Joey Garcia

I’m usually only attracted to men my age but clicked with a guy I met at a community event who is at least 25 years older. I enjoyed the attention and flirting. Long story short, he asked for my number. He texted me that night saying how happy he was that we met. I was about to text him back when he texted again asking me to send him photos of myself. I had a bad feeling and didn’t do it. An hour later, he sent a dick pic and asked me to send him a similar photo. I blocked his number, but now he pops up all the time at community events. He smiles and waves like he’s a friend. It creeps me out. I ignore him. What should I do?

Keep ignoring him. If he approaches you or is a nuisance in any way, announce loudly: “If you come any closer I will (pick one): 1. Scream (be certain to point at him as you do) 2. Show everyone in the immediate vicinity the dick pic you sent (please don’t use this option if there are children around) 3. Call a security guard 4. Call the police (if you choose this option, use the non-emergency number). Above all, don’t let him intimidate you. That’s what it means to be equal. You take care of yourself by dealing with his bad behavior. If you refuse, he has the pleasure of thinking that sending dick pics is acceptable. When you take action to end a problem like this, you do it for yourself and for other women who might otherwise become his future victims.

If this man is stalking you, file a police report online. (Remember, your life is not in immediate danger, so please don’t call the overworked professionals at 911.) Above all, don’t blame yourself. You were hoping for romance and met a wannabe porn star. It happens. What matters is how you choose to care for yourself afterward. If you value your ability to walk through this world in full power, be fierce. That does not mean you flip him off when he smiles and waves. That would be becoming like him. A world in which we treat each other with respect and compassion is created as we choose responses aligned with our integrity, values and consciousness. This man crossed your boundaries. He tested your understanding of intimacy. He acts like a creeper. It’s awful.

But what is important is your response. Our behavior reveals whether we are centered in our egos or our souls or whether integration is underway between the ego and soul. So it’s not that everything happens for a reason. That’s an ego-based thought that directs our mind to search endlessly for a reason, choose something, and assume we have things figured out. Rather, everything happens for our spiritual evolution. Standing up to this man is an opportunity for you to practice standing up for yourself. Practice makes permanent change possible. Oh, did you think I was going to write: “Practice makes perfect?” No, sorry. There is no perfection in spirituality.

Meditation of the week
“You have to dream before your dreams can come true,” said A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the former president of India. Sleep is when we are most surrendered to God. How well do you sleep?

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