I have this friend, who is also a therapist, who often says very profound stuff.
One day, he said this:
“When you are sick, you are drawn to the pain. When you are healthy, you are drawn to the love.”
Ponder. Share. Discuss.
I have this friend, who is also a therapist, who often says very profound stuff.
One day, he said this:
“When you are sick, you are drawn to the pain. When you are healthy, you are drawn to the love.”
Ponder. Share. Discuss.
I am not sure if this is a red pill topic exactly, but I wanted to share something I believe in strongly — how thoughts and beliefs can powerfully shape your life and experiences — for better or worse.
For example, relationships. I’ve been a reading a book recently called, “Is He Worth It?” The book is about how to spot the men who are worth dating/marrying versus the men who are not. Something the author focuses on heavily in the first part of the book is examining how one’s thoughts are leading them toward the type of relationship they desire, or not.
For example, if a woman believes men can’t be trusted, that point of view will color her interactions with men leading her toward, not away from, men who will “prove” her point of view correct. She will attract untrustworthy men!
I have seen the same effect in my business and work. My thoughts and beliefs shape my behavior. If I think or believe things are not going to go well or work out, they don’t. If I think and believe things will work out, often despite some pretty impossible odds, sure enough they somehow do!
Many times I have literally visualized something into reality by wanting it so badly and focusing so much of my time and energy toward making the desired outcome materialize. People ask me all the time how I have accomplished and built what I have done, and it really is just this simple — I had my mind set on a goal and come hell or high water I just kept going toward it until it finally happened! I actually have several irons in the fire at the moment that are in just this category!
It’s a simple concept but one worth pondering. How are your thoughts and beliefs shaping your world? Are they getting you closer to the life you want, or not? Are they holding you back or pushing you forward? Are they mostly negative or mostly positive?
As they say, “Change your thoughts, change your life.” And I have seen it in my own life far to many times to believe it is a coincidence. Never underestimate the power of your thoughts.
What do you think? Please share in the comments!
Commenter Ton brought up a point the other day in response to this post that I would like to elaborate on. He says:
“Remember what men want in a home life? More or less an escape from killing dragons all day.”
This is a point I would do well to remember more myself, and I think is good advice for all women — be light. Be fun. Be carefree. Be joy. Be his escape from the cares and burdens of the world.
Yes there are always things going wrong, and bad things to focus on, and things to complain about, and on and on. And oh how we gals can go on, and on, and on about all that. (Myself included, cringe.)
Here’s a challenge and I am taking it too: Don’t go on and on about those things. Choose to focus on the positive. And yes ladies — it’s a CHOICE.
Ok, sometimes yes, we have to talk about the hard stuff, the bad stuff, the problems. But much of the time, we actually don’t HAVE to, we choose to. It can be a very bad habit to dwell on the black lining in the silver cloud. It can be a very good habit to do the opposite. And habits are just that — repeated behaviors that soon become automatic.
I heard it said once that men take their emotional cues from women, and whatever emotions you put out often influence his own emotions. If so, what better reason to be light, be fun, be happy, and be upbeat than this? Your doing so will lead to his doing so, and life will be all the more happy, fun, and upbeat for it!
Scenario #1: Man calls/sees his lady. She goes on and on about everything bad about her day, her job, her life. How does he feel now? (Hint: Bad!) How does he feel about calling/seeing her next time? (Hint: Bad!)
Scenario #2: Man calls/sees his lady. She goes on and on about everything good about her day, her job, her life. How does he feel now? (Hint: Good!) How does he feel about calling/seeing her next time? (Hint: Good!)
See what I mean? So don’t be a Debbie Downer. Just don’t. Do your best to be light, and to bring light into his (and everyone’s) world, too!
What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments!
abundance, discipline, Gen X, growing up, healthy adult, helicopter parenting, maturity, millennials, modern parenting, parenting, red pill, rites of passage, SAHM, self reliance, single parenting, stay at home mom, working mom
In a post a few days back about a real life red pill conversation I had with a gentleman in his 60s, I didn’t include a story he told me then that I think really illustrates how much things have changed when it comes to parenting and raising kids in the United States today.
He told the story of helping out a local farmer every summer as a kid. He’d go in the morning, starting at 10 years old, and spend the day with the neighbor. The tasks were age appropriate, for example at 10 he would ride along on the hay baling machine and jump on and off to open and shut gates, and do various other small tasks a child can easily do but that are very helpful to getting the overall job at hand done in a timely manner (if the driver is hopping up and down opening and shutting gates all day, well it slows things down versus little Jake riding alongside, spending the day outdoors, watching older boys and men work, and learning to be useful.)
As he grew, he took on more tasks. Tasks he had watched the older boys get to do with envy before. (Buck hay bales! Run equipment! Drive the tractor!) They became rites of passage, tangible signs that he was growing up. Mastering them was a privilege, not a chore.
For his help, Jake would get $2 a day. Now this was likely sometime in the 50s, so that wasn’t such a bad wage back then, he says, and by the end of the summer he could have $100 saved up. What did he spend it on? School clothes. Such an idea today may seem unthinkable — making a child earn and buy their own school clothes? God forbid! That’s borderline abuse! But Jake didn’t see it that way, in fact his eyes twinkled as the memory came back to him of being a kid, flipping through the Sears and Roebuck catalog, and picking out “his” school clothes.
As he put it, “I could buy way better looking school clothes than my parents would buy that way, and I got to pick them out myself,” he said with obvious pride.
Jake grew up, served in the military, married, ran a small business, raised a family of his own. He’s comfortably retired now (No pension or retirement plan either mind you, he saved that out of his self employed, self created earnings!) in his mid 60s, a self made man with a loving wife and self sufficient, well adjusted kids, respect in his community, and few worries. Jake has had and lived a successful life — in many ways he embodies, “The American Dream.”
Contrast this with recent a tale from another family, this from customers in their mid 40s, a very, very nice couple, childhood sweethearts, with two teenage boys, 18 and 16. As we talked about their oldest preparing to start college next year, I said how proud they must be of him. Uncomfortable silence followed.
“Yeah, we’ve got good kids…” they said, not finishing the sentence. I sensed there was something more. So I gently probed. Was he in trouble? Acting out?
“No,” they said. In their minds it was almost worse — their son started collecting Pokeman cards as a child, and still to this day it is still one of his core activities. Their younger son, 16, doesn’t want to even get his driver’s license. They aren’t sure why their kids are so passive, so reliant on them, so perfectly OK with NOT growing up. (No offense to any Pokeman collectors, please don’t take this personal.)
As we talked it dawned on me — unlike generations before, unlike Jake, these kids had grown up in a protective parenting bubble. There is in fact actually a movement to bring back that unsupervised, just kids, roaming around outside and engaged in imaginary play, playtime. Apparently it is much more important to normal human development than anyone realized.
The mother shared of how she was always there for her boys, how when they played outside she watched them, how when they need to go somewhere she took them, how they had very little unsupervised time, how when they needed or wanted something (within reason) their parents supplied it. They were “good parents” by almost anyone’s definition.
The mom mentioned a neighbor lady who basically shoos her boys out in the morning, and spends her day cleaning house and cooking while the boys play. Unsupervised!?! Outside!?! It seems almost shocking by today’s parenting norms. Yet, this mom wondered out loud if…maybe she should have done more of that?
I mentioned how different childhood may have been for us compared to today, as Gen X kids, and asked if either of them had been latchkey kids, like myself. Sure enough, the father said he had, and that he wanted more for his kids. He and his wife worked hard and lived carefully to ensure she could be at home while their kids were growing up. And these are good people, good parents, I believe they had the best of intentions and were doing what the society at large said was, “the better way.” But now, they fully admitted, they think their kindness has crippled their kids, and they aren’t sure if it is too late or if not, what to do now? I could feel their pain, they want their kids to be happy, healthy, and whole. That’s all they have ever wanted. They don’t know where things went wrong.
It’s a common parenting reaction to one’s own lack, to go 360 degrees the other way, but I would urge the middle is a better place to aim to correct for what one considers their parent’s parenting mistakes of the past. Maybe they were too harsh, to easy, too whatever. The gut reaction is to either do the same, or to do the opposite. I’d argue the middle is usually better than the extremes of either end.
Jake and I marveled at how today what he did would not even be possible, except on the sly. Farmers can no longer hire local children under 16 to help out. And if they hire children 16 or older, they can only do so if they can pay them minimum wage. Today, it would be much more likely that a farmer would hire migrant farm workers, than a kid like Jake.
Is all this really progress? Is it good? Or have we lost something we may need to get back? Let me know what you think in the comments!
(Note: I also know people who are Jake’s age who worked on farms as children except unlike his experience, the kids were expected to do too much, the labor was too hard, the tasks above what they truly were developmentally ready to do. This approach, as far as I can see, backfires, and is not good, does not seem to instill the same self reliant work ethic Jake has. So again, the middle is the often the sweet spot.)
A conversation with my oldest daughter about how she can “set herself up to win” at school by changing a few habits that are currently working against her got me thinking, we could all probably examine our lives and ask ourselves, “Am I setting myself up to win?”
So often, we get out of life what we put in. If we aren’t getting the results we want, it’s often because we’re not (actually) taking the steps needed to get there. Wanting something and taking the action needed to get there are indeed two different things!
Someone complaining about there “not being any good men out there” might want to reconsider her approach of meeting men primarily in nightclubs and other pick up venues, for example.
Another person who isn’t getting the response they were hoping for via online dating could stop clinging to the attitude of “if I have to lose weight to attract a man, then I don’t want one!” and realize that most things worth having take effort and work. She likely doesn’t want an overweight and unattractive man herself, so why would she think a man would be willing to overlook the same? (Remembers ladies: Female attractiveness is highly controllable.)
The gal who meets great guys only to have the relationships fizzle out with time might want to be truly honest with herself and examine if there are things she is doing that make her less appealing over the long haul (does she have a difficult personality, an entitlement attitude, unattractive lifestyle or personal habits that she could work on eliminating, etc.)
The gal with a long requirements list of what “any man who gets my hand” needs to do and be, but doesn’t have an equally long list of what she brings to the relationship herself, may want to shift the focus from what she’ll “get” to what she’ll “give.”
The person who complains, complains, complains about what’s lacking in her life but is taking absolutely zero steps to change any of the things she’s complaining about may want to ask herself, “How’s that working for you?”
Or in other words one can’t show up to life without their homework, with no pencil and paper, ignore the helpful advice of teachers and other advisors, not listen to what the assignment requirements actually are (not what they wish they were or think they should be), wait until the day before the term ends to ask about making up for missing assignments, and expect to get an “A” just because they showed up, kept the seat warm, and were “being themselves!”
Sure, it’s harder than blaming others or blaming circumstances. It takes effort to invest in self improvement and personal growth. It takes courage to do and be different. But victory goes to the bold, my friends! Set yourself up to win!
And when you feel discouraged or wonder if the effort is (or will be) worth it, remember, 80 percent of the people aren’t even trying. So by applying yourself, having a plan, working your plan, and not giving up you are almost guaranteed success!
Can you think of examples where you have seen this concept in real life? Please share them in the comments below.
Last night I had a friend, her two daughters, and her two nieces over for a BBQ and I realized something very strange — somehow six kids are a lot easier than two!
Let me explain, I have a 10-year-old and a 4-year-old. She has a 10-year-old and a 7-year-old. Her sister-in-law’s kids are 7 and 4. So just by chance, for once, everyone had a playmate! And so play they did, not one bit of whining, complaining, or “I’m bored” to be heard, for hours. But there was a lot of happy little girl ear piercing screeching, laughter, and frivolity!
My friend and I got to simply sit and relax, a rare occasion for us both. That’s when it struck me — more kids are somehow easier than few.
My babysitter, who I have talked about before, is part of a very traditional old Scandinavian religious group similar to Amish. The women do not practice birth control, as a result a child arrives every year or so once they marry until they can’t have any more. Every child is considered a blessing. Families are large, 13 children is not unusual.
For these women, life is basically one big play date. They get together, visit, and their children happily run about. Last night I understood why these women are all pretty happy and content, their children are exceedingly well behaved, and how and why it works.
I was sharing this observation with a friend who is more of a math and science type. As he put it, what I was experiencing was called chaos theory — a complex system that organizes itself.
So on those days when your children are on our last nerve, try adding on a few more! It works shockingly well. Short of that, head for a park or somewhere there will be other children around, bring a book, and enjoy the peace and quiet for a change!
Let those who have ears hear.
(And for those tough parenting moments where you just need a good laugh, I highly recommend this blog, Underdaddy. You will be howling in laughter about the absurdity of having children in no time, guaranteed! Enjoy!)
abundance, battle of the sexes, blue pill, break up, break ups, career path, career woman, co-parenting, commitment, dating, discontent, divorce, faith, feminism, happiness, life change, marriage, red pill, remarriage, satisfaction, unhappiness
Something I have come to realize with age is that in almost every situation, there is a downside.
There is a downside to being in a relationship, there is a downside to being alone. There is a downside to being married, there is a downside to being single. There is a downside to getting divorced, there is a downside to staying married. There is a downside of going to college, there is a downside of not going to college. There is a downside to having kids, there is a downside to not having kids. There is a downside of working, there is a downside of not working. There is a downside to being rich, there is a downside to being poor, and there is even a downside of being somewhere in the middle of rich and poor.
Darn, there’s always a downside? Well that stinks, right? Yes and no. It only stinks if you are under the illusion that there can be no downside. In our society that seems to be the expectation. Or the belief that a downside is “a sign” that it’s time to make a change, usually the opposite of whatever the situation causing the downside may be.
However, these changes are often made in reaction to the downside, without consideration to the downsides of doing something else, instead. Far too often people see change as the solution to a downside, but they do not consider nearly enough what the downside to whatever their new path may be. Once on it, the downsides become apparent and the dissatisfaction and desire to eliminate the downside sets in once again.
I call it the “if only’s.” If only I was married/single/divorced/had kids/didn’t have kids/had a degree/didn’t have a degree/worked/didn’t work/was rich and so on. If only, if only, if only…then I could be happy!
That’s where the option of acceptance and gratitude comes in, something people don’t seem to consider nearly as often as they consider radical change. Accepting that there is always going to be a downside can be actually very freeing. And it can help one make better choices, find contentment, and even be happier.
And of course sometimes the downsides of not making a change are greater than the downsides of doing different. Once all sides are considered, maybe change really is what is needed. In those cases, considering in advance the downside of all options can help make those choices easier. It’s not change that’s bad, it’s the overly idealistic idea that change will lead to a life without downsides. Well, it won’t. That doesn’t mean life can’t be better. But there will always still be downsides. Sorry.
Of course, the good news here is that also means there are likewise always upsides of every situation. And if the downside and upsides are also considered in tandem before making major changes, sometimes just considering the upsides can help one realize things are actually more good than bad. I think that in the majority of cases in life, this is true. And studies show that simply focusing on the upsides in life, rather than the downsides, leads to much greater life satisfaction no matter what the situation might be.
So when you find yourself focusing on the downside, telling yourself, “if only” things were different, then you would be happy/fulfilled/content/whole/etc. try looking at the upside as well as the possible downsides of that “if only.” Chances are good you are likely to discover all things considered, it’s not so bad after all. And if so, focusing more on the upside and less on the “if only” might be the best solution of all.
For where your focus is, there your heart will be also.
Let those who have ears hear.
abundance, androgeny, attraction, battle of the sexes, beauty, career woman, dating, divorce, empowerment, feminimity, feminine, feminism, girl power, happiness, joy, masculine, masculinity, red pill, relationships
Over the past few years, I have been exploring the meaning of being female in a post-feminist world. And I have come to a very surprising (even to myself!) realization about “girl power” — it seems to mean the exact opposite of what I had always been led to believe.
Let me explain. I was raised in a world where “girl power” was defined as “doing what men do.” And I did. I took auto shop and woodworking classes in high school (along with only two other girls in each class), went to college, got a career, made good money, supported myself, started a business, and more.
I was opening doors, and for myself, thank you very much! I avoided things traditionally considered “feminine.” I wore unisex clothing like jeans and t-shirts, avoided “the domestic arts,” shunned girly-primping, wore flats, and told myself that I would, “be taken more seriously” for it.
Was I taken seriously? Actually I was, but not because I did my best to avoid anything “female” related. I was taken seriously because I did what I love and have followed my passions and put my heart and soul into everything that I did.
Well almost. I cringe to say, but I did not put my heart and soul into my marriage. Rather than be a wife in the traditional sense, I strove to emulate the supposed “marriage of equals.”
Long story short, that didn’t work out so well. For either of us. And I regret it. Not that it was all me, but if I am honest a part of it was. At least half. But what is done is done, that’s 7-plus years of water under the bridge now.
A few years ago I started looking at my life and wondering what had led me to the place where I found myself. I had executed the feminist script to perfection. But despite being practically the “single independent woman” poster child, I found the end results to be lacking. I was lonely. I didn’t “get it” when it came to relationships.
And so while exploring this angst, I stumbled across the red pill. As I read blogs and message boards populated mostly with men talking about men and women and relationships, I was shocked to learn men weren’t happy with this brave new world, either.
They encouraged each other to explore what it means to be masculine, to be a man, to do things men traditionally liked to do. This made me wonder, what would happen if I did the same, explored what it meant to be feminine?
So I did. And the results have been pleasantly surprising! Rather than find it drudgery and oppressive, I found that I like pulling an amazing loaf of fresh baked bread out of the oven, and that folding fresh, warm laundry can be surprisingly sensual. I’ve been potting up flower baskets and fluffing up my nest ever since.
While I have a ways to go, I have to say an increasingly neat and orderly home is a big improvement over my formerly half-assed, last ditch, and cluttered surroundings. Oddly, I have found the more beautiful I make it, the happier myself and my children are getting. And it’s been more sweat equity than shopping spree — I have found it doesn’t have to be expensive to create a home that provides cozy refuge from the world. It’s a work in progress but I am slowly editing room-by-room, getting rid of “stuff” and keeping only what I truly love. My girls are loving it, too!
I’ve also been playing with the traditionally feminine spheres of beauty and fashion. Again, this has all been on a budget, but with some creativity and a few great consignment shops, I’ve replaced much of the jeans and t-shirt wardrobe with flattering, feminine attire. I still have jeans and t-shirts, but now they emphasize (modestly and tastefully) my female form rather than disguise it. I wear skirts a lot more. I even ordered a pair of strappy summer sandals with (gasp!) heels. I got some shimmery make up and learned some new techniques for applying make up via online videos, and I have been painting my finger and toe nails, too!
Along the way I have redefined the meaning of “girl power.” I have been shocked to discover I find more joy in embracing my feminine side than I ever did trying to act more like a man than a woman. And yes, I am still taken seriously, maybe even more so!
To trying to be a man, I simply say, “Pfffft.” I’ll take the shimmer, and flounce, and channeling my energy into making my surroundings beautiful for me and mine over trying to be more like a man any day!
What do you think? Should we redefine the meaning of “girl power” to mean reveling in the power of femininity? Or is it better for women to act just like men?
One of my favorite books on relationships is “The Mastery of Love” by Don Ruiz. It’s not a very long book, but it is so packed with wisdom that even though I have read it at least 10 times, every time I do, I notice something new I hadn’t before. If you have not read it, I highly recommend that and his other books. I need to read it again, but I keep giving my copy away! So I will get another.
In the book he says one of the biggest mistakes people make in relationships is that they come to them from a place of lack. They see the other person, or the relationship as the “missing piece” that will make their life complete, make them happy. (Which reminds me of one of my other favorite books, a children’s book, called “The Missing Piece” by Shel Silverstein.)
The problem is the only person we can control is our self. So if we believe our happiness depends on an outside person, this sets up a dynamic where one needs to control or manipulate that other person, to not lose the happy. One person is going to be doling out the happy and one person is going to be wanting the happy.
Ruiz says instead it is better to be the happy. He likens it to realizing that your heart is a magical kitchen. Whatever you want, boom, there it is. If someone shows up at the door with pizza and offers to trade pizza for happiness, you would be puzzled. You already have all the pizza you want or need. You have pizza, they have pizza, you can have pizza together, or you can have pizza apart. But your having pizza does not depend on that other person. They cannot take away or grant you pizza. You don’t have to barter for pizza, because you already have pizza. Getting pizza is no longer a motivator.
Ok, maybe that makes no sense at all, but it is early, I need more coffee, and really you should read the book yourself because I promise, it makes total sense when you read it about all this there.
Back to the point: If you are in a relationship, or not, spend some time pondering this idea — are you bringing the happy? Or are you expecting someone else to bring the happy? Are you maybe trading the happy – trying to make someone else happy so they will make you happy in return?
Happiness, as they say, is an inside job!
(One could also substitute the word “love” for “happiness” in this post. Feel free to reread it but swap in the word love every time you run across the word happy to see it in another way.)
It’s pretty easy to get jaded about relationships these days. One doesn’t have to look very hard to see examples of good love gone bad all around. But every once in awhile, you see true love does exist.
Or at least I have. Most recently I have spied it as I take my kids to school in the morning. At first, I didn’t pay the couple walking along the side of the road much attention. But one day I noticed a certain oddness to her gait that made me look at them a little closer.
They aren’t exactly elderly, maybe late 50s or early 60s. And it is hard to say what exactly is going on, maybe cancer, maybe early onset of Alzheimer’s, maybe something else but she is clearly very, very ill.
On nice days I see them, out taking a morning walk. He hovers near her with a gentle tenderness and patience, it is clear from his body language he loves this women very much, and that he is cherishing these moments they have together, as imperfect and I am sure challenging that they might be.
For better or for worse. In sickness and in health. For richer or poorer. Forsaking all others. Till death do they part.
This morning, I found myself crying at the sight of those two, once again slowly ambling along. My heart both breaks for them and is also filled with such a profound joy that they have each other, and that they found each other, against all the odds, in this brief moment of time we call life, on this insignificant green and blue ball spinning at 1040 miles per hour and traveling at 67,000 miles per hour around the sun, off to the edge of the Milky Way galaxy.
Yep, sometimes you still see it. And for me at least, when I do, it reminds me of the bigger picture and what this whole experience is really all about. Love. Loving. Being loved. Loving back. In the end, those are the moments that I imagine will matter the most.
Let those who have ears hear.