An Absinthe-Loving, Polyamorous, Kinky, Sex-Positive Couple talk about all things Sex, Kink, and LGBTQ.

Expanding The Self

As I’ve mentioned in my last few posts, I’ve gone from being in a bit of slump to realizing that I was losing focus on my core self while also gaining a better understanding of one of my kinks.  As weeks go, that’s a broad spectrum to cover, and no journey so diverse would be complete without some introspection and self-discovery.  Enlightenment isn’t quite the correct term, as I still feel very much the philosophical and introspective novice, but some of my realizations have been enlightening.  My goal now is to take some of these new understandings and put them into proper practice.

My biggest failing, and one for which I cannot pass any blame, is that I do not take enough initiative in communicating.  I passively wait for others to reach out to me, believing that somehow they will innately know that something is on my mind or that I just feel like chatting.   In trying to understand this behavior I believe I found part of the root cause; I often feel, and have felt for years, undeserving of time and attention.  Mrs. AP would staunchly, strongly, even vehemently oppose me on this idea.  She would tell me I am insane to think such things.  I know she’s right, of course, but knowing she’s right and believing deep down to the core that such thoughts are unfounded and need to be banished are two separate things.  This is something that, looking back on, I have been struggling with since earlier childhood.  I have to willfully and retrain myself in two ways; to deliberately reach out and instigate conversation more often, and to both proactively and reactively change my thought processes to rid myself of this conditioning.   Both will be uncomfortable processes, but I have Mrs. AP to help me and hold me when I need it.

My second failing, or if not failing at least personality flaw, is that I personalize and internalize harmless comments as directed criticism.  Something seemingly innocuous, such as somebody I know going out for drinks with friends, devolves into me wondering why I wasn’t invited, which leads to me thinking I’m not good enough to be invited, which crescendos in me believing I’m unworthy or time and attention (as mentioned above).  To break this, I know I need to stop personalizing and internalizing every comment and feeding the incorrect perception that somebody is talking about me all the time.  I need to practice better understanding that a comment is just a comment, neither meant for nor about me unless specifically stated so.

Also, I need to practice happiness more.  His Holiness The Dalai Lama says “Happiness is not something ready made.  It comes from your own actions.”  He also says “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.  If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”  I draw from these two statements that to be happy, to live a happy life, I must take the focus off myself and place it on others, to work toward making them happy.  In my daily life, this focus must be on Mrs. AP and our family.  As we expand our social circle, thus too will expand those I seek to make happy.  Now, this is not to say I will abandon myself, my needs or desires, in complete sacrifice to others.  I have done that before, and such a path also leads to unhappiness.  No, the balance I seek will, I believe, be found in striving to make others happy while also taking responsibility for, and communicating, my own needs and desires.

I must also take action to help ensure my needs and desires are met.  This begins with communicating them, obviously, and expressing not only what I want but also why I want that thing.  Beyond this communication, though, lies action.  If I say I want a better job, I need to act on it.  If I say I want to get in better shape, I should take the steps to do so.   So when I say I need to put the focus on others, my deeds need to match those words to move forward.

I will seek out others of my kind — here in the interconnected world of bloggers, in the community websites like FetLife, et cetera — and I will begin conversation with them, if for no other reason than to force myself to expand.  I will share with Mrs. AP my thoughts, my fears, my desires, and my reaction to things before she prompts me for them.  I will work toward making a happy family and happy friends.

I will expand, however uncomfortably, and be better for it.

 

Stay SINful, friends.

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8 responses

  1. “I passively wait for others to reach out to me, believing that somehow they will innately know that something is on my mind or that I just feel like chatting.”

    Your comment elsewhere about your phone fear is an extension of this same thing, I think, because I have both of those as well. I do not call my friends to chat, because I do not want to bother them. I rarely (so, so rarely) initiate online chat sessions myself – because I do not want to intrude on anyone’s time. It’s very much a problem. I WILL send unsolicited emails – because there’s no immediate infringement there.

    My husband keeps telling me that I should just call a friend if I miss him/her, but I find that hilarious because he hates calling people too.

    I love the rest of the post – making others happy is absolutely happy-making for me too.

    July 11, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    • I think we’re on to something here. I’ve thought for years that if I was signed in to IM and people wanted to say something to me they would, and by not saying anything I took it to mean they didn’t want to talk. It’s a hard brain flip to think they thought the same thing off me.

      Things to work on, and spread some happy while I’m at it.

      Stay SINful
      Mr. AP

      July 14, 2012 at 10:26 pm

  2. I have phone phobia too. I communicate much better through the written word.

    I love the dalai lama’s teachings on the art of happiness and I think it’s beautiful that you’ve realized you want to work on it. when I need to lift my happiness “set level” I start naming things I’m grateful for, or that I appreciate about myself. Sometimes it starts off sluggish, but after naming 4-5, it starts getting easier as my mood lightens.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    • I like that exercise. It seems much more positive-behavior and affirmative-cognition focused than simply trying to clear the mind and control negativity.

      Stay SINful
      Mr. AP

      July 14, 2012 at 10:32 pm

  3. “I personalize and internalize harmless comments as directed criticism”

    Oh I so identify with that!! I constantly do this and it is so annoying and can really bring me down. But like me, you know you do it so you can do something about it.

    July 11, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    • I think it was a comment you made along those lines that helped me see the connection within myself. Thank you.

      Stay SINful
      Mr. AP

      July 14, 2012 at 10:33 pm

  4. I used to be very insecure and if im honest it still rears its head every now and then, my issue was more worrying about what people thought of me, i didnt feel that i fitted in anywhere. It was my Master that got me started on blogging, i didnt want to but he insisted and slowly very slowly as in its only been the last 7 months that i have really started interacting (i started blogging about 4 years ago) and im enjoying it.

    It can be very isolating leading an alternative lifestyle unless your very active in the community which we were but havent in the last 3 years so its not like i have friends that can relate to me in any way because unless your actually living this life in one medium or another they just dont understand.

    I have had comments made that have upset me, been offensive but im learning that this is their problem not mine, even those in this lifestyle are not always going to ‘get’ me and thats ok we cant all be the same.

    I overthink too much thats one of my problems and i make issues out of something that there is no need to.

    tori x

    July 12, 2012 at 3:47 am

    • That’s nearly always been my problem (I think I’ve referenced so in posts here multiple times); I never really fit in with a clique or crowd wherever I lived. I got so good at isolating myself it evolved to me de facto state. I’m trying to unlearn a lifetime of behavior training. It’s painful, hard, and completely worth it.

      Stay SINful
      Mr. AP

      July 14, 2012 at 10:40 pm

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