Posts Tagged With: opinion

Best Gift Ever


Introspection can be a wonderful thing.

Last night I was chatting with someone I deeply admire and whose attention I always appreciate. There’s one thing in particular that was said, that has been turning over in my mind ever since.  In response to my confession of getting a little teary-eyed while watching a movie, she said, “We can’t help it, Riis. We’re empaths. What we see, we experience. We feel it, too.”

Empathy.

I’m familiar with it. But I didn’t make the connection between it and the movie initially. I thought it silly to commiserate with fictional people. But it’s not necessarily the people as much as it is the experience. The feelings of loss, hurt, determination, overwhelming joy. And all at once I realized that it’s true. I can’t help it.

I believe that is the main reason why my capacity for grace and compassion is beyond measure. My nature is to BE empathic. It’s interesting because the logical, analytical part of me sometimes wonders why I’m this way. While the compassionate part of me can’t imagine not being this way. She also said, “Feeling without restraint. Best gift ever.”

Best gift ever.

Yeah, that it is. It’s a gift I wish more people possessed. To know the depth of someone’s pain or the height of their joy, to an intimate degree… can mean the difference between wise counsel and insensitive opinion. It turns acquaintances into friends and friends into brothers or sisters. It changes your perspective on the world itself. But I wouldn’t trade this for anything in it.

Best.

Gift.

Ever.

Categories: personal, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sometimes


Sometimes… it’s hard being the strong one.

Sometimes… I want to give in to the weight of it all and allow myself to fall apart.

Sometimes… it would be nice to have an opinion that I didn’t have to explain.

Sometimes… clouds block the sun just enough that I can’t see the bright side.

Sometimes… I don’t want to care so much.

Sometimes… I have fleeting thoughts of being someone other than who I am.

…and then I remember with gratitude, the blessing of my life.

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Random Dove Thought: Virtual Loss


I was talking to a friend the other day about how human emotions can be so completely unpredictable and surprising. We react to situations, circumstances and people based on what we hope for, desire or even secretly covet in our hearts. What strikes me as odd is the fact that we have these “real” emotions for things that we shouldn’t really have any attachment to. This thought process begged the question:

How can you miss something that you never had?

I’ve never been a millionaire. Maybe it’ll happen one day. But I can’t very well say that I miss being wealthy when I’ve never had excess discretionary funds. And I won’t go around griping about the crap that I can’t buy because it’s too expensive. But I still feel the emotion of wanting more or feeling like it’s a memory of a season that has passed. Where does that come from?? I don’t know. But it’s not the only scenario. There are people I’ve met online that I’ve never seen face-to-face. We talk frequently. I’ve seen pictures. I may have even heard their voice on Skype or a YouTube video. But no hugs or handshakes have ever been exchanged between us. Yet, I’d still miss them if they suddenly disappeared or stopped corresponding with me. So where is that emotion birthed from?

I still ponder this question from time to time. I would never want to live in a world devoid of emotion. Love, Joy, Peace, Fear, Anxiety, Compassion, Sympathy, Anger and Worry are necessary, right? Maybe. But they sure have a way of affecting our actions in ways we may not have thought possible. I’ve long since given up trying to figure out emotions and the seeming disservice they play in our decision making. Regardless of what I think I know, it doesn’t stop me from missing that person. Although the emotions are real, the key is staying in enough control not to ever act foolishly upon them.

 

Categories: RDT, Series | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dove Note #99 – The Gender Scale of Intimacy


I was talking to a female friend a while ago and we were discussing the difference between intimacy for men and women. I listened as she expressed her opinion that most men only consider sex as intimacy… and that if a woman mentions intimacy to a man, he automatically assumes she wants sex. She went on to say that she believes that some men do realize that sex and intimacy are two different things, but they wrongly assume that sex is the ultimate expression of intimacy.

I listened a while longer as she reprimanded the male gender for our lasciviousness and carnal preoccupations. I smiled, and asked her, “So how do WOMEN define intimacy?”

“Intimacy to a woman can take many shapes… “

I bridled my thoughts at her choice of words…

“… it’s having your undivided attention when we talk about sensitive or emotional issues…”

“Which is usually at length, in detail and with great depth, right?”, I chaffed.

She smirked, “… or it could be an evening at home alone, just the two of us reading a book together.”

“I guess it depends on what you read. I’m sure TV Guide or PEOPLE Magazine wouldn’t count, right?”

She still wasn’t amused, “See, you men are all the same… you’d rather watch TV than spend some quality time with us.”

I sighed and said, “Okay, not all men are like that… we understand intimacy, but it looks different for us… and the fallacy with women is in thinking that our views on intimacy should be exactly the same as yours… “

I’d gotten her attention, so I proceeded.

“No, we don’t typically grab a book and say ‘Hey, honey lets read’, and our conversations typically serve one of two purposes… to relay/confirm information, ‘Hey Jim, tonight’s poker game is gonna be at Kieth’s house.’ or for business, ‘My wife paid that cable bill a week ago, why is one of your service techs cutting cords behind my house!!’ Other than that, when we’re together it’s small talk.”

“Are you afraid of sharing your feelings?” she asked, thinking she’d cornered me.

“Not exactly. But intimacy to us includes having a woman who will allow us to vent about work and world injustice… letting us teach you how to fish, change oil or program the VCR… it’s about letting us be a man TO and FOR you. That’s intimacy. But the key is learning that both forms of intimacy are important for the success of the relationship.”

She smiled, and said, “So basically, if I let him show me how change oil, he’ll read with me?”

I chuckled, “Sorta… ideally it would be given freely without expecting something in return, but that’s a start.”

It was an interesting exchange, but it just supported my theory that men and women often see the world very differently… especially when it comes to intimacy. So the next time you get a moment, bring up intimacy with your partner and expand your definition of the word to your mutual benefit.

Categories: Dove Note, humor, intimacy, relationships, Series | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

DOVE NOTE #93: Self Worth


(from the forthcoming book “Dove Notes”)

While talking to my wife one evening, I was explaining to her just how deeply the issue of self-worth can affect a man, and how it will eventually penetrate every aspect of his life. A man who holds a low opinion of his own value will often have corresponding issues related to his work (motivation and ethic), his inter-personal relationships and intimacy (family, friends and colleagues), and even his health (physical fitness and diet).

One of my favorite original quotes is, “You don’t have to be all that you hope to be, in order to be happy with who you are right now”. See, for some men, when things are not how he wants them to be, it’s forever on his mind. He thinks about it…

Every.

Single.

Day.

Multiple times throughout a day.

He tends to think about it more often as soon as he wakes up in the morning and right before he goes to bed at night when there are fewer external distractions. There’s an irritating little voice inside of him that rehearses the ways he hasn’t measured up or has yet to achieve the success he desires. For some men it’s coupled with poor self-image and thoughts of “you’re too short/tall/fat/unattractive/loud/etc”. This inevitably affects his interaction with others, especially those with whom he’s in an intimate relationship. Partly because he doesn’t feel deserving of attention or affection until this distorted perception of himself changes. Because of this, there are men who unintentionally sabotage otherwise healthy relationships with this poison of their own design.

So how do men escape from this perpetuating cycle of misery?

It takes a certain degree of transparency and a willingness to be vulnerable to someone else. It’s important that he find someone he trusts and with whom he can be completely honest. Through this type of accountability, these areas of self-deception can be addressed and resolved to the benefit of everyone he knows. Unfortunately, pride often interferes with this process and some men stay stuck in this place indefinitely. Thankfully, when a man is surrounded by people who genuinely love him in spite of his flaws (because they recognize that we all have them), the trust between them can defeat this pride and finally get him to the place where his internal perception will align with the external reality of being accepted for who he is right now.

Categories: Dove Note, relationships, Series | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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