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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sliiightly different post for the hurricane, peeps! Check it out and comment!

Surviving the Hurricane and Its Consequences!

Yes, peoples, the worst is over!

The Lady and I spent this weekend with family in higher ground, as we needed to evacuate where we live due to Hurricane Irene.  Thanks to my in-laws, as well as the lucky fact that we did not lose power, this storm was smooth sailing, rather than wild rapids!

But now that we've dispensed with the news of the day, I've started to realize that I've been concentrating too much on current events, and not enough on this blog's topic.  That's why you're now going to see a topic shift!

Anyone watch the show "Curb Your Enthusiasm?"  Larry David plays this hopeless guy who always gets yelled at, always gets stuck in sticky situations, and ALWAYS is made to bear responsibility for something that goes awry.  Anyone out there ever feel that way?

(you better believe I have)

Well, you need look no further than my earlier posts.  However, I'd like to expound on that theory tonight, since as long as men exist (and matter and belong and deserve), they will, REPEAT WILL, make mistakes.  How they deal with the mistakes, and their consequences, is not unlike the manner in which they survive hurricanes.  You can either deal with what has happened and resolve it, to the extent that it's resolvable.  Or you can get upset and cranky, and make it a thousand times worse!

Did you make a mistake?  Depends.  Do you have two arms?  Two legs?  Two eyes?  Two ears?  Do you exist, matter, belong, and deserve?  You better believe you do!  Accept it.  You cannot, and never will be perfect.  No matter how much self-esteem you are finally able to generate, no matter how successful you are, no matter how beloved you are, you will never, AND THE ROCK MEANS NEVER, be perfect, and you will never stop screwing up!!!!

Is someone giving you a problem with that mistake?  Oh boy, here comes trouble . . . .

"LOOK what you did!"  "How could you?"  "WTF?!?!!?"  "Are you stupid?"  "Are you deaf?"  "I should have just done it myself."  "You're pathetic!"

Hard words to hear.  But when you make a mistake, depending on how bad it is, someone will ALWAYS be saying something like this. 

It bears repeating that if you don't admit you're wrong when you really are, you're a sucker.  In fact, you are WORSE than all these gangsters and bullies I keep blogging about!  Even when they get shown cold hard evidence of what they've done, they either deny or act like they don't give a darn.  Un.  Ac.  Cept.  A.  Ble.

When you're wrong, ADMIT it and APOLOGIZE for it.  That doesn't mean that you grovel like a weakling or a slave, because that sends a signal of wounded prey.  It means that you speak honestly and sincerely, and detail that you were wrong, and that you would like to correct it.

If you can, fix the situation.  Once you make amends, IT'S OVER.  You do not bring up the subject again.  You just file it away and remind yourself, BE CAREFUL that you don't do this AGAIN.  Not because someone else is going to yell at you, not because you're going to be punished, and not because you won't get chocolate pudding for desert.  But because you are capable of LEARNING from mistakes, and because you MATTER and you DESERVE.

But now there's stage two:  what if the apology is not accepted?  What if the upbraiding continues?  Any of this sound familiar?

"I shouldn't have HAD to correct you!"  "Who cares if you're sorry?  You should never have done it in the first place!"  "I NEVER would have done that!"

Anyone who talks to you that way has crossed a line.  When you admit your faults and make amends, and they're too good to accept your apology, they're milking you for more than you owe.  There is NOTHING more that they deserve OTHER than an apology and possible restitution.  If that's their attitude, they are committing emotional extortion! 

You did something wrong, don't think you're getting exonerated from that.  However, if you've paid your debt for that misdeed, you are NOT entitled to disproportionate consequences.  After you've finished paying for that mistake, and they refuse to accept your apology because they're just too good fat that, walk away from them.  They are not worth your respect, your time, or your atonement.

Don't forget to comment, like, or follow!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Thoughts For A Rainy Sunday -- Control and Disposition of Anger

Thoughts For A Rainy Sunday -- Control and Disposition of Anger

Hey Peeps --
Kept inside today for a rainy day.  Gave me time to think a few things over.

(1)  Anger Against Others.

I've talked a lot about improving self-esteem and cracking down on those who hurt it.  But as we've all tended to realize, yet not always wanted to admit, the person most responsible for our self esteem is OURSELVES.

Staying angry at people who've wronged us may initially feel like a tool of empowerment.  You can reinforce the fact that they did wrong and we did not, and that makes us feel like winners.  But if the anger stays, the winning feeling doesn't.  Instead, the anger eats away at you like a cancer, drains your energy, and leaves you feeling miserable and unlovable.

Trust me on this, I know.  When people wronged me in the past, going back as far as junior high school, I'd hold onto that anger for years, sometimes even a decade or two.  A name or a place would be just enough to trigger feelings of unfinished business and wrongs without consequences, and leave me in a funk I wouldn't wish on anyone.  And I'd feel sorry for those within earshot once I started my rants about how horrible they were, and how bad they were, and they don't even deserve to live in a homeless shelter, etc., etc. 

After I noticed that people who heard me do this would all, without fail, find ways to excuse themselves from the conversation, a relevation occurred:  When you're that angry for that long a period of time, people stop being sympathetic.  People stop caring.  People stop giving a darn, because it's unbearable to listen to you.  To use my sister's phrase, you've become a "desperado," who needs attention to continue being a victim, who just can't move on from whatever happened years before, and has stunted his own growth.

The secret I've learned was already in front of me, courtesy of my father's simple, almost Dao-ist wisdom.  When I'd go on one of these rants at the dinner table, he would patiently say, without the slightest trace of annoyance in his voice, "eat your dinner."  At the time, I'd get belligerent when he said this, because I thought he was trying to shut me up.  He certainly was, but he was trying to do it in a way that would teach me that the anger and rage I was feeling was not going to do me any good when a plate of my mother's cooking was sitting in front of me undigested.  Right at that moment, at dinner time, I couldn't travel back in time and suckerpunch the miscreant who'd aroused my ire, but I certainly good enjoy the meal instead.

Yes, the past happened, and we're all stuck with it.  But projecting it on others around you, who are actively engaged in the present moment, as you should be, does precious little to help things.  If you still have such an axe to grind, get a journal and write it out.  Or better yet, join "The Experience Project," or similar anonymous websites, and pour your heart out in a safe and comfortable environment.  Schedule permitting, go for a run (like me), lift some weights at the gym, or hit the heavy bag for a while.  If it's stuck in your system, then repair your own plumbing and remove it!

And once you're in that calm, chill, runner's high/euphoria state of mind, find a way to let it go.  It's not affecting you consciously, it's not costing you money, and it's not your obligation to seek revenge against them.  "Vengeance is Mine," saith the L-D . . .  because He's A LOT BETTER AT IT THAN YOU, and it doesn't make Him a nervous wreck to make it happen!  If what the gangsters or boneheads did to you them was as harmful and as treacherous as you feel it is, then good news -- they will, REPEAT WILL, get their well-deserved punishment when He thinks it's time, not when you do!!! 

And what if you're angry at someone right now, whom you know very well? Not so easy to let things go, but easier to change the game you're playing.  Get away from them for a while, do what I said in terms of getting it out of your system, and then deal with it calmly, the way my father reminded me to "eat my dinner."  Without being confrontational, explain what it is that made you angry, and ask for something better.  Chances are the other party may take advantage of your peaceful approach and start taking swipes and swings at you.  Don't fall for it!  They want to piss you off again, that's how they win!  Stand firm, and explain that what they did or said was wrong to you, and that they will need to cease and desist.

(2) Anger Towards Yourself.

This is even worse.  I can think of no better way to have a miserable life than to blame yourself for everything that happens, to continuously tell yourself that you're stupid and you just don't get it, and that you'll never be any good.  I don't care if you're in jail or if you're behind on child support, NONE of that is TRUE!  People can wag their tongues and diss you as much as they like, and you can just disregard it.  But if YOU do it, you're pushing yourself off a bridge.  You are the ONE person in the world who can NEVER talk trash about you!

Did you screw up?  Make a mistake?  Forget something?  Lose something?  Handle it this way:

Detach yourself emotionally from the situation, and research it as if it's data in an encyclopedia.  Look over the facts and ask some questions:  What did you do that could have been done better?  What mistakes did you make?  What flaws did you expose?  Once you've answered them, then without giving yourself the V-8 forehead slap (because you just detached yourself from your feelings), reprogram yourself to NOT make those same mistakes AGAIN!  Of course, that's not a guarantee that it will never happen again, but at least it will reduce the likelihood of reoccurrences. 

If you can see what you've done wrong, and the aggrieved party is still open to discussion, apologize for it.  Don't prostrate yourself on the floor, don't take a razor blade to your wrists, and don't flagellate yourself with a cilice -- the aggrieved party will either start disliking you even more, or start taking pleasure in the pain you're causing yourself.  Just admit you're wrong, apologize, and move on.  If they other person is mature enough, they'll accept your apology.  And if they can't, then screw them.  They're not royalty.  You can't do more than apologize, so if that's not enough, let them stew in their own anger and rage.

Whether you stay angry at others for too long, or you stay angry at yourself for more than a day, you're creating a situation of permanent victimhood.  Permanent victimhood means permanent childhood, because you'll never allow yourself to grow up if you stay angry.  Find a way to grow up and keep moving to the next stop on the route.

The Four Pillars remind us that we Exist, we Matter, we Belong, and we Deserve, but they don't state that we're perfect or that we're blameless.  They also don't say that the world is always evil and that we're always good.  They say that we are unique as individuals and that we have a right to be in this world, and to receive the respect that comes with being here.  Want to get that respect?  Control the anger and dispose of it when it is no longer nececessary.  Take responsibility for your wrongs, and move on.

And since it's almost 7PM on Sunday night, take my Dad's advice -- and eat your dinner!  :)

PS --- in the past couple of days, I've sent a few text messages that didn't quite sound as cute as I thought they did.  Internet/texting etiquette tells us that when someone responds to your message with the word "Nice," it doesn't mean "That was a nice thing to say, thank you," it means "I'll take that as a diss, you jerk."  So to those people I offended, I apologize.  I obviously didn't think clearly enough before I sent those messages, and I won't do that again.

THERE!  Moving on . . . .

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Yes, I've returned. Check the latest blog post at:

It's A Family Affair!

Hey All -
This weekend, I watched as my younger cousin, whom I've known since his infancy, married his college sweetheart.  It was a swanky affair, to be sure.  The ceremony was just right, the reception was fun, and it turns out that my wife knows the bandleader.  Small world!

The only smudge on this beautiful picture was the presentation of young folk before the ceremony.  It is often said in most houses of worship that the L-D above seeks to have the littlest children among us come nearer to Him.  It's not clear how happy He'd be with these little ones running with abandon and without parental supervision throughout His sanctuary, especially close to lit candles with no assurance that they wouldn't tip over.  I can assure you that if I had attempted such feats as a lad, the sensation of my father's thumb and forefinger tightly and forcefully grabbing me by the earlobe would have been an imminent and inevitable response. 

These children, were in fact the flower girls and ring-bearers, and had important roles to fill.  Still, so effervescent and boisterous was this gaggle of youth that their parents were moved from the front of the receiving line to the rear immediately prior to the bridal procession to provide some severely lacking attention.  Once this change was made, the ceremony proceeded with no distractions or interruptions.

Friends and neighbors, you know I'm all about freedom, liberty, and expression.  The thought of a young man going through life stifled and cuckolded is to me a fate worse than death.  That being said, a young boy who has not yet learned that there is a time and place for all things is one who desperately needs the stifling.  I will not say that children should not be at a wedding -- often times the bride has her reasons for including our youngest and sweetest to be present on her special day.  However, if they are to be present, it calls for Mom/Dad/Uncle/Auntie/Grandma/Whomever to try to keep them somewhat contained.  It is, after all, the bride's and groom's day, and not the children's -- they must be taught to graciously accept supporting roles during that performance - and accept them they must.

But I will not wallow in criticism and judgment -- that area is best left to those who've spent their entire lives looking down their noses in frustration and bewilderment.  Rather, I will counterbalance the above-referenced smudge with the otherwise unadulterated remainder of the image.  I myself was also part of this bridal procession -- in fact, I had the privilege of leaving the sanctuary immediately following the bride and groom, and then being the first to congratulate them on their completed nuptials.  Then a chance to see my parents, who have remained gracious and generous to me as always, and my dawwwwwling Sista, the funniest person I've ever known.  During the reception, I was confronted with one out of two dance songs that cause me to lose control even worse than the aforementioned youngsters -- "Bringin' Sexy/Back" was adapted by the band, causing me dance provocatively around my wife at our tabled in an effort to entice her onto the dance floor.  After much coaxing, she was able to "go 'head be gone with it."

"Ummm, yeaaaaaah Dave.  That's, um, good.  But how about sticking to the point of your blog?  We're trying to increase traffic here."

Right you are, friend.  As I stated earlier, there is a time and place for all things.  A young man must be unafraid to be himself, as set forth in the Four Pillars.  However, it takes a small amount of time and grade on that young man's part before he can use them as his guideposts.

"I Exist" -- You already know this, little buddy.  Nobody's tried to make you think otherwise yet.  Thing is, this pillar is not a free pass to go everywhere and do everything in your young and tender state, unless you really want to give your parents a trip to the emergency room and/or a visit from a process server.

"I Matter"  -- Of course you do, little man.  That's why you need a little more guidance still.  That's why Moms and Pops need to take you by the hand and explain when it's OK to be loud and when to be quiet.

"I Belong"  --  The bride obviously agreed.  Show us you belong by doing as us grownups do.  Stand up straight and look handsome!

"I Deserve" -- In your case, little man, let's not just assume things.  You deserve to be welcomed as another member of the wedding party.  You don't deserve to be the star of the show, and you don't deserve all the attention so soon.  Your time will come sooner than you think.  But today, just be good and do what's right.  Then you'll deserve praise and respect!

Then, once you grow up and become an adult, and figure out when to be calm and sober, and when to get down with your bad self, do your best at both!!!!

Oh by the way, the other song that makes me dance "like MC Hammer on crack," is "The Humpty Dance!"

Also by the way, Happy Birthday to my Sister!