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Hang With Friends

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Come on in, pull up a chair!

Picture yourself spending some time with congenial friends, sharing your lives and pictures from your cell phones." They're curious about that cool game, song, movie, camping trip, art show, or other event that fascinated you. You talk about all kinds of stuff, poetry, styles, personal achievements, relationships, and bad days. You can share your inner child, and laugh together. They sympathetically listen to your feelings about serious topics like politics or climate change, even when they don't agree.

Personal validation comes from paying attention to one another, giving more than you get. Everyone respects you and themselves, despite our amazing range of personal tastes and interests. They'll tell you they don't agree with an idea or behavior without implying you're a bad person or somehow deficient. It's an "I'm OK, You're OK" kind of fellowship, where nobody tries to make himself look better by picking on somebody else.

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Comment by Joan Denoo on January 7, 2013 at 2:49am

sk8eycat, I don't read anything wrong with you; I read a funny lady who has had some hard knocks in life and who refuses to give up. You have every right to  "takes a great deal of effort on my part to either love OR hate". That is a perfectly healthy coping strategy for dealing with life's wounds. 

You clearly make positive impressions on people, as demonstrated by your unseen friend who helped you through a hard place. 

I like your "better dead" strategy and it sounds like it works for you! Good for you. You have intelligence and guts. 

As for teachers who cripple or put mind-binders on their students, they should be ferreted out and taken out of the classroom. The job of a teacher is to facilitate a student's flourishing; find their strength and build on that. What is "normal" is really, in fact, sick. So we have to figure out what healthy is and inspire students to reach for their healthy. 

If conflict is hard for you, trust yourself by being who you are. You are a loner for a reason, as long as you know you are not alone. You have experiences that made you who you are, and you can mine the deep down parts of yourself and allow them to blossom, in whatever way you are to blossom. 

You are a very special lady to me and I thoroughly enjoy your comments.

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 7, 2013 at 2:29am

Chris Breman, I very much agree with and like what you stated about working with the elderly and helping them to overcome imposed limitations. It is so much fun to watch people blossom to full bloom at any age. 

As to the forgiveness matter, I am glad you find a way that works for you and that you find comfort. Loving is so much fun that it really sparks oxytocin in my bloodstream and I find it very easy to bond with people with a gentle character.  

Oxytocin is a brain peptide known to promote positive interpersonal  relations. It makes people like one another. New mothers are awash in oxytocin (which is involved in the labor process), and it is believed that the hormone promotes bonding between mother and infant.

New studies focus on a provocative and growing body of new science examining the role of oxytocin in competitive sports.

So, there is hope for all of us, even those of us who choose not to forgive. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 7, 2013 at 2:17am

The Flying Atheist, I am biased. That said, one of the great fallacies of christianity is the imperative to love everyone. I believed that, hook line and sinker. "Love him to the Lord" was the sickest advice I have ever had and it is even evil. The more love I poured out the more the children and I suffered physical and mental pain. I don't want to ever forget that pain because it is jet propulsion fuel that keeps me working against violence in the home. 

I was also told by just about everyone to forgive him. I do not and will not. ever. He violated our trust without concern about what it did to us. 

The odd think is, I have finally learned how to forgive me. I tolerated intolerable behavior for far too many years and all it got me was more pain, shame, guilt. 

I feel strong now, and trustworthy, reliable, responsible, capable, compassionate and all the things I had to deny myself before. I am free. 

Now, as to my life at this time, I am the happiest I have ever been, I enjoy my family and friends and neighbors in very special ways and we all have special relationships. Winters I spend reading and writing and cooking the most delicious meals you can imagine. Spring, summer and autumn I spend most days in my garden, just playing, or visiting, or enjoying the neighbor kids. I don't have to do anything I don't want to do, and I can do everything I want, even though my budget was reduced by half in the most recent melt-down. No problem. I just enjoy what I have and am grateful to be alive and free from abuse. 

I wish all women and their children could say that!

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 7, 2013 at 2:05am
Pat, thank you for thinking of me when you saw the Coatia story on Rick Steve's Europe. I don't own a TV set but undoubtedly, it will come onto the internet at some point and I will definitely look for it.

Plitvice Lakes are so incredibly lovely, I know Rick will do a good job of sharing it with us.
Comment by sk8eycat on January 7, 2013 at 1:09am

Flying A: I think there issomething wrong with me.....it takes a great deal of effort on my part to either love OR hate, unless the other individual does something exceptionally kind/helpful, or, on the other end of the spectrum, hateful. 

A few years back, when I was in serious danger of foreclosure on my house, an e-friend I've never met face-to-face sent me $5,000 without my ever asking anybody for help.  He saved my a##...and he's funny and all kinds of other good things.  Last year, he sent me tickets to "Billy Elliott - the Musical," NOT cheap!  Just because he'd loved the show so much and knew I would, too.  We talk on the phone a lot.  You BET I love him!

I can't think of any individual that I hate any more...it takes too much negative energy...but there are types of people that I have on my "Better Dead" list....people who hurt children and animals... bigots...obscenely wealthy people who have more money than they could ever spend on anything useful, and use their financial power to try to deprive the helpless of what few benefits they are able to get (after filling out reams of gov't forms)....things like that.  Karl Rove...I loved his "meltdown" on FAUX Noose after all his nasty political work came to naught last November.

We did have one neighbor who became a major pain in the tush as she got older...mostly insisting that we we remove a lovely bunch of trees that hung a few feet over her property line.  Her adult children finally realized she was slipping into dementia, and found good assisted living arrangements for her.  But I never hated her....just got annoyed, and tried to ignore her.

As for ANY teacher who would call a child who was less than genius level a "dummy," she/he ought to be removed from classroom work.  Forever.  Such a person is in the wrong "business."

I once went to work for a woman who said she could teach me everything I needed to know about M.A.S. 90....a very complicated computerized accounting system.  She would tell me something once, not allow me to take notes, and pitched fits when I made mistakes.  I couldn't afford to quit, and spent a lot of time trying to think of ways to kill myself.  After a year I couldn't take any more of it, and did quit, and got disability because by that time I really was suicidal. 

The day after I walked out, she called to ask if I was still going to baby-sit her dog that weekend.  (I did.  I had nothing against the dog, and the money came in handy.)

After that I just ignored  her, too.

But, as I saiid before, both loving and hating have always been difficult for me...going back to childhood.  I like a lot of people, and things like books, waterfalls, and the ocean.  But I've always been a loner...sort of...neither loving nor hating, and avoiding conflict whenever possible.

Comment by Plinius on January 7, 2013 at 12:58am

And right you are, Booklover! I'm always shocked when I see the damage teachers like that cause. I work with elderly people; some of them can hardly take a course and do homework because of one such person in their school days who told them not to bother because they were too stupid. It makes my day if I can help them study without pain - far more important than how much they learn.

I'm not sure about the answer, Flying Atheist. Love and hate are both very strong emotions. Love grows stronger all the time and I find that hate grows less as you see and understand more of the person you hate - which doesn't mean that you condone their actions. Perhaps it's my age, but I'm less inclined to hate now, I get the feeling that my hating someone hurts me. A frigid rejection must be enough.

Comment by The Flying Atheist on January 6, 2013 at 8:34pm

Melinda, your post about hating the woman who acted horribly toward your son prompts me to bring up an interesting philosophical question that gets asked occasionally:  is it easier to love or to hate?  I personally think it's easier to hate.  I have hated some people (or groups) throughout my life, and still do, and it has been quite easy because, often enough, of just one incident or action.  Whereas, loving a person tends to come as the result of much invested time and an accumulation of numerous acts of kindness and caring that goes beyond general fondness or appreciation we may have for others.  Loving takes time and trust.  It is far easier and less time-consuming to smash and tear down than it is to build up and reinforce with trust and confidence in others.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?   

Comment by Pat on January 6, 2013 at 6:51pm

Joan, not to interrupt the thread, but if you have the opportunity to watch Rick Steve's Europe on PBS, he did a half-hour on Croatia. A good part of it was showing the Plitvice Lakes - the photo of the waterfall you put up earlier. Having seen it, it's a serious consideration for my bucket list.

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 6, 2013 at 4:59pm
booklover, Good for you! Such behavior in adults is just not tolerable. Do not be tolerant of intolerable behavior! If we don't confront them, our silence implies agreement.
Comment by booklover on January 6, 2013 at 4:52pm

I agree Joan.  I have luckily not experienced anything remotely like that.  I would not forgive or forget though.

I don't forgive anyone who ever hurts my children either.  Ever.  My now 18-year old son and I had a woman in our group that was always together when he was in grade school.  She was horrible to him (a sweet little kid), and to me at the very end of when all the kids were in grade school.  The reason she liked my daughter and not my son?  My daughter was 'gifted' academically and my son was not.  That's all.  She is a teacher, and she called the kids in the regular classed 'dummies.'  I hate her to this day, and I always will.

 

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