Bodhissatva's Journal: walking the path ...

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Bodhissatva, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. the88train

    the88train A New Day

    You sure have a voluminous and interesting journal here Bodhi. Just by reading it I'm observing positive growth for you and you've helped me a lot just by sharing.

  2. Bodhissatva

    Bodhissatva New Member

    Day 7

    Thanks 88! It feels good to be read and feel useful (ego cuddled, I'll take it).

    This journal is very valuable to me. One of the rare areas of my life where I am completely honest and transparent. I would love to have this kind of transparency with my wife (especially sexually), but I feel it is necessary to do the reboot thing first, then find out what my reset brain really craves. I feel I ventured into fantasies that were extreme representation and projections of my inner self. I am not helpless anymore. As I assert myself as a man, and do this reboot thing, my desires should shift toward more normalcy. If not, then I will have to accept what I feel and go from there. I honestly think that I can reach a kind of "lte" like sane detachment toward my desires. That in no way means not pursuing sexual pleasure, but it really does mean doing it in a more spiritual fashion.

    Speaking of spiritual sexuality, I do have a date with my wife tonight, so I will buy some wine and fine chocolates, find good music and try to enhance our nest. This is all part of our little ritual, a thing I started a few months ago but abandoned while my mother-in-law was in town ...

    It's good to be alive!

  3. sdlekr

    sdlekr Free

    Mothers-in-law have that effect...and all the men said, amen.
  4. Bodhissatva

    Bodhissatva New Member

    Life is good now, and getting better.

    My wife and I met with our therapist, and the result was unexpected for me. It is not so much the advice he gave us, its more the safe space that was created for the discussion that was good. My wife is very passionate, and the words she uses are too strong for me. When she criticize the kids or me, she attacks the person, not the behaviour. It is not what she means, but it is what the words mean. It is very hard for me to not take it personally, but it is exactly what I have to do.

    The conversation went a bit like that: my wife says my son can't be trusted (he forgets things, says he will do things, but doesn't, etc), then she says she hates people like that ... then I jumped in and said: following your logic, the next statement is you hate your son, and following my own logic, I am like my son, so you hate me. Then it hit me: my fear of abandonment is at the center of my reaction. This is totally irrational, visceral. The words my wife should have used is: I hate that behaviour, but I love my son. Then, the next logical statement becomes, how can I help my son act better.

    So, the next step for me is to desensitized myself to my wife's strong words, be aware of the angry, insecure little girl in her that can't stand when her world is not as she wants it to be. I need to have compassion for that little girl, because she is suffering. Then I need to step up and act like an adult, like a man.

    That is the challenge. I need to avoid alcohol for a while, as this prevents me from being completely there. I also deleted my latest stash of P. Somehow, I had created that one about a month ago, and I kept it. Now its gone, moving along ...

    I call this progress on all front.

  5. imout

    imout Active Member

    good to hear your positivity. Your last post about your wife was also very sharp. Id humbly add: AND look after yourt boundaries and dont make excuses for your wife. She is an adult and able to act responsibly.

    All the best , brother. as always my heart is with you
  6. Arizona

    Arizona All answers can be found within

    Hey Bodhi, reading your last reply, I think I might have suggested this one before, but you really should/could read non-violent communication from rosenberg. It's next to Tolle's New World the two books that stood out for me the last 15 years of my life.
    Really, it goes very specific and clear into what you described in your last post. It was an eye-opener for me to lern more about her communication (what is really said and really meant) and also my own.
    It takes two to tango.

    Really, if you get a chance, do it.
    Let me know.

    Good luck
  7. Zippy

    Zippy Member

    Had an extensive (not complete) look through your journal. It seems to me you've had two decent runs (2 weeks and 3 weeks) in nearly 2 years.

    Both times you restored sexual relations with your wife, and both times you went back to PMO. It seems clear what the problem is here.

    Until you've run a full reboot, enough to restore your ability to fully enjoy PMO free sex, you've not given your marriage your best shot. If your marriage ends before you do this, you may never again get the chance you still have.

    All IMHO of course!
  8. Arizona

    Arizona All answers can be found within

    Awesome reply zippy!
  9. Bodhissatva

    Bodhissatva New Member

    Thanks imout. I did have to set boundaries a lot in the past week. One thing I am figuring out: my wife is definitely a drama junky. I need to take things a lot more lightly than I did in the past. Figuring what is important for me, and not panicking on her "drama triggers" is a big part of my journey.

    Thanks for the reference, Arizona. i am familiar with the book and the technique, unfortunately, so is my wife. The thing is, my brother used to use this and she became an expert at detecting the particular "speech pattern" associated with non-violent communication and she use to make fun of my brother when he was using it. You really have to train hard to use it without sounding fake. You probably took the time to practice and you might be able to pull it off, but I never was able to make is sound completely natural. It might be worth a second try on my part though ...

    You are certainly right, Zippy. That is why I haven't given up yet ;-)

    The journey is still continuing for me. It has certainly led to a lot of growing up on my side.

    I did a reset yesterday. I basically M'ed after reading erotica for 20 minutes. I am far from a few hours long binge of P ... Again, some form of progress.

  10. Arizona

    Arizona All answers can be found within

    lol… it's not supposed to be something you 'try' or 'pull off'.

    It's supposed to help uncover your own motives through your speaking and help getting other people's words clear. It's a guidance to the deeper levels of friction in your relationship.

    It's not a contest. Seems there's a lot of trust issues in being on one page together. If that's not there… well, that ain't good.

    Nothing personal, I've recognised similar trends in my relation, but that one's over. Never back into that. Being with someone is supposed to be fun or fulfilling. The rest is just avoiding the reality of not being right for each other.
  11. Bodhissatva

    Bodhissatva New Member

    Hey, Arizona, after reading your comment, I watched a clip of Marshall Rosenberg, and I have to admit, I misjudged the whole concept of non-violent communication. I am going to investigate this more ...


  12. Bodhissatva

    Bodhissatva New Member

    Well, after listening to 4 hours of courses from Marshall Rosenberg, I have successfully used non-violent communication (NVC) with my wife this morning and it worked. Here is a short account of what happened.

    Yesteday night, I left home at 8pm to go work on my startup project with my eldest son. I do the application architecture, and a lot of development work, he does the web design. I agreed with my wife that I would leave the office at 10pm so my son could be in bed at 10:30. Unfortunately, as it is often the case, I got carried away and left the office at 10:30, so my son was in bed at 11pm instead of the agreed upon 10:30. My wife was already asleep when I got home, but this morning, the first thing I heard when I woke up was: I am angry because your are irresponsible with your son for coming home so late.

    In NVC lingo, this is called "jackal" speak. This is violent communication at its best. This is the surest way to start a fight, and the best way to insure that you don't get what you want from the exchange, or if you do, you pay a very high price for it. First you judge the person as being bad, then you try to punish the person to "educate" them into doing what you want. Typically, I would have responded in "jackal" speak as well: it is not that important that he goes to bed at 10:30, as he always falls asleep at 11, it is not my fault, I was delayed, what does half an hour change, are you serious, what is wrong with you etc.

    Instead of that, I tried to handle it in a the NVC way, trying to respond in "Giraffe" speak instead. "Giraffe" speak in the NVC lingo is speaking from the heart (giraffes have the biggest heart of all terrestrial mammals). So I said "hold on, I will respond to you when I am ready", and I left the room for 5 minutes. Then I started the process. NVC says that anger is the tragic expression of an unmet need. Ok. So my wife was angry, what need was not met? She needed to make sure my son's well being was insured, that he had enough sleep. Obviously, this was not met by me coming in at 10:30 instead of 10. Ok, next step. What strategy could I use to meet the need? Well, my son usually wakes up at 7, but leaves for school at 8:10. Ok, so he needed an extra 30 minutes of sleep. Easy. So I went back to my wife saying I would wake him up at 7:30. Done. And it went well.

    Now, this seems like a lot of work for a simple altercation, but I can tell you that it does work. It is not easy to do. When someone is angry at you, keeping in mind their needs requires a lot of serenity. I will practice this more. Contrary to what I thought, it is possible to use it without the other person doing it as well. It is possible to do it without the person even noticing. My wife knows about the usual word used in NVC and will react violently if I start using this. This is explained in a few videos on youtube. But as Arizona mentioned, there is a way to make this natural, the important part is the thinking and the real feeling behind it.

    For those interested, here are a few links:

    An entertaining overview of NVC (3 hours):

    A complete course on NVC (9 hours):

    How to make NVC sound natural (35 min.):

    I believe that this will, over time, change my entire relationship with my wife and my sons.

    Thanks again, Arizona!

  13. Arizona

    Arizona All answers can be found within

    Awesome Bodhi! Especially the effort to learn and seeing the results already so early.

    I read the book, and took the essence to heart. I'm probably 'poor' in the skills as he teaches them, but took the essence of trying to say what I really want to say in life (like, "I'm not coming to your party because I made plans already that I'd rather go to" instead of saying the easier line "I'm not going to your party because I can't.") and try to hear what is really said to me instead of just the words.

    In the case of your wife, if I hear someone say "I'm angry…" usually I would feel responsible no matter what followed. Now I'm trying hard, and often manage, to just hear that person say that he/she is angry… no matter what follows. First I make sure I respect that person simply being angry. Not my responsibility at all. That way the anger may be there because it's his/her anger… not some by-product of my doing. Once I can feel that, and only then, I continue to hear the rest and see from there. Then I can help out of love. Not to avoid anger. You didn't necessarily do something wrong. He's also your son. But I think you already felt that.
    Of course the same counts the other way around for me, when I am angry. I had to learn to see that 'I' am angry. Period. Other people can be a trigger, but never responsible for my anger.

    Also great how you first leave to calm. That's awesome, to take that space and so avoid flaming debates, instead of coming to the point.

    Again, nice to read Bodhi.

    All small steps to unravel the patterns and automatisms we built in our past to avoid pain and suffering. All steps towards truth. Sometimes painful, always deliberating.
  14. Bodhissatva

    Bodhissatva New Member

    Day 4 of a new 14 day target

    I am doing good here. The counter does not do justice to the personal growth I am going through, but I like the idea of counting days off porn. I don't stress out like I used to about it.

    I am reading The Slight Edge, and still keeping in mind NVC when communicating with everyone. It is eye opening to start thinking about unmet needs when you interact with people. Even someone on the road who cuts you off has an unmet need that make them display assholish behaviour. I tend to calm down when I keep that in mind.

    My wife and I have decided to invite friends over every other Saturday night for dinner. Tough rhythm to hold organizationally speaking, but it feeds our relationship to share thoughts and a meal with friends. We also started to go the movies every month. Again, feeds the relationship. We started this week with a local movie about a French-Canadian man and an Hasidic Jew woman falling in love. Kind of movie I never feel like going to see, but always glad I did when I do. We live in a part of town where there are a lot of Hasidic Jews and it is interesting try to understand such different cultures than our own. The movie was actually filmed in my neighbourhood. It was quite well made in showing what happens realistically when these things happen. No happy-happy ending here, just realism. Very sobering movie-making.

    Day 4, working hard to get to 14 and beyond ...

  15. imout

    imout Active Member

    Awesome that you find and foster positivity in your relationship. Im sure that bit of effort pays by reducing the stresses on you
  16. Bodhissatva

    Bodhissatva New Member

    Not posting a lot these days, but still on the path. Yesterday's fall was due to stress of going to the dentist to get one of my front tooth removed. The thing was dead and started to rot. I HATE going to the dentist, but I finally started a treatment to resolve long standing issues. I got those invisible braces (yeah, I know, 47 and braces). Then I got the tooth removed yesterday and going to get an implant in 3-4 months.

    That being said, I have to watch out for those stress triggers. I am walking a fine line with exhaustion these days, as I am about to deliver my new start-up project to the world, at the same time as having a full time job, and a full night time job as a family cook. If I go to bed past 11, or if I drink, i feel it right away the next morning. Weird to realize I filled up my life to the rim. Probably a good thing. I still manage to spend time with my boys, and we do have a sit down family meal 5 times a week. And I still manage to be 99.9% vegan and offer my family 90% vegetarian meals. That is a big progress and we all feel it health wise.

    So, back on track, clearly committed to go 14 days PMO free, and beyond ...

  17. Bodhissatva

    Bodhissatva New Member

    3 things I am grateful for today:

    - The family is healthy. Apart from the common cold, we are enjoying a good healthy life.
    - I have a few close friends, which I can count on.
    - I have a job and personal work projects that I love doing. I am always happy to work.

    I am still reading The Slight Edge and it is slowly changing my life for the better.

    Posting here reminds me of my personal commitments to myself. I decided to also use this as a journal for my "life recovery". I will be posting 3 gratitudes per day for 21 days, as suggested in the excellent book The Happiness Advantage.

    I drank a bit too much yesterday while watching the final episodes of the new "House of Cards" season. I need to take a booze break, so I will map the break on my PMO objectives (14 days).

    Let's see if I can apply The Slight Edge on abstaining from PMO and booze one day at a time ...

  18. Bodhissatva

    Bodhissatva New Member

    3 things I am grateful for today:

    - Despite the cold, I was able to walk to work this morning and enjoy the wonderful country I live in
    - I am grateful for the enlightened individuals who influenced me and contributed to me becoming vegan a few months ago, restore my health and align my core values to my day to day actions
    - I am grateful I found YBR and started on this path about a year ago

    Here are 5 dreams I have:
    - Be completely free financially within 5 years
    - Be my own boss within 2 years
    - Have a place of my own, separate from the my wife and the family within 3 years
    - Have a fulfilling real sexual life within a year
    - Change the world for the better by convincing people of the importance of going vegan within 10 years

    This is part of The Slight Edge's teachings about writing your dreams so your subconscious will pick them up and crystallize them for you. I believe in that stuff, I know in my heart I will achieve these.

    I will be starting my day at work now, working on a system's integration solution. I really do love what I do ...

  19. Beowulf

    Beowulf Member

    Hi Bodhi

    I like to write them goals like that... yours sound realistic and achievable...

    Another think I do is think what do I want to be and to have by the time I am 80..

    I think it through.... I want to be serene, I want to be well read, I want to have built up and sold a business... whatever... and then I work backwards to think what steps do I need to take to get there. Then I think about where my time goes current and think is this moving me closer towards these goals or am I just satisfying short term cravings..
  20. Bodhissatva

    Bodhissatva New Member

    3 things I am grateful for today:

    - I am grateful for not PMOing yesterday. I edge a little then stopped. As LTE says, your inner addict does not deserve an answer ...
    - I am grateful for finding my business associate 5 years ago. We do great work together, but most importantly, we have fun doing it!
    - I am grateful for living in a free country where knowledge is at the tip of our fingers with minimum interference from our government

    Yesterday and this morning is tough. I feel the pull. That little voice in my head is screaming to get release.

    I need to meditate, which I will do as soon as I finish showering.

    I will need to post more in a couple of hours to avoid falling again ...


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