Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work

I finished reading Marry in Haste about a month ago, and was surprised how much I enjoyed the story. I have never read a romance novel, and found it to be a real page turner. The character development was excellent, and was not what I was expecting. I found myself rooting for each one.

I didn't feel like I could identify with the characters per se, although I could certainly learn from them, and the different approaches they took to challenges. In my case it may take several more books to find the connection.

I enjoyed the ending but was a bit disappointed the book had an end, I could have just kept reading the story!

After listening to the Mind Matters show with Mary Balogh, and the way she described her writing, I will look to read one of her books next (after Laura's new book)
 
I'm still working on the Mackenzie series. I don't care much for the sexual scenes as they seem to trigger me and I have to go do something else or other reading for awhile until I can recenter myself. I think this is good though. Reading these novels as an outside observer and having them occur in another time altogether has allowed parts of me to feel safe enough to show themselves I think. They are not good feelings and I've tried for years to wall them off and not let them influence my present life, but that seems to have stunted my emotional growth I'm discovering. It feels as if the more I let those old feelings out the more room I have in my being. It feels like expansion.

I've had some dreams that represent what is happening I think. In two of the dreams I am riding with someone in a convertible. We are driving along a coastal highway. The top is down and the wind is blowing through my hair, the ocean breeze smells so fresh and clean and the sky is so blue and seems endless. It feels like we are starting to drive up into the sky somehow and I feel so amazingly alive. It's wonderful.

In another dream that I had in the past but keeps popping into my memory since starting these books is of being in Scotland. I don't know exactly how I know that is where I am, but I just do. In the dream it is twilight and I am walking down a gently sloping path. The stones on the path seems very old. Ancient almost. They are uneven and cracked and well worn. As I am walking down this path to the left of me I see a larger stone that seems to hold a lot of meaning. Almost spiritual it feels. Farther on down the path to the right are roses growing and I feel such an overwhelming sense of longing. I don't know if it is a past life or maybe just picking up something from the information field that is meaningful.

I plan to reread the series later on to see if I can pickup more subtle insights once I get past the first level of being overwhelmed. I am looking forward to reading Mary Balogh next. That interview with her was so life affirming.

I'm also thinking that maybe reading these type of novels would be a good thing to help people who have a history of sexual abuse to be able to approach their feelings without feeling to overwhelmed. A different approach.

I am also listening to Gregorian Chants in the background. After I started that the reading became easier.

Thank you for this reading project!
 

iamthatis

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
I agree. What she's doing - leading you on like this for 2 years - is wrong. If you choose to put an end to it (which would be the wisest choice for the both of you, IMO), you can either stop answering her calls / emails (no explanation, just silence), or if you want to make a point (provided you've steeled yourself enough for that), next time she calls you, be blunt about it: say that this relationship is leading nowhere and is hurting the both of you, hence you've decided that it was time for you to move on. If you want to hammer the point home "with style", play this song* for her over the phone – and sayonara. In case she doesn't get it, you can also record the song on your answering machine so that she can hear it everytime she tries to call you, until she gets it (ie: stops trying to contact you). Whatever you decide: good luck!

*

Ditto this. I did this with a particularly toxic relationship about a year ago, and I've never felt better. It took me a while to get to the point where I could say that firm sayonara. I realize now that I just didn't love myself enough to do so before. Good boundaries are a strong indicator of letting go of self-importance and beginning to grasp loving yourself.
 

France

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I finished the series of an author I had not yet read her books, Elizabeth Hoyt. The series "the legend of the four soldiers" in memory of the battles in Quebec in the years 1763.

I found it difficult to read the details of the Indians with the French. The immense physical and mental strength that they had to go through these stages of physical suffering that the Tribe made them undergo. Like the tales that we listened in our Quebec schools.

The author describes well for each of the soldiers, the cellular memory which forged the thought forms following the physical and psychic pain. The food which was the essential need to live thus learning to hunt. To get the prey, you have to tire it out, watch it, entice it by seduction so that it lets go of its barriers and is taken and then savors it. To romanticize well.

The senses have already spotted the easy prey, have already seen its tactics to flee as well as its strengths to resist. And in this series, which I managed to enjoy after the first one, the author makes us aware that the hunter or the prey can be as well us in both roles depending on the situation and the context at certain stages of our life.

I liked the parallel with my family being from a family of hunters "to feed themselves" and then for the sharing of knowledge of trapping, selling fur, recipe for better preparing the meat "hunted". My mother fed us all well. We knew after many years how she prepared a certain food that we loved so much! The play of spices played a big role sometimes!

I liked the parallel with today's society.
To make the parallel with the world events "covid" (prey and hunters).
Social engineering to study our behaviors to better know us, seduce us and thus become the future prey.

And I note from this series that this mental strength that inhabited them either by a personal objective (either to return to England, to see their family again, to take back their title of Lord ....) allowed that the body resists and that some events happen to take a way that they could not predict in advance.

When I think back on this series, it brings me peace of mind to say: in this global choas experience, I will be there, at the right time, in the right place, with the people I love to serve to the best of my knowledge.

I often say the phrase in the "Daily prayer": Take our hands and lead us to a realm where free will for all reigns surpreme.
*** Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) ***



J'ai fini la série d'une auteure que je n'avais pas encore lu ses livres, Elizabeth Hoyt. La série "la légende des quatre soldats" s'est passé à Québec, dans les années 1763.
J'ai trouvé cela difficile le lire les détails des Indiens avec les Français. L'immense force physique et mental qu'ils ont eu pour traverser ces étapes de souffrance physique que la Tribu leurs faisait subir. Comme les contes qu'on écoutait dans nos écoles québecoises.

L'auteur décrit bien pour chacun des soldats, la mémoire cellulaire qui a forgé les formes pensées à la suite de la douleur physique et psychique. La nourriture qui était le besoin essentiel pour vivre donc apprendre à chasser. Pour avoir sa proie, il faut la fatiguer, la surveiller, l'allécher par la séduction pour qu'elle lâche ses barrières et se fasse prendre et la savourer par la suite.

Les sens ont déjà repéré la proie facile, ont déjà vu ses tactiques pour fuir ainsi que ses forces pour résister. Et dans cette série que j'ai réussi à apprécier après le premier, l'auteur nous fait prendre conscience que le chasseur ou la proie peuvent être aussi bien nous dans les deux rôles selon la situation et le contexte à certaines étapes de notre vie.

J'ai aimé faire le parallèle avec ma famille étant issue d'une famille de chasseur "pour se nourrir" et par la suite pour le partage de connaissance de trappage, de vente de fourrure, de recette pour mieux apprêter la viande "chassée".

J'ai aimé faire le parallèle avec la société d'aujourd'hui.
Faire le parallèle avec les évènements mondiaux "covid" (les proies et les chasseurs).
Ingénierie sociale pour étudier nos comportements pour mieux nous connaitre, nous séduire et ainsi devenir les futures proies.

Et j'en retire de cette série que cette force mentale qui les habitait soit par un objectif personnel (soit revenir en Angleterre, revoir leur famille, reprendre leur titre de Lord....) a permis que le corps résiste et que certains évênements arrivent pour prendre un chemin qu'ils ne pouvaient prédire d'avance.

Cela m'amène de la quiétude en me disant: je serai là, au bon moment, à la bonne place, avec les gens que j'aime pour passer au travers ce chao. Comme la prière le dit bien aussi: Take our hands and lead us to a realm where free will for all reigns surpreme.
 

latulipenoire

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I'm still trying to catch up with this wonderful thread, while waiting for the last 2 Balogh's Westcott series books to be published, having finished and loved reading Someone to Romance yesterday.

I guess I enjoyed the Westcott series more than the Survivors series, and now I'm going for the the Bedwyn saga!

This reading exercise is truly inspiring, I am thankful for this reading more than ever!
 

luc

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Finished Grace Burrowes' "Captive" and "Traitor" - "Captive" was a very good and touching story, though I needed to get used to the somewhat... different language and pace. Some pretty cartoonish scenes in there as well IMO, though the overall theme and emotional depth was great.

Now "Traitor" really blew me away. Don't know what happened to the author between the two, but I thought it's on a whole other level in terms of language and craft than "Captive". I found the story and characters incredibly deep and touching.

It also brought home for me an interesting point about guilt and shame. Laura said somewhere that the characters in the novels are kind of "STO", and it's true, they often have an incredible "soul-depth" to them and great hearts. They really want to do the right thing, and yet they often mess up. Often, the reason is feelings of guilt and shame because of past experiences, above all actions they took in the past that hurt others. But the thing is, as necessary as these feelings are as a stepping stone, they often are based on internal considering: how much of it is actually genuine concern for others, and how much is just embarrassment for not having lived up to one's own grandiose self-image? Do they just feel bad for themselves? They only get out of this mode of internal considering once they realize how this makes them behave badly NOW towards the people in their lives NOW...

So, maybe one simple karmic understanding we came here to learn:

1) You are being stupid and mess things up, hurting others.
2) You realize this and feel tormented by guilt and shame.
3) You try to make amends by suffering, therefore messing things up even more, especially for those around you.
4) You realize this and get out of this sort of self-pity and embarrassment because you begin to LOVE those around you more than your self-image, you accept and even love the universe's lessons and karmic plans more than pretending to already be perfect, and you love the free will of others more than your wish for a perfect past and a perfect life.
5) You live happily-ever-after, liberated of the shackles of the rut called 3D life :)

Now if only it were that simple :rolleyes:
 

France

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
1) You are being stupid and mess things up, hurting others.
2) You realize this and feel tormented by guilt and shame.
3) You try to make amends by suffering, therefore messing things up even more, especially for those around you.
4) You realize this and get out of this sort of self-pity and embarrassment because you begin to LOVE those around you more than your self-image, you accept and even love the universe's lessons and karmic plans more than pretending to already be perfect, and you love the free will of others more than your wish for a perfect past and a perfect life.
5) You live happily-ever-after, liberated of the shackles of the rut called 3D life :)
I agree with your summary.

In reading each of the books I have read so far, I find this feeling of these steps that you have described so well.

Of course, with a different description, a similar suffering, but what is remarkable are the beings that "dare" to take the step, the step of loving and being loved.

The risk of loving is greater than the respect of their own fear scenarios.

And this repetition in the romantic stories of these readings: that love transforms the being, that loving and letting oneself be loved transforms suffering into strength so that the being reveals itself in all its creativity, to dare to be free internally.... The repetition helps me to integrate and transform old beliefs.

These readings allow me to do a mirror effect on myself and to integrate more and more point 4: you accept and even love the universe's lessons and karmic plans more than pretending to already be perfect, and you love the free will of others more than your wish for a perfect past and a perfect life.

Je suis en accord avec ton résumé.

Dans la lecture de chacun des livres que j'ai lus jusqu'à maintenant, je retrouve ce feeling de ces étapes que tu as si bien décrites.

Bien sûr, avec une description différentes, une souffrance similaire mais ce qui est remarquable ce sont des êtres qui "osent" faire le pas, le pas d'aimer et d'être aimé.

Le risque d'aimer est plus grand que le respect de leurs propres scénarios de peurs.

Et cette répétition dans les histoires romantiques de ces lectures: que l'amour transforme l'être, qu'aimer et se laisser aimer transforme les souffrances en forces pour que l'être se révèle dans toute sa créativité, d'oser pour être libre intérieurement.... La répétition m'aide à intégrer et transformer de vieilles croyances.

Ces lectures me permettent de faire un effet miroir sur moi et d'intégrer de plus en plus le point 4 : you accept and even love the universe's lessons and karmic plans more than pretending to already be perfect, and you love the free will of others more than your wish for a perfect past and a perfect life.
 

AzarHyun

Jedi
Another book read by Mary Balogh. I enjoy reading this kind of literature because I know that "in the end everything will be fine."
That kind of perspective suits me, I used to consider it banal and naive and I tried to immerse myself in “complex”, postmodern, nihilistic art because it “asks questions”, offers no answers and provokes. I mostly got harassment and an increased frequency of chaos.
 

latulipenoire

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I truly enjoyed Bedwyn.. :) I look forward to reading what you have to say in comparing it to Wescott which I have just started.

I liked the Bedwyn saga. Very much.
Enjoy !
Thank you France and Alejo! I'm already enjoying the first chapters of Slightly Married, and Balogh's descriptions of the characters are really insightful, and it happened on both series I've read so far, namely the Survivors and the Westcott ones. Curiously Balogh starts with someone who just came from the battlefield, as opposed to starting in the midst of a family crisis of a different sort (Westcott) or starting with the post-traumatic issues of the survivors and their daily efforts in overcoming the traumas and start living meaningful lives. I guess you will enjoy greatly reading the Westcott series too, Alejo!

Finished Grace Burrowes' "Captive" and "Traitor" - "Captive" was a very good and touching story, though I needed to get used to the somewhat... different language and pace. Some pretty cartoonish scenes in there as well IMO, though the overall theme and emotional depth was great.

Now "Traitor" really blew me away. Don't know what happened to the author between the two, but I thought it's on a whole other level in terms of language and craft than "Captive". I found the story and characters incredibly deep and touching.

It also brought home for me an interesting point about guilt and shame. Laura said somewhere that the characters in the novels are kind of "STO", and it's true, they often have an incredible "soul-depth" to them and great hearts. They really want to do the right thing, and yet they often mess up. Often, the reason is feelings of guilt and shame because of past experiences, above all actions they took in the past that hurt others. But the thing is, as necessary as these feelings are as a stepping stone, they often are based on internal considering: how much of it is actually genuine concern for others, and how much is just embarrassment for not having lived up to one's own grandiose self-image? Do they just feel bad for themselves? They only get out of this mode of internal considering once they realize how this makes them behave badly NOW towards the people in their lives NOW...

So, maybe one simple karmic understanding we came here to learn:

1) You are being stupid and mess things up, hurting others.
2) You realize this and feel tormented by guilt and shame.
3) You try to make amends by suffering, therefore messing things up even more, especially for those around you.
4) You realize this and get out of this sort of self-pity and embarrassment because you begin to LOVE those around you more than your self-image, you accept and even love the universe's lessons and karmic plans more than pretending to already be perfect, and you love the free will of others more than your wish for a perfect past and a perfect life.
5) You live happily-ever-after, liberated of the shackles of the rut called 3D life :)

Now if only it were that simple :rolleyes:
I guess you nail it Luc, writing about this one "simple" karmic understanding...I'm adding Burrowes to the ever-growing list of romantic lessons (I'm seeing them as lessons inside the novels, more and more each day) I'm striving to learn and share. Thank you for contributing to this beautiful exercise!
 

primeaddict

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
1) You are being stupid and mess things up, hurting others.
2) You realize this and feel tormented by guilt and shame.
3) You try to make amends by suffering, therefore messing things up even more, especially for those around you.
4) You realize this and get out of this sort of self-pity and embarrassment because you begin to LOVE those around you more than your self-image, you accept and even love the universe's lessons and karmic plans more than pretending to already be perfect, and you love the free will of others more than your wish for a perfect past and a perfect life.
5) You live happily-ever-after, liberated of the shackles of the rut called 3D life :)
Great insight luc.

This reading project helped me look back through the fog of STS behaviors and attitudes, which helped to see myself more clearly. Here is my life's version of your list.

1) Because of fear, greed and need I would control, manipulate and emotionally abuse others to get my.
2) Tormented by guilt I tried to project a better person than my internal reality.
3) I ran away from my responsibility to make amends thus prolonged the pain of those I hurt.
4) Seeing my STS patterns more clearly helped to unravel to knots and shovel the piles of chaos that was the cause of harm and suffering.
5) Learning how to love and give without expectations was the key to cleansing the past.
6) Learning to live happily-in-the-ever-now with the joy of learning, teaching, and loving the flow light.
 

Mariama

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I'm still working on the Mackenzie series. I don't care much for the sexual scenes as they seem to trigger me and I have to go do something else or other reading for awhile until I can recenter myself. I think this is good though. Reading these novels as an outside observer and having them occur in another time altogether has allowed parts of me to feel safe enough to show themselves I think. They are not good feelings and I've tried for years to wall them off and not let them influence my present life, but that seems to have stunted my emotional growth I'm discovering. It feels as if the more I let those old feelings out the more room I have in my being. It feels like expansion.
That's wonderful and well-put, Debra Lynn. :flowers:Your dreams seem to reflect that expansion.

I think that many of us have/had no idea of what a truly healthy intimate sexual/spiritual relationship looks like for whatever reason. I also found the sex scenes unappetising at times, simply because my buffers popped up and as a result I was initially reticent about learning of healthier ways of lovemaking. Reading these novels showed me that I was biased! But through these novels AND the posts of others I am learning to see that there are healthy ways of expressing love in a physical way. Especially if lovemaking/touch is one of our 5 love languages, then physical intimacy plays an even more important role.

Sometimes taking a step back when we notice that we are being triggered sounds like a wise move, as we are integrating certain experiences and that takes time and space. :hug2:

I'm also thinking that maybe reading these type of novels would be a good thing to help people who have a history of sexual abuse to be able to approach their feelings without feeling to overwhelmed. A different approach.
I was thinking the same thing, reading these novels is like taking a holistic approach if you will as sexual abuse is only one part of the whole gamut of forms of suffering and by vicariously living the sometimes dreadful experiences of the characters and empathising with them we are also learning from stories that are non-sexual in nature. I have had several insights while reading Julia Quinn's third and fourth novel of the Smythe-Smith Quartet. Although some events are harrowing Quinn's sense of humour is delightful (especially when she writes about these infamous musicales and theatre performances:rotfl:)and I am having many LOL moments. Laughter balances all these serious lessons we are learning here. Perhaps that is why these insights are making themselves known faster now?
 

dennis

Jedi
I finished The Enchanted of the Survivor series. Flavian and Agnes get together despite the machinations of the Villainous Velma. Two things to note: 1) they are attracted to each other by "enchantment" (at least Flavian is so smitten by Agnes), and 2) a lack of information about both their past situations nearly ruined their relationship just as they presented themselves as husband and wife to the society.

In Greek mythology, Peitho (Ancient Greek: Πειθώ, romanized: Peithō, lit. 'Persuasion') is the goddess who personifies persuasion and seduction. Her Roman equivalent is Suada or Suadela. She is typically presented as an important companion of Aphrodite. Her opposite is Bia, the personification of force.[1] As a personification, she was sometimes imagined as a goddess and sometimes an abstract force with her name used both as a common and proper noun.[2] There is evidence that Peitho was referred to as a goddess before she was referred to as an abstract concept, which is rare for a personification.[3] Peitho represents both sexual and political persuasion.[3]
.....
Peitho was an important figure for emphasising civic harmony, particularly in Athens and Argos, and harmony within interpersonal relationships.[24] Notably in Athens, the unification (synoikismos) of the city by Theseus was only possible with the intervention of both Aphrodite and Peitho to create democratic spirit and cooperation.[3] In Argos, she was paired with the early kings of the city, functioning as a civic unifier in a similar role as Harmonia, the first Queen of Thebes.[25] On a 4th century vase from Apulia, Peitho and Hermes are depicted together instructing Tripolemus to teach agriculture to mankind, indicating Peitho's role in creating harmony through civilization.[1] Plutarch outlines Peitho’s role in interpersonal harmony in Moralia, where he states that persuasion’s role within a marriage is so that spouses can achieve their wants without quarreling. In Eumenides, Athena thanks Peitho after convincing the Furies of her reasoning in acquitting Orestes and successfully defusing strife.[26] However, Peitho may be a destructive force when used for seduction or selfish personal gains, such as in Agamemnon where Clytemnestra curses Peitho for Paris’s stealing of Helen, and she uses persuasion convince Cassandra to enter the house in order to murder her.
 
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