It happened again!

dishwasher-clipart-free-clip-art-images-SsODq5-clipartIt happened again, and I am happy it did. Why? Well, since I’ve posted the The dishwasher challenge blog post I became aware of a lot of things related to the point of forgetting to close the lid of the dishwasher.

When yesterday morning my partner just informed me she just turned on the dishwasher I did not experience the same f**k moment as usual. True, the situation is slightly different as it was not me to find out that I did not close the lid. I actually was surprised by the neutrality of the tone my partner communicated this fact. As a normal household communication, no emotions attached.

My partner also could see what caused me not to finish this task as we had a small emergency where we found out the dog had peed on the floor just before I was to finish my routine.

Still to investigate is my reactions to this specific situation of not having closed the lid. I felt a quick but noticeable relief when my partner was apparently not upset when she found out and she concluded that she also did not check if the dishwasher was running before going to bed. So the questions I see here are:

Why do I feel a relief when I open the lid in the morning and I hear the reassuring click of the soap dispenser lid flipping open?

Feeling a relief implies I had a fear related to the act of opening the lid of the dishwasher. What kind of fear? Fear of being judged and being seen as incompetent, not fit for the simple task, not accountable, not to be taken seriously. A lot of self blame and self judgement going on here.

Why do I wait to close the dishwasher lid in the first place? Am I afraid I am forgetting to put in a last glass or cup?

Interesting point I am not really able to answer. Something deep inside cautious me to wait until I am very sure EVERYTHING that needs to be in the dishwasher is IN the dishwasher. But what is everything and what happens if something is left out because a family member forgot to bring it to the kitchen? NOTHING! The worst case might be I or someone else has to clean it by hand.

Why is the possibility I will forget to close the lid higher when I am distracted from my routine? Am I too much on an automatic pilot and not really ‘here’?

Another question that requires me to observe myself. Ever tried to observe yourself when you are semi awake and doing your routine on an automatic pilot? I wish you luck! So, if I start observing myself, implicitly making sure I am monitoring thus aware of what I am doing, I am solving this part of the problem. Voilá!

Why do I feel I need to come up with excuses when it happens? Am I ashamed I let it happen (again)? Do I want to hide the fact I might not have done all I could? Did I fail on taking my responsibility on this simple task?

Tricky one. It requires me to be really self-honest. And yes, I am ashamed of myself, at least that is what I am creating as an image in my mind. Ashamed because I failed. I, the caretaker and father figure of a family, the strong foundation of the whole system, I FAILED! “Don’t be so hard on yourself” I hear myself saying. But that is what happens in my mind. I am using this very thing to have an excuse to judge myself and to tell myself I am worth nothing as I am not even able to perform this very simple task in a constant and reliable way. What a mind f**k!

So, wrapping up, I am good in self-judgement and telling myself how bad I am where the whole issue can be solved by accepting this happens and taking my responsibilities by making sure I am always aware of what I am doing in every moment. Actually I am asking myself to be the best I can in any given moment. Sound as mission impossible? To me it kind of does, yes. But I know what I have to do. Find out why I see it as impossible to be the best in any given moment as this should be the norm, that what I   should be able to do all the time without any extra effort.

The truth is I am creating all kind of mental restrictions that limit my ability to live my full potential. Memories, experiences, thoughts, feeling and emotions, all are part of an intricate system that is compromising the real me and waits to be unravelled and debunked in a process of learning to know myself and my origins. This is my process to freedom.

The dishwasher challenge

dishwasher-clipart-dishwasher.jpgDamn! It happened again! It is a pattern that I have problems with breaking. Something apparently very simple… turn on the dishwasher before going to bed.

This morning I woke up because of our male cat making a lot of noise. He does this when he really wants to get outside. As it was almost time to get out anyway I decided to go downstairs and open the front door to leave him out. I then started the morning routine. It is in this routine of ranging all clean dishes, pots and pans that I am to find out if the dishwasher has been turned on or not.

Actually, when looking at it, I kind of have a brief moment of relief when I open the dishwasher and while doing so I hear the click of the soap dispenser cover clicking back in its open position. That sound is very reassuring and allows me to continue my routine with a just very tiny sigh of relief. Apparently I am kind of aware there is a possibility the dishwasher had not been running and I kind of anticipate the f**k moment when I grab the handle to open the dishwasher.

So, why does this happen, and why so often. On average once a week I do everything needed to have the dishwasher running except for one thing… close the lid until the click. Why do it wait? Why do I hesitate and not close it fully when I am done putting in all the things? What Am I waiting for?

Let me walk back to the situation of last evening to see if I can find out what is really going on. After dinner I started rinsing dishes and pans, filled the dishwasher and washed every other item that does not go in the dishwasher. The items I wash by hand like big pots and knives I leave drying on a dripping board. The routine was as any evening except for the fact there was a fresh loaf of bread that had to be cut in slices. As this is producing crumbs and a knife and cutting board to clean I knew I had to do this just before going to bed.

Bed time. I went to the kitchen collecting the last cups and items for the dishwasher, put them in the dishwasher, added the soap and turned it on. I did not fully close the lid and I started doing the cutting board and knife. This is the crucial point. For some reason I decided not to fully close the lid until it clicks causing the dishwasher to start. This is the very moment that I hesitate, almost unconsciously, to start the machine. Why? Because there might be another item I want to put in it before it starts running?

All the other episodes of me not closing the lid properly, meaning not doing the very last step to have the dishwasher start its program, are alike. There is a  slight change in the routine, something that causes the unconscious me to put this step on hold.

So, what to do about it? I have to become more aware of the steps I do in this routine, not on an automatic pilot, but aware of the actual situation. And I have to face the deeper layers to find out why I am hesitating in taking that last step. Looking at it in common sense tells me that there is no reason for not doing that last step. If I consciously had checked the situation I could have seen there were no items left to put in the dishwasher. But, especially when doing things in a routine, there is no reality check. I am doing my things on an automatic pilot. Why? Is it because I kind of consider the tasks as being boring or a nuisance?  Of course I will immediately deny that it is, but if I look at this self-honestly I see that there is a history here of not enjoying the fact I have to do some tasks in the evening, just before going to bed when I usually are more than ready to go to sleep.

So, something futile like the fact of not closing the lid of a dishwasher is actually an opportunity to investigate underlying patterns that eventually lead to better know myself and allow myself to break these patterns and better myself, to create a better version of myself. The process is not simple and requires me to be thorough and especially honest with myself. How futile or seemingly unimportant the point I am investigating might be, the first reaction is to come up with excuses and explanations on why this happens. I’ve done this regularly, for months, to myself and to my partner. Why? Because I feel bad when it happens. It causes me to express a loud F**K charged with frustration when I find out that AGAIN I FAILED. I self-judge myself as being whatever and immediately start to come up with reasons and excuses to explain myself why it happened again in an attempt to tell myself I am not a failure. In other words, I am attempting to compensate for the failure feeling by repairing it and thus causing a polarity.

The only way to solve this pattern effectively is to stop the reason why this pattern exists. This requires me to dig into deeper layers of myself to find out why I act in a specific way. What is the trigger and what is the memory connected to it. Not an easy task. To enable myself to effectively work through the steps that will eventually lead to breaking this pattern and many other related patterns, I use the tools and the buddy support of my DIP course.

In the following posts I will start digging and share how I am walking this process.

Moment of sadness

d5932-20170113This evening while standing in the kitchen and cooking my meal I felt sadness after I was confronted with a sink full of pots and pans while cooking my meal.

For a while now we cook different meals during the weekend in our family as we follow the blood type diet. My partner and kids have the same blood type, I have a different one and therefore follow a partially different diet. Cooking two dinners is quite challenging in one kitchen that is the size of an average European house kitchen. We often decide to wait for one other and sometimes we manage to eat dinner at the same time.

Tonight that was not the case. The sadness I experiences was preceded by frustration on small things. The first trigger for frustration was when I found that my partner hadn’t been able to read my handwriting on the grocery list and bought one piece where she was supposed to buy two. After deciding it was not a big deal I asked my partner to let me know when I could start cutting my vegetables and sat down to go through some YouTube videos.

A while later my partner said that she almost forgot to warn me being focussed on preparing her meal, but that I could start cutting my stuff. The “Mmmm” reaction I felt for a second was quickly suppressed and I started my cooking.

While cutting I realized that even if I would have wanted to put a pan on the stove there was no space available in that moment. I decided to go on cutting carrots, peeling and cutting onions and garlic.

A short while later I was able to put a pan on the stove and went for the fridge to get my sausages. On the grocery list I wrote 8 sausages, did I? I hoped so. The hope did not last long… Only two sausages to be found. I asked my partner who was sure to have read 2 and not 8. As I was not fully sure myself I retrieved the list from the trash bin and checked. I could read 8 but my daughter agreed with my partner that it was a weird 8 and that it could be read as 2. Difficult to argue on points as readability, will need to find a way to have ourselves check the list before one of us goes shopping. As I was making a dinner for 4 and only needed a portion for tonight the problem can be solved by adding the sausages later to the other portions.

The event however added to my trigger points for frustration and consequent sadness. The next step in my cooking was to rinse the beans in the sink. And there was the culminating trigger point. A sink full of pots and pans that I had to set aside before being able to continue. I now pointed out the situation to my partner explaining that is it not cool to have to clean up or move away stuff produced by another when cooking a meal. I also explained that I, when being the first to cook, always clean up as much as possible so my partner can do her things normally.

Interestingly this collection of experiences triggered a general sadness mood as I realized it were mostly experiences that could be grouped into a category of giving what you would like to receive and finding that, when I do so I silently hope to get back that exact same thing, up to a kind of longing for it in some cases. To be more specific, I would like to get some collaboration in the kitchen when it comes to cleaning up things during or immediately after cooking to make space for the next.

Looking back at these experiences after a while I can see clearly I am in a blame mode and I need to take this back to (my) self. Although my points are more than valid, there is no reason to go into a feeling of sadness as that is a self-pity situation that is aiming at making me the victim of these situations. Energy wise it might even feel kind of good to feel sorry for yourself, go into a sad mood and blame others for the fact you are pushed into such a mood.

The reality however is that I was allowing myself to get into that sad mood as I was allowing myself to become victim of the situation. So, if facing such situations in the future, I will discuss the situation in that specific moment or at any given moment the other party is able to give me some attention.

What I did was taking care of understanding how I got into this situation of blame and sadness and I also took a moment to discuss the situation with my partner, AFTER I made sure all energy and emotions were taken care of from my side. As a result my partner and I are coordinating our kitchen space needs even better and we also make sure to check the grocery list on readability. Just very practical and commonsensical.

What I learned from this is that if things are not going smoothly and as expected and as a reaction we feel sad and victimized, these feelings tell me something about myself that I need to take care of. Separate from that I can take care of the practical point by exposing the situation on a practical level to any involved and agree on solutions both parties benefit from.

A Beagle?

beagle-dog-breed-dbe
Today I got a message from my daughter about Beagles looking for a home, dogs that have been used for animal testing and now live in an animal shelter. My reply was: “Is there something I need to read in-between the lines?”.

It is not the first time my daughter brings up the discussion about wanting to have a pet dog added to our household consisting of four humans, 2 cats and eventually a dog. Although I personally do not dislike the idea of a dog, I want my daughter and the rest of the family to consider all aspects of what it means to take care of a dog.

For now the most evident factor against having a dog is a financial aspect. Although, that is from my perspective. If we have to sustain the costs of a dog we will have to cut on other expenses. Next to that we have practical points to take care of like who is going to walk the dog several times a day, how will it work out with the cats, who is going to take care of the dog when we go on holidays, etc.

Funny is the battle that goes on in myself. On one side I like the idea of having a dog and if, on top of that, we can give this being a better life, why not do it. I must admit that the financial part scares me most. As we still have some challenges sometimes to get at the end of the month because every month it seems we have some extra’s to cover, I am not very keen in choosing for an action that will involve some initial costs and systematic extra monthly costs with a very slim but still extra chance that we might run in extra veterinary bills if we consider worst case scenario’s.

So, how to face this situation and keep everybody happy? Since it is a father’s duty to keep family members happy, isn’t it? I’ve already agreed my daughter will look at the real costs of having a dog. The fear or pressure she feels now is that the dogs are available now and nobody knows when a similar situation with the almost ideal dog race will repeat itself.

Important here is not to allow ourselves to be distracted by opinions, emotions and fears. We have to consider all points carefully and sum up all pros and cons to make a final decision at this moment in time. This will be a process all members of our family will have to walk for themselves.

For me the main point is the financial point that, seen purely from a practical aspect, will impact our immediate cash availability for this and maybe next month, and a little extra to consider on a monthly basis. To decide here is if we want and can postpone or change immediate expenses. The easiest way to save money is to spend less on food but that will force us to buy cheaper and unhealthier food.

All the other points are also relevant but a lot easier to consider although they might have a considerable impact, like walking the dog, feeding and cleaning. I also wonder how wise it is to add a dog to the family with two cats of a certain age? Will they go along or will there be constant stress for the cats?

We can do a lot of research on what other people have experienced in similar situations but nevertheless we will only know exactly by walking it. So, if it is really something we all want to give a try we will have to discuss the matter as a family and go through all the points to come to a self-honest decision that is based on what is best for all.

As part of the DIP course I will go through my personal points related to this matter and use self forgiveness to analyse and debunk the layers behind each of these points.

I forgive myself that I accept and allow myself to fear any matter that potentially leads to unwanted and uncontrolled costs.

I forgive myself that I accept and allow myself to consider expenses that are not initiated by basic needs or already established patterns as unwanted and as a threat to stability.

I forgive myself that I accept and allow myself to swing between wanting to be able to say yes to any kind of expenses and holding tight to not spending an extra penny on anything more than absolutely necessary.

I forgive myself that I accept and allow myself to fear uncontrolled expenses just because I label it as uncontrolled where I can take action to make sure there is no thing as uncontrolled expenses and enough buffer to handle unforeseen costs.

I forgive myself that I accept and allow myself to feel being a bad parent when I can not unconditionally approve the desire of my daughter just because it seems the best option to make her happy.

I forgive myself that I accept and allow myself the feeling that I need to make my daughter happy is more important than looking at the idea/proposal/wish in all its aspects and come to a joint decision we reached all together.

Anger and Frustration

My Life of AngerA few weeks ago I came home from work and found my family gathered in the living room discussing the hot topic of the moment: The soap about my daughter’s driving license.

It all started months ago, when my daughter filled in a form on internet to declare she was physically fit to drive. Unfortunately she made a wrong selection on a question declaring she had a specific medical condition. Only after receiving a request for providing medical files we found out about the mistake. Calling the institution that takes care of these procedures learned we had to provide a declaration by our GP our daughter was fit to drive and that the question was erroneously set to Yes instead of No.

We asked the GP and we found a Physician willing to fill in the paperwork. Unfortunately she did her work according to her interpretation of ‘Doing it properly’ and stated my daughter has had a psychiatric treatment…

“A What?”, was my partner’s reaction after reading the statement. The physician mixed up psychiatric with psychological, not taking into account the second was an imposed ‘treatment’ after a rehabilitation and was irrelevant in the context of the question. The institution was puzzled by the answer and requested even more information. They contacted the physician who decided to give even more medical information, without notifying my daughter first and therefore breaking the privacy rules and causing an even greater confusion. To make the whole thing even worse, at the GP the head physician had told my daughter they were not willing to collaborate and not willing to provide any statements related to this case and driving licenses. Remember, it all started with a wrong click on an electronic form…

After these last developments I became angry and frustrated. In this mood I decided to write a letter to the GP office to set things straight.

That same evening I had a chat planned with my DIP buddy and discussed this point. I am glad we did! After a few minutes I could see I was into a huge reaction, not the best mood to work on a constructive solution.

Writing a letter in reaction, where the purpose was to blame the GP for not collaborating and telling them that they should take their responsibility for their actions seems right in the first place. But, if you realize it all started because of a mistake on your side… there is no point is starting to blame the other, even if their actions caused more troubles. The only commonsensical way to go from here is not to go into reaction, since it will decrease the chances of cooperation by others.

Since there is no way to go back and ‘correct’ the points that went wrong, the only way forward is to assess the actual situation and start from there.

Well, we did! We found another physician willing to check my daughter and declare her to be in good health. So, that hurdle is taken and the process can now go on.

End of story…eh, not really. Since this experience is perfect to have a look at my reactions, my buddy helped me through a series of points.

Why was I so angry when I learned the physician refused to cooperate? Winding back to the starting point:

Was I angry when I found out my daughter made a mistake while filling in the form? “No” was my first answer. My buddy pushed the point to make sure I was self-honest on this. I am glad he did. Going back to the very moment I learned about the mistake I see I was not allowing myself to react in anger or react at all. I suppressed any emotion in a split second and started thinking on a (quick) solution to the problem.

While analyzing this very point I learned I was dealing with fear, very obvious fear about the possibility my daughter wasn’t able to get a driving license and all the consequences, not only her not being able to travel on her own but also self-interest while having to drive her to her appointments.

All this in a split second! But it was there and if I am not dealing with it, the possibility is high I will go through a same kind of experience the next time something similar comes up.

So, my anger was a consequence of fear resulting in frustration. What to do about it?

The answer is self forgiveness. By forgiving myself to have accepted and allowed myself to accept all related dimensions I am able to pinpoint the source of my emotions, understand the triggers and stop the consequences. The next time I am in a similar trigger situation it will be easier to see how and why I react and eventually suppress feeling and emotions so I can direct myself in a more effective way and avoid going into a loop and repeating my experiences again and again.

In my next blog post I am going to write out the self forgiveness points related to this story.

No U-turn allowed

no-U-turnThis blog is analyzing the origins of specific points of which I am walking the consequences right now in my day to day life. A U-turn to go back in time to correct or change my decisions is no option, so I will have to investigate specific moments in my past to be able to understand and correct myself here and now. Only so I will be able to stop ever returning patterns.

Today a new fact popped up that is adding to the list of consequences that have manifested since we as a family are back in society so to say. Already for a certain time I am seeing that since we moved to Italy, or maybe better, since we decided to move to Italy we started to plant a series of ‘things’ (I can’t figure out right now what should be a proper name) that grew over the years and which we are harvesting now, without having kept track of everything we have planted. I speak in we to indicate me and my partner as we are partners in crime in this, both having thought/created and accepted and allowed.

If I look back at the motivations we had for wanting to move to Italy I see now clearly it was a wish to escape. But to escape from what? Over the years, starting somewhere in my youth, I developed a view of the world that at first was very naive since I was raised in a family that had enough wealth to live a comfortable life. Later in life I experienced more and more how the real world was working. Where at first I was frustrated by the fact I was not able to grasp how things worked because they did not seem to work as I imagined, I slowly started to see that a lot of things were fucked up and started slowly but surely to distantiate myself from the ‘real’ world, at least I tried to do so. I was not willing to accept the world I was living in and started to make plans to escape the sick society in order to create my own micro world somewhere far away from everything.

If I look back at the period that preceded our ‘escape’ to a life on the edge of society I see a series of things that have not been managed properly. Most of these things are money related, and since life is money that shouldn’t be too surprising. There are several factors playing a role here. I will try to find a beginning here in my relation to money working backwards in time.

– Still paying the consequences of the loans I had to take a few years ago

– Issues with bank accounts that have not been properly closed down resulting in bank not willing to give us a mortgage for a new house

– No income due to work opportunities that dried up and forcing me to stop being self employed and to look for a new job

– Forced to get a loan to be able to pay my taxes

– Sold our house for less money than expected

– No money from the fine the first buyer of our house had to pay after he signed but could not pay for the house

– Extra expenses for lawyers and cleaning after a non successful sale and rent of our house

– Irregular income as self-employed consultant leading to a not so clear picture of what my financial situation was

– Lost job after not having a contract renewed due to lack of money within that company

Changed job because I was looking for new challenges (From HP to a small company)

– Changed job because I felt I was doing work below my capabilities (From Ikea to HP)

So, where did it go wrong? Maybe my motivations or starting points. Why did I decide to swap job? When I decided to leave Ikea I did not have a new job. I decided to dive into a multi level marketing business where I was supposed to sell water filters. It did take a few months and some money to understand that this was not something for me. I was not a sales person and I was not prepared to sell to my friends and family trying to convince them to get into the business too. It was in the period right after this that I met my partner. In the first months of our relationship I settled and managed to get a job at HP.

Looking back the only motivation to leave a secure job was the fact I wanted a more challenging job and did not see any opportunities. Looking deeper, and this is a pattern that will come back more often, I see that I was looking for inspiration in order to do my day to day job. In other words, based on the feeling that my job was no fun anymore and did not give me the challenges I was looking for I decided to look for something else. The fact I looked for another job is not the point here, it is the motivation that lead to the fact of leaving my job. I have not been honest with myself (and to others) about this point and the fact I left one job without having another one. Why did I lie to myself? What was so important to achieve that I decided to lie and be blind for the real facts? Was it the hope to get rich? Was it the urge to get out of a boring day to day routine? Was it the idea to be free and do whatever I liked?

At last I managed to get back to earth and stopped participating in this idea of making money with a promising story overlooking all kind of important points. And finally I popped back into my place in the matrix and started working for a new employer. Not surprisingly this whole pattern popped up again. It took a little bit more than the previous time since I was settling more and more in the matrix of life, I got married, had children and all this was ok with a day to day routine of gong to the office doing slave work, every day again the same thing.

Also here I started to feel the burden of this much too static working environment. As soon as I saw the opportunity to leave for a more challenging job I left. I choose for a small company that was still tied (read entangled) to the corporate I was working for before. The only thing I did not foresee was that the crisis already started in these years (2002) and that Corporate HP was already taking measures. This trend of reducing costs, canceling training programs (I was working as a trainer) led to the fact that a couple of years later I ran out of business (by that time I was self-employed). I could have seen that, but I was blinded by the pictures of living in a remote area in the countryside somewhere in Italy.

And here I am touching another point. Italy! Ever since I finished school and moved from Italy, where I lived most of my youth, to the Netherlands I wanted to go back to Italy. The first year in my supposed country of origin had been a hell, at least that was the way I experienced it. I had a hard time in fitting in into the Dutch society. Not because people did not allow me, I was not allowing myself to fit in. I cherished the idea of being special, I was different, the ‘Italian’ and so giving myself a identity, something I apparently thought not to have.

I carried this identity with me for a long time, actually for the whole period I was living in the Netherlands, 22 years long. When I moved to Italy in 2006 with my family I had the idea I was back in my mother country. I son discovered a lot had changed in all these years. I also discovered that it was not the same life I had back then. I had to make my own money and that was quite difficult since plan A was to work as a trainer for HP in Italy, I only overlooked the fact that due to cost reduction HP canceled more and more trainings until almost nothing. Not willing to leave the Italian Dream and see that I chose the wrong horse to bet on I adapted and managed to get part time jobs. Together with other small projects I managed to earn a modest living, but not for long.

A factor that plays an important role in my motivation to go ‘back’ to Italy, besides the idea of leaving a rotten society to live on my own in a self (almost) supporting house with veggie garden, wood for the stove and so on, was the fact I could maintain my feeling special character. For 22 years I had been the Italian guy in the Netherlands, now I was the Dutch guy in Italy! That was feeding my specialty character with a lot of energy. I topped living this character when I was getting in more and more trouble and needed to change the situation I was living in since it was not acceptable anymore.

Having been confronted with the situation of having barely to no money to live I experienced a kind of resetting of myself. When we decided I had to go to the Netherlands to look for a job I kind of started as a new born child. This was the first time I actually did live in a country with no mask on of a special character. If ever I am recalling the old times in Italy is when talking to a colleague and old classmate of mine about the good old times (lol).

Having said this I can do a step further back. The being special character started somewhere of course. It might have started at the age of 5 when, while living in Italy as a very bond child among all other children with dark hair, I was seen as special. When strolling in the city with my mother and brother we had regularly people stopping to have a look at the blonde twins and had to touch that curious fair colored hair. My mother recalls that she had to wash our hair after each visit to the city.

Although the first years on the primary school seemed quite normal and being fully integrated into the community there were still a couple of ‘anomalies’. First the fact I am a twin and that my brother and I sat in the same class for the first three years until my parents decided it was better to split us (after having changed school from a small village school to a larger suburb school).

Later we moved as a family to another place and I and my brother were together again at the European School together with Dutch classmates on a school with lots of different nationalities. A nice feeding ground for feeling special. So, having looked back this way I see that during most of my life I have been living in my special character. Not to mention I have been always proud of the fact I never smoked of felt attracted to trends without seeing I was living a character myself with the real me hiding behind this mask.

The following self forgiveness sentences are focussing on the ‘being special’ character.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to feel special because of having a different background compared to the people I was living/dealing with.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself not to see that all those years I allowed myself to hide behind a mask of feeling special instead of not trusting that my true self was good ‘enough’ to stand in my day to day life.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to believe that I needed to be seen as special in order to achieve something in live/work.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to feel proud when people recognized the fact I was special by acknowledging I was as an Italian with wooden shoes (typical Dutch) using the best of both cultures.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to abuse the fact of not being a real Italian or Dutch person using this point as an excuse for (not) having to do specific things, thus not willing to take full responsibility for my role within society.

I commit myself to stop participating in the feeling special character as I see it is leading to deception and a false impression of comfort and safety within a non existing identity instead of just being myself in Self Honesty all the time, breath by breath.

The following self forgiveness sentences are about the fact I did not want to see the situation I maneuvered myself and my family in by moving to Italy.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to have ignored all kind of signals while pursuing my dream without realizing that my goal was not real but just an idea in my mind.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to not having taken full responsibility for the consequences of my choices related to my desire to go back to Italy and the desire to live on the edge of society.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to have delayed the decision of making a change in my life until I really had to deal with the harsh consequences instead of having seen and accepted I needed to change the way I was making a living in order to avoid nasty consequences for myself and my family.

I commit myself to stop in participating in pursuing a dream and to take full responsibility for everything I do in every moment, breath after breath.

Today a new fact popped up that is adding to the list of consequences that have manifested since we as a family are back in society so to say. Already for a certain time I am seeing that since we moved to Italy, or maybe better, since we decided to move to Italy we started to plant a series of ‘things’ (I can’t figure out right now what should be a proper name) that grew over the years and which we are harvesting now, without having kept track of everything we have planted. I speak in we to indicate me and my partner as we are partners in crime in this, both having thought/created and accepted and allowed.

If I look back at the motivations we had for wanting to move to Italy I see now clearly it was a wish to escape. But to escape from what? Over the years, starting somewhere in my youth, I developed a view of the world that at first was very naive since I was raised in a family that had enough wealth to live a comfortable life. Later in life I experienced more and more how the real world was working. Where at first I was frustrated by the fact I was not able to grasp how things worked because they did not seem to work as I imagined, I slowly started to see that a lot of things were fucked up and started slowly but surely to distantiate myself from the ‘real’ world, at least I tried to do so. I was not willing to accept the world I was living in and started to make plans to escape the sick society in order to create my own micro world somewhere far away from everything.

If I look back at the period that preceded our ‘escape’ to a life on the edge of society I see a series of things that have not been managed properly. Most of these things are money related, and since life is money that shouldn’t be too surprising. There are several factors playing a role here. I will try to find a beginning here in my relation to money working backwards in time.

– Still paying the consequences of the loans I had to take a few years ago
– Issues with bank accounts that have not been properly closed down resulting in bank not willing to give us a mortgage for a new house
– No income due to work opportunities that dried up and forcing me to stop being self employed and to look for a new job
– Forced to get a loan to be able to pay my taxes
– Sold our house for less money than expected
– No money from the fine the first buyer of our house had to pay after he signed but could not pay for the house
– Extra expenses for lawyers and cleaning after a non successful sale and rent of our house
– Irregular income as self-employed consultant leading to a not so clear picture of what my financial situation was
– Lost job after not having a contract renewed due to lack of money within that company
– Changed job because I was looking for new challenges (From HP to a small company)
– Changed job because I felt I was doing work below my capabilities (From Ikea to HP)

So, where did it go wrong? Maybe my motivations or starting points. Why did I decide to swap job? When I decided to leave Ikea I did not have a new job. I decided to dive into a multi level marketing business where I was supposed to sell water filters. It did take a few months and some money to understand that this was not something for me. I was not a sales person and I was not prepared to sell to my friends and family trying to convince them to get into the business too. It was in the period right after this that I met my partner. In the first months of our relationship I settled and managed to get a job at HP.

Looking back the only motivation to leave a secure job was the fact I wanted a more challenging job and did not see any opportunities. Looking deeper, and this is a pattern that will come back more often, I see that I was looking for inspiration in order to do my day to day job. In other words, based on the feeling that my job was no fun anymore and did not give me the challenges I was looking for I decided to look for something else. The fact I looked for another job is not the point here, it is the motivation that lead to the fact of leaving my job. I have not been honest with myself (and to others) about this point and the fact I left one job without having another one. Why did I lie to myself? What was so important to achieve that I decided to lie and be blind for the real facts? Was it the hope to get rich? Was it the urge to get out of a boring day to day routine? Was it the idea to be free and do whatever I liked?

At last I managed to get back to earth and stopped participating in this idea of making money with a promising story overlooking all kind of important points. And finally I popped back into my place in the matrix and started working for a new employer. Not surprisingly this whole pattern popped up again. It took a little bit more than the previous time since I was settling more and more in the matrix of life, I got married, had children and all this was ok with a day to day routine of gong to the office doing slave work, every day again the same thing.

Also here I started to feel the burden of this much too static working environment. As soon as I saw the opportunity to leave for a more challenging job I left. I choose for a small company that was still tied (read entangled) to the corporate I was working for before. The only thing I did not foresee was that the crisis already started in these years (2002) and that Corporate HP was already taking measures. This trend of reducing costs, canceling training programs (I was working as a trainer) led to the fact that a couple of years later I ran out of business (by that time I was self-employed). I could have seen that, but I was blinded by the pictures of living in a remote area in the countryside somewhere in Italy.

And here I am touching another point. Italy! Ever since I finished school and moved from Italy, where I lived most of my youth, to the Netherlands I wanted to go back to Italy. The first year in my supposed country of origin had been a hell, at least that was the way I experienced it. I had a hard time in fitting in into the Dutch society. Not because people did not allow me, I was not allowing myself to fit in. I cherished the idea of being special, I was different, the ‘Italian’ and so giving myself a identity, something I apparently thought not to have.

I carried this identity with me for a long time, actually for the whole period I was living in the Netherlands, 22 years long. When I moved to Italy in 2006 with my family I had the idea I was back in my mother country. I son discovered a lot had changed in all these years. I also discovered that it was not the same life I had back then. I had to make my own money and that was quite difficult since plan A was to work as a trainer for HP in Italy, I only overlooked the fact that due to cost reduction HP canceled more and more trainings until almost nothing. Not willing to leave the Italian Dream and see that I chose the wrong horse to bet on I adapted and managed to get part time jobs. Together with other small projects I managed to earn a modest living, but not for long.

A factor that plays an important role in my motivation to go ‘back’ to Italy, besides the idea of leaving a rotten society to live on my own in a self (almost) supporting house with veggie garden, wood for the stove and so on, was the fact I could maintain my feeling special character. For 22 years I had been the Italian guy in the Netherlands, now I was the Dutch guy in Italy! That was feeding my specialty character with a lot of energy. I topped living this character when I was getting in more and more trouble and needed to change the situation I was living in since it was not acceptable anymore.

Having been confronted with the situation of having barely to no money to live I experienced a kind of resetting of myself. When we decided I had to go to the Netherlands to look for a job I kind of started as a new born child. This was the first time I actually did live in a country with no mask on of a special character. If ever I am recalling the old times in Italy is when talking to a colleague and old classmate of mine about the good old times (lol).

Having said this I can do a step further back. The being special character started somewhere of course. It might have started at the age of 5 when, while living in Italy as a very bond child among all other children with dark hair, I was seen as special. When strolling in the city with my mother and brother we had regularly people stopping to have a look at the blonde twins and had to touch that curious fair colored hair. My mother recalls that she had to wash our hair after each visit to the city.

Although the first years on the primary school seemed quite normal and being fully integrated into the community there were still a couple of ‘anomalies’. First the fact I am a twin and that my brother and I sat in the same class for the first three years until my parents decided it was better to split us (after having changed school from a small village school to a larger suburb school).

Later we moved as a family to another place and I and my brother were together again at the European School together with Dutch classmates on a school with lots of different nationalities. A nice feeding ground for feeling special. So, having looked back this way I see that during most of my life I have been living in my special character. Not to mention I have been always proud of the fact I never smoked of felt attracted to trends without seeing I was living a character myself with the real me hiding behind this mask.

The following self forgiveness sentences are focussing on the ‘being special’ character.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to feel special because of having a different background compared to the people I was living/dealing with.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself not to see that all those years I allowed myself to hide behind a mask of feeling special instead of not trusting that my true self was good ‘enough’ to stand in my day to day life.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to believe that I needed to be seen as special in order to achieve something in live/work.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to feel proud when people recognized the fact I was special by acknowledging I was as an Italian with wooden shoes (typical Dutch) using the best of both cultures.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to abuse the fact of not being a real Italian or Dutch person using this point as an excuse for (not) having to do specific things, thus not willing to take full responsibility for my role within society.

I commit myself to stop participating in the feeling special character as I see it is leading to deception and a false impression of comfort and safety within a non existing identity instead of just being myself in Self Honesty all the time, breath by breath.

The following self forgiveness sentences are about the fact I did not want to see the situation I maneuvered myself and my family in by moving to Italy.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to have ignored all kind of signals while pursuing my dream without realizing that my goal was not real but just an idea in my mind.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to not having taken full responsibility for the consequences of my choices related to my desire to go back to Italy and the desire to live on the edge of society.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to have delayed the decision of making a change in my life until I really had to deal with the harsh consequences instead of having seen and accepted I needed to change the way I was making a living in order to avoid nasty consequences for myself and my family.

I commit myself to stop in participating in pursuing a dream and to take full responsibility for everything I do in every moment, breath after breath.

Disappointment as an excuse to delay/postpone

For more than six months I am stuck on a specific lesson in my DIP course. There are many reasons to it. In this period I’ve been going through a rough period of looking for a new job, finding it, living in another country, moving my family, finding a house, living in several places in a short period of time, etc. Many practical reasons not to focus on my DIP course.

I’ve ran out of practical limitations now and still I see there are resistances that prevent me going on. Looking at it rationally I do not see any reason why I shouldn’t be able to find half an hour a day to dedicate to the DIP. I still hear the excuse voice in my head telling me that I had health issues making it hard to find enough energy to dedicate on DIP after a day of work where on the other hand I easily tend to work extra hours for my boss (and to finish the work that from my point of view needed to be done anyway).

When I finally started again to work on my assignments a couple of times I was confronted with the consequences of the long delay. The assignment had been updated and at the end I had to start the whole lesson from scratch. Not an issue since the work I did before was done a long time ago and it had its purpose anyway. At a certain point I thought to be ready and handed in my assignment only to find out I only did half the work and not even that, The second half of the assignment was not properly understood and needs to be redone.

Time to really focus on what needs to be done. I still have been not self-honest and did not want to thoroughly redo the assignment as described in the materials just because I thought that I still new what I read some time before. To me now it is very clear how one can fool him/herself with just assuming and thinking. Assumptions always ted to serve self interest and that is not helping to get a stable and well founded situation.

This simple experience is a clear point to me that I still need to address this point of being more accurate in the way I deal with assignments/tasks. I will have to stop assumptions and thoughts that have as a starting point not willing to face the real thing and deal with it in its full extent. Therefore I commit myself to pick up this point and systematically address it by performing the following actions:

– I will dedicate every day a specific amount of time to the DIP course
– I will go through all the necessary materials (even if I might think it is overdone or unnecessary)
– I will check if what I have done is according to the requirements

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to delay working on my DIP assignment because I felt disappointed and therefore trying to find reasons to blame outside myself to justify my delay instead of taking my responsibility and asses the situation in this very moment, decide on the action to take and perform these actions.