Jailbird gets cheated

Joey loves dessert at Café Tiramisu in San Francisco.

Why do women always cheat on their boyfriends when their boyfriends are in jail?

Oh, honey! Why did the boyfriend cheat on the community’s ethics by engaging in illegal activity? What kind of girlfriend does a man committed to exploitation for personal gain expect to have? Deceit begets deceit. If you love your woman, don’t demand her emotional imprisonment while you are jailed. Let go and fully feel your grief. The wounds of betrayal allow you a taste of the turmoil felt by your family and community because of your crimes. Stop cheating yourself of your true potential as a human being. Invite yourself into a life of integrity and kindness so you can recognize a woman who is capable of the same.

Two months ago, I started dating a guy I really liked, but now I think he’s using me to make another woman jealous. He says they’re just friends. I asked if that was his choice or hers. At first, he said he didn’t know; then he said she wasn’t interested in him. He tells her everything about us and reports her comments about what I say. He always wants to double-date with her, too. She seems amused by his puppy-dog admiration of her. It makes me uneasy. Your thoughts?

Sixty days into a relationship and already convinced your man hopes to strike a different match? Since you don’t trust his affection for you, why do you keep dating him? Sure, you liked him a lot initially, but now his intentions are revealed and he is not who you believed he was. He’s likely unaware of how his unrequited attention for this woman impacts you. That denial protects him from feeling rejection, too. But it’s not your responsibility to clue him in. Focus on understanding why you haven’t let go. In a committed, long-term relationship, like marriage, where couples vow to journey together through the mess and miracles of life, it’s usually best to stay. But when you’re dating and it’s clear that values, maturity levels or capacity for commitment are radically awry, skedaddle. That’s right, he doesn’t need to change—you do. Cherish yourself enough to date a man who cherishes you.

I was married to a beautiful girl for 10 years. Since our divorce, I have had thousands of dreams about her. My friends think she is trying to contact me. What do you think my dreams mean?

Your unconscious mind is attempting to hold on to whatever your ex-wife symbolizes for you (for example: beauty, compassion, love, etc.). You don’t believe that you are capable of embodying that quality or are afraid to even try. It’s easier to cling to the past. That’s why your mind evokes her image and presence in dreams. If you cultivate the characteristics you associate with your ex-wife and integrate them into your mind and actions, dreams of her will fade. If her image pops up in dreams again years from now, it’s a reminder to nurture that quality in yourself once more.

After working dead-end jobs and taking community-college classes but never completing a degree, I realize I want to be a writer. Do you have any advice?

Best advice I’ve been given: A writer writes. She or he doesn’t talk about writing in lieu of sitting down for the solitary act of putting fingertips to keyboard and birthing a poem, novel or screenplay. A writer loves the craft enough to learn how to write fearlessly and edit ruthlessly. Many people are infatuated with a romantic idea of what they believe being a writer means, but few actually do the work of writing. A real writer can’t live without writing or reading good writing. Is that who you are?

Meditation of the Week

The extraordinary new documentary <i>Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo</i> is a spiritual and cultural exploration of the Japanese fascination for insects. In one scene, locals pay a small fee to enter a park just before dusk. They wait, patiently, for nightfall and the arrival of fireflies. The park was designed for this purpose. How do you invite nature as teacher?