Sunday, 18 October 2020

Do I feel diminished by someone's beauty, brains, or accomplishments?

The need, the obligation, the fact of feeling forced to give love, the fact of not being able to stop, even when we realized that we were throwing it away to the wrong people. Almost nobody understands the meaning of our love well because nobody knows the real existence of our ancient pact: sometimes, it had the power to convert I love you into I need to love you. The manipulators, oh yes, they understood very well what to do with our love. For them, it is never too much. Just as they understood the power of our ancient covenant better than we did, and for this reason we felt so attracted to them, after all, no one else is more able to understand us, in fact they understood us much more than even we were ever able to understand ourselves. Nonetheless, if I think that about my story of healing from codependency, I remember hearing about too much love was not enough, being told that I was giving too much love, all in all, I liked it, for it was the recognition of something that I felt was mine and the fact that it was too much didn't seem negative in itself. If our love is our instrument to build new and nice relationships it is important to clarify how it can be experienced as too much. It is easy for us the codependents to recognize if we love too much, even in cases where we cannot stop loving and see ourselves reflected in the misunderstanding of those who ask Why are you doing this? Why don't you leave him? Why do you stay with her? If you think that someone will be a threat to you in the future, then the sooner you deal with him, the better. Don't wait for the baby devil to grow horns. Machiavelli suggests that you cut them off before they have a chance to fully grow. If you think the promising subordinate thrives in one department, then the Machiavellian thing to do is to get that person transferred to another department. Once again, it is necessary to remember that you're after fear and not hatred. So if you're going to get rid of someone, make sure that the act is justified and that the cause for your action is made obvious so that you need not explain yourself to others. Example: Make the hotshot employee and everyone around him believe that his transfer was a form of promotion. When in fact, it was actually a lateral move and a means to get him out of your way. More importantly, refrain from striking fear by taking away what belongs to others. Therefore, the foundation of your power should be built not on what others have accomplished but on what you've accomplished yourself.

There, she chose to pursue what she thought was her true calling: being a pastry chef. I wouldn't have done that if my mom hadn't died, she said. After an event like that, she went on, you think about your life and who you are and what you want to do. Ninety-five percent of the decisions I make now are influenced by the fact that she died. So, yeah, pastry. I was struck, sitting there and watching them speak--sometimes angrily, sometimes sadly, sometimes with deep remorse and guilt--by how, with every sentence, they were struggling to understand their loss and what it meant for their lives now. Some of them were further along the road to recovery and growth than others. But each of them was leaning on some of, if not all, the pillars of meaning. They were forming a community. They were figuring out what their purpose was in light of their loss. At other times, I felt the experience on earth was like heaven in costume. I also experimented with illusory temporary roles or identities. People would call me a woman. I went with it. I played at being a wife. A daughter. A coworker. However, to believe that I (or someone else) was an identity or role, was an invitation for suffering, because what they are in spiritual essence is greater than any temporary physical role or limited worldly identity. Luckily, fear was always there to sound the bell and help me back to clarity whenever it was needed. I came to understand that the effort to live in what my now ex-husband dubbed third world was much like the mythological visiting of the underworld.

Or even, why don't you leave me alone? But there is another more difficult part to manage and admit: even the codependents, as well as the narcissists and the manipulator, to maintain their identity as a codependent, is forced to resort to abuse, guilt, and moral blackmail. This causes suffering for the love we give and does not get back, but also to reproach people who from a healthy point of view have moved away from us and made us pronounce words that made both individuals suffer things like: Look at all things I've done for you and you're not grateful or Look how much I sacrificed myself for you and then, why? You don't give the value of it! Look how much money I have spent on you and you consider it mundane and normal. How is it possible that something is so special and important to us and is not equally valued by the important people in our lives? When we think about our toxic relationships with narcissists, or psychopaths, it is easy to understand our role as a victim: we put ourselves in the position of being exploited and they do it without any mercy. On the other hand, when we think about our problems in relationships with healthy people who sincerely love us, everything seems more confusing, and foggy in our thoughts. What are we relying on to judge whether behavior in response to our love is right or wrong? Especially if we are not talking about manipulators who have used and deceived us but simply people who, from their so-called normalcy, have made us feel bad too often, betrayed, deceived, and once again debased and under-valued. Moreover, people become animals when you threaten their livelihood, their property, their freedom, or their safety. It is for this reason why in times of financial crisis, companies would rather let go of some employees than to keep them all and offer a lower pay. People are quicker to forget a fallen comrade than to forgive you for a smaller paycheck. Another thing you should realize is that you can't rise in this world if you're surrounded by idiots as supporters. You need capable and useful friends by your side. For this reason, you can't just go about eliminating every person that shows potential. There are some people that are so good in what they do that you'd rather have them on your side than to see them at the enemy's camp. Keep these people close to you. Provide them with just enough power to keep them happy and to make them feel indebted to you. But again, that power should never be enough to provide them with the leverage to one day seize control from your hands.

They were trying to make sense of what had happened. And they were participating in a ritual that helped them step outside of the hustle and bustle of their daily lives to find peace. This is why Carla and Lennon founded The Dinner Party: they wanted to bring meaning to people whose lives had been thrown into disarray by grief. We want to create a movement, Lennon said, where people are living bigger and stronger versus being derailed and devastated by the loss. The idea that we can grow to lead deeper and more meaningful lives through adversity is an ancient one in literature, religion, and philosophy--as Nietzsche famously wrote, What does not kill me makes me stronger. But it is a relatively new idea in mainstream psychology. Until recently, many psychologists considered trauma primarily a catastrophic stressor. One of the characteristics of trauma, they believed, was that it damaged a person psychologically and physically, sometimes to the point of incapacitation. In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association added post-traumatic stress disorder to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, used by psychologists and psychiatrists to diagnose mental illness. Since then, PTSD has received a great deal of attention from psychologists, the media, and ordinary people trying to understand what happens to people after a crisis. In my experience, third world reality did not seem as fun. It seemed flat and exhausting. In short, I found that it is much more satisfying to remain in a natural state of love, than to identify with any identity, role, function, or thought. Even if that meant that my beloved friends and family members said that they couldn't understand it. Many people have left my life experience (at least in form). Was I willing to give them up? Yes, if they wanted me to. Do I love them? Yes, very much. Other people come into my life, and I love them just as much.

Did we behave better when we found ourselves in similar situations? Yes, most likely we did. We have satisfied and made so many people happy with our love, since we were children, when without realizing we entered the world of codependency head-on. A grandmother who told us You're such a good child, come to visit me every day (If you don't come every day you won't be seen as so). I love you because you are always so kind to me, and help me not like others who only think of themselves --so don't think about yourself, think about me and so I will love you. Sometimes, a codependent has an explicit violent background but not always. In most cases, the abuse was more delicate, subtle, often unaware, almost imperceptible to the conscience but clear to our unconscious. It is also for this reason that, when we want to get rid of a condition of codependency it is not so easy for us to recognize that our problem comes from the people who took care of us. When we can recognize the wickedness of adult people or simply those who were elder than us as girls or boys, it's painful but less complex for us to untie ourselves from that type of memory, emotion, or relationship with them. Paradoxically, it is more difficult when we cannot distinguish well the healthy love that we have received from the unhealthy one, above all, because our love for them is still alive even if surrounded by a veil of confusion. There should only be one Prince and he must be without peers. To succeed in life, you need to be proficient in finding reasonable causes to break your word. Pope Alexander was a shining example of a man who lied his way through power. He delivered powerful speeches but he didn't necessarily keep his word. So why did people keep believing in him? Alexander understood how the world works. He understood how people think and behave. He knew that men are weak in such a way that they are a slave the most pressing needs at the moment. As stated previously, as someone seeking power, it is important for you to pay close attention to other people and to find out what they need. If you offer them exactly what they need, they'd be willing to do and believe in just about anything.

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