A Good, Real Relationship

every relationship

Posted in Relationships, Romantic relationships, What really matters | Tagged , ,

One Foot In Front of the Other

the path

Posted in Not Giving Up, Perspective, Wisdom | Tagged , ,

With Humble Hope

male-shadow

Open Letter to the Universe to exercise the Law of Attraction.

Subject: What type of woman is and is not a good match for me.

NO drama queens… Every life has some drama in it, but I am not interested in someone who specializes in it. The scary thing is almost all who do, don’t realize it. If you have lots of secrets or live some sort of dual life with a good bit of you hidden away, please stay away.

NO active mental cases… If you need anti-depressants, PLEASE take them. If you need counseling, GO and don’t stop going as long as you need it. If you have faced your demons and have them under control for the most part, wonderful. It’s not what you’ve been through that matters. It’s how it currently effects you. Difficulty either shreds or smoothes. Which has it done for you?

NO physical wrecks… I have taken care of myself, am physically healthy and in good shape. If you didn’t treat your body well in the past, I’m sorry, but I am not up for taking care of you right now. Too much life to live (God willing). If you’re healthy now for your age and we fell in love I would gladly be there all the way through old age.

NO “I’m all about being a Granny” … no offense. I don’t like olives either, but know many people do and they’re good for you. If life is 90% about your grand kids, family, little else and that’s all you need to be happy… you’re a lucky woman and blessed to be a Grandmother… just not my type.

NO fiscal messes… I have squandered too much, but saved too. I can take care of me. Can you take care of you financially? Not meant to be harsh, but I am done being the one who supports two people. Sorry. Do you have decent credit? Do you have a job or excellent short term prospects? Are you financially comfortable as you are? Do you manage well within what you’ve got? “Yes” is a good answer to all those questions.

NO party poopers… I am introspective and somewhat of an introvert more often than not. Reading is a favorite pastime and I write a good deal. But sometimes I want to have a good time. Loud concerts (old and new stuff!). Canes Ballroom! Chicken strips and margaritas at Bros Hooligan or eating lots of yummy bad food at the fair with a beer. Somewhere in between is a love of movies, live theater and a learned appreciation of the ballet.

NO dummies… if you hated school, we probably won’t get along. Do you read and if you do, does your reading include something other than romance novels? Not looking for a genius, but someone who had made some effort to educate themselves, formerly or otherwise.

NO “old” people… If you call yourself “old”, talk about being “old” and have taken up the habits of someone “old”… then find someone like you and be happy. I am not that. My doctor says I am physically fit as someone 15 more years younger. Does Burning Man interest you? Are you still a bit of a rebel? Are you adventurous? Do you still truly open learning and growing? Two “Yes” answers and we share commonalities.

NO hoarders or really messy women. My style is collectively cluttered. I collect antiques and such. But it’s organized and you can walk through any room swinging your hands with ease. I have a problem when stuff laid thrown here and there which stays where it was dropped for weeks. Again… do what makes you happy, but if you’re the messy type, we are not compatible.

NO, I am not obsessed with younger women. It just happens that seems to be who I have more in common with. I’ve dated a 20 and 30 year old and a three 50-somethings in the last decade, but seem to fit best within the mid 30s to late 40s realm. There are exceptions I’m sure… I just haven’t gotten to know her yet.

NO near helpless types or women who need to be constantly taken care of or catered to. Are you mature enough to know when to let your guard down and when to keep it up? Do you express your feelings openly and appropriately? Do you know how to be in love? Does love make you strong, and not weak? Can you make a commitment and keep it? Are you faithful because you know it is a gift you give yourself? Only yes answers please.

DO YOU like to travel? Take a meaningful trip about a few times each year? Usually with a international destination thrown in? Are you comfortable traveling in unfamiliar places with extended lengths of travel once in a while? Weekend visits to family don’t count… tack it on to five days somewhere before or after, then cool.

DO YOU like sex or at least at some point in your life you did? I am not obsessed with it, but like sex a lot too. I don’t sport F#$%. I am not compatible with any woman who can’t make passionate love with someone she falls in love with. Not a prude, but not an anything goes type either… Opened minded to what a man and woman can enjoy together. Are you?

DO YOU like Kids? Yours/mine/even ours are all open options. I have a son who is grown and self sufficient on his own 700 miles from me. PS: Not looking to get involved with a family whose household has mid-20 or 30 something year old kids who are still “finding them self”. And if one of your children has caused you with their behavior to become too familiar with the court system… not a chance.

DO YOU look good for your age? Do you think are attractive? I do and am not vain about it and would not want to be with someone who is. In all directness, not a fan of very skinny (hugging a bag of bones is a turn off) and prefer a little meat on the frame. Now if your physique has features like the Michelin man I can’t do that either. Attractive is more in attitude and the way one carries them self more than anything else.

DO YOU know how to showcase what you’ve got? Are you comfortable in a little black dress or jeans and tennis shoes? Can you dress it up or down, and get ready in less than an hour? Do you have a person sense of style, whatever it is? Do you know how to dress appropriately for whatever occasion? Two or three yeses would be good.

DO YOU like following sports a lot? It’s cool if you do, but know that is not an interest we’ll have much to share about. It can just be one of the differences that makes up a relationship. Once upon a time I was a fan of profession and college football along with pro baseball and hockey. I gave up all the time and energy I spent on it about 25 years ago for more rewarding and fulfilling interests. PS: I never learned to play golf either.

ABOUT ME: I’m 61, but told I don’t look it. I have my own sense of style and am not stuck with the same wardrobe I had 10 years ago (not even five years ago). I have the attitude and condition of someone mid 40s to early 50s or thereabouts I’m told (past all the midlife BS!). I’m tall (6’3″), weight about 215 lbs and still have hair (wavy gray hair.. but not as much hair as I once had). My eyes are hazel and my face sports a well trimmed goatee.

ME: I have three tats… a triquetra and Chinese symbol for “honor” on my left upper arm and Buddhist Sanskrit (“Oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ”) with a Lotus and small butterfly on my upper right arm. I have no piercings although I have no aversion to tasteful ones.

ME: I’m a spiritual man, but not particularly of the church type although I attend a Unitarian church with decent regularity. I believe in basic Buddhist tenants like the “Eightfold Noble Path”. My goal is to meditate and work out at home daily and I am true to doing it about 80% of the time (got to have a day off now and then).

ME: I’m a gentleman raised in the deep south. I open doors and say please and thank you. I tip well and am never unkind to service people. I smile at strangers and have been known to leave anonymous notes in retail establishments to cheer up folks and give hope to people I will never meet. My belief is what good I give comes back multiplied.

ME: I was born curious and like learning new things. I can “drive” or just as easily be in the “passenger seat”. Depends on the situation. Balance is the key. My music taste is not stuck back there somewhere. My taste buds are fairly conservative and basic although I like discovering new foods once in a while. I adore Asian food, Mexican food, soul food, fried chicken, vegetables, fruit, salads, coffee, a glass of wine (but far from a wine snob as I drink what tastes good to me) and I don’t get drunk and love a good margarita (but two is about all I ever have).

ME: I own my home (well the bank and I do), drive a nice car, and have friends… close ones are my Tulsa family (grew up in Alabama, have lived in eight states and a foreign country). I like to eat out, but enjoy cooking in just as much. I am professional person and worked as an executive in media for a LONG time, but switched to being a therapist recently (truly want to help people) .

ME: I’ve been married twice and was more responsible than my partners for screwing up the marriages (last one ended in 2006). I’ve learned from my mistakes and experience has taught some tough lessons. The last eight years have been lspent largely focused on becoming a better man. While it took lots of walking straight into storms and resolving old issues, I am proud of who I have turned out to be.

CONCLUSION: If I have pissed you off or offended you, I’m sorry. If I appear to be too picky and persnickety, apologize. If it appears I have hang ups, well, I do. We all do, most just won’t admit them. If I have made you smile or even laugh out loud once… that’s a good sign. I’m just casting what I hope for into the universe with humble hope to attract it. It’s impossible to find what one does not go looking for.

Love is not really a mystery.
It is a process like anything else.
A process that requires trust, effort,
focus and commitment by two willing partners.
Elizabeth Bourgeret

Posted in Beyond the obvious, Embracing life, Romantic relationships | Tagged , ,

Adversity

tree hanging on copy

Posted in Attitude, Courage, Embracing life | Tagged , ,

Life Is…

Life Is Filled - Beautiful Road

Posted in Attitude, Life as it really is, Seeing 'what is' | Tagged , ,

Letter to a Heartbroken Friend

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Dear ________,

Don’t worry about the future. It will unfold as it does, unaffected by your thought and worry. What is to be will not be swayed one millimeter by your anguish. I know you are heartbroken, but it is not love that is the source of most of your pain. Love is always pure and never the source of grief.  Given time, if you allow it, misery and sorrow will overpower the purity of your love and bury it in animosity and bitterness. Please don’t let that happen.

Deep grief sometimes is almost like a specific location, a coordinate on a map of time. When you are standing in that forest of sorrow, you cannot imagine that you could ever find your way to a better place. Someday you’re gonna look back on this moment of your life as such a sweet time of grieving. You’ll see that you were in mourning and your heart was broken, but your life was changing… Elizabeth Gilbert

Comfort and happiness, as enjoyable as they feel, are not catalysts for personal development. It’s the difficult times where fertile ground exists for our growth. Please do not hate your pain. Growth is always uncomfortable; sometimes even agonizing. Accept the hurting with a thankfulness for what was instead of a dread for what might or might not be again one day.

I wish I could tell you getting past your heartbreak will be easy. It won’t be. But if you intentionally let go a little each day, slowly your aching will ease. With effort you’ll be able to not think about your loss for a little while at a time and with practice your heartache will be out of heart and mind more and more. Progress will be slow, but certain if you make is so.

Giving her the space she has asked you for is a certain way to show your love to her. To cling and grab to hold on, will only shred into jagged pieces what was once shared. If there is more for you two to share, it will arrive in its due time and not one second before.

Peace and Love,

James

I am grateful for friends who are comfortable enough with me to share their deep private feelings. It is in a common trust and sharing of emotion and thought with others who “get me and I them” that healing and recovery is possible.

We crucify ourselves between two thieves:
regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow.
Fulton Oursler

First posted here on April 16, 2013

Posted in Friends, Grief, Romantic relationships | Tagged , ,

“I Love You”

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Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.
William Shakespeare

It was Carol’s fiftieth birthday, and Jim had two plane tickets to Hawaii in his pocket. He was going to surprise her. Instead, he was killed by a drunk driver.

“How have you survived this?” I finally asked Carol, a year later.

Her eyes welled up with tears. I thought I had said the wrong thing, but she gently took my hand and said, “It’s all right; I want to tell you. The day I married Jim, I promised I would never let him leave the house in the morning without telling him I loved him. He made the same promise. It got to be a joke between us, and as babies came along, it got to be a hard promise to keep. I remember running down the driveway, saying ‘I love you’ through clenched teeth when I was mad, or driving to the office to put a note in his car. It was a funny challenge.

“We made a lot of memories trying to say “I love you” before noon every day of our married life. “The morning Jim died, he left a birthday card in the kitchen and slipped out to the car. I heard the engine starting. Oh, no, you don’t, buster, I thought. I raced out and banged on the car window until he rolled it down.

“Here on my fiftieth birthday, Mr. James E. Garret, I Carol Garret, want to go on record as saying I love you!”

“That’s how I’ve survived. Knowing that the last words I said to Jim were ‘I love you!’
http://www.inspirationalarchive.com/246/the-last-i-love-you/

Readily I admit saying “I love you” sometimes is routine.  I never speak the words unless I mean them, but the feeling is not always distinctly alive with their speaking. With those I care deeply about it’s a habit to end a phone call with “I love you” or for those to be parting words. There’s nothing wrong with that and it’s a good practice. What matters is to make sure the feeling behind the words is present within them being spoken.

In my romantic relationship, I have a tendency to say “I love you” too frequently. It’s healing to admit I realize sometimes such words are spoken with the unconscious hope to hear the sentiment returned. However, the person I care about is not one who expresses their feelings as easily and frequently. Her attitude is ‘I said it yesterday. My feelings have not changed. You know how I feel about you.’ Within those tendencies we are both playing directly to our self and probably not as cognizant of our partner’s need as we could be.

So we both have a little bit of awareness to work on. Me; not to say the words so often they lose their meaning and to make sure they are rooted in feeling when spoken, Her: to express her feelings a little more openly and realize another’s need can be different from hers. Within is a compromise of sorts (a foundational part of any good relationship). For both of us, it’s always important our hearts be clearly expressed instead of just saying the words.

Within a small wake-up call alive in my head this morning it’s important to remind myself to cherish every moment with each loved person in my life. I don’t when it will be the last time I see one of them. It is not the words that matter so much as the feeling behind them. I am grateful for a new flame of awareness flickering within.

Life isn’t a choice or an obligation,
it’s a gift,
so embrace it as much as you can.
You never know how much time you have left…
Nishan Panwar

Posted in Love, Relationships, Romantic relationships | Tagged , ,

Out of Monochrome and Into Full Color

chasing dreamsThe quip goes “time is money” but I have grown to see that “money is time”. Seems like I’m only playing with words by flipping them around. But there’s a deeper meaning with a closer look.

Definitions:
Time = one’s lifetime; a temporal existence, an irreversible succession
Money = a measure of value; a medium of exchange; value that degrades over time

Building sentences with alternate interpretations for “time is money” and “money is time” based on those definitions:

One’s lifetime is a measure of value.
A measure of value is one’s lifetime.

A temporal existence is a medium of exchange.
A medium of exchange is a temporal existence.

An irreversible succession is value that degrades over time.
A value that degrades over time is an irreversible succession.

Round and round we go until boiling it down for myself the meaning in a material world that comes is: 1) Life is of great value 2) Life can be exchanged for what one chooses 3) Life evaporates quickly and what it is traded for materially loses value.

Philosophers say idealism is the opposite of materialism. So often we trade what we believe in for what we believe we have to have or what we think we have to do for others. Then it is usually our dissatisfaction of what we give our life for that so much of our discontent stems from. Simply we get what we went after, but once we get it satisfaction is temporary, at best. Maybe that’s why in the consumer driven economy of the United States mental illness is the fastest growing sickness.

Spending our time/money in trade for cars, houses, clothes, electronics, jewelry, entertainment, filled bank accounts and what others want brings little more but momentary contentment. Anyone who believes differently is delusional and addicted (the majority).

On the other hand spending our time/money for happiness, joy, fulfillment, bliss, gladness, wonder, delight and being true to one’s self are investments that always grow with time. Anyone who agrees has a clarity of what matters and is inspired (the minority).

Nothing has been written here that we all have not heard a thousand, maybe even a million times: it’s time that matters, not money; being true to our self is the best way to be true to others. Maybe that’s the reason most give it little more than lip service.  We’ve all heard the thinking so many times, we are mentally and spiritually constipated with all the “have to have’s” and “should do’s”. What good is unpracticed wisdom? NONE!

Without a doubt,
the greatest riches other than love
is time spent being true to one’s self.
It’s not money.
It’s not success.
It’s not fame.
It’s absolutely nothing material.

I readily accept the practical issue that everyone has bills to pay and responsibilities, but beyond what is really necessary most waste our too much of our “time” chasing things that are all so temporary. Time passes quickly. The value of money degrades quickly. Things done for others are soon forgotten by most people.

Written today this piece is really a “memo to self”. Soon to scale down my standard of living, this has been placed here as an easy to refer to signpost that I can come read again and again when I need to. I am grateful for the courage to take steps out of monochrome and into full color; away from money and toward my dreams; away from money and toward love.

What really matters
is what you do
with what you have.
H.G. Wells

Originally Posted here on January 8, 2013

Posted in Beyond the obvious, Courage, Living life well | Tagged , ,

The Way You Think About Yourself

Screen shot 2011-03-19 at 11_39_28 AM“You can’t hate your way into loving yourself” is a line I came across recently. It stopped me in my tracks because I tried that.. a lot. Boy, did I! My self-loathing was long, pervasive and strong. Too much about me I found fault with for far, far too long.

That habit (and it is a habit) is not completely gone, but greatly diminished today. It took gritting my teeth and fighting my own BS over and over and over. But in time I got better. More acceptance of me just the way I am arrived slowly but surely.

For so long I looked outside me to fix what was in. My #1 way of trying to cure myself was through relationships… many of them. I saw their faults and amplified mine, while diminishing my own. Finding fault repeatedly, even unnecessarily, within a love relationship will eventually either drive the person away or at the least injure the love that is shared.

I had to learn:
1. The moment you realize that the person you cared for has nothing intellectually or spiritually to offer you, but a headache.
2. The moment you realize God had greater plans for you that don’t involve crying at night or sad.
3. The moment you stop comparing yourself to others because it undermines your worth, education and your parent’s wisdom.
4. The moment you live your dreams, not because of what it will prove or get you, but because that is all you want to do. People’s opinions don’t matter.
5. The moment you realize that no one is your enemy, except yourself.
6. The moment you realize that you can have everything you want in life. However, it takes timing, the right heart, the right actions, the right passion and a willingness to risk it all. If it is not yours, it is because you really didn’t want it, need it or God prevented it.
7. The moment you realize the ghost of your ancestors stood between you and the person you loved. They really don’t want you mucking up the family line with someone that acts anything less than honorable.
8. The moment you realize that happiness was never about getting a person. They are only a helpmate towards achieving your life mission.
9. The moment you believe that love is not about losing or winning. It is just a few moments in time, followed by an eternity of situations to grow from.
10. The moment you realize that you were always the right person. Only ignorant people walk away from greatness. Shannon L. Alder

In the book “There Is Nothing Wrong with You: Going Beyond Self-Hate” Cheri Huber wrote “If you had a person in your life treating you the way you treat yourself, you would have gotten rid of them a long time ago…” Why it took so long to see that I will never know.

Today I am grateful to have healthy self-esteem. I don’t get on my own case like I used to. Oh, yes the judge and jury in my head is still there, I just keep them out for recess most of the time. I am very grateful for that learned ability.

The way you think about yourself
determines your reality.
You are not being hurt by the way
people think about you.
Many of those people are
a reflection of how
you think about yourself.
Shannon L. Alder

Posted in Embracing life, Lessons learned the hard way, Self Awareness | Tagged , ,

You Have to….

life Hero-Image-LifeSciences-General

Life will break you.
Nobody can protect you from that,
and living alone won’t either,
for solitude will also break you with its yearning.
You have to love.
You have to feel.
It is the reason you are here on earth.
You are here to risk your heart.
You are here to be swallowed up.
And when it happens that you are broken,
or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near,
let yourself sit by an apple tree
and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps,
wasting their sweetness.
Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.
Louise Edrich “The Painted Drum”

Posted in Lessons learned the hard way, Life, Life as it really is | Tagged , ,