It is hard to forgive.  When you forgive, you are in a way forgiving yourself and the other party for their transgressions against you.  But true forgiveness seems to be so far out of reach.  To truly forgive, one must consciously know deep down the extent of the damage inflicted upon their unconscious soul.

To truly forgive, it is almost if you have to be fully self aware of where the cancer is inside your body.  If you cut out 95% of the tumor, the other 5% will cause the cancer to spread, again. To fully, whole heartedly forgive, it seems that you have to be a very self aware individual.  I like to think I am mindful, but I know deep down this is not very true.  I know I have many unconscious thoughts and beliefs, even though I have been practicing meditation for a number of years now.

How do you fully forgive someone.  Maybe, with concentrated mental focus, someone can commit to forgiveness for a particular action, and by sheer concentration, and persistence, extricate the burden from their body.  I don’t think true forgiveness is for the weak of heart. It takes commitment, and sound determination.

I’m talking about forgiveness related to the big things in life.  Emotional abuse, cheating, betrayal.  There are far greater abuses that some are able to offer up forgiveness for, but I won’t go there.

I guess the one thing that I learned about forgiveness, is that you don’t forgive so much for the other party but rather to save yourself the burden and torment of carrying around hurtful memories of the past.

To forgive is to actively provide hope that you have a brighter future.  Forgiveness provides you with a chance for a new beginning.  Forgiveness instills in you a sense of internal power, that you are in charge of your destiny, and how you ultimately feel. The other party has no power over how you live your life anymore, or how respond.

But, again, forgiveness is tough.  Anyone can say the words “I forgive”, but behind those simple words, a lot conscious deliberate thought, action, and personal growth have to present for it to come true.


When will this be over?

I don’t know about you but I am fed up with this Pandemic.  When it first reared its ugly head, back in early March,  nobody (including government officials) knew much about the virus and how it spread, its lethality or how many people were already infected.

Wide spread fear, hoarding of essential items: toilet paper, hand sanitizer, canned goods flew off store shells.  Boxes of n95 face masks were being sold for one hundred times their original worth.  News outlets shamelessly ran article after article drilling into the reader that the world was coming to an end.  I too was caught up in the pandemonium.   Some decisions I made were logically sound, and others were not so much.

Now, I am being told that we are only in the third inning of this battle.  By staying home, the country has been able to bend the curve and reduce infections, but not eliminate them. A number of states (mostly in the south) pushed to reopen their doors quickly to stem the tied of any further economic damage.  Unfortunately, as was expected, new cases of infection are increasing at an ever quickening pace.  The president, when asked if there was a plan to shelter in place a second time, suggested that there wasn’t.

Essential workers, such as delivery drivers, nurses, and even grocery clerks have had to contend with possibly becoming infected on a daily basis.  Under paid and overworked,  they take their lives in their own hands.  All the while, officials, through their shear incompetence exacerbate the issue by pointing fingers and make excuses, instead of taking meaningful and effective action to stem the tied of new infections.

So, now we are in inning three of this strange circumstance we find ourselves in. Isolated more than ever, people are experiencing depression on a wide scale.  Mourning their old life. Sure, maybe my old life was boring and uneventful, but at least I didn’t have this existential feeling of impending doom, and fear of my mortal demise constantly stalking me where ever I go. if I happened to forget to wash my hands after my bi weekly trip to the local supermarket, I feel a sense of unease, of living a precarious life.

There is something to be said about the human condition, where humans, through shear boredom or frustration, decrease their vigilance in taking the necessary precautions to not get infected. Washing the hands, sanitizing your living space, wearing of the mask, and not touching the face.  Humans can only be so vigilant for so long.  Self control takes will power, and mankind does not have an infinite supple of willpower.

So, it seems that the infection rate will continue to increase. We will see a second wave, the only key question is, how bad will it actually get? With limited testing, and no real plan on testing and tracing, I don’t really see any alternative to sheltering in place. But the economic consequences of shutting down the country for another couple months will have a significant effect on peoples health too. One can only hope that we get through this in one piece.

I stopped watching the news related to the pandemic.  It is too much to bear.  It is too depressing and the information is inconsequential in relation to how it could ever benefit me.  News today isn’t really news.  It is form of a highly processed lunch meat.  Filled with a host of cancer causing elements.  The news today is used to sow fear in the people that consume it.  This way people keep returning.  You can get addicted to reading that smut.  Pundits who righteously lambast the other side for their misdeeds. It is all about ad revenue,  money. So, yeah, I don’t really read the news anymore. I have much better things to do with my time.

I think things will turn out well in the end. I know I worry way too much about what may come, but worrying doesn’t benefit anybody.  You just end up wasting more of your time.  So, stay safe out there.  I take solace in knowing that this whole mess will not last forever. Eventually, there will be a vaccine, and then we can get back to living our boring uneventful lives.

Growing up with a narcissistic parent

Only recently did I grasp the idea that my father is a narcissist.  I always wondered why I felt so strange and out of place in our home. Why I can not let go of my trauma ladened past.  Why I keep obsessing over how wronged I was.  I felt like I sounded like a broken record. like I was reliving my past over and over again.  Like a spirit with unfinished business here on this planet, destined to walk the empty land after dusk searching for my soul.

Finally, after all the years of therapy I think I have an answer to why if felt so alone, anxious, sad, depressed, out of touch with myself and this world. Why I was in a career I hated, why I had trouble expressing myself to others, why I felt so empty inside.  My fathers father was abusive to him, and most likely a narcissist himself.  I guess he just passed down this trait to his son.

My brother and I have no plans on having children.  I like children but I don’t want any of my own. When I think of having a son, the first thought that races through my mind is that he will disappoint me.  I am still struggling to form my own identity, and I am in my early forties.

When I was growing up, I always felt like my siblings, me and my father and mother were not really a cohesive family, but more like a group of strangers that happened to live under the same roof.   Nobody really knew each other, but we shared a home, nonetheless.

My mother, I realized recently, who endured the same emotional abuse, as me and my brother,  I saw as an equal, or of lesser status on the totem pole.  My relationship with her deteriorated after I realized I could not rely on her to protect us from my father’s abuse. So, instead of retaining the role of mother, she was demoted to runt, someone to be manipulated and pushed around.  Just another sad individual that I shared a living space with.  I think she gave up on her role as mother, too. She still cooked and cleaned, but she seemed to resign herself to her shitty existence.

it’s all quite sad, really.  I am sure this plays out in thousands or even millions of homes.  When you are raised by a narcissist, you either become one yourself or if you are the more empathetic type, you suffer the full consequences of the narcissistic abuse in agonizing silence.   I would surmise that the more thinking types, are prone to becoming narcissists themselves. The cold analytical thinkers, who have a proclivity to competing and attaining material wealth.   The feeling types,  well, they are mostly not much for aquiring material wealth, and by their very nature they go out of their way to treat others well. They get shit on and shit on themselves, for that matter. 

My brother and I are both empaths, and narcissists are drawn to empathetic individuals, like a moth is drawn to a flame.  Empaths provide narcissists with their supply.   I only wish I had known as a child to just keep my mouth shut and not provide the narcissist with what he needed.  My father is a coward and a sad old man.  His legacy is the hurt and shame that he brought into his family.  How short life is. Make sure to treat others well, because the only thing left, when you dead, are the memories that live on in your loved one’s mind.  Make sure they are fond memories.

Sometimes I am nice, and other times I am kind.

She accused me of being nice.  How dare she accuse me of being nice, I know I am a kind person. I told her this, but she still did not agree with me. What is the difference between being kind and being nice, anyway?

Thinking back on my conversation with my coworker, I still wonder, am I kind or am I nice, or both?  I think I am both.  Sometimes its a little of column A and other times it’s a little of column B.

Why does it really matter, as long as I am kind or nice, isn’t that enough? She didn’t believe so.  I remember reading an article a short while ago where they polled a group of women, asking them what particular trait they looked for in a man the most.  I thought for sure it would be power, looks, money, but no, it was kindness…shit!.

So, after giving it much thought, I realized she was right, I was nice. Even more so, I am nice to a point. I use my niceness to manipulate the outcome of the conversation.  I use niceness as a tool to persuade someone or appease the other party.

You see, I am a people pleaser. I do not like conflict one bit.  I grew up in a pretty dysfunctional home environment so I hate conflict and avoid it at all cost.  If I have to agree to your point of view to avoid an argument, you bet I will bend over backwards to agree with you.  Being nice and fitting in come naturally.  I’m a natural born chameleon.  I had to be. My father’s mood could change like the direction of the wind. My safety and security depended on my ability to manipulate the mood of the room by joking or changing the conversation.

I have been doing a lot of reading on narcissism, lately, and I am coming to terms to how much of an effect it has had on my life.  I have started to realize that I am not as kind as I thought I was. I’m nice, but I think I have always been afraid to be kind.  The weak and naive are kind, I always thought. But I realize that this isn’t true at all.  To be kind to others, to be open and vulnerable, in a sense takes a lot of courage, and shows that the person has emotional maturity.

So, I want to try and be more openly kind. I want to connect more with others, where before I would shy away.  I think being kind will suit me.  I sure hope it does, at least.

Back again, for now.

I haven’t written much on this blog for quite a while. Actually, it been over six months since my last post. It is so easy for me, and probably many others to have high and lofty expectations that I would hammer out a blog post bi-weekly or weekly at the very least, but it seems like in every ambitious pursuit I have in life, it slowly wanes over time and peters out.

I would love to say that I have been spending my time wisely, but this would be a lie.  Like most others, for the past few months, I have been gripped with mortal fear.  Fear of the great plague that has engulfed the world.  In the beginning, I was so affected by the news and general hysteria that I could barely get out of bed.  My head felt like it weighed fifty pounds, my limbs felt as if there were sandbags tied to them.  the mind foggy, and the body tired.  I just wanted to sleep through this nightmare.

In the past, nations that have found themselves in peril have routinely found some solace in the strong minded leadership that governs them.  What we have currently governing  us are parasites of no moral or ethical forbearance whatsoever.  Corrupt, narcissistic, greedy,  sociopathic and inept cowards with no redeemable qualities.

As a child, I grew up under the direct supervision and control of a narcissist.  This reminds me of how I felt as a child.  The lack of boundaries, loss of security.  Not knowing how the parent will behave from one moment to the next.  This is how the potus operates, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.  To have to deal with not one but two disasters is too much to bare.

As for the chaos caused by the movement, black lives matter,  I don’t see it as a detriment to our country.  Actually, it might be the best thing that has happened to this country since the pandemic arrived.  People don’t realize change has arrived until it smacks them straight upside the head.  America has slowly become more of a mixed bag, racially.  By 2045 caucasians will be the minority.  Also, people of all colors, including whites who are not part of the 1%, have many common needs, wants, aspirations.  These include safe neighborhoods, clean drinking water, better pay, universal healthcare.  The pandemic and the BLM movement has for the most part brought people of all races, together.  It has strengthened the bond of neighbors and communities.  The pandemic has had this affect on communities and social groups all over the nation, too.

I think, in the end, after all this blows over. When there is a vaccine readily available, and when the social strife recedes into the history books, we will look at this period of time in America, as a time of vast social change and rebirth of what being an American really means.  This is what is needed right now in American, to right the wrongs, and expel the fat cats from Washington.  VIVA REVOLUTION!

I have been feeling a need to write more lately.  I’m not sure what I will be writing about next, but I think expressing myself through writing can only be healthy in these anxious, strange times.

The dark days are here, again.

It always seems to catch up to me, surprising me every year.  The inky darkness of Fall which stealthily creeps into our lives, unannounced.  Not long ago the sun didn’t set till late evening, and now almost suddenly, by early evening the light is slowing fading away.

I guess this could symbolize time in general, in our lives.  How we take for granted how precious it is to us, and under estimate how quickly it passes.  No matter how many years pass by me, I am still amazed at how quickly time passes.

I don’t mind the darkness. Actually, I prefer it for the most part to Summer.  Fall and Winter feel like a cold, quiet security blanket for my consciousness.  It envelops my soul, insulating me from the outside world.

I enjoy how time seems to slow down during these seasons.  The birds quiet down, the trees lose their leaves,  and silence fills the empty space, like a vacuum.

Some of my favorite holidays occur during this time.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  Fall leaves, Jack O Lanterns, turkey and stuffing. What is there not to love? The New Year ushers in the sense and hope of new beginnings.

After Fall and Winter pass, Spring will arrive, and then Summer.  Summer will pass, and Fall will be here, once again. We are all caught in a finite loop, as the world turns and circles the sun. At least until we meet our untimely end.

Life runs in cycles. Right now, I am just along for the ride.

Why you should try

Why should you try.  You should try because your time on this planet is not infinite.  You should try to show to yourself that you can.  You should try so that you grow as a person, strive to step outside your comfort zone, and become the individual you were always meant to be.

This is what encapsulates ever dream, and goal.  Putting in the effort to just try.   Try something that you have already failed at before. Try drawing again, or try riding a bike that you fell off of many times before.  Trying is what separates the people who never accomplish their goals, and the ones who do.

Trying can be correlated with perseverance, and persistence, too.  All three have something in common.  They all involve the human trait, courage.   You will need to have some level of courage to keep on trying, when things don’t go your way.  You will need to persist, and persevere, if the goal is important to you.

When you try because you have an authentic interest in a subject or field, when you know what your “Why” is in relation to your goal, you can make great strides and persevere far longer than someone who is not quite sure of why they are pursuing a set goal.

So, again, just try.  You can try for your loved ones, or try for your boss, but above all else, try for yourself.  Because in the end, this is the one person that you let down the most when you give up on your dreams.

To know thyself

I can remember it as if it had occurred yesterday.  It was my junior year of high school, I was walking down the main corridor heading to class. On this day, I had something pressing on my mind.   So pressing, that this decision would end up shaping my future for next couple decades.

Growing up, I was meek, and timid.  My father on the other hand was loud and intimidating.  He could be abrasive, cold, and uncaring but on the other spectrum he could also be charming and kind.

The majority of conversations that I had with my father growing up were nearly always one sided.  He would speak at you.  And it wasn’t just how he spoke to his children, he would do the same in conversations with other adults.

The side effect of an overbearing father was that I never really got to discover what my true voice was.  I didn’t feel the liberty or freedom to truly be who I was supposed to be, at a young age.  I admired my father for his stern, confident disposition.  I wished I could be that way too.

So, junior year in high school,  when all my peers were busy discovering their identities,  I had come to an impasse.  Who was I ?  How was I supposed to behave?  At that moment,  unfortunately,  I chose to adopt my father’s persona, instead of my own.  I knew why I made this choice, too.  I was ashamed of how weak I perceived my true identity to be.

For the next couple decades, I distanced myself from truly discovering who I really was.  I behaved like my father,  pushed my true feelings deep down inside.  I drank and smoked heavily to deal with the pain I felt inside.  I even got a degree, majoring in the same field my father was in (computer networks) when I should have gone with my true calling, graphic design.

Now over twenty years later, and after three years of therapy,  I am only now coming to terms with the true consequence of my fateful decision.   I plan on looking at moving into a more creative career field.  I am currently working with a career counselor to help with this transition.  I still have a long way to go before I can truly say that I am living an authentic life.

I should be grateful.  I am sure there are many individuals out there who live an inauthentic life till the end of their days.  I for one will not be one of them.  I have wasted too many days being someone that I was not, and I will not subject myself to this torture any longer.

If you too are in the same boat, please understand that you can change, little by little and live a life you were meant to live.  Change doesn’t have to be drastic, it can be gradual, but in the end you will need to change in order to be free.

Take the day off

I have prized myself on being the most productive on the weekend. I enjoy writing out a laundry list of chores of what I want to get accomplished over the weekend: dishes, laundry, groceries, writing, learning..etc.

Yesterday, I had the novel idea of putting aside my tasks, and just enjoying the day. Granted, I still went to the gym, but it was still in the purpose of letting the day unwind unabated.

I don’t think I am alone to justify relaxing for one day out of the week. What bothered me was that I felt guilty that I was not being as productive as I usually am. What thought which bothered even me more was questioning if the tasks that I usually performed were even of any real value.  Was I being busy just to feel like I was accomplishing something with my life?

Not all work is created equal.  I can spend an hour rearranging my closet, but is that more important than speaking to a close family member, who I haven’t spoken to in a while, over the phone?

Always being on and productive is a disease that has been spurred on in American culture.  It seems that companies strive to increase worker productivity, without the slightest hint of remorse of what the increasing stress and urgency has on their employees.

So,  I took a “lazy” day off from my usual productive routine.  Actually, I wouldn’t call it “lazy” at all,  I would rather justify it as stepping back from the out of control lifestyle that so many Americans have unconsciously accepted as routine.

So, maybe try it yourself, if you feel you are in the same boat as me.  Are you scrambling on weekends to fill up an imaginary checklist of subpar accomplishments like me?

Question why you are doing this, and ask yourself, can all those tasks can be put aside for a day so that you can relax, read a book, and even maybe take a nap?

I am curious how this break in routine, for one day, affects your mental health.

My Aversion to Learning

Recently, I have been trying to get to the bottom of why I have an aversion to learning, in certain fields of study. The most pressing issue is that I avoid learning what I will need to know on the job.

I work in the field of information technology, and processes and programs are constantly being reworked and expanded. New content, ideas, information needs to be absorbed, digested, and utilized on a constant basis. For whatever reason I have been able to avoid learning this new information on a regular basis. The downside is that I am inadequately lacking in knowledge in many areas.

I believe the root of this issue revolves around my identity. While growing up, I was never really given room to develop my own identity. My father, who was overbearing and too much a bad presence in my life, tried his best to mold his boys to be just like him.  He did not see his boys as individuals but small mirrors of himself. This had a dramatic affect on my development.

When I chose to get a degree in Networking and Computing Systems from a local college, it in no small way reflected this warped identity I had of myself and what my interests were. Looking back, I would have been much better suited to land a degree in graphic design or any other field where creativity is praised.

Instead I got a degree in Computing systems. Not a long shot from my father’s career path, having spent  40+ years at Boeing in the field of Networks.

I believe the single reason I avoided learning new information in the field I chose was that I felt I was being inauthentic to myself.  The identity that I had created for myself in my late teens was not of myself but rather a mirror of my father’s identity.

The very choice of the field, was not one I would have selected had I not been trying to mirror my father.  I felt that I was being inauthentic to myself when I tried learning any new topic in the field of computing.  I can only say what a mess this has been for me, career wise.

Fast forward three years after experiencing an existential crisis,  I am now much more aware of who I am.  I have a unique identity of my own, and I don’t feel that I am being inauthentic to myself.   This translates over to learning more about the field of technology.  I have learned over the past few years that I enjoy learning.

This has freed me from having feelings of regret, when I need to learn about a topic related to my job.   Knowledge is just knowledge, it doesn’t have to be tied to my identity.  I can learn for the sake of learning!