Growing Each Other

00824514295541c9cf6e0128c2b8f47d

Have you ever had a friend who was dating or married to someone and you think to yourself, “I don’t know what he/she sees in the them?”  We tend to gravitate towards how one person’s lack may bring the other down, and so lead ourselves to believe that they are not good for each other.

But what if we approached this whole viewpoint differently.

You see we are very focused on us when it comes to relationships.  What can I get out of this, how does this person benefit me?

The ago old, “what’s it it for me” question.  But this isn’t the question we need to be asking.

Instead what if we approached our significant other with the mentality, “what can I give to this person?  What can I do that will make them stronger, will make them thrive?”.

You’ve probably heard it said many times how the greatest joy we can get is when we give to someone else.  It’s true.  And yet when it comes to our relationships, we don’t view it that way.  Instead we view it the opposite.

We come in with this crazy expectation that our significant other is going to fulfill every last need, and if they don’t then they are just not the right person.

But this is bull.  We have to approach our relationships with the mindset, “what can I offer, even if I never get anything back, what can I give.”

That and only that will truly bring change to your relationship.

When You Don’t Know

 

 

0309dceda318d10a50b1f08e34d2243f

 

If someone were to ask me do I know myself, I would immediately respond “of course!”  And yet, why do I time and again surprise even myself when it comes to who I am?

I’ve discovered it takes time to understand yourself.  The same could very well be true about our spouses.

When we get married it’s really easy to think we know everything about our spouse.  But again we would be very wrong.

If I want to know what my wife likes, I have to do things to find out.  Try a certain type of food together, ask her if she likes this or that.  Watch her reactions to certain things. Basically study her. We do this very well while dating, but it needs to continue into marriage.

In the same way it’s really important to study ourselves.  There are so many things we’ve never done, or never tried, so how do we fully know who we are?

Just like the only way to find out about my wife is by studying, the only way to find out about myself is practically the same.  I have to study myself, and the biggest way I do this is by trial and error.

I have to get out there and try new things, see what sticks and what doesn’t.  I can’t just sit on my butt and wait for things to drop in my lap. It will never happen.  I’ve got to go after them.

So if you don’t know yourself, or your spouse.  Start studying.  It takes some work and time, but it will be worth it on both accounts.

Let It Go

7104adc58715a2ba71b30ef6bc40e971

Sometimes there are circumstances that are out of your control, there are things you can’t define, things you can’t just suck it up and do because it involves things that are out of your control.

In those times, you can drive yourself crazy trying to make it work. You can try, hope, and strive, but you can also drive yourself absolutely crazy in the meantime.

There’s really only one thing you can do to keep your sanity in times like these…..let it go.

There are times, when you’ve got to step back and realize that you are only responsible for yourself, you have to do the best that you can possibly do, but you can’t control things outside of that, and those things, just let go of.

Be free of them.  The issues won’t suddenly vanish, but you’ll have a new perspective, because you realize that no matter what happens, you know you’ve done all you can do, and time will tell what happens.

Be You

00bf780a35c16697ca8f741317f4ba0d

We try so hard to fit in.  We keep track of what is trending, listen to the top 100 hits, buy the latest fashion trends and keep up the appearance of our homes with what is hot on pinterest.

While none of these things are bad in and of themselves, we need to realize we are not the same as everyone else, nor should we be.  Our culture tends to think we all should think, act, and look alike.   Uniqueness, and self-image is praised, and yet at the same time those who stand out are usually shunned.

The answer to all this confusion? Be you. Stop giving in, stop changing, stop trying to please.

What makes you happy?  What makes you feel alive?  These are the things you should be chasing after.  Not what other people find exciting, popular or in vogue.

Don’t ever be embarrassed for staying true to yourself.  In the end you will look back on your life and either see that you lived your own unique life, or strove to please people and still didn’t end up happy.

Be you.  It’s amazing.

Be Present

 

 

97500e8197ca69ce0625b22e3498c7b4

 

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

01a04aec502ad3c30eebcb4e8e085b78

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

67c6e7cb8142cb70196eb085c7cd0889

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

45a04f2ce3d75f66757b538472b68dc8

 

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

60dfb6ca0552f16efb2b8c22a09e0a32

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

9dc87f996b5e537f1cfd8ba120ffc87e

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.