I am very excited to announce that I finally struck inspiration and will be relaunching my podcast!!! And while I dearly want to write out a long explanation as to where Breaking Away is headed that would defeat the purpose of recording Episode 6! So without further ado, please click on the icon and have a listen!
I look forward to your questions, comments, and sharing this exciting exploration of shame free sex positive exploration. And for those who love early access and bonus content, please consider subscribing to my Patreon.
And When We Need Empathy the Most, It Doesn’t Seem to be Working
Let us start at the beginning, what does empathy really mean?
It is “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.”
I have always thought of myself as an empathetic person. Putting myself in other people’s shoes is something I do without thinking. Perspective is everything, and I love having the capacity to experience and understand more about the human experience through this skill-set. Using this mindset it feels valid for me to claim that I am an open-minded sex positive individual and in turn coach and help those who are struggling with various aspects of their non-monogamous relationships. It’s difficult to write this, without appearing like I am bragging, but the honest truth is developing empathy was how I survived a difficult childhood. As an only child, moving every 3 years, I had to efficiently learn skills to fit into new situations quickly and without any previous frame of reference. And if you believe in such things, I am a libra, and I have been told this brings a natural balance to my perspective.
Now, to the post at hand. There is a lot going on in the world. People are justifiably angry with, well, pretty much everything. From being forced to isolate, to the disgusting murder of a black man by people of authority, to the fact that it is supposed to be pride month, and quite frankly we have very little to celebrate. All in all 2020, has sucked so far. And being a person with a platform (no matter how small), I believe it is my duty to speak out and show support for all the people who are suffering. But there is a huge problem with this, empathy doesn’t seem to be working.
In all my years of blogging, and being active on social media, never have I felt this total chaos. And by chaos, I mean this completely helpless feeling where everything I do is wrong. Empathy, up until now has always been a strength and has helped me be an ally to the people who truly need it. Now though, people are just so damn angry I am at a loss of how to help. Being silent is never OK, but when I am called out for being “obtuse” due to asking what black charities small businesses can donate to in my local community, it is obvious that anger is at the boiling point. Again, I want to make it clear, that I have complete empathy and want to learn, help, and ensure that racism is extinct from out future. But, I have to say again, I am at a loss of how to do this.
One theme I keep seeing is that activists are exhausted from providing lists, resources, and links to those among us who keep asking what we can do. The frustration seems to be that it is far more important for the white ally to just do some research to find the best charity etc. on their own, thereby taking a more active approach. But I hope you understand, there are many of us who just don’t want to make anymore mistakes or make things worse. I for one, have always been taught never to use race as a means of dividing people. So it goes against everything I know to do a specific Google search for black owned/run companies or charities. It feels, like I am doing something wrong. Why should it matter what race/orientation/ etc. a company is run by? That is the preconception I go into this with. And the confusion doesn’t end there.
When one person says that they don’t want to see any white person use #blacklivesmatter, and another says that “silence in white people is supporting white supremacy” or that unless you have experienced racism you should just shut up and let black people talk, it becomes less and less clear how not to mess this up. I am at a complete loss as to how to be an effective ally. Racism needs to end. All humans should have fair access to healthcare, education, and due process under the law. Equality for all needs to be fought tooth and nail to achieve. So I ask again, please, tell me how I can help?
I would love to boost black authors, sex positive educators, and support in anyway I can. However, I don’t want it to seem like I am just pandering for the here and now. I want desperately for these actions to be meaningful, insight real change, rather than a temporary increase of exposure, unless that’s all you want me to do. I’ve seen call outs for specific contributors, and I am going to be brutally honest, looking for one specific voice has always made me uncomfortable. Again, my bias has always been an open space where anyone should feel comfortable commenting, interacting, or even reading. And if this is not appropriate at this time, I need to know.
Empathy used to be enough. The complete willingness to learn, support, and stand up for what is right has always worked for me, as I said, until now. I’m not rich and famous. I don’t have a lot of resources at my disposal, but I do have my words. I don’t want to remain passive, but I cannot constantly fight for a cause I very much believe in, if I keep getting told I am wrong by the very people I am trying to fight for. Help me learn, do better, and above all, be the ally you need.
If you have a resource or book that you think would help me, and others, please link it in the comments or on social media.
I have a bunch of blog posts, articles, pictures, and projects on the verge of being shared, but before I do that, I want to ask one thing: How are you doing?
For me, it has been 6 weeks of my partner and I against the
world. We alternate going grocery
shopping every 10 days or so, and go out to pick up a new keg of beer every two
weeks. The sunshine has been shining for
the last 2 days which as certainly helped, but let me be completely honest, I now
have days in a row where I do nothing. I
love my projects, and my writing grounds me, but for one reason or another, I
just do nothing! Many days I feel just
like I am in a state of limbo. That’s
me, now, how are you doing? Feel free to answer in the comments, social media,
or even share a post you have written about your current state of mind.
Check-In’s are important.
At the end of this isolation, having a strong network of support will
make shifting out easier. We had no say as
to when the distancing would begin, and that can be incredibly challenging for
many of us. Being told what to do is not
an easy thing. We are adults after all,
with autonomy, and yet, here we all sit choosing the collective good of society,
rather than our own selfish needs. And that needs to be acknowledged and
celebrated. I thank each and everyone of
you who are doing your part to distance, and minimize contact with your fellow
humans. Again though, this is not easy,
so, how are you doing?
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If you are not Ok, please comment. Reach out! Let us all help each other get through this. Alternatively,
if there is something that you are doing that is working really well, could you
please share? Maybe something as simple
as smiling at yourself in the mirror, or taking 5 minutes to stretch your whole
body helps. Wherever you are with this
check in, let us work together by helping, or sharing. The whole social media community has a real
opportunity to prove its real value in our society. So, let us pause, reflect, and use the tools
we have on hand.
Being in a good dating state of mind is the foundation of my non-monogamous dating and relationship coaching. And if you have been following along in the last few years, you may have noticed that I took a step back when it came to dating, because I recognized that I was in a bad state of mind. I had lost something very dear to me, and that was hope. And as a result, I took a step back, and focused on healing, and basically tackling only those things that were already within my grasp. I took the time to rebuild my own confidence, and sort a few things out. In essence, I put myself into survival mode. And then, with the help of therapy, an incredible network of friends, and my partner I slowly found my inner strength again.
But when I had just accepted that this was my life now, something miraculous happened, I found a glimmer of hope. Without realizing it, that had been what I stopped believing in. I shut the part of me down that was the eternal optimist, and just lived for the few moments that fueled me. Slowly those moments grew into hours, then a full day, and then a few days at a time. And suddenly, I felt my confidence and power come back. It wasn’t the goal. But it was a delightful result. And, as an added bonus, my sexual fantasies, and erotic imagination are starting to rebuild as well.
Over the past few years, I have started dabbling in erotica writing, and honestly, it was a muscle that felt incredible to finally put down on paper. But it always felt a little out of my grasp. If inspiration struck, I would have to drop everything and write that specific fantasy down. It was not something that I had any control over. And what’s worse, is that the fantasies, were so far beyond what I had experienced in person that they actually made me a little sad. Here were sexy interludes, crisscrossing my brain, but fully intangible. And yes, I know that many erotica writers are primarily doing so in the fiction realm, but what I wanted to write, I also want as a real part of my life. And well, without hope, I buried that, deep into the depths of my imagination.
I actually did something that I learned as a very young
girl, and that was to compartmentalize.
But here I sit, with a growing clarity and a slowing re-merging
confidence realizing that these fantasies could become realities. And if I was brave enough to take some
action… wow! Would I ever be in for some
fun times and sexy adventures. I am
flushed just thinking of the possibilities.
Of putting down the guard that always says no, until I have weighed out
all the pros and cons, and just opening up, a little bit more than I have in
And finally, just writing this post, my brain has been awash with a few percolating fantasies. While the majority will simply exist on paper, there are a few that I might try and make reality. And that is both terrifying and deeply erotic. It is a place I want to grow more comfortable with exploring, and all of that was made possible by the tiny little word… hope.
If you’re curious what fantasies I am working on, check out my Patreon page for the latest!
Over the past year, I placed a big carrot in front of me. I wanted to achieve something I have never had in my adult life, and I focused my attention on that one thing. At the age of 36, I was finally going to be debt free, by making a huge life change, and sacrificing home ownership for the removal of this mental burden. Why am I sharing this with you? Because, it hasn’t happened yet. And in the interim of this will it, or won’t it scenario, I am learning a whole bunch about myself, and my mental health.
It turns out, having a carrot to work towards, is not
something that gives me peace. It is
just too big a goal, and far beyond my direct control. Thus, I placed my mental happiness on
something in the future, and one that was not a sure thing. I am going to tell you with complete honesty,
that it came close to destroying me. I
forgot to find joy in the day to day. I
became consumed with this idea, that my happiness depended on this far off
event, and if I just held out for a few more days, weeks, months, then I could
finally smile again. Then, I could breath
a huge sigh of relief.
I’ve made this mistake in the past. I put all my eggs into a basket, that seems
like a sure thing, and allow my mental well being to just kind of simmer, until
this goal is achieved. I’ve done this
with my career, with my past relationships (maybe even my current one, but that
is too close to home to analyze right now), and I just snapped myself out of
doing this for a moment longer with my debt.
The thing is, I do have to make sacrifices right now. I have put the exploration of my sexual
fluidity on hold. I was so excited to have
a first date with a female, but the reality is, dating is expensive and very
time consuming. I know this. And it would not be fair or even rational to
put myself out there right now. But, as
I am figuring out, not everything I do has to feel like I am giving something
up. I can enjoy my 20 minutes of yoga a
day, with clarity. I can take breaks to
play video games because it makes me happy, and my brain needs mental breaks throughout
the day. And yes, I feel proud of all
the writing and progress I am making working from home part time.
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In the past little while, I have resisted posting pity me social media status’s and it has been difficult. I cried out loud to my partner, that I just wished someone would finally feel sorry for me, and tell me that I have come so far after such a difficult journey. Let me just have one person feel sorry for me, I sobbed. And you know what? He did the complete opposite. He told me that I could be proud of what I had done, and reminded me, that it is OK to take breaks and not work so hard. I don’t have to prove to myself that I work 80 hours a week, to feel good about myself. I can work half that, and enjoy my breaks and the little things. And that my friends, is when I realized that I was using this carrot as my permission slip to be happy. And, well, that is change I am making in my life. I may never be out of debt, and I may never enjoy the financial freedom that I believe I would as a child. And you know what? I very well still could. This isn’t that I am giving up on achieving a goal. Instead, I am trying to be more aware and conscious that I can be proud of myself right now. That I can celebrate small victories with as much intensity as the big ones. And well, just writing that, the lump in my throat went down. I breathed a sigh of relief, and the tears that were brimming as I typed, slowly just went away. I don’t need to spell out all my obstacles and hurdles to you all to elicit sympathy. Instead, I can let that go, and focus on the joy and the smaller moments. Life is what you make of it right?
Thank you for all the love, support, and a special thanks to all the people who have bought me a beer on Patreon!