Diffusing Fights (The Healthy Way)

Almost every relationship has fights. Friends and family as well as romantically. If you don't fight, it's because someone is biting their tongue or they are masters of diffusing arguments before they even begin. For a lot of us, we're not so lucky. Doomed to an endless cycle of "no, my way is right" and "you're not listening to me." Point after point after finger point is thrown around tirelessly. Eventually you're exhausted by the long fights and miscommunication. Here are some tips on healthy arguing.

Assume good intentions. One of the first things my wife and I realized when we first started dating, is that most of our fights were, what we called, "I love you" fights. "I always make time to see you, you don't ever initiate." "You're always late to our dates." These fights all translate to "I love you, love me the same way." Not all fights are about that. Some are about money, kids, or in-laws. Regardless of what kind of fight it is, do not jump to conclusions and realize that almost everyone has good intentions about where they are coming from.

Listen to your body for defensive/aggressive queues. Everyone reacts differently to fights. You may feel like there's a stone in your chest. Maybe you're choked up. Are your hands clenching? Teeth gritting? Eyebrows furrowed? Get to know what your body does when you are about to go into fight mode. The best thing to do is once you realize your body is starting to tense...

Calm down first. I was reading a survival guide and one of the first things they mention is to calm yourself down with controlled breathing. In emergency situations (or during a heated argument) your adrenaline is pumping, telling you to take action now. That sense of urgency causes people to get turned around or hurt because their adrenaline is blinding them. They don't take the time to stop and think about their actions before executing. The same goes for arguments. Tell the person that you need to take some time and think so you can communicate effectively. Even before any fights begin, let them know that you're trying something new and whenever a dispute arises, you would like to take a time out to collect yourself as to not escalate the fight. You can even create a break word (a safeword) that you agree upon so that they can let you have your time. Reassure them that you are going to return and talk but you just need a moment to clear your thoughts so you don't say something you don't mean. Never storm out of an argument, never to return. Take 5-15 minutes to let your racing heart settle down, think about what the real root of the issue is, and how to approach the argument positively. It may be a good idea to bring up a reoccurring issue at another time when you are both calm and not in argument mode.

Remember that stress is a killer. There's no doubt about the physical harm stress can do to your body. This includes high blood pressure, immune deficiency, anxiety attacks, insomnia and an increased risk of heart failure. It's best to goosfraba immediately when you start getting tense. It makes communicating easier and won't take a toll on your health. Generally, if you remain calm, the other party tends to calm down as well.

Control your posture and voice. I became very familiar with aggressive body language working as a security guard. You had to recognize the behavior so you could begin to diffuse the situation. Aggressive body language includes things like pointing, stop/talk-to-the-hand gestures, putting your hands on your hips, hooking your thumbs around your waistband/belt, standing head on/shoulder to shoulder with someone, crossed arms, sudden movements, squinting, glaring, sneering etc. It's best to talk at an angle. Still able to look at each other but not squared with them. Remember to be fluid and soft. Keep an even tone of voice. If you use hand gestures, keep your palms down. Pretend you're a grief counselor or the best grandmother in the world. Be sincerely concerned, receptive, and careful with the issue at hand. Remember that everyone deserves happiness and if something is in the way of theirs, that you are devoted to take in what they say and start problem solving/compromising.

Touch while you talk. You don't need to caress each other, just a simple hand on the knee/arm or a comforting hold of their hand will work. Nothing lets a person know that you care more than touching them. It'll let them know that you are not going to be aggressive but comforting. We connect on a deeper level when touch is involved too.

Avoid negative confrontation. Never use accusatory or aggressive words. Avoid words like "angry" or "mad" because this gives the person the idea that you are on the attack. Instead use "concerned" words like, "distressed" or "worried". Avoid "pointing" language and starting any sentences with "you". For example, "you are so lazy! You're manipulating me into doing everything!" Studies suggest that the most damaging way to argue is a sequence that has been termed the “four horsemen”. The arguments starts with criticism, "you are lazy". The other person responds with defensiveness, “why do you have to jump down my throat? I work my ass off!” Which is responded with contempt, “you're such a baby”. The fourth response being silence. This structure has been a tip-off for the beginning of many divorces. Use softer words and start with "I". The popular sentence structure most psychologists suggest is, "I acknowledge that you feel _____. When you ____, I feel ____." So change the aggressive sentence to a concerned one, "I acknowledge that you feel overworked. When you're sitting on the couch when I come home, I feel taken advantage of." Acknowledging what the person said first let's them know that you did take in and understand what they said. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Nobody knows how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Support and empathize with them first, then talk about your side. Do not drag other people into the fight. You should be able to solve any conflict amongst yourselves. "Maria says you're lazy, too. I'll call her right now if you don't believe me." This makes the person feel cornered and ganged up on. They will likely put a wall up and shut you out leaving the problem unresolved.

Acknowledge when you are wrong. Our pride won't allow ourselves to admit when we are wrong, especially when being challenged. Realize that arguments are not about being right or wrong but about solving the issue. You being right isn't going to make the other person suddenly stop being upset. In fact, it makes matters worse because attempting to be the right one is an aggressive act in arguments, which makes the other person want to either try to be right themselves (ensuing hours of saying the same thing over and over again) or by going silent (resenting you inside) which is far worse.

Only speak in facts. It's just like being a reporter or being in court. Stick to the facts. The judge does not care what your opinions or assumptions are, they need to know truths. No one really knows what the intention of another is so stick to only what you have seen, done, heard, or felt. Opinions look like, "Lacy saw you talking to some woman at the store for half an hour. You came home late, too. I know you're cheating on me!" What Lacy said may not have been a fact. Jealous friends fabricate things all the time. Instead, stick with what you do know. Which is that they came home late and what emotions you're experiencing. Facts look like, "you came home late last night, I'm feeling insecure and afraid that you might cheat on me." If the person you're fighting with is only giving opinions ask them for their facts by asking how they feel. How can someone deny that you're not feeling sad or concerned? They can't, so right there you lose a lot of fuel to add to the argument fire.

Stay focused on the issue at hand. It is important to remain on the core topic and not trail off onto minor issues. Always speak in present or future tense. Never bring up the past to prove your point unless it's something like, "ever since you cheated on me 2 years ago, I haven't been able to shake off my insecurities." The kind of past I'm talking about is the mental list of every thing they did to upset you up until that point, "you didn't wash the dishes Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday." You can get the same message across by saying, "I'm feeling overwhelmed because I've been cleaning the dishes a lot."

Ask questions to find the root issue. Maybe something your partner said doesn't quite make sense. More than likely there's a back story. They might not even know what it is. Ask them questions when you don't quite understand what they're upset about. Here's an example from my own relationship a year after moving in with my significant other. "I have nothing of mine in the house." "What do you mean?" "I mean everything is yours and all I have is the entertainment center which you don't even like." "I don't understand, what are you feeling?" "I feel like it's your house, not our house." Root issue discovered.

Hurt feelings come first. When beginning to find a solution or a compromise, start by soothing the upset emotions first. Make them feel better by apologizing, empathizing or reassuring them that hurting their feelings was not your intention. Once they are feeling better, finding a compromise between differing opinions becomes easier to handle without escalating.

A little humor can go a long way. Laughing through issues can really help ease tension. Not all people are receptive to humor, though. It depends on how well you know the person's type of humor and how serious of an argument it is. Start with smaller disputes and experiment with larger ones. In the middle of a smaller fight with my spouse, I walked away and locked myself inside the bathroom. As she yelled at me to come out, I was secretly smearing makeup all over my face and put my hair up to one side to look ridiculous. I finally swung the door open with my clown-like face pretending to be angry, "what?!" She laughed and I hugged her. The situation diffused almost immediately and we were able to talk about the issue while grinning ear to ear.

Reach a compromise. Remember that you are playing for the same team. You both want each other to be comfortable and happy. Mutual give and take is the key to resolve many issues. "Maybe we can clean together so you know we're doing the same amount." Or, "doing the dishes is so boring for me. I don't mind doing the laundry, though. Maybe we can alternate chores every month." Try to resolve the problem as quickly as possible without rushing it. The sooner you can resolve the conflict, the less chance there is of it turning into a blow up fight.

Practice makes perfect. Don't get discouraged if you don't master your first argument. It takes time to know when to calm down, how to collect your thoughts, to pick your words carefully and be a good negotiator. Just don't go to bed angry.

Conquer yourself. Self-control is the cornerstone of any good argument. My wife is amazing with conflict. Someone will get in her face and scream at her. She will remain calm and ask about specific truths. You watch their anger melt into quiet politeness. They even become apologetic for how they handled themselves earlier. If you can just keep yourself calm and focused, half the battle is won.

Loving Yourself to Love Selflessly

I had to lose everything in order to learn how to love myself. I was co-dependent to the max. I took pride in being the tortured, bleeding heart in the relationship. I live for you, I die for you. I wanted to be a real life Romeo. I didn't know how destructive this could be.

My wife and I were discussing how the media really shapes how we think things should be. Romanticizing these desperately deep infatuations. Somehow we look past the tragic suicide ending of Romeo and Juliet. Killing yourself for another person? That's about as destructive as it comes. Why couldn't they have just told their parents to go to hell like any other teenager? Depressed Romeo, writing poetry by his lonesome becomes obsessed with Juliet because she makes him feel something. Why do we give so much power to other people? Another person should never be given the responsibility of fulfilling someone's happiness. Humans are oblivious and fickle creatures. They're prone eventually doing and/or saying something that will hurt you. You need a sense of security with yourself so you're unaffected. This is why people say that you need to love yourself before others. You want to cut me down? Well, then I don't need that because they won't allow me to grow.

I was raised by a young mom who thought that saying she loved me or hugging me meant that she was a creepy gay pedophile. I grew up thinking that someone saying "I love you" was reserved for special, intimate relationships. I had zero self-esteem. I absolutely relied on others to make me happy. After 23 years of being ditched, looked down upon, and cast out, it finally clicked. I told myself, "well... I know I'm a good person. This life has repeatedly tried to make me see that no one will be there for me. Screw everyone, I'm going to be there for me. I am all that I have. No matter what happens, I'm stuck with me until my last breath. I'm going to take care of me."

I became completely self-reliant. I did everything alone. Even the things that most people found uncomfortable to do by themselves. It was fun and made me happy. Why set limitations on what I could do merely because I didn't have someone to do it with? Before, when I went to the movies and people questioned me about going alone, I felt self-pity. Now, I just wonder, "why do you think I need someone to sit next to me in order to watch my favorite movie?"

I was in the middle of feeling completely self-sufficient when I met my wife. I was drawn to her for so many reasons but different than what I used to look for. In the past, I wanted a woman who exuded sexuality and could put me in my place. I wanted someone who liked all the same bands, books and movies I did. This was not at all what I needed in my life.

What I loved was that she had gone through hardships but didn't let them define her as a person or get in the way of her success. It was extremely admirable to me since it had been the opposite for me. I wanted to learn how she did it and help heal myself. I read her poetry and was attracted to her voice. It seemed very similar to mine in my writings. We understood and appreciated each others' art which was something very important to me. She is patient, understanding and always hungry for more information about the world. This was the perfect person for me to grow with. She could support me at my lowest lows and play with me during the highs. I would do the same for her.

I chose my wife. I love her and decided that I wanted her on my team for the rest of my life. She didn't stifle me as a person. She helped me change, but in good ways. Her patience and understanding taught me to be calm and more communicative. Her striving for excellence despite what she had gone through led me to forgive my mother and heal old wounds. I was okay with being on my own. My wife just made me whole by teaching me how to fix the cracks.

Her thoughts? "'Be an unstable mess or I won't believe that you care'? It's selfish. It's ego. If someone is a crutch to keep someone else alive, that means the best possibility is basic survival. But when both people can stand/survive alone then you are a source of joy and experience and growth. I don't want to be capable of killing you and I don't want you to feel responsible for keeping me alive. It's not fair. We should enhance each other's lives and happiness and that 'I'll die without you' crap doesn't do anyone any good."

The Importance of Loving Yourself and Having Alone Time

It took me more than 20 years to finally learn how to be okay with me as a person as well as being alone. No, not just sitting in a room alone but with going out to do things and also dealing with single life. 

One of two goals I've had since I was young was to get married. Most of my life was spent trying to please everyone else and searching for someone who wanted to be with me. I surrendered to anyone who asked and dated tons of people I wasn't even interested in. After I got in one of these forced relationships I'd realize, "why the hell am I dating this person?" I tried to break it down and all I could come up with was "they wanted me."

Because of the way I was raised, I thought that relationships were built around sex. If you weren't doing something sexual with the person you were with then that was the equivalent of having no relationship. If they don't make a pass regularly then they don't like you. I had severely damaged self-esteem and only fleetingly felt confident when I was asked out by guys. Due to yet unknown lesbianism, I had little fear of rejection by boys, and therefore had the confidence to try to wrangle them (passively, anyway). I quickly found out that I feared the confrontation that may happen upon breaking up so I often stayed with them until I couldn't take it anymore and then ignore them completely until they got the hint.

Once I realized I actually wanted women it became particularly torturous for me. Stuff that 12 year old girls do with their first crush, I did with my first crush at 17. Screaming when I saw them, giggling/rambling like a maniac about them, and just the obsession. My friends, having already gone through that annoying stage themselves, were not amused. Throw having zero confidence into the mix and it was crippling. I was like a paralyzed person who fell and couldn't get to the phone for help, a lot of reaching and desperation but nothing was to come of it. I had no idea that I was holding myself back. It was in a way I didn't expect. I had no self-respect.

I always heard, "you have to learn to love yourself before you can love others" from anyone and everyone. I just couldn't get it. I thought I did love myself. Sort of. Kind of. A little. How do you love yourself?

As I mentioned in another blog, one of the first things that really made me realize how to love myself was when I was doing a "loving kindness" exercise during my research on Buddhism. It said to imagine all the love in the world as a wave or light. Imagine it washing over the people you love, those you hate, your city, your state, the world... then just you. I imagined a carbon copy of me, giving myself a hug and a comforting, "I know you're trying, I'm here for you". I wept so hard. These were words that never touched my ears. I'm tearing up just remembering it.

I figured it out but hadn't realized it. Imagine you as your forgiving and understanding best friend who is going to be next to you every step of the way for the rest of your life. Respect, care for, and nurture that carbon copy of yourself. Forgive yourself. Life’s a learning process and everyone fucks up from time to time. You need to have this basic inner support system.

Once you love yourself, you really start to form as a person. You figure out who you are and what you need. Which is what happened to me.

I had a mental break a few years ago. I was broken up with, kicked out of the house by my uncle, and had a sexual assault as a cherry on top. When I tried to confide in others what happened, including family, they told me I brought it upon myself. I no longer hated me but I absolutely hated everyone else. I decided "screw everyone, it's just me alone. I do not want anyone to make me happy." It was severe but at the time it was better to be alone.

I had a lot of healing to do and catching up on who I was as a person. When depressed, I used to hole up, listen to music and write. I'd just keep dwelling. But since I found out how to love myself, I had the confidence to go out and do things alone. Eventually I gained better friends because I turned to people who respected me. I'd go do things by myself one day and hang out with friends the next. I learned to balance the two. It was extremely empowering and I finally felt like myself with zero pressure.

There's such a weird stigma in society about being alone. We have to be constantly "living life to the fullest" doing fun and exciting things with friends or family.

I remember being 9 and struggling to make friends. Barney was on TV singing, "all you need is friends!" I sobbed knowing that I had failed at getting the one thing the world told me was all I needed. Really it was just a kid show but I didn't know. I took everything literally and while everyone on TV had a gaggle of friends, I couldn't get anyone to show up to my birthday parties.

I worked in an amusement park and could ride all the rides for free. I was constantly asked by the puzzled ride attendants, "you're here alone?!" I've heard the same when I went ziplining, to the movies, clubs, theaters, concerts, restaurants, and even bars (I thought single people went to bars sometimes?). They look at you dumbfounded, jaws dropped and demanding, "why?" Why the hell not? Sometimes I want to do things no one else wants to do. Do you think that's going to stop me from doing it? Of course not. It began to feel weak of me to be unable to do things without someone holding my hand. It's horrific how crippled we are to step foot outside our houses without having to constantly talk to someone. Texting, Facebook, Twitter, anything. It shouldn’t be uncomfortable for you to put your phone down and not talk to anyone for a day. How did we become so manufactured to be unable to function or be a part of the world unless someone else is there to validate the experience?

I believe alone time is critical, even if you're in a relationship. I love my wife to death and living (and working) together is never a chore but I still believe you still need a day to be you. She sang in a band but now is too embarrassed to sing (even in front of me), but when one of us has the day off while the other works, she'll tell me about the awesomely loud singing session she had. When I'm alone I get to dance around all silly, play videogames for hours, meditate, or blog (like today.) I feel like I can focus on expending energy the way I want without having to worry if she's bored, irritated or feeling left out.

When around others, subconsciously, guards are in place. There's pressure to interact and be socially acceptable. Sometimes we just need a break to let the mind relax. To not have to worry about minding your P's and Q's in a conversation. You can be exactly who you are. Taking time to reconnect with your best friend; you. Console and mend any mental wounds. Take some down time to gain footing before you launch back into the world of making your wife blush, your friends laugh, your family comfortable, or keeping your boss pleased.

Death: From Heaven to Atoms

My wife and I are constantly questioning religion, life and death. Which religion, do we believe, is closer to truth? Why are we alive? What will death be like? This is something that has dramatically evolved once we met each other.

Before I met Nicole, I believed one of two things (mood permitting):

1) We are ALL going to heaven

2) Nothing happens


I was raised Catholic. Baptized, First Holy Communion, reading/highlighting excerpts from the bible every morning with my grandma over breakfast, the whole nine yards. Catholic children's movies, books and music.

Puberty hit and the religion started to lose meaning for me. All these people who claimed to be religious yet judged others like breathing air. I then hated any sort of Christian/Catholic religion. I picked up a Wiccan book my mother had on herbal spells and remedies. I created little capsules of herbs I called my "emergency" pills that would supposedly give my immune system a boost as well as my pocket book and love life. I made a bag of bath herbs to give to my crush in hopes he would fall for me although I could never muster the guts to hand it to him and say, "take a bath with this!" I loved the basis of it, that it was centered around the energies of nature. I made a Book of Shadows which is just a log of all the spells, chants, and things you learn. I got a couple friends into it with me. I was proud of my new outlook and wore it on my sleeve. Actually, on my finger, as a ring. Everyone knew my stance. One day, a girl in my acting class copped an attitude with me and said that Wicca wasn't real and I was an idiot. I thought to myself really hard, willing her to see that it was, in fact, real. A half hour later she ran out of class to vomit. She pointed her finger at me, "YOU did this to me!" It scared me so bad! I dropped Wicca then and there.

My faith in Christianity was renewed when I saw the movie, Passion of the Christ in high school. I wrote underneath the bill of my hat, "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" and drew a picture with the line "If you love those who love you, what reward is there in that?" But the line that struck me the hardest, and that I still use to explain my viewpoints on heaven and hell with Christianity is "Forgive them, Father. They know not what they do." Suddenly it clicked with me. Didn't Jesus die for our sins? So we would be forgiven and cleansed of our evils because we know not what we do? Because maybe being raised to live in a bad environment molded us into judgmental killers? So if we're all forgiven, aren't we all going to heaven?

I understand that this is a VERY HARD concept for a lot of people to grasp. It's too simple. People WANT judgement. They want justice for those who have wronged them. But that wouldn't be a very Christian thing to believe though, now would it?


I watched a documentary (can't remember the title of it at the moment) that was about what happens to our body at the point of death. An interesting discovery was that, even though the heart ceases to function, they noticed that there is activity in parts of the brain that are in charge of dreaming. This shouldn't come to as a surprise. Death is also called "the big sleep" for a reason.

From the Los Angeles Times there's an article on brain function after we die as well.

"Evidence of a sharp burst in brain activity after cardiac arrest suggest a neural explanation for anecdotes from patients who have recovered from near-death experiences, including a sensation of leaving the body, and deep memories flickering in dream-like fashion."

Read more: http://articles.latimes.com/2013/sep/18/science/la-sci-sn-brain-activity-death-20130918

I think this explains why people who die and come back to life say that they have seen "heaven", "hell", and even "limbo" upon their return.

I developed another concept that will seem hard to grasp. Do we create our own heaven and hell? I believe our heaven and hell is how we feel about ourselves and our life on our death bed. At the time of death, if we are gripping to all the loss we'll have and how we'll be judged, then I believe we'll see hell. If we feel okay with our souls and let go, we'll see a heaven. If we're just tentatively waiting to see what happens, I believe that's when we see limbo. This concept is still hard to grasp by others because of our need for justice and to reap the rewards of our efforts.

After I met Nicole, my views evolved to one point and then to one other final point (for now):

1) We dream, then go through reincarnation.

2) We dream, then our "conscience" jumps to another dimension we are currently living in.


At age 22, I started looking up Buddhism online. It all stemmed from believing that I needed thinking time, meditation. All my life I struggled with depression, Intention Deficit Disorder (should be the real name of ADHD), and later in life I had developed PTSD from an abusive ex. I wanted to stop lashing out at people and I wanted to stop having such rollercoaster-like mood swings. I liked the Buddhist views a lot. That it is merely a way to view life and can coincide with other religions. I started practicing "loving kindness" thoughts which help you visualize accepting and loving yourself and the world around you. It was very powerful for me. Especially when I visualized doing it to a carbon copy of myself. I left the meditation for points in my life when I felt I needed some time to refocus and relax.

I met Nicole when I was 25. I loved that, like me, she wasn't afraid to venture out and consider other possibilities with life, death, and religion. She set a goal for herself to read a book about every religion. She picked up a copy of the bible as well as a book on Buddhism (she is currently slowly making her way through a book on Scientology). She took notes and shared them with me as she went along. She liked a lot of the Christian way as well as Buddhism. We began to talk about reincarnation and about how who you are in this life, will determine what you will be reincarnated as next. The ultimate goal being total enlightenment. We decided we didn't like the idea of heaven and hell and deemed it impossible for our life energy to just snuff out. We believe that the energy in us just transfers to something else. Anything else that requires energy.


A little bit after discovering Buddhism, Stumbleupon brought me to a video of a person doing a drug called Salvia. Salvia, as Wikipedia describes, "is a psychoactive plant which can induce dissociative effects and is a potent producer of "visions" and other hallucinatory experiences." I was curious about this "of nature" drug legal in most states. Apparently the trip only lasts 5-10 minutes which really interested in me because I had heard horror stories from friends about trips on various drugs that lasted for hours on end.

So I tried it. I experienced my muscles locking up. My body told me not to move or talk but I would push past it and make myself move and describe what I was seeing. Objects I looked at began to morph into completely different things.

It was an interesting experience and I did it twice more since the experience was pretty quick. There was a huge difference in the type of trip I had the last time. I felt a hole opening in front of me in the air. Almost like what you see in the old Looney Tunes except cat eye shaped. Suddenly I felt like my body was tilting forward into the tear. And then I felt like I was falling through different lives. Not just human or animal lives but any place of energy. I zoomed to a dimension where the world was flipped on its side and I was a boy sitting on a cliff ledge with my feet dangling off the side. Then I was the vibrations of guitar strings. I kept zipping through these different forms of energy but it was still me. It was as if I was in multiple times, places, and dimensions all at once. It was really hard to wrap my brain around but it felt like it just WAS. So many of these lives were interesting and different. I had zero concern about "Cassi" that I left way back there. But as soon as I wondered about "Cassi" I popped back to "reality".

I then had no fear of death. I then felt that if you die, you don't care! You will be thrust somewhere else and you will have no concern about your family, friends, house, spouse or anything. You just simply become something else and your old conscience is no more. Obviously this is the hardest concept to grasp. Dimensions and energies. Hippie talk! Believe me, I loathe sounding like this too. And obviously having no recollection of cherished memories and not sitting in the clouds with your loved ones for all eternity is a hard pill to swallow. But I believe we do see each other in our other lives. We all live a lot of lives at once. Spread out energy everywhere. Little bits of us floating around. I think that's why we feel drawn to certain strangers or have that "I feel like I've known you in another life" feeling.

If we broke it down to straight science, what exactly are we anyway?

"Hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon make up about 99% of the average human. I'm going to cheat a little and leave out the other 1%, which is made up of trace elements (that is, stuff there's only a trace of in the body). Then, let's assume an average adult weighs 70 kilograms. Be sure to keep in mind that the following numbers are based on the number of atoms, not percent of body weight (by weight we are mostly oxygen). A 70 kg body would have approximately 7*1027 atoms. That is, 7 followed by 27 zeros:


Read more: http://education.jlab.org/qa/mathatom_04.html

So wait, we're mostly air? Which is atoms?! We're practically not here! If we die, how can all of our atoms NOT transfer to somewhere else? How could it not disperse in tons of different directions? How are we not all multiple things at once?

What are your own beliefs of what happens after death?