Defining Moments!

The exercise was clear enough; list seven defining moments in your life.

What wasn’t so clear were the actual seven moments that defined me. Having never taken the time to pinpoint the life events that had altered/corrected my life left me to breathe in without exhaling.

euphoria by h.koppdelaney on flickr

Image courtesy of h.koppdelaney via flickr.com

Contemplating my landmark thoughts, feelings, decisions, and life experiences left me reeling to think, feel, decide, and experience the moment I was in. How do I wade thru the years of ups and downs, successes and failures, and the happy and sad times to declare just which occurrences qualified for such prestigious notoriety?

Thick fear appeared to big to mess with. What if I’m not defined? What are the undeniable instances of impact? How many times did I feel the music but didn’t dance? Do I need to acknowledge the magical personal revelations that remained bottled up inside with no corresponding action? What if I don’t have any historical changes to herald?

Leaning into my pilgrimage I methodically visited with the highways and byways of my past. The mountain tops and valley’s flashed across the memory screen of my mind. There were highs and lows falling on my think-tank like hard rain. Thunder and lightning called up familiar emotions wrapped in wanted and unwanted thoughts.

The questioning was offensive. How dare I cross-examine my own authenticity so vehemently. Who’s side am I on, anyway? Negative energy attempted to quell the monumental whisper trying to be recognized. At my core cried the mature infant; I am here and I want to speak.

Image result for cross examination

Image courtesy of T.H.Matteson via wikipedia.org

For much of my life I had consented to the chaotic cloud that hovered overhead blocking the light. I inwardly twisted in despair. Wait! Something is happening here. A defining moment? No doubt! A new thing was emerging from a womb previously denied.

I was a man who had miscarried again and again. The kick of life forbidden wore scars into the walls of my stomach. And I remembered the day I chose to live. I struggled narrowing the chain of events into specific times. It had to be done, in order to square myself with all that had been, with all that is to be.

Yielding to the notion that something was missing was only a fabrication altered the direction I was heading. The affirmation, clarity, and worthiness I had searched for resided within me. Rejection and abandonment were only distractions presenting themselves as permanent fixtures. I am in defining mode!

External factors are impotent to declare identity. They can only reflect what we believe about ourselves. I am hearing my voice rise above the mob screams telling me to stay where I am. Demanding I forfeit the invitation to come up higher. Rebellion delivered the virtue needed to proclaim, NO MORE! I moved on because I could.

I permitted the grief and tears over my neglected reality. The vigil was standing room only. I barely got all of me in the room. Sensing the finality of separation I was left the opposite of cold. Memories would persist but things will never be the same. With lightness in my chest, a dry mouth, and unimaginable relief I had won the Spelling Bee.

My list now flowed in unexpected ease. Multitudes of question marks gave up their seats for periods and exclamation points. Running so fast, focused on catching up to my liberation, I didn’t immediately realize the pain was gone. I had broken through, puncturing, misappropriated denotations.

designer-labels-flicker

Image courtesy of UpSticksNgo Crew via flickr.com

What I had  been hiding behind were articles of deception. Designer labels stitched together in the sweatshop of fallacy. I wore unwanted, unlovable, unworthy like required dress code. I window shopped purpose, clarity, and worthiness desiring to be fitted for a custom, made for me, life. Wrinkle free, permanent press, only disguised a disheveled heart, broken by the wardrobe, of dysfunctional dynamics.

Aligning with divine intention censored my emptiness. Our blueprint doesn’t call for us to be sidelined, left out, and excluded from the acquisition of the finer things in life. We’re not tinder for someone else’s fire. When there is no expectation of peace and harmony disappointment reigns supreme. Dissonance necessitates a paradigm shift

We are worthy of a rich, rewarding, and abundant life! 

     All defining moments have the inherent purpose of facilitating this truth!

What are your defining moments?

Be-younger.com on flickr

Image courtesy of Be-younger on flickr.com

 

 

 

 

 

Exacting Opposites!

TIME WILL TELL

There’s a great line in the movie “The Quick and the Dead.” As the bad guys were pursuing their victims, they were being killed off one by one by Sam Elliott’s character. As they determined to continue forward the line goes, “We’re going but, we are going to go real slow, because I ain’t riding in to no head shot.”

Any man attempting to explain what a women wants from a man, needs to proceed with caution. I’m certainly no expert on the subject. I have learned some things and improved my relationship with my wife. This blog is not meant to be exhaustive. I’m simply engaging in conversation. I’m willing to share my experience, data, and some of the opinions shared by others.

It appears, with heavy consensus, men and women often want the same things but, have different ideas about how to get what they want. Even when men and women use the same words they often have different meanings. For instance, when you ask a man what’s wrong and he says nothing, nothing means; leave me alone. But when you ask a woman what’s wrong and she replies; nothing, nothing means you had better figure out what’s wrong and, be quick about it.

There’s a strong argument that men don’t want women to read their minds, with one exception. But, women not only want you to know what they’re thinking, they expect precision and speed.

I like to give watches as gifts because it fits an idea of mine that it’s important to know what time it is. There’s a time for everything. A time to stand your ground and a time to compromise so you have ground to stand on. A time to talk and a time to listen. There’s a time to pay attention and yes, there is a time to ignore. If you can’t tell time it will be difficult to be where you need to be when you need to be there. Women tend to be time keepers and men will be well served to synchronize. Timing is everything!

SELFISHNESS HAS NO HOPE OF EVER BEING SATISFIED

Most of the time what we want from each other is logical, meaningful, and appropriate. Many times our methods are what’s lacking. To stay committed to a strategy that isn’t working is an indicator of the presence of selfishness. When habits fail to produce desired results a change of habit might be in order. Nobility and virtue can not flourish when we insist on getting what we want in only one way. A decision has to be made if you want progress. Which is more important to you; getting what you want or getting it the way you want it?

Many people spend years educating themselves for a career. But one of the most important decisions we make is who we choose for a mate. Too often, more time is spent planning a wedding, than planning a marriage. You can’t just decide to be a surgeon and show up in an operating room without any training. And yet, many of us enter marriage without investing in learning what we need to know to be successful. Pre-op and post-op are there for a reason. If your relationship is ill, and it’s important to you, get a diagnosis, have the surgery and go to rehab.

Women tend to live from the inside out. When their heart is aroused hope is released. They are wired for nurturing. Women are creators of life. They think about taking a man in the womb and incubating him to perfection. Men, on the other hand, are wired to be gatherers, hunters, prone to be finished when they catch the girl. He concludes his work is done when she says, I do. Everybody needs to Wake Up!

The different wiring is designed to be complimentary to each other. Love, like life, is a delicate balance of tension. Stretch it too much and it snaps. Give it too much slack and it’s not functional. Understanding, appreciating, and respecting the different wiring allows for a pleasurable and fulfilling relationship. When we try to rewire one another we have an ongoing battle of the sexes. Men and women are wired for optimum coexistence.

Things like family of origin, societal pressure, and life experiences are often not considered when choosing a mate. Everyone has some baggage, dysfunction, and immaturity they bring into their relationships. Love has the potential to conquer all. But, when we aren’t skillful in the way love works it can easily breakdown and fail. Love is a great feeling but, unless you feel like working to maintain it, that feeling will pass.

STAY IN SCHOOL 

My wife and I will celebrate 35 years of marriage in May. We have much to celebrate. So much to be thankful for. I began more charming than prince. I have made some mistakes that only love and forgiveness could rectify. I am determined to be the man she wants. I’m the romantic in our relationship. I court her. Woo her and continually try to win her. Why catch her once when I can do it again and again? I was not a man, by my own definition, when I married. So, I became one.

I don’t spend any effort trying to change her. I have made myself a student of my wife. I learn her moods, hot buttons, pet peeves,  and emotional needs. I’ve learned her likes and dislikes. I have a grip on interpreting her code words. I wish I could say I do it perfectly. This is an art form not a science. It’s a way of life. I see her as a gift, a treasure, the most valuable part of my life. If I fail here no other success will compensate.

I do dishes, laundry, help with house work, and do much of the cooking. Routinely, not just on special occasions. Tina works out of the house while I work from home. Sharing the load is not some gift I give her but an acceptance of responsibility. I arrived at this point having originated from thinking these things were her job. I’ve simply learned how to make love to my wife when we’re not having sex. Sharing is caring!

Personal growth brought me an understanding of the practical ways in which men and women are affirmed. Men are moved by being praised and women are moved by being heard. So get moving. Why sit hardened in stubborn cement. Since one great fear of men is incompetence, criticism will shut a man down quicker than anything. A man will go round and round before he will ask for directions. Internally, he is fighting incompetence. He doesn’t want to be seen as not knowing where he’s going. It is a wise woman who will employ this insight. A subtle consequence of GPS is the salvation of many marriages.

Something I caught years ago, before my wife worked outside the home, was her need for me to listen to her when I came home from work. I had been out all day slaying the dragon. When I came home I was ready for my man-cave. The last thing I wanted was to talk. She had been home all day collecting all the things she couldn’t wait to talk to me about. This was a point of contention until I was willing to extend my studies.

There’s some debate about actual numbers but it’s generally accepted that women use about 20,000 words a day to a man’s 7,000 words. At about three words in I got what she was saying. I used to get upset when she insisted on continuing to explain. I got it already. I was solving the problem while she was still painting the picture. Will you please just stop talking?

She did not want me to solve the problem. She wanted to be heard. My job is to provide this space for her. My need for recognition of my competence dictated my quick response. I’m a problem solver. Why can’t she see this? Actually, I was creating a problem. I, eventually, found bliss in giving her my undivided attention. No multitasking. Just sitting calming, engaging the woman I love, while she expressed herself. For as long as it takes. I might not even get to offer a solution but, I have prevented a big problem for myself.

Tina is intelligent, intuitive, and wants the right to fix things herself. There might not even be a remedy. She might just need to vent, complain, or get something off her chest. I learned to use the time to admire her. To look deeply into her eyes. To show her I care about whatever is important to her. Her rant might even seem trivial to me, but she’s not. And, I want her to feel how important she is to me. The payoff is this makes me feel competent and her validated!

BEING HAPPY IS BETTER THAN BEING RIGHT 

I discovered a goldmine when I learned that the last word doesn’t always require syllables. Using love as the period to every conflict sustains the melody of the heart. A tender embrace, an assurance of safety, and a willingness to seek mutual resolution is perhaps the pearl of great price. Empathy has endurance. Romance is tied to understanding. Humor works wonders too.

If I win the argument, and I’m rewarded with an iceberg, what have I gained? Nobody crawls into bed with a loser and brags about the good time they had. Who wants leftovers from a fragmented and shattered opponent? Nothing is more distracting than feeling taken for granted, unaffirmed, and obligated. Dousing the object of your affection with a bucket of indifference is certain to cause the wrong kind of sparks. Happy is right in front of us if we will open our hearts to it.

CHECK THAT GREENER GRASS MYTH

If fantasy is greater than reality it’s time to call Houston, for we have a problem. There’s nothing more connecting than agreement. The greatest harmony is found in singularity. Deep fulfillment isn’t possible if the needs of both are not met. Balance is found in equality. When one person is elevated above the other disorientation ensues. If disillusionment sets in we have turned down a dead-end street.

No woman should stay in an abusive relationship and no man should stay an abuser. And vice versa. Love is worth living for – it’s not worth dying for some distorted version. You are worthy of a rich, rewarding, and abundant life. Give it to yourself and you will attract someone who agrees with you. Maybe even the one your with now!

If you know what you want you are ahead in the game. If you know how to get what you want you are remarkable. Giving up before we have exhausted every possible remedy makes us less likely to find what we’re looking for. Apathy tends to define a Blamer. Try being the mate you wish you had. You might just find your mate doing the same thing.

I found some keys to unlock my dysfunction. I share my discoveries in my book. If Only I Had A Dad: Finding Freedom From Fatherlessness    http://amzn.to/2lMHJ9t

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Can You Learn AT The Symphony?

symphony-3I count my blessings every time I get to go on a field trip with my grandson. Helping to keep the natives from getting restless is a small price to pay for the rich experiences of new explorations. Chaperoning second graders in a super city will keep you on your toes. How interested will they be in the symphony?

The music hall is an architectural eye-feast. Stunning in its precision design. You are filled with the engineering thought behind carefully crafted detail to bring out the best in melodic possibilities. Beside the commercial free listening you get to take in rich tones and arrangements offering an intoxicating cocktail of orchestration.

What is my grandson thinking and feeling? He is days away from turning eight. Is there something being birthed inside him. Is the violin, clarinet, or oboe calling his creative juices? Maybe he is captured by the conductor standing on his perch waving his baton. Does he understand the excellence of each member’s contribution? Oh, how I want him to notice everything.

Music will undoubtedly play a role in his life. His entire life! And, there are many choices. From music intended to express anger and revolt to romantic love songs forged to deliver priceless moments. What will he gravitate toward? If we are fortunate he will seek to understand anti-establishment tunes as well as popular feel-good grooves. I will be pleased if he knows where music come from and more importantly, why it has such power.symphony-2

With the backdrop of social unrest, my mind went to work, to take in the bounty, of what was being served by a group dedicated to a dominate and collective purpose. Struck by the intention of individuals coming together to create a feeling for all to breathe in. Any break in continuity would be so noticeable and strike a most unpleasant chord making everyone cringe. The moment was preserved with the skill of dedicated will.

I asked myself, which of these shared hearts were to be feared, and hated? Who was a democrat or republican? Conservative or liberal? Should I single out the horns or string players to despise? Surely making music that offers peace and harmony must have a derogatory section to blame for every ill. But then, in the moment, I realized I was without complaint.

I caught myself in the liberty of the occasion. All I wanted was for my grandson to witness the different and distinctive sounds contributing to a moment that held the power to transfix us all in togetherness. I want nothing less than for him to believe in the symphony of life, love, and peaceful coexistence.symphony-1

I have hope for a shattered world!

I write about my journey from chaos to character in my book: If Only I Had A Dad

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Got Time For A Heart Attack?

OK! I took time out to have a heart attack.8576195628_0df9f2a68e_z

Don’t cry. On second thought, go ahead and cry. They tell me there’s no visible signs of damage to my heart. I told them they need a machine that will show heart-breaks not just heartaches. My physical organ only tells part of my story. Metaphorically, I have plenty of scar tissue on this ole ticker of mine.

They asked me what I thought caused my heart attack. Having never experienced chest pains or any other symptoms, I told them I had just released a book about a week ago and the sales were so disappointing that it clogged my arteries and sent me to the ER.

They said, that’s probably not the cause. Totally ignoring a possible intangible truth, they launched, into a diatribe on how important it will be to switch to a heart healthy diet, and an exercise regimen. You can see what I’m dealing with here.

I seem to be doing fine even-though, I completely failed in convincing the Dr. to use a different explanation to describe my medical event. Heart Attack, he insisted. You had a heart attack. Other than getting me to take it all seriously I can’t, for the life of me, figure out his resolve. I’m dumbfounded by his stern diagnosis.pexels-photo-41123

Anyway, if you think I’m slow to respond or acting out of sorts, just know I’m waiting for the raw carrots and broccoli to kick in. I expect to be back to myself in no time. Other than making errors, in everyday activities of daily living, I’m determined to return to active duty, fully myself.

Resisting the temptation to over-spiritualize my unwanted and uninvited interruption I can’t turn down the invitation to pay attention to matters of the heart. It does appear that our hearts are prone to unsuspecting combat. If we see ourselves engaged in meaningful work it’s easy to notice that poor diet and lack of extraneous exertion will have a derogatory presence.

Eating a steady diet of fast foods like rejection, unworthiness, and isolation will render us immobile and inactive. We can ignore the need to exercise goodwill, toward ourselves and others, leaving us where prevention is too late and a cure is required. Remember, if you have burned with anger, unforgiveness, and self-loathing it’s never to late to quit smoking. We can all give up fried hatred; self-directed or otherwise.

Energy and good health are necessary to a vibrant life. Giving up is not appealing unless you are headed in the wrong direction, thinking wrong thoughts, or allowing self-defeating attitudes to clog the ever-important circulatory system. Think”heart health!”

My book “If Only I Had A Dad: Finding Freedom From Fatherlessness” is good for what ails us; what ails our hearts. If you have lived with a broken heart, struggled to know who you are, desired more clarity, and would like to know how to treat the high cholesterol chaos running through our collective humanity, give this book a chance.

If my book doesn’t make you cry, laugh, and leave you hopeful email me! I know a good shrink I can refer you to. Just joking; sort of!

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When Daddy Goes to Work!

NEVER UNEMPLOYED!

What really happens when a father goes to work? Beyond the obvious provisions and opportunities, that derive from his labor, what goes on in his work life?

If he’s been effective at nurturing the wings, wisdom, and wonder of his children he has established a feeling of security. More importantly, he’s established a sense of worthiness, clarity, and the early discovery of individual identity. When he walks out the door for his place of employment it’s just part of what he does for himself, his family, and his future.

In an ever-changing world where little job security exists, competition is fierce, and technology advances faster than you can spell obsolete, he faces every day. Does he wrestle with his own feelings and thoughts of being less than enough? With the weight of hopes and dreams resting on his shoulders is he asking himself whether or not he can pull it off?

The future of his family is in his hands. But what about the man himself. Did his father teach him what he needs to know? Was his father even there? Did he get his issues resolved from childhood? Did he manage to depart adolescence without any life altering scars before he became a dad himself? What, if any, is the depth of his internal conflicts.

WHAT IS PROPER PAY SCALE?

What about the culture of his job? Is the environment one in which people are only important for the money-making mission at hand? Does he work, day after day, watching his back because at any minute he can find a knife in it? What are the chances he performs at optimum capacity and gets appreciated for doing so?

As the dinner bell rings, the door swings open, and dad walks in. No matter what the day put him through he has only love and appreciation for the family gathered around the table. What happens here is not for money. In fact, the work here is compensated far differently. Money would be an insult to the value of this work.

Does the man making a million dollars a year have different responsibilities toward his children than the man making 30 thousand dollars a year?  A man has to provide for his dependents. Take care of the necessities of life. Offer some opportunities for leisure and fun experiences. He has to at least help finance dreams. A man has to make a living.

Bringing sustenance to the table is work. Valuable work that can not and should not be minimized in its virtue. But it’s not the most important work in the lives of fathers.

THE POWER OF SHOWING UP!

When a father goes to work he ensures his children have a sense of worthiness inherent in every breath they breathe. They have a sense of clarity about where they will find significance in the vast sea of life. They will be confident in who they are, their own identity. They won’t be searching for someone else to tell them who they are. They won’t be looking for anyone to complete them.

When a dad goes to work the world is made a better place. Because he does not send overindulged narcissistic offspring, artificially connected through technological relationships, incapable of empathy, and highly entitled thinkers into society. He doesn’t release thoughtless whiner’s, prone to temper tantrums, and violent protesters who upend the possibility of moderate resolution because they are too self-centered and demanding to validate anyone who disagrees with them.

When a dad goes to work he teaches respect for difference. He demonstrates how to stand your ground, occupy your space, without compromising your beliefs while co-existing with a world that might be searching for its own identity. He provides an understanding for cultures, attitudes, and  values from all walks of life. He will teach how to fight, but most importantly, he will instruct as to when to fight.

Fatherlessness is pandemic. Widespread across the world and its many societies. Some people find politics entertaining. As many of my fellow countrymen were closely watching our recent election, I was closely watching our country. The evidence of fatherlessness is undeniable to me. We have a father hole the size of humanity.

I wonder what would happen if dads would go to work!

Check out my recently released book:

IF ONLY I HAD A DAD: Finding Freedom From Fatherlessness

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The Mission of Transformation!?

The seven truths that lead me to a life I don’t want to leave.

It took over fifty years to live it out and two years to write it but today, on my sixtieth birthday, I’m happy to share my journey with you.sixty-and-two

I had to unravel a serious emotional, mental, and religious knot. My dad abandoned me and I had three stepfathers by the time I was nine. I was raised in an ultra conservative religion and yet conformity didn’t set me free.

I searched and searched, good places and bad, but the pain never stopped until, that one moment in time when everything changed. I’m fortunate. I can pinpoint the time, place, and circumstances that marked my transformation. It was only the beginning but I would never be the same. book-promo-pic

I didn’t know what being wanted felt like. I had no sense of worthiness. Any uniqueness existed in my eternal defect. Things don’t last. I didn’t know where I belonged. With no clarity, and the absence of my identity I roamed into hyper-masculinity and developed approval addiction.

When my grandson dropped out of heaven I became a man!

master-book-release-picRead the whole real life story, with the ugly left in, and hope for us all!

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