inside you hurt. You don’t know why, or whether damage is happening to you or not. There’s nothing you can do about it. I have a lot of things like that in my life right now.

There are a lot of angry, hurt, and mean people out there. I wish them peace and happiness. When I read things written in conflicts between people I know, even though I’m not very close to them, my heart races, the adrenaline pounds, flight or fight. I don’t like it, I don’t like the drama… I get into ‘fix it’ mode, wanting to make it better. I can’t, and I know it, I take deep breaths and tell myself to let it go, accept people for who they are. Love people for being people, and remember most people lashing out are people with pain or private burdens. Compassion. Not just for them, but for myself. I can’t heal the world, and I’m not sure why a big chunk of my brain is sure it’s my job.

If I find myself reading too much negative stuff, I deliberately go out and look for motivational quotes, positive thoughts, words of wisdom, to try and balance what I’m feeding my head, and remind me of the phenomenal beauty, intelligence, wisdom and happiness people can encompass.

lolcats works wonders too.

As does playing lots of WoW. WoW is my most effect pain management strategy, I distract the hell out of my brain so it doesn’t keep screaming at me about what’s happening in my body.

Most of the time I don’t play very well… my motor skills suck and I only use the mouse to play, less pain in my hands that way.

It’s our life, we can choose what we focus on, and through which lens of personal attitude we view it.

I can’t control life, death, illness, much of my pain, accidents to laptops, destruction of fine footwear by dogs, or how others treat one another. I can control how I choose to percieve it all.  How I interact with it all.  Right now I have a lot of choice around my feelings and attitudes. That is something to truly be grateful for. When I was severely depressed and hadn’t found medication to balance out that biochemical fog… I didn’t have the option to ‘choose’ happiness, it was the worst feeling in the world.  Right now I have not only the ability to cope, but to frame how I see the world as beautiful and positive. I will never ever take that forgranted again.

If you have the ability to choose happiness, do it. If you don’t, I hope you are as lucky as I was, and have someone in your corner fighting for you to regain it.

It’s normal to hurt, to worry, to be sick, to die, to laugh, to cry, to love, to fear, to need, to fail, to learn, to hide, to run, to give, to want more, to want less, to be, whatever you are. You’re normal. You’re human. We’re human, we all have that in common. All of that, and more.

Listening

Leila Raven Posted in General
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I’ve been reading a lot on the forums in Fetlife lately, and it’s been interesting reading. Lots of excellent threads, thoughts, ideas. Things that take me back to philosophy and psychology classes many years ago some of them. Or many late night conversations with friends over the years.

In the past all the ideas swirling around in my head from reading would inspire me to write my own thoughts, contribute to those threads, debate at times.  I seem to be content as of late to be primarily a consumer, a listener, and not to contribute. For one, most everything I’ve said before, somewhere, sometime.

In the past I would often write as part of the process of developing my thoughts on topics, that impetus isn’t there, I pretty much know what I think about a lot of these topics.

I sometimes wonder at the motivations behind why some people write what they do. Especially when they are not bringing anything new or productive to a conversation. Sometimes writing seems to be specifically about supporting friends, or the ideas of others. Sometimes writing seems to be specifically about trying to discredit others in some way. It seems there are a lot of emotionally motivated types of responses, people writing for vengeance, people writing to try to appear different ways to different people. Perhaps a satisfaction in writing something clever, or something witty, something deep, or something disparaging. Thankfully there seem to be a lot of people writing simply because they have something good to say as well. I’ve read a lot that I’ve appreciated, that seems to be written from someones heart and soul because it’s important to them, and not about an outside agenda. In reality I can only guess at motivation, and I think with my background in human psychology, I’m a relatively good guesser. I still don’t assume my guesses are correct, I leave them as open ended pondering in my head. The only person who really knows their motivations are the authors themselves, well, one hopes… some may lack the self insight too I suppose.

I think in part I’ve stopped writing as much because I’d become frustrated with assumptions.  I’ve had people assume some nasty things about me and my motivations behind some of my past words. I haven’t stopped writing to ‘save myself’ from being targeted from misassumptions, I’ve just wondered sometimes what the point of sharing thoughts is, when it doesn’t matter your intended purposes in writing, what people are hearing when they listen to your words is different. I write to express things that are important and central to me, if it’s not being heard, I might as well just keep them to my thoughts.

It makes me think about some literature classes where we would dissect bodies of writing, poems, stories, novels, what have you.  So many intellectual insights into what all the meanings in all the words are… the work takes on a life of it’s own. The words become an entity seperate from the author. It stops mattering what the author says they meant, or were writing about… the readers have become the true authors, the intellectuals consuming the work have added layers and layers.  Something bigger is created, yes, but something simple and beautiful is also lost. Lost in translation.

Sometimes in school this could work to your advantage, if percieved as highly intellectual, essay questions written in exams where usually given the ‘benefit of the doubt’ and the professor grading you would assume your answers contained the right answers in them. Write something vague enough and clever enough and obscure enough, and voila… A+. Funny thing is, I’ve never been interested in grades, or even looking clever. Whenever life would start to pull me into the limelight. I’d deliberately take a step or two back into obscurity.

I’ve never liked being the center, I don’t want to be the star, the super author, the ‘winner’.  This is sometimes a hazard of being creative. Liking to create things, creation draws attention, and often admiration. Maybe that’s why I so often switch creative genres.  Dabbling in different things, never going too far in one field. A lot of people would view some of my actions in life as fear of success. I disagree, it’s not fear motivating me for one, and for two, I don’t think I have the same definition of ‘success’ as many people do. I don’t need to have ‘prestige’ in order to feel successful in life.  I don’t need awards, or certificates, television shows, money, etc, I don’t think being successful comes from ‘things’ at all, or even from ‘accomplishments’. I think being successful comes from being happy, from deep contentment, from acceptance, from having inner serenity and compassion. It’s a state of mind, not a state of status. Keeping separate from other peoples constructions of pedestals tends to keep me focused on what really matters to me.

I’m not successful because I have a number of degrees including an MA in psychology. I’m not unsuccessful because I’m on disability due to health issues. I’m not successful because I own my own home and am married. I’m not unsuccessful because I don’t have kids and a white picket fence. I’m not successful because I’ve been on television or have x amount of internet recognition. I’m not unsuccessful because I’m not in more prominant media.

I am successful, because I have succeeded in knowing who I am, accepting who I am, loving who I am, and being who I am, true to myself. That I’m motivated by internal personal goals, and not by some societal expectations of what it means to be successful. That I do what I want, when I want, based on self knowledge, self interest, and acceptance of my goals, desires and my limitations, the whole package. I’m successful because I care about me, being true to myself, and about others, and doing my best to be true to others, and supporting and accepting their truths and limitations as well.  We are all imperfectly perfect, and we are all being ourselves, very successfully.

I guess my frustrations are with assumptions, constructions, that others interpret around my actions and words and works, creative and otherwise. I don’t want to be successful on other peoples terms. I don’t write things, or do things, to be popular or unpopular. I think a lot of times, people have a very hard time listening to me when I speak my truths about my motivations in life. My motivations in my words and actions. It’s simple, I want to be true to myself and others. I want happiness, love and compassion and to do what is meaningful to me and my happiness. If it’s not working for me, if what I write is misunderstood and consistently taken to mean things it does not.  I stop writing in those venues.  So these days, I write very little in terms of public words.  Someone else will come along and say it just as well if not better than I eventually anyways. It doesn’t have to be me.  What’s important is the circulation of positive ideas… not that it’s me circulating them.

There seems to be a lot of people on fetlife circulating positive ideas. I’ve been very happy to just listen.