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Edging the personal and the public.

by metavision Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 at 06:47:24 AM EST

This used to be a comment, before it grew into ...this and more to come.

To begin, I want to praise Jerome, whataboutbob and Keone (just come to mind right now) for having the courage to write about personal aspects appropriately and to say that I am really happy to see caring support from everyone.  ET is about improving the system, but we can also be about helping each other, unashamedly.

In the so-called, western civilization you almost have to be an acrobat to maintain the proper balance of trust and personal defenses, unless you have a very healthy support system.  I don´t have it.


We drag around, some more gracefully than others, a bank vault of feelings and experience while pretending it doesn´t exist and that nobody will notice it.  In fact, most of the time, most people agree to ignore that overwhelming sense of the elephant in the middle.

We lock the "personal" part away from the "public" part to protect the painful areas in our lives, as if they were unique, when most of them are really parallel.  Actually, people who do not admit to have lived through personal crisis, seem uninteresting.  We create a firewall to protect them and treat them as --short or tall, more or less decomposed-- skeletons in our closets.  At the same time, that defense mechanism becomes a black hole of energy/knowledge that remains unused.

Revealing intimate details is unnecessary because everyone needs a shell and a clear boundary in every role.  But I am suggesting we put some of that unused energy/knowledge into our public efforts, instead of perpetuating what has become an excessive "privacy" taboo that only creates degrees of separation.  

I can stand up to scrutiny, and have, but who would want to, when others sit in judgment, claiming their immaculateness?  I could be a burned risk-taker, but I have progressed a lot in trust-judgment and I have enough faith in the ET unspoken parameters, to reveal some personal experience, beyond initials after my name.  The time when I planned my future by the initials I wanted on my business card is long gone.

So, not without some resistance, I will write about life in my universe, where being on my own makes it easy to lose perspective and difficult to maintain balance.  I am probably writing to convince myself that I can still make big plans --I am turning 56 any minute now-- and that, if I work at it, I may come up with a "simple" formula to make them work.

Can I fly the coup for the third? time?  How do you protect and balance yourself?  How do you build a healthy support system?

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Hi Metavision! I just dropped by briefly, taking a break from a work project...to find your article! I could say a lot, but with time limited right now, I will just put out this first thought:

These are excellent questions...and in particular, the one that first catches my eye is the issue of building support systems. Its huge, especially when one is in a new place...and I am aware of it often, as I left a very well developed and loving support system in California to come be with my new wife in Switzerland. My California support system is still there, of course, though support systems do have to be continually renewed to stay fresh...plus, they weren't thrilled I was leaving. Anyway, I have been here 2.5 years, and I am fortunate that my wife has a large, friendly and supportive group of friends here. But...that's not quite the same as developing and having your own friends. I think a person needs something like 3-5 people whom you feel really connected with and can do stuff with...outside of the important time spent with your partner. Developing connections takes time, with a certain amount of serandipity mixed in (timing, proximity and luck being key ingredients, I believe). I think until one has a good support system, one is vulnurable to isolation and all that goes with it.

Funny though, one of the involvements that helped me arrive in Europe was reading and interacting with people on ET. And in fact, I have gotten to meet a number of people since the beginning too...which, even though I felt shy and a bit awkward about at the time, was wonderful and has solidified my sense of community here. I look forward to future meetups, actually. Still...there needs to be some local support systems too!

Anyway, I will stop here...but will check back in to see where this conversation goes. Thank you for initiating this discussion! Yes...where is the edge between personal and public discussion?

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 at 07:24:16 AM EST
Your diary on integration started me on this because I live what you were talking about.  I will write more about those elusive support systems, because there are geometrical dimensions when YOYO.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 at 03:49:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wow, i'm turning 56 in a month...

4/4 , when were you born?

great diary...thanks for balancing out the public politics with something more personal.

as for support systems....

i see it like castaneda did, that allies come along, and for some mysterious reason help you pull your weight and get some traction.

allies help you see more clearly, but can turn on you too, when their enigmatic interests no longer coincide with yours.
 and another comes along...

some stay a long time, contributing in little bursts, some blow through your life like a hurricane, upsetting all your houses of cards...

having difficulty at the beginning of one's life can accellerate independence, though insecurity is an inevitable corollary, for some this is an added spur, for others the reason they do not achieve their goals, as their support systems didn't manifest, or more likely, they did and went unnoticed in the trance of unknowing.

some allies feed your emotions, but not your mind.

others satiate your mind, but leave you emotionally untouched.

so i think becoming aware of the difference between our own needs, and our needinesses, is a lifelong task, best started asap.

i've found the universe will tend to punish neediness, and reward honest need, as long as it is unobfuscated by denial.

tautology, i know...

it's a bit of a stretch to come to the internet to try and meet emotional needs, so it is very odd and pleasant when it occurs.

there is a degree of peace that comes from knowing better brains than one's own are diligently applying themselves to problems one cares about, and the generosity of posters here is definitely altering my intellectual topography.

sven's semidiotic diary has been following me around like a shadow all morning!

it's funny, i think if this site was just an emotional support centre, it might become uninteresting, however getting to know peoples' internet persona(e) gradually through their political views, humour, etc, does make one mildly curious as to how they translate 'in the flesh', and what demons lurk behind the polished repartee and forensic wit...lol

people communicate through ratings sometimes as well as through their posts, (wink)

love this community, it's a lifeline of serious fun!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 at 07:41:09 AM EST
Ah, another Castaneda fan.
by Fran on Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 at 08:33:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks, melo.  I was born late evening on this very date.

Ahhh, the happy balance between need and neediness. It gets very evasive, especially when you learn to go beyond the call to avoid neediness!  Sometimes it becomes the mistake of being independent and proud, yet the only serious need is social, needing people, and I agree, "go with the flow" usually works the best.

Trying to be aware of the dark-side-of-allies and the light-side-of-enemies...

I cannot imagine looking for real emotional support on the net, but the ET comm--unity, through all the intellectual banter, is a form of social support because it is about relating.  We have public topics in common, but I was glad to see the community jump in with first-step help and full encouragement on a personal story.  

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 at 03:39:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
no wonder,  it's yer birthday!

have a meaningfulone.

it is faaaaaaaaaaaaascinating, how people open up in different ways in cyberspace.

me, i'm a humour junkie

i wish my real friends were as dependably well-informed and funny as you guys!

lol...

my friends all went somewhere when i started logging on too often.

<sobs>

thanks to the miracle of dialup...ET, right into the vein.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 at 06:37:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Happy Birthday, metavision. You beat me into this world by 22 months only ,so I will be there in no time.

According to western Astrology, Saturn comes back to the place it was when you were born at 28 and 56 years and these are two major crisis in life..
Not that I believe in Astrology, but sometimes is good to know...
I've to run...

by amanda2006 on Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 at 02:17:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you. Time shall stand still at the reunion...

Oh, my...  I am feeling the typical birthday evaluation, but I refuse any more crises!  I had a son at 28 and I am not having another, so I´m calling NASA to adjust those planets.  

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 at 04:14:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I turned 57 a month ago and I would not want to be younger again. One of the lessons I learned in life is that much of what I was seeking on the outside was on the inside. Since I have started regular meditation, many years ago, I am coming more and more in touch with what I have been seeking on the outside. But the fascinating thing is, the more I can find it inside the more it is also manifesting on the outside. Hope that makes some sense.

And of course one of the great things that came into my life was this community. :-)

by Fran on Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 at 08:39:31 AM EST
Does it make sense!  Meditation! is always on my unwritten list and it is time I give it real priority and make time for it.  It would help me focus and clear doubts, I know.  Although sometimes I can manifest life mirrors and symbolic reminders, that make me want to run away and become an air head.  Don´t you?

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 at 04:06:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
bin there, tried that...

taking your feet off the ground too long is cheating!

besides, whatever you run from is always waiting wherever you're going.

elastic-

meditation is so vital, i always am chastened when i try to wing it too long without

and the welcome is always so warm, it beats me why i wait to get back into it.

playing out the prodigal myth, i guess.

it's as basic as any other simple hygiene, gives so much and asks only peaceful attention in return.

om.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 at 06:53:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not so much anymore - the mirrors I am creating in my life have improved - thankfully. But I know what you mean - I used to have those moments too.

Maybe you should put Meditation on your written list. :-D

by Fran on Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 at 02:55:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
you are such a rock, fran.

beautiful words about the inside/outside..

you have expessed the first and only law of successful thaumaturgy..

that's 'white magic'

once the horse gets back in front(!) of the cart, you have to wonder why everyone doesn't just get it...boom.....flash...

duh

or do you see it as a long gruelling road of painful initiations, leaving behind bleeding chunks of ego as you battle onwards and upwards?

didn't think so...

did seem like that sometimes though, huh?

it's a constant mystery to me

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 at 06:45:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks melo for enlarging my vocabulary - thaumaturgy, had to look it up. Very interesting!

once the horse gets back in front(!) of the cart, you have to wonder why everyone doesn't just get it...boom.....flash...

duh

or do you see it as a long gruelling road of painful initiations, leaving behind bleeding chunks of ego as you battle onwards and upwards?

didn't think so...

You are right it was neither of them. No boom, no bleeding, but more like a series of small flashes, which over time turned into a accumulation of encouraging warmth. I mean it is still not peaches and cream everyday - but then who wants them everyday....

by Fran on Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 at 03:00:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the world as jigsaw...

gotta start at the edges...

corners, even better

that big hole sure sucks attention.

piece by piece,, the intention emerges, embedded in nested unfolding cores of meaning.

lots of apparently unconnected moments and feelings fit, in such unpredictable ways

always liked jigsaw, did you ever do the night sky one?

pleasant way to learn.
 fun

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 at 04:40:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Happy birthday. This is a beautiful diary.
by lychee on Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 at 09:42:29 PM EST
We lock the "personal" part away from the "public" part to protect the painful areas in our lives, as if they were unique, when most of them are really parallel.

Damn.

That really hit me in the solar plexus.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 at 10:53:14 PM EST
One of the things that has  struck me as I spoke about my son's illness was how many people would suddenly open up in return and tell about how they were caring for an ill parent, or had lost someone close to a disease some time back, or were themselves survivors of a serious disease or accident. But it had never come out before, they were bearing their burden (when current) hidden.

The fact that they seemed happy to talk about it finally has encouraged me to continue talking about my son frankly and openly. The fact that it's "not done" (i.e. it seems to be discouraged by society) is counterbalanced by the obvious benefits around me of doing it. Strange.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 at 01:48:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly.  Just the social acknowledgement of normal vulnerability, makes us all more secure and humane.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 at 04:36:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know.  Too "scientific", huh?

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 at 04:33:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I found out, yesterday, another friend has died from cancer.  She seemed to be beating it then it metastasized.  

So I'm going to be gone for a couple of days.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 at 08:33:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am often very personal here even if I don't want to be. Sorry that I can't restrain my self. Intelectually I am not of a caliber of many of you guys here but at the same time do not feel pity for me because it's not only that I am not envious but to the contrary I feel pity for you...ha-ha.

There is Arab proverb that goes:

He who seeks to understand everything
risks dying of anger.
- Arab proverb

I never believed in Internet relationships ...let alone love affairs ...and even Internet friendships were not comparable to real life relationships for me...it's different somehow. Those net "friends" were/are  there, always available on " click "but still like children's imaginary friends...if you know what I mean.
I found my self recently "crying on the shoulder" of a net friend, total stranger, that I never met and probably will never meet. We actually were "enemies" back at the times when it looked that she supported Milosevic and I was furiously against him. Two of us exchanged harsh words at the time. Would you believe that she cried for help and support when she was experiencing rough time and I am doing it now not being able to resolve problems in my life?
It's not that I have not real life friends. All though it's much harder to make them when you have to start from scratch in your 40-ies...but sometimes we feel so lonely ...even in the middle of crowd.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 at 11:22:23 PM EST
He who seeks to understand everything
risks dying of anger.
- Arab proverb

That´s so true.  Over-analizing.

Most of the time it is not that difficult to draw the appropriate line without building castles around ourselves.  At the same time, being aware of so much conflict and tension today, the castle is tempting.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 at 04:48:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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