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Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

I read an absolutely genius website recently: http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/FEARvsDANGER.html

This guy has the clearest ideas of real-world violence and violent human behavior that I’ve ever read. This reminds me of a lot of what we always say is “good kung fu.” I.E., there’s almost always a nonviolent way out, and why were you somewhere that violence was likely in the first place? In other words for violence to actually be “necessary,” you have to have made a series of complete fuck-ups leading up to that situation. Then, to actually “defend” yourself is usually to find the fastest path to escape.

Further, as I’ve always thought, there’s no such thing as a “fight” outside of duels and sparring. It isn’t a real barfight or street fight unless somebody is likely to draw a knife, gun, or bat or someone’s friend or associate is likely to draw one while you aren’t looking. No one is trying to “fight.” Either they are trying to warn you off with a threat display, they’re giving you an ultimatum (usually with some option to leave or exit without violence) or else they’re trying to murder you (because you declined their ultimatum or you already did something to ‘earn’ getting killed, like screwed their wife or screwed them in a drug deal).

But this guy takes it all a step further. He shows how people take the rules from their part of society and expect them to apply everywhere and in all situations, basically becoming bigotted pricks everywhere they go. Essentially people expect to break some of the ‘rules’ (screwing someone’s wife, going to a drug party in the ghetto) whilest assuming that other ‘rules’ will protect them (no one shoots people, no one violates my body without my permission). By this method, a lot of middle class men get shot and a lot of middle class girls get raped, simply by assuming their “rights” are god-given instead of society given.

He lays everything out so lucidly as to point to the simple truth: If you are oriented to reality as it is, rather than what you think it should be, you are always in a more powerful position.

This showed me that the way we’ve built up our society is good in some ways. I definitely like the fact that most of the time the greatest risk I suffer as a consequence of my words or actions is hurt feelings. That’s a safer world to live in than a barbaric one of constant possible violence. But we also effectively use this setup to manipulate situations to our benefit. At the end of the day, the person with the most savvy in whatever system they are in, is usually able to gain the most power, toys, money, or whatever….  and in the end, most people are playing to win.

Even playing “by the rules” is probably playing to win, through reputation, some sense of self-respect (boosting ego/confidence), social and personal justification, or else to marshall the rules in one’s favor as a protective measure (It’s nice to be able to manipulate social power in someone’s face while they cannot do anything about it because the “rules” protect your theivery, hate speech, backstabbing connivances, or stupid and self-serving actions). Most people surely hide their own attempts to “win” from themselves, because if they realized how twisted and ruthless their own games were, they might “lose” some of the psychological cookies that their social rules system gives them.

All this points me a clear direction: Know my intention, and act utterly in accordance with it…  hide nothing from myself — my sense of ‘fairness’ seems to mostly be a strategy from my childhood to manipulate those around me, so set it aside entirely and play ruthlessly, simply, absolutely to succeed. My “morals” will never be a stand-in for innocence.

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I was on my way to see my mom’s band play at church.  They’d been practicing some music and she was very proud of what they were doing.  We saw a dog on the side of the road.  My friend was happy to see a dog, but immediately I realized it was likely to get hit by a car.

And of course, it started wandering out on the road.  Well, my friend jumped out of the car as soon as one of us said, “the dog has tags, it’s someone’s dog, and it’s definitely not going to make it across highway 78 (busy 4 lane highway).  So he started trying to catch the dog, but the dog got hit.  The car ran over its arm and my friend picked the dog up and brought it to our car.

So we took it to the emergency animal hospital.  I didn’t know my friend had been bitten but when they found out he’d been bitten, they wanted some forms filled out, and then we were to go to the E.R.  In order to hurry things along, I went ahead and filled out one of our forms (at the time I thought it was the only one that would be needed, and I didn’t know how bad my buddy’s bite was, so I thought it would rush us along).  It was a triplicate form and I assumed I’d get a copy.

Well, more forms needed to be filled out, and we were able to track down the dog’s records and discover it had a current rabies shot.  So Animal control officers told my friend that he wouldn’t need to go to the E.R.  I let him decide how bad his wounds were in terms of danger of infection.  He didn’t want to go tonight for that, knowing we’d be in the E.R. for 3 or 4 hours due to his low priority in triage, and it would cost a lot to go, so we decided to head back home.

I asked for a copy of the form I’d filled out for my own personal records.  Actually, I wanted to laugh with my friend and my dad about the fact that when it asked for “species” I’d put down “canus.”  We were all in a pretty decent mood and I was nominating Thomas (who is an Eagle Scout) for a new merit badge.

Due to records laws, she couldn’t give me a copy — animal records being treated identically to human medical records.  This really upset me and I said, “well, what if some kind of legal action comes back to me?  I should have a copy of the records for myself…  maybe you all will lose them.  I’m a law student, I know that things can get weird.”  She said she couldn’t.  I held eye contact and said, “I can assure you that this decision will mean that i the next instance, I won’t help a dog at all.”  I was pretty pissed off.

While I did make a point to say very loudly to my dad, “I know it isn’t her fault, or the clinic manager’s fault” I also said very loudly, “anything that goes beyond a motion to dismiss will cost me time and money.”  (Which is true, but I also know that the chances of anyone generating a tort claim that would go beyond a simple motion to dismiss off the situation I was in are basically equal to zero).

All this past, I found it difficult to let go of the situation.  I felt horribly guilty that I’d maybe really hurt her feelings or discouraged her in some way.  Also, as soon as I realized I was going on and on about it, I tried to change the subject as quickly as possible, as I think we all felt pretty good about having helped the dog out and I didn’t want to screw that up, especially for my friend Thomas.  I could feel the peacefulness within myself that surpasses all things going on, and told everybody, “okay, lets just drop what I’m talking about, I never want to bother about this again.”

But more importantly, the MINDSPACE that going into all that arguing with the vet assistant had put me into was not useful at all.  So, realizing this, I started getting upset at myself like I was fucking up everything I was trying to build inside myself to try and approach things to build a much better lifestyle for myself…  Quite a nasty feeling that my attitude was going to do nothing but cause myself more shit.  It was very hard to pull myself out of that.

However, it did eventually pass.  Even sorting through it here helped some..  What I am noticing as I type this is my meditations are helping.  I was able to return to “home base” after assessing that my headspace and argumentativeness wasn’t useful in any way.  It took me awhile to drop it, and my tendency to feel bad about things made it harder to drop it.  Guilt has to be one of the most worthless emotions in human existence, hahah.

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I have this habit, it’s a very bad one.  I’ve decided I need to face this since as long as the potential exists and I’m simply repressing myself, I haven’t actually dealt with the underlying issue.

Yesterday I was having around my family again and I got into an argument with my mom.  I truly felt she was being completely unreasonable about something and putting me into a very unpleasant bind.  However, the proper response would have been to ask for clarification, or to tell her that I felt she was presenting an impossible dilemma for me on something very important.

Instead I more or less reframed things in a way to place her in an impossible position, then she escalated the situation and I went for the jugular, saying things carefully as to leave her in tears, doubting her own self-worth (her particular weak spot).  I kept telling my dad to butt out, but his vocal observation at the time was that everything I said sounded fair.  Of course, I knew what I was doing.  Moreover, I intended it very cruelly at the time.  Later that evening, she left church early because she felt completely sickened and unable to practice piano.

My Qi Kung teacher pointed this out to me as well.  One time I and my Kung Fu schoolmates were out at a bar.  Some guy walked by and was an ass to me.  I said and did a couple of perfectly “harmless and reasonable” things and he nearly assaulted me.  My intention being that the other school mates would probably stop it from going too far and I would press charges against him, screwing up his employment, his relations with his family, taking money away from him etc, etc…  My Qi Kung teacher called me aside and essentially said, “I know what you’re doing, stop it.”

Further, and addressing the point of my writing about all this, my teacher was able to show me why I do this.  The basic feeling I have is that nothing I say matters much to anyone.  I don’t really feel like I have any social power, or social worth, and I don’t feel like anyone would really give a damn what I feel.  Usually in arguments I find people are pretty reluctant to show that they give a damn what the other person feels, so I tend to sense a lot of things that confirm my suspicion.  So when I become convinced that someone steps on me, I often form the intention to destroy them completely, or at least strike their weakest point as hard as I can, and proceed based on that.  My basic feeling is that anything less just won’t be noticed.

Interestingly enough, after the conversation about the guy in the bar, because of the way my teacher presented the situation to me, I harbored a lot of hatred towards my teacher.  I took it upon myself to actually damage the form of martial art that he had spent his life and love developing, to poison it subtly and carefully after he was gone.  I didn’t reveal this directly to him for awhile, but I have had a way of simultaneously holding all my good motivations and bad motivations inside my mind without feeling too bothered by the conflict.  All the time.

I’ve improved this in the last few years, taking what’s arguably an even colder approach and weighing out the advantages of destroying them or hurting them versus keeping them as an ally.  I know that sounds sick, but in a lot of cases, if I boil it down and don’t give myself any quarter for what appears to be self control, that’s what I’ve done.  So progress, I guess, was dropping the intention to hurt my teacher’s art and seeing learning it properly as more worth my time.

Regarding my mom, I stepped away, had some hot chocolate and read some law books for awhile.  As I was reading I was thinking that as long as there’s a potential for this to happen, then whatever the underlying cause is, I haven’t addressed it.  So I went back to my mom and asked her to give me a chance to listen to her and not try to take what she’s saying in the context of all the opinions I’ve formed about her throughout the years…  to try and listen with new ears.

Of course, she appreciated this, but ten times more important to me is that I felt like I shifted at least some of the potential for this to happen between us.  In other words, instead of merely repressing my deep-seated disdain for her and acting polite (which I could make a cost/benefit analysis for and probably maintain for years), I actually think I started getting past some of the crap we’ve built between us.

Beyond the specific issue with my mom, I often struggle to feel enough security in my worth to others regarding things I might need or want, like employment or someone caring for me, or even my friends caring what I have to say, to cease to be such a calculating reptile about it.  In social reality I still tend to use all my intellect, creativity, friendliness, and insight to try and prove worth to my friends, family and people I meet.  And I frequently don’t trust people to listen to me or care about me at all on the merit of my value as a person.  Though recently I’ve been fortunate to have some friends that have shown me they do care on those merits alone.

I’ve been around both my mom and my dad lately and noticed my patterns with them;  now I also see how I’ve developed symbiotic relationships with many of my friends and social groups to give me support based on the fact that they all basically like the persona with which I try and garner value.  I take little and very cold solace in the fact that most people are engaged in some kind of tacit bargaining like mine.

I cherish freedom and one of the only things I think is unethical is controlling others.  But all that I’ve been talking about are forms of control and methods to try and subtly and quietly negotiate it behind someone’s back.  It makes me feel sick to think about my whole issue with this, the extreme ends of my reactions to insecurities as well as the everyday manipulations involved — a big chunk of my entire lifestyle is built around it!

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For many years I have had the gift of being able to think possibilities out very realistically.  In Qi Kung, as an example, this has prompted my teacher to say, “you’re too smart” because I can often get the feel or the trick to doing a Kung Fu skill even before my body is strong enough to do it.  Not everyone can do this, so I call it a gift.

In seeking to follow my heart, I have discovered a lot of usefulness to doubting things, and setting things aside.  For one thing, as I mentioned several posts ago, forgiveness allows me to let go of the past.  Regarding the future, I am finding I can doubt my assumptions and set aside plans and potential plans.  For one thing this lets me pick up one thing at the time and see it all alone.  For another thing I can bring myself more completely into the present this way.

And setting aside the past and the future seems to help to place myself into a possibility, to really see and feel the wholeness of it.  My imagination is stronger without so many pieces of my energy spread around pasts and potentialities.  I can also think more clearly and I feel more energetic and happy this way.

So, with all these tools, I’m working to notice what is a real and authentic inspiration of my heart, a true choice to follow.  One example I have is my vow a month ago to follow my heart, my vow of allegiance to the peacefulness within.  I was clear in my intention, then I found my inspiration for the right way, and I have been absolutely convinced of the rightness of it every since.  There are many beautiful paths, but only some have that clarity of rightness.

And another.  I have succeeded in setting aside everything, and taking up the possibility of having a sex change.  I’ve always been good at intuiting experiences before having them, and I have been consistently right.  But adding the equanimity of the void and the deep sense of connection to everything has increased that.  Also, setting everything aside so deliberately to only pick the one thing up has made my skillfulness increase as well.  It is almost as if I can see and feel directly down that pathway of possibility pretty far into the future, with a kind of certainty I have never had (and as I said, I’ve been really good at that before).

The beauty of this is that now I can simply let the truth of that knowledge set.  Either I will set that path aside completely, or after a time I will feel certain that I want to do it and little will stop me.  However, the exact timing and conditions that would allow me to make that choice will not be before me for several months, so I don’t need to worry about it now.  This has the quality of rightness to it as well.  I like that it no longer feels like a quandry but more like a simple thing to relax about until certainty of choice is had in fullness of timing.

Again, I mean to write that more as an example, though I know its a very personal one to me.  My intention in this post is in gathering characteristics of seeing the way of my heart.  Because in reality there are so many beautiful or powerful choices and paths to take.

I can’t simply choose the way that looks best based on how much of a “charge” I feel unless I want to keep living a topsy turvy life of hit and miss.  Case in point, I chose my last girlfriend simply because we both felt a lot of “charge” and it seemed right.  I would have sworn that she was the one my heart truly wanted.  Of course, now I wouldn’t make that claim.

In retrospect I see that she could have been any number of men or women I would have experienced the same kinds of problems and heartbreak with.  I was just in a position to fall for someone like that.  Likewise, making choices based entirely on rationality is obviously dry and unbalanced.

So for now, I continue with the heart breathing meditation and I continue setting everything aside, I continue paying attention to the characteristics of something true.  I believe I can find the way to make the best choices, to follow my heart.

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“Forgiveness is is letting go of the idea that someone should have done something differently, or that things should have turned out differently.”

–Carolyn Myss

I had wondered about this before.  I had always thought that forgiveness was feeling goodness towards someone who had wronged me, or that I thought had wronged me.  As Jubal Hershaw says in “Stranger in a Strange Land” I just thought that was something that the human nervous system is utterly incapable of feeling, and people were being disingenuous when they suggested it.

However, now I see that the goodwill is an after effect.  I’m reminded of all Jed McKenna says about spirituality and people try and do the things that enlightened people do without actually being enlightened.  Trying to be Buddha-like prior to achieving enlightenment is just rigidity and rules.  Likewise, attempting to have goodwill towards someone in spite of the fact that I believe they treated me wrongly actually often does just lead to being disingenuous.

But Myss’s idea is so much simpler.  Just let go of attachment to the idea that someone should have done something differently or that things should have gone differently.  The idea is to not put my energy there.  Nothing more.  I mean, the past is the one and only thing that is always carved in stone and cannot be changed, no?  So why am I going to put any energy into it?

I’ve been observing this.  Yesterday I was able to apply it to my grandmother.  Now some of the other things Myss says in her videos about healing and Chakras are really useful.  Having some understanding of where someone is coming from can help me to let go of thinking they should have acted differently towards me.

So I thought about my grandmother, someone I’ve been able to have more kindness towards than ever before, and was able to really let go of thinking she should have ever treated me differently.  It’s not the same thing as saying everything she ever did was good, or that I feel good towards her for those things, or anything weird like that, just that there’s no part of me, no thoughts, no energy, nothing invested in the idea she ever should have acted differently towards me.  I accept it, it’s done and I don’t have malice, blame or any wish to change it.  And I notice that I feel very kind and pleasant towards her now.

I was able to apply the same thing towards my mom and some other people.  I felt so energized afterwards!  Like that little finite piece of my thoughts that gets burned up in the back of my head if my brain ever drifts to her, or those other people, can now be dedicated to something else!

YAY!

It’s SUCH a nice and empowering feeling.  And today, I’ve been tempted, and gone back and forth a bit, with my ex, who I had to ask if she still had any of those photos of me from Taiwan, and whom I’m trying to send the rest of her stuff.  Basically just trying to settle physical accounts out with her.  I got upset at the way she treated me…  I went back and forth.  I actually had a neat opportunity to notice the difference between being invested in she should have done something differently and not having any energy going there.

So different.  So much easier.  So damned much nicer.  Even logically, there’s nothing I or ANYONE can do about whats in the past, so obsessing over it, feeling angry or sad about it, or resentful or whatever…  it’s all just absolutely senseless, bordering on completely insane.  I cannot think of any purpose it could possible serve to do anything other than accept the past.

This is in no way to say I wouldn’t learn from the past.  In fact,I think I can look back and forward clearer, and choose what I want now much more effectively without so much invested in times long gone.  I think before I would have been more likely to recreate the same situations and try and do them better, all because of something that happened years ago.

Now I can be like, “well I won’t do that again” without a lot of energy being on “damn it, this time I’ll do it right!”  And being attached to the past is like some part of me would have that notion of doing it better or right..  which could very easily draw me into building the same situation again.  Now I don’t need anything to be different, I don’t need to fix anything or change anything, so I certainly don’t need to be in a similar situation.  Such a different attitude.  Such a better way to learn from the past.

I’m very thankful for having learned this.

I’ll even toss this out there.  Voice training for transsexuals is typically very hard.  Yesterday I wanted to do some, and I caught myself feeling bad about times I’d screwed up, and upset with myself for not practicing since I left Taiwan.  Then I was like, “okay, okay, it’s all in the past… no need to put my energy there, or think I should have done something differently, or think things should have turned out differently.”

In other words, I deliberately brought all my intention and attention into the present moment.  Then I started having fun and enjoying myself, noticing things clearly and freshly…  I really nailed my femme voice, in a way I seldom have before without a LOT of practice.  You would have thought I was just a normal lady with a nice voice on the phone.

I’m looking forward to applying this to everything from dancing (where every moment needs to cease for the next to blossom), to Qi Kung, to target shooting, to pulling cuties, to just reading a book.  Forgiveness is truly powerful and life-changing.

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