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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been wondering about the inferior Se for a while.

I read everywhere that it should make INFJs a) prone to loosing control over Se once it's active: being impulsive, using too much alcohol, eating too much, partying too much, being reckless, having no control over their sexual desires etc. and b) clumsy, having bad motor skills, stumbling into things, bad at following instructions etc.

Do you relate to these things? Because I don't, at all, really.

I don't think I've ever experienced being overtaken by sensory desires or anything. Sure, I enjoy good food but I'm no more impulsive about it that the next person. Other stuff on the list makes no sense to me all.

Also, I've never been clumsy. I learned to walk prematurely, and was always on the fast learner side in things like learning to swim or ride a bike etc. Sports and such may not be the first things on my to-do-list but it's not like I'm bad at them. (I always figured inferior Se was about lack of energy, not necessarily skill, what do you think?)

So, yeah, I just want to hear how others experience these things. :)
 

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It's a running joke in my family how ridiculously late i was developing motor skills as a child - so there's that.

I'd definitely say i'm clumsy. I can be quite handy when i want to be but it takes enormous effort and i usually don't take the time. I will never be able to look like i'm effortlessly fixing something that's broken around the house. I can fix it, but it'll take a long time and chances are it will be everything but perfect afterwards.

In terms of sports, it depends. I suck at ball coordination especially if there is something between me and the ball (like a hockey stick or a tennis racket). But i do dance quite well, not fabulous, but quite well.

I think how my inferior Se comes out most is a bit of overeating on occassion (unfortunately sometimes i eat so much i feel sick afterwards and i wonder why i kept stuffing myself - how i'm not weighing 20kg more is beyond me) and when i'm really feeling rubbish i can binge-watch TV series to just dumb my senses as well.

I'm learning to be more proactive there and go out for a walk or a jog for instance, which helps me a lot more than watching TV until i have a headache.
 

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I actually do identify with those descriptions.

I'm incredibly clumsy—my body sometimes feels unfamiliar and out-of-control, like I'm a videogame character being navigated from a distance... Difficult to explain. I also drop things constantly.

I've had problems with substance abuse in the past and do tend to either binge or forget about eating altogether.
 

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I've humiliated myself more than a few times when the inferior function started to live itself out.

I'd start feeling like I'm Neo and I can dodge bullets and that's about the time the wheels start coming off the thing and I'm hurled face-first onto the pavement.

Without humiliation I don't think the thing could've asserted itself or come out of hiding or balanced itself or developed into whatever it is it's developing into.

To let that part of myself express in the way it wants to express itself feels like being naked and undefended before the world.

Like I thought I was a sophisticated adult and all of a sudden I'm conscious of this part of me that feels like it's lagging so far behind that I'll never be able to bring it up to speed or develop it to the degree other people have developed that aspect of themselves. Horror and embarrassment at how underdeveloped and malnourished that aspect of myself is.

I suspect an extraverted sensation type who comes to middle age and realizes for the first time that introverted intuition is not merely fantastical imaginings or morbid speculation or wild flights of fancy probably experiences a similar kind of thing. It's like "oh shit, this thing is real and it has POWER."

I never really knew what "trust" meant until that process started to happen for me.

But if you accept the humiliating experience which makes the ego submit to the demands of the inferior or childish part of the personality, then the divine child becomes a source of life. Then life has a new face and one discovers new experiences. Everything changes. Also, naturally, the child is a uniting symbol and brings together the separated or dissociated parts of the personality, which again has to do with the quality of being naïve. If I trust my naïve reaction, then I am whole; I am wholly in the situation and wholly in life. But most people do not dare do this because one exposes oneself too much. However, one just needs the courage, being somewhat shrewd at the same time, so that one does not expose oneself to those people who do not understand.

...

It is having the humility to go down with one’s other functions to that lower level. This, then, produces a stage between the two layers at about the level where everything is neither thinking nor feeling nor sensation nor intuition. Something new comes up, namely, a completely different and new attitude toward life in which one uses all and none of the functions all the time.

Read more: The Inferior Function
 

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I've been wondering about the inferior Se for a while.

I read everywhere that it should make INFJs a) prone to loosing control over Se once it's active: being impulsive, using too much alcohol, eating too much, partying too much, being reckless, having no control over their sexual desires etc. and b) clumsy, having bad motor skills, stumbling into things, bad at following instructions etc.

Do you relate to these things? Because I don't, at all, really.

I don't think I've ever experienced being overtaken by sensory desires or anything. Sure, I enjoy good food but I'm no more impulsive about it that the next person.
Well, unless you're with a bunch of INFJs, you should be noticeably less impulsive about food than 'the next person'.

Se can be a problem if A- You typically block it most of the time Or B- You are stressed out with standard thinking and your Se is handling those chores.

If 'A', your Se may not reliably show up for sensory tasks, like sports or, even, avoiding obstacles while walking. You really should let it out more often. If you feel like 'doing something creative' like building a mini Hindu temple of matchsticks, go ahead and do it. Every so often binge (a little) on potato chips, M&Ms, ... . Get in some practice walking. That sort of thing.

If 'B', you're stressed out and Se is doing your thinking, expect problems. Se's (your) ideas for running things can be a bit simplistic and, for sure, 'different'. Your coordination may be okay, unless Se is too distracted with so much thinking. Your best course may be to get away from the net, chill as best you can, and get some rest.
 

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Not so much with the impulsive part, unless I'm dealing with an excessive amount of stress. Like, it might kick in when I get to the point where it's a "it's too much, so why care at all" kind of thing. But usually, I do not act impulsive at all. I can sometimes overindulge in things, though. Rather than overindulgence due to stress/low mood, though, it usually occurs when my mood is heightened. So that may be a bit different from the norm.

Clumsy, I definitely can be, but I don't know if I'm any more clumsy than the average person. It's not like I'm constantly tripping, running into things, or injuring myself in general. But often I will make a movement with my body that isn't quite right and it ends up getting messed up. So that can be embarrassing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, unless you're with a bunch of INFJs, you should be noticeably less impulsive about food than 'the next person'.

Se can be a problem if A- You typically block it most of the time Or B- You are stressed out with standard thinking and your Se is handling those chores.

If 'A', your Se may not reliably show up for sensory tasks, like sports or, even, avoiding obstacles while walking. You really should let it out more often. If you feel like 'doing something creative' like building a mini Hindu temple of matchsticks, go ahead and do it. Every so often binge (a little) on potato chips, M&Ms, ... . Get in some practice walking. That sort of thing.

If 'B', you're stressed out and Se is doing your thinking, expect problems. Se's (your) ideas for running things can be a bit simplistic and, for sure, 'different'. Your coordination may be okay, unless Se is too distracted with so much thinking. Your best course may be to get away from the net, chill as best you can, and get some rest.

Hmm, I don't think I'm less impulsive about eating than the next person but then, no one in my circles could actually be called impulsive about eating. :D I eat pretty much the same as my ESFJ roommate who is around my size. I've never really notized being any different about eating than most people. I know some INFJs say they have trouble noticing they're hungry but I haven't really related to that ever. I think I feel hunger very normally unless I'm fully in the zone of a creative process. Then I'm really unaware of anything my body does.

I don't feel like I relate to those A and B things either. I do enough Se activities on a daily basis, I suppose. Are those things something you relate to btw?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Not so much with the impulsive part, unless I'm dealing with an excessive amount of stress. Like, it might kick in when I get to the point where it's a "it's too much, so why care at all" kind of thing. But usually, I do not act impulsive at all. I can sometimes overindulge in things, though. Rather than overindulgence due to stress/low mood, though, it usually occurs when my mood is heightened. So that may be a bit different from the norm.

Clumsy, I definitely can be, but I don't know if I'm any more clumsy than the average person. It's not like I'm constantly tripping, running into things, or injuring myself in general. But often I will make a movement with my body that isn't quite right and it ends up getting messed up. So that can be embarrassing.
I also feel like eating when I'm happy, or excited, or relaxed after I've completed something hard, or something like that. It's something I want to do to celebrate I guess. :D May be slightly out of topic but I've discussed this stereotype of eating to your sadness with quite a few people and they all agree they loose their appetite when they're sad, like me, and prefer to eat a lot when they're happy. So maybe it isn't so different? Not sure.

Good to hear someone doesn't feel more clumsy than average... I definitely don't. Maybe even a little less clumsy than average? Not sure, really. I just can't remember the last time I messed something up, or even dropped something, or just in general when a sensory task was hard for me. And I don't think I hit my toes into chairs any more than my S-family members or anything. :D

I've been wondering if maybe being HSP can make INFJs more aware of their environment and in tune with details.
 

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I like to think our weakest function often comes through in unbalanced ways.

An ENTJ might seem unemotional most of the time, but seem very sensitive at other times. When the ENTJ does have these sensitive moments, they might not know how to handle their emotions or how to express them.
INFJs might "fast" and "binge" with our Se. Most of the time it might seem as though we're indifferent to physical experiences, but then at times we totally indulge ourselves. Also because Se is our weakest function and the one we're the least conscious of, we might have the least skill at wielding it. Examples being we might lack coordination or fail to observe obvious things around us.
 

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I sometimes go into bouts of drinking. It'll start innocently, "eh, 2 glasses of red wine a night is good for me, anyways." And then it turns into, "I don't feel anything, I need to drink more." Until it gets to become feeling tipsy EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.

But when I center myself, I get away from drinking. I realize that my mind feels better when I don't drink, and I'm more productive and happier. So, I'll go a couple of weeks without drinking.

Sex is even deadlier for me. My ex (who hates my guts and lives next door to me), STILL tells me that she has never been with a guy that has anything near the sex drive that I have (I like playing sex games in bed :p ).

When my mind is set on a girl, a girl that I think is so attractive and feminine, I put her on this sexual pedestal. I convince myself that I absolutely MUST have sex with her b/c I idealize how awesome it's going to be (most recently this drop dead, gorgeous ISFJ that I work with, but I keep telling myself that there is no way an ISFJ is that much a freak in bed. ISFJs, IME, are the most conservative sexually). I will try to make advances, but if I continually fail, I just detach completely and never talk to her again (or at least for a LONG while).

I would say that if there is anything I would get addicted to (aside from the internet), it's sex.
 
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Hmm, I don't think I'm less impulsive about eating than the next person but then, no one in my circles could actually be called impulsive about eating. :D I eat pretty much the same as my ESFJ roommate who is around my size. I've never really notized being any different about eating than most people. I know some INFJs say they have trouble noticing they're hungry but I haven't really related to that ever. I think I feel hunger very normally unless I'm fully in the zone of a creative process. Then I'm really unaware of anything my body does.

I don't feel like I relate to those A and B things either. I do enough Se activities on a daily basis, I suppose. Are those things something you relate to btw?
Good for you. I may have been 'in the grip' of Se a few times-- e.g. binging, a bit clumsy, ... . Didn't seem to last long.
 

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I think it means you let a lot of things pass you by. Caution. Celebrity Types says about INFJ:


  • Repress their Extroverted Sensing function, meaning they may forgo living life to its fullest

That is true for me at least.

I think your dominant and inferior function is like your stride. I was talking about how this particularly manifests itself in INTP. I think the relationship is like two feet. It is a stride. INTP start walking. They start with Ti. So they lead with their left foot and take a stride. There is freedom of motion, up to a point. The INTP soon learns that his left foot is actually chained to his right foot -- Fe, and if he takes too long of a stride, it will snap him back into place. Like a dog on a leash. He starts chasing something and forgets he is still tied up. Basically, the arrogance of Ti is kept in check with the unknown of Fe. That is why INTP are generally laid back. Even when being arrogant, it isn't as harsh as other types.
So, an INTP is constantly being checked by Fe. INxJ are being checked by Se. Which is a really harsh check. Se is the most forceful function. It is the "action" function. I think Ni doms have a yearning for closure. Ni-Se is more intense than Ne-Si. Se is basically energy itself. Imagine it like a a reaction. An enzyme lowers the threshold and allows reactions to take place. Se doms can use Se without even using enzymes.

Se is basically our electric fence. We touch it, and we get zapped. But we have to go over it to communicate and live in this world. We have such an urge to break through it though.

We were talking in the Socionics forum how Nietzsche's will to power is basically just inferior Se. Ni doms want to control the environment, but don't have the Se to do it. So they call on the SP. Nietzsche wanted a man of action. The SP is the doer of the NJ dream. Malcolm X is an ESTP, he read guys like Nietzsche in prison. He said all these guys do is talk. They don't do anything. Malcolm X was a man of action. He is the guy who guys on the journey and sees that the NJ vision is achieved. He was the doer of Elijah Muhammad's dream. Luke Skywalker and the Emperor/Obi, Hitler and Rommel, Aristotle and Alexander the Great etc.
 

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My Se level scores dead last on the list, but I don't feel as though I'm overly clumsy or disorganized.
Even though my long-term memory is annoyingly vivid, I still need to write down my grocery list (lest I remember three things and forget the fourth item).

I can be impulsive and go over-the-top on a lot of things, so I am quite guilty of that trait.

Vacations would always start as three-day adventures, with about 600 miles of driving and $800 budgeted for the trip.
After five or six revisions, they would somehow become 17-day epic journeys covering 11 states, 3100 miles, and $5000 in costs.
What I lack in clumsiness and disorganization I make up with in overkill.

Cooking, too.
I've started with five ingredients and a simple plan on one plate, and often ended up with a six-course adventure in culinary performance art. I cook for just myself, so that makes the details even more absurd.

Drinking and all of the major addictions have never lured me in under any conditions, but I do think that I lack willpower with money and living in the moment.
 

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Stupidly clumsy especially if liquid is involved. I simply cannot walk with a coffee cup and not spill the coffee...usually in a trail of splatters all the way across the room. If I'm wearing a nice new top or sitting on a new cushion it's guaranteed that buttered toast, coffee of red wine will end up on it. I'm incredibly self conscious going out to eat with anyone else, because I'm not a pretty eater and don't really want to disclose the fact that I cannot eat a plate of food without spoiling the table cloth.

Se is my dirty little secret and it's frustrating as all hell.

I get impulsive when I get frustrated. It's not an inspiration thing, it's a I just don't care anymore I want this done! thing. I'll make life changing decisions on the spur of the moment just because I can't stand not having decided already. More than 1 relationship has met the axe this way. And even if I regret it, I'll rationalise myself into it being all the for the best later. Once I've made a decision I have to ride it, even if I know it's a crappy one.

I'll order too much food because I'm so hungry. If I have a bag of sweets I will eat the whole thing even if it puts me into a diabetic coma. I cannot have just 1 cookie, I must eat the whole packet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I think it means you let a lot of things pass you by. Caution. Celebrity Types says about INFJ:


  • Repress their Extroverted Sensing function, meaning they may forgo living life to its fullest

That is true for me at least.

I think your dominant and inferior function is like your stride. I was talking about how this particularly manifests itself in INTP. I think the relationship is like two feet. It is a stride. INTP start walking. They start with Ti. So they lead with their left foot and take a stride. There is freedom of motion, up to a point. The INTP soon learns that his left foot is actually chained to his right foot -- Fe, and if he takes too long of a stride, it will snap him back into place. Like a dog on a leash. He starts chasing something and forgets he is still tied up. Basically, the arrogance of Ti is kept in check with the unknown of Fe. That is why INTP are generally laid back. Even when being arrogant, it isn't as harsh as other types.
So, an INTP is constantly being checked by Fe. INxJ are being checked by Se. Which is a really harsh check. Se is the most forceful function. It is the "action" function. I think Ni doms have a yearning for closure. Ni-Se is more intense than Ne-Si. Se is basically energy itself. Imagine it like a a reaction. An enzyme lowers the threshold and allows reactions to take place. Se doms can use Se without even using enzymes.

Se is basically our electric fence. We touch it, and we get zapped. But we have to go over it to communicate and live in this world. We have such an urge to break through it though.
I like your INTP explanation. It's a shame INTP is possibly the only type I don't know irl so I can't observe them for now.

I do have a yearning for closure, that I can relate to. If there's a misunderstanding between me and someone I'd always rather clear it all in one conversation than continue it later. When I'm busy, I can get frustrated if I can't finish my tasks one by one, I'd rather not leave anything in progress, especially writing esseys and stuff, I want to go fully in the writing zone and only get out when the work is complete. I also like reading book series one by one rather than having too many going on at the same time. Marathoning is the best. :D But in general I don't think I see any of this as a problem, since I can do it the way I like often enough.

Can you tell me how exactly you experience "forgo living life to it's fullest"? I mean, I can see how other people would percieve me that way, since I'm so disinterested in things like partying, rock conserts and basically anything with too much noise, or other intense sensory stimulation (being HSP). Also, I've never felt any appeal for alcohol, smoking, drugs etc. But for me that doesn't feel like repressing anything since I just don't get anything out of those things. I've tried to drink but it does nothing for me, my behaviour doesn't change, I don't feel any different other than my head feels hot and evetually it just makes me so tired I want to go to sleep. :D

Personally, I very much feel like I am living life to it's fullest, since it's also filled with the sensory experiences that I like, such as food, drawing, dancing, clothes, movies, music etc. Those aren't things I'd repress, I enjoy them on a daily basis.

We were talking in the Socionics forum how Nietzsche's will to power is basically just inferior Se. Ni doms want to control the environment, but don't have the Se to do it. So they call on the SP. Nietzsche wanted a man of action. The SP is the doer of the NJ dream. Malcolm X is an ESTP, he read guys like Nietzsche in prison. He said all these guys do is talk. They don't do anything. Malcolm X was a man of action. He is the guy who guys on the journey and sees that the NJ vision is achieved. He was the doer of Elijah Muhammad's dream. Luke Skywalker and the Emperor/Obi, Hitler and Rommel, Aristotle and Alexander the Great etc.
Yeah, this explanation makes sense. I guess the deal with me is that I'm checked by Se well enough so I don't really have visions that are impossible for me to make happen. They're very down to earth I suppose. Sure, I have way more stories in my head than anyone could write in a life time but it's not like I'd actually even want to write every single one of them.

I've never felt like I don't do anything/am all talk, but I guess inferior Se manifests in me in things like, I sometimes think it's going to take me more time to complete a task than it actually does, after I wake up I feel like I need some time to relax, eat and read, or something like that before I can get to whatever I have to do that day, and sometimes I get frustrated when I'm not making progress as fast as I want to. I also easily skip exercise if I have something more interesting in mind. And it seems I have zero agression in me.

Sorry if I bore you, I just felt like writing my thoughts out. :'D
 

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Not fully living in the moment is one; like Rushing the process to get to the end (future).

I used to have the bad habit of forgetting to eat and then get so hungry I'd eat for 3. (Not anymore; I eat 6 small meals thru out the day to pacify body's need)



As for clumsy, never. I am better than average in coordination and motor skill. I don't forget material things but it's a cultivated skill I've honed for decades.


To conclude I've had a strong desire to improve weaknesses. Se is one I targeted for so long that it no longer a weak function. I still feel detached about my body's sensation (sexually speaking) but that's something that is hard to overcome without practice. I hardly ever had a relationship long enough to do do.
 

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a) prone to loosing control over Se once it's active: being impulsive, using too much alcohol, eating too much, partying too much, being reckless, having no control over their sexual desires etc.

> There is no such thing as "active state" of functions that leads impulsive decisions. If a person is acting impulsively, that is because he/she is letting, and/or showing less restraint. This has very little to do with any specific function.

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b) clumsy, having bad motor skills, stumbling into things, bad at following instructions etc.

> No. Inferior Se is still Se; out of 86400 seconds a day, it just means that Se is least accessed among 4 functions. (For example for INFJs, daydreaming, planning ahead [Ni], socializing, communing [Fe], and theorizing [Ti] all take priority over physically interactive actions [Se].)

Let me make some comparisons;
Imagine a INFJ male and a INTP male, a baseball coach throws a baseball at him at ~90mph.
Generally, who do you think will most successfully catch the ball?
 

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Not fully living in the moment is one; like Rushing the process to get to the end (future).

I used to have the bad habit of forgetting to eat and then get so hungry I'd eat for 3. (Not anymore; I eat 6 small meals thru out the day to pacify body's need)



As for clumsy, never. I am better than average in coordination and motor skill. I don't forget material things but it's a cultivated skill I've honed for decades.


To conclude I've had a strong desire to improve weaknesses. Se is one I targeted for so long that it no longer a weak function. I still feel detached about my body's sensation (sexually speaking) but that's something that is hard to overcome without practice. I hardly ever had a relationship long enough to do do.
That is me too. I can never enjoy the present moment. I have to get out of it. The future is always better. But the future does not exist. The present moment is the only thing that exists. I'll quote CS Lewis. This is a passage from The Screwtape Letters. Here, "The Enemy" is God, that is how the demon refers to God in the book. This is from a demon's point of view, educating another demon how to best bring more souls into "Our father's house", or hell:

The humans live in time but our Enemy destines them to eternity. He therefore, I believe, wants them to attend chiefly to two things, to eternity itself, and to that point of time which they call the Present. For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity. Of the present moment, and of it only, humans have an experience analogous to the experience which our Enemy has of reality as a whole; in it alone freedom and actuality are offered them.

Our business is to get them away from the eternal, and from the Present. With this in view, we sometimes tempt a human (say a widow or a scholar) to live in the Past. But this is of limited value, for they have some real knowledge of the past and it has a determinate nature and, to that extent, resembles eternity.

It is far better to make them live in the Future. Biological necessity makes all their passions point in that direction already, so that thought about the Future inflames hope and fear. Also, it is unknown to them, so that in making them think about it we make them think of unrealities. In a word, the Future is, of all things, the thing least like eternity. It is the most completely temporal part of time--for the Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays.

and

“Never, in peace or war, commit your virtue or your happiness to the future. Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment ‘as to the Lord.’ It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received.”
—from The Weight of Glory
 

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That is me too. I can never enjoy the present moment. I have to get out of it. The future is always better. But the future does not exist. The present moment is the only thing that exists. I'll quote CS Lewis. This is a passage from The Screwtape Letters. Here, "The Enemy" is God, that is how the demon refers to God in the book. This is from a demon's point of view, educating another demon how to best bring more souls into "Our father's house", or hell:

The humans live in time but our Enemy destines them to eternity. He therefore, I believe, wants them to attend chiefly to two things, to eternity itself, and to that point of time which they call the Present. For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity. Of the present moment, and of it only, humans have an experience analogous to the experience which our Enemy has of reality as a whole; in it alone freedom and actuality are offered them.

Our business is to get them away from the eternal, and from the Present. With this in view, we sometimes tempt a human (say a widow or a scholar) to live in the Past. But this is of limited value, for they have some real knowledge of the past and it has a determinate nature and, to that extent, resembles eternity.

It is far better to make them live in the Future. Biological necessity makes all their passions point in that direction already, so that thought about the Future inflames hope and fear. Also, it is unknown to them, so that in making them think about it we make them think of unrealities. In a word, the Future is, of all things, the thing least like eternity. It is the most completely temporal part of time--for the Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays.

and

“Never, in peace or war, commit your virtue or your happiness to the future. Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment ‘as to the Lord.’ It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received.”
—from The Weight of Glory


Thank you for sharing!! The passage described perfectly how I came to realize the fallacy of living solely for the future.

It's more of a Ni-Se I believe. Ni makes the future seem more enticing than the present (Se). I've been watching and learning from Se-doms to train my mind in present enjoyment without wistfulness (thinking it'd all end at end of night or end of vacation etc.). Se-doms don't get melancholy while they are having a ball.
 
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