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    I know so many friends who’ve  spent years even decades in turmoiled relationships trying everything to make things work. And during those oppressed relationships distrust, bitterness, and disappointment developed  in their heart towards their mate. So many women give up their “good” years to a man who creates their hell on earth, just  to watch the relationship slowly suck the life living blood out of their hearts.

The “good” years, yes those years of your youth when you were  innocent and would love naively.  When no word that he spoke was ever doubted. When you had no insecurities when he was in the presence of other women. When there was no need to look through his cellphone. When him getting home late never prompted a discussion.

Now you are in a new relationship, with a potential  “Mr. Right” this time. But even though he hasn’t given you any reason to doubt him, every word he speaks you analyze and are suspicious, when you are at the mall, you are watching his eyes to see if they steer off course. Always trying to discover a way to be alone with his cell phone, and you raise an eyebrow if he had to make any pit stops on the way home from work. The baggage and distrust have found its way into your new relationship. I know its hard. You unconsciously guard your heart against experiencing the pain.

But how can you be loved without allowing someone to love you? How do you open your heart up while guarding against the pain that may come? You simply can’t. Your desire to find love has to be greater than your fear of pain. If your fear of pain overshadows every thought when you think about relationships, then you need more time away. You may not be able to bring back the years of your youth, but you still have plenty of good years left.

When beginning a new relationship, you can’t eliminate the risk of pain. But you can minimize the risk by assessing the history of the person you are dealing with. Dont be shallow in the beginning. Who cares what your favorite color is or whether or not you like pizza!  Start right away plunging into his relationship patterns and his interactions with family and friends. Track his lifestyle and everyday activities. How important is keeping appointments? How often do you communicate with family? What are your personal short-term and long-term goals? What are some of your regrets? What one thing about yourself do you wish you could change? How would your boss describe you?  After you’ve been through a few failed relationships you realize the importance of being very direct and clear, in your intentions and expectations  of a relationship. Banks and lenders refer to a persons credit history as a basis for determining their credit worthiness.   Shouldnt you adopt the same system that has proven effective for multi billion dollar corporations. History doesn’t lie. The person you are today is very similar to the  person you were 5 years ago.

Pay attention to “life” history and “relationship” history, there’s a story waiting to be told within it. And from there you can determine a persons “relationship worthiness”. You cant guard your heart against pain, but you can minimize the risk. Become a student of his personal history and take another chance on love…

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The bulk of adversity we face in our lives is always similar in nature, with just slightly different variations. The place that you are financially, spiritually, and mentally is probably the same place that you were this time last year. Have you ever noticed that we always seem to attract the same type of relationships, the same type of friends, and always find ourselves in the same type of situations? Are you one whose relationships always seem to start or end in a similar nature? Do you find yourself getting ahead financially for a season, but slowly revert back to your original financial state? Why does it seem that we live in circles?  A revolving door of circumstances and situations that seem to repeat themselves over and over in our lives.

      How do we begin the process of “changing circles”? Lets start by doing this, look over your life and your thoughts have probably been consistent to the circles your life has revolved in. What you think directly affects what you experience in your world. How do you change your thoughts? I’ve found that changing thought patterns that have been in practice in our minds for  decades can be especially challenging. So I adopted a new strategy. Why not just create more thoughts. The more material you have as thought, the less likely you are to revert back to your small inventory of collective thinking. Think of it as if you bought a raffle ticket. If there were only three tickets purchased, then the likelihood of yours being pulled from the hat is very high. Now imagine  there were  150 tickets to pull from, your odds of winning have been greatly decreased. So when you have a larger a bank of thoughts and concepts to pool from you decrease the odds of selecting your old patterns.

      So.. How do you create new thoughts? New thoughts or ideas are created through new experiences. When you encounter new situations and new experiences you create new thoughts and ideas. Science has proven that old pathways of thought actually can close. So how do you create new experiences to create new thoughts and ideas to create new circumstances?  The question can be quite overwhelming. But you don’t have to go on a two week safari in Africa to create new thoughts. You can start right where you are simply by forcing yourself to do things you normally don’t do. If you bowl frequently, pick a nite to go roller skating. If you always watch romance movies, force yourself to watch a good sci-fi. If you hit the gym in the morning, then start going in the evening sometimes. Force yourself to engage in new activities.

    As you stop using old thought pathways they will eventually close. Through new experiences you create new thoughts and when your thoughts change so do your circumstances… Your life has been so predictable  for so long, determine in your heart to “change your circle” today. Dont read this article again a year from today and still be positioned internally in the same place…

what really matters

    So what is really important? With so many projects and tasks to complete, how do we prioritize what matters most? How do we balance life and living without being completely sucked into one or the other? We live in an era that is fueled by the newest technology. Every month there seems to be some new electronic gadget or phone application that is a must have. Despite how far we progress technologically, we must always remember that people come first. No gadget, no software, no automation can ever replace the relationships that we have with people. If your acquisition of technology has become a bigger driving force than cultivating your relationships with friends and family, then you are out of balance. People matter most. Your relationships should draw much of your attention and focus. How many people do you know that are up on all the latest gadgets and software yet every relationship they have is lacking. Feel disconnected? Feel out-of-place? Then put down that iPad and take a friend to lunch. People are what really matter. Out of relationships we find meaning. Come back to reality… come back to your friends…

merge and emerge…

 Things that I thought I knew long ago have turned into questions. The doubts of old that subtly lined my heart have stepped forward in full form now. The small fears that once cascaded my mind fight for total dominance now. The pictures that were once so clear seem so vague to me now. The feelings of old that were once so overwhelming are so foreign to me now. But these “changes” have “changed” me. I’ve learned to merge with the issues.  My screams are now whispers. My words are now thoughts. My touch is merely imagination now. My fears, they have left me. My ambitions are now works of progress. Theres no fear in the eyes of a child because nothing is significant. Theres no pain to one completely broken because they’re numb…No longer controlled by emotions, I’ve broken free from the affliction of thought. My mind is merely a tool now, to be used just as any other member of my body. For so long I opposed everything and my body grew weary. I’ve learned that non-resistance is the pathway to freedom so now I merge. Non-resistance is not conforming, but simply using the oppositions force to your advantage. Learning to quiet senseless mental chatter creates an atmosphere for peace. Compulsive thinking is an affliction not an attribute. Learn to merge, flow and transform their intentions into your benefit… If one pattern of choices hasn’t worked for you…simply choose another…

Expectations? I have none…

and here we are…trapped between a lie and the truth. With no clear direction in sight, we choose hope. And though our choices bring about the pain we experience, we never stop choosing. And though what we hope for brings about the disappointment that may at times cause tears, we never stop hoping. A cycle that repeats itself. Hope, disappointment,  and optimism. Though it occurs in different forms, and varying intensities, it occurs nonetheless. And so we begin to hope and dream small. So if we become disappointed we aren’t hurt “big”. And so the quality of our dreams and lives diminish to compensate for the ever-increasing fear of disappointment.

What does it mean to be disappointed?  Unfulfilled expectations equal disappointment. When what you hope for, and what you expect to happen doesn’t. What if I had no expectations for anything? What if I was able to experience “what is” and accept it for what it came to be? What if I assigned you a number of tasks to complete, but had no expectations of you finishing them. Completing all of the tasks would have the same meaning as you completing only one or none.  I believe that through a process you can slowly start to reduce expectations for certain relationships and situations in your life.  If you see a  parked automobile with a huge dent in its fender, do you begin to wish that the owner would have it repaired? No, you accept the vehicle for what “it is”. A parked car with a dent. It doesn’t matter to you because it’s not yours. Start accepting situations for what they are. Label them mentally as just that. I’m not telling you to like it. Just acknowledge it. Stop resisting “what is”. Non-resistance is the pathway to freedom. Let go, and accept. And in time reduce disappointment…

      The other day I overheard a coworker express her discontent from her husbands withdrawal from everything relationship centered. She recalled how nice things were in the beginning, but now he doesn’t show much interest in doing anything romantic. She was so passionate about her feelings that she began to become angry at him for “changing”. But in reality, the problem isn’t apathy, its desire. For whatever reason he has no desire to be that person anymore. Now we could explore that point and enter a deep conversation discussing the psychological dynamics of this issue. But lets keep it simple. Consider this point:

Have you ever listened to a brand new song on the radio and conclude at its ending that you didn’t like it?  Three weeks later after hearing the same song played over and over again you begin to like it. And what do we always say?  “It grew on me!”  The person that you were the first time you heard that song, is the same person you were when you heard it three weeks later. So then, how did you begin to like something that you didn’t, without  ever changing any ideals?  I’ll tell you how, its through repetition!

Lets look at this thing more closely. There was a song that you clearly did not like. But by hearing it over and over again you begin to like it. Wow! repetition works!  Repetition produces influence

How can we use this concept  in our relationships?

What are you doing over and over again in your relationship?  Maybe you’ve been doing some repetitive things that have had a negative effect. Or maybe you need to do some repetitive things to produce a positive effect. Once you understand the concept that repetition does influence, you will start to use this to your advantage?

Want him to start verbally affirming his love for you more? Then you begin to saturate his ears with “I love you” numerous times during the day, everyday. Remember, repetition influences.

Want him to notice you during the day? Then make sure you smell good all the time. remember, repetition influences.  By now you should be grasping the concept of repetition.

Instead of becoming angry about negative feelings. Why not become proactive in influencing feelings positively?  Anger will only  lead to frustration and frustration leads to bitterness.

Start influencing feelings to be as you want. If you desire for your significant other to genuinely want to spend time with you. Start thinking strategically, and start doing repetitive things  that will influence them to want to have time with you alone.

Start influencing. Change your focus. And you will start to change your relationship too.

The sum of you

    You can live your life as a honorous man. The majority of your life can be summed up as good. You can be a man of moderation, who does the right thing most of the time. Though you are not perfect and make mistakes along the way, the bulk of your life has been fruitful.

    No matter how much good you do or how much morality you possess, your life will always be summarized by the last mistake you’ve made. The judgement of men is so unbalanced and unfair. Every good decision and every measure of good will be wiped away by your last shortcoming.

    I am the cornerstone of every relationship. I can build you up through periods of reinforcement and I can tear you down within moments. I can create an atmosphere of affection and love. And I can construct a cloud of anger and despair. I’m the product of your imagination and I express the result of you addiction.

Once you release me, I can never return back to you. You can apologize for me, but my image still stands. I am never pushy, you summon me on your own will. The rainbow from my kindness has brought warmth to many hearts. The wake from my wrath has broken many spirits. I bring hope to the weary, and death to the weak. I bridge the gap between mothers and daughters, fathers and sons. My range has no boundaries, no limits, no stops.

If you accept me, you believe in my meaning. If you reject me, I have no place to travel. I stand at the throne of your ears. Will you accept me or turn me away? I am words.

Occasionally I’ll drive a different route to work. Even though it may be three or four miles longer,  it breaks up the monotony of the usual drive.

Have you ever sat down and reviewed your day-to-day, week- to- week, and month- to -month routines? Alot of us have become like robots. We do our day-to-day routines without much thought because they are so familiar.

Its amazing how much repetition is involved in our weekly duties and tasks. “Living for the weekend” has been tagged a popular phrase, but many people do just that. They’ve lost so much meaning for their weekdays, that in a sense the weekend is their only ambition.

To exist is to simply be present. To hold a spot in time. To be where you are without conscious thought. You are merely a warm-blooded “stationary”.

    We stop living and start existing when we no longer see meaning in our day-to-day activities. When things we do begin to seem meaningless. Or as King Solomon put it, “A chasing of the wind”. When we become bogged down with too many deadlines, objectives, responsibilities, and expectations life itself merely becomes just something to do.

      It becomes very easy to get away from the activities that at one time brought you much fulfillment. The things that you once did that gave you a sense of purpose have been replaced with medial tasks.

      So how do we transcend from merely existing to living again? Go back to what you first loved. If it was roller skating, make time once a week to go. If it was writing, make time for it again.

    By sprinkling the purposeful things back into your life they react in the same way that kindling does when starting a fire. Those activities will ignite, and even the medial tasks will begin to have meaning.

Stay in control

I’ve been in law enforcement for 13 years, the one thing ive seen destroy more lives is an out of control temper.

     Having a temper can serve a loyal purpose. A temper can motivate or move someone to act quickly and swiftly. In the heat of war, watching a fellow comrade fall can ignite your anger and your temper can push you pass the element of fear empowering you to engage the enemy.

     A temper that’s left unchecked with no boundaries or limits is sure to leave a host of victims in its wake.

    One method of controlling your temper is to mentally deem the object of your anger as insignificant. This is why I’ve always placed a high value on writing out your goals and aspirations. When you have  your dreams before you, or when you have clear direction for you life its easier to remove things that wont contribute to achieving your goals. You make these noncontributing objects insignificant. And if you practice this long enough you will actually begin to believe it.

     Simply put, you can’t become angry about things that aren’t important to you.

    If a complete stranger approached you and told you that they didn’t love you, would it bear as much weight that hearing the same statement from a loved one would? No, because a strangers opinion is far less significant than the words of family.

    As we begin to make the things that dont contribute to the success of our goals insignificant, when anger arises it becomes much easier to control our temper.