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Born in the UK but now living in Australia, Paul Fox has travelled to many places throughout China. He has seen the lighter side, the darker side, both the gentle and the seedy sides. He documents his experiences and is willing to share them with anyone who wants to listen. He is not afraid to say things exactly how he sees them, and is quite happy to "name and shame" when necessary.
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Alcatraz Part 2    

By Paul Fox
491 Views | 4 Comments | 8/5/2019 12:49:57 PM
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He/she makes me happy.



That comment is is just plain stupid, yet it may not immediately be obvious as to why.



Firstly, we should all know by now that no-one can make us do anything without our consent. If you foolishly believe that someone can make you happy, then surely they can make you sad too, right?



Picture the scene;



It's a cold winter's night. I have just had a wonderful dinner with the love-of-my life. We nestle on the couch, fire raging in the hearth. We are alone in our (somewhat) luxurious apartment, as we turn on the TV in order to watch a movie.



My arm is across her shoulders, and her arm is across my waist as we snuggle together in the warmth.

After the movie is over we head to bed. We lie together in an embrace. We kiss, and then proceed to make passionate love. Holding each other gently, we both fall asleep. Happy.



The next morning we both head off to work. You know, driving the car we haven't paid for to go and do the job we need to do in order to pay for the car.



That afternoon a very rich customer comes into her workplace. He is horrible, arrogant, and completely obnoxious.

He talks to her like she is a small child, belittling her at every opportunity. She becomes angry and upset.

When she arrives home I am already cooking dinner, but she is in no mood to eat. I try to put my arms around her, but she pushes me away leaving me feeling rejected and neglected.



She takes a shower and goes to bed. She doesn't want to talk to me at all.

Where is that wonderful woman from last night?



The next day her boss calls her into his office. The rich customer has made a complaint and is demanding an apology. She refuses. Her boss tells her that if she doesn't apologise then she will be fired. She tells her boss, "No need to fire me....I quit!"



Devastated, she drives home. 'What can we do now? We need two salaries in order to live.

We have bills to pay, a car loan, a mortgage, Oh my.....how will we manage only on one salary?"



Now it's time to play the 'blame game'. It's that customer's fault, right? No, it's the boss's fault for not backing her up. Or is it her fault for refusing to apologise?



Maybe she thinks I will throw all of those scenarios at her when she gives me the news?



The wonderful night we had together now seems to be a thing of the past - almost a distant memory.



Where have all those wonderful feelings gone? The feeling of love, passion, 'togetherness'.......all faded into the distance....



Let's go back a moment. Back to 'that night'.



As I said, we were in our (somewhat) luxurious apartment, but does that really matter?

We could have been in an old wooden shack in a field, or in a tent.

We had the delicious food, the warmth of the fire, the movie, the comfortable bed.....but more importantly, we had each other.



Neither of us made the other feel happy. We were happy because we were both with someone we love. The surroundings did not matter one iota. External forces during the next two days turned her world upside-down, but only because she allowed them to.



We are all taught to look 'outward' of ourselves in order to find happiness. We rely on other people for our happiness, or even sadness. We never even bother to look within ourselves in order to ask ourselves if we are giving ourselves permission to be happy or sad.



Our lives are controlled by outside 'forces' simply because we allow, or give permission for, those outside forces to control us.



We spend a lifetime working in order to earn enough money with which to buy that nice house, car, and other material things. Yet what can we do with them when our time is 'up'?



It's too late. We have spent our whole life searching outside of ourselves for things we think make us happy, when in fact the opposite is true.



Nothing makes you happy other than you.



In other words we externalise everything.



"Money makes me happy!"

"Really? How?"

Money is an inanimate object, so how can it 'do' anything in order to make you happy?



You are choosing to be happy - simple.



Just like the old cliche - 'Money is the root of all evil' - How?

The love of money is the root of all evil - that makes much more sense.



"Oh, but Paul, pepper makes me sneeze!"

Sure, but sneezing isn't an emotiion - it's a reaction, and an uncontrollable one at that.



In part 1 of this blog I used a photo of a big pile of cash. I then referred to it as 'god', because for many, it is their 'god'. They worship those bits of worthless paper simply because of what those bits of paper can buy, or do for them,



No true relationship can be founded, or based, on material wealth.



Take a look at the photo that accompanies this blog, then ask yourself, 'Could that (ficticious) night have had any less feeling, love, passion, or emotion, if it had been spent in that old wooden shack?'



The symbol of 'Love' is the heart, and the heart is within. Think about that next time you 'feel' it.



One final point just in case you still haven't 'got it'.

I asked a student, "What do you do when you feel sad?"

She said, "I eat cake"

"Why?"



"Because cake makes me happy"

"How does it make you happy?"



She looked at me confused. I think she thought I was questioning her English, which of course, I wasn't.



"Cake doesn't do anything, so it cannot make you happy.

The happiness you feel when you eat the cake does not come from the cake, but from within you"




Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
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(Showing 1 to 4 of 4) 1
#2019-08-05 12:49:38 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

I am looking for a greater understanding of what you are trying to tell us in this blog. Hence the following questions.

When all is said and done I think you are largely stating, in a different way, what Melcyan, myself and probably many others on these blogs through the years have been saying when we propose that in order to be capable of truly loving someone else and being truly loved by someone else, you must first learn how to love yourself. If I am wrong on that please explain what I am missing?

One aspect of this story that I don't quite get is how a woman you have chosen to love and has chosen to love you would come home from such a disturbing event in her life and not want to talk to you about it. In my experience partners, even those who may not be deeply in love, will always want to talk to their partner in such situations. They will be seeking support, seeking confirmation that they were in the right and the person attacking them was in the wrong.

I would take this woman's refusal to speak to her partner in these circumstances as a sure sign that she does not only not love him but also does not trust him to support her. Maybe that was your point?

Lastly, you say "The happiness you feel when you eat the cake does not come from the cake, but from within you".

I would be more inclined to say "The happiness you feel when you eat the cake Is not real happiness. It is not possible to find true happiness within a piece of cake. You must find true happiness within yourself."

I think this is different than what you said, but maybe it is what you meant?

 

#2019-08-05 13:03:42 by paulfox1 @paulfox1


@JohnAbbot

You have certainly picked-up on a couple of points.

Firstly, yes, I don't think you can truly love another unless you learn how to love yourself.

Secondly, the woman in this story demonstrated that she did NOT love herself, nor her partner in the way her partner thought she did. She demonstrated this by her actions when she refused to discuss her issues.

Your final comment about finding happiness within yourself is a perfect one-line summary of what both these blogs have addressed.

The main point being that we often seem to look OUTSIDE ourselves in order to find what we THINK is happiness. Cake cannot make you happy, but it can give you the perception that it does. So can money, and other forms of material things.

In truth, these blogs were inspired by a single comment that I believe was totally misguided and misunderstood. It was;

"I just want to find someone to make me happy"

#2019-08-05 19:49:47 by oldghost @oldghost

Your use and interpretation of make is at the root of some of the semantic issues herein. In a way it reflects the problem many Chinese ESL students have with expressing 让 rang in English - they commonly translate it as make when in context it may be let,allow,permit,induce,yield,make...  In the present case, the reverse is true, and your make is in fact more like 让。

The happiness you speak of strikes me as similar to the contentment of a purring cat, and the cake, the sex, the affection produce similar ephemeral contentment.  Happiness, contentment, satisfaction are all transient, and being happy is either a snapshot state or the sum over time of the pluses and minuses. 

老鬼

#2019-08-06 13:24:08 by paulfox1 @paulfox1


@oldghost

Interpretaions / meanings / translations are not always the same, as you know.

I was also confused at the use of the word 'rang' many years ago.

Especially when we would use the word 'ask'.

"I'll ask my friend to help you", in Chinese, would technically translate to, "I'll allow my friend to help you"

Plese don't get me started with meanings vs translations, especially English / Chinese, or I may have to call you from my 'hand machine' (Shou Ji), lol.

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