Love, Appreciation, and Getting What You Want

How Does Your Life Have to Be?

Do you think you can meet someone who would want to help you grow and feel beautiful, and have an awesome time with you? Or do you think you are doomed to be alone forever- one of those characters who strikes off into the wilderness and is labelled as “wild” and “independent” and “mysterious”?

Sometimes, I fall into the trap of thinking that I must be the latter.

Logically, I know that this is silly.

But emotionally, I have this feeling that maybe I must remain mostly-single for a while, just as I have for my whole life.

Logically, I know that you can create your life however you’d like it to be.

Emotionally, I know there’s more to life than just how you want it to be on the surface. Your resistance to your desires factors into what you create, as well as the lessons you need to learn. Yeah, this world may just be a reflection of your consciousness, but consciousness is massive. It’s broad. It’s huge. How can you know everything that’s going on in there? No wonder dreams are so weird.

Logically, I think that “consciousness” entity would like it if most of its projections- us- were in love, at least at some point in our physical existence.

Also logically, I think I’m bridging the subjective and objective-reality perspectives too much.

Let’s put me in the dream- the subjective perspective (that’s where I should be, after all, with this whole subjective reality trial). What do I perceive to be going on?

Logically, there doesn’t appear to be much on the surface related to romantic love.

Emotionally, I feel like I’m surrounded by it.

Logically, I’m not sure that it’s wise to differentiate between romantic love and other types of love. Perhaps I should stick to a general definition of love, such that love can be used interchangeably with “connecting.”

Emotionally, I like to feel the nuances in different types of love, but for the most part I don’t sense a need to distinguish. I agree with the logic.

Logically, I am happy to hear that.

Logically, I have to ask- what is this article even about? Where is it going?

Emotionally, I just want to transmit the feeling of being in love through myself and to this keyboard. And logically I must add, No, that will not be achieved here by watching porn. However, I will not deter other people from taking up that option if they so choose.

Now, instead of a separate heart and brain, I think I'll be a whole person. J


Get What I Want? Is that Possible?

As I discussed in The Kim Wrate Podcast! I think contrast is not just an important, but also a necessary element of this reality. In fact, it might be the only means by which we could experience physical reality as we know it. Without pain, there would be no pleasure. The more you try to avoid pain, the smaller your capacity to feel pleasure becomes.

For myself, I think what has contributed to my general solitude is my lack of appreciation for that solitude. I certainly appreciate solitude- at least, in some twisted way- when I’m around people who I want to get away from. But often when I’m alone I think about, “How nice it would be to do this with another person! Boo hoo!” Well, that or I just fantasize about things totally irrelevant to what I’m actually doing. But at least they’re nice things. ;)

As with most desires, I don’t think I should beat myself up for wanting someone’s company. That would be silly.

I think most people would agree that forming relationships with others is one of the most important parts of our existence- possibly even the point of it. Consensus, of course, does not mean that something is true, but in the context of growth I think that people are fairly indispensable to one another.

Our very existence pushes each other to think and do better. There are many challenges that we would not take up and many lessons we would not learn if we did not have each other.

Plus, there would be no sex. So how can I say that desiring other people is bad?

Well, it’s not. But I also think it’s silly to contribute years of life just fantasizing about what you want without either acting on it or deciding to just be thankful with what you have for now.

However, this seems almost inevitable to being a human.

As you become a more competent player in this life, the window between desiring something and either making that desire manifest or letting go of the desire will become smaller.

But I think pretty much every person does face wanting something for years without getting it, or even trying to get it.

And perhaps this is similar to the example I gave of my 14 year old self in Walking Away from Social Conditioning: I didn’t do what I knew I should because I didn’t feel I had any power to do so. It just seemed beyond my capabilities to get what I wanted, so for another two years I continued to settle for the way things always had been.

And so it has been, for the most part, with love. It seems like the “resources” (i.e. compatible people) are scarce, if even existent. God just didn’t make anyone who could love me! Wah! L

Logically, I know this mindset is silly. I can see that when I look back on other, more developed areas of my life. When I first thought about eating healthier at that ripe age of 14, it seemed like healthier options just didn’t exist. I never saw them anywhere. Yeah, I guess I could throw a salad into my day, but is that all?

Now I know that’s ridiculous. My current diet overlaps with my diet four years ago by maybe about 5%, taking specific ingredients into account. That’s not an exaggeration.

What helped me to make this change, objectively speaking, was information that clarified what exactly I needed to do. What really helped things take off were two articles: one on titled The 6 Creepiest Lies the Food Industry is Feeding You, and another called Josh McDougal is a Perfect Example of What is Wrong With High School Track on Tully Runners, a website that keeps tabs on high school runners in New York (by the way, if you’re a cross country coach it may intrigue you to check out this site). After doing some further research from there, I decided that I should aim to eat foods with very few, if any ingredients that seemed unnecessary- particularly those which are difficult to pronounce.

Nothing tangible happened that made an increase in power apparent. I was bigger and stronger at 16 than at 14, but I didn’t have more money ($0.00!) to buy a new diet with. All I had was more knowledge and a greater incentive to change: increased pain related to eating crap.

Incentives, of course, are the guiding lights of behavior. “Action without incentive” is simply an incorrect statement. When behavioral change becomes desirable, you must ask yourself what you value more: the incentives you’re chasing now (e.g. “tasty” foods), or something else (e.g. increased health)?

But, well, you can read Loving the Behavioral Perspective if you want me to ramble on more about that (at least, I think). :)

Anywho, the first couple months were just fine and dandy: all I did was eat less meat, and I felt a lot better. By the way, this isn’t to argue against all meat, but the meat that comes out of factory farms has not been so kind to my body.

Before long, however, it got tough. I wanted to cut out more and more junk, and before long I didn’t really know what to eat anymore. So the scarcity I feared came along. I don’t think the extent of scarcity I enforced on myself was necessary, as I was also anorexic at the time. But at least towards the beginning, I genuinely felt lost.

Fast forward two years, to the present, and I still rock back and forth between perceptions of abundance and scarcity when it comes to food. Even when I eat a ton, it still seems sometimes that there just isn’t enough food in terms of volume (calories) as well as different choices. It feels like I can never get enough. I even worry about what I might do if I were stuck in a situation with no viable choices for a long time.

There are other times, however, where the amount of food available to me seems ridiculous, and I wonder how I will ever eat it all. I often wish I would eat less of it. ;)

So what is the truth of the situation, then? What is it that I need to do- appreciate what I have? Or do I just need to allow myself to be more flexible?

Based on my current lifestyle, I don’t think I need to go with the latter. Interestingly, it seems that no matter how many changes I make in my diet, there is almost always plenty of food around that meets my standards.

So it would make sense, then, that I just need to stop the freak-out mill sometimes and remind myself, Hey, there’s enough, and be thankful for what I have.


Appreciating Truthfully

But appreciation can be a tricky, slippery thing. Generally, you can’t force yourself into feeling appreciation. You can say, “I am thankful for this! Really! I mean it!” but that doesn’t mean that you do. Even if you know you should appreciate something and you want to feel appreciation for that thing, the appreciation isn’t necessarily going to be there.

Well, that sounds a tad silly. Why the heck does that happen? Does appreciation work like a belief, which no one can force you to have? Do you have to choose to integrate it into your life and hope that, in time, you will really believe it (and feel appreciation)? Could be.

Described that way, it also sounds like appreciation might be a skill, which you have to practice with relative consistency to improve. That sounds plausible, too.

Whatever the case may be, you cannot appreciate simply by wanting to do so. You must appreciate with your whole being. Taking on new beliefs and creating your reality (e.g. achieving your desires) work the same way.

You wouldn’t say “I love you” to someone if you didn’t really mean it- would you? But you probably have before. Surely there are people in your life who you’ve been taught you’re supposed to love, such as a relative or a crazy girlfriend, and you say that you love them so not to upset anyone. But you don’t mean that shit. Don’t even tell me you do.

However, perhaps you have said those three words and really, truly meant it. That’s a whole different animal. You know that without even thinking about it. There’s so much feeling behind the words when they are spoken truthfully.

Yet, at the same time, it may seem that the words don’t do justice for how you feel. You want to become a swirly spirit-thing, perhaps colored pink, so that you and the other person can wrap yourselves up in each other and become a fluid expression of love for all eternity.

Yet when you say three short words, your beloved may or may not receive that deep of a message. Your words may fall dead on their ears, meaningless.

Or, it might strike a chord in them. Maybe they don’t quite feel the same way, but they turn a little red and understand that they’ve sparked something deeply powerful in you, and they are happy to have been a part of this.

Well, or maybe they do feel the same way, so you both dash outside through the meadows, kiss until it starts raining, and then say “f%*k it” and have sex, bam, right there, and fall asleep with a crown of flowers on your head (that is how these things go, correct?).

Anyway, what’s more important is not whether they think you mean it, but whether you know you do. If nice feelings seem to dash away from your heart when you imagine saying “I love you” to a certain person, you may be best off keeping your mouth shut.

So now I must wonder whether being able to say “I love you” and to appreciate truthfully are related. I’m sure they are connected by some string somewhere, even if it’s just at the little toe. Certainly a deep-reaching love requires the ability to appreciate. If you cannot appreciate another person, how the hell can you say that you love them?

Logically, it makes no sense. It does not compute.


But How?

To become a tad self-centered again, perhaps my problem has been that I have been mostly unable to appreciate the people in my life as well as the times of solitude (perhaps the former more than the latter). So, roughly speaking, I get a jumbled experience of both.

Simultaneously, I must wonder if a non-appreciative period is necessary to future appreciation. What if having stuff you don’t care for now (including lack—lack can be a thing) will better allow you to appreciate good stuff later? I would think this to be the case.

But what happens if you start to appreciate the way-less-than-ideal stuff? Will you perpetuate more of it? Will reality do a spin and start giving you what you actually want? Will you realize that most of what you thought you wanted was not really what you wanted? Will nothing change externally?

I think appreciation of the “darkness” challenges and helps to clarify your desires. As I emphasized in To Understand Desire, Get F*%ed by Life, you may find that what life throws at you is really what you wanted- even if it “sucks.”

This may sound strange, but perhaps you’ll realize that you desire challenges and plot twists. Goals don’t have to be so straightforward, such that wanting a house means you also want it to magically appear to you. No, perhaps you want to build that house in the middle of the woods only using tools you can hold in your hands—and you have to fight off hungry wolves in the process. Why? This way is more fun. J


Loving the Adventure

So maybe you do want an amazing woman, or man, or dog in your life who will love you as unconditionally as is possible in this physical reality. But do you really want her/him/it to materialize in front of you at this very instant, ready to carry you off into dreamland? Certainly you have some resistance to that happening, which is precisely why it has not happened.

I think you’d prefer to have a string of partial matches first, who lead you on some cool yet also thanklessly-painful adventures. Could you even appreciate or be ready for the magic-match without those, anyway?

Perhaps this desire for the pain is really just resistance to your desires. A lot of is probably is. As long as you resist your desires you will not receive them in full.

To lower that resistance you may just have to lead yourself through a thought process. Maybe undergo a little journaling exercise. Then Candy Land shall come to you.

Other times, however, it may not be so simple. You may be like little 14 year old Kim, who doesn’t know that giving up resistance to your desires is even a thing you can do. Maybe there’s no way for you to understand that your desires are attainable at this time.

In that case, you will have to go through some pain. Lowering resistance will be an adventure. Thought is required, but the mode of letting go will be action. Experience shall set you free. It is often the best, and sometimes the only, way through.

How about the whole, “To love another you must first love yourself” business? What does that even mean? In a subjective-reality context, this makes perfect sense. Reality is a reflection of what is going on in you (no, not your bowel movements… Actually, it very well could be those).

If you hate yourself, the world will respond in kind by making itself a hateful place for you to live in.

If you think you are mediocre, you will be surrounded (mostly) by mediocrity.

But if you love yourself, you will be met with a reflection of those parts of yourself (most likely in the form of another person, but maybe not!) that you love. What’s awesome about this is that you’ll find, in that other person, all those extra juicy parts of yourself you didn’t even know were there. Ooh-la-la! J

But remember what I said about love: you can’t just want to love someone or something. You can’t wish yourself into it. You gotta mean it, with all of yourself.

It’s like going on an adventure. If you don’t really want to be on that adventure, you’ll know. You’ll have doubts throughout. You’ll sigh here and there. You’ll feel miserable. Finally, you’ll back out. Your body may have started down the path, but your mind, emotions, and spirit never showed up. Candy Land just wasn’t cut out for them.

On top of that, love is not static. It’s not as simple as plugging the TV into an outlet and being done with it forever. Within consciousness, connections change. Sometimes it’s like a crazy dream, where the whole scene changes every minute.

Love and Adventure are not mutually exclusive, ya know. If you want one, you sure as hell better be ready for the other.

I know I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s okay if you would, but realize that your experience may be suboptimal. But hey, who knows- maybe you need some bad humor to appreciate what’s actually funny when you finally hear it.

And if you can’t work up any appreciation within yourself? Appreciate the lack of appreciation. You don’t always have to be so glowing and touchy-feely anyway.

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