Browsing Tag

men

Guest Posts, Self Image

Enough. By Josh Becker.

June 4, 2013

Enough.

When I was 14 -years old I had the worst case of acne and I was about as skinny as a bean pole. To top it off I had bucked teeth which just added to the whole package. At 14-years old, boys my age had one, and only one, mission and that was to attract girls. This was the start of High School and aside from figuring out how you were going to hide your bad grades from your parents, who you would date was the only thing more pressing.

I was the kind of kid who just wanted a girlfriend. I was happy being in a long-term (as long-term as a 14 year old could have) relationship. Fortunately, I managed to attract enough of the girls that I did have some of those relationships. Whether or not I was in a relationship though didn’t matter much. Every day I was self conscious about my looks. I grew up on the east coast where it wasn’t unusual to have sweltering 95 degree days with 95% humidity. Those days where you wish you could walk around with a fan attached to your forehead. However on those days I’d be the kid, and the only kid, wearing pants. I was so self-conscious about my “chicken legs” that I couldn’t stand the thought of someone seeing them.

Being called, “skeleton” and “bones” wasn’t uncommon and it wasn’t unusual for an attractive girl to walk up to me and ask why I don’t eat. Oh I ate…I could eat pretty much anyone under the table but my metabolism was so high none of it would settle. I remember laying awake at night in bed wishing I was fat. I remember putting my hands over my stomach and then working my way down to my protruding hip bones in disgust. I wished I was fat because I was convinced I could just run or lose the excess weight somehow. Gaining weight for me was just not an option and I was reminded how horrible that was every day.

The acne was bad too because that wasn’t something I could cover up with pants. Shame would wash over me when I walked down the halls thinking about what “they” thought. There were times when I felt like I was wearing an ugly mask that I just couldn’t take off. I would go out of my way to avoid people and cut conversations short just to avoid others looking to closely. I was barely even listening when they were talking as I was too busy wondering what they were thinking of my zit covered face.

Smiling sucked at 14 because I was the one in the front of the class cracking the jokes. Can you imagine what it’s like to try and make others laugh and laugh yourself all while not smiling? I did a lot of those “lips closed” smiles. There wasn’t one single time I smiled that I wasn’t conscious of it. Not one smile.

I loved being the center of attention but hated actually receiving it.

The irony of this doesn’t go lost on me. I was a young boy covered in shame and left with false beliefs of not being good looking enough, not being tough enough, not being loved enough, and just not being enough. I longed for the love I wasn’t giving myself and that love took shape in the form of attention. I sought that attention but when I received it my shame came right back and spit in my face. It reminded me how “not enough” I really am and wouldn’t allow any of that attention and ultimately love in. The shame did a great job of keeping me in my darkness.

As I got older the pimples went away, the teeth straightened (did the braces thing twice!), and I gained the weight. The problem was the false beliefs were still there. Every morning I woke up and put on my glasses of “I’m not good enough”. This is how I saw the world and anything that happened meant I’m not good enough. I would get cut off on the highway and it meant I’m not important. Someone would say, “No” to me and it would mean I wasn’t good enough. I would say,” No” to acting on my own dreams because I knew thought I wasn’t good enough.

I learned that the shame I carried my whole life didn’t have anything to do with how I looked. I knew it had to do with the false beliefs I started to live my life by. It didn’t matter what I looked like. It didn’t matter what clothes I wore. It didn’t matter what girlfriend I had, what car I drove, how much money I made, or how popular I was. None of that mattered.

The greatest determination of my own self-love had nothing to do with the things “out there” and had everything to do with the things inside of me! Unfortunately those “things” were all covered up with my own shame and false beliefs that I carried from early childhood. One day (okay, this took years and is still a work in progress) I decided I wasn’t going to carry this shame anymore. I learned that the shame I carried was the shame of others. I gave back that shame and gave back all those false beliefs. I would tell myself daily that…

I am enough

I am good

I am beautiful

I am precious

I am intelligent

I am powerful

I am strong

The lies that fueled my false beliefs were being replaced by truths that were fueling my authentic self. The self I was born as. The one that had all those qualities I longed for. Today, I’m about 25 lbs over weight, my dark hair is turning more salt-n-pepper, and my eyebrow hair is growing faster than the hair on my head. Yet, I walk with my head high seeking only healthy attention. When the attention comes I accept it and receive it with love. I no longer worry about what others think of me and know that it’s literally none of my business what they do. People say, “No” to me and I celebrate the Yes they gave themselves. I listen when other speak to me as my attention no longer needs to be consumed on my self-worth. Life is so different and it’s filled with love, lots of love.

It’s a daily practice and I know it’s about progress and not perfection. I still do have my days when I forget that I’m not those lies I used to tell myself. Though, today I’m quicker to catch it and remind myself of the truth. If there’s one thing I know it’s this…

You are ENOUGH as you are and there’s nothing you can do to make yourself more or less enough, you just are! I know this to be true about you because I know it to be true about me.

With Gratitude and Appreciation, Josh

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Josh Becker is an Author, Speaker and Mentor dedicated to helping you take off those glasses of false belief in exchange for your glasses of inherent nature. Josh is bridging the gap between the needed healing of our past and the tools necessary to live authentically now and in the future. You can find him at www.isimply.am, on Twitter, and on Facebook.
Beating Fear with a Stick, Jen Pastiloff, Jen's Musings

I Don’t Like You But I Want You To Want Me.

February 26, 2013

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By Jen Pastiloff.

I used to play this game in my twenties with men. I don’t like you but I want you to want me it was called. I was insecure and wanted all the attention I could get from men but I didn’t want to have to give anything up for it: sex, intimacy, love. I wanted to feel pretty and desired without having to look into anyone’s eyes or have them claim me as theirs. I felt ugly and short and I overcompensated by wearing high platform shoes and low cut shirts which showed my cleavage. And a lot of makeup. I was a master at flirting. I could make men want me.

Then I would panic. I would avoid. I would not return phone calls or emails. I would hide. I would be distant. I was a fraud. I couldn’t hold my own.

I didn’t want to hold my own.

A good friend of mine has been in a situation where a man was flirting with her and showing signs of attraction. She was attracted to him. She was confused by some of his behaviors and she told him as much. He then called her up to say: Just to be clear, I have no romantic or sexual interest in you. 

(Easy there, cowboy!)

What an asshole I said over the phone. Until I realized he was playing the game I used to play, or a version of it. I want you to want me but I want no responsibility. I don’t want to take this any farther but I want to feel desired by you. I want you to fall in love with me and I want to have zero accountability. In fact, I will be somewhat shocked when you call me out on my behaviors was the name or names of his game.

I remember after I got dumped in my 28th birthday I agreed to go on a date with a guy I had been waiting on for years. I had known he’d had a crush on me and I wasn’t attracted to him at all but I was trying to get over heartbreak and I thought it would be a good idea to get out. I wasn’t interested in him but the date was fun. He took me to a big famous Hollywood television producer’s house for a Christmas party and I felt funny and pretty and after we left he told me the big famous Hollywood producer kept asking about me. Who was the cute little Jewish girl? he said the producer kept saying. I’d felt flattered.

I wasn’t into this guy but I tried to make myself because I thought he would be good for me. He was a successful television writer and he was smart and funny. And he liked me. (I had been with someone for two years who didn’t like me very much.)

I just didn’t want to kiss him. Ever.

We went out on a few dates and finally he emailed me and called me out after I sent him a forwarded joke via email. He told me that he had enough friends. That he wasn’t interested in me as a friend and I needed to be straight. Was I interested in him or not?

I panicked. I wasn’t. I stared at the computer, horrified. I couldn’t bring myself to type the words. I admired him for his straightforwardness. Here I was sending him dumb emails just to keep him at bay, hoping he would disappear but not without pining for me.

I forget what I said exactly but it ended with No, I don’t want to date you. I probably beat around the bush. I probably made it sound nice and fluffy and a little dishonest.

I never heard from him again.

Look, I get it. He didn’t want to be my friend. He wanted to love me. He was being honest and fair.

I remember being shocked at his email. It was harsh, as I’m assuming his feelings were hurt, but I had never received such a blunt email before. He was so willing to speak what he wanted, to say what he felt and what he needed. And a friendship with me wasn’t any of those things. Fair enough.

I cringe when I think of the things I used to do for love. I hated myself and thought that if enough men wanted me it could fill that hatred with something. Even something I didn’t want.

Why so many lies?

I don’t want you but I want you to want me. Or even the I don’t like you but I can’t stand that you don’t like me. I want everyone to love me.

Oh, there it is. I want everyone to love me.

It’s so ugly and horrible and smelly that I throw it down the basement stairs before it burns my eyes and blinds me with its filth and stench.

There’s a roomful of people who are all nodding and digging what I am saying. They are into it. Then, there’s one who isn’t. I focus on the one.

I want you to like me. 

I focus on the one.

I sent an email to someone the other day which included my newsletter. I wrote about it the other day. He simply replied “unsubscribe.”

When I got really down and dirty with myself I was willing to ask Why did you send him the email in the first place, Jen? I’d had a hunch he didn’t like me. I had known. And the answer came. I was again in my twenties wearing a low cut shirt and high shoes to hide. I wanted him to like me was the wimpy little 5 year old kid answer.

The thing is, I only sent the email because of that. If I get down real low and look where I am afraid to look like under the bed and in the basement. It’s disgusting. Want me want me want me want me want me from the darkest crevices you can imagine.

Here’s the great thing about being honest with yourself. When you finally are, you leave the basement. The ugly truths about you aren’t so ugly once you face them. You just get a little wet washcloth and move forward with your day dusting off whatever needs dusting. It’s just that most of us are afraid to look inward so we keep throwing things under the bed and down the basement stairs.

I would be scared to go down there after a while too.

So that guy, the one who was leading my friend on, I don’t know what his deal was. (And yes, I still think he was an asshole for saying that to her.) I do know that he flirted with her and sent her every signal that he was interested and then when she called him out, he balked. He wanted what he wanted without having to be there for it.

Who wants to live that way? It’s ghost living. It’s like lying your way through your life and knocking people over with your big bag as you walk down the sidewalk. It’s like making a mess and walking out as you yell Someone else will clean it up without so much as even glancing over your shoulder.

There is a fine line between being honest and being an asshole.

Don’t get me wrong. At times I have been both. What I am concerned with now is the former.

I want to love you is a revision of I want you to want me. 

I want to love you. 

Imagine the world where we are all concerned with what people think of us and if they like us and how much better we feel when they do love us and how we don’t want to have to actually be in our bodies but rather parade them around looking perfect.

Oh wait. Right.

We live in the world. You and me and all the other pots calling the kettles black.

We get to create what the experience is like for ourselves. I want to love you. I don’t care if you like me. 

Except that’s a lie and we all know it.

We care.

I care.

How about this: I want to care less.

I want to care less about the things that don’t matter and the people who don’t love me back (there will always be some so get over that now.) I want to care less about who is loving me and more about who I am loving.

We live in the world. There’s not much we can to to change that fact except not live in the world and that choice seems grim. We live in the world and we live in our bodies and the capacity to love is great. It’s so great that we don’t even have to do anything about it except acknowledge it and ask it to sit down for a glass of wine. It has a dog’s nose and can smell shit a mile away so don’t worry about that.

Your capacity to love is so great that it will carry you through most things in this world.

 

Join Jen Pastiloff, the founder of The Manifest-Station, in The Berkshires of Western Massachusetts in Feb of 2015 for a weekend on being human.

Join Jen Pastiloff, the founder of The Manifest-Station, in The Berkshires of Western Massachusetts March 3-5, 2017 for a weekend on being human.

 

 

Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Join her in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the sunflowers!

Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Join her in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Email barbara@jenniferpastiloff.com to register. June 17-24, 2016 or Sep 9-16! Click pic of info.

 The 12 Day Detox is here. Sign up now for the next cleanse on November 30th. Space is limited. This detox comes at just the perfect time. Reprogram your body and mind as we move into the holiday season. This is your time of rejuvenation and renewal.This is not a juice fast, or a detox based on deprivation.


The 12 Day Detox is here. Sign up now for the next cleanse on November 7, 2016. Space is limited. This detox comes at just the perfect time. Reprogram your body and mind as we move into the holiday season. This is your time of rejuvenation and renewal.This is not a juice fast, or a detox based on deprivation.

 

 

Ring in New Years 2016 with Jen Pastiloff at her annual Ojai retreat. It’s magic! It sells out quickly so book early. No yoga experience required. Just be a human being. With a sense of humor. Email barbara@jenniferpastiloff.com with questions or click photo to book. NO yoga experience needed. Just be a human being

Ring in New Years 2017 with Jen Pastiloff at her annual Ojai retreat. It’s magic! It sells out quickly so book early. No yoga experience required. Just be a human being. With a sense of humor. Email barbara@jenniferpastiloff.com with questions or click photo to book. NO yoga experience needed. Just be a human being

 

Featured image by Simplereminders.com.

 

 

 

 

healing, loss, writing

In Case You Also Hate Goodbyes.

February 11, 2013

I haven’t had that many goodbyes to speak of, but I can tell you straight off the bat that I am not a fan.

They feel final and long, drawn out. Overdone. Severe as winter and hard as bone or something like that. Something that can’t be chopped into smaller pieces or fed to the dogs. At least the goodbyes that I have known were like that. Awful in their lack.

I have never stopped saying them either. Goodbye to my father, goodbye to this or that. I am always saying goodbye to you and yet here you are.

Here you are.

Of all the people that left me, none of them said goodbye. My father, gone. Up in a whiff of smoke. Boyfriends, like they’d never even existed in the first place. Men in the ether. Friends who vanished. No goodbye, no note, no I’ll see you around. 

Last week at the airport I saw this little black girl in the back of a mini-van, hair in braids and little plastic barrettes. Her father, (I am guessing) came off the same flight as I did from Boston. He opened the back door and leaned in, up close to her face. She started to cry. She was so happy that she actually started to shake and cry.

The kind of emotion you see in those moving YouTube videos where the father returns from Iraq or Afghanistan and surprises his kid at school. He walks into the kid’s second grade class and as they are writing letters on the board he speaks his kid’s name. The kid drops the chalk and the eraser and his shoulders shake before he turns around because he thought he might be saying goodbye to his dad yet here his dad is. Right here in his classroom on a Monday in winter. He cries the happiest tears and runs and hugs his dad. The little girl in the back of the mini-van was like that boy with the chalk. Maybe she thought she’d never see her dad again, if it was even her dad, and yet here was, his big face peering into hers and his suitcase filled with presents from Boston or wherever.

I thought for sure he would climb in and sit in back with her. He didn’t though. He got in the front and turned to face her and she wiped the tears and the woman driving the mini-van drove them off. Goodbye.

The dirt river feeling in my stomach when I leave London and my husband stays back to be with his parents. That piece of the river that doesn’t move, stagnant water sleepy and half-frozen and useless as a complaint. That’s my stomach on that flight from Heathrow. Gurgling and moving the bits of trash upriver and downriver and back up again as I sip a wine and watch England fade away. Goodbye.

What if it’s the last time I see you I say out the window to England, to my father, to the men in the ether. 

What if it is? What if it is? Then what? Then what? So many questions. 

Before the men who left me slipped into the oohs and ahhs at my sudden givings over to pain, to confusion: Wait! Where is my father? (I am always dreaming of my ghost-limb, my old battle wound, gaping.)

Oh Night! Take me back! I yell often to the wing of the plane but not loud enough for anyone else to hear. Just a whisper-yell.

I want to be back in the world between the headboard and the wallpaper, where my head presses to the vent and voices from the den travel up into my ears as small as baby fists.

Sail me into time! Maybe the hot tail of a meteor or a field somewhere in South Jersey. Say 1983. 

Drop me into a world before men: the Pre-Man Era. A glitch in time before men started in on me, before their fingers started in-all over me.

Before any could leave or not say goodbye.

Goodbyes suck. They insinuate this is it. They suggest No more.

Here is an open letter saying Goodbye for all the future goodbyes headed my way.

Dear whoever you may be,

Goodbye. I may have loved you and I may not have but this here is my goodbye in case you decide to leave or die or whatever. In case you forget. In case you thought I didn’t need a goodbye. Take mine as an offering. Take this as a small gift and know that you served me in some way. Just your presence in my life did that. I hope I served you just as well. We may not be able to see it now, what the good of it all was but still. Maybe you won’t even hear this goodbye. Maybe you died in your sleep. But still. I think somewhere you can hear it. I will sail this letter off and if possible I will literally stick in into your palm. If that is not possible I will deliver it in some way, even if that means through my imagination. I will make it short and simple and easy as a summer day. Imagine that? Goodbyes like butterflies. Goodbyes like falling. Like falling into the empty space in between rifts of a song. Imagine that? Goodbye, whoever you are. In case your forget. Or I forget. And if you come back and it’s me in the back of that min-van I will cry because for the longest time I might have thought you’d never come back.

 And yet. There you are.

But in case you don’t: goodbye.

Goodbye.

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