Self esteem

The main focus I have right now in my life is to find a job as quickly as possible. That is quite a task, especially if you are already 45 years old and people around you tell you there is very little interest for people my age. A couple of days ago I met someone that was able to provide me with some contacts and give me an update of how things are going in the specific business I am focussing at. He told me that in the many companies he’s seen he noticed that there is a strong reluctance in hiring people of a certain age because managers are afraid these ‘older’ people are not so influenceable and flexible as their younger counterparts. He even said companies prefer to hire younger, unexperienced people than more experienced, older people just for the sake of avoiding resistance or strong influence in case of decision making processes.

Although I know I am not very young anymore, I tend to see my age as an added value, and this story was not very nice to hear but certainly reflecting the truth. The result of this is that the normal way of applying for a job will probably not lead to success very rapidly, what I need is to be recommended by someone who trusts me to be a right candidate for a specific job. Although age discrimination is forbidden by law, the reality is just showing that if you when you apply for a job when are over 40 you will hardly even get an answer or not even a confirmation they received your message.

I experienced that these reality checks tend to shake me, to swing me between being confident in finding a decent jog again and not being able to earn a living. On top of this there is some pressure caused by the fact I have practically no income while I am working full time on finding a job, a situation that is causing me and my family to depend on others financially until I can take care of myself again. So, on one side I try to as less of a burden as possible for those that are facilitating my searching activities and on the other hand I need to express as a self confident person when contacting possible recruiters.

I am am getting a lot of help from old friends and family, which is very reassuring and comforting but at the end I will be the one that need to do it and take the opportunities that are given to me. I see that on this point I have changed compared to the past. I was much more picky on what people tended to offer me as nice opportunities. Now I am able to evaluate in common sense the offer and give immediate feedback in order to avoid false hope for the me and the others involved.

Another experience I had recently was while editing my resumé. I decided to insert the recommendations on the resumé I am sending around to people helping me in making connections. While inserting these recommendations I started reading them and was almost overwhelmed by a feeling of happiness, as if I was longing for these positive comments about me in a working context with others. Although I know very well what my skills are, I clearly longed for confirmation. As if I needed to boost my self esteem in order to feel good about myself and get energy from it to go on.

Thanks to the fact I am in my Desteni I Process I know this is a swing between polarities and I am definitely aware of this mechanism and managing to avoid these swings since they are not real but only happening in my mind. It seems very boring but there is no need to feed my self esteem positively in order to feel better and be able to do things I might not have done while being in a state of low self esteem and feeling powerless. Although very tempting it is in my own interest to remain stable in all ways. In being stable I will be able to be productive and ready for any situation all the time.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to take energy from the positive feeling I got when reading the recommendations of former colleagues and employers.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to look at others that have a job wondering why it is possible they have a job and I do not. This is self pity and jealousy that is not helping me, therefore I stop this and bring myself back to self, here and now.

 

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Did I reach my goals in my life?

A friend of mine suggested me to write my blog about the question if I managed to reach the goals I had when I was age 18. My first reaction was that it did not sound as an interesting topic. But looking better at it I decided to have a try.

To be honest I do not recall very specific idea’ s I might have had at that age. I was actually in a kind of crisis. I just doubled the last year of my high school and was supposed to move from Italy to Holland to start a study at a Professional School.

The general idea I had was to study until I had a diploma and then look for a job that might give me a decent income, just like my father. I never had a real clue of what actually the work of my father consisted in. He was in management and at the time I had very little fantasies about being a manager. I wanted to do practical stuff and technical stuff.

The first years after high school in Holland were a nightmare. I started with the Horticultural School where I found out that the students were to my opinion very narrow minded on almost anything. They considered me as a “Mafioso” since I came from Italy. After two years I decided to stop. I started working and to finish my missing High School year doing a evening school. After one year I decided to use my own money to go to a private school for Hospitality Business. I managed to do two years in just one with very nice grades.

The ‘black years’ had a huge impact on me. I developed the “Colitis Ulcerosa” Illness that lasted for several of years. Funny enough the illness started within the first year I moved to the Netherlands and stopped in the year after I found a good job at IKEA. Stability in my life cased me to have a healthier body.

My inherited restlessness caused me to quit my job at IKEA since I started to get bored, at least that was what I gave myself as an excuse to quit and change, seeking for a more challenging job. I tasted the world of MLM for a while (see my  previous blog) and finally I found a nice job at a Hewlett Packard Call center. I was happy with the fact I could use my technical skills combined with my knowledge of several languages.

No surprise that after a while (it took seven years this time) I decided to work for a small company specializing in what I was already doing a lot for HP, Training people on printers, sales and technical. Here my career stopped because the small company could not afford me any longer and did not renew my contract. Since then I am self employed.

In all these years I was trying to picture a perfect career that would allow me to use my skills and allow me to earn a nice salary. I pretty soon found out that knowing several languages is not necessarily something that allows you to make a nice living. There is a bigger chance you can make money by knowing two languages and you did your studies on University as a translator than knowing at least 5 of them on a high level and doing a support agent job in a call center. I remember that I felt abused quite regularly because people not knowing languages very easily asked you for your services never understanding how intense and difficult translating can be, resulting in low rewards for the work you were doing.

I actually never stopped defining and redefining what my ideal job should be. Even if I have a clear idea about my skills it is still difficult to translate that into an ideal job. OK, there is no perfect job. Even after becoming self employed, a step that should have allowed me to pick the jobs that suited my skills best, I learned that making money was the first and the last criteria when accepting a job. Nothing else. Until today, every minute I am working on a project for a customer, the main drive is to satisfy the customer in order to get paid. I can put a lot of sills and creativity in my work, but always limited by money in some way (e.g. the customers budget limiting me to focus on basics with no added value that might benefit the whole).

Back to the question of my friend. She added if I was satisfied with what I managed to make of my goals. The question kind of embarrassed me. I am not very often asking myself if I am satisfied. Not on that level. I am still trying to make a living in a society I almost tried to escape from. I have still a hard time fitting in in the way many others do, performing their tasks within their jobs without asking themselves if the work they do (or try not to do or as little as possible) is contributing to something other than their monthly salary.

In a certain way I am satisfied if I look to what I have learned. I have become very flexible and able to quickly fit in in many different types of jobs, both technical, management, commercial, and even handcrafts. Although I tend to say that I am not drive by satisfaction, I must admit that it is not true. Looking back, at the completion of a job/task I am always trying to find the point of satisfaction for the work I did. But what is being satisfied doing with me? Nothing more than satisfying my EGO! There is nothing practical in being satisfied! It does not serve any other purpose than feeding your EGO.

So, lets’s skip this whole satisfaction thing and do our tasks, work, job with one simple goal: The best interest of all. So everybody benefits from it, you and me included.

My relationship with money

Since I am struggling with time without seeing real improvement in the way I manage to perform all the tasks I plan to do I started to look at the the causes.

The first cause is obvious, making a schedule that is too tight to be real. Why I am doing it? Because I wish I could do everything I plan. Why this drive to do as much work next to my other family and home related tasks? Money!

I am taking as much work as I possibly can (or hope to be able to manage) in order to make enough money to make a living out of it. Most jobs or projects I work on are time consuming because they need research, preparation or are just a lot of work for little money. And I do not feel I have the choice not to consider these ‘lesser’ jobs because of my need for money.

Apparently there is something structurally wrong here. I should make a MC on this since the money issue is teasing me for quite a while. Let’s go back in time. The first time I had to deal with a lack of money was when I decided to leave my job at IKEA in order to dive into the promising business of selling water filters for a Company called NSA. It was not a normal business, it was a MLM organization. After a couple of meetings I was convinced by my brother who got involved and managed to convince me to follow his example. Why did I decide to participate, to invest money first buying products I never managed to sell and to find myself jobless and broke after a couple of months? During the meetings of NSA the main topic was about making money, large amounts of money. So the answer is: Greed!

As I saw that I did not have the right living style to meet large numbers of people and talk them into MLM I was not able to grow my network, I started looking for another job that brought me back into a situation of stable income again.

Strangely enough and although I had a stable income, it seemed I never managed to have the money I needed to keep up with the facts of life. SInce I met my partner S. everything seemed to speed up and within a short time we got married, bought our first home. A couple of years later we bought a larger home since our second child was on it;s way, together with a larger (second hand) car. If I looked at others around me I always wondered how they managed to have a brand new car, all kind of equipment and could afford nice trips abroad at least twice a year. I was practically jealous without knowing it.

To make things even more complex and because of not wanting to see my real situation that was not very stable income wise (I was self employed by then) we decided to more to Italy to escape from a series of things we should have addressed properly instead of running away from them.

Financial misfortunes added up when we had a buyer for our house that was not able to pay even if he already signed, we started a lawsuit, won it but never got a single penny, we only spent a lot of money for the lawyer. In Italy the foreseen amount of work was quickly becoming less and less and I had to move myself into other area’s of activities in order to make some money.

I realize I am still in the process of stabilizing myself. I still do not manage to have a stable income and the economical situation is not making it easy to find a job that takes care of that. I am now in a better situation then last year when, for the second time in my working life my contract was suddenly terminated because the company had to decrease costs. Now again the company I do part time work for is not making that much money, leaving very little for the last one that joined the club: me.

I need to investigate the mechanisms behind these jobs that all tend to end prematurely. Sometimes there is a voice in my head that says: “What if you never quit your job at IKEA? Maybe you still worked for that company.” and again: “You decided to leave HP to join a small company in the hope to have a more challenging working life and make more money”.  Either it was an end of contract or a personal choice that caused me to change jobs. What has my real motivation been in the occasions I decided to quit and what did I manifest when I found myself without a job? Was it only money? At the time, for me the motivation was often that I got bored in a job and needed to change in order to stay ‘awake’.

A couple of years ago I would not have been able to even start considering these points. Now, with the tools of Desteni, I am able to face myself and to systematically work to the very starting point, the origin of thoughts and facts that lead to where I am now. Only by knowing yourself in complete honesty will allow me to become stable and expand myself  being here, now, breathing.

The solution to my money issues? An Equal money system!

Drought

It is now many weeks ago we had some rain. The grass on the fields turned brown and the plants in the vegetable garden need regular watering in order to survive drought and heat. It has been unceasingly hot for over two weeks now with temperatures above the 30 degrees. The 2400 liter rainwater I use to water the vegetables lasted until a couple of weeks ago, since then I have to use tap water.

Yesterday I was reading an article in a local newspaper that was commenting about the fact the local administration prohibits to use tap water for other purposes than personal hygiene and drinking. If you are caught watering your garden or washing your car you risk a fine from € 25,– until € 500,–.  I was surprised because, besides the long period of heat and no rain I was still seeing water in rivers and smaller streams. The local administration is pointing at the water used by the many gardens that people hold on the river banks as the main reason for water shortage.

It is true there is little water in some rivers but nature is greener than ever, the drought is superficial. Last winter we had huge amounts of rain and snow and most springs are working normally which was not the case last year when the rivers where dry and the more superficial springs ran out of water. But no limitations to the water usage since it kept raining regularly, only delivering very little quantities of water.

The article continues to make a point on the maintenance of riverbeds. Instead of cleaning the beds from natural debris like trees, mud and stones the only thing that is done is rising the river banks, not giving sufficient protection when there is really a lot of water coming down. This year in early spring the rivers caused several floodings even though the water amounts were not extremely huge. Apparently the main reason for the river beds not showing any water is not the shortage of water caused by the gardens (having the same issue since there is no water to be seen) but the fact for many years now there had been no maintenance to the river beds. The water is flowing deep under the rocks and eventually pops out somewhere mere downstream.

The writer is clearly questioning the starting point of the water usage limitations. It is very possible that the water company responsible for the water delivery to not only the inlands where I live but also the cities on the Adriatic coast is afraid of water shortages. Water is a power business here in Italy. A week before the Italians voted against water being managed by private companies the water management of the whole area went over to the company already responsible for natural gas and electricity delivery. Dirty game. Since money is coming from the coast area the inland is less important and is asked to reduce water consumption on behalf of the bigger cities only because they fear a water shortage.

To me this is a clear example of political power games that serve no purpose than making sure a small group of people is making money. There is absolutely no common sense nor equality to be found here. If we were managing the available water in the interest of all and with common sense applied by everyone there should be never a real water shortage. The truth is that water is spilled every day, both consciously as unconsciously due to ignorance. Ignorance as in giving your lawn so much water that is floods out of the garden over the street or while sweeping your house and dumping the dirt in the toilet, flushing it up to ten times until finished cleaning.

The average amount of water used per person per day is 191 liter. For our family it equals 23 cubic meters a month. Being ware of the water we use we managed to lower our consumption from 20 to 14, including watering the garden when there is no rain water available. During summer we take almost a shower a day, we use the washing machine normally, we use the dishwasher once a day. We do not water the grass, the trees and the vegetables with more than necessary, we try to avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily, we close the tap when brushing our teeth and we limit shower time to what you need to clean, shave etc. No big deal and no discomfort at all. Only for our small town a reduction like our would lead to almost 28 cubic meters of water saving a year per person. That is a reduction of billions of cubic meters in Italy alone. All water that does not need to be filtered, pumped, distributed and paid for. As long water is privatized water consumption reduction is not economically interesting so please keep on using your water. Do not consider that all these billions of cubic meters are polluted by soap, chemicals and medicines and need to be cleaned again.

What a waste! Lets take our responsibility. As you can see in this example the effect of normalizing your personal water usage on a large scale is huge. Lets use our common sense for a better world and not only with water consumption!

Deception: it’s all in the mind

This morning I went to the hospital with my daughter A. We had an appointment that was made quite a while ago (due to summer holidays we had to wait a couple of weeks) to have two warts removed on A’s hand and foot. That was at least what we thought was going to happen…

Before we could leave I had to find the medical papers to bring with us. I had to search my whole office to find out I had filed it away in my cabinet in a very organized way. Since I normally tend to leave this kind of paperwork on my desk until it is needed the next time I had a hard time just because I forgot I filed the papers properly this time. Yes, there is a connection to my mess and my daughter’s :-).

We arrived at the hospital and the first thing we had to do was paying the ‘ticket’, the contribution to the medical costs you have to pay here in Italy for all medical operations. For this visit to the dermatologist we had to pay € 26,50. We went to the waiting room and after just a few minutes we were asked in.

The doctor, a woman with a foreign accent, probably from some eastern european country, had a look at A’s hand and foot and quickly concluded that the best treatment was medication, specifically calling it “the kids method”. She said that burning the wart away was not a good option since you had to come back several times to have the wound checked afterwards. Then rapidly she started to explain how the treatment had to be done.

The first thing we had to do is go to the pharmacy to purchase special silk bandaid tape. This had to be wrapped around the foot or hand leaving a small opening on the spot of the wart. Then we had to purchase disks with acid that need to be put on this small opening so the acid slowly can reach the wart and ‘eat’ it away. She specifically told us we should not read the leaflet of the acid disks medicine since it instructs to take the disk off at night. Instead you should leave it on 24/7 for at least 10 to 14 days.

To reassure A she said that you can do everything with the bandaid wrappings, swim, run go to the beach, etc. And she went on clearly trying to remember everything that is connected to warts and the cause of warts. Since a common cause of warts is a immune system deficiency she advised to take a medicine called Immunoactive for 60 days, calling it the ‘Ferrari’ option. Another option was the cheaper ‘Fiat’ medicine Macrocea®. The costs would be € 84,– for option 1 and  € 65,20 for option 2.

Wait a moment! How can this doctor know A needs this treatment since it is based on one of the common causes of warts? Or is it just a general precaution in case this might be the cause. If you read forums about warts and warts treatment you will come quickly to the conclusion there is no effective treatment at all. Even burning them away is not a guarantee the wart is not coming back. I see it makes sense to look at the cases and funny enough the doctor at the end concluded that stress was one of the main causes of warts since it lowers your immune system considerably.

Since A has been under quite some stress this winter and spring and before that she also had other periods that were quite stressful this last diagnose makes sense and deletes the need of the just prescribed medicines. Nevertheless the doctor did a good job in showing us how the actual medical care works. There is a pathology, the doctor establishes what it is and then produces the list of possible treatments and medications he or she learned to produce during their study or professional trainings. For me it is hard not to see a big influence from Big Pharma here.

A was not pleased at all by this since she expected a quick fix of her wart problem. She was big time deceived by the outcome of this doctor’s visit since it did not meet her expectation. For her again a confrontation with reality she will have to deal with. For us as a family again a situation where we have to use our common sense and find the best way to help A to get rid of the physical problem and also the real cause of her warts. Again a reality check for us as a family system where we need to support each other to walk through our processes so we can properly deal with this kind of situations.

The situation now is that A is back into a state of depression of which she only comes out when there is a situation of distraction (=deception). Real life issues like the warts will bring her and us as a family back to the real situation. It learned us again that we can not count on medical care being efficient and also shows us that whatever happens the actual money system requires more money to keep up the deception.

What we need is an equal money system that is founded on equality for all with in this context a medical care system that has a starting point of helping people to overcome their medical problems in an effective and practical way with no limitations due to lack of money or profit driven diagnosis by doctors that have a degree in selling Big Pharma products.

The Suite Life of Zack and Cody

Normally  a TV series comes with max 1 episode a day. On YouTube there is no such limitation, you can watch as many as you like/can/manage. Both my children have been watching one episode after another since one of them discovered a series that apparently is very funny. They both are at about episode 16 of the “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” series. The series ends after 57 episodes. I could not help myself when I asked if they were planning to see them all in the next two days.

Until yesterday A. was working on a DVD cover art work and J. was busy making his funny video’s. These and other active activities suddenly stopped to be replaced by this addictive activity of watching this series. So, what is in this series that makes it so terribly appealing my kids are unable to resist from it? I decided to listen for a while to an episode while A. was watching. All I heard were very short sentence dialogues full of ‘funny’ words and sounds that should trigger your laughing. To make the effect even stronger every few words you here the laughters that are added to the sound track in a very smart way. A and J. will laugh occasionally but at a much lower ratio than suggested by the sound track.

The fact I see my kids diving in this activity, or better, this inactivity, is triggering all kind of reactions within myself. So, what is it that is disturbing me about the fact my kids are having a great time? Is it jealousy because they can spend the whole day watching the series and I have to do all my mandatory tasks? Or is it sadness because I see my kids entering a pattern they have been caught in before and knowing it leads to nowhere? Is it the fact I do not see how I can tell them they are wasting their time and even worse, feeding their mind construct with all kind of messages and triggers? Especially with A. it is clear to me she is seeking for ways to avoid continuing her process she is going through after the episode with D.

As a frustrated father I’ve made a couple of comments during the day and tonight, all waved off with reactions like: “I can’t hear anymore what they are saying.” and “Shut up with your stupid comments and leave me alone”.  For the moment the only thing I can do is leave it the way it is until I first work out where I stand in this situation and only then I can eventually address the issue with common sense, stripped from all emotions and feelings.

Both S. and I see a pattern here with A. A support chat that should have been the next step in the A’s process, has been postponed for several days now due to technical reasons. But not only; when asking A. if she wanted to do the chat earlier so it would not conflict with other activities she rigidly sticked to the late night time schedule and suggested to do it a day later. The longer it takes for the chat to be rescheduled, the more A. will get stuck in this pattern. To brake the pattern S. decided to continue with the assignments in A’s process independently from the fact she can have a support chat or not.
J. is in this pattern too but has a lesser urgent need to walk a specific process.

To me this episode is again an experience within real life and an occasion to observe, recognize and take care of this kind of situations with the tools provided by Desteni and the DIP course.

 

Paralyzed by fear and by possession

I feel fucked, fucked-up, betrayed, nervous, possessed. What is going on? A lot of things that are at the end all related to each other…

The fact: A couple of nights ago I decided to monitor the activities of my daughter and the YM (young man) who’s sleeping over regularly for practical reasons related to work. My decision was triggered by a sum up of the many signals mainly given by my daughter during the day. What I found out was confirming my darkest suspicions and as a father I can tell you it has a blowing impact. While hearing sounds of intensive kissing (and who knows what other activities that produce the same sounds) I felt paralyzed. I knew I had to go into the room next door to stop that what was going on. I could have woken my partner, but I did not. I only managed to listen while my heart was racing. I did it for hours apparently, because when finally my daughter left the room to go to sleep it was 4:30 in the morning.

It took me hours to calm down and with no effective sleep I got up in early morning to do my things and to have some distraction. Only much later I managed to concentrate on my work, but I could not go around the consequences of what I lived that night.

Looking back I see that I had been fighting with many thoughts. I asked myself if I could make it to interrupt what was going on. I heard A. giggling and that somehow reassured me that she was OK and apparently having fun. No need to brutally interfere there and to create a negative situation of something that might have been positive. This actually was a justification for not coming into action since I was not able to move.

While having breakfast with my partner S. we actually started together talking about the same thing. I told S. what I experienced and heard that night while shaking wildly with my arms. It was again clear to me that the whole thing had a huge impact on me and S.

In the previous days I started paying more and more attention to my daughter’s and the YM’s behavior . Every time I entered A’s room she was clicking something away on her laptop. I decided to check this out and was able to trace google search terms that were used within our home network environment. Besides searches like “the 10 strangest things you can do with a condom” the one that triggered my alarms was “how does it feel to have your pussy licked” in Dutch. Teenage curiosity or preparing for some action for the next time our young man was in the house?

I am not against experimenting on sex but with all necessary precautions. A girl aged 14 and a man aged 20 is not a very happy combination. I saw my daughter being pulled into a situation that was far beyond her real way of life which is to me still very childish. Also I never experienced A. trying to be attractive sexually with attitude or clothing.

Many questions however remained unanswered. Since we are not sure to what level the two manage to stay responsible for their actions or be aware of the consequences we do not know. When S. checked the sheet that was on the sleeping couch she found two big stains. Here again we wanted to know for sure there had not been a situation in which A. risked to get pregnant.

At the end we had the full story from A. One thing emerges very clearly, she was afraid of the YM already for some time. His behavior grew slowly to a more obsessive way of acting. Very subtly he managed to have A. sitting close to him, not because A. was liking this so much but because he managed to pull her towards him all the time. The same for the so called chasing games that gave him the opportunity to touch her inappropriately.

We are very aware of the fact that A. might have giving encouraging signals that unfortunately were generated out of fear. It is amazing to see how fear can lead to actions that seen from the outside seem to be perfectly normal or even giving the exact opposite signal. This, however, is not justifying the YM’s behavior. He has not been able to sense or understand he was dealing with a girl that was not ready to answer his sexual needs.

Having put this part back into a manageable perspective we prepare for a proper wrap up of the whole situation. With the help of the Desteni tools we will work things out so we understand the starting points and the consequential outflows of our actions and lack of action.

We will work out a practical way to deal with this new situation in which we decided that for the safety in our family the YM, at least for a while, might better not be our guest anymore. He will have to understand first what happened to him, what he accepted and allowed to happen and what the extent of the consequences of his behavior are. Until now, despite of intensive coaching, he has not really showed progress on his practical day to day behavior, he improved only technical related matters that nevertheless allowed him to produce some nice work.

Until we are ready working out our points we will reduce collaboration to the minimal necessary to finish ongoing projects. For the next month there are no big projects to work on so there should be plenty of time for hm to work on some points.