Let’s be clear…

There were several comments yesterday that made me feel I must clarify some points:

Some were worried that I might make people question their actions. In response: Yes. One intention in yesterday’s post was to suggest people question what they are now being told is a norm through the mass media capitalizing on the promotion of S&M (the subject raised in the film 50 Shades of Grey): hurting others intimately and/or letting others hurt you intimately. Even though some readers believed really hurting/injuring someone grows trust, respect and communication… studies have shown that in fact they have the exact opposite effect on a relationship.

Forget all the misleading mass media hype that it’s “playful”. Try to think of it in other terms. If you love your child, would you want to experiment with hurting them to build trust? Would it give you pleasure to hurt them? Would it give them pleasure? No, of course not! We have to be careful in confusing the trend of accepting/loving everyone for whom they are (which is a good thing), with accepting/allowing people to do what ever they want to us in the name of “love” (that is a bad thing).

Some inferred in comments to yesterday’s post: as long as it is consensual…it is ok to hurt others. Is it? There are many people in this world who think they are not worthy of being loved… Some people would prefer a destructive relationship to no relationship at all… The thought of being alone is unbearable for many — so they are willing to put up with all kinds of abuse… There are many reasons why someone would consent to being hurt — but none of them are healthy. No one should be abused, whether they “ask for it” or not. Just like, no one should be raped, even though many perps say their victim “asked for it”. People need to learn to love and respect themselves enough to tell their abusers, “No!”

Psychology is a relatively new science. There is so much psychiatrists/psychologists/therapists don’t know about what makes us “tick”. However, older sciences have proven that pain is the body’s alarm system. The sole purpose of pain is to alert the mind/person that there is something wrong; something needs to be addressed/attended to/resolved immediately. That is a fact. Pain = Something is Wrong.

Anger, not love, motivates people to inflict suffering on others (history is ripe with examples of this fact). Self-hate/lack of self-respect is what allows people to let others abuse them. Get rid of the anger and/or self-loathing. Experiment with love. For your own health and well-being… for all of us: love is the answer.

“50 Shades of F _ _ ked Up!

Lately, I’ve noticed throughout our media many S&M/dominant/submissive spin offs from “50 shades of f_ _ked up (as the character Christian Grey so aptly put it in the film 50 Shades of Grey). There is no beauty in a S&M/dominant/submissive relationship. If there is no beauty, there is no harmony. If there is no harmony, there is no love. Why has “50 shades of f_ _ked up become such a phenomenon?

I watched a review of the film, in which a number of women thought it was great that we had a film that “promotes women exploring their sexuality”. Did I miss something? In the film, Anastasia was an adult virgin (so sexual experimentation was most definitely not her focus). Secondly, Anastasia refuses repeatedly throughout the film to allow the character Christian to perform any of the (deviant) sexual acts that truly turn him on (acts that are painful and/or degrading). Until the last sex scene, when she allows him to have his way (since up until this point he has been controlling yes… but to her confusion he has also been loving and romantic). When he does actually show that he derives pleasure from hurting her, she immediately leaves him. This film was not about sexual experimentation, as much as it was about becoming strong enough to stand up for oneself , how to set sexual boundaries & how physical and sexual abuse as a child can severely warp a person’s mature lovemap.

The movie showed a man who admitted he was “f_ _ked up” (who revealed why: having been born to and spending his early childhood in the home of woman who was an abusive drug addicted prostitute… to later (yet still an impressionable adolescent) be sexually victimized for another 6 years by yet another “f_ _ked up” controlling sadomasochistic woman… (it is not a big surprise that the character’s mature lovemap is deviant). In juxtaposition to the deviant lovemap, the movie portrays a young lady: pure and innocent, who although she did not come from a “perfect” home, she had always had a loving father figure in her life & hence a mature lovemap that sought the same in a partner. Innocent young lady, full of insecurities, struggling financially, trying to find her place in the world, gets sidelined by a more powerful/older predator, who is (outwardly) extremely confident, able to take away her financial woes, and tries to manipulate her understanding of where/what her place is in the world. Although innocent enough to be temporarily intimidated into doing things that made her feel uncomfortable…. She quickly grew aware of the depth of her lover’s unstable mental health… and after trying to love him unconditionally… quickly left for the sake of her own physical and mental well-being. In summary: (surprisingly) there where some good messages in the film.

Unfortunately, our mass media has decided once again to focus on the shock (selling/$) value of the film (promoting the negatives, the deviant). The music industry, magazine covers, fashion… are making visual representations of S&M/dominants/submissives part of our everyday world/norm. Sure, a lot of the media tries to make the S&M cute and playful – news flash; there is nothing cute about S&M. The film and media can give it trendy names “dominant” “submissive” but it’s all S&M (properly defined as sadism & masochism: gratification, especially sexual, gained through inflicting or receiving physical or mental pain and suffering). Why are we promoting pain and suffering? Why is our culture’s latest trend an attempt to promote (and an embracement of) extremely unhealthy relationships? So sad.

We should be promoting love! If people are bored with the missionary position and want to “experiment” with their sexuality – why can’t it be physically & mentally (spiritually) healthy (loving) sex? Maybe because it takes a lot longer to master the art of inflicting love? The Kama Sutra, Tantric Sex, Taoist Sexual practices all about inflicting love. That should be our cultural trend. There is nothing healthy in receiving pleasure from hurting someone else (or receiving pleasure by being hurt by someone else). If this is what you seek, stop reading desirable love immediately and seek professional help! Sex should not be something that you have to heal from… it should be (in it’s own right) a healing (as is all love) experience. Go experiment with love!

Biggest Disease Today… Feeling Unloved.

The biggest disease (in) this day and age, is that of people feeling unloved. – Princess Di

Share the love in your life with others. Pay attention to them. Make sure you not only tell them, but also show those around you how special & loved they truly are. The worst feeling in the world is feeling as though you don’t matter or aren’t valued. Love is the most healing and harmonizing energy in the world. Use it.

Dedicated to lovely M.T.I. ~ Know you have always been worth loving… I am sorry your Mom was too unwell to be able to give you what you deserved… you are truly a remarkable young lady.

I Love Someone Who is Married

I was asked: What should you do if you love a person very much who has married?

The  person is “married”. They have taken a vow — either in front or God or a legal authority. If you truly love them, let them live their lives without this knowledge.

With love comes sacrifice. I am sorry to say, this needs to be yours.

~may you find love again

What is “Emotional Baggage”?

Most of us have heard it before:  “I met this great new person, but  it doesn’t seem like it’s going to work out- they’ve got too much  baggage to be in a relationship right now.”   What exactly are people talking about when they say “emotional baggage?”   Generally speaking, this term refers to our emotional memories-  particularly the more painful ones, which shape how we see ourselves and  others, and influence how we conduct ourselves in relationships.  In  other words, our past experiences and relationships have a profound  influence on the types of people we are drawn to, and also on how we  think, feel and behave in our present relationships and interactions.   Emotional baggage can also arise from other identity markers such as the  racial/cultural, religious, or socio-economic status into which we were  born/raised.

Does emotional baggage prevent you or the person you’re dating from happiness and success in your relationship? 
Learning from past experiences is a fundamental part of growth and  maturity.  However some people internalize past negative experiences and  develop irrational fears/behaviors that prevent them from fully  participating in new relationships, often imposing this past onto  innocent newcomers.  Instead of serving as protection from the original,  painful experience, emotional baggage can lead some people to recreate a  similar dynamic within their new relationship, in an effort to overcome  their past.  Others allow their emotional baggage to serve as a shield  from engaging in emotional intimacy in a new relationship, out of fear  that their past will repeat itself.  For many, these are unintentional  patterns that may not be orchestrated on a conscious level.  Quite often  it’s our friends and family members who call these patterns to our  attention, hoping to break the cycle that keeps us from enjoying  satisfying relationships.

Examples of statements that reflect one’s emotional baggage:
“I’m sure he’ll cheat on me, just like my last boyfriend.”
“Women can’t be trusted.”
“If I share my true feelings with him, he’ll just use this to take advantage of me.”
“I’m not ready to be close to anyone right now. I’d rather just  ‘hang out’ with someone rather than have a boyfriend/girlfriend. ”
“Marriage never works out for anyone. It’s just what people do to give themselves a false sense of security.”
… etcetera… etcetera.

Help yourself break the cycle.
Taking a thorough inventory of your romantic past can help you in  determine any patterns that reflect your unresolved emotional baggage.
1.)  Make a list of the romantic relationships you have been  involved in and the major issues that occurred within each them. Are  there any commonalities?  These patterns will help you discover where  you should begin to heal yourself.  It’s important to know that you are  not at fault for all of the problems in your relationships, but  if you notice that the same types of issues arise in your failed  relationships, then it’s time to take a closer look at how you  contributed to this pattern.
2.)  Acknowledge your emotions.  Begin by identifying  strong feelings you have in response to people who’ve shaped how you  relate to others. Don’t blame yourself for harboring painful emotions  from the past.
Allow yourself to feel and express emotions you have learned to avoid.   Find closure by sharing your feelings with someone safe, or writing  them out in a private journal.
3.) Remind yourself that your feelings, while genuine, are not  necessarily accurate in predicting the feelings and behaviors of others.   Make an effort to accept people at face value, and allow them to show  you through their actions who they are; let their patterns of behavior  be the biggest indicator of who they’ll be in a relationship with you.   Learn from your past but recognize that every situation and every  relationship is different and unique.
4.) Accept that sometimes you may need outside/professional help.

Determine and set limits on how much ‘baggage’ you’re willing to accept from others.
We all have our own complex set of issues that come into play we enter  into new relationships.  Does that mean we have to accept other people’s  emotional baggage just to be in a relationship? Yes and No.  We can’t  expect to get close to others without being exposed to their past  emotional challenges and insecurities. Listening and being supportive is  a way to better understand who they are and how they will likely behave  in a relationship with you.  However, it’s also important to set  clear boundaries with yourself and them regarding what you’re willing to  accept, and for how long.  Understandably, a person with trust  issues may be initially guarded in a new relationship and have low  expectations for others’ reliability. However with time, if this person  is unwilling or unable to build their trust in you after you’ve shown  yourself to be trustworthy, this likely means your relationship with  them will remain unfulfilling, or worse, toxic.
Don’t waste time hoping and willing people to change when it comes to  dealing with people’s emotional baggage.  Remain true to the  characteristics you seek in others, and continue to explore and heal  your own baggage in order to have the relationship you want.

Continue reading on Examiner.com Dating 101: How to handle emotional baggage – yours and theirs. – Oakland Mental Health | Examiner.comhttp://www.examiner.com/mental-h… Dr. C. Villarreal

Be You (tiful)!

I was in the fashion industry for years. Therefore, I do appreciate outer/superficial beauty. And, as mentioned in my previous post, I understand its value and limitations in society. I just want to add: you can value superficial beauty. However, make sure it is be you (tiful)!

Changing fashion and beauty trends are often bizarre because they have to be different/new – to create a reason for people to buy them. If there wasn’t constantly something “new”, people would not have a constant (conditioned) need to buy (and the industry would suffer financially). The trick: learn to use the industry to your advantage – not theirs. Remember to be you (tiful).

Know: everyone has natural beauty. Everyone. The key to being a beauty is to make all your features (appear) harmonic. It is not who is the skinniest, or, who is the most voluptuous, or, who has the longest hair, or, who has the -est or –iest of anything. Any extreme, of any feature is bizarre looking. Bizarre is not beautiful. Period.

Instead of stressing yourself to be every fashion and beauty trend –est and -iest… First and foremost, just be your health-iest. Then, don’t allow fashion and beauty trends to dictate your looks (no one is beautiful in every trend). Instead, use fashion and beauty trends as experiments to figure out what makes you the most be you (tiful). Make the fashion trend your own. Don’t be afraid to tweak it to fit your personal beautifying needs.

If you are healthy – you will be beautiful! If your fashion & beauty tricks are harmonic (not extreme/trendy) – you will be breathtaking! If your are breathtaking – no one will notice if you are following a fashion trend or not! Simply be you (tiful)!

Do Looks Matter in Love?

I was asked to answer the question: Do looks matter in love?
My reply was: Yes & No. It depends on the following:

There is inner beauty & outer beauty. Beauty is Harmony. Therefore, there is inner harmony & outer harmony. All living beings are attracted to and actually need beauty/harmonic energy in their lives. Therefore, it behooves you to have at least one.

Since humans are primarily visual beings, outer beauty tends to be important to catch the eye of a mate — especially in youth. As outer beauty fades, and wisdom grows — inner beauty/harmonic energy grows. This fact is most evident in older longterm love relationships. However, this can also be a factor in youth (& age) — if both partners pocess inner harmony.

Therein lies the catch. If a partner does not have inner beauty, they will not be able to connect to, or, even see their partner’s. Their desire to fill their inner void will become overwhelming and will have to be fed by something external/superficial. Hence the many relationships ruined by wandering eyes.

It is hard to answer your question more specifically, since I do not know the circumstances that have led you to ask this question. All I can say in summary is: When a person has inner beauty, they glow. If their loved one is too insecure to see that, it is truly their loss. If you don’t feel you have achieved that level of being yet… I will add: I have never met anyone who could not be made beautiful on the outside. It’s easy, remember, it’s only superficial!