Posts Tagged With: relationships

Shattered Boxes


I always find it interesting how we create these images of various people we’ve met. You know, we have a particular idea about how they probably behave, talk or react to the world when we’re not around. This inevitably puts them in a particular box that we are none too quick to release them from. So much so, that when they do or say something that goes against our established image of them, we think it’s “out of character” or that “something must be wrong”.

Personally, I think people are multifaceted beings that have a propensity to exhibit behavior that could seem contradictory in nature. What it really means is that there is more to each of us than we share with every individual. For instance, some people know me for my writing, while others know me for my music. And there are others who have absolutely no idea that I write OR sing. For them, finding out that I do either (or both) would completely shatter their image of me.

Which is a bit sad considering those particular things have always been a part of me, even if I haven’t shared them.

So yeah… there are parts of me that I share with some people and not with others, depending on the context of our discussion and the depth of our friendship. And so it goes, that in getting to know people, we discover other parts of who they are.

To me, that’s the most exciting part about developing relationships… there is always the potential for surprise.

Categories: relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Personal Thunderstorms


Have you ever had one of those seemingly endless seasons when you’ve gone through an incredibly rough time? You know, it’s not just a bad day, but it’s like you’re standing under your own personal storm cloud. We become completely engrossed in and preoccupied by the trial we’re facing. So much so, that we can’t see or enjoy the people around us.

As an empath, I sometime fight to resist taking on the struggles and pain of others. My heart genuinely breaks for those being mistreated, suffering abuse, or battling addictions. Thing is, people are rarely going through the same thing at the same time. For each of us, there is usually no storm “harder” or “worse” than the one we’re currently facing. And I get that.

In truth, we vary so much from circumstance to circumstance and from history to history (how we grew up or the particular experiences we’ve had), that one person’s thunder storm could easily be another person’s slight drizzle.

One thing I’m sure of is that every person’s struggle is different. And we never really know what someone is actually going through. Even if on the outside things look fine. We can’t always see the turmoil within.

So I would just encourage us to show a little more compassion to our family, friends, and colleagues. Be kind…

…on purpose.

Because we never know how hard it may be just to get through the next minute for the person standing right in front of us.

Categories: relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Seeds and Desire


I’ve had the privilege of knowing some awesome women, who over the years have given me an earful of priceless information from the female perspective.  Some of them are in great relationships, while others are still searching for one. Still others are enduring a bad relationship simply for the sake of being able to say they’re in one.

One thing that I find interesting is that in all of these cases, to be loved was of the highest priority.  I don’t mean sexually (it’s sad, but without that disclaimer some people would assume as much).  It seems that from childhood women will often seek affirmation through “expressions” of love.  Whether it be gifts, or letters, or time spent together…

…the underlying desire is to be loved.

What seeds were planted in your childhood?

Material things aside, many of the women I know have said that they would be very happy knowing that someone thinks they are the most wonderful, most beautiful woman in the world.  However, this love needs to be demonstrative, without any ulterior motives.  They want to feel needed and special.  They want to be a priority in someone’s life.

Some of the women I know have even said that any rebellion exhibited as teenagers had more to do with their feelings of being unwanted, unaccepted, and made to feel unattractive, more so than just wanting to get into trouble.  I was told that if someone had loved them, the way they needed to be loved… they would have most likely become very different people.

I recognize the effects on women who grew up without a father, or whose mothers were inattentive.  Some of them have dealt with it. Others are still struggling to come to terms with their childhood.  Unfortunately, this can deeply affect their current relationships with both men and women.  Some of my female friends have confided in me that it seems hard to find a good man, mostly because they tend to run at the first indication that any man possesses characteristics similar to their absentee fathers or estranged mothers.  Friends who exhibit these traits are unceremoniously dismissed as well.

Honestly, I think both men and women truly want to be loved, though we may act otherwise.  Men are just more prone to hide this fact than women.

WOMEN: What has been your experience, if any, with your childhood affecting your desire to be loved, and the way you receive love?

MEN: What things have made you reluctant, if at all, to communicate your desire to be loved? 

Categories: commentary, intimacy, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What’s Real


I used to wonder why people run to the scene of a car accident, or overload web search servers when the latest celebrity photo scandal breaks. But then I realized that it has more to do with the fact that we are drawn to situations that are outside of those to which we are accustomed. Car accidents happen, but they don’t happen to most people everyday. There’s a good portion of the population that are foolish, but 99% of us are not people in the public eye who decide to take naked pictures for our boy/girlfriend-of-the-week only to feign disgust when they sells them to TMZ.

Perfection should never be the goal.

What’s my point? My point is that what should be a simple 1 + 1 = 2 thought process is not computing for the masses. If our collective attention really is drawn to what is uncommon, atypical or rare (1), and people have long since mourned the demise of healthy marriages (+ 1), then why are some people uninterested (or so quick to dismiss) the discussion or promotion of successful relationship? (= 2).  We still focus on the relational train wrecks, the adulterous politicians, the bed-hopping socialites, and staged “reality” drama in the form of The Bachelor(ette)’s bevy of eligible (and some emotionally broken) men and women. Maybe it’s just a form of entertainment for people? A necessary distraction?

This is one of the reasons I purposely post stories about my marriage and my kids, because I believe that exposure to positive relationships has been completely overshadowed by recurring themes of hurt, fear, hopelessness, betrayal and despair. I do realize that we’ve all had bad experiences. Maybe it has to do with the old adage that misery loves company. Or perhaps people have such low expectations that they buy in to the belief that relationships are destined to fail.

In the past I’ve gotten private messages accusing me of making up the stories about my wife and kids. I’m like, really?? It blows me away. Honestly, I wouldn’t have the attention span to dedicate the necessary time to such an elaborate hoax. I barely manage to balance time to write here, work and invest in my family. A full time gig x3 for sure.

That being said, I am a huge proponent of promoting healthy relationships and will always encourage questions and responses on this topic. I don’t think we can have enough of them. I can’t speak for anyone else here, but I’m all about being real. REAL stories about REAL people experiencing REAL success.

As most of us have probably heard before, what you see is here is DEFINITELY what you get.

No life filters here.

Categories: opinion, personal, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Ship” Anchors


Heavy Anchor

We’ve all seen anchors before, right? You know, those heavy pieces of weird-shaped, dark metal that boats drop whenever someone shouts “anchors away!” 😲 Seafarers are probably far more familiar with the various designs (and let me tell you, there are a lot of them). But I’m no sailor. When I think of anchors, I think back to cartoon characters like Popeye the Sailor Man, or various Looney Tunes characters who were not being very nice to each other (or the boat!) 😂.

What I do know is that anchors are designed to hold a ship in place. Once lowered, they prevent the ship from drifting due to heavy wind or strong currents. Most of the time, anchors are used in a manner of prevention. They are stabilizers. They secure the boat and keep both it and its occupants safe.

But I’m sure that as much as sailors value the stabilizing force these anchors may bring to the ship, their vessel will never move forward until the anchor is removed. Anchors will have to be lifted, or in worst cases, cut before the ship can make any forward progress.

In this regard, people can be anchors too. These are the family, friends, or coworkers in our lives who help to hold us in place. They are the ones that often keep us from drifting off with every unforeseen circumstance, issue or condition. They are stabilizers. And I do believe it is important to have these anchor in our lives. We hold onto them.

And yet, much like the anchors of a ship, sometimes we won’t be able to move forward in our lives with these anchors in place. Our various “-ships” will be stuck. Even if those “-ships” on the surface, look amazing and/or valuable. You know…

Sponsor-ships

Intern-ships

Partner-ships

Member-ships

Friend-ships

…even Relation-ships.

In cases where these “-ships” aren’t healthy or balanced, the anchor then becomes nothing more than an encumbrance. The very thing we rely upon for safety, turns into a dead weight that causes us harm, and impedes our progress.

J.J. Brando

Love My People

That’s why it’s important to check in every now and then, to assess these pivotal relationships. I’ve had to look soberly at the “-ships” in my life, and determine whether or not they align with my goals and objectives. A few are simply distractions, keeping me moored to the person I used to be, instead of allowing me to navigate toward the person I know I am to become. So I’ve had to cut or weigh anchor.

But thankfully, many of them are exactly what I need to stay focused. They point me toward my future and protect me from every wind that attempts to topple me.

To them, I say Thank You.

Do you have anchors in your life?

 

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