Too Late to the Party?

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Saville, May 15, 2016.

  1. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Thank you, everyone, for posting. :)

    I came across another story.

    A priest, who had done something terrible in his past, spent all his days trying to make up for this terrible deed. Every morning he would wake up and feel remorse and regret. If he woke in the night he would think about it and it would stop him from sleeping well. He worked hard to overcome his sin. He prayed long hours, did more work around the parish than he needed to, and helped as many people outside the church as could. Still, he felt miserable and hated himself. He heard about a woman in the parish who could speak with God in her dreams. He was dubious about that, but he decided to seek her out and ask her a favor. Upon finding the woman he said "I hear you speak with God. Would you ask him about the terrible thing I did in my past and what I should do to compensate for it?" She said she would try. Three weeks later he saw her in the congregation and went up to her and asked "did you speak with God about my terrible transgression?" She said "yes, as a matter of fact I did!" The priest said "what did He say?" She said "He said He doesn't remember."

    This really resonated with me. The title of the story was: "Even God Forgets." We burden ourselves with all kinds of imaginings about how bad we are, how guilty, how weak, thinking that the actions of our past dictate our future. They don't! We are allowed to let our beautiful light shine and the regret of the past fade away.

    It's a great day to start our lives and let the grief of our past fade away. :)
     
  2. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Yeah man, based on the work of Christ - He made reparations for our past mistakes so we don't have to beat ourselves up about it. All it takes is belief in His finished work. So everyday we can get up and get on with it - that's what forgiveness is for - to leave behind those burdens and move forward into flourishing, exactly what you said.

    All the best and thanks for positivity
     
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  3. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting, Rudolf! :) I'm not a Christian, but I think the biblical message is on target. I call myself a quarter Christian, a quarter Buddhist, and then the rest of me is a mishmash of psychologist, poet (maybe), romantic, Neanderthal, and guy about town. I grew up in the Christian tradition, and was a regular church goer until my mid-30's, and so I have great respect and affection for the bible. I love my Christian roots, but my personal journey has led me elsewhere.

    Posting on @path-forward 's journal today got me thinking about truth. I have counseled any number of people NOT to divulge their PMO addiction to their SO and I still believe that is the wisest course of action. Truth for me is about self-truth, not oversharing, or expecting others to bear the burden of my past sins. I don't think the two are contradictory. So long as I'm not deceiving myself, or making excuses about what I know is unacceptable behavior, then I am living a good and honest life. I no longer cheat on my wife in any way, I no longer PMO, and I don't tell even white lies as I go about my day to day.

    There's an old expression: "what the eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't pine over." This is old wisdom that tells us what to let go. It's in line with the story I related in my last post and what @Rudolf Geyse said about Christ's forgiveness. We all sin. Get over it! :) I sometimes still do feel burdened by my past actions, but that is my cross to bear. But, I can bear that cross, because I have developed strong legs and that cross is part of the battle scars of becoming a self-actualized man. In the bible Jacob wrestled with an angel. Jacob and the angel wrestled for hours and hours, until dawn broke. Jacob was scarred by this incident, but he was also made into something more. I identify with this struggle. Our struggles are to make us strong, not to defeat us. If we allow that honest part of us (inner voice) to confront our battles then we
    switch the paradigm. Instead of cowering in a corner (or chair) when a brawl is at hand, we instead puff out our chests and ready ourselves to get scarred again.

    Tattoos are a big thing now, everyone seems to have one. I have no opinion on whether you should get one or not, but I will say that our internal scars are our tattoos, ones that people see through the strength in our countenance and the smile on our faces. To me this is real truth. What good is telling the world about our failings, our past misdeeds, if we have not made transformational changes from within? Our biography is so much less important than how we will greet this day.

    Some may think I'm deluded and I'm just fine with that, because through the maelstrom I found a power that allows me to live, imo, a righteous life. I'm not turning back for anyone.

    Much love, brothers.
     
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  4. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the more-than-interesting conversation, @Saville ! People shy away from religious discussion because of the idea of monopoly on truth. This idea is inherently offensive, because it may require a person to change their actions, which are based on beliefs held close to their heart, so we are told it's impolite to discuss religion (same goes for politics). But I am so glad when we can express what we hold to be true in a relaxed forum. I agree with what you say about "a theology of suffering", even though many churches today seem to try to squash the idea of suffering and dangle a carrot of "your best life now", ie "you don't have to suffer!". Not biblical, as we can see even from your example. Responding well to challenges is the only way to grow, and you expressed that well above. Where our views differ, is that the starting point I believe is acknowledging that I don't have any capacity to live a righteous life based on my own efforts whatsoever. There is a deep need in me for a Saviour, a forgiver, an empowerer, someone to make me alive where I have been dead inside.

    All the best, sir, and thanks for your excellent input on the forum!
     
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  5. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that, @Rudolf Geyse. When I left the church, for a long time I continued to lie to people. After all, I was the consummate liar, the great deceiver. I would meet church people, or any Christian, really, and I would fall right back into the habits I had. I just couldn't say to them "I don't believe what you believe." My wife is still very much a Christian, but she has, for the most part, stopped trying to get me to go back. Perhaps, though, the reason she didn't throw me in the dumpster is because she is more deeply connected to the root of it all. She believes we were meant to be and so she was able to forgive my transgressions. I also had a hand in changing my own destiny, but still, I can't deny that her "truth" allowed us to remain a couple.

    And now to the quote above. I do believe that there is something greater than myself, something that, if I let it (God, if you like), will guide me. Everyone of us has this incredible, magical, truthful voice inside us. Even when I was cheating, PMO'ing, etc, the voice was there. Like that "greater thing" it doesn't judge, doesn't scold, doesn't chide, it's just there reminding us that we aren't living our truth.

    So glad you're hear Rudolph, moving the conversation forward.
     
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  6. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Lying stems from people pleasing. The main reason people lie is so that they won't get into trouble, perceived or real. It is a HARD habit to break. I would say my people pleasing habit was at least as hard as kicking PMO. It was so ingrained, a knee jerk reaction, that would stand at attention as soon as I perceived being thought of as anything other than a "nice guy." I was the fat, bald, guy who was usually pretty helpful to everyone. You've got a move to do? Call Saville! You need a ride in the opposite direction of where I'm going? Yup, I was your man. My wife hated how accommodating I was to others. She would say "why are you doing that when your family needs you?" "They have more money than us, why do they need your help?" She wasn't wrong, but then she was also saying those things because she was as selfish as I was people pleasing. She also failed to see that my habit of helping others also extended to her and the family.

    It's good to please others. It's also okay to not please others. Even though I was fat and out-of-shape most of my life I always knew that lurking inside me was a smidgen of machismo. It was covered up pretty well by layers of insecurity, but machismo is there for a reason in the male. Just as we have a sensitive, caring, side, we have our maleness to balance things out. I can be both the considerate, romantic, lover and also the warrior who goes down on his woman and pumps her hard with his pork sword. And, sword is a great name for a penis. In our penis resides incredible power and potency. It brings together all the male anatomy into a fierce spear capable of spawning nations.

    The feminazis, which include a lot of men, are trying their best to castrate every man at birth. Gender reveal parties are part of this tacit conspiracy to rob young boys of their natural inheritance. Calling out elementary school boys as potential rapists at worst and toxic males at best is part of a wider agenda to strip us of our own agency. This is why the gender-fluid crowd was created, to insidiously feminize men early on, to emasculate detractors by use of social judgments and new laws. Oh, oh, Saville is a red pill guy. No, I'm not. I celebrate the life of all. One of the best poems on love I ever read was written by a lesbian. I have a friend who wears dresses and jewelry and I think that's cool. If your truth is to express yourself in unconventional ways then you have me as your champion...just don't tell me that my right to bring out my machismo is wrong.

    Part of my healing from being a "nice guy" was to lean into this machismo, to allow it to go where it wanted in my mind, my soul, and my heart. It surprised me often. I let it guide me, often heedless of the consequences. My wife at one point, when I was insisting she acknowledge my unsheathed penis, yelled at me: "this is abuse. All men are the same! I feel crazy (not in a good way) when you're around me." :D She was incredibly distraught or, rather, thought she was, and this is key. She thought my behavior was aberrant and intolerable, but she couldn't help but begin to respond to me in ways that surprised us both. Femininity seeks out masculinity and vice versa. It was like a news flash: OMG, we are meant to respond to each other in this way.

    My life is nuanced and, if I may use the term I have castigated, fluid. lol I try to go with the flow of my heart, in other words. But, at its essence, I am Tarzan and the wife is Jane.

    I've written about this same subject many times, but I like to reinforce it from time to time, to remind myself that I'm the boss of ME.
     
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  7. path-forward

    path-forward Active Member

    @Saville. Thanks as always for sharing your journey in such a candid way. And I agree with virtually everything you expressed (though not to please you! Lol).

    my wife and I have always had a relatively “traditional relationship” (code for male as the dominant one). And it def feels more natural and ideal. Though as I recently said - my PMO antics def weakened that dynamic. We are clearly getting back to where we were and both of us are happier as a result.
     
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  8. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Something was necessary to create awareness of the real injustices against women of the past generations. But the feminist movement has done immense harm and has failed in its supposed goal of empowering women. Women embracing traditional gender roles consistently report that they are happier than those who don't. Women in countries with the highest equality of opportunity consistently prefer traditional gender roles by choice. Meanwhile the number one risk factor among boys, of delinquency, jail time, substance abuse etc is fatherlessness. The solution is not to erase manhood, or womanhood, but rather to promote and celebrate them.

    Just voicing my support for much of what has been said here.
     
  9. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    I agree with what you guys are saying about manhood and how being a "traditional" male is under attack. Though I can see how the disenfranchised groups that make up the current "woke" movement may feel like it's finally their time to come out of the shadows and be treated as equals in society, in many ways it has indeed gone too far. The emasculation of men is only part of that.
     
  10. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Well-Known Member

    The "woke " movement. Situation---- A woman asks a black man " do you identify as being black?" HELLO ! THERE IS REALITY !
     
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  11. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    A couple of years ago I was fat. My fat suit kept the world at bay. We all have a suit of some kind. Some people have muscles suits, some have busy suits, while others have a nice guy persona suit. We develop these things to protect ourselves.

    I used to joke that I was rocking fat, bald, and ugly. I was kind of proud of it, in the way that getting a 0.0 grade point average is a kind of achievement. I didn't realize how full of sadness I was and so it was all one big joke. A couple of years ago, just before Covid, I started to shed my fat suit and now I'm a rather slim 60+ gentleman. In place of the fat I now have a ton of wrinkles, as is brought home to me when my wife says things like "don't smile so broadly because it makes your face full of lines." Errr, OK!" Yesterday, a woman I know well, said to me and her husband (who is also bald) "you guys both look younger with your ball hats on." I laughed but I thought "you bitch!" lol Imagine if I'd said that about her and my wife? :eek: Anyway, where am I going with this? Oh, yes, suits!

    I could, now that I'm wrinkly, identify as someone who rocks wrinkled, bald, and ugly, but I've grown past that kind of unkindness toward myself. I think I look beautiful. :rolleyes: Yep, beautiful. :cool: I've become someone who smiles a lot. I take time to acknowledge others and I try my best not to say unkind things about people, not even behind their backs. Live and let live. I'm not physically beautiful, but I have inner beauty. Yes, it feels almost embarrassing to write that down. :oops: But, I need to champion myself. I always looked for women to validate me, to see me, to hear me, to listen to me, and we all know how that turned out. o_O It isn't an easy practice seeing ourselves as beautiful, but it's a useful one; and it's meaningful too. It doesn't cost me anything to say "hey, Saville, you're beautiful."

    I've done a lot of ugly things, but that has never covered up the essence of beauty that resides within. I guess I could say "I'm wrinkly and that's beautiful." "I'm bald and that's gorgeous." "I've got a faced like I was punched by a lemon, but man, it's in a totally handsome way." :D
     
  12. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Well sir, if I were to meet you and you looked any different than your avatar here, I would probably be disappointed :)
    It's clear to me that looks are highly overrated. They obviously have nothing to do with the content of your character (which I think is your point here), but the world is full of classically beautiful douche bags.
    You've enriched the lives of many men here with your wit and wisdom, and of course with your resolve and success at conquering (or at least quelling) many of your demons. You're a really, really good friend, and that, my friend, is beautiful.
     
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  13. path-forward

    path-forward Active Member

    Thanks for sharing all that @Saville

    Your wisdom, support, encouragement, friendship, and self-deprecating style all make you a truly special man among the brothers in this forum!
     
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  14. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Wow, Moz you've rendered me speechless and that's saying something. Thank you, brother.

    path-forward, thank you also for the kudos.

    You've both made my day! :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2022
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  15. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I came across this while reading today. It is part of a longer message by the psychologist and writer Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

    In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails.

    Spending the wind without raising your sails, I absolutely love that. And how we can dwell on those things that are outside our reach, wasting precious resources.
     
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  16. path-forward

    path-forward Active Member

    @Saville thanks for sharing. It’s a great philosophy to have!
     
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  17. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Since being dx with low-thyroid I've struggled over the past two years to have both physical and mental energy. I'm at my best in the morning, which is when I usually post here. Once the afternoon hits, I'm basically useless. I had chronic fatigue in my 30's after a bout with mono and I've never really recouped what I lost during that time. I've been to doctors, naturopaths, homeopaths, acupuncturists, and read many books. With the exception of the doctors, all the others helped to a degree. I have spent a small fortune on supplements, overhauled my diet often, and tried quite a few different exercise regimes. At the end of the day what helps the most is this: walking, light weights 4x/week, eating a low-carb diet, and getting to bed at a decent hour.

    I often think if I could only sleep more soundly, I would feel better. However, I usually wake around 5 times a night and then end up rising early, as sleeping in is a thing of the past. The vicious cycle is feeling fatigued all the time, but not being able to get enough rest. Still, what's a person to do? I can't bitch about it endlessly. So, I get up and do my day, taking on those projects that feel doable, given my energy quotient on that particular day.

    Some of this fatigue I believe is low-level depression. I used to handle this with booze and sweets, but as I've written before, I've forgone those dopamine enhancers in favor of being slim and healthier. I'm also kind of stuck in a rut. This rut consists of my job and not making time for myself to pursue pastimes that I think I might like. These pastimes include biking, light hiking, and writing. I think if I had the talent I would want to paint or make music, but alas, the good gods were not generous in that regard.

    Anyway, I've had enough moaning about my life circumstances and my lack of health. I'm not getting any younger, as the mirror keeps pointing out, and so I've decided to retire. I was going to wait another two years, save more money, etc, but the time is nigh. I have enough money and so the work world can go fuck itself. I'm going to keep searching for things that will help with my energy and sleep, but not having a job everyday will certainly allow more useful time. The wife was hoping I would work 3 more years, but she's not the one who feels like shit.

    Starting January, I'm going to join the ranks of the jobless. Even if my days at home are spent puttering around, I'm ok with that.
     
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  18. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Saville, we're the same age, and I will now mark my countdown to retirement as "x-years after Saville did it" :p I think about it practically every day, but I'm going to wait until I'm 65 and then take stock. That's only a year and a half from now. Yikes.
    Anyway, thanks for sharing your health story. My fiancée had chronic fatigue and other health issues when she was younger, and still battles it along with quite a few other things, including depression, which I'm also no stranger to.
    So, I applaud you for making it this far before retiring. You have many gifts, and that book you talked about potentially writing is out there. But enjoy puttering around! I can't wait to do that!
     
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  19. path-forward

    path-forward Active Member

    Saville. Congrats on your decision to retire! I think you will come to very much appreciate your decision.

    I have been only working part time the last couple years and it’s been a very good decision for me. I’m pretty close to full retirement at this point, as my part time work has gotten less and less over time.

    Though in retrospect, it did leave me with too much time for PMO when bored! But I have finally learned to find healthier pursuits the past 4 months.

    Overall. There is definitely a transition at many levels. The hardest part for me was the gradual loss of social connections to guys I worked with over the years. But I have accepted that and feel very content with my decision. You also need to find other pursuits that challenge you intellectually. For me - I increased the amount of reading and chess playing.

    Writing sounds like a great idea to pursue! You are very naturally gifted at it!!

    I hope you look back in a year and feel great about your decision!

    I unfortunately share your issues with sleep. Sometimes reading for an hour in the middle of the night. But I try not to be overly tired, by just allocating more of my day to sleeping now. Usually 10 hours in bed gets me 7-8 hrs of sleep. So I get up at 9 or 10 am many days. No reason to rush my day now!
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2022
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  20. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Thanks, @Mozenjo! Yep, I've made too many excuses about why I can't write a book. It's not like I'm looking for fame, just to have a record of a few things in my head.

    I suck at chess, so that's one thing that won't be happening. :D Reading more definitely appeals to me! :) I know I won't miss the people at work. With a couple of exceptions, I like them all, but if I never see them again, I'm fine with that. I fell into my job. On paper I'm not qualified to do it, but because they were in need of someone at the time, they hired me. I have excelled at the work, even though I find it tedious. For the most part I am treated well, but never quite as an equal, because I don't have the credentials after my name. I thought about going back to college, but it would've been perfunctory and it's the last thing I would've wanted to study; the Classics and philosophy being more to my taste. Anyway, for the classic underachiever I've done well. lol I made good money and provided for the family.

    However, looking at it through a wider lens it was part and parcel of how I abandoned my life early on. It was as though I was shipwrecked but managed to hold onto some driftwood, and then floated to an island where I didn't have to exert myself overly much. The natives were friendly (enough). However, since discovery this site I have accomplished a lot personally. Retirement seems more like taking charge than letting go. My wife is already thinking of all the things I can do now, like more cooking, more renos, maybe helping her in her job. Uhm, no way biotch! :p

    This is what it's like for marriages. The man becomes an old, toothless, dog and the woman harangues him for being so. This is why men go to their basements to play with toy trains, because it is the only place they can find quiet. My wife has become a good friend, again, but that doesn't mean she gets to dictate the winter of my life. My new job will be to recapture some of the interests I had as a teen. I might write, I might sit around and think all day, or I may even hike the Appalachian trail. What I won't be doing is kowtowing to the little woman. :cool:
     

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