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  • When I was at university, my favorite perfume was poisoned.

  • It made me feel drop dead gorgeous.

  • It was this sumptuous mix of fruit and spices, like Christmas markets and warm mince pies in a bottle.

  • For me, fragrances evoke memories.

  • Scented gel pens colored my childhood.

  • Who else collected the entire set only to find that they all just smelt of sweet.

  • My teenage years were awash with shower gels and their glorious array of a Roman's tropical paradise.

  • Sahar in sans Banana Bonanza, you know, the sort of thing I defied my mom, who had always been wary of overly scented products on certain areas of your skin.

  • We'll know where they are nowadays.

  • I'm that person you probably run into regularly.

  • Or perhaps you yourself are one of my kind, too.

  • We are the ones loitering in the scented candle, I'll inhaling every single different smell, one as a time terrified that we might overlook a life changing odor trying to achieve that drop dead gorgeous nous I had marinated myself in poison.

  • The perfume on was now at sitting in a coffee shop, nervously breathing in overpowering amounts of fragrant pheromones.

  • Yes, I was here to attract a mate.

  • My strategy was to arrive early so that I have established my territory and he had to seek me out.

  • We were due to meet at 11 a.m. On by 10 45 I had already nimbly negotiated a flight of stairs while wearing tottering Lee high heels on Dhe confidently pulled out a chair at a nearby table.

  • Unfortunately for me, it was only after I had elegantly seated myself that I realized I'd become the unwanted guest at a table already occupied by two.

  • Now very confused pension ISS.

  • This is why you arrive early.

  • 15 minutes later, and I became aware of my date.

  • Moving in on my patch, I sprang to my feet and launched my attack, throwing my arms around him and gamboling about how different it wants to meet him.

  • At last I felt intense and draw away.

  • Worryingly, he didn't seem quite so pleased to meet me at last.

  • The coffee shop assistant who had now released himself from my unexpected bear hug, clear to the table as fast as he could on retreated back down the stairs.

  • Well, quit cringing.

  • I drew in another long drag of my perfume this time wishing it really waas poisoned, Well, moaning.

  • Oh, no, que me now, that is when I hear hi, you must be firm and I do what we'll do in this situation, assuming other people do get into this situation.

  • Oh, so there I was once again, sitting opposite a complete stranger on.

  • I couldn't even tell if he looked anything like his pictures.

  • Online dating had seemed like such a good idea.

  • Dipping my toe in the water.

  • I done what most people do when trying to sell themselves.

  • I'd never lied.

  • I just left out a detail here.

  • All that well, to be more precise.

  • One minor detail The fact that I am blind, I hated not telling them.

  • But what if I did?

  • And I was rejected outright?

  • Who would choose damaged goods when there's so much perfection on offer?

  • Would my disability be something my dates could ever accept?

  • More to the point since I was hiding it, was it something I could accept about myself?

  • Can you relate to that feeling?

  • Do you have something about yourself you can't always accept?

  • There's a lot of advice out there on self acceptance.

  • Take a look at this.

  • For example, if deep within us we are ever to experience personal fulfillment and peace of mind, we must first rise to the challenge off complete, unqualified self acceptance.

  • Oh, as every wise man and his mother says, no one will accept you until you accept yourself.

  • Well, isn't it wonderful when you think you've outside the psychologists on out philosophizes the philosophers?

  • I thought I'd done just that while still struggling to pursue self acceptance, someone began pursuing me again.

  • We met online, but unlike a love my one off dates, this guy had gone in for date, too.

  • On Day three, unstated for I still remember the lump in my throat, the prickling of tears in my eyes as I explained my site close to him and then the warm, reassuring touch of his hand in mine.

  • Let me be clear.

  • There was no way that I had accepted my disability unconditionally, but somebody else did.

  • What I hadn't realized then was that meeting a man who accepted me was only the beginning six months later, and I was back on the poison.

  • This time it wasn't for a first date.

  • I had my boyfriend and I was going to spend the weekend with his family over the past six months, I'd stop thinking so much about being blind on.

  • Started feeling that unconditional self acceptance was within my grasp.

  • No, because somebody else that accepted me, but because I had begun to accept myself so perfumed up on.

  • Dressed to impress, I chatted excitedly to my boyfriend as we walked his parentshouse hand in hand.

  • The perfect couple, I must admit, I was feeling rather smart.

  • Then his phone run.

  • I heard arguing, shouting, and I knew something wasn't right.

  • Terrified, I demanded to know what was going on.

  • That was when he told me the truth.

  • We were outside their house but that you didn't want me in it.

  • Why they don't want you in there because you can't see.

  • It soon became clear that their house was not the only thing they didn't want me in.

  • They didn't want me in their lives in their conversations.

  • They didn't want me to exist as far as they were concerned.

  • In other words, I was completely and utterly rejected simply for the fact that I was born blind.

  • No other reason people often think that must have been the worst thing that has ever happened in my love life.

  • It's far from it.

  • However, I was instantly back to square one, hating the fact I couldn't see wishing I could be anyone but me.

  • What right did I have to expect other people to accept me When I didn't even do that myself?

  • I was still a 1,000,000 miles off the unconditional self acceptance I thought I'd been so close to reaching.

  • But while there was an insidious part of me, which wondered whether perhaps I deserved this treatment, it was so shocking, so extreme, so blatantly prejudice that even I knew deep down I was not to blame.

  • The same could not be said for my online dating relationships, which followed.

  • I'm sure most of you will have heard of the term ghosting where someone you thought you were having a good relationship with suddenly and without warning stops communication with you.

  • It could go a little something like this.

  • 15th of October 10:15 p.m. Looking forward to seeing you at the weekend.

  • I'm free all day Sunday.

  • Want to come to mine?

  • Wink?

  • Emoji kiss 17th of October 5:30 p.m. or I could make Saturday.

  • I could come to you if it's easier.

  • Kiss Kiss 17th of October 11:45 p.m. I could meet you anywhere any time over the weekend.

  • Please let me know.

  • 25th of October 1 a.m. If I don't hear from you, I will be forced to assume you have either lost your phone been taken into hospital or if it's the peak in the busiest period of your life so far.

  • Kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss.

  • It seems like a trivial matter.

  • But then why does it hurt us so much?

  • A couple of years later, I thought I had met someone very special.

  • One day we seemed close.

  • The next silence and the next and the next.

  • Being ghosted and completely cut off from someone was far worse for me.

  • This rejection had no resign new off and I had no way of asking.

  • And so I launched a lethal attack on myself.

  • Guilt upon regret, upon rejection upon heartbreak is a fatal cocktail.

  • It is one I have drunk many times before, and it very nearly killed me more than once searching for answers I devoured dating tips and self help sites on the fingers kept pointing right back at me.

  • I was suffering unbearably as a result of someone else's behavior, and yet I was being told it was all my fault.

  • And, boy, did I believe it.

  • I convinced myself that no one would ever love me because I didn't love myself.

  • And this time I convinced myself it was something I could on.

  • Dhe should have changed.

  • My inability to accept myself had given someone else permission to treat me badly.

  • I was to blame.

  • Psychologists agree that ghosting is the most emotionally damaging way a relationship can end.

  • In fact, according to multiple scientific studies, ghosting activates the same neural pathways in our brain as physical pain.

  • Seeking some form of closure, we are psychologically wired to question and find answers inside ourselves, and you've been there.

  • That's when the soul searching begins.

  • You analyze every reason you can possibly imagine for why you weren't good enough.

  • What you said, what you did, why it was perfectly understandable for the other person to act the way they did, why this was all your fault.

  • Have you ever been told that somebody else's bad behavior was somehow your fault.

  • We've all heard of victim blaming where someone commits a terrible act and implies in their defense that their victim was asking for it.

  • They deserved to be treated that way.

  • Most of us would agree that that premise is wrong.

  • And yet a raft of philosophers, psychologists, self help on dating gurus feed us a similar message, a message that Zen Jude the years don't storiesq, he said.

  • If you want to be respected by others, the great thing is to respect yourself.

  • Only by that, only by self respect will you compel others to respect you.

  • Oh, to put it more succinctly, Taylor Swift said.

  • Look what you made me do slowly, but surely, through this drip effect, we start to feel that we are being treated badly as a result of a fault in ourselves.

  • So what is this terrible fault?

  • Of course, we have failed to achieve unconditional self acceptance after all.

  • Others have no reason to accept us if we don't accept ourselves.

  • Others have no responsibility to treat us with respect.

  • If we don't to respect ourselves, Andi.

  • Ultimately, if we are rejected due to a lack of self respect, that rejection is our fault, and we deserve it.

  • Here's the thing I wish someone had explained to me self acceptance is not.

  • The Enlightenment were led to believe it is.

  • We are told that unconditional self acceptance is the ultimate goal.

  • A transcendent on dhe constant state, which once reached, cannot be lost.

  • But I disagree.

  • Consider this.

  • If you're a parent who has lost a baby, is it wrong to feel a wave of pain when your friend announces that she is pregnant?

  • If your child who was lost a parent is it wrong to cry on a special occasion when you wish they could be there if you're blind?

  • Is it wrong to wish you could see when someone posts on social media that they have passed their driving test?

  • Such things will always find us.

  • We will never completely accept them.

  • Unconditional self acceptance is unattainable, but that's okay, and that is not a reason for anyone else to treat you with disrespect.

  • Their bad behavior is not your fault.

  • A few years later, I had plucked up the courage to go on another online date.

  • I distinctly remember picking up my perfume and breathing in the heady aroma.

  • But this time it really did smell like poison to me.

  • It took me straight back to those moments of self doubt, the constant reminder that I could be instantly broken at any time, just like me.

  • My perfume stayed on the shelf that day, but that wasn't the only difference.

  • By that point.

  • My guide dog, Nancy, had come into my life, and she wasn't very good at keeping secrets.

  • Pretending I had full sight wasn't really an option anymore on Dhe.

  • So I made the daunting decision to tell my dates upfront about my sight.

  • You might think this means I had finally accepted myself, except I also told them how hard it waas to share something.

  • I struggled with a times.

  • This was when things got interesting.

  • I found that when I was brave enough to share my vulnerabilities, other people did the same.

  • Rather than lose their respect, I gained their trust.

  • It made me realize that while there would always be some people out there who might treat me with disrespect, those people are in the minority and it is their characters I should be scrutinizing rather than my own.

  • Now I understood that my quest for unconditional self acceptance is not only unattainable but also unnecessary in order to achieve personal fulfillment on dhe respect from others.

  • And this is true for each and every one of us.

  • This is not to say that we are destined to spend our lives consumed by our inner demons.

  • But when circumstances encourage those demons to rear their heads, we should not feel as though we have failed and should be thought less off.

  • Today I'm wearing my favorite perfume again.

  • Do you have something in your life which you associate with a situation or an experience?

  • You can't always accept a piece of clothing which reminds you of someone you miss a special song which makes you think of a lost love, a certain scent which takes you back to a poignant point in your life.

  • If you don't create one for yourself, build a strong association with something which will remind you of this important message whenever you need it the most.

  • And then when those moments of shame, pain and blame find you, I'll get close.

  • Turn it up, breathe it in on know that you do not need unconditional self acceptance to deserve respect from yourself or anyone else.

  • In those moments, I think of me and my perfume when I breathe in.

  • It's fruity, spicy combination These days it still reminds me that I can't see that I will never drive.

  • And even that one day when I get married, I will not be able to see my fiancee's face at the other end of the aisle.

  • But I am put it ease inside myself.

  • I wear my perfume proudly now because I know it's okay to have something I will never unconditionally accept.

  • I know it's not OK for somebody toe lose respect for me because of that.

  • So hug it close.

  • Turn it up, breathe it in.

  • What's it gonna be for you?

  • What's your poison?

When I was at university, my favorite perfume was poisoned.

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目が見えないときのオンライン・デートとは|ファーン・ルーラム|TEDxKingstonUponThames (What online dating looks like when you're blind | Fern Lulham | TEDxKingstonUponThames)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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