Friday, January 22, 2010

Love Relationships are Difficult: God's Gift to Help Us Grow Up

The first page of Scott Peck's best selling book from 1974 states "Life is difficult..... all problems result from a person's resistance to accepting that fact". This statement is profoundly true, especially when it comes to two people negotiating their needs and wants getting met in a love relationship. Once the honeymoon phase a of a relationship is over and both partners become exhausted at showing their partner only the best parts of themselves- both partner's will begin to share and be who they really are. The following are some of the painful patterns that partners frequently fall into.

1) If You Love Me You Should Know What I Need: Having expectations of a loved one that have yet to be clearly communicated is a set up for hurting your loved one and feel hurt yourself. All of us grew up in families that had different and unique ways of communicating needs and wants.

2) Needing to Win and Have the Last Word: I'm not sure how getting the last word in became associated with "winning the argument", but this need to "win" is based on the fear of acknowledging your mistake. Many couples don't realize that the ability to be accountable and acknowledge mistakes is one of the best relationship healing tools. Establish a pattern of apologizing to each other if you made a mistake or hurt your partners feelings. It is important that both partners are able to agree to disagree and move on. Relationships with winners and losers don't last.

3)Holding Grudges: You are not expected to accept everything; but, holding onto grudges does nothing but drain your own personal energy. The truth is that personal relationships do not hold onto old hurts and misunderstandings. The longer couples use old resentment's to beat each other over the head with, the closer they will get to a relationship ending.

4)Timing Counts-Take Time Outs and Let Emotions Cool: All conflicts involve intense emotional responses which have both partners not responding to one another, in words and actions, with any rational thought involved. It is mandatory that both partners take a time out with putting some emotional and preferably physical distance until emotions have cooled. It is also mandatory that at some point, when both partners are cooled down, come back together and talk through the conflict. If this does not happen the unresolved conflict turns into a grudge.

5)Stick to One Topic at a Time: This is very important, and usually easy to do if both partners do not have many outstanding grudges. If the grudges have not been let go of or resolved, it will turn in one attempting to "one up" the other by bringing up past painful issues.

6)Establish a Difference Between Your Needs and What is Needed from Your Partner: For example: You might need your partner to pick up your daughter from day care because you have to work late. You might want your partner to be more spontaneous and outgoing in social settings.

7)Spending Time Together and Apart: It is essential for both partners to have "couple time" and time apart other than time spent at work. If couple time does not get scheduled in doing some leisure activity at least once a week the relationship will emotionally die over time. Conversely, both partners need individual time regularly away from each other doing things they enjoy doing.

8)Speak Less, Listen More: This requires some maturity and discipline. Truly listening doesn't mean thinking about what you want to say next as your partner is talking. It means stopping what you are doing and being as emotionally present as possible. Take the time to listen with your ears and your heart. Try to not read into everything that is said, thinking that it must be about you. 99% of the time it's not. Do not interrupt, and if needed, clarify what you heard with something like "what I heard you say was....". This can help avoid misunderstanding and conflict.

9)Forgiveness: This a powerful and important factor in maintaining healthy relationships. However, real forgiveness requires that we truly forget the experience. If we forgive one minute, and next the misdeed is brought up- this is not true forgiveness. When we make mistakes, think how much better we feel with others forgiving and forgetting.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Women's Fashion Causing Widespread Pnuemonia

The Department Homeland Security is investigating the spread of pneumonia among women. Preliminary investigations are showing a possible link to a high level conspiracy inside the fashion industry. Executives at the highest levels of the fashion industry are not commenting at this time.
The CDC(Center for Communicable Disease) came out with a public statement last week reporting a dramatic 400 per cent rise in respiratory illness and death in women both in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Preliminary investigations show a premeditated plan by the fashion industry to withhold adequate cold weather clothing from getting to store shelves.

Investigation's have also begun looking into large outlets- Walmart, The Gap, Old Navy, Eddie Bauer and others to determine possible collusion with the fashion industry to keep women"s warm weather clothing off the shelves. Eddie Bauer's top CEO, Billy Bauer stated in a recent New York Times interview that "we sell some of the warmest winter clothing for women
available to us" inferring no connection to the conspiracy to kill women who face the cold.
27 year old Jennifer Yoblanski, a resident of Hoboken, New Jersey, stated "My mother tells me stories of her years of growing up where she and her eight siblings all had "Parkas" that kept them warm.In the early 1970's, K-Mart sold this women's Charlie's Angels Action Parka for $69.95. This Action Parka was accessible to the general public, a bit expensive for the time, but purchaseable.

2009 only offered limited sale at exclusive stores in larger cities of the Angelena Jolie Tibetin Parka's for $300. This Parka only saw limited sale because of it's resemblance to a bullet proof jacket. Angelena Jolie was named one of the 10 Worst Dressers of 2009 by People magazine.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Time to Risk Living and Stop Dying.

A new life. The unknown.
Freedom is an old memory.
What is said next, done next, felt next- brings either the usual,
or the beginning of a search for freedom.
No time to bury the wounded.

Light of a new sunrise shaded by tree's;
thick fog slowly lifting.
Can the light be trusted? Is God just teasing?
Faith is tested by walking forward when the path is not remembered.
No time to bury the wounded.

Love is brutal, relentless, possessive, deceptive,
unwanted- yet starved for. Bleeding hearts drip from an
endless consumption of their life force .
No time to bury the wounded.

Throw out the boundaries and limits.
Racing to the finish line, the wind whistling through the holes
of wounded hearts. The only finish line is death.

Time to bury the wounded.
Time to risk love and letting love in.

Time to risk living and stop dying.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Everywhere You Go, There You Are. Are You Truley Lost? Dig Deeper

I feel like I have lost myself. Not sure where I went or when I left. I feel pretty raw and bleeding right now. I am accountable. Accountable for the personal lack of clarity about the choices I have made or not. No blaming here- or projecting any responsibility of the pain I am in.
There are a few things I know for certain:

1) I love my wife very much , with no conditions. I wish she knew it. It doesn't have to be as hard as both of us make it.

2) I love my daughter and three son's very much.
3) I love what I do and the people I work with. Without them I would have no real connection to humanities pain, struggle, joy, and victory's that are all possible. Through them I am continually reminded of God's love, blessings, miracles, and rewards who take the road through pain and not around it.
4) I feel a very painful solitary aloneness much of the time. All I know for certain is to have faith in God and do the next right thing.
5) I know longer trust, count on, or expect too much. I do know that if I don't learn to trust and be loved again I will die of thirst for love-- in this desert I've created for myself.
6) When I was in prison and I had hit bottom there was much time to think. I knew that the only way back was through my faith in God. God has always given me His greatest blessings and love through the relationships with good men who could sit in a circle speak from there hearts with strength, love, and honesty. It still is. I have to take the energy, time, and actions to a open a door for them to come in. God speaks through that masculine container to give me a grounding to the earth brutally honest self-reflection, with an ability to face the fears I avoid facing.
7) I know that my happiness and fulfillment with life is not based on where I am at any one time. God has blessed me with arranging this “post“ or geography for me. I feel like a time traveler who has gone back in time to a different culture who is struggling with their own identity and resistance to change. The period I just dotted dropped a thought squarely enough on my head to make it worthy of at least a sentence. The concept of struggling with their own identity and resistance to change-- is truly a projection of my own struggle onto my surroundings.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Thoughts on Suffering, Grief, and Choice to Live Life Fully by Thomas Burns LCSW

C.S. Lewis wrote:

"Part of every misery is, so to speak, the misery's shadow or reflection: the fact that you don't merely suffer but have to keep on thinking about the fact that you suffer. I not only live each endless day in grief, but live each day thinking about living each day in grief.".
C.S. Lewis had not only a remarkable connection to his grief, but also the gift of expressing it on paper which offers all that read it a contextual understanding of their grief. Somehow giving our intellect a framework to create more of an understanding of extreme pain from loss and grief.

The contextural frameworks which C.S. Lewis and others have provided may provide some temporary relief, but it doesn't stop the grief, loss, and pain from running our lives for a while. We rip, tear, and may try to destroy the fabric of our life before we stand exhausted and beaten on the edge the personal grief abyss. Some of us are ready to stop the anger, fighting, self-destruction, wave the white flag of brokenness and fall backwards into the depths of grief.

It is my experience that the human body can withstand enormous amounts of physical pain and an endless amount of emotional pain. The road less traveled is clearly to not quit. We may choose the zombie-like shuffling through life until the feverish grief breaks and a different person emerges. We feel like a Phoenix rising from the ashes of destruction, ready to move on and start the next chapter of our lives.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Reclaiming the Choices We Have Forgotten; Taking the USA back from the "Menu Makers"
  • Personal choice and courage may be called on to, over time, reclaim and embrace new found strengths which will result in the richest and fullest life possible. This fast food nation seduces many to settle for a prison sentence of status quot living. The menu's choices are limited. Will we settle for the movement controlled by the "menu makers"? Soon we give up thinking we have choices outside the menu. Is this something we will protest in the streets and be willing to lay down in front of tanks for? The menu makers count on us to settle for what only appears available. Will settling for the menu makers choices make the phrase "getting out of the box" obsolete? When we settle for just the menu, it becomes a death sentence of giving up choices. Hopefully the 2010's will make the 60' look like the 50's.
  • Old dogs can learn new tricks. Those of us who go inside to wrestle our demons, blooded by the battle, find that the inner battle must first be fought. The sword may then be drawn from the sheath, screaming the impassioned beliefs they are willing to die for. Some of us would rather be dead then have our freedoms taken by the "menu". Look out The battle ahead will make the 60's look like the 50's.