Be Present

 

 

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There is something I’m not great at but am working really hard at lately.  It’s really easy to get self-absorbed, caught up in what I’m currently going through, or what I’m in the middle of.

Things as simple as being absorbed on my phone while checking out in line at a store.  I want to live intentional every single moment.  I want every person I come into contact with to know I genuinely want to know how their day is, how they are doing, and that for that brief moment I shared with them, they were important.

No matter who I’m with I want them to have my full attention.  No distractions.

This also includes moments when I am alone.  I don’t want to just live in a fictitious world.  I want the things I do to matter and to be intentional, growing myself and moving forward with who I am as a person.

 

Love Affair

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There is a huge love affair that is very prevalent.  The conspirator in this affair is very seductive, affecting both men and women. It’s a genius at stealing attention and making itself the center of a person’s world.  It is very very smooth.  It’s successfully hurt relationships and marriages, is a source of conflict and as a result can make your loved one feel very alone.

So who is the perpetrator?  Your phone.

That’s right you phone.

Rarely do I go out anymore and see individuals fully engaged with one another.  Instead there are constant distractions and buzzes from those little things we carry around in our pockets.

Facebook notifications, tweet updates, new pinterest posts, photos on instagram, added people in our circle on linkedin.  Not to mention the countless lame and utterly pointless youtube videos.

Communication is dying, much like the dinosaur.

We become more and more self absorbed in our selfie, false reality, I’m better than you showy digital world.

We use filters and adjustments to make us look thinner and sexier.  We showcase all the good things in our lives, while keeping all the bad habits and ugly parts off so the world doesn’t see them, and we have this completely fake persona of a perfect life that is anything but.

Who are we really fooling?  Ourselves?  Our friends?  People who are in our friends, but we have no idea why?

Trying to impress people and win approval from people we don’t care about, or compete with strangers we don’t know.

The love affair is getting worse.  It sticks it’s grimy fingers in everything. And as with all dangerous affairs there is a need to cut it off.

I love some of the benefits of social media, the ability to convey thoughts and ideas, share moments with loved ones across time and space. It’s a useful tool.  But like most tools, if you can’t handle it properly it can become dangerous.

How has social media grown you as a person, or made you a better person, or gotten you closer to your life goal?  Maybe it’s time to start asking if it’s getting us closer to those things, or distracting us from getting there.

Facebook Anger

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Sometimes I really think I need to keep away from Facebook.  I find myself getting more and more frustrated every time I’m on it, and sometimes saying things I shouldn’t.

The competition, pointless debates (yes I must confess I’ve gotten caught up in some), and obsession to impress/show off drives me absolutely crazy.

Maybe it’s not right that I feel this way but I do.  Just keeping it real.  It’s as if facebook has become a place where people can try to find validation and attention. Now don’t get me wrong, I think it definitely has its benefits, but I’m really starting to wonder if they are worth it.

I know that much of my issues could be resolved if I just simply stay away from it.  There are some friends and family that I like to stay in touch with and Facebook allows me to do that, but I really don’t know if I can take the drama and attention seeking from it anymore.  And selfies……don’t even get me started.

I know this blog has been more of a rant than anything, but it’s caused me to reevaluate what if anything I get off Facebook and if it’s bringing me down more than anything.  So I am seriously considering just staying  away from it all together.

Keeping Your Mouth Shut

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Sometimes keeping your mouth shut can be the best thing in the world.  There are definitely times when you need to speak out, but just as much, there are times when you need to know to not say what you think, or the first thing that comes to your mind.

I unfortunately am too familiar with this.  It’s really easy to talk out loud at times, or just say something on the spur of the moment, only to realize seconds later it would have been better not to say it.

It’s hard when we feel so passionately about something, but I have to realize that their are times when other people feel just as strongly about something different.  That doesn’t make them wrong and me right, or vice versa.  We all have different ways of seeing the world, different ways of living our life.

But this even carries over into our relationships with those around us.  A good rule of thumb is if what I’m about to say isn’t life building, I probably shouldn’t say it. This is preaching to me probably more than anyone.  Best of luck in learning to keep quiet sometimes.

What Is Love

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What is love.  I mean really?  When you think about it how do you define love?  Hollywood defines it as purely an attraction thing.  Self help books define it as primarily a communication game.  Those who have been hurt define it as non-existent or stupid.

While all these things hit on a point of what love is, they are all incorrect in and of themselves.  I truly believe love is something that can’t be fully explained. It’s a feeling that pushes you to think about that person you love more than anybody else.  It causes you to put them first, and to think about them before making any decision.

It’s that feeling of excitement to see their face, to feel their arms around you.

It’s making that sacrifice when you’d rather do something else.  It’s romantic, it’s difficult, it’s joyful, it’s hurtful.  But no matter what it always endures.  It’s the not easiest road.

Opening up yourself to someone in complete love gives that someone the ability to hurt you, and hurt you deeply, and that is bound to happen at some level.  We are  not perfect, and as a result we have a tendency to let those we love down sometimes, to say that harsh word in anger, or to be less than kind.

But love is always both asking for forgiveness, and forgiving.  Seeing past the faults to the person’s core.

Kids Are Not An Excuse

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I recently came across an article on Huffington Post which in a nutshell said how dating and time with your spouse was never the same after having kids.  While there is nothing wrong with doing lots of things with your children, there are times when you need to do things without them, but let me explain.

I love my daughter with all my heart, she is my pride and joy, and love getting to spend time with her.  Because I love her so much, I realize it is very important to make time for my wife and I to spend alone, date nights, one on one, without our daughter.  A getaway now and then by ourselves is also so important.

You see as parents it’s our job to teach our kids how to have good character, good morals, and a healthy outlook on life. If I don’t model a good relationship in my marriage, that is like teaching her that bad moral values are okay.

I want my daughter to grow up knowing that her parents care enough about each other to value each other, and to spend time together.  I want to teach her that mommy and daddy need alone time sometimes so that we can be a stronger family, with firm relationships.  I want her to know that our wedding anniversary is a special event that should be held dear.

As a teenager I want her to secretly be glad that she knows her mom and dad love each other enough to still go on dates, even if it may gross her out a little, someday she will look back on that and smile.

By making time for my marriage, I am helping to build a picture of what she should look for in a man.  If she never sees me “dating” her mother, how will she know what healthy dating looks like?  How will she know the balance of having her own marriage and her own children someday if she doesn’t learn it from me and her mother.

My faith is very important to me, and nothing can replace prayer or alone time with God. In the same way nothing can replace alone time with my wife.  That doesn’t mean all other aspects aren’t good.  They are.  But so is alone time.  Kids should not be an excuse to never date your spouse anymore, if anything they should be an excuse to continue it all the more.

 

I Was Wrong

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“I was wrong”, that’s something I know I hate saying, and I would imagine a lot of people have trouble saying that.  It admits we messed up, it admits we aren’t perfect, and it admits we have struggles to work through.

Furthermore when we tell someone that, it gives them power over us, that they were in the right.

But it is far better when we just admit we were wrong, apologize and move on, striving to be better next time.  By doing this first we save ourselves from being defensive, from saying things in anger that we don’t mean, and from fighting with someone we care about.

“I was wrong”, three simple words that we should get more comfortable saying.  It doesn’t mean we are weak, it doesn’t mean we are inferior, it means we can admit that we have faults, and areas in our lives that need improvement.

Don’t be afraid to say when you are wrong.

Fears, Doubts, and Worrying

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I was talking with a very good friend of mine and we were discussing how hard it is sometimes to find your purpose or value.  I’ve gone through times when I’ve had struggles with identifying with who I am as a person.

This came from a lot of different things.  Including hiding a lot of who I was, fearing that things I wanted to do or be were not acceptable.  Then add on the aspect of having a family to care for and needing to provide for them.

Both of these combined kept me from really allowing me to come out.  I tended to live a life of lies, or at best just stuffed down who I was.

This may seem like not a bad thing, but it is really bad for you when it builds up over years, you lose sight of who you are and forget what is important to you.  couple this with fear, fear of the world, of others opinions, and you have a recipe for a possible breakdown.

It’s taken me a long time to rediscover who I am.  I’ve had to for my own personal well being as well as for my wife’s and child’s sake.  They need me to live out my life.  We often think that if we give everything we have to our family it is a good thing.  Don’t get me wrong we need to make sacrifices and provide for our families, but when we make our family everything we actually hurt them.

Because your family needs you, and your individuality as much as it needs you for them.

Lay aside the fear, the doubt, the worry.  Take up your dreams, your passions, and your life and live it to the fullest.  You and your family won’t be happy until you do.

I Confess

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I confess that I like doing things the safe way, the way I know.  Things that disrupt my normal schedule have a tendency to freak me out….or rather had.  Over the past couple years I have learned to enjoy the unknown.  While I’m not totally at ease with it, I still find it to be interesting, and more exciting than simply routine on a daily basis.

Routine can be good and we all have to have it to a degree, but it can completely stifle us to where we forget what is important and we forget who we are.  We become robotic people simply going through the motions.

We can’t let the routine stuff and the “little” stuff of life to get us down or get us blind-folded into believing there is nothing more to life than our four walls and our own home. Our home is a great place, but we aren’t meant to simply live inside our four walls and make our castles and raise our children without leaving the house.

We were meant to lead, to create, to inspire, to help, to serve, and to build.  And while some of that can go on in our own home, we are meant to take those things into the world.

Living A Lie

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Sometimes there are points in our lives when we come to a discovery of ourselves.  We find ourselves seemingly for the first time.  Sure we’ve always known who we were, but  not really.  We’ve seen it through jaded eyes, through the lens of others expectations.

We have this tendency in life to think that if someone else doesn’t pursue the career choice that we deem best, then they are going about it wrong.

Or if they are raising their kids different than us then they are in the wrong.

Or if they are pursuing a relationship that we disagree with they are headed for trouble.

All this is just us being insecure and feeling we need to validate the way we live by invalidating other people.

Each of us as individuals is unique, none of us have the same exact personalities, dreams, or passions, and we shouldn’t.

Encourage others to go after things that are way different than how you would do it.  We need more creative people, more diverse actions.

Don’t live a lie because someone else thinks you should do plan A or B. And don’t make people feel that they have to live a lie because you think differently.

We are meant to build each other up.  Let’s start today.