Tag Archives: creating relationships

619. Learning From Relationships

 

I listened to three audios on Eqafe that I find essential to listen for everyone, considering how most of us – or so far I’ve only known one person in my life that was not interested in having a relationship – are usually looking for and aiming to ‘find that ONE person’ to establish a relationship with.  Here are the titles: Fear of Missing Out on a Fulfilling Relationship – Fears & Phobias, Using Relationships to Hide From Myself – Life Review, Time Alone Before Time Together – Life Review.

When I listened to the Life Review specifically, I could relate to what the woman shared with regards to the little time spent without and in between relationships and how that affected her in disconnecting from herself, from who she was and how much the constant seeking for a relationship made her dependent on the ‘other’ person to be complete within herself – this might be a bit of a vague description on my side, so I definitely recommend you listen to her story yourself. But! here I’m focusing on sharing what opened up for me as I was listening to her story.

First of all realizing that I have been in such kind of situation where I would end a relationship and start another one right away, not spending time alone to reconsider where I am and who I have been in the relationship –  in terms of what were my lessons learned, points expanded, faults, mistakes, things I can be grateful for etc. – and instead jumping into the next relationship. This is probably one of those weakest points I’ve had throughout my life and one that I have been particularly – secretly – ashamed of because it is obvious that it involves a lack of honesty towards myself within relationships in terms of what I can accept and allow, what I can commit to and how I have disregarded the consequences and the effect that me changing my mind about relationships can have on the partner and people around as well.

I share this because I do consider it vital to apply what the woman shares about her story, to be able to take some time off from relationships in order to ‘get back to oneself’. I’ve done both things and will share my experience in both situations.

There was a time that I’ve recently in my mind judged as very bleak, lonely and fruitless, this happened when I was living in Mexico City and I deliberately decided to learn to be alone – in a rather ‘extreme’ way to be alone I’d say – being then fully aware of my tendency to become dependent on being ‘always there’ for other people, being the kind of partner that lives the life of the partner and has none of her own – I decided to learn to be by myself –that means without relationships – and learn to know what I enjoy doing, learn to be comfortable being alone and doing things alone, going out shopping, to the movies, living on my own. Yes, maybe I took it to the extreme in terms of the lack of interaction I had with other people – including family and friends – but that’s something I am also now learning to do in terms of not being too extreme in the way that I decide to change things. So, in a nutshell, I call it my monkish period, and as much as in my mind I’ve judged it as a generally ‘bleak’ time, when I recently looked deeper into it to not resent my choices at that time, I see that such years were dedicated to live ‘me’, to know me better, to learn to be alone, to learn to do things that I decide to do – not that someone else ‘takes me’ to do – and there was a sense of independence formed that I would not trade off or change, because it assisted me to see where and how I compromised myself many times for the sake of being in a relationship and existing in fear of ‘losing’ something that I now know was not best for me, was constantly emotional, troublesome and detrimental to my expression and my living.

Then I got to a point where I decided I could establish a relationship again and I did, again looking back not having the best starting point because it did come from having formed an experience of alones at the time, but I tried to make it work nonetheless. I had settled in one relationship believing I could change the person, conforming in certain ways to make it work and taking the compromise lightly to say the least, not fully being aware of the commitment that I was making at the time and the challenges it represented. But I wanted to make it work for both of us, which didn’t happen. At least I proved to myself that I could fully and absolutely commit to another and still see that even if I am doing all that I can to assist and be ‘there’ for another, it takes two to tango to stand on the same page. I broke that relationship even if there were legal formalities formed with it.

After that, I had a few months to yes go through the sorrow, pain and ‘disconnection’ process from that relationship but I did decide to enter a new relationship after that; though fortunately enough did still have the opportunity to be alone and process through all of the things that I had accepted and allowed – created – in the previous relationship. But still, I do consider that I went ahead too fast and without much consideration of the implication of making such decisions not only for myself, but for the other person as well. This year I repeated the same, because of not having had that needed time to ground myself around relationships and one thing I can tell is that unless one has an understanding partner that has full awareness of the previous relationship patterns, it can be a disaster recipe to go jumping from one relationship to another.

I was in a way fortunate that my partner was understanding of it all, not that he approves of what I’ve done and my relationship habits, but again, he is aware and he made a decision to stand with me anyways and understood that I had things to process from my previous relationships at the same time as starting a new one. The thing that I want to share is how it’s not a bright idea to not give oneself time to be alone after a relationship ends, it can lead to not fully considering things in terms of what one is able to commit to and the effect it may have by making a decision without proper time for reflection, for personal assessment of the mistakes, the things allowed, the points that one needs to self-forgive and work through, because it does ‘filter’ or ‘spill through’ to the new relationship and it may lead to ruin if one does not handle the situation with proper sense of responsibility and communicating about it and again, having a partner that can understand and not take it personally either.

So from my recent experience, this kind of situation led to a great amount of stress that I became unaware of – apparently – and I became sick or having certain health issues almost on a regular basis for the past months. This can also be a narrow perspective on my health situation, but this is what I’ve concluded recently, that I put myself under a lot of stress because of the decisions I made in relation to relationships, where not being honest with myself and towards others led me to compromise myself and that became an ingredient to constantly be thinking of guilt, burdening myself with the ‘wrong doings’ while at the same time starting a new relationship and opening up all the potentials that this entails. It’s not a great thing to walk an ending and a beginning simultaneously – point learned.

I would not be able to share this from a clearer view currently if it wasn’t for the process that I did to self-forgive myself for my decisions, my actions and mistakes,  my short-sights and also forgiving myself for the damage caused to others by my lack of consideration or selfishness that this kind of situations entail. However, I also understood that there’s no point in continuing to flagellate myself emotionally, all that I can do is learn from it and know that I cannot repeat this kind of behavior again in my life, or I’d be simply falling again into my old patterns that I’ve worked on already. I did judge myself because of wanting to ‘make things right’ and ‘work through it’ and in a way being in disbelief that I could have managed to ‘repeat myself’ in patterns that I thought I had changed over the ‘monkish’ phase of being alone and without relationships – but, as I now know, I cannot be sure that something is entirely ‘clear’ and ‘transcended’ within me at all, it always takes a daily – constant – decision to act in the way that is right, that is supportive, that is considering consequences, that is responsible and self-honest for myself and for others that I have an effect on.

Currently I assess my situation on a constant basis when it comes to my relationship, because it has enabled me to see where I could be compromising myself or constructively compare how I have now seen that I was compromising myself before when trying to ‘be’ something for someone else in a relationship.  When I decided to be in this relationship, I did take the time to consider who I wanted to be in it and what would be of myself IF the relationship simply doesn’t work, knowing I could stand on my own two feet as well. So, I might have taken a ‘big risk’ considering  the rushed and somewhat risky decision making processes I’ve taken in the past without much ‘thought’ into my relationships, but this time I did make sure to entirely be ‘me’ making the decision and fully taking the responsibility for what I decide to make of it. 

I did take the time to assess the person, even if it was a relative short amount of time of doing this, there were characteristics that stood out for me enough to consider how this could work through, which included sharing with him the process I’ve walked with relationships, the weaknesses, the mistakes I’ve made, the dishonesties, the repetitive patterns I’ve had and that I still have such points to work through for me, to reestablish my self-trust in relationships – with all the past disclosed – and this is now where I can prove to myself that I can stand in an equal manner in loyalty, honor, respect and integrity that such person has given to himself throughout his life, which I am currently learning a lot from as well.

It is not my position to share his views here, but in a way I do want to do it, because he’s that person I mentioned at the beginning that has been known by everyone – and himself – to not desire a relationship or ‘lust’ over women at all. Everyone had always asked him when he would have a relationship and he always said that wasn’t something he was looking for, explicitly not interested on because he knew himself as a different kind of person that would find it hard to find a woman that could ‘stand’ through his ways of living life and the principles he has. He just wanted to work and focus on bettering his life. Well, that kind of approach led him to learn to live and be for himself the best that he can be. He is probably one of the few people I know that loves himself and regards himself as a self-made man that wasn’t always dedicated and hardworking to get to be who he is now, but made a decision to step out of the shadows and strive to do what he was told was ‘impossible’ for him to achieve. That sort of strength made him aware of his capacity and potential, which is part of the characteristics that I saw made him a ‘whole’ man already, not really looking or searching or being ‘needy’ for anything or anyone to ‘complete’ him or make him feel ‘better’ about himself.

This is how he considers that most people should not constantly go jumping from one relationship to another, but be able to be alone even for the rest of their lives if necessary, because they are not yet the best for and towards themselves. This view is perceived as too ‘extreme’ by his friends, but I’ve come to understand his point based on what he has lived and what I have lived and the consequences I’ve faced because of having held this constant belief that ‘I need to be in a relationship’ and the outflow this has. I’m not saying that this is how it’s supposed to be, but simply different ways to approach the relationships. Mine was more ‘trial and error’ and yes causing consequences for me and for others, his was more of a holistic approach of deciding to be in a relationship if and when the right person would exist for that.

Of course, he is now in a relationship and that may seem contradictory for many, but he explains how this is the first relationship he’s ever had – and took it to the level of absolute commitment and responsibility, which has led him to explore and open up many more ways of enjoyment in life, more than the ones that he already had been living on his own. I don’t want to sound like I’m praising him, but I do want to share  this because I’ve noticed how many strengths are built through deciding to be ‘the best for you’, to learn to be a man – or a woman – for oneself first, to learn to love, care, be the joy of our own lives instead of expecting something or someone to come and ‘save us’ or ‘fulfill’ our lives in one way or another. So, his usual perspective or ‘advice’ to anyone is to learn to be alone and learn to be ok with themselves, letting go of the notion of needing a relationship – and even better, to not participate or create a habit in desiring sex or porn or that sort of mental-masturbation in relation to women – or the opposite sex – at all, which leads to a genuine discovery of physical expression in a relationship, probably something that most people ‘seek out’ through mind stimulation and my take is that this pollutes or ‘disconnects’ us from the ‘hereness’, the physical development of actual touch and clear-mindedness so to speak required in a developing a physical relationship. This is not only related to sexual expression, but also in relation to fully focusing on being with the one person you decide to be with and not entertaining any thoughts, ideas, beliefs or glances at something or ‘someone else out there’ that ‘could be better’ than the relationship one has decided to be in.

What I’ve gathered from my time with him is how it truly takes that sort of diligence to honor and respect oneself and not exist solely for the idea of a ‘relationship’ as something to ‘get to’ or ‘find’ as an absolute goal in one’s life. It seems that as one focuses and works on fulfilling oneself and becoming that person that one enjoys looking at in the mirror – and not only for appearance level – but for the person one shapes of oneself – then one simply aligns with people that are on that same ‘track’ so to speak in their life, and that’s how you meet and realize that it is something that can work as a betterment platform for both, which was my approach as well when deciding to establish this relationship. We both agreed that this was going to be a relationship of two fulfilled individuals walking together, me knowing that if I decide to no longer be in the relationship, he’s not going to be ‘needing’ me as such, but will continue his life and endeavors as usual and vice versa – communication and understanding and assessment at any time.  The relative ease with which this agreement-  as he also called it – was able to be established is simply because of seeing the affinity in our ways of thinking and living and our principles and the way of living as well as our aims in life. I am fully aware some of my views are not that ‘popular’ with regular people, because they may sound too ‘out there’ or ‘difficult to achieve’- but not for him.  Then it is simply like two notes resonating at the same level that consider they can join in and create a harmony that will better the sound in each other’s life – and that’s what it currently is and has been.

There are so many more things that I’ve been learning about myself in relation to him in that have opened my eyes to see what kind of limitations I was making ‘ok’ within previous relationships, where and how I was not being honest with myself and rather molding or making myself ‘comfortable ‘about things that I wasn’t entirely willing to live with, but made it all ‘ok’ because of the idea that no one can be perfect and that I would always have to kind of ‘struggle’ in a relationship – now I know it doesn’t have to be this way. And I’m not saying this is currently perfect, but now I know that there can be people that can be at that same level of self-awareness and self will to live a different life than most people, which is what I’m here to do in this world, to continue cutting through the mold and not limit my expression, my ‘wacky’ way of being that I have come to re-ignite and rediscover within myself, something that makes me enjoy life more and something that I had judged as ‘not fit’ for everyone’s taste and so believing I had to be more ‘accommodating’ for others. In a nutshell, I’ve come to be aware of self-compromise, which is also one  tendency I’ve had in relationships where I kind of sink into the background and mold myself to fit into the idea of who I believe the other person wants me to be – even if this is most of the times my own projection.

The bottom line is that even if one can make ‘mistakes’ in relationships, the point is to always learn more about oneself, to use each opportunity one has to share one’s life and expression with another to learn more about who we are with each person, and yes unfortunately at times getting to also know the ‘darker’ aspects of ourselves – not to be turned into something necessarily bad or evil – simply recognizing that there are things that may be subtle at first but eventually build up or accumulate to compromise, to diminish ourselves even in the most ‘unnoticeable’ ways and I say ‘unfortunately’ – yet at the same time, I would not have known otherwise if I had not made mistakes and learned to see where I truly want to be in terms of standing in a relationship with someone else, first of all checking – on a constant basis – not to limit, diminish or compromise me in order to ‘be’ in a relationship as a need point.

So, having said this, I now realize that as painful, troublesome and consequential it is, mistakes allow us to also see the paths that we don’t want to follow through. Sure, it’s best when we can identify this earlier on and not have situations escalate and have more consequential breakups, but I now see that this is something quite specific for me to face based on the life that I had lived before I started this process with Desteni, my ‘processing’ done in that alone time and how I do realize how easy it is to slip back into old programming if not fully considering one’s actions and acting again on a ‘whim’ so to speak, making decisions without giving myself time to know first of all where I stand and then where I would want to stand in relation to someone else.

Based on my experience and the example I shared about my partner and how he led his life, I see that the best thing one can do is to give oneself time to learn to BE for oneself, to learn to truly love and appreciate yourself first, to be that one person that you can enjoy living with so that no matter who you join your life with – or not at all – you continue being whole and complete by yourself, so that 1+1 equals 2 instead of being existing as a half that seeks another half to create a codependent relationship that most likely ends up in compromise, diminishment and harm towards one another.

A relationship is a platform of support to become a better person, to grow, to learn from each other, to communicate openly without holding back or secrets, to express openly, to test and try new ways of living and expressing without judgment, to walk through disagreements and challenges with understanding – but! to do all of these great things takes a lot of self-work first, otherwise we base our entire ‘wellbeing’ on another person ‘all of this’ for us, and that’s where the fuckup usually is. So! Self first, always, then the rest of the people or situations that may come into our live become opportunities of expansion, a complement that can be beneficial not only for the people in the relationship but also for those that surround the relationship and for whatever is created within the relationship, which becomes an example of what a supportive relationship can be in a world where most exist in consequences and conflict – my personal view and experience here.

Ok so that’s it, again, listen to the Eqafe recordings, they are a great eye opener to understand more of what I shared here as my ups and downs, my faults, my points to learn and correct through relationships.

Can also learn to do this through the Relationship Course in Desteni which assisted me to ground many of the foundations that I now realize have to be lived in a very disciplined way of establishing self-honesty within self, otherwise they become nice principles on paper only – as always, the key is to live it and REALLY stick to Doing it.

Thanks for reading

 

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617. To Be A Part Of

 

Sharing about developing empathy and nurturing my life experience in my community.

I had quite a shift during my day yesterday where I consider I finally understood what was missing in my life experience before, wherein I used to be very ‘utilitarian’ in a sense and judge things based on them being useful for something tangible or not and within this, write off a lot of experiences that had to do with what I judged as a waste of time like getting together in a concert to presence live music, or going to the movies, or seeing a play, or attending a conference about some kind of creative process.

I actually considered that the ‘click’ of realizing this emerged yesterday with a series of small moments of contact and connection with people that renewed this understanding that I’ve actually been expanding on throughout this first half of the year for the most part and getting to genuinely enjoy my human experience – at last – lol.

If anyone has a recollection of me, I defined myself as a Grinch, the person that hates family reunions, large crowds, having to ‘deal with people,’ would rather be alone and isolated from everything that didn’t just ‘make sense’ or ‘agreed’ with how I view things or would be zero productive in a utilitarian sense. I stopped watching anything entertaining and only focused on sucking all kinds of information I could and placed myself in a higher ground where I believed that ‘everyone else that seemed to be enjoying their life were fools and disingenuous about reality.’ Well, the joke was on me, because I truly got bitter and lifeless to say the least, and it was only through a decision to challenge this ‘me’ mindset that I’ve been – slowly but surely – cracking open from that hardened shell.

Now, this is something that I would not have been able to do alone at all. Yes, I had to make the decision to – as they say – put myself out there and actually give myself the time to stop moving from ‘task to task’ for a moment and give myself some time to stop and ‘smell the roses’ so to speak. For example, I’m so used to taking a walk everyday for over a decade now, and I had the phases where I’d do something ‘productive’ in it like taking pictures and videos and so forth – then It was just me walking, going to get things somewhere and come back, have the least contact with people throughout that and be quite generally ‘lacking’ something in my life in doing that,  yet being very disciplined about it and believing I was achieving some form of self mastery in doing so.

Well, from the past year I decided to not only do the walk but actually use the time to also get to interact with others and actually establish relationships through that. It all started with opening up to enjoying listening to music in the street and standing there enough time where I’m not in my usual ‘rush’ of having to leave the place or having this race against time, but genuinely set myself to enjoy observing ‘life passing by’ which is something I had avoided doing – again – within the mindset of: ‘Oh this is just a waste of time, no one is getting anything out of it, I’m not getting anything done’ etc. But over time, I realized that it was through that sort of dedication and openness that I got to connect more with people in my environment and stopped seeing it only as a nice ‘background’ or ‘scenario’ to look at or walk by, and instead I decided to be more a part of it all, to actually stop seeing myself as an outsider, as someone that will most likely ‘leave at any time from here’ and actually grow some roots as I heard someone in a documentary I watched yesterday say.

Man, it’s been such a change and I don’t mean to turn my bleak view on the world into a suddenly rosy everything is fine now mindset, nope, because in actually getting to create relationships with people, getting to know more about their lives and relationships, one does realize a lot of messed up things going on, which have also opened up my eyes tremendously to realize how much I was sort of deluded into just blabbering these higher than life principles but in reality there was no actual decision from me to create an actual Empathy with people, to actually connect, to actually step out of my misanthropy and get to really connect and decide to care about others. That’s the change that I’ve been working on and has definitely changed my life experience in quite a significant way and I’m only starting with this.

How did I got to this? By deciding to grow roots, to finally settle in and ‘go out there’, and instead be more present, be more HERE which I thought I was doing by keeping myself in a semi-monkish way with little to not distractions and very few interactions that I could be perturbed by. I avoided people, that’s the reality – and now it’s sort of the other way around and it’s not a 100% change, but  I definitely now push through to show up to meetings and places and family reunions that I would usually talk myself out of, giving myself certain excuses like being able to use the time for something ‘more productive’ apparently.

Looking back, I can see all the many things that I cut myself off from, like cousins that had kids and I wasn’t there at all when they were baptized or born or had their first birthdays, I always said no to any of it. Now that I’ve been rekindling those relationships, there is a bit of sadness about having missed out on all of that growth and now I see them with 12, 18, 5 years old and missed out on all of their initial developmental phases, including that of my direct nephew and niece because I was in such mindset of detaching myself from everything and everyone and believing that way I would not ‘be hurt’ if I had to leave this place that I live in. I deliberately created detachment to things and that definitely wasn’t the way… and yes, I’ve also gone through the route of being resentful to myself for making such decisions, looking back at ‘all that I didn’t do’ or that ‘could have been different,’ but, at the same time I’ve deliberately decided to not beat myself up for it, to make peace with it because that was me back then, having a very rigid mindset going on about my life and what I should do and how I should think, and yes I deliberately separated myself a lot from virtually everything around me, I was like an alien living where I am but not really TRULY seeing myself as a part of it all, I was just like an observer, a temporary observer. Of course this may sound like I didn’t connect ‘at all’ with people, I remember having had equally enjoyable time when being in art school, but once that was done, I did isolate myself quite a bit.

How did I come to open this up today at last? I was listening to Joe Rogan’s podcast, which is something I’ve been listening to for several months now and I’ve genuinely nurtured myself from it because I find that it is through people’s lives and experiences, the challenges they create for themselves that they create successful and enjoyable lives that do not come easy, they come with hardship, but see the benefit and satisfaction in doing so. So, yesterday’s podcast was about a guy that went to live with a certain kind of monks – not Buddhists – for 15 days and the stuff he gathered from it, and as I was listening to his description of how the monks lived, I realized that for quite a few years I lived like that, I’d like to say these past 7 or more years I sort of did that kind of detachment and unwavering discipline for certain things where one is living in the world and believing one is cultivating certain things – which yes I probably did – but are not really going ‘out there’ and really being a part of the world. I did this detachment for several years and I didn’t have to only go and live somewhere else in a similar seclusion for a year to do that as part of this process, but I sort of continued living that way even when coming back and I consider that was entirely my comfort zone and – still is in many ways – to not challenge myself further, even if I know that doing so is the most supportive thing to do.

Here I want to leave things clear that no one told me to do this but myself, that’s how I saw ‘the way’ to become a better person in this world, by not participating in a lot of what I considered useless, a waste of time, harmful, pointless, brainless, etc. And with that, I lost touch with actually being in reality and being able to enjoy and savor the various seemingly ‘meaningless’ living experiences.

I have to say that I actually have benefitted a lot from the various years I’ve spent going to documentary festivals now, like Ambulante festival here in Mexico, it was through that that I got back to seeing how people are living in the country I live in, the things that are unfortunately going on around me and that I was fully oblivious of, because I was focusing more on expecting some kind of world-reset-overnight-change in the economic and political level and a somehow miraculous ‘saving’ grace for this world to the point where I wasn’t concerned or rather interested at all in what was happening at a local level. It was through the documentaries and actually showing up to the screenings that I started getting ‘in touch’ with people in my community, it was a matter of deciding to care and push through the idea that it was pointless, that it was just entertainment and not judge it as that, and place myself there, learn to watch/hear/see the stories and kind of allow the idea to sink in that this that I am watching is not just some fictional story for entertainment, these are people’s lives.

It’s been such a nurturing process and it has assisted me a lot to finally develop that care, consideration, empathy and – god I will dare to say – affection for people. I never thought I would say that! Lol ‘so out of character’ and sure it damn is! It is as if the center of my being is finally ‘opening up’ in reality, not at an intellectual level in which ‘I thought’ that I cared about people and life on earth…. Seriously? By me having this constant ‘fighting’ mode and bitterness from the moment I’d step out of my home?   No way, how could I have in fact been ‘best for all’ with that sort of misanthropy exuding from my pores? Nope, yet I thought I was the most caring and self aware person walking on the streets…

This is what I was chatting about with my partner today, how much I have benefitted from art or artistic expressions actually, specifically documentaries and going to screenings and start getting to know of my community, and start seeing people that are presenting their work and realize I know them from another contact and getting to see their work and what their interests are and their different views on life and things… it has assisted me a lot to slowly but surely be stepping out of this rigid mentality where I thought that ‘everyone has to be like me’ or ‘think the same way I do’ because ‘it makes sense and it’s best for all,’ and instead, realize it’s about me being open to the myriad of living-ways that each human being represents, each one has got fascinating stories to tell in their own way, their own struggles and motivations to live and with their own purpose. I am now definitely interested in getting to know them, and savor it, and enjoy it.

This is me here writing it out at last, but this has been an accumulation process of several years now, like 3 at least where I noticed that I decided to step out of this ‘Grinch’ mode and started opening up to few things here and there and currently I am a lot more settled into this ‘newly’ found enjoyment and interest in being a part of a community, which I just didn’t care at all to do before.

Yesterday I got to confirm and kind of finally realized why I started being so drawn to these activities like going to watch documentaries or certain live acts downtown and through that developing a kinship to people that are more involved with this kind of activities, people that I had always just ‘passed by’ that I am now deciding to actually talk to and get to know and possibly collaborate with. I went to this short film festival from locals and it is so out of character for me to say this, but it was heart-warming to see some of the youngsters share their story of why they got to do certain works like an animation – which I personally didn’t ‘get’ much – but I got a lot more from seeing the nervous-stricken guy tell the story about his dad leaving home to do some PHD and having certain legos left with him that he got kind of an obsession with and developing an entire animation with them which surely must have been a LOT of work to do, but it was a way for him to deal with that sort of situation of how he lives his life, his own ‘isolation’ if you will and how genuinely happy  – to the brink of tears – he was to be able to show his work, his many hours of production to the people in his community, to his co-citizens, as he called us and at that emblematic place that is built for that kind of local reunion to watch certain acts live – music, theatre, movies, etc.  His words were a way to finally ‘put words’ to the reason why I also showed up, it is a form of care and interesting in other humans and their lives and creations.

Lol, I kind of finally ‘got’ why art is relevant. I laugh because I ‘studied’ it and practice it, but I had not truly given words to the reason ‘why’ it is relevant.  And this I also got from listening to someone in a podcast or so say that we need kids in this world, newborns, that will grow up to be the next inventors, the next artists that enrich our living experience – and that hit a core right there. See, I had no ‘clear’ idea why I would like doing art, or watching movies now on a regular basis as part of my time with my partner and going out to be a part of a communal show like it is to go to the movies, or going to the documentary festivals which I also very much enjoy as those activities that have genuinely made my life better, building myself as a part of the world through these activities. Showing up to all of these is a statement of ‘hey I’m here, I want to commune-icate with you, you are part of my community, we’re all here, let’s connect and support each other’ which to me, is becoming ‘the’ thing that moves me and drives me in my life: developing these relationships and connections with others.

This is quite a big change because I like being productive, there’s no way around it, I ‘dwindle’ if I just place myself in non-action consuming only information or watching something and not ‘doing’ something at the same time, which is why going to the movies is almost a requirement for me to watch something and be still, and it also forces me to go out, to meet with others, to be ‘part’ of a community for a moment, even if I don’t get to speak with the rest of the attendants, I’m there, we’re there and sharing a moment.

I guess that’s what it also boils down to. I was so glad to arrive yesterday to downtown’s theatre and see this long queue of people waiting to come in to watch these 4 short films made by locals. Sure, it could have been that each one of them invited all of their friends and family, but so what! It was such a nice thing to witness and again, be a part of, where I decided to make that time of my day to meet up with these other hundreds of people, fill out an entire auditorium to watch these emerging film makers that share the same city with us. It certainly isn’t the same as watching foreign films, because these are people around you, growing in the same culture, moving through the same spaces and seeing that on film kind of creates a form of bond that I had completely disregarded as ‘pointless’ or a ‘mind thing’ before.

I’ve talked about how I realized the actual care and enjoyment of people around me nowadays and how I went from hating crowds to enjoying the moment of standing in a crowd and watching musicians play, or being sitting around many that are there watching documentaries, and enjoying their laughter and their sadness which at times comes with watching these stories and knowing that we all got that experience right there to stay with us. And that’s – I guess – the power and purpose of the art sharing experience, or simply sharing experiences through film, music, seeing some visual art… but even more so, I get to enjoy hearing the voices behind those creations, that to me is essential nowadays. Yesterday I got to see that as well how some of the things that I watched were just ‘meh’ or not ‘my style’ but hearing the story behind it, about the connections they had to create to have it done, the challenges, the dedication, the effort, the resources pulled for it, that definitely became interesting and inspiring as well.

I was also very much touched by a guy that told his story of how he initially started his documentary wanting to share about how much he loathed his family – lol – because of a treason situation his uncle did, but through making the documentary and getting to know his friends’ stories about their relationship to their family, he realized that his initial premise for the documentary was going to be shitty and not inspiring at all. So through the making process, he literally said it was an act of forgiveness and him realizing the importance of family even if one feels like the ‘odd one out’ which I very much could relate to, so this documentary definitely spoke to me quite a bit because I had been so reluctant about family, family gatherings and such and it is only now throughout these past months that I’ve come to enjoy it and cherish it for what they are and represent, and this documentary also made me realize there’s plenty of people that felt like me, some that are still in that detachment phase – which seems to be related to being a young adult – and others that accept and have come to make peace with the variety of characters that a family represents yet, sticking together for the network of support and community that it is.

It was very cool for me to see this in the shape of several stories linked with this common denominator, somehow seeing people from your same city talking about these things turns a moment into an enriching experience where I felt a little more ‘connected’ to everyone around me and within that, taking one further step out of my bubble. Even with hearing another person next to me laugh at the same situation I could personally relate to from the documentary, became an ‘Ah! I’m not alone!’ type of realization, even if it is very obvious that we live in a city with lots of people and we barely communicate to each other – yet, it is in this kind of gatherings where to me the movie is a bridge to connect with each other, and that’s awesome. I’ve made a couple of friends now this way because of seeing what they created and wanting to get to know more about them and finding that kinship within their drive for this kind of creation.

After I went out from that whole after-film discussion, I was walking down the street with my partner and we saw one of his friends playing at a café, there was barely anyone there so we decided to join in. The sheer fact of seeing him see us decide to come in and drink a cup of coffee while listening to him play was enjoyable in itself, a decision to say ‘Hey I’m here, came to see you!’ and it surely was also enjoyable and ‘out of routine’ to do this kind of decisions, sitting there for a moment and share about our day became such an enjoyable moment as well, where we could later talk with his friend – our friend I’d say now – and get to give him some ideas of how to get out of a rut he was stuck with and impulse him to test out other ways to use his kills and make money out of it. It was a short meeting, a ‘moment’ only if you will, but to me this is the kind of substantial bits that make my life experience a lot richer… and it would not happen if I didn’t take the time to be ‘out there’ and actually have the disposition to connect with others too. I’m grateful for the connections like this that I’ve been able to make through my partner who is also very much linked to the local community and I am appreciating the benefit of having that starting point to be able to relate to many more people. In a way, I’ve come to definitely no longer enjoy myself only being ‘isolated’ and not having this sort of connections around others, and realizing more and more how no man is an island and when I pretended to be so, I definitely sank in it.

One thing I realized as well is that it’s not about creating ‘best friends’ with all kinds of people, but definitely relating to many more and being open to the variety of people in a community is part of what living life is… a complement to the rest of the personal doings, productive ways and personal achievements. I am opening my eyes to see how I definitely want to become a participating-part of my community and use the ways and means I have to start doing so, starting relating to others, instead of living like a hermit even when surrounded by people.

So, it feels like I had some kind of writing constipation for several months – I’ve certainly been processing several things and rerouting a bit my life and deciding to ‘grow roots’ here, which I am finally doing and looking forward to continuing developing.

I also realized that the most important thing is to share my story, how I’ve changed, what I’m busy changing, instead of wanting to come here and stand in a moral highground about how things should be or could be – I’ve been there and done that – so, there’s a tendency for me to want to end this with a note of ‘find your passion’ or ‘find your way’ to enjoy life, to genuinely get to experience that your life, your presence, your words, your doings are creating a form of meaning to you and others that is supportive, that is nurturing and expansive.

I am finding and developing that in ways that are very simple currently, as I shared in my past blog, that still stands and continues to be developing where the sheer process of getting to know one person and having that common stand point of creating a relationship in a way where living together becomes enjoyable and supportive IS worth living for, and seeing how that ripples out into the lives of others, without even ‘wanting’ to have an effect on them. That’s quite the remarkable thing I’d say and not to adjudicate any credits here to myself or anything like that, but simply seeing the effect of deciding to be a part of something and dedicate time to it, dedicate willingness to it, that’s quite an enjoyable thing to do.

This is currently the path for me, but I also understand it’s not everyone’s -and thank god for that, what would be the point if everyone would think or do the same things? – It’s all about being able to challenge ourselves, our ways, our ‘views’ and ask a very honest question: if we are dissatisfied about something in our lives, then what do we need to change and stop doing to stop making them shitty, meaningless and feeling miserable? And then dedicate the effort, time and actions to change that. I know the obstacles, I know the doubts, I know the fears, so, just taking the first steps over time is all I can say will open up new paths in how to get to enjoy living and seeing the benefit of it. I definitely am grateful to all of the people that have decided to share their music, share their films and documentaries, their stories with me and with many more. I get to enjoy my life more ever since opening up more to them and that’s great, otherwise, life would be too bland as I used to experience it.

Thanks for reading.

 Ambulante Puebla Marlen

 

Join us in our process of Self-Expression as LIFE

 

 

 


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