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  #11  
Old 09-21-2011, 03:31 PM
Minxxa Minxxa is offline
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Maybe in a way I just can't relax with calm because the anvil will drop, it will drop soon and it will hurt.

Don't get too used to this new school, because tomorrow we might be moving to another city and you'll have to start over.

Don't trust this group of girl friends because tomorrow you might come to school and they will have decided you are no longer welcome and tell everybody to not talk to you.

Don't get too comfy with your family because maybe your husband will stop participating in your life and then tell you it's all your fault he pulled away and you should have done something about it. And you were the worst sex he'd ever had.

Calm periods in my life have been very short and usually followed by an event like the ones listed above (all of which happened, some of them multiple times).

Faking contentment was doing a lot of self-work and thinking that I was "fixing" myself because I didn't like who I was and didn't think anybody else would either. True contentment has a lot more to do with accepting yourself, as is, even as you seek to be the best self you are.
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  #12  
Old 09-21-2011, 04:40 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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I did a lot of thinking about this topic last year when everything was falling apart. I wasn't happy and part of that was that everything I was doing was an obligation, something I should be doing, etc. ie. Housework, my job, kids activities, my husband's events, etc. There was nothing that I was doing on a regular basis that was just for me. I also looked around and realized that I really didn't have any close friends, because all the people I called friends were people my husband was involved with through church or his activities. As soon as I made a conscious effort to "fix" this, my happiness level started to rise.

I joined a group where I can put to use some of my favorite hobbies and have my efforts appreciated. Huge boost to the self confidence and ego . I have also realized that I NEED something to look and work forward to. If life is just trudging along, I get quite morose, but now I have a weekly dinner/movie/sewing meeting with new friends to look forward to as well as events to prepare for every couple months and I actually feel happy.

I still have my emotional break downs and I will never be in an extended state of calm, as my husband thinks is necessary, but I am happy, happier than I have been in many years.
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:51 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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how about replacing the anvil with a pillow....if you get hit hard enough with a good down pillow it can hurt ...but nothing you can't recover from.

In all those example you listed it seemed you had no control ....acted upon by an outside source. Maybe look there ....see if that helps

Last edited by dingedheart; 09-21-2011 at 04:57 PM.
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  #14  
Old 09-21-2011, 05:14 PM
Minxxa Minxxa is offline
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In all those example you listed it seemed you had no control ....acted upon by an outside source. Maybe look there ....see if that helps
Yes, I didn't have any control over those, as well as most of the stuff that happened to me back then. That IS the basis of my issues with myself-- that because of all of that I realize I can't control outside things or other people, so I try to control MYSELF and how I handle things. It seems reasonable, yet what it has done has been make me always "working" on me, and never just accepting myself.

I will also add that I have made choices in my life and picked people to be in relationships with that were poor, so I had SOME choice as an adult -- I just made bad ones.

Right now I'm kind of a big mess, and I'm okay with that. I'm letting myself just BE a mess for a while. My fear has always been that if I ever allowed myself to be a mess, that nobody would stay with me. That the only way anyone would be around me very long was if I made things easy for them.
This, of course, is a ridiculous theory, but one I seem to have developed very early and have followed most of my life.

I just don't have the energy for it anymore, and I'm trying to trust in my partner enough to believe him that when he says he's not going to leave me just for being a mess he means it.

Of course, I don't intend to NEVER work on improving my life or myself again. I'm not sure I could willingly stop doing that. But I'm definitely scaling back on how I choose to do that, and I'm changing my reasons for WHY. I want to improve my life so that I enjoy it more and have more fulfillment. Not because I am deficient and that's the only way someone will love me.

Right now I'm only focusing on touching on my emotions in a more honest and open way (instead of trying to hide them and acting like I'm OK with everything), and trying to live in each moment instead of retreading the past or looking to the future. That's about all I can handle right now. Now that I think about it, it's a lot but I can do it in tiny doses a minute at a time, so it seems doable.

But this idea of happiness had come up in my mind quite a bit, and I wanted to gain some perspective on that because I am thinking that my idea in my head of what happy looks like is not real. It's more of a fantasy I made up in my head as a child to deal with my world being so messy and chaotic and having no control over it. There was this "safe place" in my mind-- a goal of what I could eventually have and I would be safe, secure, and happy.

And if I'm EVER going to break out of that fantasy/illusion, I need to have some idea of what an honest and realistic vision of being content in life might look like for myself.

SNeacail,

I think part of my issues are due to the fact that I've chosen to give, give, give to everybody in my life and haven't really been on the receiving end quite enough. This was my choice-- and again, same reasons-- I was buying somebody's love with my efforts. Doh!

Part of my being messy right now is choosing to be a little self-involved, and not running around trying to make life easier for everyone. It's wierd for me, but kind of nice. I do need to figure out what I need to refill my empty "giving" tank. Some of that is stuff I need from the people in my life, some of that will be things I do for myself.

I'm going to my good friend C's house tonight, whom I haven't seen in FOREVER. We've both been super busy, but I really need to make the effort more often, if only that we meet for dinner during the week or something. She is such a super duper supportive person, and has known me so long and seen me fall apart and be a mess and then tells me how much she loves me and how well I'm doing. LOL. That's a true friend!! It helps that she is sort of introspective as well and has had a crazy life too, and falls apart once in a while-- so she really gets me when I talk. She gives me empathy when I need it. She kicks my ass when I need that too.

Last edited by Minxxa; 09-21-2011 at 05:23 PM.
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  #15  
Old 09-21-2011, 05:30 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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What does the fantasy of happiness look like in your head? It may look very similar to mine....and it maybe very possible to achieve ....over time.
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  #16  
Old 09-21-2011, 05:41 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minxxa View Post
Part of my being messy right now is choosing to be a little self-involved, and not running around trying to make life easier for everyone. It's wierd for me, but kind of nice. I do need to figure out what I need to refill my empty "giving" tank. Some of that is stuff I need from the people in my life, some of that will be things I do for myself.
BALANCE - when we are constantly swinging from one extreme to the other it's constant chaos.

I have to monitor my husband's "giving" he will give and give and give until it takes it's tole physically and emotionally. He doesn't see this until everything at home falls apart because of it. While too much giving can actually get to be very selfish, it is still part of who you are and that should be nurtured. Don't forgo it completely.
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  #17  
Old 09-21-2011, 05:51 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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Happiness for me is a temporary state, like NRE in a relationship. Change happens and it evaporates. Contentment is a state that can be reached on a permanent, or near permanent basis.

When I have been content in my life, I have known who I am, who I am in relation to other people, especially my wife, understood our relationship and personal goals, and felt good that we were on our way to achieving them. I had work I enjoyed and a purpose in life - even if that purpose was not a grandiose thing but a small, personal scale one.

And, yes, this can be a trap too. One can stay put in the status quo for too long, avoid change, don't work on oneself. I've made all those mistakes more than once. (This is profoundly frustrating for me. I hate making the same mistakes over and over.)

So now that Beloved and I are re-evaluating everything - including if we should stay together at all - I am not happy. I am not content. I hope that Beloved and I can work through things and sort ourselves out - and that can lead to contentment again. We'll see.

Anyway, Minxxa, I think you are doing everything right. Kudos to you!
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  #18  
Old 09-21-2011, 05:57 PM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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For me happiness is a moment where I feel no regrets of the past or concerns for the future. I am present and my body feels lite as though filled with a child's laughter.

Those moments in their purest form are very rare.
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  #19  
Old 09-21-2011, 07:26 PM
Minxxa Minxxa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dingedheart View Post
What does the fantasy of happiness look like in your head? It may look very similar to mine....and it maybe very possible to achieve ....over time.
I'm actually not sure what it looks like concretely. There's a lot of desire for safety and security-- things I think really aren't possible in life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SNeacail View Post
BALANCE - when we are constantly swinging from one extreme to the other it's constant chaos.

I have to monitor my husband's "giving" he will give and give and give until it takes it's tole physically and emotionally. He doesn't see this until everything at home falls apart because of it. While too much giving can actually get to be very selfish, it is still part of who you are and that should be nurtured. Don't forgo it completely.
Yes, I do need to balance more. I definitely can't see me being so selfish that I would STOP giving, I just need to think about it more and make sure I'm giving something I have the room to give, and should give and give for the right reasons.

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Originally Posted by opalescent View Post
Happiness for me is a temporary state, like NRE in a relationship. Change happens and it evaporates. Contentment is a state that can be reached on a permanent, or near permanent basis.

When I have been content in my life, I have known who I am, who I am in relation to other people, especially my wife, understood our relationship and personal goals, and felt good that we were on our way to achieving them. I had work I enjoyed and a purpose in life - even if that purpose was not a grandiose thing but a small, personal scale one.
I am starting to really see that contentment is really what I'm looking for. Just some peace that I know where I stand with my relationships, and that I'm working towards things I want in my life. And also, maybe that I'm doing things in my life that I feel are worthwhile and/or enjoyable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
For me happiness is a moment where I feel no regrets of the past or concerns for the future. I am present and my body feels lite as though filled with a child's laughter.

Those moments in their purest form are very rare.
I love this, and agree-- happiness is more of a moment in time where nothing else exists except right now and the joy that is there. Contentment is the foundation that allows you to enjoy your life as a whole, even when things are difficult or trying.

I'm seeking contentment. Without that foundation, every difficulty feels overwhelming and like the world is ending. I need the roots to be able to weather the storms better.

And a few moments of joy and happiness would be lovely as well.
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  #20  
Old 09-21-2011, 07:32 PM
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River River is offline
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I really do know that a lot of that is up to me-- in that I need to be content with MYSELF first. And I never have had that. I've faked it a lot-- but it never translated into ACTUAL contentment so it would always fall apart at some point.
Tara Brach's book, Radical Acceptance, is the best medicine I've seen for this in my whole life. I can't recommend that book, and also her podcasts, enough. (Those podcasts are called "Audio Talks" on her website.):

www.tarabrach.com



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Last edited by River; 09-21-2011 at 07:34 PM.
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