Tackling tough things – November 2015 update Nov 2 2015

Gabriel

For the past month I’ve been doing some serious self-examination.  Some things I’ve been considering:

  • In the majority of my past romantic relationships for the past 20 years, seeing a recurring pattern in myself of adapting to try to be the person that I thought (for whatever reason) would be the “right” person for the other individual
  • Tracing this behavior back to my childhood and feeling socially unwelcome or unloved
  • Finding that something inside myself has always emerged that was somehow at odds with that person I was trying to be
  • Arguing with myself about who I really am and eventually giving in to myself
  • Causing much suffering to myself and others when those differences became apparent
  • Truly questioning in myself whether I know what is really true or not
  • Can I find my own true self?

In the past month I’ve been making some changes to my daily routines:

  • Finally visited Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City in person.  I’ve subscribed to their excellent series of dharma talks podcast for years but had never committed to the 1.5 hour drive through traffic to go in person.  The traffic is just another opportunity for mindfulness.
  • Sat for 1/2 day retreats every Wednesday for the past 3 weeks, leaving with enough time to get there early
  • Stayed for another 2 hours of Introduction to Mindfulness series of classes and committed to myself to attend all 5 weeks of the series and to do the homework suggestions
  • Participated in a regular Sunday evening sitting group at IMC with 20 & 30 somethings (“Dharma Homies” :))
  • Formally sat in meditation each day for 20-25 minutes, every day for the past 3 weeks
  • Learning what the word “sangha” means, in person
  • Camped in my van multiple times in Half Moon Bay, then working in a cafe there before driving back up to Oakland
  • Sunbathed nude on a couple of beaches, enjoying a warm sunset by myself, letting the universe breathe me in and out
  • Hung out with friends I haven’t seen in a long time
  • Made dinner plans with new friends
  • Processed some of my Burning Man photos and shared some nice portraits with friends and family
  • Getting together with two friends to hang out and have a “creative” output as part of the meeting [this blog post is tonight’s effort]
  • Reached out to someone I hurt very much asking if they would be open to a visit, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.  However they respond, I feel better for asking, and do truly hope that I’m not reopening wounds by doing so.
  • Danced with my friends late into the night
  • Had deep conversations with new people, practicing both my sharing and listening skills
  • Working to see my own gender / sexuality identity more clearly, and starting to figure out more of how I fit into a greater community of people
  • Clarifying my feelings about future family, and thinking about whether I have to follow normal or conventional pathways to get there
  • Practicing self compassion, self care, and trying to find the shape of my heart

Overall, working on facing my fears and moving forward.  I’m very grateful for all of the loving supportive people in my life, and for all of the lessons I’ve been learning through facing challenges and figuring stuff out.

My apologies if this is all too much sharing, feel free to move along and have a lovely rest of your day.

Buddha image

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