Sometimes I just can't shake this one off :(

Talk about relationships in the context of Spiritual Enlightenment
NJTollefan
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Sometimes I just can't shake this one off :(

Post by NJTollefan » Fri Nov 30, 2007 11:49 pm

First of all, hi to everyone. I've been looking at this board for a while ever since I read PON and A New Earth. I'm a 25 yr old female.
I keep both the books on my bedside table and never put them in a bookshelf because if I feel upset, ususally right before I try to fall asleep, I can usually turn to any page and read something that will make me feel better and help me to really drown out the painbody. I live in a pretty busy area and it helps to listen to all the sounds in the distance which really brings me into the now- trains, cars, people, animals...I read a couple books by Lama Suyra Das and attended Buddhist lectures in NYC but I know I have a long way to go before I can feel at peace again.
I am having a hard time moving past a relationship that ended 2 years ago. Actually 2 years ago was the second time we dated and 3 1/2 years ago was the first. Since he came back around once, I can't let go of the feeling that he will come back around again but I have not heard from him in those 2 years. As time goes by things do not seem to get easier but harder. I think, "Another year has passed and I have not heard from him," and makes me sure that he is never coming back, that he's fallen deeply in love with someone else. I fear that if I ever do hear about him again he will be married. I cry and cry about this and I feel so hopeless about relationships because I feel like I can't fall in love with someone else. I've dated others since him but I always have this feeling if he came back I'd leave them to be back with him.
I also believe that if he did come back I wouldn't be "rescued". I believe Eckhart when he says you have to stop waiting for this or that to rescue you because even if at first it does seem that way it won't last and even with him I could feel unhappy again.

I think I have heard enough techniques to move past this but something just is still holding me back and I feel I can't. What do I do?

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Webwanderer
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Re: Sometimes I just can't shake this one off :(

Post by Webwanderer » Sat Dec 01, 2007 1:17 am

Hello NJTollefan, welcome to our forum.

Ask youself some honest questions: Are you in love with this man, or your memory of him? Which is actually now present? Do you remember him as he is, or as you imagine him to be?

Do you love this man enough to let him go? By doing so you honor him, yourself, and life in this moment. Your longing is an ego/mind perception that there is something missing in your life. Is there something truly missing, or is it a judgment that this moment is somehow incomplete without him?

What would happen if he came back? Could this kind of longing possibly foster a healthy relationship? Or would the clinging, born of longing, destroy it before it could begin.

What would happen to you if you let him go? Would you not attain freedom from his memory? Not that you would forget, but you would no longer be entrapped by it.

The greatest act of love in relationships is the freedom for your loved one to go, or to choose someone else. Far better is it for someone to go willingly than to stay unwillingly.

Honestly review these questions, and then make the decision to live in the Truth.

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Re: Sometimes I just can't shake this one off :(

Post by kiki » Sat Dec 01, 2007 1:23 am

Hello NJTolleFan, and welcome to the board. Can you "step back" and take a look at your situation? Right now you are deeply enmeshed in the story that's going on because it's so close to you, and in effect, it has become a part of who you take yourself to be. You are imagining situations about how things might be, when in reality you have no idea what might happen. Somewhere you've developed and believed in the idea that he is some kind of answer to your life. Now step back from all of that and look at what's actually going on.

What is that? What is going on? Can you see that it is just a storyline, a bunch of ideas playing out in the mind? And what are ideas anyway? Just thoughts, right? So, there is a fantasy life created out of ideas and the starring character in the center of this life is NJTolleFan, and a supporting character is this fellow who is only kept "alive" by a persistent replaying of past events and future hopes/desires. It's all sheer fantasy, all of it! Every character (including you), every memory, every hope, every desire, every anxiety - all of it, sheer fantasy. And it's that fantasy life that is covering up the peace you seek. That life is playing out in the mind, but watching it all is what you really are, the still and silent presence of Being, pure consciousness.

Now, the only way this will help you is to see this for yourself. It's not enough to believe this is so, you have to actually real-ize it. See this is real by examining the central character in this little play: NJTolleFan. Look for her; be specific - ask "What am I really?" and then look. You must discover directly that "you" aren't anything that can be pinned down in the mind, that can be located in time or space, that can be labeled or named, that can be described or quantified. The only thing that can be real is what never changes, and there is where peace is found. YOU, what you really are, never changes, and if you reflect just a little bit on this you know this to be true. This knowledge is built into you because it forms the foundation of what you are.

Of course, having read the board and Lama Surya Das you already know the answer to your problem, consciously abiding in your true nature, consciousness. But what is that as an experience? What is that as a reality in your life? You've got to make the transition from every idea you have of what "consciousness" is to the direct realization of what it is. Once you see/realize that you are consciousness the stories of the imaginary "me" lose their ability to cause suffering. Once you see/realize that you are consciousness you can accept any story as it arises without getting enmeshed in it again, without getting lost in a fantasy world. It is getting caught in those stories that covers up the peace and stillness of your essential being, which is the ONLY place where unconditional happiness and peace will be found.
I think I have heard enough techniques to move past this
I don't doubt this at all.
but something just is still holding me back and I feel I can't. What do I do?
That's right, something is holding you back, but is that something real or only imagined? The irony of this is that the ego wants to remain in control but the ego isn't even real to begin with. It uses memories, hopes, desires, fears, the promise of future events and comforts of past memories to keep active and in control. But all of this is how it avoids experiencing this very moment, this moment where peace is found. Stripped of the influence of the mind and distortions of the ego this moment holds the answer to what you think you don't already have. This is what you have to discover for yourself.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
---

NJTollefan
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Re: Sometimes I just can't shake this one off :(

Post by NJTollefan » Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:05 am

Thanks for your responses. This is kinda hard for me to reply to..you'll discover how stubborn I can be.

I know there were things that bothered me and made me sad when I was a child, teenager, and when I was in college that seem sooooo unreal to me now. It's true that over time they become a dream or fantasy. To make the past seem like a fantasy can be easy. Making the present and the labeled "things" in it seem like a fantasy has been much more difficult for me.

I can look at a picture of an ex (not him another guy) who I cried for months over and feel nothing. I no longer even think he's attractive and it makes me wonder what made me fall in love with him in the first place? I mean, that sorta thing happens to a lot of people. People going through their first breakup may not believe that when you tell them but it does. It just hasn't completely happened with this guy yet and oh how I want it to!

My ego definitely will do anything to keep him alive. He himself only lives a few miles away, so it's hard to make this physical form that I could go and see if I wanted to an imagined thing. I still feel connected to him. I still wonder if his # will turn up on my phone or I will see him in the city... :(

I've always zoned out in high school and college and daydreamed about things I wanted to happen. Before I read PON I made the mistake of watching the video for The Secret (BTW I'm glad I did for free :)) and all I did was visualize us back together again for the longest time. I didn't believe all the stuff in the Secret about Ferrari's and Mansions but a few small wishes like the man I loved and a better job, why not go for it? Then I read PON and learn not to expect great things in the future because when they turn out to be not so great, or don't happen at all you won't be prepared for that letdown. He's right but now, I have to throw away all those wonderful images I dreamed up? Sigh...

Attention..here and now :shock:

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Re: Sometimes I just can't shake this one off :(

Post by Suzanne » Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:29 pm

NJTollefan wrote:I've always zoned out in high school and college and daydreamed about things I wanted to happen.
I have to throw away all those wonderful images I dreamed up? Sigh...
You only have to throw away the fantasies if you want to live your life and be anything: Happy, angry, peaceful, creative, fun, whatever. Being is not dreaming.

Living in a dream world isn't living. You are in suspended animation, and I'd speculate that this may have something to do with why your prince left you in the first place. He can only be with you in the now. He's not a fantasy. He's a person. You attempt to live in a dreamworld, inside your head. No one can be with you there.

So the real $64 question is, what exactly are you running from by living inside your head? What pain are you avoiding by avoiding real living?

And if you really wanted the real man as you say you do, you'd knock on his door and meet him as a human being, not as a phantom in your imagination. But then you'd lose control of him. You'd have to accept him as he really is.

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Re: Sometimes I just can't shake this one off :(

Post by Webwanderer » Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:48 pm

NJTollefan wrote:Before I read PON I made the mistake of watching the video for The Secret (BTW I'm glad I did for free :)) and all I did was visualize us back together again for the longest time.
That's a great example of the dangers inherant in the "Secret" technic. You've created such a strong attachment to a conceptual desire that it now haunts you. ("Secret" supporters take notice)
My ego definitely will do anything to keep him alive.
So don't fight with it, that's just more fuel on the fire. Ego thrives in resistance. Recognize your longing for what it truly is. Feel it fully with the knowing that it is an ego/mind created energy. But also know, as Kiki has stressed, that you are not an identity separate from the world around you. You are not this believed in person.

Ego is a ball of thought and energy within you, masquerading as real person. Look closely and clearly and you will find nothing substantial, only interchangable thought and energy. The attachments you make to certain thoughts about past, future and present imaginings, give a sense of personal individuality. But only a sense that we believe to be real. "Me" is an adopted personality.

Allow those, and all thoughts and emotions that arise, to be. Don't fight them. Rather, see them for what they are from what you are, this clear Presence of Being. All content of thought and emotion are within the field of awareness that is your Essence. This cannot be figured out. It can only be directly seen when free of thought. The ego can be figured out by the mind that created it, but Being is beyond the scope and capability of thought. It must be seen because it is the seeing.

Recognize your longing as an addiction, like any other addiction, that comes from a consistant overdose of an ingested substance that produces sensational effects. The addiction is the strong belief in the need for this person in your life, that you have an emotional sense that you are not complete without him. Recognize what has happened, and live in the understanding that it is a created attachment that will subside to the degree that you stop feeding it energy.

Recognition exists only in mental silence. Let go of the story spinning in your mind. Then rest awhile in silence to see this clearly.

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Re: Sometimes I just can't shake this one off :(

Post by fish-master » Wed Dec 05, 2007 10:01 pm

And if you really wanted the real man as you say you do, you'd knock on his door and meet him as a human being, not as a phantom in your imagination. But then you'd lose control of him. You'd have to accept him as he really is.
I think this is the best piece of advice that has been given on this topic. I know from my own personal experience I tend to fantasize a lot about relationships, and make people seem incredible and amazing in my head. However, it almost never turns out that way, and for the most it is a harmless and fun exercise in day dreaming that allows me to step outside myself for a little while.

There is one girl however that I thought about, and I'd imagine and build up, and she wouldn't dissapoint. She actually exceeded my thoughts and made me feel great, but maybe that was an illusion too because she hurt me. She let me down but I am partly to blame because instead of simply enjoying my time with her, I made it a game of expectations and requirements.

BUT! The key is that having realized my error, I've completely forgiven her and myself and I've tried to renew our relationship with a fresh perspective that doesn't require such dependencies. Unconditional love you could call it.

So I come back to the quote, either take the approach I did and try to recapture the relationship in an open and honest way. If you can't do it then you don't really want to, because you are afraid that you have made him out to be something he is not and that you've wasted 2 years of your life on a guy that never really meant anything. Don't let fear hold you back, fear of rejection, fear of reality, fear of being vulnerable. Acceptance and surrender will allow you to move on, all resistance is negativity (Tolle).

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lilly83
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Re: Sometimes I just can't shake this one off :(

Post by lilly83 » Fri Dec 07, 2007 11:33 am

hi,

I have been in the same sort of situation as my post is below yours!!! But i have learnt so much from my situation and in your situation you can say that ok you clearly feel that you cannot be happy without this man who seems to you like your ideal guy who if you get him back will find that happiness you now seem to feel as though you lack. But if you look deeper into that thought, it is clear that you are attatched to the story of this guy, and in a way you could almost be attatched to the sad emotions and all the other emotions that come with this 'story', because if you stop playing this story over and over in your head, i guess in a way you have lost an idenity, as the ego has created an identity out of this 'story' with this guy. Just sit quietly and meditate, focus on the stillness, or the breath, and just see what happens when you stop playing the thoughts you replay over and over again about this guy. Its just a drama that the ego is producing, i learnt alot when i just accpeted the fact that this guy didnt want more from me, even though my mind had come up with all these ideas that he was my soulmate etc etc, but i have surrended to the situation and it has taught me alot about humility and how the ego always strives to fight against what is real. It will defend and is very sneaky, when you take the drama out of your life, the one you have been hanging onto for so long, the ego wants it back, it sais 'but i have to think about how he is an amazing guy, but i want him, he will make me happy' all these buts but never a yes to the situation as eckhart sais. a yes he isnt here, a yes i am not with him and a yes i will accept what is and accept that this situation is happening for my higher good.

I know its not easy i know this as im going through it myself, but as much as i have much love for this guy i have told him that it was prob one of the best things that has happened to me in my life this situation with him, as it has taught me so much about humility and just accpeting what is real in life, and i feel very little now the resistance i felt not long ago when my ego wanted to fight the fact that he didnt like me in the way i did. Why should i resist what is real? why should i waist energy, why should i swim against the current? i just learnt that i should let life be, not try and tackle what is real, as the ego with all its manipulating, defending, fighting etc will never ever be able to change what is real in this world, so all i have to say is surrender to what is, as eckhart sais, its sounds so simple but im learning it is that simple.

lilly83

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Re: Sometimes I just can't shake this one off :(

Post by Suzanne » Fri Dec 07, 2007 8:24 pm

lilly83 wrote:it is clear that you are attatched to the story of this guy, and in a way you could almost be attatched to the sad emotions and all the other emotions that come with this 'story', because if you stop playing this story over and over in your head, i guess in a way you have lost an idenity, as the ego has created an identity out of this 'story' with this guy.
lilly83
This is it, Lilly83. You've found how the attachment functions, just like any drug, and so you can overcome it. You can be free of all that pain and settle for the smaller pain of relinquishing your ego. Admitting the hold that your ego has on you is hard, but is it really harder than wasting your life on a phantom?

Brilliant.

We all do this, until we just get sick and tired of beating ourselves up, and start to ask why. You've taken hold of your life and made room for a real person to share it with you. In reality. Now. You have awakened.

Everything from this point gets easier. I promise. :mrgreen:

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Re: Sometimes I just can't shake this one off :(

Post by sailing » Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:04 am

Admitting the hold that your ego has on you is hard, but is it really harder than wasting your life on a phantom?
Relationship problems, especially the losing part, really brings out lots of baggage. Now, it is so easy to see that my ego owns me. I'm in there deep. Does seeing and admitting it somehow help you get free of it? I've been really duped by it as I suppose most people have been. I can feel it, now, in my conscious awareness of it, how thick and unrealistic it is! God, no wonder everything has been so F'd up in this life! The phantom is not the guy I'm struggling with in my head, the Real Phantom is this ego. It has distorted so much, I recognize the insanity that has been my constant companion.

Clarity has arisen in me, just by writing this. Thank you guys for sharing the problem and the solution. In gratitude for this forum, its time to hit the "Make A Donation" button.

You know, this thread has so much wisdom in it, that it should stand out as a "Must Read". I've come across it several times and each time I read it, I see more. Thank you, to all the contributors on this thread. God Bless you.

Your sister, sailing
"We are sailing, stormy waters, to be near you, to be free."
Rod Stewart

NJTollefan
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Re: Sometimes I just can't shake this one off :(

Post by NJTollefan » Sat Mar 22, 2008 9:18 pm

It's good to see you liked this thread sailing.
I posted this in November and unfortunately, there are days when I just still feel the same and that things have not gotten any better. I get very very emotional around my period. First I think I have PMS which consists of anxiety, stress and worry and once it's over I feel like I have some type of POST menstrual syndrome where I feel intense depression and grief. Maybe that was TMI but I really do notice a difference around that time. Whoever says PMS is a myth must be lying. Eckhart mentions something about women having to be more present at the time in PON. I have other worries and stresses in my daily life but this guy just has remained a constant over the years.
I don't know what to say. I have had moments of clarity and peace and if I feel thoughts and memories of him arising I can halt them but the thought of never seeing him again is what hurts. You're right lilly I am swimming against a strong current but I should really just go with the flow. I didn't mean to disappoint anyone on this board but I am still looking for that simple solution to just let him go..probably forever :cry: .
I went to another Buddhist lecture the other week. At my last job I had a long commute far away from the studio where the lectures are and hadn't gone in a couple months but I finally got to go. After it was over, it felt like working out extremely hard at the gym after weeks of not exercising but mentally. We meditated for 20 minutes at the start and about 10 and the end. It was so simple and made me feel very at peace. Now that I have more free time I will definitely be going more.

I've been watching the Oprah podcasts too. They have been excellent.

Someday I will look at all this and laugh..

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Re: Sometimes I just can't shake this one off :(

Post by grant » Sun Mar 23, 2008 4:43 pm

Laugh now. :wink:

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Re: Sometimes I just can't shake this one off :(

Post by sailing » Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:41 am

NJTollefan wrote: I didn't mean to disappoint anyone on this board but I am still looking for that simple solution to just let him go..probably forever :cry: .
In years gone by, I too obsessed over a lost boyfriend. It's hell. I am not at all disappointed that you are still stuck. Accept it. OK, I'm stuck on this guy. OK, I'm hoping that its not really over. OK, I'm thinking about him all the time. OK, I'm feeling . . . . . . . . and . . . . . . . and . . . . . . Acceptance. Acceptance. Do not resist whats really happening. Accept the reality of the present moment. Right this minute, he is not with you, and its okay, see.

Right now I'm reaching out to you, because I know this stuckness too. And I know how it hurts. God gave us "The Now" so that we can get free of the suffering and be in Peace. We just have to be willing to let go for one moment. Take time to stop. Feel your body. Relax. Go deeper to feel the life inside you that is not there when you are dead. Feel the life inside you. Feel the breath in you. You are alive. The love you need is all inside of you. Reach inward and hold steady.

From The Power of Now by ET "You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are!" NJTollefan, this means you and me. We are together, not fighting with what is, but accepting that there is so much more for us inside than we can ever imagine. Our puny little life situations are miniscule. Look at the night sky and see all the stars. Look at the ocean and all its power. Look inside and you will find that power and majesty. I promise it will come to you. "Be still and know that I Am God."

Much love, your sister, sailing :)
"We are sailing, stormy waters, to be near you, to be free."
Rod Stewart

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Re: Sometimes I just can't shake this one off :(

Post by innerhike » Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:18 am

Invite all of the ugly feelings. Invite all of what scares you. Not the people in your life that you obsess about but all of your thoughts about them. Just be with all this heaviness. Don't want it to leave. Just be with all this. Don't do anything. Discover for the first time what all this really is instead of labeling it, running from it, pushing it away, calling it names, etc. Be patient in this. Spend as long as is necessary. Be willing to spend eternity with this. You will spend eternity with you suffering until you discover its real nature.

Be with everything that is arising in you and outside you. It is that simple. Keep coming back to this commitment over and over no matter what happens. DO NOTHING. BE, just BE in the midst of all of the mental noise and physical discomfort/pain.

You cannot love nor function in this world unless your inner state is in balance.

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Re: Sometimes I just can't shake this one off :(

Post by lilly83 » Fri Apr 04, 2008 1:20 pm

NJTollefan ,

I see your struggle, and i have one suggestion for you. Its called Vipassana mediation. Visit the website http://www.dhamma.org/ you will get infomation about it there. But i sat a 10 day vipassana mediation course where we could not talk to anybody the whole time, and we were provided with vegetarian food for free and free accomdation, this is how generous the course is but it is run on donation and because of its success in people finding true inner happiness people donate thousands of dollars.

Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India's most ancient techniques of meditation. It was rediscovered by Gotama Buddha more than 2500 years ago and was taught by him as a universal remedy for universal ills, i.e., an Art Of Living.

This non-sectarian technique aims for the total eradication of mental impurities and the resultant highest happiness of full liberation. Healing, not merely the curing of diseases, but the essential healing of human suffering, is its purpose.

Vipassana is a way of self-transformation through self-observation. It focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by disciplined attention to the physical sensations that form the life of the body, and that continuously interconnect and condition the life of the mind. It is this observation-based, self-exploratory journey to the common root of mind and body that dissolves mental impurity, resulting in a balanced mind full of love and compassion.

The scientific laws that operate one's thoughts, feelings, judgements and sensations become clear. Through direct experience, the nature of how one grows or regresses, how one produces suffering or frees oneself from suffering is understood. Life becomes characterized by increased awareness, non-delusion, self-control and peace.

I did the ten day course and it has changed the way i live my life forever, there is no turning back for me. i was in the same situation as you, not letting go of this guy, but through this mediation daily and hour a day, im coming out of my misery and attachment. learning that we are just attached to the sensations and emotions of the body.

Please visit this site, and read up about it, i have all faith. and this mediation compliments exactly what eckhart teachers.

Regards
Lilly 83

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