Have Fun, Be Safe.

Have Fun, Be Safe.

My Baby Boy turns 18 today!!!  I cannot believe this day has arrived – a day I have simultaneously anticipated and dreaded.   While I could write a novel about my experience with this boy and how it has largely made me into the person and mother I am today, I will spare you the soliloquy.  Instead, I am going to speak directly to him and invite you to read along.

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Dear Baz,

Today is a big day — you turn 18!  When you were born, this day felt like a goal line way off in the distance.  It seems like just a few days ago you were just a little boy, running up to me for a hug with your sweet little voice and boundless energy.  Parenting you has been the ride of a lifetime filled with unconditional love, laughter, joy, fear, frustration, and tears, for both of us.  As you know, life doesn’t always go as we plan and you’ve endured a couple of rough bumps.  Stuff happened that was out of your control and you handled everything very well for your young age.  I’m almost certain that I felt short sometimes so, if I’ve ever done anything that I need to ask your forgiveness for, then I humbly ask that now.  I pray that as time goes by you’ll remember the good times more so than the rougher moments. Fortunately for us, we’ve had plenty of great times.

Turning 18 is exciting. It’s a new chapter in your life. You’re an adult now – at least as defined by the law.  Reaching adulthood brings great benefits but it also demands more responsibility. While I want you to have phenomenal experiences at every stage of your life, I also want you to be proud of the choices you make for yourself.  There will be times when you’ll have the urge to do something you know you shouldn’t. When that urge comes – and it will – stay focused, and keep your eye on the big picture because ultimately you are responsible for your own actions.

I’ve often worried about so many things: Did I do what was best for you?  Did I teach you everything I was supposed to instill in you?  Did I pray for you enough?  Hug you enough?  Discipline and say no enough?  Do the right things to keep you safe?  Take you on enough adventures?  I know you can cook for yourself and do you your own laundry, but did I forget anything important…. Yet, I’m certain that you will do well in life.  I see it.  I sense it.  You’re smart, responsible and almost as charismatic as your mother! 😉   Just in case, I’ll leave you with these thoughts:

– Communicate with those you love. It’s important for our growth and for those close to you to know what you are thinking and feeling.  Hug them often.

– Talk through your emotions; explain anger instead of acting on it.

– Be patient with people, especially your younger cousins.  They all look up to you.

Relax and don’t sweat the small stuff. Seriously, it’s not worth worrying about petty stuff or even stuff you can’t control.

– Educate yourself and never stop learning. Find something you enjoy doing and put your heart and soul into it. It will never seem like work.

– Manage your resources responsibly. Save your money so when times are tough or you need to help someone you can.

I love you very much, son. I am proud of you and it is an honor to be your Mom. I wish you all the love and happiness in the world and I look forward to seeing you move into this new chapter of your life. Remember, I am always here for you.

Love,

Mom

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HOW TO GROW FROM YOUR PAIN

A 10-minute read by Mark Manson

Original may be found on Mark’s site HERE.

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Marguerite Johnson was born in the late 1920s in Arkansas. A poor black female in the segregated South, Johnson didn’t exactly have a bright future to look forward to. She endured the hardships that virtually all African Americans endured during and beyond segregation—second-class citizen status, economic and social exclusion, living in near-constant fear of physical threats and terror, and so forth.

As if that weren’t enough, the particular events of Johnson’s life wouldn’t make it any easier for her either.

At age 7, she was raped by her mother’s boyfriend. She told only her brother about it. A few days later, her attacker was found dead.

She was so traumatized by these events that she didn’t speak a word out loud for another five-and-a-half years. An outcast, both from the outside and from within herself, Johnson was seemingly bound to a hard, lonely life of struggle and isolation.

Marguerite Johnson, however, would later change her name to Maya Angelou and become a dancer, an actress, a screenwriter, a poet, a prominent leader in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and the first black female to write a best-selling nonfiction book, her memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. She won multiple awards across multiple fields and even gave a presidential inaugural speech in 1993.

And what was perhaps most impressive is that, at one point, Angelou admitted that she didn’t become what she was despite her early trauma, she became what she was because of it. When she wrote, she said she wrote over her scars—scars that only she could see and touch and feel.

Let’s be real: trauma is not a “good” thing in life. All things being equal, none of us should have to experience these horrible things. But all of us do, at some point or another. That’s just a fact of life.

Most of us live through at least five or six traumatic events in our lifetime—we lose someone close to us, get divorced, lose a job, get a scary diagnosis at the doctor’s office, get assaulted and on and on—and more often than not, after one of these events, we’ll come out at least a little bit stronger, a little bit wiser, and a little bit of a better person.

THRIVING IN THE FACE OF TRAUMA

Up until relatively recently, the field of psychology mostly studied the ways in which trauma fucked us up. It makes sense why psychologists thought this for so long.

When starting out 100+ years ago, as a “quack science,” initially it was only the most desperate and disturbed who resorted to seeking psychiatric help. Mainstream people with mainstream problems didn’t go see shrinks because it was still something stigmatized as embarrassing or shameful (and still kind of is).

As a result, the first 50 years or so of psychological/psychiatric practices dealt with the really hard cases. You know, schizophrenics, manic depressives, suicidal people, and so on.

This created a sort of selection bias. Since psychologists were only studying the most extreme mental health cases, and pretty much all of these cases involved the patient experiencing some terrible trauma at some point, early psychologists came to the logical conclusion that trauma leads to mental health issues.

But this, it turns out, is wrong. And, in fact, it’s often the opposite.

It wasn’t until psychology and psychiatry became more mainstream that the field began to realize that trauma is incredibly common. In fact, trauma is actually a fact of life. And not only do most of us not succumb to severe mental breakdowns, but many people end up growing and developing into stronger people due to their past pains. As many as 90% of people who experience a traumatic event also experience at least one form of personal growth in the following months and years.

These people eventually come to feel a greater sense of appreciation in life, their priorities change, their relationships are warmer and more compassionate, they draw from a greater source of personal strength, and they see new possibilities in their lives they never even considered before.

Now, before you go on thinking, “OMG, Mark Manson says all I need to do is experience some of that rip-out-your-heart-and-spit-in-your-face trauma and then my life will finally be the way I want it. Let’s get this trauma started!”

Uhh… No. There’s more to it than that.

THE TRAUMA IS NOT THE END, IT’S THE BEGINNING

It turns out that trauma in our lives, in whatever form it takes, isn’t actually the thing that makes us “stronger” in this case. All those inspirational quotes with cheesy sunsets about enduring adversity and “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” they all kind of mislead you into thinking that just enduring some form of hardship is enough to steel yourself against future hardship.

That’s not entirely true.

It’s what comes after the trauma that really matters. It’s not the survival of trauma that makes you stronger, it’s the work you put in as a result of the trauma that makes you stronger.

Traumatic experiences shake us to the core. They make us question our fundamental beliefs about the world and our place in it. They make us question the degree of benevolence and kindness and predictability in the world and of the people around us. Some traumas serve as stark reminders of our mortality, something most of us don’t want to think about.

And then there you are, traumatized and bewildered, lost and questioning everything about your life. At that point, it can basically go one of two ways:

  1. You fall off the proverbial mental cliff and experience some Real Shit™ that leads to a lot of dysfunction (less common than you think);
  2. You use this as an opportunity to forge a new set of beliefs and a new worldview that is more resilient and enduring than your previous worldview (a lot more common than you think).

Think of it like an earthquake that rips through a city. Everything is pretty much fucked after the tectonic violence wreaks havoc beneath. But after that, buildings can be rebuilt with new knowledge of structural integrity and people have the opportunity to design more resilient systems to guard against future earthquakes. The city doesn’t just “bounce back” to its previous state—it’s made into a wiser, more resilient city.

And so, when our lives are disrupted by some tectonic-shifting personal shit, we have the opportunity to rebuild ourselves. We’ll carry the memory and the pain of the experience with us no matter what, just as the people of a city carry the memory and loss of a natural disaster like an earthquake.

The question at that point is, how will we rebuild ourselves?

 

LIFE AFTER TRAUMA

Trauma creates a distinct before and after point in our lives. Trauma creates moments that we’ll likely never forget.

The extent that we can experience personal growth after trauma depends a lot on the narrative we construct around this before and after point.

It’s normal to ruminate about your pain, to question the meaning of it all, and to feel any combination of guilt, shame, fear, and loneliness. This can really suck. You end up playing the trauma over and over again in your head, like a bad movie you’re forced to watch in a theater where you’re strapped to the chair and your eyelids are taped open. It doesn’t feel real. And each replay feels almost as painful as the last. It’s like your brain punching itself over and over again for months, or even years, on end.

But as shitty as this is, it’s actually a crucial step in creating a narrative around your trauma. The narrative you construct will help lead you out of the dark corners of your mind and ultimately to a better place. As humans, we need to make sense of the world around us, and like I said before, trauma rarely makes sense as it’s happening to us.

So what should that narrative look like? Well, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. IT’S NOT ABOUT DESERVING

Our natural inclination when something horrible happens is to ask, “Why me? What did I do to deserve this?” Generally, the younger we are, or the worse the experience, the more we will naturally come to blame ourselves for our pain. We will come to feel that there must be something inherently wrong with us and that we did something to bring the situation upon ourselves.

The most important step in forming the meaning of our pain is understanding that it’s not about deserving. That goes for ourselves, but it also goes for others as well. It’s not about deserving. Pain is not a zero-sum game. If somebody hurts us, hurting them back doesn’t make it better.

In fact, pain is the opposite. Pain is contagious. It’s like a virus. The more we hurt, the more we will feel inclined to hurt ourselves further and to hurt others further. Our own perceived shortcomings will be used to justify further destructive behaviors towards ourselves and towards those around us.

It’s important to recognize this and to stop it before it goes too far. We did nothing to deserve our trauma. Nobody deserves trauma. But deserving is not the point. It’s just something that happens.

  1. A NEW APPRECIATION FOR LIFE

I remember when a close friend of mine died, it immediately made me aware of my other friendships and how fragile and tenuous they were. I found myself making the point of telling my friends that I cared about them and that they were important to me. This had the effect of actually strengthening some of my relationships, despite the fact that I had just gone through an intense loss.

Because trauma confronts us with the possibility of our own mortality, and with the possibility that most of what we thought was true about the world may not be, it has the interesting side effect of exposing what we’ve been taking for granted for most of our lives.

It’s extreme pain that has an uncanny ability to clarify what actually matters in our lives, and removes any inhibition or doubt as to whether we should take advantage of it or not.

  1. TALK ABOUT IT

Narratives don’t form in a vacuum, they only exist when they’re communicated to others. Researchers have found, over and over again, that a strong predictor of personal growth following trauma is a willingness to open up about the trauma in the context of a supportive social network.

Find a friend, a family member, a therapist, your pet iguana, and share your experience, your feelings, your doubts, and your fears that surround your trauma. Get out of your own head and share your shame.

Some of the most profound wisdom in your life will come from your trauma, but that wisdom can never be realized if you don’t share it in some form or another.

There’s a stigma in our culture around sharing our pain. Unfortunately, disclosing that we’re hurting runs up against a number of taboos — that we should be positive and pleasant, that our problems are just that, our problems, and that the self-reliance of people means we get what we deserve.

But squelching our trauma only makes it worse. It festers and infects us. And this is perhaps the greatest lesson we get from Maya Angelou. Her ability to transmute her pain into a message of hope and empowerment is what led to her healing, not the other way around.

It’s sharing our own personal pain that allows us to move beyond it. Because it’s one thing to just sit and intellectualize our problems to ourselves. But once we share and mold that meaning out in the world around us, our pain becomes something outside of us. And because it’s now outside of us, we are finally able to live without it.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day…

Happy Valentine’s Day…

Or Whatever….

Don’t mean to sound like an angsty teen, I’m just not feeling the “love”

On a positive note Valentine’s Day Candy and chocolates will be on sale by Wednesday….

Ah, POOP!!!  I’m doing Keto!  I’ll have to make myself something….meh!!!

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Here’s something worth the effort…..Keto Coconut Raspberry Cupcakes

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Photo Credit KetoSizeMe.com

Ingredients

For Cupcakes:

  • 1 Cup Coconut Flour
  • 1 Cup Almond Milk (Unsweetened)
  • 7 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 3 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 3/4 Cup Erythritol
  • 1/2 Tsp Liquid Stevia

For Frosting:

  • 16 oz Cream Cheese
  • 28 Fresh Raspberries
  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Cup Erythritol
  • 1/2 Tsp Liquid Stevia

Note: The frosting recipe makes enough frosting to frost 32 cupcakes so you can always cut it in half if you don’t want to use the rest as a dip.

Instructions For Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Powder Erythritol in a food processor
  3. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well blended
  4. Pour into silicon baking cups and bake for 28 – 30 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean)
  5. For Frosting:
  6. Melt butter
  7. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until light and fluffy.

 Baking Tips:  The fat and butter in most keto cupcakes will destroy cupcake wrappers and cause any color in them to bleed all over the place. So I recommend that you forgo the wrappers or use silicone baking cups. Silicone baking cups are great because the food doesn’t stick to them, so it’s easy to make beautiful cupcakes every time. You can still use festive wrappers after they have cooled.

Nutrition

Serving Size: 1 Cupcake (makes 16)

Calories: 225
Total Fat: 19g
Carbohydrates: 6g – 3g Fiber = 3 Net Carbs
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars: 1g
Protein: 5g

On Your 16th Birthday

On Your 16th Birthday

You are sixteen today. SIXTEEN! How is this even possible?!!? I remember being sixteen. I loved being sixteen! (It doesn’t seem that long ago actually.). For the record, I think you’re going to be way better at it than I was. You have a better sense of who you are than I ever did.

Many changes will be arriving soon enough and experiences are going to be pouring in, just remember to always be true to yourself. You were born in this world to be an original just as you are. Of course there will be times where you will sometimes blend in with the world, but at the end of every day, remember to hold on to your individuality. Stay caring, loving, humble and as confident as you are and allow these characteristics to become permanent elements as you continue to grow into your future self.  As much as I celebrate the ever-more-amazing you, and want to wrap you up in super-duper extra strength bubble wrap to keep you safe and sound as you navigate the next few years; I know I have to let you cut your path.  I pray that you make good decisions. But if you make bad ones, I pray that you be given a moment of grace so that the consequences aren’t life-altering, heart-breaking or soul-crushing and that you appreciate that moment as gift and a chance to grow. 

Oh, yes, remember to always call your mother. I know this sounds cliché but do it anyway. For as long as I roam this planet, there will never be a time that I don’t want to hear about the latest in your life, your friends, your studies, your job, what you hope to achieve or even just what you had for lunch. I may not always have all of the answers, but I can promise you that I will always be here to listen, nurture, and comfort you. So call me.

Don’t be afraid to be all in. Explore, read, see the world, get involved, defend a cause, right a wrong, step out of your comfort zone, sing, dance, make a fool of yourself, swim, run, hike, watch sunsets, play games and look at the stars. 

I am so very proud of you my son and I am ridiculously blessed to be your mom. I know your future holds great things.  And I feel privileged to claim a front seat in watching it all unfold. Live long and prosper. 

Happy birthday, Sebastian!  

 

Feeling Accomplished

Feeling Accomplished
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Exhausted, swollen and tomato-faced but very proud of myself.

I did it!  I completed my very first 5k and jogged most of the way. YAY ME!!!

 

The thought of a 5k was intimidating but I wanted to push myself just to see if I could do it.  I am supper grateful for the nice lady that kept me company for the entire race – even though she’s an experienced runner and could have easily left me behind.

My intentions were to walk most of it but with her encouragement and in an effort to keep up with her I did a mix of jogging and walking and managed to finish in 58m 30s.  Of course other people’s time was better while others took longer to finish the race so I am not concerned about how long it took me to complete the race.  The important thing is that I got up on Thanksgiving morning and kept my word.  Instead of sleeping on my day off, I rose up at 6am, drove myself to the Turkey Trot and FINISHED the race without quitting even when I felt like throwing in the towel. It took a lot of willpower to keep pushing while my body felt like it was about to collapse but I was proud of myself that I didn’t give in.

While my body certainly took a beating yesterday I am actually thinking about doing another 5k and see how I can improve.  I know, me, the gal who hates running is looking forward to another race!!!

My Smile Is Not An Invitation

My Smile Is Not An Invitation

With the Turkey Trot 5K around the corner I decided that I would start walking home from work.  As I way of making the walk more enjoyable I also decided to be friendly to whomever crossed my path. After all, there’s nothing wrong with making new friends!  At first, people actually shrank from me physically. But within a few days, they started to smile back at me.  This emboldened me to continue being friendly.  Smiling at these strangers was like a small exercise in compassion in which I acknowledged their humanity, and in doing so produced joy within myself.

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One late September evening, it took me a little longer to leave work because I could not find my office keys. So ended up leaving an hour later than usual.  There was still plenty of light and lots of commuters on the road as well so I wasn’t worried.  Two miles into my walk, a young Hispanic man in a black Chevy truck pulled into the next drive way ahead of me. He greeted me warmly and respectfully. He introduced himself and offered me a ride. I told him I was walking for my health and would prefer to continue walking. We continued talking for about 20 minutes and the whole time he was very cordial and nice. He offered me a ride again and added that he would walk with me the rest of the way to keep me company if I didn’t want to ride with him. I dropped my guard and accepted the ride and asked him to drop me off at the high school. During the ride he continued to be friendly and respectful. Nothing could have alerted me to what happened next when he dropped me off in the school parking lot.

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High School Teacher Parking Lot

He parked the car and as I gathered my sweater and backpack to get off his truck, he walked over, opened the door for me and held his hand to help me get off.   While I thanked him for the ride and prepared to say good-bye he asked if we could keep in touch and gave him my business card. Then he asked for a selfie for him to remember me by, to which I consented as well. He snapped a couple of pictures but they they came out blurry so I set down my things and offered to take the picture myself.  While I held my arms up, holding his phone to take the picture he positioned himself behind me, grabbed my hips, pulled me close to him and rubbed up on me with an obvious erection.  He just had this nasty smile on his face. He knew he had me. And I was too stunned by the whole thing to really stop him. It all happened so fast that it took me a minute to fully realize what he was doing.  It was the longest minute ever!  I just wanted him to finish and leave.…I didn’t want anybody else to notice what was going on, because I was so embarrassed by the whole thing. I felt so violated. I confronted him and all he could say in Spanish is, “I couldn’t help it. I like you. You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. I’ve always wanted a woman like you.” I quickly grabbed my things and walked away as quickly as I could, looking over my shoulder to make sure he didn’t follow me. Hot tears streaming down my face. It’s probably the most degraded I’ve ever felt in my life. I felt violated, and pissed off, but I couldn’t even muster the courage to make eye contact.  I’m a grown woman, a mother, I’ve always known how to take care of myself. How could I drop my guard and allow myself to be so vulnerable? I knew better. The shame was so overwhelming that I didn’t even think of taking down his license plate number, or remember to ask him to give me back my business card.  I told my friend about the incident and the first thing she asked was, “Why didn’t you call the police?”  My father and the man I’m dating also asked similar questions and both scolded me for walking alone.  As if I wasn’t ashamed enough already that a stranger touched me so intimately, in broad daylight, on a busy street, and I did nothing about it.

Since then I’ve changed my walking route, I carry pepper spray and I don’t talk to strangers on the street anymore.  There will be no more smiling at strangers.

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Just last week, I saw him again… or rather he saw me. I was walking my new route and there, two blocks away from my apartment complex, he was waiting for me at a bank parking lot. I stoically walked past him, ignoring him as he desperately tried to get my attention.  Immediately I called my 15 year old son to come meet me. We walked past our complex and around the next corner looking around  to make sure we were not being followed before making our way back to our apartment complex.

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It terrifies me to think that I may have a stalker but I’m determined NOT to let this man scare me into not walking anymore.

Love — you’re doing it wrong

Love — you’re doing it wrong

Yann Dall’Aglio: Love — you’re doing it wrong

TEDxParis 2012 · 10:42 · Filmed Oct 2012

Click Image To Watch Video

Video Transcript

Translated by Naíma Perrella Milani

Reviewed by Elisabeth Buffard

00:11 – What is love? It’s a hard term to define in so far as it has a very wide application. I can love jogging. I can love a book, a movie. I can love escalopes. I can love my wife. (Laughter)

00:34 – But there’s a great difference between an escalope and my wife, for instance. That is, if I value the escalope, the escalope, on the other hand, it doesn’t value me back. Whereas my wife, she calls me the star of her life. (Laughter)

00:59 – Therefore, only another desiring conscience can conceive me as a desirable being. I know this, that’s why love can be defined in a more accurate way as the desire of being desired. Hence the eternal problem of love: how to become and remain desirable?

01:21 – The individual used to find an answer to this problem by submitting his life to community rules. You had a specific part to play according to your sex, your age, your social status, and you only had to play your part to be valued and loved by the whole community. Think about the young woman who must remain chaste before marriage. Think about the youngest son who must obey the eldest son, who in turn must obey the patriarch.

01:56 – But a phenomenon started in the 13th century, mainly in the Renaissance, in the West, that caused the biggest identity crisis in the history of humankind. This phenomenon is modernity. We can basically summarize it through a triple process. First, a process of rationalization of scientific research, which has accelerated technical progress. Next, a process of political democratization, which has fostered individual rights. And finally, a process of rationalization of economic production and of trade liberalization.

02:42 – These three intertwined processes have completely annihilated all the traditional bearings of Western societies, with radical consequences for the individual. Now individuals are free to value or disvalue any attitude, any choice, any object. But as a result, they are themselves confronted with this same freedom that others have to value or disvalue them. In other words, my value was once ensured by submitting myself to the traditional authorities. Now it is quoted in the stock exchange.

03:32 – On the free market of individual desires, I negotiate my value every day. Hence the anxiety of contemporary man. He is obsessed: “Am I desirable? How desirable? How many people are going to love me?” And how does he respond to this anxiety? Well, by hysterically collecting symbols of desirability. (Laughter)

04:06 – I call this act of collecting, along with others, seduction capital. Indeed, our consumer society is largely based on seduction capital. It is said about this consumption that our age is materialistic. But it’s not true! We only accumulate objects in order to communicate with other minds. We do it to make them love us, to seduce them. Nothing could be less materialistic, or more sentimental, than a teenager buying brand new jeans and tearing them at the knees, because he wants to please Jennifer. (Laughter) Consumerism is not materialism. It is rather what is swallowed up and sacrificed in the name of the god of love, or rather in the name of seduction capital.

05:03 – In light of this observation on contemporary love, how can we think of love in the years to come? We can envision two hypotheses: The first one consists of betting that this process of narcissistic capitalization will intensify. It is hard to say what shape this intensification will take, because it largely depends on social and technical innovations, which are by definition difficult to predict. But we can, for instance, imagine a dating website which, a bit like those loyalty points programs, uses seduction capital points that vary according to my age, my height/weight ratio, my degree, my salary, or the number of clicks on my profile. We can also imagine a chemical treatment for breakups that weakens the feelings of attachment.

06:11 – By the way, there’s a program on MTV already in which seduction teachers treat heartache as a disease. These teachers call themselves “pick-up artists.” “Artist” in French is easy, it means “artiste.” “Pick-up” is to pick someone up, but not just any picking up — it’s picking up chicks. So they are artists of picking up chicks. (Laughter) And they call heartache “one-itis.” In English, “itis” is a suffix that signifies infection. One-itis can be translated as “an infection from one.” It’s a bit disgusting. Indeed, for the pick-up artists, falling in love with someone is a waste of time, it’s squandering your seduction capital, so it must be eliminated like a disease, like an infection. We can also envision a romantic use of the genome. Everyone would carry it around and present it like a business card to verify if seduction can progress to reproduction. (Laughter)
07:33 – Of course, this race for seduction, like every fierce competition, will create huge disparities in narcissistic satisfaction, and therefore a lot of loneliness and frustration too. So we can expect that modernity itself, which is the origin of seduction capital, would be called into question. I’m thinking particularly of the reaction of neo-fascist or religious communes. But such a future doesn’t have to be.

08:09 – Another path to thinking about love may be possible. But how? How to renounce the hysterical need to be valued? Well, by becoming aware of my uselessness. (Laughter) Yes, I’m useless. But rest assured: so are you. (Laughter) (Applause)
08:40 – We are all useless. This uselessness is easily demonstrated, because in order to be valued I need another to desire me, which shows that I do not have any value of my own. I don’t have any inherent value. We all pretend to have an idol; we all pretend to be an idol for someone else, but actually we are all impostors, a bit like a man on the street who appears totally cool and indifferent, while he has actually anticipated and calculated so that all eyes are on him.


09:20- I think that becoming aware of this general imposture that concerns all of us would ease our love relationships. It is because I want to be loved from head to toe, justified in my every choice, that the seduction hysteria exists. And therefore I want to seem perfect so that another can love me. I want them to be perfect so that I can be reassured of my value. It leads to couples obsessed with performance who will break up, just like that, at the slightest underachievement.

09:53 – In contrast to this attitude, I call upon tenderness — love as tenderness. What is tenderness? To be tender is to accept the loved one’s weaknesses. It’s not about becoming a sad couple of orderlies. (Laughter) That’s pretty bad. On the contrary, there’s plenty of charm and happiness in tenderness. I refer specifically to a kind of humor that is unfortunately underused. It is a sort of poetry of deliberate awkwardness.

10:23 – I refer to self-mockery. For a couple who is no longer sustained, supported by the constraints of tradition, I believe that self-mockery is one of the best means for the relationship to endure.