It is times like these that I wish I had a best friend. It has been so long since calling anyone (other than my wife) my best friend, that I don’t even know if the memory that i have of that status is still valid. The world changes and people change, has the internet warped the idea of a best friend. Certainly it hasn’t, some where there are two people so incredibly involved in caring about one another that they listen to each-other.
I know the world does not revolve around me and that I live on a planet with billions of lives with billions of problems, but I feel as though I am the only one in my social circle that thinks about others often. I get curious about what friends from school are up to, how old teaches are doing in the changing world and if that guy and his wife from the street corner years ago still require a sign asking for money. I want to help everyone and I am willing to sacrifice my own luxury in life for equality. I feel like this is a great trait to have and that I naturally would attract like minded people because those that had this quality would understand its worth to society.
Ok enough of a rant on my loneliness, back to using the internet as my sounding board and place of thought. I recently went on a trip to the in-laws for my kids Spring break. My kids love their cousins and they are all around the same age. I have a 2, 6, and 9 year old and they are 8 and 9. If it were not for them I would probably never visit my in-laws. I feel like they are toxic people and are a huge barrier to my wife’s own personal growth. I am not alone in this thought, she agrees as well. They are just so mean to each other and they cover up the way they treat each other by calling it a joke or most of the time not even being aware of it at all.
I told my wife when we left the house that she and her sister would end up getting in a debate over their choice in diets. My wife has embraced the knowledge she has gained over the last 6 months in the area of health and fitness and has impressively reshaped her body. I have always found her beautiful, but now she is healthy beautiful. She has embraced a healthy diet and a solid exercise routine as a way of life and it has become a staple in her understanding of feeling happy. Her sister also started a new life change. I went Vegan to prepare for a Ayahuasca retreat and it in some way inspired her sister to become Vegan. She did her own researched and has really embraced this Starch Solutions diet. She has a youtube channel and currently advertises that she is down 90 pounds. She no longer requires blood pressure medicine and talks about how little anxiety she has. I am proud of her accomplishments and even more proud to see her reach a point in her life where she is taking knowledge and using it to improve her life. Two sisters with massive change and a different theory on how to get there…
Sure enough within 36 hours of arrival the debate started. I welcome a healthy debate. I look at debating as a way to expand my understanding. Even though I can get triggered and go off a tangent, I try to have an open mind during all discussions and look for ways I could be wrong. I am not a magician that can predict the future, but I do know people and I am decent enough at predicting how two personalities will act when put in a room, especially when one is my wife and one is my sister in law. The reason I gave my wife a heads up on my theory is because I wanted to prepare her for how I thought her sister would react. I explained the Dunning-Kruger effect and how it would effect her sisters ability to debate. Not that I think she is wrong, but after following her youtube channel for the last year I am very aware of how she limits her research and solely puts her success onto this one diet.
I am human and have an ego too, so inside I felt pretty good that I had predicted the debate that I was watching, but at the same time I felt compassion towards her sisters ignorance. I was her, if you understand where I am coming from than you were her too. That introduction to the power of knowledge is breath taking. You feel as though you have woken up and now have the power to take on the world. It is only after taking the time to expand on that knowledge that you start to realize how little you really do know. Then it is time to get humble and check yourself before you embarrass yourself. When I dug deep into the double slit experiment I went off and posted in a forum telling everyone that maybe the interference pattern was displaying the image of a 4 dimensional object. I got laughed at and for good reason, but that was part of my journey and my understanding of my own bias’s and limitations.
I have spent a significant amount of time taking the knowledge I have gained in psychology and finance and trying to help my in-laws. They live off government assistance and spend a lot of time blaming others for their problems. I reach out to my Father-in-Law, Mother-in-law, Sister-in-law, and Brother-in-law by learning about what they like and trying to find relatable material. I am brushed off as opinionated, bragging, wrong, and annoying. Lots of different adjectives can be used to describe how her family views me as a person. I do not believe anyone of them truly believes I want to help them. My wife says that they are not worth my time and that I should not try and help them, but I can’t help but want to help them achieve their goals. No matter how I approach them I am always looked at as anything other than helpful.
What makes things super frustrating is they have asked me for help in the past. They have also taken some things I have said many months prior and adopted it into their life some how. They even have started to do this off some of the things my wife recently has discussed, even going as far as including the information in their youtube channels. My wife was frustrated one night because at the time she was talking to her mom about something fitness related her mom was passive and dismissing her. The next day it popped up in a video on her moms channel and she was hurt. I tried to explain to her that I have been witnessing this from them for years. They pick and choose what they listen to in life and then some of it takes months to get integrated to the point that they can improve or change their own lives. I am not sure what to call it… EGO? Could they just be refusing to allow the world to take credit for their successes in life, but have no issue at all blaming their failures on the world around them? It is so strange.
I am glad I went on this trip though, because two things happened that really opened my eyes and cemented the reasoning on why my wife is right and I shouldn’t try so hard. The first was a conversation I had with her mom about dopamine addiction and the effects on a person’s happiness with the basic (boring) things in life. She spends 16 hours on her phone a day (that is not an exaggeration, that is straight from her tracking software), but she complains about how sad she is and how boring things are. I explained to her about dopamine and how too much of it creates a tolerance just like any other drug. I told her to test it out and go 7 days with no electronics and see how she feels about the world then. This was a 15 – 30 minute pitch on this subject. At the end of it I asked her why she doesn’t try and she looked right at me and said “I don’t believe you.”
When we were back at home I was talking to my wife one night about a podcast I had just finished about economics. I was discussing debt and she brought up how her mom told her that she did not believe me when I showed her the debt clock site during our visit. It was at that moment that I realized that ignorance is a sickness. The brains ability to dismiss information counterintuitive to ones happiness is amazing. When I had gone over student debt and credit card debt and housing debt and talked about the government using the Federal Reserve to support a crumbling economy she took it as a personal attack. Since both her and her daughter (my sister-in-law) live off of government support, admitting that the government had a debt problem would in the same moment be admitting that she was part of the problem. In real time her mind can not allow her to feel that way, so she is incapable of seeing reason in what I am saying.
It seems that I will forever be the guy who stole her daughter away. No matter the good I have brought into this world (3 grandkids), I will always be looked at as the problem. I have to accept that (or have I). I have to look at her at a point in her journey. At one point I was her and at one point she will be me. Whether it takes a thousand lifetimes to get there, at some point the source of her suffering will be realized and she will understand that we are one and that we are here to experience this wonderful canvas of life. Each person has their own unique perspective and most have forgotten who they are, but on a cosmic scale we are headed in the right direction. The best I can do is continue to learn and grow, allow my light to shine bright and try to inspire others to live for love and love to live..
Until next time…