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#469384 - 08/27/14 01:53 AM the concept of "playing"...
ethereo222 Offline

Registered: 07/19/14
Posts: 8
Loc: SW Virginia
Having just read a couple of self-help books recommended on this site, I see a recurring emphasis on the need for "play" to balance our "work", and to help us get in touch more with our younger selves. This got me to thinking...hmmm..."play"...where is it in my life?

When I am not at my job, I work here on this house I'm restoring, or am laboring in my gardens, which is work, not play. In the evenings I enjoy wandering around the grounds, but that seems passive to me. I do enjoy arts and live theater and reading, but that's passive as well. When I'm with my boyfriend I feel "playful", but is a "state of being" the same as "playing"?...So I'm not immediately able to connect any aspect of my daily life to the concept of "playing"...

One thing I have decided upon is to acquire an adult-size swing set for my yard...I think that's a good place to start...

I'd be open to hear from any of you out there about what you personally consider "play" in your world...

Thanks, fellas...

#469390 - 08/27/14 03:52 AM Re: the concept of "playing"... [Re: ethereo222]
kcinohio Offline

Registered: 06/06/12
Posts: 511
Loc: Ohio
I've had success with this at different points along the way - drawing worked for me for a time because I'm not very skilled with it, so it couldn't be anything else but play.

Currently struggling with making too many activities into work (including volunteer work), so tagging along on this post and seeing what others suggest.

#469394 - 08/27/14 04:54 AM Re: the concept of "playing"... [Re: ethereo222]
tbkkfile Offline

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 391
Loc: Surrey, United Kingdom
Hi Ethereo I've always thought that the key was unwinding and relaxing as opposed to playing to balance against work, doing something that you enjoy.

For me that's labouring in my garden, cooking in the evening with the produce that I've grown, going for a walk in the country, reading.

I've just taken up fishing again, it was something that I used to do as a child pre CSA and loved it, so I guess I'm getting back in touch with the little me.

#469433 - 08/28/14 03:58 AM Re: the concept of "playing"... [Re: ethereo222]
don64 Offline

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 1106
Playing for me is singing and playing the piano, and doing it with others. My abuse so compromised my abilities to express myself singing and playing the piano, that I am only now at age 65 seeing the possibilities of unfettered joy with my musical interests. It feels so good to me to see that all my hard work on myself for the past 45 years is paying dividends in revealing my true nature. And, all the hard work with you guys here at MS is freeing my to become much more who I truly am. Clearing the abusive hurdles in my life makes room for the part of me that is naturally a free and playful spirit.

I also love gardening and growing my own food. Just have to wait and see how the clearing of the disabling effects of my abuse translates into physical healing.

Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

#469441 - 08/28/14 02:44 PM Re: the concept of "playing"... [Re: ethereo222]
Greg56 Offline

Registered: 01/10/14
Posts: 144
Loc: Upstate NY
it's funny that I read this article today, as last night I had a dream. The dream was set at a beach house...I was visiting, my friend and myself were teens. We had swimming trunks on and were sometimes naked. What we were doing is playing. With towels snapping each other and wrestling. I remember hoping that he would teach me how to surf. That's when I awoke...what a terrible ending...I wish I could have lived that life as it was so much fun. But, it did give me a sense of hope and life, as I started to remember all the fun things I did do as a teen. Both before, during and after the abuse. My life wasn't just a sad between there were some very good times.

I don't now have an answer to your question as far as play now at this age. However, try to think of some of the good times, instead of your life being a sad story.

"I am here...they are not...I own my strength and power...they do not"

#469456 - 08/28/14 10:44 PM Re: the concept of "playing"... [Re: ethereo222]
VASurvivor Offline

Registered: 08/26/14
Posts: 66
Loc: Virginia
Hey ethero22, and others,
I've also had to work on this concept of "play". As an overachieving adult male, and one who had been abused specifically DURING play, I have had difficulty allowing myself to "play".

For me, I have rekindled my love of hiking. For me, hiking is play because it's an adventure! Alas, most of it has been alone...

I long to "play" with others... but how do I do that non-sexually, when all I've ever known is sexual play, thanks to my abusers?

Since I love hiking, I joined an all men's hiking group. They hike once a month. It's not near enough for me, but it's a start. More importantly, it's a safe group for me. They also go drinking afterwards, which I enjoy also. Again, though, it's safe.

My therapist is great at reminding me that relationships require a degree of risk. So, setting my boundaries and then taking some risks (of rejection or even further abuse) is the key - again, for me.

I was also shunned for not being sports oriented growing up. How could I be?! That was a form of acceptable play, but I had been abused by males during play.

So, my advice: find out what interests you and find a GROUP where there is less risk involved of being alone with another person. MeetUp has been a great resource for me.

I wasn't gay. I was abused and confused.


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