Brief Thoughts on the Foibles of Famous Contributors to Society

Food for thought: Is it wrong to bring up famous artists’ and humanitarians’ foibles? MLK, Jr. and JFK were notorious womanizers. The poet Wallace Stevens and writer Virginia Woolf were racist pro-colonialists. Gandhi tyrannized his wife and children. Marion Zimmer Bradley, who wrote the masterpiece novel THE MISTS OF AVALON, allowed her husband to sexually abuse their children. Mother Theresa schmoozed with dictators without challenging their committing of cruelties. The list goes ever on. Ultimately, no famous person was truly a saint. For many, they were far from being so. But, sometimes I feel more readily neutral and able to still engage with the contributions of a person more easily than another’s. It all depends, case by case. However, I generally can and do eventually get to a place of appreciating someone’s work regardless of the individual’s shortcomings in their lifetime. That all said, I don’t think any messengers conveying the wrongdoings of a famous contributor to society should be shamed or vilified. It is important to learn from the mistakes of others so as not to repeat them.

Brief, Random Thoughts About Universes

Random thoughts: if there exist as many universes as there are possibilities, which has been postulated elsewhere, perhaps every living type of creature on Earth has a world somewhere that they dominate, like us humans do here. Also, I have wondered if every idea ever conceived already exists somewhere else in the great beyond. Maybe Plato was onto something with his ideal representations theory, or whatever it’s properly called.

Brief Thoughts on Aging and the Term “Old”

I understand how the term “old” is subjective for many and age being viewed as “just a number.” But, I think it’s healthy and important to reclaim “old” as not meaning something to feel afraid and/or ashamed of. It seems many people believe old to mean one is definitely about to croak and/or rendered irrelevant. Neither is true. And those who are ageist can be educated, if they’re open, or otherwise left alone to isolate in their ageism. Technically, I’m middle aged but, if I’m fortunate enough, I’ll manage to grow old. At that point in time, I intend to celebrate living into old age, whenever that happens to be. Growing older and wiser is the track I’m on, which includes being committed to staying healthy as best I can for as long as possible. Celebrating life every day is important, and not just when you’re young. My quality of life has only improved with age. I wish that to be the case for everyone.

On My Appreciating the Beauty of Those Who Are No Longer Young

More and more, I especially enjoy the beauty of people well over forty, i.e., those in my age group, and even older. Beautiful youths and thirty-somethings are starting to feel like people I view caring about as if I were their older relative and/or mentor. Beauty shows up in so many ways and it’s been a fascinating evolution for me to grow more open to noticing how and where this value manifests in people and the world at large. This has been an internal perspective shift that’s hard to put into words. Interesting.

On Sobriety and How Less Is Often More

I started abusing alcohol on a steady basis late in life, a few months after turning fifty, to be precise. This coincided with finally “making it.” My husband and I had just bought our own condo. and I was a few years into having my own successful private psychotherapy practice. It all came together, including living near a vibrant town center with a lovely bar and restaurant where I’d hang out with some colleagues and even made a few new friends. For almost five years, I was riding this gravy train of “making it,” lubricated along with wine and mixed drinks, especially on weekends but on my one day off during the week too. In my own way, I was luxuriating after years of having less, believing, a lot of that time, that I didn’t deserve much. I’ve since learned, after letting go of drinking (now over a year ago), that, often in many instances, less is actually more. No alcohol has meant more health and well-being for me and my husband. And there are so many other ways to meet each day in celebration of having “made it.”

Here’s to everyone who’s alive and meeting each day. You’re here. You made it this far and, to those I actually know and like, I’m so glad we’re friends, family, and/or somehow associates in life. Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

“Healing Happens in Relationship.”

My undergrad. clinical and humanistic psychology professor at UC Santa Cruz, Ralph Quinn, said on more than one occasion, “Healing happens in relationship.” He included here a relationship with a higher power besides with another person or people. By extension, I think this certainly can and does apply to a connection one has with a pet, a wild animal, or with all or part of nature for that matter.

(Photo accompanying this post by Sebastian Arie Voortman.)

On Outgrowing Relationships and Experiencing Unconditional Love

A little earlier, over on Facebook, I wrote about how, sometimes, one outgrows a relationship, be it romantic, familial, a friendship, whichever. It isn’t healthy to try and remain in it out of guilt and obligation and/or fear. (I am excluding here those people who are in tenuous circumstances where leaving a problematic relationship is not an immediate option. Privilege and power differentials within and between parties are so often major factors.)

In response, a certain friend replied: “Life is not like a Hallmark movie. Most of the time we spend a ‘moment’ in time with someone. It does not diminish that relationship if it was not FOREVER. Unconditional love is a misnomer.”

I found this response of his interesting and thought-provoking. I replied by saying how I try my best to practice holding and sending compassion for others, including those I have moved on from and them from me. I went on to explain that I think unconditional love can be selectively practiced over those closest to us who we do not grow apart from.

I myself never experienced unconditional love growing up or into most of my adulthood, until I met my husband. Now, I’m experiencing what feels like that between him and myself, though it has definitely had to develop. It’s not about the romantic, passionate “fireworks” feeling, sensation, and thought states. Unconditional love for someone is a comparatively calmer, deeper emotional-sensory inner experience arising from having a sustained, safe outer connection with another, who congruently shares a similar inner emotional-sensory experience with the other. All of this phenomena goes beyond words.

This kind of love comes from one’s core, true Self. For most if not all of us, accessing our own Self takes a steady practice over time, informed by our own personal histories.

On Letting Go of Non-Resonating Energy From Others

I have experienced wonderful healing recently via sessions with an energy and sound healer, Katie Rose of Rose Energetics in Killeen, TX (her link here: https://roseenergetics.com). Regardless of what you may think and feel about the legitimacy and value of such a modality, one generally useful nugget of wisdom I’ve found helpful is Ms. Rose’s well-stated truth that not everyone’s energy resonates with one’s own. This doesn’t mean that all or part of another’s energy is bad, it just means it’s not always right for someone else, such as myself. It is simply non-resonant/non-resonating. And vice versa, of course, is the case with my energy not always resonating well for others. This has been so affirming and releasing.

The implications of this understanding are powerful. No longer do I feel the need, out of guilt or some other negative motivator, to remain engaged with non-resonant energy of someone in my personal life anymore, ever. And I don’t need to pursue trying to make my energy resonate with someone else’s. It has been so freeing to clear away this old habit of tolerating and engaging with non-resonant energy(ies) from others. Letting go of or avoiding non-resonating engagement in the first place can and should be un-coupled with polarizing/demonizing a non-resonant other. That is a more nuanced, newer insight I have been coming to.

I have been integrating all this for a good while now, but Ms. Rose’s wisdom (which is not hers alone) has basically cinched the deal, so to speak, further embedding in me this healthy outlook and way of engaging in the world. And I most certainly help my clients come to all this understanding for themselves as well. Now, I’ve got some additional helpful language and subsequent perspective to offer.

Skinny Men Are Beautiful and So Is Any Body Type

The photo is of actor Timothee Chalamet in BRITISH VOGUE Magazine, 2022. Not only do I think he’s beautiful, I find it so affirming to see a naturally thin, dare I say skinny, young man playfully posing, show-cased as beautiful. I too was once young and very thin and would have loved back then to have seen this kind of male imagery being respectfully, joyfully highlighted everywhere.

Everyone needs to witness affirming imagery of their own unique body type, not just a very select few types (namely skinny women and buffed up men) being glorified everywhere over and over again.