Introduction aka My Justification:
Fears and limitations, hopes and dreams, love and hate are all driven by the beliefs you’ve embraced throughout your life. These beliefs shape the world you live in by creating blind spots in your ability to perceive anything other than what you expect, insist on, or wish to be true.
Like the blind spot in your side and rear view mirrors, the truth is erased from view for as long as things remain in that blinded position.
Now, replace the word “position” with “belief” and you will understand yourself (and others) a little better.
However, unlike a driver’s one or two blind spots (depending on the vehicle), humans experience (or rather don’t experience) a limitless number of invisible events. These blind spots are used to reinforce a person’s world view and block out any evidence to the contrary .
Under the right circumstances, with the perfect storm of external influences and the right (or wrong) ideas engaged, these blind spots can merge into one huge invisibility cloak used to obscure all logic, and make you completely blind.
This is called delusion.
It functions like a magician’s mirror trick. All the action is happening behind the mirror but you can only see the reflection you were designed to see.
This “being blind to what so many others deem as obvious” is often one of the first states you find yourself in when “falling in love”.
This blog is a story of unrequited, make believe, love. Of wrapping the blindfold around one’s eyes and making up truth. This is a story of stupidity – mine.
Let me begin by telling you that I have a type. It is not male or female. It is not symmetrically balanced faces with taught bodies, not tall or handsome, buxom or beautiful.
It is people who love children, a man or a woman who sees the value in humans and wants to make the world a better place. Not because humanity is broken but because the state of being alive requires growth in one direction or another, expansion or contraction, regenerative or degenerative, but never never never stagnation. Since we have to move in one direction or another – in my opinion- better is better than worse.
Whenever I meet someone who fits the criteria I fall in love.
But since I seldom meet someone who meets the criteria sometimes I just pretend I did.
Pretending is not better, it’s worse.
The Story of my Stupidity
I was enraptured as I watched a smallish overweight balding man speak with humor and passion on a midsized stage. He told the story of how he had gained his wealth and the many ways in which he used it to enrich the world. That is why my “interested antennae” had begun to tip in his direction. He cared about the global community of (wo)man. The final sell in that multilayered motivational story came when, with a warm twinkle in his eye, he spoke of how much his life improved the day he came to value the opinion of a five year old.
I wrote down his email address.
He was introduced as a billionaire trying to improve the lives of people around the globe. His stories confirmed this assumption while adding an epiphany moment that matched my life’s purpose. I am old now, so I never really think about connecting in a romantic way anymore. However, I had a special project that was meant to change the future lives of people with autism around the world. I believed he was the kind of man who would be interested in my project and even- that possibly- we could be friends.
I sent him a message requesting a mentor. I asked him to help me get my show Fix It In Five (a docu-series about helping families around the world coping with autism and other disorders) into the right hands for mainstream distribution.
He responded right away. He connected on LinkedIn. He set up times for us to talk. He told me to create a treatment that he would take it to his people in Hollywood. He wrote a testimonial for my new book and accepted a reduced speaking fee for my event. He said we needed to spend time together and wrote an affectionate letter on my book cover.
He texted a lot and called me sweetheart.
I am a busy woman with a passion project. He was a busy man looking for people to support. He seemed to have chosen me and yet, nothing ever really happened. All our dates were cancelled and often I wondered if he was confusing me with someone else.
He definitely promised a lot. But he only really did the things that drew the limelight in his direction. I wanted the promises to be real so as the red flags kept coming my blind spots got bigger and bigger until they merged into one huge state of ridiculousness..
He grew silent. Withdrew into the darkness. I signed up for one of his workshops, a mere $695.00. He said he was delighted that I was coming and BAM we were texting again.
The story gets a little crazy and though I could tell you every little word and feeling it would probably bore you because you are not in the myopic state pretend love creates. (Or are you?)
The gist of it is that I discovered he was playing a number of the people I introduced him to and that no one could prove his wealth. He wrote an almost identical letter of affection on several people’s books and balked at refunding people who wanted to withdraw from his workshops.
He also cancelled the workshop I was to attend and pretended to mail out refund checks. He was always in crisis (people dying or his health, etc) when it was time to meet up or pay me back. He was clearly not someone that matched my criteria. And I was definitely wasting time and would not be seeing my project in the hands of his “Hollywood” guys.
I gathered the evidence and outed him with all the women.
He was furious and did the usual manipulations, via text, of course.
I asked for my refund and he ALL CAPS SHOUTED that he wouldn’t want me at his workshop anyway. The check is in the mail he promised…
That was over a year ago. I am still waiting, walking to my mailbox and wondering why he couldn’t just refund it on paypal since that is how I paid. I send the occasional reminder text and email but never hear back anymore. Even the excuses have stopped.
I have heard of others who had trouble getting their money and still… on a day when it feels hard to help humanity I dream up excuses for him… wishing it could be real and making a difference could be made easier.
I justify his behavior with mental gymnastics. I tell myself dumb things like if he really is a billionaire then six hundred and ninety five dollars is about as important to him as 25 cents is to me. Maybe I wouldn’t pay that back either, I tell myself.
But then I hear it.
The lie that makes the blind spots dissolve and become transparent.
Because I would pay it back.
My other belief, the one that drives me in innumerable ways, my need to be fair screams, “YES YOU WOULD!” I test the inner voice and imagine taking 25 cents from people to run a web series. One of them asks for a refund. And I immediately know, what I already know. I would not only pay it back but I would add something for their trouble.
And everytime I almost blind myself, again, I end up in this scenario.
Knowing that words are wonderful but actions make the difference.
If I want to make things better, words alone are not enough.
Not enough for me or the people I choose to partner with.
What is that old saying? “Never mind what they say, watch what their feet are doing.”
This man said he was disgusted by President Trump and wanted his term to end quickly. But then a few months later told stories of being at the President’s side. True or not, one thing was certain, he was duplicitous. These were the red flags I tried to ignore.
Red flags are red for a reason. They are meant to get your attention, so let them.
At this point in my life I have met (and worked with) several billionaires (both real and not). I have heard many stories of naive people (especially artists) wasting time and money waiting for the fruition of promised help and support. I know I will see these events and people according to my own beliefs and wishes. That is unavoidable.
But implanting a belief that I will be better if I see clearly and respond quickly to any and all red flags, well, that could clear up the blind spots.
Perhaps you could try that belief as well. We could start a movement. Call ourselves, “the freedom see-ers.”
One thing is certain, if I want to help people see clearly, remove their blinders and grow in strength and kindness, I must do that too. I must stand by my beliefs or toss them aside with intention and opened eyed reasoning.
And I do want to help you, so I choose to help myself.
And that, more than the birth and death of each generation, is the circle of life.