March 26th – “Feel like you’re banging your head against a wall with someone? Give up, move on.”

Yes, I do. I’ve told myself that I’ve given up on my friend by keeping my mouth shut when it comes to his love life, but I really haven’t. I may not have been saying anything to him, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have strong opinions. I have been HOPING that he will come around and see what he’s doing to himself. Today I’m officially giving up. There’s no more hoping on my part. If I can’t help him become stronger, I have to just let him be!

On one of the days when I was relating too much to my friend’s problems, my partner wisely counseled, “Maybe there’s a lesson your friend needs to learn and he needs to go through this experience.”

I argued, “But they are BOTH suffering so much. He’s punishing himself AND her for something that has nothing to do with their relationship. It seems like his partner thinks that it’s what long term relationships should be. I hate seeing them both suffer like this. It’s awful!”

He replied, “Well, maybe they both have something to learn from this.”

“You have a point,” I paused because he was right. Then I continued, “The world can have cruel ways to lead us to where we need to go.”

It’s been months since I’ve had this conversation with my partner. I’ve always understood this intellectually, but haven’t processed it emotionally. Time to let this one go!

I doubt this will be the last time it will come up. The next time “hope” rear’s its ugly head, I’ll tell it to, “GO AWAY! I’m moving on!”

November 6th – “Building your strength will take time — stay on track by rewarding your progress.”

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Rewards are something that I’m not used to doing for myself.

I grew up in a household where there was only punishment. As a kid, I recognized that my parent’s form of upbringing was psychotic and not achievable (how does one follow rules when the rules constantly change?) because I had other people to compare them to. I still think that they are crazy, but I haven’t been able to kick all the bad habits that they instilled in me. Hey, how hard can it be to unlearn 17 years crazy, right?

To this day, when I do reward myself, it’s often in the form of non-material things. I reward myself by doing things that I have to do anyway like chores. Other times, it can come in the form of denying something I need like exercise. I call it the punishment reward system.

This morning, I “rewarded” my past week of staying up late working by cleaning my bathtub. Yes, CLEANING MY BATHTUB.  Boy, my parents were very effective.

It’s a good thing that I scheduled a late morning dim sum outing with some friends.

 

If you haven’t been to dim sum before, it’s like Cantonese brunch. There are a lot of small plates (many of which are steamed) to consume while drinking tea (with no sugar or milk). Most of the dishes include meat and some may be fatty, but if you drink a lot of hot tea, you can eat for hours!

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It’s best to go to dim sum with a lot of people so you can try more dishes. I don’t ever go to dim sum by myself. I’m lucky to have friends to go to dim sum with because it trains me to reward myself in the conventional way, and not by my demented punishment reward system.

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Thank you to all my friends who have ever gone to dim sum with me! We all know that we don’t need dim sum, but hey, it’s delicious and sometimes it’s nice to have a gluttonous meal! THANK YOU!

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