The Ego, acceptance and an existential crisis

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Pyaan112
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The Ego, acceptance and an existential crisis

Post by Pyaan112 » Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:24 pm

So here is my struggle with ego, self, acceptance and being. I have had a strange life, ptsd from prolonged childhood trauma, depression in my early 20’s, a near death experience in my mid 30’s.... you do the math. At some point I became detached. I found myself in a spaciousness of being but not being. It felt like absolute freedom. Then things were coming my way. New career, a girlfriend who became my wife, suddenly no debts financially and a real sense of happiness.

With my to be wife the question of children arose. Me not wanting to be attached to something like that I decided not to have children. My wife accepted, though with some pain. She couldn’t handle the pill, she became physically not well, so I took my responsibility and had a vasectomie. All well.

Then one and a half year later, I experienced a dinner with my inlaws. Suddenly I saw for the first time in my life what family stands for. Unconditional mutual love for each other. Father to daughter, mother to daughter, vice versa..... I have never experienced that in my life so I had never seen it. My first reaction was: what have I taken away from my wife? Then, what have I taken away from myself by not having children. And did I take this or was this never given to me?

That was the beginning of my existential crisis. First I didn’t want to accept that I knew I made a great mistake. I couldn’t possibly wanted to have children all of a sudden could I? And do I really want children or is it something that arises because of the fear of not doing the right thing? Or the thing that would make everything wrong that happened all okay?

I discussed this with my wife, she is very realistic and says at our age she doesn’t want to start trying to have children. The risks of it not succeeding or succeeding but with negative health effects is too big. She is at peace with the idea of not having children, and doesn’t want to make such a big change in our lives.

Me neither, however, and herein lies my struggle: I sense that a new meaning of life has entered my concience. Reproduction. And on one hand I hate myself for allowing myself to be in this situation and doubtfull on weather or not I should do everything in my power to change things and to try to have children. With the risk of losing my wife, the one thing I’m sure of I have genuine love for.

On the other hand, I feel pain, because I now know that this is all a result of the things happening in my life and tells me things were not okay in the past, that led me to a “wrong” sense of the world. So I am aware of the impact of things in my live and on me, but can’t change, or don’t want to change because I really don’t know what the right course of action is.

Accepting this and move on and try to make a life as good as I can (which is hard, because a part of me says it can only be achieved by having children). Or potentially tearing everything apart in order to persue children.

As you might understand this is keeping me busy quite intensively. Shining the light of consiousness and awareness on this causes great feelings of sorrow and grief. And it feels it’s literally tearing me apart. As if something has changed but I’m unable to define my next move.

Perhaps these feelings are now finally alowed to be, where I always denied them all my life.

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Webwanderer
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Re: The Ego, acceptance and an existential crisis

Post by Webwanderer » Fri Jun 12, 2020 9:43 pm

Welcome to the forum. You've described a situation that I'm somewhat familiar with. My upbringing was sub par by my estimation, being left to my own accords within an environment of emotional neglect and precious little supervision. I hated being a child and that spilled over into a decision never to have children as an adult. I too had a vasectomy at a young age with the agreement of my wife at the time. Later she decided she wanted children and we ultimately went our separate ways.

Life finds a way however. In my later marriage, my new partner already had two young children at 2 and 4 years of age. It was obvious that I loved her and they needed me in their lives as they were in some difficult straits at the time. Anyway, that was 30 years ago and it was the right decision.

So here's my take. What matters most in this life is not so much what we do, but what we learn from what we do. We can't change the past, but we can become better people because of it. I know my life is richer because of the family I helped raise. On the other hand, both children have moved so far away, and have started their own families, I may never see either of them again. Certainly not with any consistency. Well, at least there is 'face time'. It's like life handed me both what I needed, and what I wanted, even though they were polar opposites. Curious.

While you and your wife may be older than you prefer to have your own children, you might consider adoption. You could pick an age range that works best along with other considerations. You might even consider becoming a foster home to test the water a bit. But in any case, look at your life with a sense of appreciation for the unique lessons it has to offer you, regardless of the circumstances. There is always value to be had.

WW

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smiileyjen101
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Re: The Ego, acceptance and an existential crisis

Post by smiileyjen101 » Sat Jun 13, 2020 1:47 am

Hi pyaan 112 thank you for sharing your vulnerability so beautifully - it was a gift of such unconditional love for all who read it, heart-touching, connective, beautiful.
Suddenly I saw for the first time in my life what family stands for. Unconditional mutual love for each other. Father to daughter, mother to daughter, vice versa..... I have never experienced that in my life so I had never seen it.
When/if we think unconditional love depends on something other than 'what is' it can be incredibly unbalancing when we realise - it has no need, it has no conditions, and it has no limitations.

Forgive me, may I enquire - is it possible that the existential crisis is not (necessarily) about having or not having children, but about the simplicity of unconditional love when we allow it to be seen, felt, acknowledged?

It's true people do learn to believe that love has to be earned, or consciously given, by their experiences of it. And any realisation of mis-take is unbalancing.

This may sound crazy, when you realised freedom from - and freedom to - are intricately intertwined at whatever level we allow, you 'noticed' for the first time by your sharing, the imbalance in that particular area.

We are - all - at our core, unconditional love. In human form we cloak this in order to survive our perceived fragility when we are that naked, raw, vulnerable and balancing our and others' freedom from/freedom to, we 'turn it down'.

With family it is simply impossible to keep up the charade - and you may notice this with your wife - family does not have to be genetic. So (imho) it's not so much that we 'gain' unconditional love from family, it's that we lose our cloaks of fear with them, and 'be' unconditional love. Unmasked, uncloaked, not measuring, or scoring etc.

When and if we recognise this, and are willing to be vulnerable again, we can be and know unconditional love as our true nature - regardless of situation and circumstance.

It does (as does any relating) create new 'struggles' in our perceptions in freedom from / freedom to experiencing.

I didn't really understand that I had a skewed perception of what unconditional love was until it hit me in the face too. It doesn't depend on anyone else but us. A counsellor pointed me in the direction of Neale Donald Walsch's Conversations with God (Book 2), which gently opened my eyes to my mis-take on it.
Gems that I keep as reminders in my new take on it include:
'It is that, without condition, without limitation, and without need.
Because it is without condition, it requires nothing in order to be expressed.
Because it is without limitation, it places no limitation on another.
Because it is without need, it seeks nothing not freely given, to hold nothing not wishing to be held, to give nothing not joyously welcomed.
And it is free. Love is that which is free, for freedom is the essence of what 'God' is, and love is 'God' expressed. Love is the freedom to express the most joyous part of who you really are.
The part that knows you are one with every thing and every one.
This is the truth of your being, and is the aspect of Self which you will most urgently and earnestly seek to experience."

Could it be that on some level you re-cognised this as a truth in the scene you were watching at dinner? and, could your now earnest desire for children, be this desire for you to be your most free and beautiful you?

It lies not in an object of the desire, but in you - as you. And, the huge shift that unbalances - that makes us want to latch onto something that we think might be more beautiful than us, and therefore that must be the 'key' the 'desire' - a family, children, a new car or financial independence or whatever we put in the pockets of our cloak. It is not them - they are all already beautiful too, but it is not the acceptance of them - it's the acceptance of our own beauty in harmony with .... every thing and every one.

Unconditional love is who we are. Not what we need.

"And, honesty is the highest form of love."

If we have been taught to believe we are less than this, it can be a mighty struggle to be honest with ourselves, and with others in balance, as we try to digest it.

So yes, it is ego, acceptance and an existential crisis - for all of us.

Great heart and thanks to you and to your wife, and to your wife's family and to your family for helping you to notice the 'mis-take' that you can now let go of, if you choose.
Freedom from/freedom to.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen

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smiileyjen101
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Re: The Ego, acceptance and an existential crisis

Post by smiileyjen101 » Sat Jun 13, 2020 2:26 am

An example of the struggle with the simpleness of unconditional love, in my re-learning, I panicked, drew that old cloak about me and pretty much said - but if I be that vulnerable, people will take advantage of me, mis-use me....

Further gems from Neale Donald Walsch's Conversations with God books addressed these fears too, with what might at times feel like brutal honesty.

"Loving another does not mean that you must stop loving yourself."
( my learning Forgiving any 'other' is loving yourself... but wait, there's more ;) )

"Granting another full freedom does not mean granting them the right to abuse you; nor does it mean sentencing yourself to a prison of your own device in which you live a life you would not choose, in order that another may live a life that they do choose.
(my learning, forgiving myself is also loving.)

"Yet, granting full freedom does mean placing no limitation of any kind upon another.
You limit what you choose to experience, not what another is allowed to experience.
This limitation is voluntary and so not a limitation at all.

It is a declaration of who you are.
It is a creation, a definition.

(sitting in the waft of Uncle Joe's smelly farts or not is a choice ;) sitting in the waft and complaining that he farted and that he shouldn't have, is probably not going to solve the problem. Love for self and other in balance is the tricky bit of relating.)

"There is no condition, no circumstance, no problem that love cannot solve.
This does not mean you must submit to abuse. It means love for yourself and for others is always the solution.

Love asks nothing in return. It withdraws nothing in retaliation. It knows no ending but goes on forever.

Love, gives a soul back to itself."

These things were / are very helpful reminders for me when I get out of balance (often!).
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen

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turiya
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Re: The Ego, acceptance and an existential crisis

Post by turiya » Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:00 pm

Pyaan112 wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:24 pm
herein lies my struggle: I sense that a new meaning of life has entered my concience. Reproduction. And on one hand I hate myself for allowing myself to be in this situation and doubtfull on weather or not I should do everything in my power to change things and to try to have children. With the risk of losing my wife, the one thing I’m sure of I have genuine love for.

On the other hand, I feel pain, because I now know that this is all a result of the things happening in my life and tells me things were not okay in the past, that led me to a “wrong” sense of the world. So I am aware of the impact of things in my live and on me, but can’t change, or don’t want to change because I really don’t know what the right course of action is.

Accepting this and move on and try to make a life as good as I can (which is hard, because a part of me says it can only be achieved by having children). Or potentially tearing everything apart in order to persue children.
What you wrote made me think of a part of this Mooji video (starting at 6:15):

https://youtu.be/_y5gvkhyNvw?t=376

Although the questioner in the video presents a very different problematic life situation and question(s) than the situation/question(s) that you present here, I feel that the answer Mooji gives her would be a very good answer for you as well.

I especially like what he says starting at 11:15 through 23:55.

Peace to you, my friend.
“We ourselves are not an illusory part of Reality; rather are we Reality itself illusorily conceived.” - Wei Wu Wei

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Louis More
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Re: The Ego, acceptance and an existential crisis

Post by Louis More » Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:07 pm

Hello
Accepting this and move on and try to make a life as good as I can (which is hard, because a part of me says it can only be achieved by having children). Or potentially tearing everything apart in order to persue children.
This statement is very interesting, 'a part of you says..' which part of you? Are you really divided into parts? Who is the one that is dividing yourself, can you see all these parts and tell which is the real you?

You can always accept whar you have or pursue what you want, it is the world of form and its play, like WW said you will never know what the world will bring into your life, every relationship is a teaching.
But only you can decide which choice to take, I hope you can make this decision with clarity and move on with more presence. Regrets are always a big play for the ego to show.

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