Jaded Dating: Where Did This Come From?

In my newsletter this week I talked about how I discovered I was a “Jaded Dater. If you haven’t subscribed and haven’t read it, please let me know in the comments and I will send you the link.

That being said, I have continued to look at my “stuff” about dating.

I remember in my single 20’s and 30’s when everyone (mother, sister, friends, relatives) was trying to fix me up with people. They would all give me advice for “how I should act” to the point that I was literally frozen. I didn’t know WHAT to do anymore. All the fun had been squeezed out of me.

“Don’t tell dirty jokes,” they would advise.

“Not everyone thinks you’re funny,” my aunt told me after she had fixed me up with her friend’s son. “Not everyone enjoys your jokes.”

“Really,” I wanted to reply. “Your friend’s son was awfully chummy with the waitress. How is that ok and my jokes weren’t?”

I didn’t ask that because I knew why he was chummy. It was because I was late. It’s a long story, but an entertaining one so I will tell it.

He was my second blind date of the evening. On the first, I had gotten stuck with my mother’s neighbor’s nephew. He wouldn’t let me leave until he figured out whether to break up with his girlfriend or not. It was based on if WE had a future together. (We had just met). I was so frazzled that night that I left my bank card in the machine in between dates and someone withdrew $400 from my account. Luckily, the guy’s girlfriend was honest and they returned the money with a scolding the next day.

“You are lucky my girlfriend is honest. I didn’t want to return it,” the guy said. “I wanted to teach you a lesson.”

Anyway, by the time I got to the second date, the guy I was meeting was laughing with the waitress. They had their own inside jokes and obviously didn’t appreciate my humor.

Whatever.

Other things I remember being told about dating that has me not be myself, nervous and JADED:

My mother:  Don’t let a guy know you like him because then he won’t like you anymore!!

My mother:  Eat like a bird when you go out so they don’t think you eat too much.  (And I remember one guy did comment on how much I ate. That was our first and only date. One of my friends ended up marrying him. I guess she didn’t eat much).

The Dating Game: I think I learned to try to figure out the “right” answer so they would like you. So much for being your real self.

My Uncle: Be whoever you have to be to get them to marry you. Then afterwards you can be yourself. (Seriously, dude, that is some messed up advice in my opinion).

A Friend Learned from Her Mother: Don’t date at all because if you have sex you are spoiled.

This is all fascinating to me. No wonder there is no freedom to date.

That’s why I’m now calling it “getting to know someone.” There’s no getting stuck, getting it right, or anxiety. (Well, ok, not as much anxiety.)

Stay tuned for more excitement on the jaded dating journey to freedom.

PS I ran into the first date years later. I asked him what happened to his girlfriend. Guess what he said?

“I married her.”

How A Tornado Taught Me a Valuable Lesson

My daughter and I were huddled up, shaking in my mother’s basement, waiting for the tornado to arrive. We didn’t know when it was safe to go back upstairs.

We were lucky, it didn’t hit my mom’s house but we did lose power.

Thankfully, my father had installed a generator before he passed away. We were grateful and doing ok until it stopped suddenly 3 days later.

The generator people said they would come fix up, but, due to high demand, they didn’t make it that Wednesday.

My daughter and I had gone out to try to charge our cell phones and we were not prepared to come home to an empty, dark house. We had no flashlights and didn’t know where my mom’s candles were. She was away so she couldn’t help us.

My daughter’s friends had asked her to go out with them. 

“Go, just go, I’ll be fine. I’ll be fine,” I kept repeating.

She kept saying, “Are you sure?” 

“Yeah, I’m fine. Go, have fun.” 

I was not going to ask her to not have a good time with her friends, but she kept asking me, “Mom, are you okay?” 

“Yeah, I’m fine,” I said, thinking how terrified I would be getting there in the dark.

Mom, mom, mom, she kept saying. This went on for some time. I didn’t want to ask for help.

Finally, I REALLY thought about it.

“No, I’m not okay,” I blurted out, bursting into tears as usual. ” I have no idea where the flashlights are. I’m going to be home all alone in the dark. Would you come home?” 

“Yes, it’s fine, I’ll come, I was just waiting for you to ask. Why do you have to be so strong? Why do you always think you have to do it all by yourself?” 

“I don’t know. I wanted you to have fun and I didn’t want to be weak. I didn’t want to look weak.”

She came with me and we made it through the night. In the morning, not only did I find flashlights, but the generator got fixed. We had made it.

That tornado taught me that I don’t have to be so strong and I can ask for help, and I am really grateful for such a wise daughter. 

Where are you being a victim? Where do you think you have to do it all alone and you can’t ask for help because you have to look strong? 

Trust me, it’s a lot easier when you can just say you know what, it would be really nice if you were there with me. That’s what I learned. 

I’d love to hear about your experiences about times when you were trying to handle it all, but on the inside, you were screaming for help. Let me know in the comments.

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This is How Failing Can Turn Into Something Great!

Did you ever do something you thought was really great?  And the reaction from your parents wasn’t what you wanted to hear?

When I was 11 years old, I had ONE B and the rest A’s.

“Why did you get the one B?” my father asked.

I know he was kidding, but my whole life, I’ve been kind of a victim about how I can’t get it right.

No matter what, it’s never going to be okay.

No matter what I do, it’s never enough.

I always joke about how if I won the Nobel Peace Prize, I would ruin the moment by whining, “Well, I should have gotten it last year!” 

 Isn’t that crazy?

I haven’t recognized any of my accomplishments because there was always something that I could have done better.  I only saw what I didn’t do!

I don’t know if you’ve ever felt that, but that was how I felt, always suffering like a victim.

What I realized is a lot of people have that story, and IT’S JUST A STORY!  

What if we could be present to our accomplishments?  Imagine the change in our outlook and energy.  Imagine how we would feel about ourselves. 

What if when we were failing we said  “Wow, I need to get better.  Aren’t I courageous for trying?”

That would be different, wouldn’t it?

Here’s what I learned:

  • It’s okay not to be perfect. 
  • It’s okay to have room for improvement. 

It’s okay for me to hear,  “Hey, you need a little more energy in these videos,” or, “Hey, what do you think you did differently that you are up 1 pound?” (yikes) 

It doesn’t mean anything, it doesn’t mean I’m not okay and that my life is bad.

That one report card where I got the one B was pretty awesome, and even though the next time I went on to get all A’s, you know what? 

There really was no difference in my life between the one B and the all A’s. 

I love you, Dad. 

I miss you, Dad. 

It’s okay.  

We are not our results. 

We can be free, we can learn new things, we can be bad to be good and just keep going, keep having fun and enjoying our life.

So I don’t know if there’s any areas in your life where you say, “Oh, gee, if only I had done that. If only this, if only that.” 

Well guess what?

It doesn’t really matter. You can still enjoy your life, you can still be free, and you can still have fun.

I hope this helps you alter your relationship to failure and use it to empower yourself instead of feeling bad! It’s okay not to be perfect!!

Let me know in the comments about how you deal with failure.

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7 Steps to Stop Suffering

I’m going to lead a breakout session in a course I’m in and need to pick a topic by tomorrow.

I’d like the inquiry to be one that I am interested in rather than one where I think I know the answer.

I’m looking at Being vs Suffering

Today I was being present and enjoying my life. I was about to lead a “planning” call and took a look at how I’m doing on my own plan. By Oct 21 I will transform 4 areas – career, home, course and relationships.

I’m doing great on my career and my home. I am sticking and choosing “what is.” I saw what wasn’t working and added workability to both.

  • I am staying in my winter beach cottage and enjoying the winter months. I will relook at “home” when I have to move in the spring.
  • In my career, I saw that it was one little piece that wasn’t working and I am redesigning it so that that piece works as well. Most of what I want is already in place.

In dating and in my course, I was doing fine until I looked at my results. All of a sudden I started suffering. I had a terrible date on Tuesday and I currently only have 1 person registered for my course starting in October.

My old familiar “story” kicked in: I can’t have what I want, I’m stupid for thinking I can, and it’s really all hopeless.

Wow. In an instant my thoughts got “stuck” in their old patterns and the suffering began.

How to bring BEING to my story?

  • See that I made it all up
  • See what the payoff is for keeping it in place.

The payoff is that I get to be a victim, right about how I can’t have what I want, and powerless to do anything about it. While that doesn’t SEEM like a payoff, it gets me off the hook for putting myself out there and being vulnerable. It’s safer to just stay stuck.

What can I do about it?

  • Recognize the story
  • See if I really want to stay stuck in my story
  • If so, keep it and suffer
  • If not, let it go and
  • Get back into action.

I can take a whole bunch of actions:

  • Select more guys
  • Dress up and feel good about myself
  • Get out of my house
  • Share about my course
  • Talk about my book again
  • Schedule podcasts
  • Schedule book talks.

There are actions I CAN take when I stop making myself wrong. The world opens up and I get my power back.

That’s a miracle.

So what can my inquiry be about?

From Suffering to Being?

What’s Being In Relationships?

What’s Being in Regards to Our Self and Our Stories?

What’s Being with Regards to Our Future?

Something like that. Nothing is jumping out at me yet. Well, I will meditate on it and pick something by tomorrow. It’s a work in progress.

Thanks for listening.

My Boobs Didn’t Go to Harvard, But They Did Go to Wharton!

I was in a Vacation Course in Mexico about having freedom with our bodies.  

The suggestion over one of the breaks was:  “Maybe you want to talk to your bodies.” 

I went back to my room and looked in the mirror.

“My boobs need a conversation,”  I thought. 

“You know what, I’m sorry that I’ve been ashamed of you my whole life,”  I said out loud to my boobs.

A memory popped into my mind.  Bob, my 9th grade boyfriend, repeated a comment his step-father had said to him.

“Wow, I didn’t realize Hilary was so well endowed,” his step-father had said to him.

I was embarrassed. I didn’t want people making those comments. It made me uncomfortable, and I kind of walked hunched over after that. I tried to hide my boobs so people wouldn’t notice them.  All of a sudden I was ashamed of my boobs.

That day in the hotel I stared at my boobs.  They seemed to answer me inside my head.

“Hey, maybe he was just an inappropriate pedophile, or an inappropriate pervert, and he should not have made that comment.”

“Wow.” I stood up straighter.  I never thought of that.  Maybe I didn’t have to be ashamed.  Maybe it was just an inappropriate comment.

I went back to the class and I told them the story.

 “Wow, you have really smart boobs,” one of the participants said.

“Yeah, I do,”  I said.  

There was one person in the course who kept bragging about how she went to Harvard.  It was annoying.

“Hey, my boobs didn’t go Harvard,” I added. “But they did go to Wharton.”

Everyone laughed.

And through that, I got freedom not to be ashamed of my body. It wasn’t my fault he said that comment. He was just inappropriate. 

I starting being proud of my body after that. I started standing up taller and walking differently and my life has never been the same.  That was a miracle.  

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Access To Grace

“Gratitude is your access to grace.” I heard on a Deepak Chopra meditation the other day.

Negative thoughts create negativity, disease, and aging.

Positive thoughts create happiness, healing, abundance, miracles and youthfulness.

Hmmmm. Gee, which one would I want? Not a difficult choice.

So why do I continue to give attention to my negative thoughts?

I am going to use this blog to get a little freedom. I seem to be a little stuck.

Here’s what happened:

During COVID I was doing great with my weight/virtual Weight Watchers. I was relaxed, losing weight for the first time in many years, and feeling like I finally had my weight handled. I felt great and wasn’t worried about my weight at all for the first time in a long time.

I switched from weekly weigh-in’s to getting weighed once a month after the centers opened. I was calm and didn’t have to worry about fluctuations due to bouillion or salty foods. It worked for me. I was losing slowly and feeling confident and happy.

Until a few weeks ago. I got weighed on a Tuesday.

“You are up 4.2 pounds. Were you expecting that?”

“NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT. OMG. Usually I get weighed on Friday. Maybe that’s it.”

“Maybe,” the leader said.

It must have been a mistake, I thought. On Friday I went back to get weighed.

I was up another .2 pounds.

“HOLY SHIT! I’m not doing anything different. What the hell happened to me? HELP!!!!

Since that day I have been in FAT GIRL mode. I am totally focused on my weight, what I now can’t have, and feeling like a wrong, wrong wrong person.

I look at others and see their thin-ness. I am on the outs. The rest of the world has it under control. Not me.

I have been eating and drinking more since that day. I am terrified that I am going to keep gaining and that I don’t now what to do.

“Return to tracking,” I tell myself. “Be honest. You know what to do.”

But it hasn’t worked to calm me down. Or damning myself. Or making myself wrong inside.

Can I stop resisting the weight gain? Stop resisting my thoughts? Stop resisting that I NEED TO DO SOMETHING?

What’s the payoff for this RACKET? What’s the payoff for torturing myself?

I guess it’s familiar. It’s easier than wondering how to get my course to be successful. It’s easier than worrying about what will happen with my mom. It’s easier than trying to figure out this dating thing which I really dread and hate. It’s easier than putting in the effort in my sales job. It’s easier than just being with myself like nothing’s wrong and I have a great life.

It’s almost like I need a problem to solve. I need to be fixing myself.

So…….here’s my access to grace….I am grateful for my strong, shapely, healthy, healing body and my beautiful face and hair. I have wonderful blue eyes and a sparkling smile. I experience deep love and share it with others. I love my family and I am grateful for all of them.

I am grateful for my intelligence and my ability to listen, empower and stand for people’s dreams.

I am grateful for the abundance I experience every day and for the wonderful people in my life.

Thank you, God, for blessing me and my family.

Happy New Year everyone and I hope this gives you an access to grace.

Playing Full Out

My homework is to PLAY FULL OUT.

Well, I did great for most of the day considering I didn’t sleep much due to the VERY LOUD THUNDERSTORM.

It was my first night in my beach house for this winter. I moved in yesterday.

I tried to calm myself amidst the loud thunder, bright lightning and heavy rains.

“Was my car flooding?”

“Would the house break apart or float away?

“What was that loud dripping that sounded like it was inside?”

Oh shit. It WAS inside. The bathroom ceiling was leaking and the bathroom floor had water a few inches deep. Great. I put down the towels to mop it up, put the garbage can to catch the water, and tried to go back to sleep.

The next morning my landlord texted. “How is everything after the storm?”

I told her about the roof.

Then I tried the shower. It didn’t work. Neither did the faucets. The leak must have broken the pipes. NO SHOWER FOR HOW LONG? OMG.

Luckily, though, it wasn’t a burst pipe, it was the water company working in the area. PHEW!!

I handled all this very well. I did my work playing full out, calling people I normally wouldn’t call.

Then, I checked my dating app. The one cute, normal guy had disappeared. He was THE ONE. Where the hell did he go? GHOSTED.

Then my 4:00 and 5:00 calls didn’t pick up. That’s when I stopped playing. It tipped me into the land of I am a blob and nothing matters and where is the alcohol and what salty crunchy food can I eat?

The good news: so far I haven’t drank and I’m still counting my points, but, the real question is:

What will I do in 10 minutes on my last Getting Unstuck call? Will I be a blob and tell them I know things never work out and they should give up OR can I play full out and get some freaking energy into my body?

Maybe I could do a tequilla shot? Maybe some sugar?

Or, just not make it about me and listen to these fine ladies and create life out here in dialogue.

After all, that’s my commitment for the world. That people are free to create lives they love.

Who cares that 2 people forgot I was calling? And that Brad dropped off of Bumble?

8 minutes to go – I feel like the guy in Meatloaf’s Dashboard song……

Yes or no?

Now I’m praying for the end of time so I can end my time with you……..

OK, I digress. I will give it my all, folks. With the energy I have. I think my energy means something and it doesn’t.

I will take care of people and see what is their next step since this is our last session.

Thanks for listening and have a great night.

Something Happened on the Way to the Post Office

“Something happened on the way to the post office,” Lynn texted a few days ago.

“What?” I texted back.

“You’ll see when you get your mail in a couple of days,” Lynn answered.

I was intrigued. I thought maybe she was mugged by a gorilla and there would be gorilla prints on a ripped up/torn envelope.

Today I finally got the envelope. Inside was a Sympathy card and a Get Well Soon card. I know who they were for and it wasn’t me.

“Did THEY get MY CHECK?” I texted.

“Yes, they laughed, and it’s already in the mail to you.”

This is a check that has been promised to me for many months. As they say, “the check is in the mail. STILL!!”

I just have to laugh. At this point, if I ever get it, it will be an extra bonus.

Life is funny these days.

Besides this card snafu, I’ve been observing people who are in quite a tizzy. They seem to be addicted to the news. The world is “the worst it’s ever been.” And they are upset.

For me, I know that if I watch the news, I get upset, too, and feel like the world is ending.

If I don’t turn on the news, and listen to a meditation instead, I feel joy, the world is wonderful, and I am living in abundance.

I am way better off when I consciously choose the conversations I am participating in.

I am not judging the people who watch the news.

I just choose not to. It is very negative and it gets my negative swirl going down down down and takes WAY too much energy to come back up.

What do YOU choose to listen to?

Does it serve you or upset you?

I’d love to hear.

Caught In The Middle Again

I seem to have this thing that I am “caught in the middle.”

If two people have opposing views and they both voice them to me, I start getting agitated.

Like I’m supposed to do something.

Let’s take the vaccine. There are two opposing views:

  1. If you don’t get vaccinated you will die and you are ruining the world because the virus is mutating because of you. You are selfish and stupid. What is wrong with you?
  2. The vaccine causes blood clots, cancer and possible death. Why would I do that to myself? Why is this a political matter? Who is behind this? What is wrong with our country?

Now, if I take these at face value, someone is right and the others are in deep trouble and could die. Which side is right? Who do I have to convince to change their mind in order to save their life?

This weekend I was in a course and I looked at this “being in the middle.” It really seems like there is something I have to do to “save people.”

I got that way last night, too. I was hearing complaints about my mom that she wasn’t behaving properly with her caregiver. My job was to see what is going on since I live there. I got frightened.

“Mom, you have to behave. If you don’t, no one will be able to take care of you and they will take you some place else you might not like.”

“Who will take me away?” she asked, curiously.

I didn’t say anything. I don’t know if that will happen. Maybe it’s not true. Maybe I made it up because I am frightened and think there is something I need to do to save her.

It seems to be a theme. That I need to save people and if I don’t, somehow the consequences of their actions and opinions are my fault.

It is a big burden and very egotistical if I really look at it. Why do I think I need to save the world? That people don’t have the right to their own actions and beliefs? That I should come in with my cape and save people? It’s ridiculous if I think about it.

Maybe it’s better if I can just take care of myself and trust that others can take care of themselves. Then I could live a more peaceful and less stressed life.

I don’t have to be upset when I hear different opinions. I don’t have to worry about what is the truth.

I can be present and be love and trust the universe. I think I will try that. I am really tired from trying to do it the other way. It’s exhausting and there is no end to the struggle.

Do you ever feel like you need to save somebody?

Do you ever feel like you need to fix somebody?

Do you ever worry about someone else and think you need to do something?

What if you could let all that go and enjoy your life? How would your life look?

Let me know what you think in the comments. I’m curious to hear what you see.

Thanks for listening and have a great day.

How Not Having My Shit Together Taught Me To Enjoy Life!

A few months ago I was calling someone and couldn’t find my papers  with the notes from our last conversation. I couldn’t remember what we had talked about and what I was supposed to be following up on. I was wildly throwing papers around my desk, desperate to not look stupid.

I was so frazzled.  The guy picked up and  I blurted out  “Well, one day, I’m going to get my shit together. And then all this will be gone and I’ll know what I’m doing.”

And the guy said, “Really? I thought that would happen to me, too. But one day I just realized, You know what? I’m never going to get my shit together. This is it! This is life! And I can stop waiting for that day to happen and start living right now.” 

Hmmm.  I said, “Wow, you’re right.  I’ve been this way my whole life, thinking one day, I’m going to be different.  I’ve been waiting and waiting and getting more and more frustrated with myself.”

Here’s what I realized:   

✔️I’m not an organized person. 

✔️I don’t remember who tells me things. 

✔️I don’t remember what I’m supposed to do next. 

So I’ve created systems.  I take notes.

This is what we talked about and this is what I need to do next. 

And I put it in my calendar for when I need to do it.  With the notes so I don’t have to rely on my memory.

I’ve accepted myself the way I am!

I’m just wondering, is there any part of you that you’re not accepting, that you think one day it’s going to be fixed, and then you could start living your life?

Well, guess what? You might as well start living now and just work around it, develop systems for it, talk to people, maybe ask, “Hey, you’re really good at this. What do you do?” 

Or something like that. But just don’t wait.

Don’t wait to start living. Start living right now!

Let me know what happens in the comments. 

This is Hilary Burns!

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