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…

 

The Absurdity of the Confabulated Belief…


a0e731139bd55fcbdef2b89ecee96bfeI was listening to a Harvard lecture series called the Deceptive Mind by Dr. Steven Novella. What captured my attention was his explanation on how our minds work, particularly our memories. Despite what we may have thought, our memory isn’t a recorded transcript of what happened, but rather a mental construction of what happened. (Admit it, that’s interesting isn’t it?) So here’s the thing! Missing details and information are simply made up by our minds to fill in the gaps. So, what pray tell, does this have to do with our beliefs? Well, I have some thoughts… 🙂

I have spent quite a bit of time in my admittedly short life trying to teach people about God and His goodness only to often find roadblocks in the form of mental confabulation. Okay, let me explain. Many people (I tried not to say “most.”) have a very disjointed hodgepodge view of who God is and an even scarier view of what He does. Their views are generally based on what some people said; a limited or lengthy church experience; and a whole lot of confabulation. You know what I mean right? Someone told you that God was always judging your behavior and watching if you were naughty or nice, sort of like Santa Clause. Then, to scare you, they associated bad things that happened in your life with your behavior. And naturally you believed that junk because of the apparent evidence and with a little confabulation drew some conclusions that became truth for you. Then going forward you filter any mention of God through that lens and close your mind to the possibility. I can’t tell you how many discussions I’ve had where people sort of belch out a few random unassociated facts about God that aren’t true (at least according to the Bible) and dismiss what you are trying to communicate based on something they have already concluded.

Now, lest you think I’m bitter because someone didn’t believe what I shared, let me clarify. It’s not that my feelings were hurt because they may have rejected what I had to say. That wouldn’t be blog worthy for “Justsomegoodthoughts.” (Haha) Instead it’s just so sad that so much is available for people if they would only take the time to consider. So much…

You know it’s funny, with most things in life we take the time to weigh the evidence and carefully come up with our conclusions. Financial decisions, marriage decisions, any important decisions we give serious thought. But when it comes to God we go all vague and mysterious. If you think about it, if God is who He says He is, there must be tremendous precision and logic involved with who He is and what He does. Well, there is but you will never get to it until you become willing to learn and humble yourself to something infinitely larger than yourself. You have to thoroughly dispense of that revengeful God  notion because it just aint true. If anyone is on your side, God is. He loves the unloveable for goodness sakes!

So what’s the answer? You have to replace the unknown with the known. You have to find out for yourself. I always laugh when people think they can shock God. Do you really think you can do something or experience something God doesn’t already know about it. LOL Is it logical to you that somehow you can use a swear word or drink some vodka and God is aghast? Really? Or do you think you did something so bad, so awful that even God couldn’t bear it? All evil is a deception and an illusion and God can see through the illusion. He knows you intimately and He knows what got you; how it got you and how to rescue you from it. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that? LOL I thank God almost daily that someone taught me something about Him that made sense to me.

Have you ever entertained people’s arguments against God? Well, what do they say? They say things like why does God let thus and such happen? (Not understanding free-will) They say why doesn’t God answer prayers? (Not understanding the belief requirement) They say why can’t we see God or prove Him scientifically? (Not understanding the spiritual is outside the senses mind) They say a lot of stuff and most of it aint true.

So here is the question! Ask yourself right now, who do you think God is? Come on, really… Who do you think God is? What do you know for sure and what is just something someone told you once? And while considering what you think you know, ask yourself, how do you know it? Is your belief even in the Bible or better what part of the Bible is it in? Everything in the Bible doesn’t apply to you right now? Did you know that? This isn’t criticism or superiority on my part but rather an attempt to make you think. Lord knows I don’t know it all, but what I know is only good always!

You may not have recognized this before but there IS something in the world that is trying to talk you out of God. Why? Because that certain something enjoys your suffering and your pain and your futility and is counting on your confabulating mind to keep you enslaved! That doesn’t have to be you if you don’t want it to be! Stop listening to what the naysayers say and find out for yourself. It is obvious in the perfection of the creation that something vast and magnificent is behind this thing we call life and your life, your one precious life, will never be fulfilled without Him!

He is worth finding out about and if you become serious in your quest, you will see for yourself.

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Luke 11:10

Ask and seek and knock, my friends… You will not be disappointed!

Our Messy Life…


Life-Is-Messy-657x309_02Our modern electronic era guarantees that we are going to be fed a multitude of images and words about how the ideal life should be. We become convinced of this image regarding how life should work; what we should have and what we should be able to do. In this Hollywood version of life, difficulties are usually solved and almost everyone gets a happy ending (LOL not that kind!). Yet, despite being daily bombarded with these images, life is really quite messy when you get right down to it. Things don’t always work out as planned. There are obstacles, set-backs, and challenges. There are illnesses, frustrations and seemingly unsolvable problems. We face challenging detours, changing environments, in a world that takes another form as soon as we figure the last one out. Real life is messy.

Have you ever wondered why things are the way they are? Seems to me that we could get along so much easier if we didn’t have to deal with all this mess. I mean, imagine a world where there was no pain; no suffering. Imagine if everything you attempted was supremely successful and things always worked out. Think how awesome it would be if you got everything you ever wanted and it came easily without stress and strain. Imagine…

It makes me chuckle when people think that because I love God, things always go in my favor. It’s like, life with God means not having to deal with problems. Or worse, quote a few scriptures over the trouble and it immediately goes away. Or, say a quick prayer and disaster is averted. That could not be further from the truth and perhaps a major reason the world thinks most Christians are nuts! We believer types face the same obstacles and challenges everyone else faces. We get pushed and pulled out of sorts; we get frustrated and at times even defeated. You see, God never promised that life would be without struggles. What He promised is that He can help you (and me) overcome any challenge that comes our way. In other words, He will help us clean-up up our messy life. God is love and as such is only good to people and incredulously just as good to “bad” people as He is to “good” people. Ponder that for a minute…

The reason our lives are messy is because we have an adversary; an opposing spiritual force that is ever at work to screw things up. And, whether you think he exists or not, is working on you to make a mess of your life. He steals your prosperity. He convinces you, you aren’t good enough for God or His blessings. He ruins your relationships. Every evil or bad thing that every person ever did was based on his influence. He is behind all sickness, disease and death. He makes the mental prisons you find yourself in and specializes in frustration. He gets you addicted and makes the ruts that are so hard to escape from. He promises you that things will be so much better if you can find this person or get that job or move to a new place. He convinces you that if you follow his ways you will get the happiness you so ardently desire. The problem is that he is ALWAYS lying to you and when you follow his advice it burns you 100% of the time, in every case, always. And still behind all of his shenanigans, most folks don’t even think he exists. Well he does and your life is a mess because of it.

On the contrary, God is ever at work to show you what is real and to reveal the true source of your problems. The problem with problems is that we think we can use the same thinking to escape them that got us into them in the first place. Our difficulty persists because we haven’t yet discovered the true cause. God is able to show you the true cause! Because God is all knowing, He can completely and totally eradicate the difficulty. Yet we fail to get the answers we so desperately need because we either think we know better (according to our limited understanding); or dismiss the answers we do get in a variety of forms. When God answers the question or provides a solution, it is a full and complete solution. God’s deliverance is very real and available to anyone who dares to believe. Don’t you want to get things straightened out? I know you do.

This messy life we find ourselves living can be throughly straightened out. There are answers and deliverance from anything that ever plagued you. With God nothing is impossible! Stop settling for life’s “good enough.” Stop concluding that every feeling and thought you have must be true. Stop rationalizing your problems away or distracting yourself from dealing with them. Instead seek; truly seek the real solution from God! He wants to help you more than you even want to be helped, but you have to meet Him halfway with some humility.

This life is way too short to live in a perpetual mess. Put away your broom and your cleaning rags and get the help you need. You owe yourselves that much, ya think?

Just an anecdote to a messy life…