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About jjer94

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  1. every person is a work of art. The month was February. This particular night was untainted like a private lake. I was sitting with a musician friend who is thirty years older but feels like a long-lost sibling. Our conversation dipped below pretense as the night carried on. She shared her struggles with me, and I shared mine with her. I expressed general resentment towards my family, especially my father. I thought he was an unconscious prick. I nitpicked every single one of his personality flaws and relished the resulting narcissistic high. One of the personality flaws was too easy to criticize: his obsessive-compulsiveness and need for everything to be über organized. My friend respectfully disagreed. She told me how amazed she was whenever she came over and saw the shelves on wheels with perfectly labelled boxes. She told me how amazed she was when she learned of his resilience in single-handedly providing for a family in which one of the members has autism. She told me how amazed she was that all of us grew up relatively unscathed. Sure, we all have our differences and disagreements, she said. But look into the man's eyes. Look into his past. Organizing things may be a way he copes, but it's also his artwork, whether he realizes it or not. Every person is a work of art, JJ, and every work of art just wants to be appreciated in its entirety, warts and all. I still keep in mind what she said that night. Nobody's perfect; everyone has flaws. And paradoxically, in accepting the flaws you find perfection - not just in others, but also in yourself. And that perfection is art. The Universe is a canvas. Humanity is a paintbrush.
  2. @Azote Tell me about it...Sheesh! I hope you're doing well Your bracelet thingies are gorgeous.
  3. low carb zen. I'm currently doing the full GAPS diet to heal my gut: pasture-raised meats (including organs, sometimes raw), meat stock, fish, eggs, tons of raw egg yolks, raw milk kefir, raw honey, seasonal fruit, vegetable juice, mostly cooked vegetables, and sauerkraut. Words cannot describe the well-being I feel, but I'll do the best I can: I eat. I feel satisfied. I don't think about food for the next several hours, which allows me to do human things. Orthorexia is 95% gone. I don't restrict myself anymore. If I slip up, I don't beat myself up. I have no desire to cheat anyways, because the foods I eat are so satisfying. When I was vegan, I couldn't stop thinking about food, and at the same time, I was afraid of eating the "wrong" foods. I have no more strict rules on intermittent fasting, and yet I find myself naturally doing it most days. No brain fog at all! The mental clarity is INCREDIBLE, especially on days that I cut the carbs completely. Compared to how I am today, I lived my childhood in eternal fog. My ADHD symptoms are drastically reduced, and I'm able to focus better. Acne is greatly reduced, and skin is glowing. Little to no bloating or discomfort, especially on days that I reduce the fiber. My mental stability is the best it's ever been. I don't get sucked into my narratives like I used to (even the one in the previous post, as tempting as it was). I feel so grounded. After eating nutrient-dense foods like raw liver or caviar, I feel high on life. I'm not as emotionally reactive. When I was vegan, I was more sensitive than the worst SJW and often had hostile thoughts towards most other people. Nowadays, all is well with the world, even when it's not. No allergies, no mucus. Italian stallion Lifelong constipation, gone. Just like that. Quick strength gains in the gym and quick recovery. Deeper sleep, deeper dreams. I wish I knew about this regimen years ago, as it would have saved me lots of misery. That's okay, though, as the misery brought me to this point. Now, I have a healthy physical foundation to work on the human stuff.
  4. grandiosity and depression. I'm currently reading "The Drama of the Gifted Child" by Alice Miller, which discusses the origins of grandiosity and depression (both of which I had/have). Her theory is this: if the newborn does not receive proper love and mirroring from his mother in the early stages of life, his sense of self will be damaged. He will try to compensate through either an outward yearning for attention (grandiosity) or an inward denial of feelings (depression). Either method results in what John Bradshaw calls "soul murder" - the growing child represses his authentic self and flaunts his false self in order to receive love from his mother and survive the family environment. In the long run, this doesn't work, because the child receives love only for his false self, thus dooming the child to perpetual feelings of emptiness, futility, and frustration - even outside of the family environment. "Why doesn't anybody understand me? Why can't anyone love me for who I truly am?" He asks. The answer is: Because he doesn't understand himself and he doesn't know himself. With this new perspective, I can see my entire childhood through the lens of grandiosity and depression: I tried to be a perfect student with mostly straight A's. Whenever I received bad grades, I went into deep depression. I tried to be the independent one of my family so my parents could focus their time on my older brothers, one of them being autistic. I denied my own need for acknowledgement/love/attention. Nowadays, I crave it so much, but the moment I have it I can't accept it because I've trained myself not to receive it. Depression and loneliness are the end results. I played the therapist role with all of my friends through the school years. I craved being of service, because it made me feel important - a substitute for real love. But the relationships became one-sided, my friends became clingy, and I felt that I wasn't appreciated. Depression and loneliness were the end results. The worst case was in college, when I left my best friend to his own devices, he became mentally ill, I tried to help him, and he ultimately committed suicide. I failed at my therapist role. That sent me into a terrible depression. My pursuit of music was out of grandiosity. I wanted to be the unique, amazing, talented musician. But whenever I received applause, I never felt they were for me. I still feel that way. My video game addiction as a kid was due to grandiosity. I wanted to be the best avatar in every game so I could at least receive surrogate love and admiration. Of course, that never lasts, so I craved it more and more. Growing up, I would have delusions of grandeur. I would daydream about being the hero in a fantasy novel. I would daydream about saving my crush and winning her affection. Nowadays, I daydream about having a kickass life purpose, achieving yoda status, and impacting millions of people. But the reality is, I've been a serial loser, and every time I fail I beat myself up more and more. My attraction to Actualized.org was out of grandiosity. I wanted to be the most successful human being out there. I established my 20,000 different habits, did my daily affirmations, and read my 200 books not for the genuine interest of personal development, but for the pursuit of a sense of self ("actualized person") that would be worthy of love and admiration. My entire pursuit of spirituality was out of grandiosity. I wanted to be the most enlightened motherfucker out there. I meditated and self-enquired my ass off not for the genuine pursuit of Truth, but for the pursuit of a sense of self ("sage") that would be worthy of love and admiration. Eventually, I became so sick of the game, and depression was the end result. Orthorexia - my pursuit of dietary perfection (especially veganism) - was out of grandiosity. I wanted to be the most compassionate, healthiest human being. I did my juice fasts, ate my spirulina and sprouted lentils, followed the gospels of Michael Greger and Robert Morse, followed the rest of the vegan dogma, and secretly shunned the carnists. The truth is, I pursued a superior sense of self ("vegan") worthy of love and admiration. The end results were hair loss, muscle loss, loss of libido, loss of brain power, loss of the ability to form sentences, loss of friends, loss of 25 pounds while already being underweight, and intense depression that forced me to quit my job and go home. My inability to "reach out" to other people is a perfect mix of grandiosity and depression. Grandiosity: "I'm too special and preoccupied with other important matters to reach out to others." Depression: "Nobody's reaching out to me because I'm not lovable." And many, many more. It's getting harder and harder to stay where I am, but I have no idea where else to go, because I don't even know what I want...because I hardly know myself. After all this inner work, I thought I did. But WOW, I really don't. Scary...or exciting?
  5. (chicken) shit happens. I killed a chicken today. Or did I? Am I really at fault? So I'm currently housesitting some chickens. They have an inside area and an outside area to waddle around and do their chicken things. At night, they waddle inside through a hatch and huddle together to embrace the night. Last night, as per usual, I closed the hatch. As per usual, I heard their squawking inside. As per usual, I walked inside and they were huddled together, feathers fluffed like illuminati costumes (don't ask how I know what illuminati costumes look like). As per usual, in the morning, I went to open the hatch. But what was unusual? A dead chicken right next to the hatch. No blood, no nothing; just glazed eyes and stiff as a board. After disposing of said chicken, resolving the issue with the host, and contemplating the fuck out of the situation, I directly experienced that there is no such thing as "fault". (Chicken) Shit happens. Nothing could ever possibly be at fault for anything (nor "more" at fault than another thing), because there are an infinite number of causes and effects. Conversely, everything is at fault for everything, because everything is a potential cause and effect for everything. And to make matters even more paradoxical, there is no such thing as cause and effect, because that would imply duality in an otherwise nondual reality; there only appears to be cause and effect. I could be at fault because I didn't notice that there was one chicken left outside before I closed the hatch. The chicken could be at fault because it hid in the corner and didn't squawk or bring attention to itself. The host could be at fault because she installed a new feeder that the chicken was unfamiliar with, thus starving it to death. Another chicken could be at fault because it pecked dead-chicken's butthole, thus compelling dead-chicken to stay outside in fear of being butt-pecked once again. The weather could be at fault for freezing the chicken to death, even though it is summertime. The chicken could have had an illness or a virus. Maybe it somehow found its way outside in the middle of the night. I used to feel so guilty for my friend's suicide. I was the one who got him arrested after he assaulted me. I was the one who brought him to court, which he ultimately skipped and killed himself instead. I was the one who failed to save him from his mental prison. And due to my own supreme guilt, I almost failed to save myself. Now I see, that's my own narrative, and it's arbitrary. What happened, happened. I know the body needs time to absolve psychosomatic guilt. But if I can keep in mind that "fault" is a human creation, I can have at least 50% more relief. Did I kill a chicken today? The answer is yes. And no.
  6. Wonderful Let's get down to business, to defeat the Huns... And likewise, ZJ! Keep on keeping on. I think my parents put them in storage They were too precious to throw away.
  7. a journey to masculinity. Over the past couple months, I've learned that this Journey to Elsewhere is mainly a Journey to Masculinity. Not the puff-your-chest-and-bang-every-chick-in-sight kind of masculinity. I don't even consider that masculine. I'm talking real masculinity: Knowing precisely what you want. Being purpose-driven. Being emotionally stable and resilient to outside forces that try to bring you down. Being vulnerable and expressing your truth. Being bold and taking action. And also taking healthy dumps. I realized that I repressed my masculinity during childhood. (In Spiral Dynamics terms, I have unintegrated pieces of Stage Orange.) This was how I survived my childhood: I subverted my authentic desires for the desires of others, in particular my brother, my father, and my school. My mom smothered me. I was called short, small, cute, and my older brother's girlfriends treated me like a puppy dog. I was the goody-goody in school as a way to feel at least some sense of self-worth. I followed all the rules and made no decisions of my own. And where did that get me? I became an effeminate, friend-zoned, nice-guy, gentle individual. And while having strong femininity is rare and powerful as a man, my masculinity is horribly unintegrated. I struggle with finances, staying grounded, staying focused on any one particular skill, socializing, repressed sexual desires, and self-esteem. So that's what I've been working on - becoming human again. Hu-Man. The spiritual ego loves to call it spiritual regression, but I like to call it spiritual integration. I'm re-learning what it means to truly want something. I'm aware that I feel alienated from myself in a lot of ways - that pieces of myself feel missing (my subconcious is revealing them beautifully through dreams). I'm lifting weights again, standing up more, fixing my posture. I'm learning how to make decisions. I'm re-discovering my manhood. Nondual masturbation is long gone, and Life is at the forefront. It's time to get busy living.
  8. enjoy the ride. Oi oi. Those soccerball shorts were cool and all, but I figure I ought to give a real update of my whereabouts on the Journey to Elsewhere. Over the past month, something clicked. I shifted from eagerly wanting to get Elsewhere, to fastening my seatbelt and enjoying the ride to Elsewhere. Life has opened up to me in ways I have difficulty describing. Circumstances have unfolded in ways beyond my wildest dreams. By simply feeling good in the moment, I have opened up the Universal Can of Worms, and it's a dooooozy. I have never felt more mentally stable in my life. Not a single bout of depression this entire month. I think this is mainly due to adding raw milk, kefir, eggs, and meat back into the diet, but that deserves its own post. Another huge reason is that I don't feel as much toxic shame as before. I've been working with people around town, doing bodywork, acupuncture, emotional release techniques, and breathwork. The releases I've had from these modalities are incredible. Stack that on top of yoga, qigong, meditation, a sense of community, and journaling - BAM, a recipe for psychological healing. I quit my previous job because I didn't resonate with it, but the Universe handed me a few odd jobs to fill the time as I work on two certificates. One of them involves using my intuitive skills for emotional release - essentially talk therapy on steroids. I've had enormous success doing it on friends around town. Three out of the four clients have cried during the session. They tell me I'm "spot on" with my intuitive hunches. Not only do I enjoy the process, but it also gives me a chance to connect deeply with other people. In the meantime, I've been doing some wild foraging, guitar playing (did an open mic for the first time in over a year), lake activities, lots of research, reading, and cooking. Life is good, and I'm genuinely happy for a change. While I have little idea of what's next, I hold great trust that the Universe will guide me as it has this entire month. All I need to do is to receive the opportunities as they arise - and most importantly, enjoy the ride.
  9. soccerball shorts. Once upon a time, there lived a young boy who wore the same pair of shorts every day. His father called them the "soccerball shorts." They were green and covered with white soccerballs. An apt name, it seems. The boy was deeply attached to these shorts, as though they were an extension of himself. When the shorts became too dirty, the mother would throw them in the wash and the boy would prance around in his underwear, waiting to reunite with his beloved soccerballs. The boy wore his soccerball shorts everywhere - inside, outside, in public, on the toilet, and sometimes in the lake. He could not part with them. They were perfect to him. As the years passed and the boy grew in height, the soccerball shorts grew in infamy. Their deep green faded to light sage due to the washing machine. The father suggested that he buy new, better-fitting shorts, but the boy refused. He could not part with them. They were perfect to him. One day, the boy was sitting in the car with his older brother and father. The older brother pointed at the boy's crotch with platonic wonder and asked, "Why is there a button instead of a zipper?" The father burst out laughing and replied, "Because those aren't shorts; those are boxers!" The older brother joined the unending laughter. The boy felt insurmountably embarrassed. And it was so: For years, the boy was not wearing soccerball shorts, but rather, soccerball boxers. For years, he was in soccerball heaven - completely oblivious to his wardrobe malfunction, as was everyone else it seemed. But on this day, he tasted wrongness, and could not get the taste out of his mouth. Now, he had to part with them, as they were no longer perfect to him.
  10. Going to interject real quick... Be VERY careful with stopping antidepressants cold turkey. Doctors recommend slowly weaning off of them due to their heavily addictive nature. Don't be surprised if you have more suicidal ideations or anger than usual over the next week. I read recently about the link between school shootings and antidepressants, and it's uncanny. I don't mean to scare you; I just ask you to be mindful. All the best.
  11. hi ate us. I'm taking a much-needed hiatus from this forum. Love you all and wish you the best. Cheers, JJ.
  12. leonardo da gura - season finale.
  13. emotional autophagy. When you fast (i.e. abstain from eating), your body goes into a cleaning process called autophagy, where it consumes old and damaged cells. During a long fast, wonky unpleasant symptoms will occur, but you afterwards, you feel amazing. I like to think there's a parallel cleaning process called "emotional autophagy," where if you abstain from "emotional eating" (i.e. mood-altering stimulation from outside sources) for long enough, your limbic system consumes old and damaged emotions. During an emotional fast, breakdowns may occur, but you feel much better afterwards. Methods to induce emotional autophagy include meditation, retreats, spiritual practice, journaling, and contemplation. A trigger can also induce emotional autophagy - just how physical illness can eliminate your appetite and force you to fast. Of course, emotional autophagy is not separate from physical autophagy - I'm just making a distinction for shits and giggles. When you fast, old emotions also come to the surface for clearing. Physical detox, emotional detox, spiritual detox - it's all connected. And it all leads to... *gasp* self-acceptance. Forever and always, that's my core issue: self-acceptance. If I can't live with myself, I can't live with others. If I judge myself, I will judge others. If I can't accept myself, I can't accept others. Wherever I go, whatever I do - there I am. And life will continue to be Groundhog Day unless I shine light on my own shadow. Best to learn how to live with the one that doesn't come and go. There's never gonna be a moment of truth for you While the world is watching All you need is the thing you forgotten And that's to learn to live with what you are.
  14. it's groundhog day! Lies. Lies lies lies lies lies! My life is fucking Groundhog Day, and I'm sick of it! Today, I relived a trauma. It was already relived twice in elementary school, once in middle school, freshman year of high school, several times in college, and once on my road trip a couple years ago. Forever and always, never belonging to any group. Forever and always, abandoned. Forever and always, unacknowledged. Forever and always, ashamed of myself. The circumstances change, but the energetics stay the same. It's a fucking nightmare, and I don't know how to break the cycle. I feel like I've tried everything. I'm never able to belong to a group because I don't belong to myself. I'm always abandoned because I've abandoned myself. I'm never acknowledged because I don't acknowledge myself. In fact, I think I'm a small, ugly, unlovable, boring piece of shit. But then again, I don't even know who the fuck I am. What is a small, ugly, unlovable, boring piece of shit? A thought? A thought hates a thought? And what the hell brings me joy? What do I want? What is my true personality? I have no fucking clue! Ever since I came to this lonely place, I've been floundering, trying to stay afloat. But I have sunk, once again, into a deep emotional abyss. I feel trapped, lonely, hopeless, and extremely grandiosely melodramatic. And this time, it's not diet-related. Woahhhh, boy. Not diet related!? Surely I can't be serious - but I am, and my name's not Surely. All the coping mechanisms are broken; give it a couple days though and I'll be right back to normal in my emotionally numb, homeostatic, inauthentic, fearful survival game of a life. The last time I relived this trauma, I was sitting on a mountain peak watching the sunrise, ready to die. That was the first sunrise I ever saw, and it was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. I remember kissing the rocks and twigs on that peak, laughing and crying of love. I pray for another sunrise moment.
  15. @MilenaS Also, Frank Tufano. And sv3rige...but he's an...interesting fellow, to say the least.