Tag Archives: love

Love Language

Total Read Time: 6 Minutes

“I thought they were another Buzzfeed quiz. You know? Those clickbait type quizzes to learn what kind of Pokémon you are?”


Don’t touch

See yourself in your Lover’s eyes
Painted holy and still tacky

Who am I then?

A museum piece
Preserved in a state of fallacy
For you’ll never again be
Who you were a minute ago

What if I stay really still?

And dry?
No, I’m Andrey.

I’ve been cleaning my suit of armor
Thinking with every passing day
How safe am I?

If I stare at this chest plate
Do I look away, Like I do reflections elsewhere?

Do I give this one another coat of polish?
Or
Languish and pray I never have to wear it.

-A


Welcome

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately.
Mostly introspective type philosophy, designed to bring forward a self actualizing being out of me.

It appears both kinds of fiction are capable of reaching deeper.

Mostly, I rely on these readings to habituate writing for me.
Like surrounding myself with instruments to promote music.

I want to share two moments of inspiration with you

The first is a story from Richard Power’s, The Overstory.

This is my summary:

A man commits himself to a Stanford prison experiment to earn $15 day because he had nothing better to do with 14 days.

He realizes purposelessness when he doesn’t give his blanket to save a man in solitary confinement.

He sends his previous selfishness aside by chasing purpose in Vietnam, where he loads carpet bombs and clears forests of life.

When he falls out of a shot plane, he is saved by a tree’s lush foliage and leaves the war.

He tends to horses and reads them Nietzsche through the winter, burning pages as he reads them.

When winter is over he digs up his savings and leaves Idaho, toward Oregon.

On the way he realizes how barren the forests are becoming thanks to loggers.

He commits the rest of this story to planting Douglass fir seeds in the ground by hand.

Reapplying a symbolic blanket to the earth.


When the purpose for which you act expands, as in the desired audience grows unfathomable, the act you do becomes more finite and yet incalculable. As simple as planting seeds. As infinite as the amount of seeds it takes to grow a national forest.

This thought process has helped me become a more disciplined writer.

Expand your desired audience

Simplify your daily ritual

Replicate until the end of time


The second piece I’d like to share with you is a quote shared with me by a dear friend.

“Don’t forget to practice your love language on yourself.”

Gary Chapman

5 Love Languages

Words of affirmation
Quality time
Gifts
Physical touch
Acts of service

Feel free to take the quiz and patronize Chapman for his fine work.
My lack of references are not out of disrespect.
I believe they would take away more than they provide here.

The point here, is we are all innately predisposed to be skilled in giving and receiving a unique combination of these languages.

What I’ve found is, most of the time they are different.

For example, I am least receptive to acts of service.
However I am very good at performing said acts.

They can change over time,
They sure have for me,
or maybe I’ve become more honest with myself.

Self examination

This part is quite interesting.

BUT

You have to be honest.

I’m sure you’ve already given some thought to which of the languages you’re great at; I do mean innately.

Now take a moment to think about which one (or two, but no more than two) you are uniquely horrible at doing

For Yourself

I consistently find it easy to perform acts of service and give myself gifts.

Physical touch is a much more serious topic that I aim to one day cover at length.
To summarize staunchly, I adamantly believe physical touch is a love language that solely deserves to be shared.

However, words of affirmation and quality time have always been a struggle for me.

I think it’s a self esteem thing, saying kind things to myself.

I don’t think the quality time is a loneliness issue, although that is how I’ve framed it for myself in the past.

For me, both of the love languages are a struggle born out of fear.

Recently, the best gift I’ve given myself is alone time and words of affirmation. It’s meditative and honest, creating a ripple effect of confidence throughout the week.

Fear is more present than I’ve ever believed.
And facing that fear by being alone with myself, listening to all the negativity, and realizing it’s all bullshit has been a beautiful shedding of armor.

I feel most things have to come naturally to someone.
So I can’t just say, you need to follow your fears and all of your questions will be answered.

I do think you can follow your fears and you’ll learn they’re not so bad.
You’ll learn you’re not alone.
You really find your true self down there.
I picked myself up down there.

Before you call me a stoic, I do think there’s validity in the cold shower. You can teach yourself, by exposing yourself to homelessness that it would be okay to take the big investment risk and have to shower in a puddle.

While it didn’t get quite as extreme for me as sleeping under the Fullerton bridge, it was as scary for me to make no plans with anyone and sit at home alone.

And yes, it was as simple as giving myself a pat on the back when no one was around to see.



For questions, and so I don’t feel so alone…

Email
(Yes, I respond and read every one)
Andrey@andreystarostin.com

Instagram
a.o.starostin

Thank you for reading this far.
You mean the world to me.
I write for you.

Follow Your Trauma to Find Your Dream Job

Total read time: 9 Minutes

I can’t stop thinking about wrong jobs.
Lately, with COVID-19 on everyone’s radar, job security is more important than ever.

I’m so sorry for everyone in hardship right now. I pray you have your health. I hope for the best support to find you. I wish they would have the cure for this strain of coronavirus and solution for all of this sooner. Remember to reach out and ask for help. You are not alone.

Contact your creditors for relief with monthly payments.
Fedloan announced they will defer all accruing interest during all of this.
Help finds it’s way out of the most unexpected places.
Don’t give up, Don’t ever give up.

I’m writing this out of the honesty of my heart. I believe everyone has
something they dream of,
something they could do with authenticity,
something that keeps them up at night,
something so terrifying and exciting at the same time,
It’s crippling.


If only The Sun and the Moon
Could with yearning hands
Outstretch their arms

Until then

The Sun will gleam
The Moon, a muse
And I, Your Earth

I enter the breadth of your tides
Knowing the safety of your arms
I inch my way atop arduous mountains
Feeling every step closer
I step into the abysmal night
Where You lead me to solely what is

Trustworthy

Only as much as I can handle
Slightly more than I ever

Before you

Could

-A


Changes Seem So Out of Reach

You think about it sometimes, don’t you? What it would take to get you out of this rut. You fantasize about having the gall to stand up straight, reach out your arm, exposing all of your scars.

What are you so complacent for? Why did you get so used to this? Why does it still sting to think about where you could be instead?

Derek Sivers, in his interview with Jeremy Ryan Slate said after your twenties, change is mostly rare. You spend so much time after high school moving, applying, meeting… changing. Eventually you find a job that pays enough money, you buy a house, and you slow the hell down to a screeching halt.

Maybe you’re like me and actually gave something a shot. I dove into photography for years. I started a business and got paid for my work. I emailed photographers, magazines, editors… I poured out my heart all over the world. Nothing happened. I gave up.

Do you remember how it felt? The vast emptiness. It doesn’t happen overnight… the abandonment.

You realize you’ve given up one day. That feeling is instantaneous. It’s felt in the pit of your stomach. That’s how it feels to let yourself down. I let myself down.

What now?

You Feel Stuck

Maybe you really are like me and after you gave up, you didn’t have anything else. You felt so stuck because you didn’t have anywhere else to go.

The only certain thing is that bills keep coming.

You have to pay them, don’t you?

I kept going to the restaurant, waiting on tables, pouring beers at the bar, eventually brewed the beer… until eventually that wasn’t enough and I just kept the trend going.

How do you know what to do next?

I Am Crippled By Trauma

Fortunately, I know you’re like me. I know you’re traumatized. I know you start feeling great and get stabbed in the gut by your past.

Have you ever had a moment of clarity?
It sounded something like, “YES, THIS IS IT!”
I was driving down a steep hill in St. Charles, Illinois on a sunny day. Not having anywhere to be, I could drive as slow as I wanted. I thought, maybe I should share some poetry with people.

It felt so good to realize.

Until it came time to open the computer. Thinking of all my friends and family judging me. The laughter on the other side; people will think I’m a joke. They saw me give up on photography. They’ll think I’ll just give up on this too. They think I give up on everything.

Trauma has a way of popping up when anything really matters.

The knife in my stomach is always here.
I hope it always will be.

Vulnerability is so taxing. It forces you to relive your memories. You imagine this thing you so care about will end up like things did in the past. Your past will continue to remind you.

Fear is debilitating. Judgment makes you feel like you’ll never belong; like you’ll never be accepted. Failure means disappointing someone. Forget about not paying the bills, failure means everyone who didn’t believe in you was right.

What are you supposed to do when you’re afraid of disappointing and failing the ones you love?

Love Can Be a Gift and a Curse

It can feel so much easier just doing “the right thing.” You know, the thing everyone tells you is safe.

It becomes easier to help (to love) others by doing the things they say instead of doing right by you, instead of loving yourself.

I’m certain that the best in people comes out when they are loved.

When you’re loved, you instinctively have good intentions. You do the right thing right back at that person. You take care of them.

You can do the same thing for yourself. You can love yourself.

The Truth is Right in Front of You

There is a litmus test when you’re doing the right thing.

The excitement is an unalienable light in your eyes every time you speak.
The feeling has clarity; it matches what people told you you’re gifted at.
Earth shaking trauma reappears to warn you, this is something that matters.
Love flows through you; you know you need this.

If You’re Anything Like Me

First of all, hang in there because it gets better. Secondly, think about what happened to me. All of this makes sense.

Giving up was the right thing because photography was not.
I gave up on photography because photography was not writing. Photography was not truly the pursuit for me.

I was stuck because I let the inertia die.
Not only did I come to a halt, but I went backwards to the restaurant industry. I started climbing up a ladder on the wrong wall. The climb only made sense because money had to be made and bills had to be paid.

I didn’t know what to do with myself.
Having abandoned the first thing that I cared for, I was lost. After reading enough books, I looked to the people around me and listened. They liked my writing. Even in my emails to all the photographers, I received compliments for my composition.

I couldn’t move forward without looking in the mirror.
Trauma punched me in the face every time. I have an avoidant personality, finding it easier to hide at my own expense. Standing up to myself was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. I didn’t know how.

I learned to love myself.
This took a whole summer to even start believing. I read and studied Mastin Kipp’s work. That’s where I learned about the different personalities. I really delved into behavioral psychology.

I took the leap of faith.
Even armed with love for myself, previous experience with running a business, and all of the knowledge and motivation from the books I’ve read, it still felt like jumping off a cliff to put this writing out.

Taking the leap of faith doesn’t mean quitting your day job.
Derek Sivers says the happiest people he’s met have two jobs. The first job is your dream job. Even if you don’t get paid for it, you treat it seriously and truly give it your all during your free time. The second pays the bills. It’s consistent, its reliable, and it’s a break when trauma strikes and you feel vulnerable during the first job.

You just have to go for it.

Is it possible that the things you gave up on were necessary to give up on?
Is your ladder on the right wall?
Listen to the people around you, what are you gifted at?
Have you forgiven yourself?
Have you started loving yourself?

What do you have to lose?

The truth is, you have too much authenticity for anything you truly care about to fail.

Eventually, it will take off.

You owe it to yourself to fill your life with Love and Significance.

Thank you

I really do this for you. If I reach you somehow. If something sticks out and you’re touched, please don’t hesitate to contact me on whatever social platform feels comfortable to you. Connection feels amazing. We all grow stronger every time we add to our community.

Thank you for your time, and for your support.

Andrey Starostin

Email
(Yes, I respond and read every one)
Andrey@andreystarostin.com

Instagram
a.o.starostin


Recommended Reading

Help finding yourself when you’re stuck:
Designing Your Life

Mentioned above:

Derek Sivers

Jeremy Ryan Slate

Mastin Kipp

Self Acceptance vs. Complacency

Total Read Time: 5 Minutes

I recently heard Tim Ferris’s interview of Brene Brown (Episode #409 – The Tim Ferriss Show) where they discussed relationships. As with most of his podcasts, Tim discussed ways of self betterment. He and Brene reach a topic that I in particular can relate and empathize with: the topic of self acceptance.

“There is a fine line between self acceptance and complacency.”

Let’s bring in a money analogy. When have you made enough money? If your goal is to “make more,” then what does it take to get you off that path? When do you realize you’re trapped in a never ending goal?

It looks like two outcomes really: You make more or you don’t. If you get what you want, it isn’t enough. If you aren’t making “more” money, then you’ll have to reconsider everything.

Money is really easy to understand.

It’s just a number. If you want it to grow, you have to define the goal number. The same principal has to be applied to your self acceptance.

How do you measure your self worth?

Now there’s a touchy topic. I’ve gone through months of trauma work and just scratched the surface. Trauma is everywhere and we have to make eye contact with it. I highly recommend Mastin Kipp as a start to learning about yourself. Below I’ll add recommended books etc.

You have to measure yourself based on who you are now, not who you want to be now. Speculation of your future self is bullshit. I’m sorry, but you don’t know what tomorrow looks like. For that reason, stop worrying about yourself. Today and right now are all that matters.

Step One

Accept does not mean like. You don’t have to like who you are right now, but you have to accept it. It’s done. Accept who you are right now.

Step Two

Accept all the things you can not change. If you don’t accept them, you’re stuck on repeat. “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein.

Step Three

Avoid complacency by being critical of the things you CAN change. Begin with things that are going well. Start with one thing and ask, “how can I be more intentional with the thing I love about myself?”

This is not something you want to eliminate. Remember, change does not have to be scary. Change can mean better. It should mean better. If you’ve been given the gift of beautiful hair, and you love that about yourself, how can you change to be more mindful, or twice as intentional with your hair?

Intention is the Key to Everything

I hate to be needlessly repetitive, but intention is my catch phrase. Jocko has “discipline” and “dichotomy.” I have “intention.”

I argue that intention is the solution for all of your problems. When you are intentional, it means you are in control. Control leads to easier solutions, because you have no one to blame and everything to change for the better.

Love Yourself

If you start being intentional with loving yourself I am sure you’ll have less time to wallow.

Displacement Strategy

You’re too busy loving yourself to hate yourself.

Or how about this.

You’re too busy improving the things you can, to be worried about the things you can’t.

Okay one more.

You stop noticing pebbles on the ground when you’re running.

Vacuum Strategy

Displacement is avoiding the formation of clutter in your living room (clothes, bags, useless garbage) by putting a couch there instead.

The vacuum is formed when you take out something you’re used to being there; your bed for example. It feels extra empty. The space is a vacuum for new things to fill it.

Take unwanted habits, bad role models, malevolent influences, and toxic environments out of your life. The vacuum that is created by that can only be filled with love. Love yourself first and your intention will naturally show you what is toxic and what is pure.

It’s like eating something out of a garden. You don’t grab the dirt. You just know what’s good for you. It looks so fresh and healthy. You don’t have to like it, but you have to accept it. You can be someone who hates fruits and vegetables, but you can’t deny that they are good for you.

Recipe for Life

Have you ever baked a cake? Baking is something I’ve never been able to do because the core construct involves trusting you’ve done everything correctly. You mix all the ingredients, then it’s out of your hands. You put it in the oven and pray.

The cooking I like to do involves tasting as you go. Adding additional salt, pepper, lemon, garlic. Giving each step thought and intention. Every ingredient serves a purpose and without each other, the dish is missing something.

Life should be a harmony of intentional steps forward. Life has no recipe where you do all the right things and come out risen and enlightened.

Life is today. Life is right now. You have the choice to carry yourself the way YOU intend. The one thing no one can ever take from you, is how you react. So react with intention. Give everything that deserves thought your loving intention. Let everything else stay in the past.

Thank YOU

For your time, your attention, your support, your kindness, your love

Andrey Starostin

Email
(Yes, I respond and read every one)
Andrey@andreystarostin.com

Instagram
a.o.starostin

Recommended

The Tim Ferriss Show: For those with a commute. Music lets you think. Podcasts tell you what to think.

Mastin Kipp: Claim Your Power – This book changed the way I see myself. It really put me on the path.

Jocko Willink: Speaking of “the path,” Jocko is responsible for hours of my time and interest in getting my mental state battle ready. From war novels to Jiu Jitsu, Jocko covers all things to get you on the path to your best self. Discipline Equals Freedom is the book I started with. Review coming of his latest book, Leadership Strategy and Tactics.

Why do some people Never Break Up?

Total Read Time: 5 Minutes

What a lovely palindrome of a day (02 02 20 20). I was informed it was also our 33rd day of the year, with 333 days left. Allow me to geek out over numbers, moon patterns… moving onward!

People are so caught up in finding someone to be with.

Maybe it’s loneliness. Perhaps I’m wrong and people want to be left alone. I believe people live longer and are living happier lives when they are in healthy long term relationships. I would love that for YOU.

Here’s some stuff to look out for. 👀

I’ve racked my brain over healthy relationships. I’ve examined and analyzed couples who have confided in me with their difficulties. (I know you’re reading this, so know that I love you guys and can’t wait to hear from you).

This is a good spot to add, I’m no expert. I LOVE analysis. I find writing therapeutic. Please don’t do anything irrational after reading this. I only want what’s best for you and your loved ones.

Here are qualities that people in healthy relationships

MUST HAVE

Let me intensify: without these, your relationship is doomed.

I’ve chosen each word carefully

  • A Safe Communication Environment
  • Intentional Love
  • Compatible Foundational Life Goals

Things that make relationships inherently easier, NOT VITAL

Primary

  • Finding your person impressive
    • Imagine them in their element. Does it turn you on?
  • Similar attractiveness

Secondary

  • Equally opposite in masculinity/femininity
    • You’re both a blend of masculine and feminine. One of you is more masculine. The other is equally as much feminine as the first is masculine.
  • Similar Intelligence
  • A general predisposition for learning and improvement

Tertiary

  • Similar financial liquidity
    • It’s great to be pampered. Finances turn into really hard conversations when one person has had it easy all of their life while the other has had to struggle between paychecks. If you’re both on the same page, it just works easier.
  • Similar diet
    • I’m not saying you both have to be health nuts. I’m saying if one is a vegan, and the other hunts every season… that’s an important conflict.
  • Similar hobbies
    • Time is a precious commodity. If you both like to hike, that’s an amazing activity you can share in excitement with. The hike itself is fun, and the preparation builds the excitement that much more every day.

Clarification

Large caveat: I’m extremely lucky to be in a healthy relationship. Even more so, I’m lucky to be with someone who recognizes and values hard work. We’ve worked really hard to get where we are. There are still tough times. Trust is a huge factor. However, I promise it will be earned. I say will be earned because it takes the strength of time. Time will show you everything you need to see in your relationship.

Remember, I’m merely a man observing relationships around me. I’ve had the privilege to talk to some people about theirs. I’ve analyzed, from my perspective, what has led to their strengths. My writing is not absolute. Love has a way of defying all concepts of reason. The world doesn’t make sense some times, and yet works in a balance you can only observe in retrospect.

Let’s go back to the vital three.

A safe communication environment: A space where there is freedom to express each other’s opinions, conflicts, compliments, and so on. There is no judgment. This is a place for honest listening and cooperation. A place which brings us to…

Intentional Love: This is huge. Genuine, honest, intentional love. Intentional means you, at your core, want this. Love is everything that is good for your person. You truly want your special someone to be loved. To feel loved. To know that you love them.

Compatible Foundational Life Goals: This one’s tricky. This isn’t, “I want a house some day.” This is more like, “I want a lot of kids,” or “I want to serve my country as a Marine,” or “I want to live on the coast.” The goals of you and your loved one have to be compatible, they have to operate together and not contradict each other.

As for the following set of “Non vital,” I repeat they are not vital. They simply make getting along easier and making any compromises easier and more fluid.

Compromises

will make these flow into a healthy relationship. The vital list of three is a list I simply believe relationships need to end up with to make the long haul. I’ve seen people change for the better. I believe I am one of those people. That is what compromises are all about. The major factor here is Love. When you love someone, their needs make it easy to be selfless and commit yourself. If both of you are in love, both of you have a tendency to want to make sacrifices for the other. However, everything will crumble if you don’t feel safe enough to communicate your concerns, if you’re not sure if your person loves you, and if you’re both headed in opposite desired directions.

Thank you so much for your time

I’d like to expand in the future on the vital three. And maybe look at some relationships specifically and help or just walk through what works.

Please let me know if that’s something you’d be interested in!

Andrey Starostin

Email
(Yes, I respond and read every one)
Andrey@andreystarostin.com

Instagram
a.o.starostin