Relationship Rescue…

Nothing can get you more twisted up than being in a relationship that isn’t going well. People talk about falling in and out of love as if love involves gravity. In some homes the tension is so thick you can feel the chill in the air. What happens in a relationship that makes it go so terribly wrong? What changed from the original proposition? What the heck happened? And, how can you rescue it from the danger of failing altogether?

In order for any relationship to work successfully there has to be some underlying form of goodwill; a willingness to make it good. Spending all that time engaged in pitiful diatribes about what the other person isn’t doing to make you feel a certain way is a frightful waste of time. Although your feelings are no doubt sincere in every way, it fails to address the real issue. The real question is why is your partner acting the way they are acting? Why are they ignoring you? Why don’t they want to talk with you? What thoughts and feelings are they carrying around concerning you? You began on the sound footing of goodwill; a sincere desire to make the other person happy, then something happened to change the dynamic. You need to find out what changed the dynamic. It always amazes me when engaging in relationship counseling how clear and obvious the issues are when completely alien to the people involved. Somewhere along the way, each person began developing a narrative about who or what the other person is (or became) and they are loathe to let go of their narrative. And, the narrative they have created for the other person always, always, always fails to include the part they are playing in the story! Step one in rescuing your relationship is acknowledging the part you personally are playing! You can’t send out rejection vibes and expect love vibes to return. You can’t discourage honest conversations by getting all outraged and angry then complain that your partner won’t talk! If you want love you have to give love. If you want kindness you have to give kindness. Waiting for your partner to go first will be a very long wait…

Warm, loving feelings follow warm, loving thoughts. Dragging around the world history of everything your partner ever did that you don’t like or how they wronged you or don’t get you (whatever that means…) or how different they are than you is a surefire recipe for disaster. People do wrong things, ever notice? Surely you have done a few blunders in your days, haven’t you? Rehearsing the time they did this to me or when they said that to me is relationship poison. It was evil enough the first time it happened, was it not? So, why on earth would you drag about that corpse of a memory with you now? Forgiveness means stop bringing that bullshit back up! Further, if you really want your partner to get you, you have to do a good job of communicating who you are to get. Feeling like they should somehow instinctively know who you are is madness. Say what you love and do not hide your aversions. If you spend your days modifying yourself for others; hiding the real you, the real you will be real hard to get. Get it? Surprisingly, relationships thrive more on differences than on similarities. Fretting over not having all the same interests is equally insane. Relationships aren’t about turning into each other. How weird? Relationships are about two people with different backgrounds and different upbringings coming together to form a union that works together. Relationships compliment each other by one strong area compensating for one weaker area in the other and we all have both involved.

Love is not something you fall into or fall out of over time. Love isn’t some magical spell someone casts on you that is only as good as the spell lasts. Love is a decision. Your soul-mate is simply someone who meets most of the expectations you have set for yourself. I’m certainly not trying to take away the beauty or the romance of love. Rather I’m trying to point out that true love is a decision you make and keep making. When things go south it isn’t that mythical love has left the situation, but rather you have left the situation. Instead of good thoughts towards your partner, you harbor wrong thoughts. You are no longer focused on making them happy or helping them feel good, but focused instead on how you are feeling and where you suffer lack. Your feelings are valid and matter much, but harboring the wrong thoughts about your significant other are making the decision to love no longer. You may proclaim the magic is gone, but it wasn’t magic to begin with. If you want to rescue your relationship, get back to your decision to love.

I often muse that any relationship could be brought back to life if both people simply acted as if it was brand new again. Instead of carrying around all of those preconceived notions, start fresh. I can assure you, just because you have been together for twenty five years does not mean you already know where the other person is coming from. You barely know where you are coming from, right? How often do you allow yourself the privilege of changing? Can you not put aside the undesirable parts of yourself and go another direction? Well, can’t they as well? Don’t you see it? We all need the opportunity of a new day. We all need the chance to reinvent ourselves. We all need a fresh start; many, many fresh starts. Just because your wife always does such and such doesn’t mean she always has to do such and such. Just because you struggled early on with such and such doesn’t mean you have to struggle with such and such now.

Maybe you can’t rescue every relationship given whatever may have occurred, but you can surely rescue yours if you really want to do it. Take your long time partner on a date and find out what they like. Hey, they may just surprise you! Put some love in the air, it just feels better.

Just some good thoughts…



Analysis Paralysis Dialysis For Your Brain…

rubiks_cube_by_alexandrelandry-d4p8s17Adults are fantastic problem solvers. In fact, if you want to appeal to adult learners (ala Dale Carnegie training) you have to give them a problem and allow them to solve it themselves. In short, we are ‘problem solving’ machines. But, with our keen ability to analyze comes our problematic ability to over-analyze, solve problems that aren’t problems yet or simply drive ourselves completely batty along the way. It’s like that damn Rubik’s cube!  The best I could ever do was maybe get one row all the same color. Not that I didn’t invest enough time, but rather the time I invested wasn’t productive because there was a pattern or a logic to the solution that I wasn’t aware of, yet… Often in life, the questions that paralyze us are the ones we attribute either to the wrong “cause,” or represent the wrong “time” to deal with it. So today I’m offering you some dialysis for your brain. Yes, you need this!

If you looked inside your brain during extended periods of churning over some event or situation, you would find a skinny hamster running fast on his wheel; working hard, getting nowhere. It’s not his lack of effort that is defeating him. It’s the reality that his chosen method of problem solving cannot possibly end with a good result because his starting premise is faulty. The wheel he is on doesn’t lead anywhere; never did; never will. But, he doesn’t know that it leads to nowhere so he persists hoping to breakthrough to a new area based on past analysis. If he knew in advance that the wheel led to nowhere he wouldn’t bother traveling on it, but doggone it, it sure seems to be leading somewhere! And oh my Lord, he can’t just let it go, he has to solve the problem so he can relax. You do realize that the hamster is you, right?

Enter scenario number two:  Usually triggered by something, you start to imagine some dreadful possibility in the future. Maybe you read something on WebMD. The more you think about it (hamster wheel, hamster wheel) the more real it becomes. “Oh my gosh! I have been feeling warm and my leg has been aching — I’m dyingggggggggg!” Now you hop back on to your hamster wheel and start cranking out a solution. Faster, faster; more analysis, more analysis – whatever will I do now that I know I’m dying? In effect, you’re not only spinning on a hamster wheel, you are spinning on a hamster wheel of the future; a future you haven’t arrived at yet.

Before we get to the dialysis for your brain, I’d like to clue you in on something you may not ever have imagined. All of that churning and spinning and exhaustion (yes, it is exhausting) is nothing more than a grand distraction from the life you are living now. How many days, weeks, months or years have you spent on that topic, always with the same futile lack of result? The problem isn’t solved or else you wouldn’t keep working your exercise wheel! The only real result is your life being wasted away on something. Enter misery, frustration and depression! If you could remove all of the shrouds you would see it for what it is; a grand illusion designed to steal your precious life away from you. The source of it has just three motives; to steal, to kill and to destroy! Numbers two and three haven’t happened yet, but number one is in full operation.

So how can we introduce some new blood into your system? By offering new problem solving techniques or better research tools? Nope! By suggesting that you work harder (run faster) get more sleep, take medications or drink wine? Again nope! Instead I’m offering Plan C… let it go! (Disney movie soundtrack playing in the background…) Let go and let God! Stop being so smart; so logical; so intellectual. Humbly admit to God that you do not know the answer; that you are sorry for being such a wise guy and that you need for Him to get you to the real cause and show you the real solution. This option presupposes that you are now done with your wearisome trek and ready for an influx of new life. Then, once you have done this from your heart, do not allow yourself to take it back again. Oh you are going to feel heavily tempted to get back on the hamster wheel because if you could just_____, or maybe find _____, surely you would see the solution! But do yourself a favor and remember that this issue you have been struggling with for the past ten years hasn’t gone away despite your incredible analytical mind. Remember the old adage, “You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it.” ~ Albert Einstein.  Thus, it’s clearly time to get on dialysis!

Once you finally let that “thing” go you are going to feel something wonderful. It’s called peace. Peace of mind is God’s way of showing you that you are on the right track. Formula: Agitated = off track, peace = on track. Get on track. And, in that peaceful state you are going to start seeing things you haven’t seen before. You will begin to recognize destructive thinking and its effect on you. Often you will find that your solution wasn’t even remotely connected to all of your analysis. Isn’t God grand?

Hamster wheels are for hamsters, not humans. Analysis is good to a certain point, but perplexity indicates something else may be involved which is a cue for you to get “Something Else” involved. Your life, my life is very short by comparison. Live out your days with alacrity of mind; in the present; in peace. Live your life in peace!

Just some good thoughts…


Winning in the Great Competition of Life!

victoryIf you have ever seriously competed in a sport, you know what it feels like to expend a lot of effort and take the victory. I don’t mean something like playing checkers, I mean a tough competition with a worthy opponent that challenges you to exert the extra mental energy required to come out on top. I say mental energy because at the end of the day it’s your thoughts that propel you to victory. You can have the strongest, most athletic body on Earth, but if you don’t win in your mind, you won’t win on the field!

Your life, my life is lived amidst a great competition. And whether we choose to compete or not, we are in it! The way that we compete is by the thoughts we think. That’s right folks! Your thoughts lead to your beliefs and your beliefs determine how your life turns out. As I’ve said many times before, don’t get it twisted…life doesn’t happen to you, you happen to life. If you can grasp this one idea, you can revolutionize your life.

Most people pay very little attention to the thoughts they are thinking. It’s like automatic pilot. You are thinking things, evaluating things, feeling things and blowing right by them as if it’s just a part of life. Oh I get why it happens. It happens because your belief system has informed you that thoughts are just thoughts and have no impact on this thing called, “your life.” But that, my friends, couldn’t be further from the truth. And like choosing not to compete in the competition of life, it really doesn’t matter because you are competing and your thoughts are how you are competing – like it or not!

When things are going badly for you; when circumstances seemed stacked up against you; when nothing seems to be going right, the first place to check is your thoughts. What are you thinking about? What are you focusing on? Where are you expending your mental energy? What have you accepted as true that might not be true? What time period are you in? The future; the past or right now? To think that you can maintain a sour, negative outlook and still get a good result may be the height of insanity. If you were in a physical race and all you thought about was not losing the race, chances are you lost that race! Run your own race! If you were playing basketball and all you could focus on was not missing the last shot, I guarantee you missed that shot. Take the shot!

In life, I imagine all of us have hopes and dreams about how this thing is supposed to turn out. We’re happy. We have enough money. We have a great job that allows us to use our talents to the fullest. We have great relationships with people that we love. We’re peaceful and content. But, how often do we entertain those thoughts? Not much! Instead we want to focus on everything that isn’t right and worse, bitch and moan in detail about it. Crazy…

In the great competition, we have an opponent. That opponent is always up for the challenge. He works in the systems of the world to make sure you don’t get to live out your dreams by influencing your thoughts. He counts on the fact that you don’t realize the importance of what you are thinking. In fact, he is the mastermind of distraction and lies and wields them both with breathtaking accuracy. The moment you make up your mind to change something or get something better, you are deluged with other ideas about why you can’t; don’t deserve it; aren’t be realistic; fooling yourself…on into infinity (almost). But instead of sticking to your guns and strengthening your resolve, you get fainthearted, lose energy and get back in line with the other billion people.

So what can you do about it? How can you finally win? Well, first of all you have to learn to start paying attention to what you are thinking about. Then, and here is where it can get pretty gnarly, you have to fight back. That’s right! Instead of recognizing that you feel bored or depressed or sad or weak and just living with it, you have to fight back! You have to make up your mind to take that thought on. Just because you thought something does not make it true. Again, JUST BECAUSE YOU THOUGHT SOMETHING DOES NOT MAKE IT TRUE! (YELLING) That has to be one of the biggest con jobs that ever happened to mankind. It’s a thought and it just invited you to compete. Okay, so you are tired today and don’t feel like fighting. But, if a scary, masked man just strolled into your living room and threatened your child, you’d feel like fighting, right? It wouldn’t matter if you were up all night, you would fight. Well, it’s the same with your thoughts. You may not want to fight, but if your peace of mind is at stake, you have to take it on. In fact, if that thought threatens anything you hold dear, you have to take it on.

Intentional living is really about intentional thinking. Decide what you want for your life and rigorously exclude any thoughts that aren’t in agreement with what you want. Hey man, they’re your thoughts… If you find yourself feeling negative or grouchy or upset, decide to stop it. Oh you can stop it alright. Change your thoughts. Think about the good things; your blessings; what you are grateful for; who you love, something. But for Lord’s sake don’t stay in the misery pit. No one gets out of the misery pit by choosing not to compete. They get out when and only when they decide to!

Some folks sadly never learn this lesson. Don’t let that be you! Take charge of your life by taking charge of your mind. It really is the only thing you are ever in complete control of…Hmmm, that alone should make you think (haha).

3…2…1, he shoots and it’s goooooooooooood!  The Blazers win, the Blazers win! (Go Damian Lillard)

Winning feels so good!

Just some good thoughts…





Is Less, More?

Theodor_Kittelsen,_Soria_Moria I like to tell the story of when my wife and I were first married.  We got married in college as poor college students (don’t do that!).  Besides the obvious power struggles that accompany new marriage (I lost by the way), we didn’t have any money…  Yet, when we look back on those times, we always view them with fondness.  So that begs the question, is less, more?  Are our lives better when we have less resources than when we have more?  Is it a bad thing to acquire some sheckles and does it actually take away happiness?  Hmm…

Those early days of marriage were tough to say the least.  Midnight moves from apartments (haha sorry bout that Lord).  Crappy cars that rarely worked, often over-heated and represented an adventure every time we had to drive home.  Windshield wipers that we manually moved back and forth with a shoestring because the motor burned out.  LOL, those were the days!  So why on earth would anyone look back at those tough times with any sense of happiness?  Is money evil?  Well, actually no.  The love of money is the root of all evil.  Why, you ask?  Because when money is number one, everything else is secondary.  When everything else is secondary you sell your life (and happiness) to the highest bidder.  But make no mistake, money isn’t evil in itself.  Some of the greatest men in the Bible were rich!  That’s no coincidence my friends.  We all need money and in my humble opinion, generally more than we currently have. That’s not greed, that’s honest.

So, we are left with the question, is less, more?  What is about those early days that make my wife and I smile?  Surely it wasn’t being surrounded by things that don’t work properly (There’s no fun standing by a car that’s overheating).  It couldn’t be not having enough money to go out to eat or buy new clothes.  It wasn’t living in apartments in sketchy neighborhoods, surrounded by sketchy neighbors, doing sketchy things (haha).  So, what was it already?

What made those times a treasure for us and the subject of oft repeated stories?  It was the quest!  It was the challenge to take what we had (nothing) and make it into something.  It was the adventure, the conquest, the opportunity to overcome!  And it was the blessed privilege we had to do it together!  We didn’t have time to argue about why we needed to replace the 47″ TV with a 55″ TV.  We had to focus on deciding whether to pay a bill or buy groceries.  We had important grown up things to do like find jobs, pay bills, have children.  And, we had to do it together…

Flash forward to today.  Those children are all grown up now (and wow they are awesome).  We don’t have car issues anymore and if we do we have the resources to fix them.  We live in a beautiful home and have freedom to do many of the things we want.  So we should just die happy right?  No way!  The same thing that made us happy back in the day is the same thing that makes us happy today.  The quest… We got plans man.  We have dreams that we haven’t realized yet.  We have treasures to find.  We have challenges to overcome.  We have enemies to vanquish.  We’ve got stuff to do!

So how about you?  What are the sources of your happiest times?  Do you have dreams or has someone (something) talked you out of them?  Is there a treasure out there that is waiting for you and do you have the wherewithal and energy to find it?  Or have you acquired some money now and settled into life; a comfortable life with no associated challenges?  Did you believe the lie that once you got some resources, everything would be okay?  Don’t believe it…

Is less, more?  I don’t think so.  You really do have a right to get your needs met and met abundantly (YOLO YOLO).  But your life is so much more than that.  Your life is supposed to be an adventure and you are the star character.  There’s something out there that ONLY you can do and if you don’t do it, it won’t get done!  I believe that when you look back on your life one day, you’ll find that your best days were the ones when you were challenged; when you had obstacles and when you were after something that didn’t come easy to you.  And you too will smile in fond remembrance of how kick-ass you were back then!

Life is a grand adventure my friends.  It’s rarely easy and the best things don’t come without a fight.  But if you decide to fight; to take it on; to figure it out, the rewards are out of this world (literally).  Never allow anyone to put an age limit on your quest.  It’s your quest and whether you conquer at age 30 or at age 60, conquering is kick-ass (haha again)!

Is less, more?  Probably not, but adventures and quests are the substance of life!  Never stop growing, yearning, questing, because that’s what the Good Lord had in mind for you (and me…).

It would be hard to win if there was no opponent.  And there is always an opponent even when, in your complacency,  you no longer see it.  So get in the fight and just win baby!

Just some good thoughts…

Real Relationships Require Real Talk…

395526520_640  As my wife and I approach our 30 year anniversary (Lord, am I that old?), I started thinking about how two people who got married so young, could have made it this far.  Now that’s not to say we didn’t fight like “it was our job” early on or that it has been a fairytale ride without any issues, no not at all!  But I can say one thing with complete honesty (hmm there’s a concept we will get back to later), after all these years, I really would rather not be with anyone else in the world.

So, what did we do that helped us get through those hard times?  What did we figure out, albeit by trial and error, that saved us time and time again?  What did we learn to do when the pressure was on and it seemed like maybe we wouldn’t make it after all?  The short answer?  We talked.  Real talk…

Now, when I say we talked I don’t mean that superficial stuff.  “How was your day?” – something you might say to the grocery checker at Target.  I mean we talked about things that mattered.  Side note – don’t you love it when you find someone who you can talk with about things that matter?  The best conversation is a real one!  Real talk means having the courage to say what you really think about something.  If your partner does something that makes you feel anger (which, by the way, is a secondary emotion that indicates something needs to be resolved) then who in God’s name could you possibly be helping by deciding not to bring it up?  And while I’m on this rant, how could you ever allow yourself to be afraid of your partner to the extent that you decide not to say the things that need to be said?  If you’re honest, you know that the worst that could happen is that your partner would decide to leave you!  Okay, so follow my logic here for a minute.  If your relationship is so precarious that one heated argument could lead to an immediate break-up or divorce, what kind of relationship did you have to begin with?  Thankfully, my wife and I started out with the end in mind.  We decided day one that marriage was forever and that no matter what happened we would work it out.  Did stuff happen?  Of course it did.  Did we work it out?  Yes!

Arguing does not mean that your relationship is in trouble, in fact it’s just the opposite.  People that argue still care enough about themselves and each other to fight for what they think is right.  The trouble comes when that dreaded silence comes. Once you reach the place where you just roll your eyes and say “whatever” on the inside, that’s when you are in trouble.  And even then it’s not too late to say what you really think (which brings me to the most important part of “real talk.”)

You may be thinking at this point, well what exactly should I say?  Another simple answer – exactly what you are thinking!  That’s honest.  Now I don’t mean that hurtful kind of so called – honest.  “Honey you are getting fat!”  That’s not honest, that’s hurtful.  I mean honesty from your heart about how you are feeling in this moment of time.  What if she or he doesn’t like what you have to say?  What if they get mad at you?  What if they go silent on you for the next three days?  Again, follow my logic here, so what?  Don’t you matter as much as your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend matters?  Don’t your feelings count?  Is not your heart as important as their heart?  So, quit being so afraid and work it out.  I could never wrap my mind around those couples that were so afraid of their partner that they felt they could not speak up about something!  That’s not a relationship, that’s a dictatorship…  Naturally these conversations occur in private not in public. but make no mistake they must take place.  If your spouse says something that hurts your feelings or makes you feel stupid, bring it up!  That’s honest.  How can the other person ever modify their behavior if you don’t ever bring it up?  And refusal to modify a behavior that needs to be changed is going to result in a break-up anyway (now or later).  So SPEAK UP!

At the end of the day, you are not going to be happy if you aren’t true to yourself.  Oh you can play the game, assume the role, but like any actor you will soon tire of the role and need to get back to who you really are.  Don’t you want your spouse to know who you really are anyway?  Again I’m very blessed in that my wife knows who I am and I can be myself with her.  I can tell her where I’m weak without dreading that she might somehow know I have some weaknesses (as if she didn’t know anyway..LOL)  She can tell me likewise.  Really if you could look inside other people’s heads you would find that we humans are all very similar.  We have similar fears, similar concerns and similar needs.  Trust that.  Know that and speak up!

My prayer for all of you that read this is that you will have the courage to say the things you have been thinking for days, months and years and repair those breeches between yourself and the people who you love.  A healthy dose of love from your heart will solve a multitude of problems.

Wishing you 30 years of committed marriage and beyond…

(I love you honey)

Just some good thoughts…

Motivated by love…or fear?

My wife and I found ourselves in the “Animal ER” the other night after our dog accidentally (if you can call raiding the garbage, accidental) ingested some mouse poison.  After scaring ourselves to death Googling what happens if a dog eats the stuff, we had to go!  We discovered that some very odd characters also go to the Animal ER on Saturday evenings.  While we waited in the seats surrounded by that “dog pee just wiped up off the floor” smell, we noticed a police officer pulled up outside with his flashing lights on.  After reassuring ourselves that he hadn’t profiled us and was actually talking to a lady in the car outside, I witnessed a strange occurrence.  Next to me was a guy with shorts on with very scruffy hair under a “should have been discarded” hat and the distinct smell of too many beers.  He took this opportunity to talk with a young fella that was unfortunately, probably his son.  He proceeded to tell him that the cops outside were waiting for him because he had been a bad boy.  He was about four years old and failed to see any humor in the situation.  In fact, he had the look of terror.  Now most of us would have recognized that “face” and ended the ruse, but not this guy.  Despite the fact that his son was now crying, he said, “They are here to lock you up because you have been bad!”  Then gestured like he was going to turn him in.  The young boy, now frantic, was scared to death.  Then good ol’ Pops said, “Are you gonna be good?  Huh?  From now on are you gonna be good?”  His son, apparently to escape jail time, said, “Yes, I’ll be good Daddy!”  Well, that seemed to satisfy Mr. World’s Worst Parent and he let the boy escape.

Now let me ask you a question.  Does it seem in any way reasonable to scare your child into doing the right thing?  Does anyone really believe that if you can fill a child with fear, he will become a well-adjusted adult, content with following the rules and being obedient?  Oh you can be a big old bully and scare the bejesus out of your kids, but what do you suppose happens when you (Mr. Tough Guy/Ms. Tough Gal) aren’t around?  My guess is the child will do the exact opposite of what you tried to scare him/her into doing.  No-one on earth is successfully motivated by fear.  All fear does is “make” you comply out of pure obligation or fear of consequences.  In other words, your heart isn’t in it and when your heart isn’t in it, you are going to get a bad result.  It reminds me (I know, I know…I digress) of when Dad’s think the way to make their son the toughest kid on the block, is by calling him a “punk” or a “sissy” or a _____(you fill in the blank)!  Same kinda logic.  Maybe if I humiliate this boy or make him feel weak and convince him he isn’t acting like a man, when he grows up he will magically transform into a mans man overnight!  Ya think?  No…ummm here’s another flash of light; what he will be is scared, insecure and the opposite of what you had in mind.  How could he not be?  You want to make a man’s man?  (See my boys :-))  Then, love them and love them and love them and watch what happens!  Ever see Mr. Man’s Man NFL quarterback hug his Pops on TV and maybe even kiss him on the cheek?  Haha evidence of proper man’s man training!  Okay, where was I?  Oh yeah, fear!  Fear is the world’s worst teacher.  Oh you may have learned a vivid lesson, but that lesson when attached to dread isn’t optimum training.  Let’s say you learned that when you grab a snake it bites you.  Vivid lesson!  Now when you see a snake you run for the hills!  Hmm great training.  Seems like a better approach might be to love you through your apprehension and teach you what is really involved with snakes.

Now, love motivation is an entirely different animal.  Lessons learned out of love have no downside to them.  This, my friends, is how God teaches us.  All that, “you don’t want to end up in hell” stuff never came from God.  It came from that preacher who learned long ago that if you want to control people all you have to do is scare ’em to death!  Anytime you are doing something good out of fear, it is still wrong because fear is wrong…  Ending in – bad results!  Can you guess how God motivates us?

Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance [a change of heart]? Romans 2:4

Said another way, God motivates us to do things how He says to do them by being so good and kind to us, that we respond.  No threats, no intimidation, no fear, just pure love motivation.  If we fall short, He loves us anyway.  If we go astray, He keeps loving us into coming back!

Do you want to raise a well-adjusted child that will be a happy, well-adjusted adult?  Then, just love them.  Love them and take time to teach them “why” and you’ll see what I mean.  And, while you are working on that, think to yourself, “am I doing what I’m doing based on love or am I doing it out of fear?”  What is your motive?  Anything that makes you feel afraid is not good for you.  Relationships built on fear are precarious.  Anything built on fear is precarious!

Do what you are going to do because of love.  There’s no force in the world stronger than love and nothing sweeter to your soul than love. Love really is what makes the world go round!  Really!

Oh and the world’s worst parent…I guess we have to love him too!



The Key to a Good Relationship ~ Communication…

The secret to any good relationship is being able to communicate successfully.  Have you ever been in a relationship with someone and felt like you were fighting all the time?  Well, fighting and arguing isn’t what kills a relationship!  What kills a relationship is when you decide to go into silent mode.  As long as you still feel it is worth the effort to say what you think, or disagree with what someone else thinks, your relationship maintains the potential for good.  But, if the relationship deteriorates to the point where “it just ain’t worth it” or you no longer care to say what bothers you, then the relationship is on the slippery slope downward and destined to end badly.

All of us want to have sweet, meaningful relationships with other people.  When our relationships are mostly sweet, life becomes a joy.  So, how can you have a “sweet” relationship with another person?  Well, you have to take the time to handle the issues that threaten it.  Let’s say you get home from work feeling pretty good and you are met with a bad mood from your partner.  You recognize that they are in a funky mood and now your good mood is being threatened.  Instead of getting mad or matching mood for mood, why not take the time to find out what is wrong with ’em?  That’s called having a conversation.  Now, lets say every time you come home in a good mood your partner is in a bad mood.  Well, that’s another conversation.  It bothers you, right?  So, why in the world would you spend your days with things bothering you when you can talk it over and get it straight?  If you do it well, you can do better than straight and get to sweet.

The problem with most people is that they do not take the time to get the “air” cleared.  And worse, they let stuff go day after day, quietly seething and thinking evil of the other person.  The best time to talk about things is as the things are happening.  Right now, in the moment, say what you are thinking.  Say what you like.  Say what you don’t like.  Say it, say it, say it!  You’re not looking for a fight, you are looking for the sweet.  If you delude yourself and say things like, “I don’t want the drama!” – you are setting yourself up for the big volcanic eruption.  How could it not turn out that way?  Have you ever heard people say, “I just need to get some things off my chest?”  The reason they have to get them off their chest is because they cannot remain “on their chest” for them to be okay.  If you bottle things up, hold things in, stop talking, and let things go that you shouldn’t let go – you are going to blow!  When you blow you are going to bring up 300 issues that you have been saving and you will bring them up in a way that is all out of proportion to the incident!  In short, you will sound like a crazy person; a stark, raving looney tunes person!   Chances are your anger is going to result in saying a whole bunch of things you really didn’t want to say.  Then, despite your heart-felt petitions towards the other person, your words are going to cut them like a knife.  Slice and dice – and there’s no coming back from that.

So what should you do instead?  Get into the habit of saying what you think.  Emerson said, “I ought to go upright and vital, and speak the rude truth in all ways….”  Get it?  Upright and vital means stand up and wake up!  But remember your goal is sweetness, not victory over the other person.  You can win an argument, but lose your relationship.  You can browbeat your partner, but find them getting the final say on the way out the door.  It kills me when people say awful, dreadful things and then justify it by saying, “I’m just being honest!”  That’s not honest.  Being honest doesn’t mean you have to say every silly thing that runs across your mind.  Just because you thought it, doesn’t make it valid.  Don’t let anger have its way.  Anger always follows another emotion anyway, so why not be “honest” and speak up when you were experiencing the other emotions (sadness, fear, frustration, guilt etc.).  It seems to all boil down to having some healthy self-respect.  In other words, respecting yourself enough to acknowledge that your feelings are just as important as other people’s feelings, not less important.  Your likes and dislikes are just as valid as someone else’s likes and dislikes.  Again I am reminded of Ralph Dubya (RWE) –

“I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. If you can love me for what I am, we shall be happier. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should. I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, that I will do strongly before the sun and moon whatever inly rejoices me, and the heart appoints.”

That my friends, is honest.  There is nothing wrong with “going with the flow” or being “yielding on insignificant matters.”  That’s how we all manage to get along.  But on those matters of the heart; those things  that are important to you – you gotta speak up!  People that really love you aren’t going to stop loving you because you spoke up about some issue.  If you can’t speak up about anything to them, you need to re-evaluate that relationship.  You may surprise yourself and find out something you didn’t know before.  You might even actually learn that you had it all wrong and that the other person wasn’t thinking what you thought at all… (haha)

At the end of the day, life goes by way too fast for drama and hurt feelings.  Your life is worth it!

Those are just some good thoughts…