V-Day is Coming. A little know-how goes a long way!
I was reminded, last week, of 5 Ways to Express Your Love to those you love. Dr Gary Chapman has written several books revolving around his “Five Love Languages”. The “Marriage That Lasts” series, available through EAGALA, uses these same expressions to remind us that we may really love another, but do those we love, understand that we love, in the expression we give?
We all have a primary way that we appreciate giving and receiving love. And at least another secondary favorite. Often these that we love to receive most, are the same ways we try to show our affections to those around us. Sometimes, the love language they most appreciate is not what we are delivering.
For example: Married over 10 years, one man was cutting grass so the whole yard was a showplace. He came home from work before his wife, so he usually started cooking supper. After, he almost always washed the dishes. A multi-tasker at his profession, he could put clothes in the wash, vacuum floors, and just generally clean as he walked through his home. His love language was definitely “Acts of Service”. To do many little things to make life easier for his wife was the way he showed his love to her.
Still, His wife cried that they didn’t have any time together. He was always “working on some project” or “cleaning up after her”. She felt unappreciated as a person. And she felt she could never make him happy with her performance as a housekeeper. Why? Because he was always busy doing something for her, and she wanted time alone with him, undivided, not multi-tasked, to listen to her life. Her love language was “Quality Time”.
As Gary says: “Can you see the problem in this relationship?” Both love. Both were hurting. Both felt unappreciated.
What if we listen, and watch our partner, our children, our career associates, just a little more carefully.
The “Five Ways to Express Love” are:
a. Encouraging Words – complements, “sweet nothings”, being on the side of your partner when outside stress has them in a tizzy.
b. Gift Giving – Whether a dandelion from a child, or a romantic nightclub dinner together, More Importantly: lots of small “tokens” , often, will mark the love they understand.
c. Physical Touch – Holding hands, walking close. Snuggling on the couch watching a movie. The back of your hand caressing her cheek. Rubbing his back as you saunter behind him.
d. Acts of Service – Cleaning the toilets, dishes, floors. Taking out the trash. Cleaning the car. Organizing his closet, or drawers. Not because it is your part of the chores to be done. Not as a trade out, barter, or work contract. But because you wanted to make them happy.
e. Quality Time – Time is most precious. Being present for your partners entails really listening. Turning off the electronics for sharing dreams together. No one on a deathbed ever wishes they had more time for working hard. They wish more time had been devoted to relationships, and to self appreciation.
Why wait till some critical problem, to transform your life and relationships. There are questions and observations you can easily learn, to know how your variety of children, parents, spouse, co-workers, superiors & subordinates, and every worthwhile relationship can be enhanced, through delivering to “them” as “they” most appreciate. And in doing so, you will discover more diversity in your acceptance of love too. (Life gets Better!)
Would Your Life Change? If you could feel a closer, more intimate relationship with your partner? If you really hear which of Your Arguments are Un-resolvable? And yet, Can Lead to Polarity, Humor, and Respect in Marriage? What If you could see how to Add Passion in ways that Excite your Partner, just because you are you? What if you could learn from the Masters of Relationship, and learn from the disasters of relationship?
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Dec 24th, today. And this day we celebrate everything from family, to Christ. There is always something to be thankful for, and always something to regret. For those of you who are sharing family and friends, I advise you to pull out the Scriptures and take at least 30 minutes of your day to remind yourself that Love came down to mankind.
Just like willpower is usually not enough in itself to accomplish, so our separation from God is such that God himself sent our Messiah to honor both God and man. In Beginnings, we learn that God made us after the image of the holy ones. God also gave us choice.
To have someone stick around because they have no other options at the time might satisfy something in some people. But, when someone is staying with us because it is their choice, that is very very special. And we feel that special sense we call love. This is evident in our marital relationships, our deepest friendships, and especially with our God.
We make Him proud when we “worship” Him, His Son, and the Spirit of God sent to be with us for all time. We make Him proud when we do for others beyond a “call of duty”. Generosity toward someone else is another one of those things that will make the best feelings appear within us. Not doing something, so something will be done back. Going beyond that! Doing something good because we can, and we want to, and nobody will ever know but us, or if they do find out, still giving credit to another who taught us this fantastic generosity, loving enough to separate the classes, the colors, the ages, the differences, and finding similarity in that we are really all quite alike.
This year, I was introduced to several Muslim faith followers. None of which were radical. Conversation with one was an invitation to share our similarities. Conversation with the others were along the lines of – we were all engaged in education in order to help other people in their relationships. No, Jesus didn’t become the center of our conversation. Neither did Mohammed. But groundwork of friendship was begun so that we can later discuss salvation. You wouldn’t push too fast toward an exciting new date would you? Naaahh. If we can remember to love people, then influence them, we will have a lot less stress than otherwise.
See, this happened earlier, over the last 6 years, with some Jewish friends. Now I enjoy Passover more, and Hanukkah, and candles, and … Turns out most of them are Messianic. I even read a story of a group from a synagogue who took over a Christmas meal program for a Methodist church. Over 300 served by 3:00 afternoon. “Y’all go home & enjoy your holiday. We got this for you!” One of these ladies, I met through another close friend, introduced me to an easier way to understand the Hebrew language. Aleph-Bette has been a challenge & fun. I like reading. And I like reading the footnotes and explanations of wisdom scriptures from several sources, including Tanakh.
We have differences. God likes some variety. Look around. You know He does. SO whether family, spouse, neighbor, or affiliation, let’s learn to relish the diversity. Let’s learn to befriend, then debate. Let’s learn to play soccer rather than playing war. I don’t have all the answers to life’s questions. What I do have is love to give. What I can do is ask questions to learn more depth. What I can see is the heart of people. What I can hear, is what is voiced between the syllables. What I can feel is tremendous! My Gift to you this year would be to encourage everyone to enjoy each other. Take the challenge of giving your presence, listening with all you have, and learning all you can. People will find you much more interesting, and then listen more carefully to you, if you give them the benefit of being heard, and felt, and seen as worthy.
Merry Christmas to you all. Remember, You are a person of worth and value. I love you & God loves You.
(New! – Relationship Enhancement Opportunity just below)
Lately, I have been in a course of study with the Gottman Institute up in WA, USA. This led me to study with Daniel Goleman who wrote a book entitled, “Emotional Intelligence”. This led to several YouTube searches and more research. This made me research the functional parts of our emotional brain. And this led to much more research on research done. All of this as a small part of an understanding of PTSD, and related alternative cognitive discernment. In sum, I find hope in what I study.
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Using our emotions, enjoying our emotions, rather than becoming held at the mercy of our emotions, can be a learned skill. In fact, channeling emotions for personal and social good has become a trend being taught at many K5 through grade 9 schools across America. Statistically, children who grow up through adolescence, understanding the skills of “thinking” things through, and considering everything from alternative actions, consequences, WWJD, their feelings and what feelings they are really feeling, and what other people may feel that they are feeling at times, properly recognizing the emotional expressions of others, and how to hold emotions stemming from the amygdala led “reptilian” brain in check, through training our prefrontal cortex to “catch” habitual patterns of upset, anxiety, fear, sadness, & anger, have what is now called a higher EQ, or Emotional Intelligence Quotia.
[ Explanation Sidebar – Was that last sentence long enough? Understanding emotion should start before school age and gives your children competitive advantage in their world, and a chance for happier relationships with their peers, their marriages, their parents and their children. ]
People who have a better understanding of emotional intelligence, and how emotions are recognized, patterned and socially acceptable, will have much advantage over other people who lack these skills. For years, our educational systems have looked at the “IQ” of math, language, and intellectual skills. And these are important. But in the real world, wiser employers and business analysts, and more wise sexual mates, are looking beyond a level of intelligence that is expected, and toward the social skills necessary to carry the “clan” to excellence and more permanence.
We give our best so our children will have their best chance at “the good life”.
Emotional intelligence extends beyond what we might term as common sense. It is a recognition that everything from memory is better reinforced through emotional experiences. And because memories are linked to emotional experiences, understanding will lead to knowing when and which emotions need to be stimulated to lead a person, self or significant other, toward healthier resolutions, greater alternative solutions, and advanced leadership through empathy, as well as correct decision making.
Amazingly, Does it seem that our emotions may seem to drive us into fear, anxieties, depressions, aggressions, and other negative impacts? Fight or flight response has been linked and habituated into so many action/reaction incidences. But, unless there have been certain surgical cuts, disconnecting the limbic system parts from our cortex structure, or parasites cysting in our brains, (and these are very rare), we can train alternative responses to previous stimuli, and future stimuli. We can have fun recognizing what triggers people in which direction, (especially ourselves), and how to be a friend, by helping buds with alternative responses to stuff that might otherwise drive them “nuts”.
Not just for children: This emotional recognition might be just the course of study which may impact your life as no other has until now. From better study skills to better sex, from closer relationship with your God to knowing which choices to work towards and which to best flee, from reducing procrastination to empowering delegation, emotional intelligence will be one of the skills you need to better balance life and experience it to the fullest.
One key to emotional intelligence is timing. The earlier we can begin teaching emotional recognition, and response, the further ahead a child, or an adult can lead themselves and others. Even in Fifth Grade in the New Haven Social Competence Promotion Program, evaluated in New Haven Public Schools, grades 1-5, impulse control is displayed on a “stoplight poster”. Red Light – 1. Stop, Calm down, and Think before you act. Yellow – 2. Say the problem and how you feel. 3. Set a positive goal. 4. Think of lots of solutions. 5. Think ahead to the consequences. Green Light – 6. Go ahead and try the best plan. (Thanks & a Hat Tip: Daniel Goleman and Roger Weissberg)
[ Sidebar – I advise that you enjoy reading Daniel Goleman’s best seller: “Emotional Intelligence – Why it Can Matter More Than IQ”. The book has more info than the audio, but I have done both. ]
What is marvelous is that with the right skill sets, we can understand where our emotions come from. We can understand why we act and react as we do. We can own our past and if necessary, thank it and bid it good bye. We can then move forward with use of our emotions for better learning environments, for easier learning and application of things learned, and to feel alive in ways we really want to feel alive!
If you would be interested in learning more about emotional intelligence and how it will enhance your love life, your spiritual life, your career, and your health, send me an email to my personal firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below. I would be interested in knowing if there is a group of us who would be interested in a group study, and group interaction via Skype, or teleconference, and/or a curriculum developed for better use of emotional intelligence at home and in the workplace. Learning is best achieved when we share, and by teaching each other the lessons we just learned!
It is my privilege to bring the word of God to you. When I had been invited to lead a service at St Mark UMC, I prayed, “God, What do your people need this morning.” Before I could even pull the Lectionary, He answered: Passion. Discuss Passion. So, first thing I do is grab a tool or two to look up every instance of the word, passion, in the Bible.
As I read each passage, it seemed to be all about how not to burn with passion. It was about giving up sinful passion for godly passion. My New King James translation really references the word PASSION in a derogatory sense. Sort of like passion is related to Worldliness as opposed to Holiness. I said, “God, I don’t think I need to sermonize about the evils of lustful passion. Christians understand that. Then Isaiah 51 popped out!
The Holy Bible, New International Version. Pradis CD-ROM:Isa 51: 1-2, 16.
Isa 51:1 “Listento me, you who pursue righteousnessand who seekthe LORD: Look to the rockfrom which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn;
Isa 51:2 look to Abraham,your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth. When I called him he was but one, and I blessed him and made him many.
Isa 51:16 I have put my words in your mouthand covered you with the shadow of my hand—I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth,and who say to Zion, to all who accept Me, ‘You are my people.’ ” (Italics are my addition.)
As I prepare to write, I ask God for guidance. Although I have spent much preparation time in research, reflection and meditation, I pray to write for you, the audience; not for recognition, fame, or honor of my Self. Contribution to others is one of the highest orders of feeling fulfilled as a human. And it is enough for me to be filled by helping others find relief in their inquisitive lives. What this translates as, is that Trusting in God, the Holy Spirit will take my words and allow you to hear the message that Spirit has for you. Step out on Faith! Chuck, Don’t be “Jonah”. Don’t wimp out. Do your best for Me, your Jesus. The Holy Spirit will control, interpret, deliver, what is heard.
So, I thought more. Don’t we call the week of Easter, Passion Week?” Why do we call it Passion Week? Because, in that week, emotions were all over the place. Jesus did much to ready his followers. Jesus prayed as passionately as He ever prayed. Have you, can you remember, the last time you prayed with real passion? Maybe, it was about a dying spouse, or child. Maybe it was about a sin you thought could never be forgiven. Maybe it was for justice, or fairness to prevail in a situation you could not control. I guarantee if you ever prayed so hard that sweat was pouring from your brow, it was about something you were passionately, or emotionally involved.
I have the honor of communicating with thousands of people each year. And though the Bible warns against worldly passions, I find that too many of us do not have enough expression of passion. Are we becoming too passive as a society? Have we been raised so well by the systems of “status quo”, of being so much a part of an “In Crowd”, of conforming to scholastic rules of conformity, that we find it uncomfortable to be very passionate? Or to enjoy the passions of others who might or might not think, act, believe, follow, as we.
How shall we influence others without expressing our drives in emotionally charged meaning? To be intellectual is one of the ways toward wisdom. To feel empathy for others shows compassion. But it is the passion of belief which will influence. It is our passion which charges forth both change and tradition, when persuasion must determine outcome. God gave us our passionate emotions to enjoy, to feel alive. All we need is to properly use and direct them!
As Jesus neared his death, Jesus taught His followers as passionately as He ever did. His teaching became more direct. (Luke22:39-46) He put emphasis on servant leadership. (John 13: 3-17) He showed, taught, love for each other and for Him, as the most important part of becoming one with Him, as He was one with the Father. (John 17: 9-26, Luke 21:33-38) He set the stage to end any bickering they might have among each other. (Mark 10: 35-45) He set them up to receive, understand, become passionate about the Love of God through the Holy Spirit. Did it work? (Acts 2) I’d say yes. At Pentecost, Peter told this timeless story of salvation, through Jesus, with passion. (Acts) How many became believers? The disciples and apostles settled disputes that could have, and did try to, split the believers such as: “Circumcision” among Gentile conversions. (Acts 15: 1-29) Sticking with your spouse who might not believe in the Way. (1 Corinthians 7:10-23) And holding onto the Truth, though others may distort or abandon that Truth. (2 Thessalonians 2) Love conquered. Passions persuaded.
Jesus gave His life during that Passion week. Jesus showed us victory over death, (Luke 24) although, His enemies were more passionate in their opposition, than ever before. (Luke 19: 45-48, 20: 20-26) The whole world was passionately forcing history just the way God was planning. Listen to the crowds screaming, “Crucify Him”. Close your eyes and listen to Jesus tell God, “Forgive them, they do not know what they are doing.” When Jesus said, “It is finished.”, He sealed the rule of Satan as forever doomed. The difficulty is not over, but the final outcome is determined. Difficulties arise, so we can be passionate. Jesus died, Jesus atoned, so that I, and others like me, Jew and Gentile, the lost sheep, could be found. (Luke 15:1-7) The stage was set, the sacrifice was made, for forgiveness of sins all the way through to us today. The sacrifice of Isaac, son of Abraham was not necessary, except as a test of faith. God has never called us to put our children “through the fire”. (Genesis 22: 1-19) But, The sacrifice of Jesus, Son of Holy God, Conceived by the Holy Spirit, was very necessary. (Rev 5) It was the ultimate gift of God, so that we who believe in His Gift might be able to have relationship with our God.
I pondered more. I wondered, if passion is within all of us, even if our passion is somewhat wrong, maybe we just need to redirect it. Maybe we need to understand its power. Maybe that was what the scriptures meant. Maybe I didn’t fully understand what Passion meant. So I went to a dictionary. Passion: 1. Obsession, infatuation…maybe these are the wrong ways to direct passion. 2. Fervor, excitement, zeal, enthusiasm, ardor, delight…Now this is how I view passion!
What are we passionate about in our 21st century lives?
I once listened to a TV preacher who went into great detail of how you’re supposed to whip your arm around like a lasso, and whoop like a dog when there is a kickoff. He spoke about the passion of being a GA Bulldog, at an away game, or at a home game. Lots of passion!. Ditto Pro Football? Music? Does your favorite song raise the hair up your arms? Do you have songs that raise your spirits? Spouse? Does your spouse send chills up your spine when he, or she, touches the small of your back, or spends kisses on your neck? Careers? Do we love our jobs? Are we devoted to our cause? Do we feel most important while doing those jobs? Movies? Do you watch your favorite movies over and over again? Do you know every actor & actress, and even what is happening in their personal lives, maybe more than you know what’s going on in your life?
DO we feel silly when we get together, or see a news segment, for a “StarTrek” weekend with everybody dressing up like film characters? Somebody must be really passionate, huh? DO we feel uncomfortable by promoting new, or existing, products and services at work? Your livelihood often depends on how much passion you have in your work experience. DO we feel arousing emotions, maybe we shiver and get excited, as our spouse pays us that special attention we really crave? DO we feel movement with our music? Do you find it hard to sit still? Do you start tapping your feet, shimmering your shoulders, and nodding your head, with the rhythm, the mood and the beat? DO we feel silly painting our faces, singing cheering chants, or standing, jumping up in excitement, when our football team makes a great play?
I have to ask myself, “Why can I get so passionate over hobbies, career, or entertainment, yet feel silly, embarrassed, funny, less passionate, about the story that saves lives? About Love that changes lives? About Faith that keeps my life in better shape? About Mercy that Saved me?
What drives our passions? None of these passions are necessarily wrong. Passions are God given emotions that we can channel as we see fit. We have God given abilities to choose and to follow our passions. God wants us to have passion. How do we know? Remember the letter written to the Laodiceans? Jesus reveals to us, through John’s vision in Rev 3: 15-16. “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were either cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” (You have no passion.) You are sitting back, thinking you are fat, happy, satisfied and your work is done. I want to throw up. Rev 3:19 – “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20- Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and dine with him, and he with Me. 21- To him who overcomes, I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat with My Father on His throne.”
Let’s explore more example of the passions God wants us to exhibit. How many of us have taken any Spiritual Gifts Inventory, through church, or Internet? (1 Corinthians 12:1- 13:13, Romans 12:6-8) How are we using our gifts? Are we passionate in our pursuit of these gifts? Are we doing everything we do as if we are doing it for our Lord? (Colossians 3: 18- 4:2)
When we allow our emotions to back up our gifting, we expose passion in positive light. Things happen! David was passionate. When Goliath was on that battle scene, cursing God and God’s people, it was passion that took David into that valley with his sling. Passion that came from his prior experience, and skill, and his zeal. Surely, almost every soldier in Saul’s army had more war experience, was physically stronger, probably larger. But, they displayed no passion, while waiting for battle. They hesitated. (1 Samuel 17: 1-58)
What could you do with David’s kind of passion? Age could not hold you back. Not young, nor old. Education could not hold you back. Not too little, nor too much. Economics could not hold you back. As His child, God has given you that kind of passion. You just need to awaken it! Don’t fear going it alone. Just like the other soldiers rushed the Philistines, after the death of Goliath, others will join your leadership example, to strengthen you, support you, to make your passion a part of theirs.
Maybe you have trouble feeling passion. Maybe you had it once, but something happened to take away that drive. Look at the story of Moses. He grew strong, with every advantage the household of Egypt’s Pharaoh had to offer. And, he had his own Mother to nurse him. Then, thinking he was defending justice, he was found to be a murderer and fled for his life, to Midian, for years. After a time, an angel of the Lord appeared to him. Told him he was on Holy Ground. Gave him a non-consuming burning bush to see. Told him that the great God of the Universe was sympathetic to Moses’ cause. Gave Moses the right to right the wrong….and Moses made excuses. It took a lot of effort to re-make a passionate leader out of Moses. But with encouragement, Moses worked his way back into the passion he had before. And we can too. (Exodus)
Maybe, you started off too fast and, like me, put more than your foot in your mouth. Maybe, you were zealous, and then lost that zeal, maybe because family or friends, or even children or parents, told you your ideas were stupid. Impossible. Never been done by anyone, or someone, like you, before. Maybe you had difficulty, or failed at several projects. Maybe, God knew your timing was not right until now! Personally, I went from being a “know-it-all” to a “please don’t ask me” and Like Moses, had to regain confidence I held as a young man. It has taken over 25 years. If a man, like Chuck, (who is embarrassed by his divorces, his failures, and his inabilities), can concentrate on the strengths God inspires, (instead of the weakness of his human nature), is returning back to himself, renewing his abilities, (albeit, greatly altered and enhanced with severe doses of humility), then God can bring passion for Him back into your life too.
Take what the Spirit is gifting you, Take it now, where you are in your life, and add passion. Open your heart and mind to dreams of God’s using you for the kingdom that you will share. You are a person of worth and value. Your God loves you. And your God wants you to love you. And your God wants you to take that love, and passionately apply it while sharing that love.
The passions of my best mentors, and my memories, both good and bad, are driving me onward. Not onward as a Cowboy store owner. Owning the store is not the goal. The Cultured Cowboy store is a means to reach more people with a message of love and hope and compassion. Over the Internet, I reach them in the comfort of their homes. In store, I reach them behind the hat counter. I reach them while doing little leather projects. I open the door to conversations about love, faith and mercy by first helping them in our everyday world. THEN, as I try to help them with solutions to needs they have in this world, I entice them to search for more God in their lives.
Do not dare think you can find happiness just to live a “normal” life. You are God’s child. You can take passion into your everyday, and turn every day into something much more special! Who needs normal, when we can live with passionate excitement?
Some how, some way, God has brought us into a search for ways that we can best help the people He sends our way. All the experiences and events of life, good and bad, spiritual and worldly, have contributed to bring us to this point in time. Some how, some way, I am and have been able to understudy some of the world’s best psychologists, coaches, ministries and consultants, so that I can relay ways that improve the lives of others.
Combining the knowledge and experiences of my mentors and myself, with the passion for life that is God within me, God’s Holy Spirit leads me to mentor you and as many as will read these articles, or lead others to them, into a closer relationship with God and family and friends and co-workers. Take our faith, add works driven by our faith, drive them with God gifted passions, and the result is relationship.
“Speaking in front of you is one of the gifts that God has graciously given me. But touching the lives of millions of readers is something God has done, probably, in spite of me. Why should a little “Mom & Pop” store in Greenwood, SC ever have International reach? It is really not just boots nor saddles. There are lots of buy buttons all over the Internet, if stuff is all people want. I don’t have buy buttons. Ya gotta call, or email. There’s gotta be some kinda human contact. It sometimes drives me crazy, but… To be a small touch of God. To tell about His mercy and grace. To tell His children that there is hope in their lives too. Not just hope for horses and rodeo, but in their real, total lives. To be passionate. Passion makes the difference. You can spread God around, as thick as peanut butter, while living your everyday life.”
– This paragraph was written several years ago in a newsletter. The newsletter info became a speech, and a sermon. And now, it offers how we can, in our every day life, incorporate our belief, our faith, our passion, in aspects that far outreach the doors of Sunday services.
The conversations, questions and thoughts shared with tens of thousands of store customers led me to search for more meaningful answers to their true needs. I am finding better means of relating through the many hours of life coaching curriculum. Consultation as a business adviser often leads to how people can better balance their life stages and their life zones. Every time I can help with the lives of clients allows that much more experience to be shared with other clients. The means of communication today allow for huge, massive influence. Whereas, before, limitations of time and location seriously enveloped abilities.
While I read articles that inform the world of mental health that at some time, 1 in 4 people will need help overcoming an issue, I feel huge feelings of growth and contribution and significance, in obtaining certifications, and in participation of helping people have more positively directed passion in their lives, their relationships. Especially in opening avenues of possibility, allowing them to develop close relationship with their Maker.
In the same way He has sent His servants to bring me closer to Him, I am on a mission to become servant to bringing you closer to understanding why and how you are important. We sing, “Just as I am”. But to feel like you are growing closer, you need to grow. No one stays “just as I am”. We grow or we die. Amazingly, by sharing our relationships, we gain strength, confidence and life. We remember more easily when we teach. Practice enforces feeling. So there is an importance in teaching and sharing our faith. The more love we give, the more we feel the love!
The more I can teach you, in method and substance, to teach those you influence, the more you will come to understand the concepts that are taught. It is not enough to learn and to miser the education. It is the passionate goal of those who teach me, that those whom I teach can also carry onward the tradition. And I share this passion!
God says the meek will inherit. (Matthew 5:1-12) Meek. Not arrogant. Meek. Not Lazy. Meek. Not Indifferent. Meek. Not weak. Passionately Meek. Passionately serving others. Not serving because you have to do it. Serving because it is the best feeling you will have on this earth! Passionate service brings you emotionally closer to your God. This is passion that is better than eating all you can at a family Thanksgiving feast. (I find myself wanting to say it is at least as good as the passion God created through two becoming one in marriage. And I mean even better than the honeymoon.)
How? Because through your passion, you rise to a challenge. With properly directed passion, know you have given your best. And even if it seems like something fails, or is coming about sooo slooow, there is nothing better than knowing you passionately did your best for God. Maybe, your efforts are making a difference you can’t readily see. (Paul and Barnabas split over Mark. Looks like a horrible split, as we read when it happened. But the Kingdom of God grew faster than if they stayed together. Everyone involved was passionate for God’s cause. Though the passions divided, God used all their emotions for good. And they all reconciled later.
Passion led to Grace. Accepting Grace through Jesus as Messiah, is God’s best offer to try to get close to God. We will never, in this life of learning, find a better way of being good enough for Him. God gave us Jesus; we have an advocate. We have the best of the best attorney to plead our cause before God. We can have an insider’s track. We have God’s Son representing us. The whole of scriptures is story after story of a passionate God who wants relationship with the creation he called “Very Good”.
Still scared? Still doubtful? For reassurance, for support, for geometric progression of love, your Passion can be shared… Proverbs 27: 17 “As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” Spiritual gifts are to be shared and executed among the strengths of each other.
We lean upon and learn from each others’ gifts. Passionate Christians cajole each other into what is right. Passionate Christians challenge each other into what is right. Passionate Christian friends not only support each other, but become accountability partners. And through this passionate interactivity, we become more useful to our God, and to Jesus, and to our selves.
How many here can believe with heart, and mind, and soul, and body, that God is the great IAM. The great Alpha & Omega. The One who created, and the One who wants you close to Him, because He created you? (Deuteronomy 6: 4-9, Matthew :26-30)
Now…What are we going to do with our passions? Our rights as sons and daughters of the Most High God are to share. Pres Kennedy once stated, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” I passionately challenge you: “Ask not what your Father, Son and Holy Spirit can do for you. Ask what you can do for the kingdom of God.” (Ask & It shall be given, Luke 11:5-13)
BENEDICTION: Jesus told us, and I am paraphrasing, “I have been given power over heaven and earth. Go, because you have the rights to use the things I have taught you. You have the gifts of the Holy Spirit within you. You have the backing of the love of God surrounding you. Passionately give, all you have opportunity to give, the passion, the reason for life, the truth, the way, just as I have taught you through these scriptures. And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
The Holy Bible, New International Version. Pradis CD-ROM:Tit 3:3.
Paul instructed us through his instructions written to Titus. Tit 3:3 At one timewe too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
Tit 3:4 But when the kindnessand love of God our Saviorappeared,
Tit 3:5 he saved us,not because of righteous things we had done,but because of his mercy.He saved us through the washingof rebirth and renewalby the Holy Spirit,
Tit 3:6 whom he poured out on usgenerously through Jesus Christ our Savior,
Tit 3:7 so that, having been justified by his grace,we might become heirshaving the hopeof eternal life.
Tit 3:8 This is a trustworthy saying.And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.
What happens when we feel stuck in our situation? How often do we feel as if an issue, or a dilemma, or a problem has no resolution? Sometimes, we prevent ourselves from finding or trying effective alternative possible solutions because we are placing value on a previous trial, or experience, or feeling, or meaning from our past, or from the past of someone we trust. Have you ever, sometimes, felt trapped in your own “double bind” that seems as if we are “damned if we do and damned if we don’t!”
Have you ever held the thought, “I can’t feel, (do, accomplish, complete), ‘this’ because of ‘that’? The “thing we can’t” might be an emotion, or a relationship, or an experience that we seek. What if, we just replace ‘this’ with whatever it might be that you wish you could enjoy, or have more of, or could experience in your life? An example might be, “I can’t feel like I am in control of my life because everybody else is making so many demands on me.”
Now think about: because of ‘that’. “I tried. It didn’t work because of ….” “I’ve tried everything!” “Well, it might work for you, but not for me.” When we have these thoughts, our brain is trying to serve us, as we think about things which we think about. We really probably have not tried everything, but we relied on one or two or even a half-dozen frequent patterns from our repertoire.
In our example, “… because everybody else is making so many demands on me.” Our bodies neurologically build communication links that make repetitive functions or thoughts easier to appear. Just like shooting paper basketballs at the wastebasket becomes easier to target as we practice, and accomplish, so do our thoughts which have served us, from our past. If yesterday, a trial did not work, our brain tries to save us time by telling us, “OK, it didn’t work in the past, it won’t work in the future.” Our thoughts pattern such that; I felt rejected by my partner when I brought up that choice before, and the objection made us feel uneasy, or distant, or uncomfortable. So, let’s not do this now.” When this “autonomic” belief happens, our first thoughts are also negative when a similar situation occurs, or maybe even a different situation occurs. From our example, the feeling of being overwhelmed has interrupted thoughts of possible alternative delegation, or prioritization, or time management.
As humans, when our brain goes into “cannot possibly” mode, our interpretation of meaning might build into any of four common emotional “protection?” mechanisms: 1) Criticism of a person, idea, or of our self. 2) Contempt for a partner, trial, or for our self. 3) Defensiveness of a prior pattern, way we used to do, way it should be or have been, or a sensitivity toward a friend, relative, ideal or of our self. 4) Stonewalling or shutting down, rather than entertaining any “unwanted” discussion, debate, or argument. These four “habits” pop up suddenly, from remembrance of some pain from before, or some lack of gratification from before and/or from some meaning once thought as protective. In other words, they seem to be habitually how we fall back upon, when challenges face us.
How many times we just try to forget about anything uncomfortable, so we can enjoy more immediate gratification. Avoiding pain is one of two major reasons we have for doing, or thinking, or developing belief. But, sometimes, we are only procrastinating some opportunity and that procrastination is really keeping our lives from becoming more of what we desire.
Anger, anxiety, or self-doubt and sadness can alter our thought patterns so that our emotions actually prevent us from realizing goals, dreams or resolutions. Your mind begins with the thought that says, “It will not work for me, or for this situation, or at all.” Then your physical stances reflect this negativity. Your body falls into patterns to re-enforce the thoughts. Maybe, your voice gets louder, heart rate intensifies, pulse races, arms or legs cross or flail. Listening becomes almost impossible. Your hormones and neurotransmitters get you ready for fight or flight. Or, your body falls. Shoulders slump some. Head falls forward. Eyes look downward. Frowning of the brow appears, breathing shallows, lips might quiver, and pervasive negative thoughts embellish each other, hoping for sympathetic attention. Sometimes, while dealing with a medium to long-term issue, we vacillate from anger to sadness to anger to sadness, over and over, again.
IF, THEN: When first I studied computer programming, I was taught that computers ‘think’ in binary form. They go fast, they have abilities to do complex tasks, because they are coded in simplicity. A switch is on or off. A light shines or not. A magnetic field is positive or negative. 0/1. Every If/Then formula is a switch to go one and only one of two directions. Yet, by making and combining sequences of If/Then formulas, we could become increasingly more complex with the instructions we required. But once a switch was thrown, there was a direction that currents moved.
Sometimes, like my early programming, meanings and emotions get caught in continuous loops. Switches follow a familiar pattern that leads to a result which is not quite where we expected to be. (In SI coaching, we call one example of this looping, a Crazy 8). As we discovered a challenge, we sometimes just made a system change, or a reboot, to find the point where things seem to get stuck, and tried a correction. Once the small basic of an If/Then choice was understood, and as capacities for increasing numbers of ‘switches’ grew, a programmer was a lot less limited in his or her possibilities. Just a small change of one or two switches in the basics would make all the difference in the world of that computer’s functioning to do what we require.
Now many of us are not schooled in computer programming. And if we are, there are ‘mega’ units of ‘already worked through paths’ that can be combined to write anew. (We build upon the experiences of others before us.) And, like the present me, concerning computer programming, we forget that if we do not constantly have in use, the creativity or the methods to rebuild, renew, and redirect currents in life, we cannot call those positive possibilities forth without help.
In most of our life ambitions, we do not need a 180 degree change in life. We just need some small tweaks to effect major opportunities. But like computer programming, without small tweaks, we can become stuck in our loop of impossibility. Most times, simple small awakenings can affect huge differences in our feelings, and abilities to find our own solutions.
So let’s suppose that we are distracted by constant arguments with our kids. Our kids are trying to find/become their own Self. We parents feel that we, and children, have to have rules of order. It seems that every day, the same arguments occur over and over again. Nothing seems to make life better between all of you. Frustration abides! Each person might feel disrespected or hurt or angry. You have trouble with focus on work, or wife, or fishing, because of the feelings you encounter, and hold, while “dealing” with the kids. Seems something keeps pushing your buttons and you are getting tired of !
Once a person has the age or capacity to rationalize, think, discover their own needs, we need to get beyond, “Because I said so, that is why!” Older conflict resolution behavioral therapy would recommend that you tried repeating back what you think you heard from each other. Paraphrase both the content and the meaning of the other person’s message. You try listening and putting yourself in their shoes, (and more recently, also in their age or life zones). You were told that the solution was to “understand” where they are coming from. Let them “feel” heard and that you care, respect and empathize with them, even if you don’t share perspectives. You are all supposed to suspend your judgment and respond non-defensively: “I hear you.”
By seeing the problem from each others’ perspective, problem solving is supposed to take place without anger. And this sometimes has worked. The reconciliation technique has been adapted from the findings of renowned psychotherapist, Carl Rogers. But if you have been triggered, and they have been triggered, and patterns have emerged as they have, remember that you are not a trained, practicing therapist listening to a client. A therapist is supposed to respond in a non-judgmental and patient fashion to all thoughts that a client expresses. The method is used so that a patient feels safe in a clinical environment, and thereby feels confident confiding in a therapist. Since families are supposed to be an environment that promotes safety and understanding, leading family psychologists, for years, have concluded that it might be beneficial to try this strategy. Conflict resolution is easier if each person shows true empathy for the other persons.
This is called Active Listening. The problem with this type of counseling alone is that you are emotionally and socially in the midst of your controversy, with contention and contestation. Even after application of active listening techniques, the typical people within a family are still distressed. Suppression rather than resolution seems to rule the present. But, that e “snake” comes back out snapping and biting later, again. And after active listening training, almost all relapse within a year. It is hard to be objective when you feel pounced upon.
So, according to findings of many studies from John M Gottman Ph.D. and his wife, and others associated with the Gottman Institute, there are some more things to understand and look forward to doing. First, know that the way we start an argument is usually the way we end an argument. If we begin with a harsh start, we almost always finish with harsh feelings and little accomplished. Some people are just loud. Loud is not harsh. Harsh is attacking the person, not the issue at hand, as you begin. So, first, soften your start-up, to be for the issue at hand, not the person(s) you wish to chastise.
This softer start-up can begin becoming accomplished by changing your physicality from the normal. When you change your physical, you change your emotional. Just like changing the emotions in our discourse above reflect differences in your physical being, (Yin-yang kinda thing.), changing the physical will lead your emotions too.
I have given many live sales seminars showing that to have a person become less resistant to you or your product, you must first find a way to have them ‘schmoozed’ to a point that their arms are not crossed over their chest; their breathing more relaxed, not held. We smile at them, in the way they smile at us. We begin to mirror their physiology, and “bring” them into a more receptive physiology. We may begin with a look of empathetic concern and lead it into a smile as we progress with our conversation. Listen to their words and reflect use their exact words to build trust. Change your normal habits of argument.
If you are fake, it shows. If insincere, it shows. If bossy or feeling superior, it shows. Schmoozing is not just flattery. It is really active listening to understand the needs your customer feels. Most of our problem is simply that we like people who are like us, or are people like we want to be. We can usually get along with these people. But that leaves most of the population that are not like us, and how are we going to make a living relating to such a small percentage? How are we going to build and maintain a healthy, fulfilling relationship with those children, or spouse, or parents, or siblings, that are not just like us?
We need to learn to have more tools in our toolbox! We do not have to keep doing the same thing, the same way, over and over again. What is that getting us? Joy? Happiness? Less stress? Feeling closer to our family?
Small changes… Baby steps. If normally, you stand while kids sit, you sit and have the kids stand. If normally you fuss at the dinner table, then go onto the patio to debate. Or go for a walk in a park. A different location, a different physical position, when you feel “triggered” will enable your whole ability to become closer. If you would normally flail your arms in excitement, or yank off a belt as a threat, get a couple of baseball gloves and a ball. Do something else to portray your need for kinesthetic activity. The change in position also helps kids and teens and spouse to make and be more receptive to changes too.
Another way to soften is to pay attention to the tone of your voice as you speak. Do you sound judgmental, critical or whiny? One fun way to know how you sound, understand how easily a change in tone, or inflection, or volume of voice can be enacted, is to get your kids, or spouse, or sibling, at a time not in argument, and do some “improvisation theatre”. Play, become actors. Practice a variety of ways to say a sentence. Emphasize different words in that same sentence. Turn the sentence into a question by the way that you tone up or down at the beginning or end of that sentence. Watch a movie or TV show together with the goals of practicing like, imitating, the actors. Make up scenes as you would have, maybe even different than the way a certain actor was directed to act. Again, now we are doing something fun and constructive, in preparation for future debate. (Notice changing the wording from fight, to argument, to debate. What meanings do your words hold?)
If you really want to learn to have fun, agree to play each other in a pretend argument. You be the kid(s) and they become the adults. Imitate their gestures, facials, eye rolls, and wording. Allow them to do the same. Everybody should over-exaggerate! Just as a stage actor must over-exaggerate to have his character understood by an audience in a theater, use all of your talents to express. You might find that you can do this in front of a mirror so that all parties can see the faces as they pretend to argue as another person. This can really add humor to your relationship. It is important that the role play and the acting be done outside of a really good fight. And that you remember to use your silly signals if things begin to escalate. This is a pretend session, a practice session, not a real fight. And it will become a bonding session if you allow it to bring your emotions into a controlled recreation. Use a mix of spontaneity and wit.
And, while you are “Playing roles, this is a great time to realize how your kids, and you, like to be taught. Are they auditory? Is anyone using terms like “I hear you.” “You never listen.” “Sounds like…”. Is anyone visual? Does the conversation include: “See what I mean.” “Look at it from my point of view.” Are there indications of olfactory or gustatory inclinations? “I can smell trouble coming.” If you had a taste of what you…” Is anyone kinesthetic? “Do they feel the moment?” “You move like there is no tomorrow.” “What do you really stand for?” The nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, and descriptive languages, give clues as to how the person “sees” or understands their world. Use these descriptive terms back for each individual. Even talk together about how this realization can make a difference in getting your points across. If you are trying to reach another person, only in the mode or methods, you like to be reached, you might turn blue in the face trying, and they might become frustrated to the max, trying, to reach a common goal. But their brain patterns are not able to comprehend as well from your auditory delivery, as it would if you presented your views from their visual perspective.
Second, … (Bet you are wondering what or which of all that before now was First! I did, as I proof read. That is good. When you feel just a little dazed and confused, your mind adjusts to becoming more receptive to a new idea, solution or possibility. Seems using all this 1st, 2nd & 3rd person switching, and other writing “errors” attune your attention so that the possibilities of “not normal” ideas are better accepted. A little psychology is like Picasso modern art. The dude could paint anything with as much realism as he wanted, and because he was schooled and so perfected at so many “realistic” arts, his “way out there” modernistic ideas have been readily accepted. Without having the understanding of your art, whether linguistics, or painting, you, (I), just look like a writer who didn’t make the grade.)
Second, realize that the emotions and reactions of what are called by Dr Gottman, the “Four Horsemen”, (Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness and Stonewalling), have a tendency to rear their ugly heads. Know it and watch for them. In fact, before any confrontation with the kids, have a discussion with the kids of how these Four Horsemen continue to interfere with your abilities to carry on constructive conversation. If you can laugh at the way these four emotionally charged horsemen affect you, and agree that when you see any of them approach, each of you agree to corral the horsemen instead of each other, it becomes easier to recognize and share the responsibilities of their coming around. Understanding teaches how to recognize triggers for what they are: things that can, but do not have to, start a habitual process in motion.
Note: Often, spouses will have a hand signal, or a gesture that is very comical to signal the approach of said horsemen. Have one that you and the kids can enjoy too. This lightens the event! If you can explain the running of those four horsemen in a way that is understandable to your family members, you gain more enlightenment on the ways that the Gottman methods of using emotional intelligence strategies can really work.
When we realize that it is not the person, not that any person is becoming bad, but it is the appearance of habitual emotions that escalate the fights, not either of you nor the kids, then positive results can become more objective. When you can laugh with the emotional circumstance rather than succumb to it, use it rather than being used by it, life becomes more fun. You might find that you, and the kids, team up against the four horsemen, rather than each other.
You might even decide that because of your unique personalities, or differences in the influences of your times and/or timing, you might have to decide to agree to disagree on the solutions. Unless this is a life threatening, or a safety issue, it can be OK. And choose that this battle is not worth losing the relationship. You might decide to break for at least 20 min if females and over an hour if males or male/female, (Due to ave response times of cooling off periods, timing can be everything. Females have estrogen that stimulate more oxytocin which allows them to “calm” down faster than men who will have lesser levels of the oxytocin that enhances social bonding in people.), and then come back to further debate/discuss possibilities in calmer moods.
You might (even forcefully recalling for yourself) recall friendly times, as you enjoyed times together. Might be playing dolls, or golf together, something related or totally not related to anything debatable, but definitely a time or times that you can find honor, respect and fun while functioning together. I remember my daughter peeing all in my face as I changed her diaper. I had no idea a baby girl could aim so well! What was not so funny at the time has become many times of some serious laughter. Now grown, Ellyn does not think this memory is anywhere as funny as I make it to be. It has although, produced uncontrollable laughter for me, at me. Not disrespect for my daughter, but hilarity at my shock and disbelief, and hard-headed repetition, at those diapering times. Yep, had to try this thing more than once to see if it happened as a fluke! I learned to “diaper” faster, to tickle a little while still in the wet diaper, and especially to beware when coming out of bath water.
You might as an adult, try to remember what it was like for you to have an issue with your parents, and how you went through discussion of that issue, or if there was no discussion, how it might have been to have had discussion. Relive for a moment, some times that went well and some that did not. What happened in each case? Did people get loud? Quiet? Walk away? Did you feel listened to? Respected? Did they? What else might have brought more listening and respect to the discussion? Was there any epiphany where one of you suddenly understood the other view? What led to it? How can you use these thoughts to help with debate among your family at this time?
Note: It is important to notice that now, you are not only discussing a disagreement, but you are teaching your children how to prepare for the other debates, disagreements, and recoveries they will inevitably face during their lives. Whether or not you have to give in to their requests, some or all, or none, you are being the best example of a parent in teaching them how to stand for their ideas in more respectful manner, how to formulate postulates, to have defenses without becoming defensive, to think through the reasons they make the choices that they make, to debate without demeaning, and to become leaders among their peer groups rather than followers of some group you would rather they reject.
This method of discovering that arguing is good and necessary in life, and how to do it like a professional, is like the adage of teaching a man to fish and feed him for life, or give him a fish to feed him for a day. Today, we do not want to take the emotion out of issues among us, but to use emotions for competitive advantage, at the same time building relationship, as if you will be doing business with a supplier long-term, with which you must deal, but must have reasonable terms allowing both your business and theirs to remain in business, and with honor and respect shown to each partner.
A key to any relationship, whether personal or business is friendship. You must be a parent, but you can parent from a position of respect. When you truly honor your family, you receive the honor due to you as a viable member of your household. You, by using all of theses skills, by teaching all of these skills, by setting example of mastering, and messing up, and getting over the mistakes, and praising the learning experiences and personal growth of yourself and family members, show how we can be human, have preferences, have differences, and still persist in higher truth, values, and beliefs.
Only a matter of time.
Pains, tragedy, unknowns, and disappointment affect close personal relationships. This will happen to all people. Why does it seem that some people will work through and become more happy, more financially capable, stronger? Why do some people quit and fail? We might think of luck, or intelligence, or hard work. Realistically, it is love, and how to use love to move and motivate. Love, that should be so easy, that is the source of happiness, can also drive us awry.
Some challenges are going to happen just by moving two people into a home together, even though previously dating for long times. There are things that will come up that you never anticipate. Sometimes impasse is based on rules and bias and ways you were raised to handle certain situations & circumstances that differ from the rules and meanings that your spouse held. Maybe at first, it is a simple fix. But what happens if we allow lots of little events add, accumulate, or become a focus of our attention?
Throw in the fact that many marriages today are blending families: children, hurts, failed expectations, from previous relationships & divorces and you can understand some of why there are multiple challenges to face. You might think that if only these challenges would creep in one at a time, it would be better. Life does not seem to work so easily.
One family might have a style of handling problems by trying to immediately communicate all feelings. They might yell and get it over with, or might face each other down and immediately pour out their souls.
Another family might have a history of stepping back and waiting on things to dissipate. Then maybe, sometime in the future, have a discussion that is more calm. Or maybe, it will just go away if unattended. Others seemed to do so.
Another family history might be of sulking, or “getting” away. Each partner is trying to turn into themselves for solace, or for the joy of depression, or anxiety. But is this not supposed to be a partnership?
Now none of these things are to be judged right or wrong here. They are, for now, just to be understood as differences in how we have previously been taught, or have rewarded ourselves, experienced ways, that we deal with issues. What happens when one member communicates as they have learned, but the other takes the communication all wrong. Have we just experienced compounding problems?
It is import to communicate. And often, we think we are communicating. We understand what we think is happening. But does our partner really understand? Are they trying and “thick”? Are they ignoring the issue? Are they hurt, or trying to hurt you, by the meanings they give or actions they take?
Once, in the boot department of my retail store, a customer was trying to say something I could understand. They had a real need to communicate, and so did I. We had the same goal, but couldn’t get it across. He needed some cowboy boots and I wanted him to have them. Problem was that the gentleman was trying to communicate in Spanish. I was trying to communicate in English and neither of us was doing well. Just for the heck of it, frustrated, I asked, “Parle vous Francaise? Mais Qui, he happily replied! Communication issues were quickly resolved. We found a language that was perfectly understood by us both. All we had to do was keep trying until we found similar meaning. We were both so delighted that we did not give up on us!
Almost no one who marries ever expects the relationship to turn south. We all desire to have a relationship of love and understanding. Just sometimes our understandings have multiple meanings, different beliefs, or sometimes blocks are thrown in the way of resolution by just not having the skill sets to more easily resolve personal difficulties. But if and when a “breakthrough” moment happens, there is joy beyond all previous frustrations. There is significance and growth and contribution shared in overcoming the difficulties. We then find that we are blessed by the experiences. This is why we call it a “Breakthrough”.
Part of having a coach is to assist you when you need skill sets in negotiating. Partly, to be a third party who might be sure that each person in a relationship has a fair chance to really understand the feelings and needs of the others in your relationships.
We have all heard the expression of “walking a mile in my shoes.” We have heard of the man who complained that “he had no shoes, until he met a man with no feet”.
If you have been close enough to get into the body, sensually, intimately, sexually, of your spouse, then you have the responsibility of taking a time, often, to place your self into their emotional place. Be inside them for a time. Really be them, in their shoes, as they try to deal with issues at hand. Have presence and understanding by at least role playing from their position or point of view. Feel from their perspective. Take a time to not be who you normally are. Man up and listen; Man up and look into their eyes deeply enough to know their pain, their trials, their frustrations.
I say man up. Ladies will often comment on putting on their “big girl panties”. Knowing, ladies that your man feels respect by your letting him know that he is making you happy, and that all the bitching in the world will not be as effective as allowing him to make you “light up”, and that a man has been raised in our culture, all his life, to listen for the gist of what he understands to need fixing, immediately going into “problem solving mode”, and that you must encourage him to become better at not doing what he might think is what a guy is supposed to do. He has not been raised to know how to enjoy giving you presence. You hold a part in your happiness within your marital relationship. He get’s frustrated when he cannot have immediate solutions. He will tend to go into frustration, or doubt. By experiencing this for yourself,you better understand the emotional roller coaster he is trying to ride.
Guys, If you want that woman to feel that you are listening, keep in mind that you have “two ears and one mouth”. Concentrate on her needs to be feeling understood. With most instances, she needs to feel understood more than, certainly before, she needs a dilemma to be resolved. You are “fixing” things all over your life zones. You dive in fast and use what you know to get things back on track. What you don’t know will harm you! Take a deep breath. Relax. Hear. When you are with your lady, the tool you need is to be able to feel as she feels, while she is pouring out her needs to be heard to you. Take your emotions of masculinity and pour them all into your concentration, just as you would if you were at work. You can do this while you watch a sports event. You get into the game. Get into the game with her. This is the first step to bringing your relationship back to the romance you both deserve. When you feel her emotions, you better understand that she is working through many of her own solutions as she is discussing with you listening. The female parts of partners can find relief in talking though expression. Guys, you might not need to worry, work, drain yourself, so hard. Just concentrate and feel her, be with her, as you do when deeply in concentration. Enjoy the trust you are building, the feeling of security you provide by being 100% with her, when you are with her.
Once both parties have placed themselves into the others’ feelings, There is truly a level of understanding that can allow renewal of the relationship.
There is no embarrassment in presently not having the skill sets to renew your relationship. Most people do not understand the skills they could employ! The embarrassment only happens when you find that there are skill sets that can be used to bring “breakthrough” moments to your family, but you refuse to, or are afraid to try. Remember, most 5th graders find a time that they want to quit school for some reason. They don’t feel understood. They cannot see a light at the end of their tunnel. But, they are not allowed to quit, and many of them by further education, become doctors, and business people, and even teachers.
There is only harm in not learning the skill sets you need to bring ultimate romance and feelings of belonging, of oneness, back or even for the first time, into your relationship. I can attest. Prior divorces prove that I did not have these skill sets. Praise God, I have found them now. When you are not used them for a time, they do not feel so natural until we exercise them some. It may seem like brushing your teeth with a left hand, when you write with your right. Awkward to begin. Almost hilarious as the toothpaste goes all over the top of your lips, onto the side of your face, and you start to hold your arm still and move your head up & down. Once practiced and accomplished, and still together, stronger in union than ever, you might even laugh at how silly it was to not have this passion all along. On the other hand, once gone, it takes more effort to overcome the pains of failure, than to recover the love with that person whom you admired before.
I can remember, many years ago being so frustrated when friends, a married couple, called me to try to help them get through a tight spot in their relationship. Both are good people. Both are God loving, family loving people. They simply reached frustration levels that intensified beyond their capabilities to recover. Knowing I loved them both, they called me over to help. I was so frustrated, because I did not have the skills to help turn them back toward each other. I only had my prior poor experiences and cliches that were better left unsaid.
If only… If only… Instead of living a life of “if only”. Wouldn’t we rather live a life of passion with the person we already share children, time, values, assets, vacations, memories, together? Passion is only a small time away. I believe your lawyers would rather make their livings by helping you with estate planning, than through divorce court payments. Chances are really good that even if this relationship does not work, without the proper skills, your next relationship will end the same. So, unless there has been harsh abuse, save all the things you have been through together. You can learn to use the good and the not so good, to grow stronger, more loving, more understanding, more worthy of love.
It does happen, every day. Help is available for you. So, are you ready to fight into a lot of hard work and disappointment? Or, would you rather spend the rest of your relationship in joy and trust?
My Dad was unique in many ways. He would have a hobby for a year or three, then find another one. (Dad needed to know he could accomplish things. He needed to feel significant. He would vary his hobbies because he loved feeling his growth. Whenever he felt a plateau, he just changed hobbies.) As I turned 10, I began to follow his “Hobby Trail”. We went from dirt track car racing to restoring antique furniture, to fishing, to vegetable gardens, to horses. Charles never did anything halfway. He would go at a new hobby as if it were the last thing he would ever do. He got over the horses; moved from our horse farm, with a job promotion, and went into pit cooked BBQ mastery. I’ve been with horses ever since. Just can’t get away from them. The small horse farm I live upon is the place that he and Mom purchased during his “horse phase”.
When we were looking for a “horsey” place, Charles had narrowed his decision to choose between 2 locations. One was a dream. The other was a “project”. I prayed hard for the ambition we now call Walking T Stables. We were able to make it a dream home. Through unexpected circumstance, the dream place reduced in price to a point our family could afford it. Yet, God does have understanding that confuses humanity. Right after we built barns, arena, painted the old two-story home, picked up thousands of rocks, built fencing, and had it “just right”, then two tornados crossing the property within two minutes of each other, allowed me to rebuild again. Took many years and many projects to get it right again. And weather has kept me guessing ever since! And yes, the “project” homestead missed all that December path of stormy weather.
My Dad, with home imploded and barns in shreds, was offered a job in Mom’s home town, with a substantial pay increase. It was a “no-brainer” for him to move. I asked if I could stay, clean up the debris, and rebuild. He thought that was a great Idea. Seems he was always having a bit of luck, all his life. He could run into deals no one else could believe. When things seemed bad, he could have good come from it. When all looked so bleak from an outside position looking in, he was able to start fresh. He and I needed time apart and circumstance certainly provided it. I earned scholarships for Lander University, about 4 miles from the farm. Insurance on the house blown apart paid the farm mortgage. So he and I were free to pursue separate goals.
As I continued through my last teen years, and through this day too, I have tried to make the family proud of our little farm. Daddy has since passed away. I still yearn for his approval. And since he is no longer here, I can choose to get it! I choose to hear him say, “That’s my boy.” These are words he shouted when I sang Karaoke for him. (You see, we can choose how we decide to experience events in our present. Daddy was a man of few complements. So, every time I remember his complement, it reinforces the memories of times we enjoyed together, thus, making my life happier today!)
The old tornado torn house has been replaced with another that serves as our store warehouse/my apartment, today. (Looks like a big house from the outside!) Rodeos, horse shows, clinics and more have been a part of our legacy. We have held some really famous visitors, like the Arena Productions Lipizzaner Stallions. And many less heard of kids that have since become congressman, contractors, artists, housewives, firefighters and just good people. They had a place to hang out, under the mentorship of people who were the right sort. They had chance to watch change in their lives, and the lives of their friends. Rather than brag about what “I” have done, I know I honestly built upon Dad’s foundation. And all those “kids” chose their paths from all the people in their lives. We, several adults, teens and other kids, only guided.
Without the startup of my Dad, with his temporary horse hobby, I probably would not be the horseman I am today. Without that small horse farm, not all but hundreds, of kids would not have been raised with the values they now have. Or, with the experiences of how to get mad and get over it properly. Or, how to become leaders among their peers. Or, how to concede to parental supervision, and still hold their feelings of independence. (Intra-dependence is a wonderful plan that keeps families and friends together. Learning to enjoy depending on each other is a combination of personal significance and contribution to others in a higher level of love & connection.)
Charles has no idea how many lives he affected. Charles has no idea of the teams he contributed toward the build, teams he never met, outside of his insurance job. This horsey hobby he started into, though he left, has helped mold people who have helped mold people in positive and productive lives. In the Bible, it mentions that a man who can leave an inheritance for his children is looked upon with good hearts. I have not inherited the farm, but I have full use and care of it. It is family property and someone else will care and enjoy it after I am gone. (I understand that I am one in a long stream of caretakers of this earth. The assets of this world are useless to us, if we do not use them for the good of our human brothers and sisters.) This follows the understanding promised to Abraham. His descendants would be like sand and stars, His sons would have sons that had sons and all would be attributed to him. Even ones he never had chance to meet are influenced by his character, legend, and love.
But, what I have inherited from my Dad was a sense of healthy work ethic. Because others have done for me, I choose a destiny to make things happen for others, as well as for myself. I inherited a love of this life and a love for the next. I relish a respect for all things living. Knowledge that family is important and life is too short to be fussing & fighting among each other is a key to what makes me tick. And the horse experiences allowed introduction to the EAGALA model of equine assisted therapy. And the EAGALA led me more deeply into Life Coaching.
My Dad was a good provider of how we might obtain things: barter, service trades, making treasure of another’s trash, as well as cash. He liked to holler, “Do as I say do, not as I do.” (He meant about smoking & drinking & occasional swearing. So, although this saying was implanted in my mind, I wish I had learned even more of some of the things he did do well!) While he was alive, time spent in asking relevant questions would have been well spent. And so, I learn from both his good nature and his other side. Both faces of Charles have been instrumental in my life. And I learn to make relevant things that should be, between myself and others close to me.
Your children might have been perfect. Or, your children might have been human. Your Dad might have been perfect. Or, your Dad might have been human. He is your Dad. And the Ten Commandments state to honor your Mother & Father so that your life might be long. If you are under the age of 16, and not in touch with, or upset with your Dad, that’s probably part of growing up. (If there has been the rare case of abuse in your paternal relationship, seek proper help. You both need it so that a more positive relationship(s) can ensue.) If you are over the age of 17, man up, cowboy up, and get things right with him. Father’s Day is more than a new tie, or a new tie-down. It is more than a boot on his feet, or a boot up your arse. It is a wonderful time to spend with him, and to let him see, to review for yourself, how much he has taught you. Tie a new knot in your relationship that can slip as tight or as loose as needed for the times needed. Neither father nor children should feel a hangman’s noose.
Some of you have a father, are a father, and might have children that are fathers. So, instead of trying to do a little, that means little, in so many directions, take this whole month of June and celebrate love in all directions of fatherhood. Pre-arrange time with each significant male. Let them each know that because you value them so much, and they will be so busy on the “F-Day”, that you want to celebrate the real meaning, doing more, together. So, let’s set our calendars!
Men, “Love is the secret of becoming a real man”. Never forget this. Jesus taught that all else is to be built upon loving your Father in heaven, and loving each other. Pretty smart idea, if you ask me. We do like to sleep at night, huh! (Yes, learn to Love your Self so you can love others.)
So love your Daddy on earth, as you love yourself. Love those children of yours, as you love yourself. Love your children’s children because they are your legacy. Try to see life from all these points of view and it becomes easier to let things slide into place. I say this to fathers, because unlike Mother’s Day, when things are, should be, all about Mom, Father’s Day, if it is going to be a guy thing, should also be about how we can become better Dads too. (You cannot always choose how others will feel about you, but you can feel connection and significance and growth in the feelings you give to others, irrevocably! And three of your six human needs being filled will form a lasting habit.)
Pick your arguments wisely. Don’t need to win every time. All can learn from debate of differing points of view. Both Dad and children need to feel importance.
Call them. Don’t wait for a call. Don’t we really like to be ahead in “brownie points” anyway? Connect in ways that interest them. You can learn and grow from their discovery.
Learn to lead them into discovering for themselves, the ideas you would like them to discover. Nagging, or commanding does not work as well as introducing better life choices, among which they can choose.
Know that the better legacy you can leave is not a bunch of toys by themselves, but the knowledge of how they can create/accumulate/mend/replace their own. When they understand things from a mindset that is based on abundance, not based on scarcity, they will enjoy being generous.
Know that stuff rusts, rots, and falls apart. True love is forever. Leaving a lasting inheritance, by becoming the “poster child” of love, self-respect, forgiveness, and respect for God (& others). Yes, this includes ex’s, in-laws, out-laws, and marital partners of those who should be significant in the lives of your family. This example of respect through love/love through respect, especially to the male inside us, will be the best gift you can give all.
Hope this helps!
Love you all,
(864) 341 4775 cell
PS: We do have stuff for Dad at www.culturedcowboy.com (Many of us have more than one income source.) and in our local store. And if you might like to entertain a gift that will last a lifetime, perhaps a 12 week program of Life Coaching. If you are game, I’ll arrange a two for one to father/son or father/daughter sets. Programs must be arranged during this month of June, for completion by November 15th. Time is valuable and I only have limited availability this Summer. Here, you can save as much as you invest, in the future of many, whom you will influence in your life-spans. Learning together, you share, experience, reinforce double the value!
What might you expect to learn?
Ex: When your child is coming in from an afternoon of adventure, try using the phrase, “Johnny, As you are putting your bike away, just step over and close the garage door.” Emphasis should be placed on the words, ”away” and “garage”. Kinda sing it to them like poetry. This method of comment is much better than two commands, or two questions, either of which or both could be easily refused. By the time they comprehend the comment, they will have usually accomplished both without argument. (Thanks to Milton Erickson, MD, and Richard Bandler and John Grinder, Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H. Erickson, M.D. Volume 1, from whom many are also building legacies.)
If you take just a short time of reflection, you will find some accomplishments that portray your greatness. How do we become great? Compounding repetition and practice, combined with a strong reason of “why” we do this, make your potential for greatness. In greatness, you perform in an unconsciously competent state.This is like driving your car. You sometimes hop in and reach a destination; then you can’t remember driving there. You have repeated the skills ands the patterns and the routes until your unconscious mind puts them into competent “automatic pilot”. This is why you can concentrate on your music, and not worry about (usually not worry about), missing a turn, or a stop sign coming.
Things are mostly steady, like the waves pictured above. You are a master craftsman at certain relationships, at certain duties, in certain environments.
Yet, how do we respond when our environment shifts? Might be unexpected resistance in a relationship. Might be shifts in a marketplace. Might be a change, a transfer, a break from your normal. Can you take the strengths you have and apply them to the new circumstance?
Or is it time to readjust, re-tool, or look to different growth potentials. Have you plateaued because the market is developing, as CD’s killed the vinyl record business? Or have you plateaued because your leadership is reaching a “Peter Principle”?
In other words, have you reached a place of becoming stuck. You feel in your gut that growth is on the verge of challenge. You feel, you see, that the work atmosphere is also causing your home life to suffer. You know there are priorities you must relinquish because the past is holding your present from a secure future.
We have all been here at some level. How did you break through the past times? Can your previous experiences gain control of these circumstances? Is it time to bring in fresh outlooks?
Milton Erickson, renowned Psychologist, believed that most people hold the answers to our challenges within. I agree. If we could properly appraise our conscious thoughts, we would know which directions and the kinds of help to seek for solutions.
There are parts of any ongoing business, of any ongoing relationship, that have strengths upon which to build. And, there are always areas that could be improved. There should always be contemplation with ongoing education.
Just when we think we are driving a straight road, some incident reminds us that we sometimes think we are better than we are doing.
Proverbs, in our Old Testament, tells us that there is wisdom in seeking wisdom.
I watched one very strong man surround himself with people who would never dispute his opinion, never challenge his direction, seldom offer a point of view that would not be popular with the leadership. Because he surrounded himself with only “yes” men, he never progressed to his fullest capabilities.
Another person had a pleasing leadership style that would be great as a customer service rep, but he had disabling difficulty with other key decisions. The opinion and direction changed with almost every suggestion.
How are you growing these days? Do you have a “why” that guides you? Do you measure today’s meaning against yesterday’s potentials? What are we doing to prepare an 18 month plan? It seems a 5 year plan taught to me in college is bogging down the speed with which we must act, in this time of information overflow, changing markets, and time constraints.
How about tossing some opinion?
PS: As I move from unconsciously incompetent to consciously incompetent, to consciously competent, please bear with me. I have built many websites, but this is my first time with WordPress, and with sites that properly change shape along with your mobile device, desktop or tablet. I really have a learning curve! Wooooeeeeyy. Am I learning to take my own advice? Thank you to both Katrinah at 77webstudio, and Ellyn Reeder.